Q00.002 - timing of the Mystery of Golgotha

From Anthroposophy


.. more questions which remain open in a way:

Christ didn't come in the middle of Earth's development, in the middle of the Atlantean epoch. Why not?

I saw two different answers to it:

  • He came as much later after the middle, as the Luciferic fall in Lemuria was before the middle    
  • .. and, in a small book by Baruch Luke Urieli + Hans Müller-Wiedemann: 'Übungswege zur Erfahrung des Ätherischen' .. Urieli says that in the middle of Atlantis, there was another "Fall", he talks of a "Verrat in Atlantis" and on p.28:

"Allmählich begannen sich aber die Folgen des lemurischen Sündenfalls der Menschheit zu zeigen. In der vierten atlantischen Epoche wurde eine Kultur vorherrschend, welche die Sonnenkraft für ihre eigenen selbstsüchtigen Zwecke benützen wollte."

Er stellt einen Zusammenhang mit Kaspar Hauser her, dem "versprengten Atlantier" so Steiner, de diesen "Verrat" heilen sollte.

Rudolf Steiner - as far as I know or remember - doesn't give a reason for Christ not coming in the Atlantean epoch. He only explains whe Christ came 333 years before the middle of the Greek-Roman epoch.


The main reason for the dephased timing of the Mystery of Golgotha (MoG) is the Luciferic infection and the impact of luciferic and ahrimanic influences on the human constitution and consciousness. The original plan (see Occult atom for the process of this plan) had not anticipated this and the consequences on the human etheric (and hence physical) bodies. This is the main reason why the MoG was delayed versus the originally anticipated timing of the middle of the Atlantean epoch, which represents the middle of the evolutionary stage of Earth. (1916-01-09-GA165 below)

The effect of the Luciferic influence and death, working since the Lemurian epoch in Man, had evolved to a critical point - with an impact on the human phantom (1914-07-01-GA155 below), and on the astral body (1923-08-31-GA227 below)

Furthermore, the impact of the drying out of Earth and humanity due to the fact the life forces were missing for the physical body (1923-05-07-GA224 below) had evolved to a critical point. See the Hyperborean epoch for an explanation how the life-giving forces of the life ether had left with the departure of the Sun.

And because the cosmic plan is known, the attacks of the counterforces are linked to this and also offer a perspective on what had happened if the MoG would not have taken place as it did (re: luciferic and ahrimanic influences - causing fragmentation of humanity through the races, see 1916-01-09-GA165 below; and sorat - destabilizing human consciousness, see 1918-10-11-GA184 below)

Therefore the answer needs to be put in context of the situation we find in the Postatlantean epoch, considered from all the above perspectives.

Note: regarding the 'second fall' you mention, see also the seduction by the Rakshasas, the betrayal of the Mysteries and the growth of black magic in the Atlantean epoch (see 'the rise of black magic' on the latter page Discussion area).

Lecture references as part of the answer

The original plan (without Luciferic influence)

Part of the answer is given in 1916-01-09-GA165 that describes the original plan not counting on the luciferic and ahrimanic influences:

The first attempt that had been made with earthly humanity before the luciferic and ahrimanic impulses interfered in evolution was to create unity among human beings everywhere through the forming of the physical body. This attempt by the spirits of form failed because of luciferic-ahrimanic interference. But it could not be allowed to fail altogether; precautions had to be taken to prevent complete failure and to immobilize and offset the work of Lucifer and Ahriman. The physical body could no longer be worked on as was originally intended; therefore, the etheric body had to be worked on. This was done by the divine-spiritual being we have so often spoken of — the Christ Being — taking on human form at the time in human evolution when the possibility to express the archetype of humanity was the greatest.

and this point is elaborated in extenso,

Now, when we trace the evolution of the earth back into the Atlantean or even into the Lemurian epochs, we find that initially impulses and tendencies existed that would have prevented our physical body from developing the physiognomy it now has through the power of the etheric body — that is, the diversities. Instead, if everything had gone a certain way, the seven-colored etheric body would have brought about diversities in our physical form, but successively, one after the other. Thus, the etheric body would have created one form of human being in the fifth period of Atlantis, a second in the sixth period of Atlantis, a third in the seventh, a fourth in the first post-Atlantean period, a fifth in the second post-Atlantean period, a sixth in the third, and a seventh in the fourth post-Atlantean period, that is, in the Greco-Roman time. That is what would have happened; various types of human beings would have appeared one after the other. Thus, in the fifth Atlantean period we would have had human beings in whose physical formation one type of etheric body would have predominated. In the sixth Atlantean period, the second of the etheric bodies just described would have been at work, and so on right until the fourth post-Atlantean period. That was the original conception. However, Lucifer and Ahriman opposed this; they did not want it to happen that way. They fought against this harmonious tendency of development in the evolution of humanity, and they managed to change the whole process so that various developments were shifted and displaced. While there should have been basically only one form of human being in the fifth Atlantean period that was to develop gradually into another type, Lucifer and Ahriman preserved the form of the fifth Atlantean period into the sixth, and again that of the sixth Atlantean period into the seventh, and even into the time after the Atlantean flood.

