Recapitulation and remembrance

From Anthroposophy

Recapitulation and remembrance are characteristics of the so-called 'cosmic fractal', the complex evolutionary dynamic described in spiritual science.

These characteristics are related to the Spiritual hierarchies and structures in the Three dimensions of evolution, for example see Spiritual hierarchies and their eigenperiods.

The seven spirits with their eigenperiods form a 'choir of genies' and their work and influence, that maps to periods in evolution, therefore has a cyclic characteristic in that there is a 'round-robin' of the seven. In cyclic periods one of them will return to work and cast his particular influence.

This sevenfold nature starts with and is explained for the 'Seven Creative Spirits before the throne', a characteristic which is 'copied down' or inherited by all underlying spirits.

As a result, recapitulation plays at various levels:

  • the main threefold recapitulation at CoL level, at CoF level, and then at epoch level
  • also the cultural ages connect in character to these epoch characteristics
  • and even in Man, the embryonic development is a recaptulation of Man's earlier evolutionary stages.


  • partial reverse recapitulation (1908-03-24-GA102)


FMC00.057C provides an overview scheme for the study of the evolution of our current Earth planetary stage and CoC, the formation of the current physical solar system with the planets, the emergence of the spectrum of elements and ethers, and nature's kingdoms on Earth.

Note the threefold recapitulation at CoL level, at CoF level, and then at epoch level; as well as major events such as the Mars transit, and the separation of Sun and Moon.


Schema FMC00.168 shows recapitulation of Planetary stages (PS) and Epochs (EP) for current planetary stage Earth, and current CoL and CoF.

See also Schema FMC00.046 and Schema FMC00.047 on Development of the I and Schema FMC00.167 on Christ Impulse - meeting of two streams

Schema FMC00.286 illustrates that one can not always assume intellectual logic of induction and deduction to hold in reality, as spiritual research shows. The development of Man's subsystems did not develop along the sequence of recapitulation as they were developed in the planetary stages, but actually in a more complex 'partial reverse recapitulation'.


Lecture coverage and references

1905-06-28-GA091 uses the 'choir of genies'

1908-03-08-GA111 positions repetition (as a characterististic of the etheric) and closure (as a characterististic of the astral)

1910-06-07-GA121 (WCC) gives a hint about the cyclic repetitions in evolution

But our present Spirit of the Age will return too, we shall meet him again. On account of this attribute of these Archai, of their describing cycles, as it were, and returning again to their starting-point, and of working in cycles, they are also called Spirits of Cyclic Periods.

These higher spiritual Beings who give their orders to the Folk-spirits, are also called Spirits of Cyclic Periods.

We refer to those cyclic periods which man himself has to go through, when age after age he returns to earlier conditions and repeats them in a higher form. Now you may be struck by this repetition of the characteristics of earlier forms.

If you examine carefully into the stages of the evolution of man on the earth according to spiritual science, you will find these repetitions of occurrences in many different forms.

Thus there is a repetition in the fact that there are seven consecutive cultural ages following after the Atlantean Catastrophe; these we call the post-Atlantean stages of civilization. The Græco-Latin stage or age of civilization forms the turning-point in our cycle and therefore it is not repeated. After this comes the repetition of the Egyptian-Chaldæan epoch, which is taking place in our own time. After this will follow another epoch, which will be a repetition of the Persian epoch, although in a somewhat different form; and then the seventh epoch will come, which will be a repetition of the primeval Indian civilization, the epoch of the Holy Rishis; so that in that age certain things of which the foundations were laid in ancient India will re-appear in a different form. The guidance of these occurrences devolves upon the Spirits of the Age.


Related pages

References and further reading