Sorat

From Anthroposophy

Sorat (or Sorath) is the the Sun Demon, the adversary of the Christ, whose objective is to extinguish the human 'I'.

Sorat is the spearpoint of evil head-to-head with the Christ, representing the most fierce and pronounced adverse powers compared to the Luciferic influence on Man and Ahrimanic influence on Man that are more a matter of unbalances.

Sorat is the leader of the Rakshasas or Asuras, and he is ".. behind the hidden secret of black magic, that most fearful crime in Earth evolution, with which no other crimes can be compared".

In the Book of Revelation:

  • Sorat corresponds to the two-horned beast, the adversary of the Mystical Lamb
  • the 'Beast' is linked to the mystery of the number 666, which represents an evolutionary cycle in the Future Venus stage when a portion of humanity will irretrievably falls away within the Eight Sphere, and whereby Sorat will be its regent


Furthermore, there is also an impact of the beast every 666 years on Earth. Reference is made to:

  • around the year 666 and the Academy of Gondishapur in Persia (1918-10-06/11/12-GA184)
  • around the year 1332 (2x666) - the burning of the knights of the Templars (1916-09-25-GA171)
  • around the year 1998

Rudolf Steiner commented extensively on the Luciferic and Ahrimanic influences, even represented them in the Representative of humanity, but he was extremely sparse commenting on the third category of beings, the Asuras or Rakshasas and their leader Sorat.

Aspects

  • Sorat as the source of evil representing Man (and freedom of choice), incarnating in men as a future group soul
  • the future Eight sphere
  • the Soratic impulse known as the Academy of Gondishapur
    • the intention of Sorat for the year 666 was to deluge humanity with a knowledge and a culture which the primal gods had intended for men only during the third millennium, by bestowing the consciousness soul prematurely on Man around 666,thereby and side-tracking normal development by mingling the intellectual soul's development with that of the consciousness soul. Geniuses would have arisen with inspired knowledge that mankind will only have around 2493, and delivered great advances to humanity's unbalanced immature soul moods of that period
    • the impact still today due to the oriental spiritual stream of 'Arabism'
  • see more on the topic pages of Evil, Sixteen paths of perdition, and Christ Module 14 – the counterforces: Lucifer, Ahriman and Sorat

Illustrations

Lecture coverage and references

Main coverage is mostly from the perspective of the Book of Revelation, in the 1907-1909 period, with only two lectures from 1918 and 1924 after that.

Book of Revelation

From wikipedia on 'the Beast' - compare with 1909-05-20-GA104A below

  • The first beast comes "out of the sea" and is given authority and power by the dragon. This first beast is initially mentioned in Revelation 11:7 as coming out of the abyss. His appearance is described in detail in Revelation 13:1–10, and some of the mystery behind his appearance is revealed in Revelation 17:7–18.
    • John saw it "rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy." (Revelation 13:1) It was like a leopard, with feet like the feet of a bear, and had a mouth like a lion. One of its heads had a mortal wound which healed itself, causing people to wonder at it and follow it. (Revelation 13:1-10)
    • Revelation 17 mentions a third beast described as "a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns." (Revelation 17:3) and some of the symbols are explained. The prevailing view is that the scarlet beast is another, distinct, visualisation of the same subject as the beast of the sea, which is pictured with crowns on its horns, unlike the scarlet beast.The scarlet beast is shown being ridden by a harlot who "reigns over the kings of the earth", (Revelation 17:18) whereas the beast of the sea is not described as being ridden, and is given "power and great authority." The seven heads represent both seven mountains and seven kings, and the ten horns are ten kings who have not yet received kingdoms. Of the seven kings, five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come. The beast itself is an eighth king who is of the seven and "was and is not and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition."
  • The second beast comes "out of the earth" and directs all peoples of the earth to worship the first beast. The second beast is associated with Revelation 13:11–18 the false prophet.
    • overall appearance not described, other than having "two horns like a lamb", and speaking "like a dragon".
    • purpose is to promote authority of the first beast with the ability to perform great signs, even making fire come down out of Heaven. He speaks like a dragon commanding the people of the Earth to make an image "to" the beast that was wounded by a sword. It is declared that anyone who does not worship the beast or its image would be killed.
    • causes all people to receive the mark of the beast "in their right hand or in their forehead."

The two beasts are aligned with the dragon in opposition to God. They persecute the "saints" and those who do "not worship the image of the beast [of the sea]" and influence the kings of the earth to gather for the battle of Armageddon.