and the link with Human races is made here

Thus, forms that should have disappeared remained. Instead of racial diversities developing consecutively, older racial forms remained unchanged and newer ones began to evolve at the same time. Instead of the intended consecutive development of races, there was a coexistence of races. That is how it came about that physically different races inhabited the earth and are still there in our time although evolution should really have proceeded as I have described it. Even when we consider only what resulted from the development of the etheric body, we see everywhere that Lucifer and Ahriman play their part in the earthly evolution of humanity.

in dramatic wordings about the 'divide' or separative counterforces as opposed to the unification of humanity by the Christ Impulse. See Christ Module 1 - Unification of humanity

The Greek era was also the time when humanity faced a crisis because of the luciferic-ahrimanic influence. Lucifer and Ahriman had caused races to live side by side instead of one after the other. At the same time, however, all the forces the spirits of form were pouring into human evolution on the earth were immobilized. Now they could do no more than stimulate and inspire the creative imagination of the Greeks so that it developed as I have described it. The spirits of form had to decide whether the human race should continue to develop so that human beings would never again be united in earthly evolution. For this indeed is what would have happened. If earthly evolution had continued beyond the fourth Greco-Roman cultural age, in the same way it was prior to that, then humanity would have become separated into seven groups due to luciferic and ahrimanic forces. These seven groups would have been as different from each other as the various species of animals. Animal species do not understand each other, but regard each other as foreign. Similarly, toward the end of the fourth post-Atlantean period and in the fifth one, in which we live, people would have developed more and more the view that there are seven groups of human beings on earth that see each other as completely different species. This view would still have prevailed in our time; in fact, the separation between the seven groups would not yet have reached its culmination or completion, but would still be developing and widening. The term “human being” for all people on earth would have seemed wrong; we would have had seven different terms, one for each of the seven groups.

hence (SWCC)

.. the Spirits of Form had intended to develop a homogeneous human race in seven successive stages, but this homogeneous human race was fragmented by Lucifer and Ahriman. The force that wants to spread the one name “human being” over all the earth and unto the end of time — in spite of the outer differences between people — was revived from within by the Christ impulse. One of the chief tasks of the immediate future is to understand that Christ stands between Lucifer and Ahriman and to grasp his significance in relation to them. Therefore, we must always call Lucifer and Ahriman by their true names and look to the Christ impulse as the one combating them and saving the earth from this one-sided luciferic-ahrimanic impulse.

How the abnormal SoF (from various planets) mingled with the normal SoF is explained in 1910-06-12-GA121 see quote on Human races 1917-04-12-GA175 (in evo) discusses the impact of the luciferic infection in terms of the higher ethers and the impact on Man's etheric and physical body

Now the etheric body is not such as it was originally designed to be and this is the determining factor in all development subsequent to the “Fall”. It is of paramount importance to be alive to this fact and gradually to turn it to account in our life.

  • Amongst the various etheric formative forces which our etheric body originally possessed — and originally it possessed all etheric formative forces in their full and vigorous vitality — is the warmth ether that is still active within it. This explains why man and the animals which he dragged down with him in his Fall both have warm blood. It was therefore possible for man to transform the warmth ether in a special way.
  • This he could not do with the light ether. Admittedly he assimilates light ether, but he simply radiates it again so that a lower form of clairvoyance is enabled to perceive the etheric colours in the human aura. They are actually present there.
  • But in addition, man was also designed [ here follow the two higher ethers, chemical and life ethers - see 1909-09-21-GA114 below]
    • for a particular tone; he was endowed with his own specific tone in the whole Harmony of the Spheres,
    • and also with an original vitality, so that it would always have been possible for the etheric body, if it had retained its original vitality, to have preserved the immortality of the physical body. And man would have been spared the consequences.

For had the etheric body preserved its original form man would have continued to dwell in those higher realms from which he has fallen. He would not have succumbed to the Luciferic temptation, for in those higher realms totally different conditions would have prevailed. And in former times those conditions really did exist. ..

.. Man could not have spoken at that time as he does today, for speech had not yet been differentiated into separate languages. This differentiation was due to the fact that speech became static. It was never intended originally that language should remain static. You must have a clear picture of what was originally intended for man.

