From Anthroposophy

Remembrance refers to the fact that a a period of evolution carries a memory or remembrance of an earlier period of evolution. When having seven evolutionary periods,

  • the seventh will have remembrance of the first,
  • the sixth remembrance of the second,
  • the fifth remembrance of the third.

Remembrance is not to be confused with recapitulation, whereby for example the third Egypto-Chaldean cultural age recapitulates in a way the Lemurian epoch.


  • waves of incarnating souls as carriers of impulses (this has to be imagined on a scale of hundreds and thousands of important Individualities)
    • earlier incarnations lay germs in the soul, whose fruits appear as inclinations and ideas at a later stage and incarnation (1908-09-14-GA106), and work as 'unconscious remembrance' (1908-08-16-GA105)
    • examples: "The wonderful knowledge of the stars in their courses which the wise men of Egypt brought through into their Hermetic science has revived in our fifth cultural age in another and more material form", followed by specific example of Kepler (but also Copernicus, Paracelsus) (1909-08-30-GA113 and 1908-09-14-GA106)
  • orchestration
    • Consider a spiritual hierarchy: 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. (1910-06-07-GA121)
  • re the nature of time, see Lemniscatory timespace, where the example of timing of discovery of electricity (1916-10-02-GA171) is given


Schema FMC00.375 depicts the principle of remembrance connecting symmetrically the cultural ages of the Current Postatlantean epoch.


Lecture coverage and references

1908-08-16-GA105 describes the seventh cultural age ('american')

There will be categories and classes however fiercely class-war may rage today, among those who do not develop egoism but accept the spiritual life and evolve toward what is good a time will come when men will organize themselves voluntarily. They will say: One must do this, the other must do that. Division of work even to the smallest detail will take place; work will be so organized that a holder of this or that position will not find it necessary to impose his authority on others. All authority will be voluntarily recognized, so that in a small portion of humanity we shall again have divisions in the seventh age, which will recall the principle of castes, but in such a way that no one will feel forced into any caste, but each will say: I must undertake a part of the work of humanity, and leave another part to another — both will be equally recognized.

Humanity will be divided according to differences in intellect and morals; on this basis a spiritualized caste system will again appear. Led, as it were, through a secret channel, the seventh age will repeat that which arose prophetically in the first.

The third, the Egyptian age, is connected in the same way with our own. Little as it may appear to a superficial view, all that was laid down during the Egyptian age re-appears in the present one. Most of the people living on the Earth today were incarnated formerly in Egyptian bodies and experienced an Egyptian environment; having lived through other intermediate incarnations, they are now again on Earth, and, in accordance with the laws we have indicated, they unconsciously remember what they experienced in Egypt.



At various points in this cycle of lectures we have tried to present the facts of Postatlantean evolution, and we have indicated that in our time there is a kind of repetition or resurrection of the experiences that mankind went through during the Egypto-Chaldean culture. It has been stated that the Indian period will repeat itself in the seventh period, the Persian in the sixth, the Egyptian in our time, and that the fourth, the Greco-Latin, stands by itself, so to say.

Now, connecting the Egyptian time and our own, we shall try to indicate how a certain recrudescence of outer and inner experiences is to be seen when we bring our time into connection with the Egyptian. [re: whole lecture]

We have seen that in the spiritual worlds there exist mysterious forces, to which there correspond certain other forces in the physical world which effectuate the appearance of these repetitions. Thus do these resurrections of outer and inner experiences originate.

In the middle between these stands the Greco-Latin period, during which the Christ appeared upon the Earth and the Mystery of Golgotha took place.

- It was also pointed out that not only the external evolutionary relationships on the physical plane had changed, but that also the relationships in the spiritual world had become different.

- I have described how the soul was in the Egyptian time, when it looked upon the gigantic pyramids, how different it was when it reincarnated in the Greco-Latin period, and how different it is in our time.

- We have seen that not only does this occur, but that also for the period between death and a new birth, in kamaloka and Devachan, there takes place a sort of progress or transformation, so that the soul does not experience the same thing when it enters into kamaloka or Devachan from an Egyptian, a Greek, or a modern body. Externally the world of the physical plane alters, but progress also occurs in the spiritual world so that the soul always experiences something different there.


Current souls as reincarnation of these ancient Egyptian souls

Now we must reflect that the souls of today are reincarnations of the ancient Egyptian souls.

For the souls of today, who experienced it in their Egyptian incarnation, what is the significance of what happened at that time?