The two beasts are defeated by Christ and are thrown into the lake of fire mentioned in Revelation 19:18–20

1907-04-22

60, Samech, 6 Waw; 600 was written by esotericists as 200 + 400: 200 Resch + 400 Taw. Hence, we get 666, which in Hebrew letters spells "Sorat." Sorat is also the corresponding word in Greek. Sorat has meant "Demon of the Sun" since ancient times. Every star has its good spirit — its intelligence — and its evil spirit — its demon. The adversary of the good powers of the sun is called Sorat. Christ was always the representative of the sun, namely, the intelligence of the Sun. Sorat is, then, the adversary of Christ Jesus. The sign for Sorat looks like this:

1907-04-27-GA096

Now a few comments on the things I was referring to in my public lectures on the Book of Revelation. You know that the sun once separated from the earth, and that it will mite again with the earth in the far distant future. The quality which makes it possible for human beings to become so spiritual that they are able to reunite with the sun is in occult terms called ‘the sun’s intelligence’. This good spirit in the sun has an adversary, the demon in the sun. The two are not only active in the sun but also send their influences down to the earth. The powers of the good sun spirit enter into plant, animal and human being; they bring forth life on earth. The adversary principle of the sun demon, the power which opposes the union of earth and sun, is active in man’s evil powers.

Occult symbols of this have existed through the ages. A seven-cornered sign is the symbol of the good sun spirit. The seven comers symbolize the seven planets. The pentagram is the symbol for the human being. In occultism, the stars are drawn into the figure [heptagram] in the form of seven eyes. They bind it all together. At the same time we also have the days of the week if you follow this line here (Fig.21).

In the distant past, time could not yet be measured by external methods based on the way the sun moves around the earth. Early occultists thought of special regents for the orbit of the sun, and they were right in their thinking. The whole system was orbiting, and time was determined in relation to the twelve signs of the zodiac- Ram, Bull, Twins, Crab, Lion, Virgin, Scales, and so on. As you know, one cycle in the evolution of a cosmic system is called a manvantara, and this is always followed by a pralaya, a state of rest. They alternate like day and night, with both night and day of 12 hours duration. Those 12 hours correspond to the vast periods of time in the cosmic day that were regulated by the ancient rulers of the circling of the zodiac. I would need to draw 24 masters of rotations around this sign. If I were to draw it for you, you’d have the heptagon here (Fig.21), then the seven eyes for the seven stars, and the 24 ancient elders, 12 for the night and 12 for the day.

The good sun spirit is also called ‘the lamb’. We have already referred to the pentagram as the symbol of the human being. A black magician uses it with the two ‘horns’ pointing upwards and the single peak pointing down. On completion of this development, the ‘good’ will have developed seven ‘horns’. That is the sign of the Christ spirit.

Having gained this occult insight, read the passage where John receives the book sealed with seven seals. Let us read it as it is given in chapter 4 of the Book of Revelation.

‘And immediately I was in the spirit. And behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardius stone … And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting’

I have presented them to you in the twenty-four hours of the cosmic day, night and day. And then, moving on to chapter 5:

‘And I beheld, and lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts and in the midst c{ the elders, stood a lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of god sent forth into all the earth.’

This occult sign forms the background to John’s writing of the secrets of cosmic existence in his Book of Revelation. You need to know these if you are to have some feeling for the profundity of this work, and what it signifies when the adversary of the lamb is spoken of as the two-horned beast. The symbol of the sun demon is drawn like this:

The Book of Revelation is all in occult writing, which is given expression in words.

[666]

One of its secrets also lies in the ‘number of the beast’, 666, also ‘the number of a Man’. According to Aramaic occult teaching, the figure should be read like this: 400, 200, 6, 60. These four figures are represented by the Hebrew letters tau, resh, vau and samech. Hebrew writing is read from right to left:

These letters symbolize the four principles that cause man to harden completely unless he is able to transform them. Samech represents the principle of the physical body, vau that of the ether body, resh that of the astral body, and tau the lower I which has not developed into higher I. The whole word reads ‘Sorat’, which is the occult name of the sun demon, the adversary of the lamb.

This is the secret which in more recent theology has been turned into: It means ‘Nero’. I can’t think of anything more fanciful. The individual who invented this Nero story is considered to be one of the greatest theological thinkers. Vast volumes have been written on the subject. People thus misunderstand the meaning of those symbolic signs. Works like the Book of Revelation can only be understood by someone who is able to read the occult writing.

The prophetic significance of such signs and symbols may also make you realize that the spiritual science movement has an important mission. In choosing the seven seals from the Book of Revelation for the auditorium in Munich, we are also giving an outward indication of the direction we want to take. The spiritual principle is to come to face us again also in the outside world.

1907-10-21-GA101

…When the earth re-appeared after the moon-evolution, she was not yet earth, but earth plus sun, plus moon, a body you would get if you mixed together earth, sun and moon and made a single body out of them. That was the earth to begin with. Then the sun separated itself off, taking with it all those forces which were too light and spiritual for human beings, and under whose influence men would have become spiritual too quickly. Had man been placed only under the influence of the forces contained in the combined sun-moon-earth body he would not have developed down into physical materiality, and he would not then have been able to attain that consciousness of his own ego which it was necessary for him to attain.

You all know that there is an imaginative perception, and also occult Christian signs, I can only tell you now of the occult sign £or the forces of the whole earth-evolution – the sign for the force which would have worked had the sun remained united with the earth and thus spiritualized the earth too soon. In this sign the occult pupil can recognize the forces leading humanity quickly to spirituality.