1909-09-21-GA114 also talks about the timing of Christ's descent and especially the 'protective measure' of the two higher ethers

We may now ask another question:

  • Why was the union of this Being with the evolution of humanity on the Earth so long postponed?
  • Why had He not descended at an earlier time to the Earth.?
  • Why had He not penetrated before into a human etheric body, as He did at tlhe Baptism by John in the Jordan?

This will be intelligible to us if we grasp the nature of the happening described in the Old Testament as the ‘Fall into Sin’. During the epoch of ancient Lemuria, certain beings insinuated themselves into the human astral body — they were beings who had remained at the stage of Old Moon evolution. The human astral body was permeated at that time by the Luciferic beings and this is presented pictorially as the Fall into Sin in Paradise. Because these forces penetrated into his astral body, man became more deeply entangled in the things of the Earth than would otherwise have been the case. Had he not been subject to the Luciferic influence he would have been less deeply entangled in earthly matter.

Consequently he descended to the Earth earlier than was originally intended. Now if nothing else had intervened, if nothing had taken place except what has just been indicated, the Luciferic forces anchored in the human astral body would have taken effect in the etheric body as well.

But it was essential for the cosmic Powers to take special measures to prevent this. In the book Outline of Esoteric Science the subject is dealt with from a different aspect.

Man might not remain as he was after the Luciferic forces had penetrated into his astral body. He had to be protected against the effect of the forces upon his etheric body.

This end was achieved at that time by making it impossible for him to use the whole of his etheric body, part of it being removed from his arbitrary control. If this beneficent deed of the Gods had not been accomplished, if man had retained power over the whole of his etheric body, he could never have found his right path through Earth evolution. Certain parts of the human etheric body had at that time to be withdrawn in order to be preserved for later times. Let us try to picture what this means.

... [explanation of the four ethers] ...

In the Lemurian epoch, after the onset of the Luciferic influence, of these four forms of ether only the two lower (light-ether and fire-ether) were left at the free, abitrary disposal of man; the two higher kinds of ether were withdrawn from him.

That is the inner meaning of the passage where it is said that when, as a result of the Luciferic influence, men had become able to distinguish between good and evil (pictorially expressed as eating of the ‘Tree of Knowledge’), the ‘Tree of Life’ was kept out of their reach. That is to say, the power freely and arbitrarily to penetrate the thought-ether and the sense-ether (‘meaning’-ether) was withdrawn from them.

The conditions of man's development were therefore necessarily as follows. His will was given into his power to assert as his ‘personal’ expression; the same applies to his feelings. Both feeling and will are at man's personal disposal. Hence the individual character of the world of feeling and the world of will.

This individual character, however, ceases immediately we pass from feeling to thinking — yes, even to the expression of thoughts, to the words on the physical plane. Whereas each man's feeling and will are personal, we immediately come into something universal when we rise into the realm of words and the realm of thoughts. No one individual can form thoughts that are his alone. If thoughts were as individual as feelings we should never understand one another. Thus thought and ‘meaning’ (Sinn) were withheld from the power of arbitrary human will and preserved for the time being in the world of the Gods, in order not to be given to man until a later time. Everywhere on the Earth, therefore, we can find individual men with individual feelings and individual impulses of will; but thinking is uniform everywhere and language is uniform among the several peoples.


When Zarathustra, with his pupils around him, spoke of the realm of spirit, he could say: ‘Out of heaven there streams down warmth, or fire; out of heaven there streams down light. These are the vestments of Ahura Mazdao. But behind these vestments is hidden that which has not yet descended but has remained above in spiritual heights, casting only a shadow in the physical thoughts and words of men.’ Behind the warmth and light of the Sun is hidden that which lives in tone or sound, in meaning, manifesting itself only to those who are able to see behind the light that which is related to the earthly word as the heavenly Word is related to the part of Life that was withheld for the time being from humanity. Hence Zarathustra said: ‘Look upwards to Ahura Mazdao; see how He reveals Himself in the physical raiment of light and warmth. But behind all that is the Divine, Creative Word — and it is approaching the Earth!’

Effect of Luciferic influence on Man's phantom

And regarding the 'pollution' of Man's phantom due to the Luciferic influnece, see the page of Cleansed phantom, and reference 1914-07-01-GA155 gives an essential aspect (read in full) because it shows how far the effect of the Luciferic influence had penetrated into Man, the fact that 'death that lives in Man means Man creates elementals of death

When in our occult studies we go back to the times before the Mystery of Golgotha, we find that the men of those days simply radiated this phantom-like entity, which contained their moral qualities, into the external world, into the external spiritual aura of the Earth. But humanity developed in the course of the Earth's existence, and just at the epoch where the Mystery of Golgotha came to pass, a certain stage had been reached in the evolution of this phantom-like entity.

