Seventh cultural age
The next cultural age after the sixth 'russian' cultural age (timed approx from 1413 to 3570) , is called the seventh or 'american' cultural age and is timed approx. to the period between the years 5070 and 7200. It will be a lagging culture and an age of chaos, with humanity near its collapse, and it will end the current epoch through the 'War of all against all'. Humanity will be divided according to differences in intellect and morals; on this basis a spiritualized caste system will again appear (1908-08-16-GA105). At the end of the epoch, only about a third of humanity will have attained its goal, a second third is lagging behind and will only attain this later, and one third will completely fall away from evolution (1904-10-24-GA092).
The Earth will be changing dramatically, similar to what happened at the end of the Atlantean epoch, see Earthquakes and emergence continent sixth epoch. Furthermore, this is the time of the anticipated reunion of Earth with the Moon, after the Separation of Moon in the Lemurian epoch. (eg 1921-05-13-GA204 below)
- in the seventh cultural age, the changed circumstances in their surroundings will provide little opportunity for the souls that have not developed in the decisive fifth and sixth cultural ages. The next opportunity will present itself only in the distant future.
- This cultural age will conclude the current Postatlantean epoch with the 'War of all against all'
- In the Book of Revelation, this cultural age maps to the church of Laodicea ref. 3,14-22
- may be the time of the reunion of the Moon with the Earth
- The developmental target for humanity in this evolutionary period will be to have developed the Spirit-Self, and a special relationship with the lower spirit world, see eg Schemas FMC00.047.
- The soul will only be able to develop in the physical body upto the age of 21 (at the start) and 14 years (at the end) of this cultural age (Schema FMC00.232).
- the Kundalini fire will acquire great influence and act as a force on what lives in the human heart (1904-10-28-GA092, see also Mystery of the Heart)
- Geographically the center of cultural development will lie in America, See FMC00.211 and the according lectures for background on how this center moves across earth's geography along with the developmental stage of humanity.
Culture, science, and spirituality
- will be an age of chaos, with humanity near its collapse (1904-10-28-GA092)
- this will be a lagging culture, compared to the Sixth cultural age; similar to the sixth and seventh ages or subraces in the Atlantean epoch
- major discoveries about the forces of nature, and the fact that the atom is coagulated electricity, will bring Man to control unseen forces - which will also play a role in the destruction of Earth through the War of all against all (1904-12-23-GA093)
- the seventh cultural age will repeat that which arose in the first, and humanity will be divided according to differences in intellect and morals; on this basis a spiritualized caste system will again appear (1908-08-16-GA105)
Lecture coverage and references
Not all reach the goal. A third part (of humanity) falls away completely from evolution. We have therefore one third which will attain the goal, one third which lags behind, and one third which does not reach the goal and falls completely away. One third attains its goal, a second third will only later attain its goal, making together two thirds; and at the end of the Fifth Root Race, only one third of those who began evolution will have reached the necessary stage of development.
1904-10-28-GA092 (SWCC) - see also quote from same lecture in Sixth cultural age
In the seventh cultural age of the fifth epoch the whole of mankind will be in a real chaos, for the root-race will then be near to its collapse. But a small number of people will become the true sons of the Kundalini fire, and will be permeated with its full power. They will provide the material, they will pass it on to the leaders of those who will develop man further. Thus is the fifth root-race directed to the heights which kindle the divine fire; thus is kindled out of inmost depths with holy fervour the divine principle which no longer separates man from man, but evokes brotherliness as far as the human understanding reaches. And thus far shall brotherliness be quickened in our own epoch and root-race and in the next. This fire will live in single individuals; and in those who are initiated in the course of the fifth epoch there already lives a spark of this divine fire which is the capacity for brotherliness and will put an end to separation.
This seventh cultural age will be the end of the Postatlantean civilisations and conditions of earthly life will be entirely different from those we know. At the end of the seventh age there will be a revolution of the elements analogous to that which put an end to Atlantis, and the subsequent eras will know a spirituality prepared by the two preceding Postatlantean cultural ages.
We have often spoken reverently of all that in the first Postatlantean epoch, the great and holy teachers of mankind brought to that part of the earth, where later the Indian civilisation was developed. We have remarked how the soul cannot but look up from below to the lofty spiritual teachings that came into the world at that time, through certain human individualities who still bore within them all the inward greatness of those men who in Atlantean times had direct communion, which was no longer possible in later epochs of mankind, with the divine spiritual worlds. We have pointed out how the heritage of Atlantean wisdom, now accessible to the occultist alone .. So, if man looks up to the old wisdom and remembers above all what has often been mentioned here, namely, that only in the seventh and last epochs of the Postatlantean age will mankind again reach the point of drawing up out of the darkness of life the understanding of what once lived at the beginning of Postatlantean times and gave the impulse for human evolution — if we consider that mankind must mature to the last epoch before it can feel and experience in itself what at that time was felt and experienced, then only shall we get a sense of how exalted must have been the initiation principle that gave the impulse to the ancient, holy, spiritual culture of mankind.
1908-08-16-GA105 - caste system remembrance
Humanity will be differentiated in the future even more than in the past; it will be divided into categories, but not in an arbitrary way; from their own spiritual inner capacities men will come to know that they must work together for the whole body corporate.