Had humanity with the whole earth separated from the sun and remained united with the moon it would thus have fallen into rapid hardening and ossification. If the earth had retained the moon, man would soon have become a doll, a marionette, and would have descended too deeply into matter, just as he would have spiritualized too quickly if the sun had remained united with the earth. The moon had therefore to leave the earth; and all the forces which at first were drawn forth out of mankind and which today work in from without are represented by this second sign which looks like a double hook.

This second sign, like the sign of the beast, or lamb, with the two horns, is also called the sign for the demon of the Earth, for the earth-demon. For all the forces which the black magician develops through using methods of so frightful a nature lead in an occult way to the increase of those forces which belong to the demonic nature of the earth and which would lead to the hardening of the Earth. If many people were to become black magicians, the result would be that the earth would become more and more like the moon, while on the other hand, through the forces of white magic the earth will become more and more like the sun-forces, which in the sun are astral.

To what would it lead if the forces of black magic got the upper hand on our Earth?

It would lead to the hardening of the Earth spheres so that this would become a moon. The forces which have been separated were developed out of the substance of the Earth; they are still present in the layers of the Earth. Through white magic the earth ever more and more approaches the sun-nature; through the forces of black magic, the moon nature. Through white magic everything must be overcome which does not lead to enlightenment, to the wisdom of the leading spiritual forces. For where forces are to be striven for without enlightenment the methods are not those of activity, not on the path of insight through direct vision of real wisdom, but are learnt by listening to Nature and by venturing upon her contrivances.

One apocalyptic seal is thus actually at the same time the seal for the overcoming of black magic through white. Human forces which are changed into sun-forces, which allow sun-forces to be brought to birth so that the moon-forces should lie beneath men’s feet – this is at the same time the seal for the path magic must take on our Earth. For the forces are rightly led through nine stages, indicated in the nine stars. …

1908-06-29-GA104

covers 666 and Sorat extensively (SWCC)

[Number of evolution] Let us start with our present, namely the 172nd condition. Prior to this 172nd condition the Earth had already completed three sub-conditions; the 172nd condition is the Earth itself. Three have already been completed and it is now in the fourth of these conditions. First, however, we are considering only the conditions of form. We reckon that we are in the fourth condition of life or fourth round. Granted this is so and we say: In this fourth condition of life or round we have already passed through three conditions of form and are now in the fourth. Now we ask further how many of the sub-conditions have we passed through? The first, second, third and fourth. The last was the Atlantean epoch. This is now completed. We have passed through four conditions and are now in the fifth, the post-Atlantean. Of this fifth epoch we have again passed through four sub-conditions, namely, the ancient Indian, the ancient Persian, the Egyptian and the Graeco-Latin, and are now in the fifth age.

So that we can say: before our immediate present stage of evolution we have completed 344 conditions. These 344 conditions which we have completed are described is Apocalyptic language as the number of evolution. When, therefore, it is asked: What is the number of evolution, our evolution, the answer is 344. This is not read according to the system of ten, but according to the system of seven. Three conditions (out of the seven) have been gone through, and four conditions (out of the next smaller seven) have been gone through, four conditions (out of again the next smaller seven). That is what is really meant by the 3-4-4. One must not simply read it like other numbers, but it contains, written side by side, the number of stages passed through.

When the earth is spiritualized and has developed to its next conditions, then more and more stages will have been gone through. And the time will come, when six conditions of the first kind, six of the second and six of the third will have been passed through. Just as we now have the 344 as the number of evolution, in the future when six conditions of life, six root-races and six sub-races have been gone through, the number 666 (six six six) will apply, read in the manner above described, which is the method used by the writer of the Apocalypse. Thus a time will come when the number 666 is the number of evolution. This will only be in a very distant future, but this future is already being prepared at the present time. Three great main conditions have been completed and we are now living in the fourth. But when we have reached the great War of All against All, and the epoch indicated by the seven seals has passed away, we shall have gone through six of the middle kind.

When the first trumpet sounds we shall have passed through six such main races, and when the first six trumpets are over, we shall have experienced 66. By then humanity will have had opportunity to prepare for the terrible time which will follow much later, when not only 66 but 666 will be reached. All that lies in the future is already being prepared now.

The time following the War of All against All, the time after the seventh trumpet is sounded, will see men who, through excluding themselves from the Christ-principle, will have attained a high degree of evil, of the tendency to sink into the abyss. By then these men will have sunk so low that when the point of time 666 comes they will be able to descend very low into evil, into the abyss of evil. Men will have taken into themselves, already in the period after the great War of All against All, when the seventh trumpet sounds, the germs of this descent into the abyss in the far-distant future. It will, indeed, for a long time be possible for those who have taken these germs into themselves to turn round and be converted, to tarn back in their development in order even then to receive the Christ-principle. But the first predisposition will have been formed, and those who retain this tendency will no longer be able — when that distant future has come which is indicated not by 466, but by 666 — to change this tendency into good. They will succumb to the frightful fate of which we have still to speak.

