Second Adam

From Anthroposophy

Note: this page on the term 'Second Adam' originating by Paul is closely related to the topic page Cleansed phantom and should be studied together

The first Adam is the label used for the spiritual seed of the stream of physical humanity, in which the monad (see Man's higher triad) consisting of higher soul and spirit of humanity could incarnate, and that had to go through 'the Fall' or Luciferic infection.

The Second Adam is Christ's resurrection body (see also Christ Module 8 - Resurrection) as the seed of the stream in which future spiritualized humanity will integrate towards the end of the Earth's evolutionary phase. The term originates with Paul's Epistel to the Corinthians (see below).

The 'Nathan soul' is the first Adam's 'sister-soul' and part of primordial man Adam Kadmon, un-affected by 'the Fall', that incarnated in the Nathan-Jesus child and later merged with the Zarathustra-Jesus child to provide the lower bodies in which the Christ being would incarnate.

The concept of the Second Adam describes the group soul bundling effect of the souls who, during the Earth development stage, have ennobled their lower bodies - as opposed to those who have not. When Man uses his I to consciously work the improvement and spiritualization of his lower bodies (see Man's transformation and spiritualization, and Initiation), this effects his structural components in the Spirit World.

How this happens is described in 1911-10-11-GA131 (also below) and 1909-12-07-GA266A (on Cleansed phantom)

And these will, through the process of transformation during the pralaya between Earth and Future Jupiter, make up the next progressed kingdoms on Future Jupiter (see 1908-06-26-GA104 and1921-10-09-GA207 on Seeds for future worlds).

This also links to the 'creation of a new center' (see Christ Module 7 - Cosmic dimension), there is also a relation with the concept of future group souls (see Group souls of humanity)


Schema FMC00.189 depicts, on the left, the descent of Man on Earth with the first Adam. The other spirit represents the so-called Adam sister-soul that incarnated in the Nathan-Jesus child and formed the pure etheric body for the Christ later on.

After the resurrection following the Mystery of Golgotha, the resurrected pure ether body forms the basis for what will attract, or attracts - as a magnet - and unifies, all future human beings who will join with purified ether bodies. It will thereby form a unified Group Soul and this point of convergence is called the Second Adam.

The drawing also illustrates the fact that the first stream of physical-material humanity is divergent (with reference to the various races, the mixing of the blood - see eg the Luciferic and Ahrimanic influences in Human races), whereas the latter spiritual is convergent.

See also: Unification


FMC00.384 shows the second of the seven apocalyptic seals, the two left illustrations are sketches provided by Rudolf Steiner as indications, the two on the right are paintings by Clara Rettich of 1907 and 1911. It shows the past with the four group souls that led upto current humanity, and in the center the Mystical Lamb symbol of the Christ group soul as the future group soul of humanity, see also Unification and Second Adam.

For explanation of the seal, see Group souls of humanity


Lecture coverage and references

Paul 1 - Corinthians


14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. 20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

and Corinthians 15:45

So it is written: The first man Adam became a living being'; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.


extract from letter

.. And you know about the foun­dations of the being of Christ. The 'being' of Christ should be thought of as the inverse macrocosmic human being, but identical with the second aspect of the Divinity, the Logos.

Think of the moment when the so-called 'Monad' (the sum of all monads) descends to incarnate in the bodies of animal-man prepared up to that point. The animal kingdom up to that point — insofar as it existed, i.e. without the mammals — had physically represented everything which had to be drawn into one being to produce the lower human being. In the first instance the Moon [Monad] sphere descends into this Lemurian animal-man by splitting off manas from budhi. Thus manas is incarnated in Lemurian man, which unites with kama to become kama-manas, and budhi-atma only remains linked with manas in potential.

Christ now is the being who brings budhi into life as a first spark. For this it is necessary that the Christ-being takes possession of a chela who has reached the third grade (Jesus).

In this way, we have to see the Christ-event on Earth as the reversal within the Monad sphere of the process which took place with 'Adam’. Paul speaks quite clearly of that when he calls 'Christ' the 'inverse Adam’.

The outer historical process is merely the factual symbol of the inner spiritual process.

One has to think of the matter in approximately the following way:

then follows Schema FMC00.185


... uses the 'group soul'-like description:

The Christ-Individuality was on the Earth in the body of Jesus of Nazareth for three years only and does not come again in a physical body; in the fifth post-Atlantean epoch He comes in an etheric body, in the sixth epoch in an astral body, and in the seventh in a mighty Cosmic Ego that is like a great Group-Soul of humanity.


.. ([1] re GA114) describes the Second Adam:

What, from the event of Damascus onwards, was the Being of Christ for Paul?

The Being of Christ was for him the ‘Second Adam’; and he immediately differentiates between the first Adam and the second Adam, the Christ.