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.
More on the caste system in India on 1912-05-29-GA155
See the link with the creation of a new center based on ideals and morality, see 'a new center gets created' on Christ Module 7 - Cosmic dimension
When the seventh cultural period has run its course .. the Earth will be struck by an upheaval comparable to the one that took place between the Atlantean and Postatlantean ages.
After this, evolution will continue under transformed earthly circumstances through seven more time periods.
However, only human beings embodying souls that have become all that they could under the influence of the Greco-Latin cultural period and the subsequent fifth, sixth, and seventh periods of Postatlantean evolution will be able to cope with these reconfigured earthly circumstances.
Other souls will have to remain behind at this stage, although earlier they could still have chosen to create the prerequisites for participation in it. The souls mature enough to face the conditions that will exist after the next great upheaval will be the ones who succeeded in imbuing supersensible knowledge with their own forces of intellect and feeling at the transition from the fifth to the sixth Postatlantean period.
The fifth and sixth periods are the decisive ones.
In the seventh period, although the souls who have achieved the goal of the sixth will continue to develop accordingly, the changed circumstances in their surroundings will provide little opportunity for the others to make up for lost time. The next opportunity will present itself only in the distant future.
Then will come the last cultural age, during which human souls will receive the reflection of what we call hope; when, strengthened through the force flowing from the Mystery of Golgotha and from the age of morality, men will take into themselves forces of hope. This is the most important gift they need in order to face the next catastrophe and to begin a new life, just as was done in this present Postatlantean age.
When in the final Postatlantean age our external culture, with its tendency to calculation, will have come to a climax, bringing no feeling of satisfaction but leaving those who have not developed the spiritual within them to confront their culture in utter desolation - then out of spirituality the seed of hope will be sown, and in the next period of human evolution this will grow to maturity. If the spirit is denied all possibility of imparting to men's souls what it can give, and what the Anthroposophical Movement has the will to convey, this external culture might for a short while be able to hold its own. Ultimately, however, people would ask themselves what they had gained and say:
“We have wireless installations - undreamt of by our ancestors - to transmit our thoughts all over the earth, and what good does it do us?
The most trivial, unproductive thoughts are sent hither and thither, and human ingenuity has to be strained to the utmost to enable us to transport from some far distant region, by means of all kinds of perfected appliances, something for us to eat; or to travel at high speeds round the globe.
But in our heads there is nothing worth sending from place to place, for our thoughts are cheerless; moreover, since we have had our present means of communication, they have become even more cheerless than when they were conveyed in the old snail-like fashion.”
In short, despair and desolation are all that our civilisation can spread over the earth. But, in the last cultural age, souls who have accepted the spiritual in life will have become enriched, as if on the ruins of the external life of culture. Their surety that this acceptance of the spiritual has not been in vain will be the strong force of hope within them - hope that after a great catastrophe a new age will come for human beings, when there will appear in external life, in a new culture, what has already been prepared spiritually within the soul.
Thus, if we permeate our whole being with Spiritual Science, we advance step by step, in full consciousness, from our age of Faith, through the age of Love and that of Hope [editor: fifth, sixth and seventh cultural ages] to what we can see approaching us as the highest, truest, most beautiful, of all human souls
1915-02-13-GA174B - see also Sixth cultural age, points to why the fifth cultural age is so important
Denn was dann nachkommt als sechste, als siebente Kulturepoche, das muß geistig von den Schöpfungen der fünften leben, das muß die Schöpfungen der fünften Kulturepoche in sich aufnehmen. Die fünfte Kulturepoche hat die Aufgabe, das äußere idealistische Leben zum spirituellen Leben zu vertiefen. Das aber, was so als spirituelles Leben vom Idealismus erobert wird, das muß später angenommen werden, das muß weiterleben. Denn im Osten wird man nicht die Kräfte haben, ein eigenes Geistesleben produktiv hervorzubringen, sondern nur dasjenige, was hervorgebracht ist, in sich aufzunehmen.
So muß sich die Geschichte abspielen, daß von der gegenwärtigen, die eigentlichen Kulturimpulse in sich tragenden Menschheit eine spirituelle Kultur geschaffen wird, welche die eigentliche geschichtliche Nachfolge der fünften Kultur ist, und daß diese Kultur verarbeitet wird von dem, was nachfolgt.
At the time of the death of Christ, of the Event of Golgotha, human beings in general were capable of development in body and in soul until the 33rd year of life. Today this development is possible until the 27th year. In the fourth millennium a time will come when men will be capable of development only until the 21st year.
In the seventh millennium the bodily nature will be capable of development only until the 14th year of life. Women will then become barren. An entirely different form of earthly life will ensue. This is the epoch when the moon will again approach the earth and become part of it.
He must know what it means to say that the moon once left the earth and will enter the earth again. Just as the separation of the moon was a decisive event, so too will be its re-entry. It is true that as human beings we shall still be inhabiting the earth, although birth will no longer take place in the ordinary way.
We shall be connected with the earth by other means than through birth. We shall, however, have evolved in a certain respect by that time. And we must learn to connect what is happening today - I mean the fact that the intellect is becoming more and more shadowy - with what will one day be a great event in earthly evolution: the re-entry of the Moon into the substance of the Earth.