Thus we see that with this number six, whether it is simply six, or six six, or six six six, there is connected something bad for human evolution. We are now living in the fifth main period and the fifth sub-period. After the great War we shall pass into the sixth epoch; but before the great War there comes, immediately after our fifth age, the sixth age, described as the community of Philadelphia. We know that we are now living in the age in which materialism has spread abroad in humanity. We have seen that throughout the past centuries man has become more and more materialistic; but this materialism is such that a person can turn back from it at any time. The materialist still has opportunity to turn back. It is, however, necessary that at the present time a spiritual conception of the world should gain ground, a conception which leads a small group of people to this spiritual view of the world. This group will comprise those who will lay the first foundation of the great bond of brotherhood in the sixth age, which will follow ours, and is, therefore, not very far distant, whose beginning lies in a period which can be counted in millennia and these will bring about the very first division in humanity. Those who persist obstinately in materialism, and also the others who will be inclined to accept a spiritual conception, who in the small group develop a bond of brotherhood, both these will appear in the sixth age. This simple 6 can already be fateful to many, but not finally binding, for a turning back will still be possible. But mankind will continue beyond the great War of All against All. Five epochs will have passed away; the number 6 will appear again. Afterwards the allurements and temptations will come again in order further to develop the materialistic tendencies and to carry them over into the epoch of the sounding of the trumpets, and when six great periods and six smaller periods have passed away, after 66, there will already be very considerable tendencies in humanity which will not be so easy to put increasingly right as they are at the present time. Thus we see that actually the world of bad tendencies works within humanity and that the good men separate from the evil more and more clearly and definitely, in accordance with the description of the writer of the Apocalypse.

The last great separation will be when the number six will be fulfilled not only for the shorter periods but for the longer ones. This will be the case when our earth has completed its six kingdoms of life or six rounds, and within the seventh. round, again six conditions of form.

When the Earth has finished this, the tendencies of humanity to evil will have developed to a frightful form. Nothing but evil will then appear, with frightful devastating power, in those who have remained evil.

How often, therefore, during our Earth stage of evolution, does humanity have the opportunity to succumb to the enticement of evil?

1/ First of all in the age after the present one, before the great War. [editor: assume the sixth cultural age is meant, before the war of all against all]

Then Man has a second and a third opportunity as well. This descent into evil is gradual. In the period when the earth has passed over into a spiritual condition, we have to deal first of all with two possibilities.

2/ When the Earth reunites with the Sun, those who have received the Christ-principle will then be ripe to rise into the forces of the earth which unite with the sun; those who have received the possibility of evil will be excluded. These are, as it were, in such a position that they thrust the sun away from themselves, they thrust away that which would enable them to unite with the forces of the sun. They are opponents of this union. For this reason the Apocalypse rightly designated the power, the Being, who leads men so to spiritualize themselves that they can unite with the sun as the Christ, and — as we shall hear — as the Lamb. One describes the Christ-Being as the genius of the sun who unites himself with the earth and becomes also the genius of the earth. He has already begun to be this since the event of Golgotha.

But there is also an opposing principle to the Lamb, there is also a Sun-Demon, the so-called Demon of the Sun, that which works in the evil forces of man, thrusting back the force of the Lamb, and it works un such a way that a certain amount of the human race is thrust out of the evolution which leads to the sun. These are the opposing forces of the sun, they are in opposition to the sun; at the same time they are the forces which have the tendency to be entirely thrown out of our evolution when the 666 stages have passed away; they will then be finally cast into the abyss. So that we may say:

At the time when the Earth is united with the Sun there will be excluded, not only that which is symbolized by the beast with seven heads and ten horns, but also that which is furnished with forces which are in opposition to the sun. All this is destined to disappear into the abyss when the 666 is fulfilled.

Now this 666 has always been written in a very mysterious way; we shall see later on that there is every reason to wrap in mystery the facts with which we are now dealing. And for this reason it was written 666. In the mysteries from which the writer of the Apocalypse received his initiation, they wrote 400 200 660. This is written in such a way that the laity cannot understand it. This 666 was hidden; it was to remain a secret. By having 200 here and by the other figures being transposed, an illusion is produced. Now in the kind of writing used by the Initiates there is a certain principle which consists in letters being expressed by corresponding numbers. Several of the remarkable people who, in the course of the nineteenth century wished to unravel the mystery of the number 666, hit on the principle of expressing letters by numbers, but they have come upon it in such a way that one can say: they have, indeed, heard sounds but not in unison. For they have acquired in an unclear way that which I have now explained and which has always been taught esoteric-ally. They have found out that when one sets letters of the Hebrew alphabet in place of these numbers the result is “Nero,” thus they have concluded that 666 signifies Nero. This is not the case. 666 must first be written: 400 + 200 + 6 + 60, and then one can arrive at the meaning. Then one must write 400 as ת (Tau), 200 as ר (Resh), 6 as ו (Vau), and 60 as ם (Samech). These four letters express the four numbers 400 + 200 + 6 + 60. In a wonderful way they have been drawn into this mystery, wonderful through the ingenuity of those who have drawn them in because at the same time the sounds of these four letters have again a special occult significance.