[Clue on rememberance]

All that the soul experienced at that time between death and a new birth has been woven into the soul, weaves within it, and has arisen again in our fifth period, which brings the fruits of the third period. These fruits appear in the inclinations and ideas of modern times, which have their causes in the ancient Egyptian world. Nowadays all the ideas emerge which at that time were laid down in the soul as germs.

Therefore it is easy to see that man's modern conquests on the physical plane are nothing more than a coarser version of the transfer of interest to the physical plane that was present in ancient Egypt, only people are now even more deeply ensnared in matter. In the mummifying of the dead we have already seen a cause of the materialistic views that we now experience on the physical plane.

[Example of principle]

  • Let us imagine a soul of that time. Let us imagine a soul that then lived as a pupil of one of the ancient initiates. Such a pupil's spiritual gaze had been directed to the cosmos through actual perception. The way Osiris and Isis lived in the moon had become spiritual perception for him. Everything was permeated by divine-spiritual beings. He had taken this into his soul.
  • He is again incarnated in the fourth and fifth periods. In the fifth period such a person experiences all this again. It comes back to him as a memory. What happens to it now? The pupil had gazed up at all that lived in the world of the stars. This sight comes to life again in a certain person of the fifth period. He remembers what he saw and heard at that time. He cannot recognize it again, because it has taken on a material coloring. It is no longer the spiritual that he sees, but the material-mechanical relationships emerge again and he recreates the thoughts in materialistic form as memory. Where he had previously seen divine beings, Isis and Osiris, now he sees only abstract forces without any spiritual bond. The spiritual relationships appear to him in thought-form. Everything arises again, but in material form.


  • Let us apply this to a particular soul which at that time acquired insight into the great cosmic connections, and let us imagine that there arises again before this soul what it had seen spiritually in ancient Egypt. This appears again in this soul in the fifth post-Atlantean period, and we have the soul of Copernicus. Thus did the Copernican system arise, as a memory-tableau of spiritual experiences in ancient Egypt.
  • The case is the same with Kepler's system.

These men gave birth to their great laws out of their memories, out of what they had experienced in the Egyptian time.

Now let us think how such a thing arises in the soul as a faint memory, and let us think also how what such a spirit truly thinks was, in ancient Egypt, experienced by him in spiritual form. What can such a spirit say to us? That it seems to him as though he looked back into ancient Egypt. It is as though he stated all this in a new form when such a spirit says,

“But now, a year and a half after the first dawning, a few months after the first full daylight, a few weeks after the pure sun had risen over these most wonderful contemplations, nothing holds me back any longer. I shall revel in holy fire. I shall scorn the sons of men with the simple confession that I am stealing the sacred vessels of the Egyptians to build with them an habitation for my God, far removed from the borders of Egypt.”

Is this not like an actual memory, which corresponds to the truth? This is Kepler's saying, and in his works we also find the following:

“The ancient memory is knocking at my heart.”

Wonderful are the connections of things in human evolution. Many such enigmatic sayings take on light and meaning when one senses the spiritual connections. Life becomes great and powerful, and we feel our way into a mighty whole when we understand that the single person is only an individual form of the spiritual that permeates the world.

  • I have already pointed out that what has arisen in our time as Darwinism is a coarser materialistic version of what the Egyptians portrayed as their gods in animal form.
  • I was also able to show that if one understands Paracelsus correctly, his medical lore is a recrudescence of what was taught in the temples of ancient Egypt. Let us contemplate such a spirit as Paracelsus. We find a remarkable statement by him. One who has steeped himself in Paracelsus knows what a lofty spirit lived in him. He made a remarkable statement, saying that he had learned much in many ways; least of all in the academies, but much from old traditions and from the common people during his journeys through many lands. It is impossible here to give examples of the deep truths that are still present among the common people but are no longer understood, although Paracelsus could still turn them to account. He said that he had found one book containing deep medical truths. What book was it? The Bible! Thereby he meant not only the Old Testament, but also the New. One need only be able to read the Bible to find therein what Paracelsus found. What became of the medicine of Paracelsus? It is true that it is a memory of the ancient Egyptian methods of healing. But through the fact that he absorbed the mysteries of Christianity, the upward impulse, his works are saturated with spiritual wisdom, they are filled with Christ. This is the path into the future. This is what everyone must do who, in modern times, will pave the way back out of the fall into matter. We must not under-value the great material progress, but there is also the possibility of letting the spiritual flow into it.