In earlier times it was much more evanescent; by the time of the Mystery of Golgotha it had become denser, had more form; and into this phantom-like entity there was now mingled, as a fundamental characteristic, the death which man develops in himself by killing the ray of light that enters into his eye, and so on, as I have explained. These Earth-spirit entities which radiate from man are like a stillborn child, because he imparts his death to them.

If Christ had not come upon Earth, then, during the sojourn of their souls in earthly bodies, human beings could have continuously rayed out entities with the impress of death upon them. And with this impress of death there would have been bound up the moral qualities of man of which we spoke yesterday; objective guilt and objective sin. They would have lain within it.

Let us suppose that the Christ had not come. What would have happened in the evolution of the Earth? ...

Description of the situation if there would have been no Luciferic infection

Note: there is another lecture where this is described more extensively, including a description of the state of consciousness of Man is the MoG had happened in the middle of the Atlantean epoch. The reference will be added later.

1909-06-10-GA109 is NOT the lecture referred to above, but also contains a short description (from Atlantean epoch)

If the evolution of humanity until the middle of the Atlantean epoch had proceeded without the influence of Lucifer, Man would by then have developed a picture consciousness imbued with a high degree of clairvoyance. There would have been in his soul something that through its power would have revealed the external world to him in inner pictures; he would not have perceived objects outside through his eyes. As a result of the luciferic influence man had perceived the physical world at an early stage, but not rightly. He saw the external world through a veil, as it were. Evolution as provided for him by the divine-spiritual beings was that in place of the dull, clairvoyant consciousness with which his inner world was perceived in pictures, he would have seen the external world but in such a way that behind everything material, spirit would have been present. He would have seen the spirit behind the physical world.

All of a sudden - not literally, for the process was lengthy - the external world would have appeared to man; Man would have awakened.

The inner world would have suddenly vanished but the consciousness of the spirit whence that world originated would have remained. Man would have seen not only the plants, animals and so forth but simultaneously the spirit whence they had come forth.

Because the luciferic beings drew man down to the earth too soon, the external world had the effect of hiding the world of spirit from him; physical matter became opaque for him. Otherwise, he would have seen through it to the primordial spiritual ground of the world. Because man had come down too soon into matter, it proved to be too dense for him and he could not penetrate it.

But from the middle of the Atlantean epoch onward, other retarded spiritual beings were able to impregnate this matter, in consequence of which it was as if clouded, made turbid, and man was again no longer able to behold the spiritual. These were the ahrimanic or Mephistophelian beings. .. Through untruth Zarathustra calls Ahriman the liar. He beclouds the purity of the spirit of man, conceals the spiritual from him. Ahriman comes after Lucifer and instils into man the illusion that matter is a reality in itself.

1909-01-01-GA107 contains a similar description

The significance of Lucifer's influence becomes evident when we ask ourselves what would have transpired if since the Lemurian epoch there had been no Luciferic influence, if Lucifer and his hosts had remained separate and apart from man's evolution!

Until the middle of the Atlantean epoch man would have evolved as a being who in every impulse of his astral body would have obeyed the influences of certain spiritual Beings of a higher rank than himself; these Beings would have retained their sway over him until the middle of the Atlantean epoch. If that had happened, man's faculties of perception and cognition would not have been directed to the material world until a much later period. During the Lemurian and early Atlantean epochs, no passions, no desires would have arisen from his sense-perceptions; he would have confronted the world of sense as it were in a state of innocence, obedient in his every action to the impulses instilled into him by higher spiritual Beings. The instincts prompting him to action would not have been of exactly the same nature as those of the higher animals to-day, but more spiritual. His every deed on earth would have been prompted, not by mere impulses, but by a kind of spiritual instinct.

As things were, under the influence of Lucifer man came earlier to the stage where he said: This delights and attracts me, that is repellent to me! He reached the stage of following his own impulses earlier than would otherwise have been the case; he became an independent being, with a measure of inner freedom. The consequence was that he was detached in a certain way from the spiritual world. To put it concisely, one might say: Without this influence of Lucifer, man would have remained a spiritualized animal — an animal who would gradually have developed a form nobler and more beautiful than could have been developed by man under the influence of Lucifer. Man would have remained far more of an angelic being if Lucifer's influence had not taken effect in the Lemurian epoch; but on the other hand, the higher Beings would have guided him as it were on leading-strings.