What must the number 666 actually mean if it is to express what we have explained?

It must mean the principle which leads man to complete hardening un the external physical life, so that he simply thrusts from him that which enables him to strip off the lower principles and to rise to the higher. That which man has obtained as physical body, etheric body, astral body and lower “I,” before it rises to the higher — these four principles are at the same time expressed by these four letters, by Samech, the physical body, Vau, the etheric body, Resh, the astral body and Tau, the lower “I.” Thus we see that that which is hardened in these four principles before they begin their divine evolution is expressed by the four letters. The writer of the Apocalypse can truly say, “Here is Truth!” For wisdom is contained in it. “Let him who hath understanding consider the number 666.”

And now we will read it. We read it in this way, from right to left.

We have then to supply the vowels and it reads: Sorath is the name of the Sun-Demon, the adversary of the Lamb. Every such spiritual being was described not only by name but also by a certain symbolical sign. For Sorath, the sun-demon, there was this sign: a thick stroke bent back upon itself and terminating in two curved points.

Now we must understand the writer of the Apocalypse rightly. At the very beginning he makes a remarkable statement, which is usually wrongly translated. The beginning of the Apocalypse runs, however “This is the revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him to spew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John.” “Signified it.” By this we must understand that he gives the important, the real content of the mystery hi signs. He has put that which 666 expresses in signs. What he describes is the sign, and he describes it thus (Rev. 13 11):

“And I saw another beast coming up out of the Earth; and he had two horns like a lamb.”

These are nothing else than the two strokes at the upper part of the sign, and in order to conceal this he simply calls the two strokes here “horns.” It was always the case in the use of the mystery language that one uses a word in more than one sense so as to make it impossible for the uninitiated to understand without special effort. That which he describes here: “It has two horns like a lamb,” is the symbol of the sun-demon, which in the mystery language is expressed by the word “Sorath,” and this, if we convert the several letters into their numbers is expressed by the four numbers, 400, 200, 6 and 60. This is a very veiled way of expressing 666. Thus we see that the writer of the Apocalypse is referring to the adversary of the Lamb. When the earth passes over into the spiritual, the forms of men appear below in such a way that they receive their old animal form. The beast with the seven heads and ten horns appears. But there also appears their seducer, the adversary of Christ, who has the great power to prevent their returning to the sun. Man himself cannot be the adversary of Christ, he can only let slip the opportunity to take the Christ-principle into himself, through what dwells in him as false power; but there is such an adversary, the sun-demon. This appears as soon as there is something that can become his prey. Before the prey is there, before the men are there with the seven heads and ten horns, there is nothing to lead astray, the tempter has nothing to seek there; but when men appear with such inclination, then comes the tempter, and he appears as the second beast and seduces them!

Thus at the moment when the Earth passes over into the astral condition there appears that in man which existed in him when the earth was still clothed with a covering of water. The human animal appears. From the water one sees the beast with seven heads and ten horns raise itself. Through this human animal having left the Earth unused, Sorat, the adversary of the sun, the tempter, can now arise out of the earth, through this he can approach man and tear him down with all his might into the abyss. Thus from this time on we see a being drawing close to Man, which has a fear-fill power!

What, then, does this being do in order to lead Man into the most horrible things one can think of?

For Man to be led into what is merely immoral, what is already known to normal man, it did not need this monster which appears as the sun-demon. Only when that which in a good sense distinguishes the beings who bring salvation to the human race, only when spiritual eminence is turned to its opposite, only when spiritual power is placed in the service of the lower I-principle, can it bring humanity to the point when the beast represented with two horns gains power over it. The misuse of spiritual forces is connected with that seductive power of the beast with the two horns. And we call this abuse of the spiritual power black magic, in contradistinction to its right use, which is white magic. Thus through the separation of the human race there is prepared at the same time the power to attain greater and greater spiritual conditions on the one hand, and thereby to obtain the use of the spiritual forces, and arrive at white magic; while on the other hand abuse of spiritual forces is a preparation for the most fearful kind of power of the two horned beast — black magic. Humanity will finally he divided into beings who practise white magic and those who practise black magic. Thus in the mystery of 666 or Sorath is hidden the secret of black magic; and the tempter to black magic, that most fearful crime in the earth evolution, with which no other crimes can be compared, this seducer is represented by the writer of the Apocalypse as the two-horned beast.

Thus there appears on our horizon, so to speak, the division of humanity in the far distant future; the chosen of Christ, who finally will be the white magicians, and the adversaries, the terrible wizards, the black magicians who cannot escape from matter and whom the writer of the Apocalypse describes as those who make prostitution with matter. Hence this whole practice of black magic, the union which takes place between Man and the hardening in matter is presented to him in the spiritual vision of the great Babylon, the community made up of all those who carry on black magic; in the frightful marriage, or rather, unrestrained marriage, between man and the forces of prostituted matter.