We can illustrate schematically how what began in the Greco-Latin age still lives today, only on the external, physical level. The evolution of humankind takes place in such a way that what was cultivated in the Egypto-Chaldean age we experience again today — but we experience it as knowledge, and now it is illuminated and spiritualized by the Christ impulse. Everywhere in Europe we see the ancient wisdom of Egypt appearing again, but illuminated by the principle of Christ. In our time the human being will only be able to take this in consciously through the Rosicrucian teaching.

When the ancient Egyptians spoke of the stars they meant the spiritual aspect of the stars, which they still knew. A wonderful consciousness of ancient knowledge penetrated the science of Copernicus and Kepler. As a result, what the ancient Egyptians knew we now see appearing in a physical form. In the past they had seen beings moving through space, now only spheres were seen, moving in elliptical circles.


The Chaldean-Egyptian civilisation repeats itself in certain phenomena of the fifth, i.e. of our own cultural age. Certain phenomena, facts and conceptions apparent in the Chaldean-Egyptian age reappear, but wearing of course a somewhat different form, because they are permeated by the intervening Christ impulse.

This is not a simple repetition of the Chaldean-Egyptian civilisation, but a repetition wherein everything is steeped in what the Christ brought to the Earth. It is in one sense a repetition and yet in another it is not.

Men who have had a deeper understanding for the course of human evolution, and who have taken part in it with their souls have always felt something of the kind. Many such persons even if they have not advanced to occult knowledge, are pervaded by something like a recollection of old Egyptian experiences. The wonderful knowledge of the stars in their courses which the wise men of Egypt brought through into their Hermetic science has revived in our fifth cultural age in another and more material form. And those who participated in the revival felt this with special emphasis.

Let me give one example only.

When that individuality who once in the mystery places of Egypt raised the eyes of his soul up to the stars, and sought to unravel their secrets in celestial space after the manner of those clays, under the guidance of the Egyptian sages, lived again in our own epoch as Kepler, that which had existed in another form in his Egyptian soul, appeared in a newer guise as the great laws of Kepler which today are such an integral part of Astro-physics. It came to pass also that within the soul of this man there arose something which forced these words to be uttered, words which may be read in the writings of Kepler:

‘Out of the holy places of Egypt I have brought the sacred vessel; I have transported it to the present time, so that men may understand something in these days of those influences which are able to affect even the most distant future.’

We might give hundreds of such examples to show how that which existed in the Chaldean-Egyptian epoch of civilisation lives over again in a new form.

1910-06-07-GA121 (SWCC) 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 Postatlantean cultural ages (stages of civilization). The Græco-Latin age forms the turning-point in our cycle and therefore it is not repeated. After this comes the repetition of the Egyptian-Chaldæan age, which is taking place in our own time. After this will follow another age, which will be a repetition of the Persian age, although in a somewhat different form; and then the seventh age 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.


Our own age is a kind of recapitulation of the Egypto-Chaldean period.

  • Of the Graeco-Latin age there is no recapitulation, for it lies in the middle of the seven consecutive cultural ages.
  • The third age is being recapitulated, in a certain form, in our own age;
  • the second age, that of ancient Persian culture, will be recapitulated in the sixth age by which our own will be followed;
  • and in the far distant seventh age, before a stupendous catastrophe, the first age, that of ancient Indian culture, will be recapitulated — not, of course, in the same form, for the recapitulation will everywhere bear the imprint of the Christ Impulse.


Thus there arises a situation which is a travesty of the future course of evolution. Recall for a moment what I said to you on a former occasion when speaking of the seven epochs of evolution. We start from the Atlantean catastrophe; then follow the Postatlantean cultural ages with their corresponding relationships. 1=7, 2=6, 3=5, 4.

The fourth age constitutes the centre without any corresponding relationship.

The characteristics of the third age are repeated at a higher level in the fifth age, those of the second age at a higher level in the sixth epoch and those of the old Indian age reappear in the seventh age.

These overlapping correlations occur in history.

Isolated individuals were conscious of this.

For example, when Kepler attempted in the fifth Postatlantean age to explain after his own fashion the harmony of the Cosmos by his three laws saying, "I offer you the golden vessels of the Egyptians ..." etc, he was aware that in Man of the fifth cultural age there is a revival of the substance of the third age.

In a certain sense, when one takes over the esotericism, the rites of the Egypto-Chaldaean epoch, one creates a semblance of what is destined to be realized in the present cultural age.

But, what one takes over from the past can be used not only to suppress the autonomy of the Consciousness Soul by the power of suggestion, but also to blunt, even to paralyse its dynamic energy. And in this respect a large measure of success has been achieved; the incipient Consciousness Soul has been anaesthetized to a large extent.


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References and further reading