In the middle of the Atlantean epoch something would have befallen him suddenly: his eyes would have been fully opened, the tapestry of the whole material world of sense would have lain around him — but gazing upon it he would simultaneously have perceived the Divine-Spiritual, a Divine-Spiritual world behind every physical object. If, therefore, in his former state of dependence man had looked back into the bosom of the Divine whence he had proceeded, beholding the Gods of Light sending their radiance into his soul, guiding and leading him, something would have come about for him — this is not a mere picture but corresponds in a high degree with the reality — namely, that the world of sense in its entirety would have been outspread in transparency before him, revealing behind it those other Divine-Spiritual Beings who had taken the place of what had now been lost. One spiritual world would have closed behind him and a new spiritual world opened before him. Man would have remained a child in the hands of higher, Divine-Spiritual Beings; independence would not have been established in the human soul.

It did not happen so, because Lucifer had approached man and made part of the underlying spiritual world invisible to him. The personal instincts, passions and desires which arose in the human astral body spread a cloud of darkness over the spiritual Beings of the world out of which man is born and who would otherwise have remained perpetually visible to him.


Thus it was the influence of Lucifer in the evolution of humanity that made it possible for man to fall into error and evil but also to attain freedom. Had there been no Luciferic influence, the conditions I have been describing to you would have come about in the middle of the Atlantean epoch: the tapestry of the sense-world would have been outspread before man; the mineral, plant and animal kingdoms would have been materially visible to him; also the phenomena of nature and of the heavens, thunder, lightning, clouds, air — all would have been visible to external sight. But behind it all would have been the unmistakable presence of Divine-Spiritual Beings. Because Lucifer's influence had already taken effect in man's astral body, his physical body — at that time still transmutable — had been so prepared ever since the Lemurian epoch and on into the Atlantean, that it could not become the direct instrument for the physical world of sense with the spiritual world visibly behind it. And so man could not immediately behold the physical sense-world in the form in which it would simultaneously have revealed itself to him as a spiritual world. The three lower kingdoms of nature lay around him; the physical world became a veil over the spiritual world. Man could not, nor can he to this day, see directly into the spiritual world.

Adapted timings vs the original intention of middle of the Atlantean epoch

1910-02-02-GA116 describes how the Mystery of Golgotha had been intended for middle of the Atlantean epoch. And that now there is the same span of time between Lucifer and mid-Atlantis as between mid-Atlantis and the Christ Impulse.

As a result of the luciferic influence man now became a being capable of making distinctions; that is, he became a being who developed divine qualities within him prematurely. In this way and through this influence, something entered human nature which would otherwise have been withheld from his evolution till the middle of the Atlantean epoch.

.. Man would have been quite different if this descent into matter had not taken place till then; his soul would have been more mature for the descent. He would have descended into matter as a better, a riper, man. He would have brought quite different qualities into his physical, etheric and astral bodies and would have possessed a very different power of distinguishing between good and evil.

Because Man was already a being able to distinguish between good and evil from the Lemurian epoch to the middle of the Atlantean epoch, he made himself worse than he would otherwise have been; he entered a state of lesser perfection. He would otherwise have spent all the intervening time in a much more spiritual way; but as it was, he passed through it more materially. The effect of this was that if he had received in the middle of the Atlantean epoch what the gods had intended him to have, he would have fallen utterly and completely.

What was it that would have been given to man at the middle of the Atlantean epoch, if he had continued to be guided and directed till that time, instinctively, as it were, by Divine Spiritual Beings? He would have then have received that which (the luciferic influence having in the meanwhile intervened) was afterwards given to him through the Mystery of Golgotha. The Christ-Impulse would have been given to man at the middle of the Atlantean epoch.

Now, however, on account of the luciferic influence, man had to wait as long a time for the Christ-Impulse as had elapsed between the intervention of the luciferic influence and the middle of the Atlantean epoch. There was the same span of time between the entrance of Lucifer and the middle of the Atlantean epoch, as between that time and. the arrival of the Christ-Impulse. Thus, through man's having acquired a likeness to the gods before he was meant to do so, we have to describe a delay of the Christ-Impulse. For before that could come man had to go through the Earth-Karma due to him on account of the evil that had entered the earth through the luciferic impulse.