  • He calls the first Adam the progenitor of men on Earth because he sees in him the first man, from whom all other men are descended. For Paul, it is Adam who has bequeathed to human beings the body which they carry about with them as a physical body. All men have inherited their physical body from Adam. This is the body which meets us in external Maya, and is mortal; it is the body inherited from Adam, the corruptible body, the physical body of man that decays in death. With this body men are ‘clothed’.
  • The second Adam, Christ, is regarded by Paul as possessing, in contrast to the first, the incorruptible, the immortal body.

Paul then affirms that through Christian evolution men are gradually made ready to put on the second Adam in place of the first Adam; the incorruptible body of the second Adam, Christ, in place of the corruptible body of the first Adam. What Paul seems to require of all who call themselves true Christians is some-thing that violates all the old conceptions of the world.

As the first corruptible body is descended from Adam, so must the incorruptible body originate from the second Adam, from Christ. Every Christian could say: ‘Because I am descended from Adam, I have a corruptible body as Adam had; but in that I set myself in the right relationship to Christ, I receive from Him, the second Adam, an incorruptible body.’ For Paul, this view shines out directly from the experience of Damascus.

We can perhaps express what Paul wishes to say by means of a simple diagram: [ see illustrations] Here we have (x, x ...) a number of people at a given time. Paul would trace them all back to the first Adam, from whom they are all descended and by whom they are given the corruptible body. According to Paul's conception, however, something else is possible. Just as human beings can say, ‘We are related because we are all descended from the one progenitor, Adam,’ so they can say, ‘As without any action of ours, through the relationships of human generation lines can be traced back to Adam, so it is possible for us to cause something else to arise within us; something that could make us different beings. Just as the natural lines lead back to Adam, so it must be possible to represent lines which lead, not to the corruptible body of the fleshly Adam, but to the body that is incorruptible. Through our relationship to Christ, we can — according to the Pauline view — bear this incorruptible body within us, just as through Adam we bear the Corruptible body.’

There is nothing more uncomfortable for the modern consciousness than this idea. For looking at the matter quite soberly, what does it demand from us? It demands something which, for modern thought, is really monstrous. Modern thought has long disputed whether all human beings are descended from one primeval human being, but it may be allowed that all are descended from a single human being who was the first on earth as regards physical consciousness. Paul, however, demands the following. He says: ‘If you desire to be a Christian in the true sense, you must conceive that within you something can arise which can live in you, and from which you can draw spiritual lines to a second Adam, to Christ, to that very Christ who on the third day rose from the grave, just as all men can trace lines back to the physical body of the first Adam.’ So Paul demands that all who call themselves Christians should cause something within them to arise; something leading to that entity which on the third day rose out of the grave in which the body of Christ Jesus had been laid. Anyone who does not grant this cannot come into any relationship with Paul; he cannot say he understands Paul. If man, as regards his corruptible body, is descended from the first Adam, then, by receiving the Being of Christ into his own being, he has the possibility of having a second ancestor. This ancestor, however, is He who, on the third day after His body had been laid in the earth, rose out of the grave.


.. contains the key paragraph with the 'cells multiplying' analogy, see also and more (eg 1909-12-07-GA266A) on Cleansed phantom

Such question as this might be asked: If indeed Paul really believed that a spiritual body had risen, what has this spiritual body which had risen out of the grave to do with what every man now bears in himself? This is not hard to understand: we need only consider the analogy offered by the coming into existence of a human individual.

  • As physical human being he begins from a single cell; a physical body consists entirely of cells which are all children of the original cell; all cells which compose a human body are traceable to the original cell.
  • Now imagine that, through what we may call a mystical Christological process, man acquires a body quite other than the one he has gradually acquired in his downward evolution.
  • Then think of each of these new bodies as having an intimate connection with the pure Phantom that rose from the grave, somewhat as the human cells of the physical body are connected with the original cell. That is, we must think of the Phantom as multiplying itself, as does the cell which gives rise to the physical body. So, in the evolution which follows the Event of Golgotha, every man can inwardly acquire something which is spiritually descended from the Phantom which rose from the grave, just as — to echo Paul — the ordinary body which falls into dissolution is descended from Adam.


Group soul characteristic

See also: Unification and the 1911-09-21-GA130 excerpt above

Describing the kingdom of Man on Future Jupiter, one finds the group soul characteristic from the moral group nature of the area in lower spirit world, and how that is part of the current I of Man, see the 1921-10-09-GA207 quote on Seeds for future worlds. We can imagine how the work done on Earth to refine our lower bodies effects in Spirit land and is then transformed in the pralaya process to the new 'good' kingdom of Man on Future Jupiter. In this lecture is described how the inner soul characteristics of today, be they Luciferic or Ahrimanic tendencies, will transform to outer expressed characteristics.

For perspective, see also Group souls of humanity

Related pages

References and further reading