And thus in the far future we see two powers confronting each other;

  • on the one hand those who swell the population of the great Babylon,
  • and on the other hand chose who rise above matter, who as human beings unite with the principle represented as the Lamb.

We see how on the one hand the blackest ones segregate themselves in Babylon, led by all the forces opposing the sun, by Sorat the two-horned beast, and we see those who have developed front the elect, who unite with Christ, or the Lamb, who appears to them; the marriage of the Lamb on the one hand, and that of Babylon, the descending Babylon, on the other! We see Babylon descend into the abyss, and the elect, who have celebrated the marriage with the Lamb, rise to the exercise of the forces of white magic. And as they not only recognize the spiritual forces but also understand how to operate then magically, they are able to prepare what they possess in the Earth for the next planetary incarnation, Jupiter. They sketch out the great outlines, so to speak, which Future Jupiter is to have. We see the preparatory forms, which are to survive as the forms of the next earth incarnation, as Future Jupiter, come forth by the power of the white magicians: we see the New Jerusalem produced by white magic.

But that which is described as Sorat - 666 - must first be expelled. That which has succumbed to the principle of the two-horned beast, and hence has hardened itself into the beast with the seven heads and ten horns, is driven forth. The power by which the sun-genius overcomes those who are expelled, which drives them down into the abyss, is called the countenance of the sun-genius and the countenance of the sun-genius is Michael, who, as the representative, so to speak, of the sun-genius, overcomes the beast with the two horns, the seducer, which is also called the great dragon. This is represented to the seer in the picture of Michael who has the key, who stands by the side of God and holds the opposing forces chained.

Thus is characterized in the Christian-Rosicrucian esotericism the casting out of those who belong to 666, and the overcoming of the dragon, the seducer. Thus before our gaze to-day there appears that which the writer of the Apocalypse has enveloped in mystery, which one must first discover by removing the veil, and of which he says, “Here is Wisdom.” “Let him who hath understanding count the number of the beast” (that is, the two-horned beast); “for this number is 666.”

1908-06-30-GA104

This seductive Being is of quite a different nature from man. It originates from other world periods; it has acquired the tendencies of other world periods and will feel deep satisfaction when it meets with Beings such as those evil ones who have refused to take up inwardly the good which can flow from the Earth. This Being has been unable to receive anything from the Earth; it has seen Earth evolution come but has said: I have not progressed with the Earth in such a way that I can gain anything from Earthly existence. This Being could only have gotten something from the Earth by being able to gain the rulership at a certain moment, namely when the Christ-Principle descended to the Earth. If the Christ-Principle had been strangled in the germ, if Christ had been overcome by the adversary, it would have been possible for the whole Earth to succumb to the Sorat-principle. This, however, did not take place, and so this Being has to be content with the refuse of mankind who have not inclined towards the Christ-Principle, who have remained embedded in matter; they in the future will form his cohorts.

...

If it were impossible for man to follow in the trail of the Beast with the two horns, it would also be impossible for him to follow God out of his own individual love. It was in accordance with a wise Providence to give the possibility of freedom to humanity which has been developing through our planetary system, and this possibility of freedom could be given on no other condition than that man himself has to make the free choice between good and evil.

1909-05-19-GA104A

Zarathustra also referred to the Christ being, who has been working in the central regions of the earth from the event of Golgotha onward. After working on the earth from the sun in earlier times, he has united with the planet earth. It is the power of Christ that has descended from the sun and retrieved the useful part of earthly humanity, uniting it with the sun again. But he has an adversary — every such being has an adversary.

Christ is the good spirit, the intelligence of the sun; the adversary is the demon of the sun. Certain forces that are constantly working on the human astral body come forth from the demon of the sun. This demon of the sun is the opponent of the Christ spirit and is called Sorat. Earlier, in cabalistic sections of occultism, the custom of writing letters with numbers prevailed. The letters of the name Sorat, the demon of the sun, have the value 666. In the picture found at Rev. 13:11 – 18 the sun demon becomes visible.


It has two horns like a lamb. The writer of the Apocalypse describes the sign of the beast. Already at the beginning of the Apocalypse he clearly stated he was describing everything in signs and then adds: Wisdom is necessary in order to solve this riddle. In this way, the number of the beast has been explained in occult schools by real experts who do not explain it materialistically. We hear how the worst and coarsest elements are thrown out and how the noblest, spiritualized portion of humanity remains united with the sun. The newly spiritualized human body can then again be a temple for the soul.