He had to wait, not only till that influence had rendered him able to distinguish between good and evil, but until, in the course of the earth's development, all the consequences of the luciferic influence had come. He had to wait for these, for then only could the Christ-Impulse descend to the earth. In accordance with the wise guidance of the earth, man was not intended to escape for ever from what was to come to him through the luciferic influence, but it would not have come upon him till the middle of the Atlantean epoch. It must have come in any case; but it would certainly not have come in the same form. Not only did man acquire from Lucifer the power of free decision in everything connected with spiritual things, but also the capacity of enthusiasm for what is good and noble, wise and great. As human beings, we are not only able coldly to distinguish between good and evil, but also to feel a warm glow for the noble, good and wise. That is because something was carried into our astral body, which, if it had only reached man in the middle of the Atlantean epoch, would have been taken into the I, that I which is capable of judgment. All the feeling, the idealism and enthusiasm for what is good, for high ideals, we owe to the circumstance that something entered our astral body before we had acquired the likeness to God in our ego, before the acceptance of the Christ had taken place therein. The essential point is that this likeness to God, the possibility of finding the good within ourselves, had to come to man. If the luciferic influence had not come, this impulse would have come in the middle of the Atlantean period, but as things are it came in the age in which Christ Jesus Himself worked.

Thus through the Christ-Impulse the consciousness came to man that in his ego he had something of Divine substance and of Divine nature. The thought that man can take in the Divine in his I-being and that this Divine part can be active therein and distinguish between good and evil, underlies all the deeper sayings of the New Testament. We may therefore say that with the reception into the inner nature of man of the Christ-Impulse, it was made possible for man to say: ‘I must be my own guide for the knowledge of my existence and the distinction between good and evil.’

Timing within the Postatlantean epoch

Also note per 1908-09-14-GA106 that

We must point out that what we call the advent of the Christ on earth is an event that could occur only at the low point, when man had sunk so far. The Greco-Latin period stands in the middle of the seven post-Atlantean epochs. No other period would have been the right one. When man became a personality, God also had to become a personality in order to save him, to give him the possibility of rising again. We have seen that in his Roman citizenship the Roman first became conscious of his personality. Earlier, man still lived in the heights of the spiritual world; now he had descended entirely to the physical plane, and now he had to be led upward again through God himself.

at the same time it was the cultural age least fitted to understand the Mystery of Golgotha, as pointed out in 1913-10-14-GA152

Welche von diesen Zeitepochen war am wenigsten geeignet, die Wesenheit des Christus zu begreifen?

Verschiedenartig war ja das Verständnis der Menschennatur in diesen verschiedenen Zeitaltern.

Welches war nun am wenigsten geeignet, sich ordentliche Begriffe von der Christus-Natur zu verschaffen?

Das war das Zeitalter der Verstandes- oder Gemütsseele vom 8. vorchristlichen bis ins 15. nachchristliche Jahrhundert. Und gerade in dieses Zeitalter hinein fiel das Mysterium von Golgatha! So merkwürdig vollzog sich diese Tatsache der Menschheitsevolution.

Wäre - hypothetisch einmal angenommen - der Christus wirklich auf Erden erschienen, zum Beispiel unter den heiligen Rishis des alten Indien, es wäre ein weitgehendes Verständnis für die Natur der Christus -Wesenheit dagewesen, ebenso noch im alten Persien, wo von dem Sonnengeiste gelehrt wurde. Da hätte man, wenn der Christus damals in einen Menschenleib herabgestiegen wäre, gesehen: dieser Geist, der in einem Menschenleibe auf der Erde geht, ist der Sonnengeist, der auf die Erde herabgestiegen ist. Auch noch in der Zeit der ägyptischen Tempelweisheit hätte etwas Ähnliches geschehen können. Diejenige Zeit aber, in der die Menschheit am meisten von einem Verständnis der Christus-Natur entfernt war, sie sah den Christus unter sich erscheinen.

Es ist eigentlich nicht leicht, zu dieser eigentümlichen Tatsache etwas hinzuzufügen, das sie illustrieren soll, denn man kann aus dieser Tatsache den wichtigen Schluß ziehen, daß ja dann selbstverständlich über die Natur und die Wesenheit des Christus kaum etwas zu finden ist in den Lehren, die man über den Christus bildete in jener Zeit, und man wird verstehen, daß erst kommende Jahrhunderte mehr Verständnis haben werden für dasjenige, was der Christus ist.

State of physical body and astral body

1923-05-07-GA224 talks about how the state of affairs of the physical body who had been in a downward evolution since the middle of the Atlantean epoch

In the Schools of Initiation it was known, and can of course also be known today, that at about the time of the Mystery of Golgotha the human physical body had reached a degree of decline where the men who were then in incarnation or who were to be incarnated in the near future, that is, up to about the fourth century A.D., were faced with the danger of leaving an earth that was growing more and more desolate and barren, and of finding no possibility in the future of descending from the world of spirit-and-soul and building a physical body out of materials provided by the physical earth.

This danger existed, and the inevitable consequence would have been the failure of man to fulfil his allotted earthly mission. The Ahrimanic and Luciferic powers working in combination had succeeded to the extent that at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha, earthly mankind was face to face with the possibility of dying out.

Mankind was rescued from this fate through that which was achieved by the Mystery of Golgotha, whereby the human physical body itself was imbued again with the necessary forces of life and freshness. Men were thereby enabled to continue their further evolution on earth, inasmuch as they could now come down from worlds of spirit-and-soul and find it possible to live in physical bodies. Such was the actual effect of the Mystery of Golgotha.

Regarding the astral body, see the page on the Human astral body for a description - see 1923-08-31-GA227 and Schema FMC00.134. To stress the relevance of that aspect, a subsection of the quote is added below

This point of time, which in a certain sense signifies the greatest crisis in the whole evolution of man, came approximately 333 years after the Mystery of Golgotha. Such dates are only approximate owing to time being reckoned in various ways. According to our present reckoning, it was 333 years after the Mystery of Golgotha that this crisis came about.

Looking back at this critical moment, we can describe it as follows: if the evolution of mankind and that of the Earth itself had continued as they were doing, if men had remained under the guidance of the divine-spiritual Beings who had been leading them up to that time, then, since it was intended by those Beings that men should acquire freedom, it would have been achieved — but with what result? At that time it would have meant upsetting the balance between the two parts of the human astral body.

.. It is impossible to follow the evolution of man in its reality unless we are able to understand what happens to the human astral body in the course of earthly evolution.

... If all human forces after the year 333 had remained as they were, men on Earth would have become weaker and weaker, increasingly powerless. And earthly life would have come to an end through this complete decadence of mankind.

.. At a gathering of those divine-spiritual Beings I spoke of as belonging to the Sun, it was decided to send down to the Earth their representative, the Christ, ... The Mystery of Golgotha, therefore, is not merely the concern of mankind; it is also a concern of the Gods, and this can be put into words such as these: The Sun Gods met and held counsel together as to the steps they should take for warding off from mankind the danger of becoming weaker and weaker through the decline of the astral body. ... And so the Christ was sent down to Earth and went through birth and death — naturally not as a human being but as a divine Being. The consequence was that through the Mystery of Golgotha, through the fact of Christ's death, forces came into Earth-evolution for the healing of those other forces which, in the sense already described, were the cause of sickness. Thus Christ became for mankind, in very truth, the great cosmic and terrestrial Healer of mankind.

In other words, His forces entered everything that has to be healed in human beings, so that man, having his tendency to decadence on the one hand, but on the other the saving forces of Christ, can find his way to freedom. Therefore, provision was made in world-evolution to ensure that, 333 years before the great crisis, the Mystery of Golgotha should take place. Human evolution on Earth, accordingly, could not have gone forward without this threat of disastrous universal sickness, to begin in the year 333. Then, through the Mystery of Golgotha, came the great universal healing.

Everything therefore done by man without Ego-consciousness, everything that derives from the deeper forces tending to his future downfall, can be healed through association with the Christ. That is what the Mystery of Golgotha means for earthly and human evolution

Timing of MoG vs plans of the counterforces

Finally there are also other angles of perspective to the timing, below is described the anticipation of the impact of Sorat in the year 666, put in perspective in the cycle GA184 (Three streams in the evolution of mankind)

1918-10-11-GA184 (and more 1918-10-13-GA184 and 1918-10-16-GA182)

As a consequence of all that goes with these streams, human evolution as a whole came to an important crossroads in a certain definite year. During this year the three streams flowed together into a critical conjunction which was concealed only by a confusion in outer conditions, so that only the confusion was seen but not what was actually happening. This critical point occurred about 666 years after the Mystery of Golgotha. At that time — 666 years after the birth of Christ — something was due to happen and could have happened, but did not happen. The reason why it did not happen you will now hear.

In the year 666 there could have come — visibly for ordinary people, particularly for men of the West — an important being who would not have entered the physical plane, but would have made himself very clearly perceptible to mankind even in an external way, so that they would have become his victims. Had this being appeared in the form he intended, we should not be writing 1918 to-day but 1918 minus 666, or 1252; for this being would have inspired men in such a way that they would have regulated their chronology accordingly. Had he been able to appear according to plan, this being would have brought about something very strange. Now the matter is like this: 333 years earlier, or 333 years after Christ, we have exactly the middle of the fourth post-Atlantean epoch; the middle, that is, of the Graeco-Latin epoch. Now you can do this sum: it begins with 747 B.C. and ends with 1413; this makes 2,160 years, as it should. Take half 2,160 years and you get 1,080 years, so that 1,080 years since 747 B.C. had gone past by the middle of the post-Atlantean epoch. Take away 747 and you have 333, so that the year 333 of our era was the middle of the Graeco-Roman epoch. It was not before the Mystery of Golgotha, this mid-point, but after. [etc, see lecture]