1909-05-20-GA104A

In our survey of the evolution of our planet we have seen that the earth will again be spiritualized, that human beings can participate in this evolution and that they will again be able to return to the sun. Evolution leads to a constantly increasing spiritualization, to a higher condition, to the devachanic state. All those beings who are too stuck in their materialization will not be able to participate in this spiritual earth. First, everything must pass over into an astral condition. But the coarse, material elements of humankind and the base substances in the lower kingdoms enter with human beings into a kind of lower astral world. This could be called the sub-physical astral world. We have, then, devachan, the astral world, the physical world, and the lower astral world. This lower astral world is also working in opposition to our evolution today. It is ruled by the spirit Mammon, [note: through Ahriman] that is, the spirit of hindrances. He is a power of the lower world.

All the beings who cannot rise up into the higher world must go down into this lower world. All the higher beings, after the age of the seven trumpet calls, will enter into a state of the earth united again with the sun.

Certain beings have passed through their human state on every incarnation of the earth: the angels during the moon stage, the archangels on the old sun, the good Asuras, also known as archai or primal beginnings, on Old Saturn. There are also beings who did not complete their development. Such beings existed, for example, on the moon; these beings were then transplanted to the earth. They were higher than the human being but, at that time, had not yet reached the stage of humanity. These are the luciferic spirits. They have entangled the human being ever deeper in matter; they became connected to humankind in the Lemurian age. The human being would have gone through his evolution in a higher sphere if the luciferic spirits had not united with that evolution. But human beings can thank them for something good: their freedom. The luciferic spirits made, so to speak, a sacrifice for the good of humankind when they united their evolution with the earth and remained behind.

But Old Saturn, Old Sun, and Old Moon occurred before the middle of the Earth’s evolution. Those beings who remained behind before the midpoint have made an offering, a sacrifice. However, those who remain behind from now on, after the middle of the Earth’s evolution, merely represent a hindrance, not a sacrifice. The luciferic spirits have also brought humanity something positive. They have permeated the human astral body and thereby have brought us to independence.

If we consider that the human physical body was prepared for the human being during the Old Saturn state, the etheric body during the Old Sun state, the astral body during Old Moon, then we see how, in its way, this physical body is the most perfect member. It is the most evolved. If we could look into the miraculous structure of the physical heart, or the brain that is structured and organized with so much wisdom that physical science has not yet solved the riddles it presents, we would recognize this. The astral body is, indeed, a higher member but far less perfect; the etheric body has been perfected more than the astral but less than the physical. The I is the least perfect of all. For example, how little does the I understand the structures of the physical body. This is even precisely described in the Bible where it is said: “… then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being …” (Genesis 2:7) This happened during Lemurian times.

[Luciferic - first dragon, appears in heaven]

At that time luciferic beings worked into the astral body of the human being. However, it was just by doing this, by slipping into the astral body that they caught up with what they themselves had neglected in the past. What they should have accomplished on the Moon they went through vicariously within the human being.

When the Sun will have again united with the Earth, then human beings — through the fact that they will have purified their instincts, desires, and passions — will redeem the luciferic beings. The luciferic beings who do not go on to the Sun remain in their original condition. They then appear as expelled into the evil, lower astral world. This is the ancient snake and it emerges as the first dragon. Therefore, when the Earth enters the sun, a dragon appears.

[Ahrimanic - second monster, from the sea]

But there are yet other beings left behind: such human beings who could not prevent themselves from dropping back into animality, who remain slaves to their animal instincts. While the other human beings go to the sun, these will form an evil power over and against the higher. These form the second monster, and the writer of the Apocalypse says in his exact fashion:

  • The luciferic dragon appears in heaven because he comes from higher worlds;
  • the second beast arises from the sea — this consists of the souls of animalistic human beings who have remained behind. (Compare: (Rev. 12:3–13:10)

[third vision - Sorat]

  • We have still a third vision, that of the black magicians. They do not remain stuck in animality; they develop spiritual abilities. In full consciousness they have turned away, and provide a bodily incarnation for Sorat. That will be the incarnation in flesh of the demon of the sun.

But then we see how the Earth emerges from the Sun yet again in the future. If the spiritual human beings were to remain united with the sun forever, then the other human beings who, without guilt, had remained behind in animality would never he saved. So, these spiritualized people come forth once more and unite with what has fallen out of evolution in an attempt to save these backward souls.

When the Earth began its existence as “Earth” it had to briefly repeat the Old Saturn, Old Sun, and Old Moon conditions once again. It went through recapitulations of those conditions before it became the present-day Earth. Now, when actual Earth conditions prevail, it must prophetically mirror the future embodiments of Future Jupiter, Future Venus, and Future Vulcan. In this way the earth goes through seven states during its actual Earth condition. These states are usually called Conditions of Life [CoL or rounds].

During the prophetically mirrored Future Jupiter stage, the Earth will actually unite with the Sun. On Future Jupiter all the great cultural ages will appear again — with the seven intervals between them — but they will be far less sharply delineated. On Future Jupiter, many beings still have the possibility of being saved, even the black magicians.

This will also be the case on the Future Venus, when we have a sixth planetary interval. Here also the beings that have remained behind will stubbornly struggle against help; but this Future Venus will at last be decisive. On Future Venus the last moment for salvation has come in the last sub-epoch.