This had to be prevented. However many people there are who believe that nothing of this kind that can be given to mankind should be withheld, it had to be prevented, because it did not belong to human evolution in the spiritual sense. It could be prevented by the establishing of balance. Now, consider: 333 was the mid-point of the fourth post-Atlantean epoch; 333 years after that brings us to 666, when the Ahrimanic powers in all their strength would have brought to a climax the whole pride of materialism, but through the forces of genius. A state of balance could be maintained only by the appearance 333 years earlier — that is, at the beginning of our era — of that Being who threw into the balance His own substance, and prevented that being of whom I have spoken from appearing 333 years after 333. There you have one side of the scales — from 333 to 666 is 333 years. Here you have the other side bringing about equilibrium — from 333 back to the Mystery of Golgotha. Thus a state of balance was brought about. Thereby something has been enacted behind the scenes of external profane history. Something that could have happened was prevented by an actual event — which, however, as I have lately explained, can be grasped only with super-sensible forces, because for earthly evolution the whole proceeding was of super-sensible significance.

What, then, was meant to happen from 666 on, if the Mystery of Golgotha had not occurred and the Beast of that time had been able to intervene in the evolution of mankind; what could have happened? You will be able to form some idea of what might have happened if you think over what I have just been describing. Men were hurrying on towards the fifteenth century; if the Beast had gone on stirring up mischief among men from 666 until the fifteenth century, he would by then have gained complete control of what was approaching. What was approaching was the grasping of the world through a ghost-like natural science — and with that the unleashing of human instincts. Because the Consciousness Soul was to grasp man as a mere ghost, the real man lagged behind; he did not understand himself. And in the age of the Consciousness Soul man can become man only by becoming conscious of what he is; otherwise he remains an animal, lags behind in his human evolution.

But the aim of the being who hoped to intervene in 666 was to make himself God. He said: “Men will come who no longer direct their gaze to the Spirit — the Spirit will not interest them. I shall see to it (and this he actually brought about) that in the year 869 a Council will be held in Constantinople at which the Spirit will be abolished. Men will no longer be interested in the Spirit; they will turn their attention to nature and form ghostlike concepts of nature. Then I shall do something that men will not notice, because they will not recognise themselves as real men, only as ghosts. I shall get complete control of the Consciousness Soul. I shall lead men astray about their own nature; I shall let them go on grasping only the ghost of themselves and I shall pour all the wisdom of the Consciousness Soul into their Intellectual or Mind Soul. Then I have them — then I shall have caught them.”

What would that signify? If man is to evolve at all normally, with no further intervention from this being, he will have to progress to Spirit-Self, Life-Spirit, Spirit-Man; and of this possibility he would have been absolutely deprived. He would have remained at the stage of the Consciousness Soul; he would have been able to receive what the earth could give him but never to go on to the Jupiter, Venus and Vulcan evolutions. If he succeeds in acquiring the content of the Consciousness Soul in the proper epoch through his primal forces, then, because of the evolution he will have gone through in the normal way, the predisposition will be in him to rise to Spirit-Self and so on. But that was to be prevented. He was to receive the Consciousness Soul with its content into the Intellectual or Mind Soul as an inoculation. Then he would have remained at the stage of the Consciousness Soul, and he would have been an automaton in face of the knowledge that from the sixth epoch onwards would have been poured into him. But then it would have been all over with him: he would have developed no further. He would have drawn this knowledge into his Consciousness Soul, would have placed it all with the utmost egoism at the service of the Consciousness Soul.

That was the intention of the being who wanted to appear in 666 — to cut off the possibility of all future earthly evolution. After the evolutions of Saturn, Sun, Moon, Earth had run their course, evolution was to be finished; man would have gone no further along the path on which those Beings of the higher Hierarchies wished to accompany him who from the beginning have taken his normal human evolution in hand.

This could be prevented only by this balance, this state of equilibrium, flowing into the world-evolution of man; by the fact that Christ intervened, through the Mystery of Golgotha, at the point in time which lay as far behind the middle of the fourth post-Atlantean epoch as the point of time when the Beast wished to intervene lay ahead.

Follow on question

So the timing of the MoG here ends with the Lemurian fall.

And what are the consequences? I mean in Mid-Atlantis there was a much lower state of Bewußtseinsentwicklung than in the Greek-Roman time. How would mankind received the Christ impulse then?  mean with what we know from Antroposophy today we can think of the MoG only in the time when it took place, cultural and Bewußtseins-development. It is hard to imagine it happen in Atlantis.

=> this is the missing lecture .. there this is sketched from a consciousness-experience perspective