Then, on Future Vulcan, nothing more can be saved.

[Sorat <-> 666 <-> black magicians]

That is why the ancient cabalists formed the word “Sorat,” because the number 666 is contained within it. That is also the number of those human beings who, out of their own cunning free will, have become black magicians by placing spiritual forces in the service of their own egotism.

  • The first dragon is not a human being. It came out of the spiritual world.
  • The second dragon is ascribed to animalistic nature but in a fundamental sense the Bible ascribes this number of the third group to human beings. So the number 666 is not a sign of the beast but a human number.

[editor: the meaning of this sentence is to checked against the other cycles]

The Apocalypse is an outline of the whole of evolution. Future Venus is portrayed to clairvoyant sight in such a way that there is not much hope for those left behind. Human powers at that time will not be capable of very much. That is why everything appears so desolate and the worst vices will reign there in the most depraved ways. They must be expelled during the Future Venus state of the earth. On Future Jupiter there are still many, many who will allow themselves to be saved and who will unite with the sun.

But during Future Venus, evil must be overcome and driven into the abyss; that is the “Fall of Babylon.” (Rev. 17–18) The people who have been saved can develop themselves further to a new sun state. What has been cleansed and purified will arise for Future Vulcan.

Human beings today are already creative on the earth. They can force the lifeless forces of nature to serve them. They can build cathedrals, they can sculpt marble. Today they are masters of lifeless nature. Even though Raphael’s paintings of the Madonna are falling to dust, even though the external physical world is passing away, what the human being achieves in terms of art during the evolution of the earth will one day resurrect in a different form. The crystals we see today were once forms worked out by human beings during the Old Moon stage, in a way similar to how we create and form artistically today. What the spirits once achieved in infinite ages of time now grows out of the Earth; today it rises up. So, too, the matter of Raphael’s Madonnas will also rise up. In the distant future, everything that human beings now create will rise again with the brightness of crystals. The place that humanity has prepared and will find waiting is called the “New Jerusalem” by the writer of the Apocalypse. A new world will arise, inhabitable by human beings who will have achieved the requisite state of maturity. In a new state, in the Future Jupiter existence, they will find the place where, out of love and out of human work, peace will reign.

1909-05-21-GA104A

In the age when the sixth seal is broken the “people of twelve” will appear. The salvation of the “great whore of Babylon” will also occur in the sixth age. In this sixth age the earth will have repeated the Saturn, Sun, and Moon stages, as well as the earth condition itself and Future Jupiter. On Future Venus the earth will finally have the five rounds behind it. Then the sixth state will have come. Nevertheless, the Future Vulcan state for the chosen will not be present yet. For this reason we read [“And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come ...”] “… five are fallen …” and the remnant that has maintained itself: “… one is …” and the seventh: “the other has not yet come.” (Rev. 17:10) We see how we again find the messages of the writer of the Apocalypse in Theosophy.

[Eight sphere]

But those who have proven themselves to be immature in the Future Venus stage, who have placed themselves under the rulership of Sorat, must now isolate themselves on a special sphere of Earth while the other seven proceed downward and again upward. Thus the colony of Sorat falls away. The black magicians inhabit this eighth sphere, which goes to the left and away, and the beast gives a home to all that thus falls away: that is the eighth state. In this way we can find all the teachings of Theosophy in the Apocalypse.

The more humanity advances, the more energy is necessary in order to spiritualize those who have been left behind. For this reason those who are the most deeply initiated, Moses and Elijah, are called. Powerful forces are needed. Because they were already deeply initiated, they will be able in that distant future to stand so high that they will be able to work in a very special way. However, karma is a law to which all are subject; therefore, those who were initiated before the event of Golgotha must make up for the following.

The three and a half days required for initiation in ancient times were lost days in the initiates’ development. Initiates had to leave their bodies during these three and a half days. Therefore, the I could not work on the transformation of its physical body, its etheric body, and its astral body. For this reason, in the future they must leave their physical body to the external world for three and a half days. Hence, we read, “For three days and a half … gaze at their dead bodies.” (Rev. 11:9) Even the deeds that are sacrifices for humanity must find their cosmic compensation.

In this way spiritual seers have spoken to other spiritual seers through the millennia and we find all of this again even unto the names in the Apocalypse. As Paul said, “… it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” (Gal. 2:20) This, too, we find again in the Apocalypse. The I is permeated by Christ. The one who can fructify the I with his name is the Christ: “… and he has a name inscribed which no one knows but he himself.” (Rev. 19:12)

We are also told that the earth will be spiritualized in the New Jerusalem. There will be no external sun present then; the corresponding spiritual beings will provide the light. We read, “And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine upon it …” (Rev. 21:23)

The writer of the Apocalypse always shows the evolution of humankind in pictures. He sees the leader who was first proclaimed as Vishva Karman, and then as Ahura Mazdao, and he points to him, to Christ.

In order to illuminate what is found in the Apocalypse, we must refer to the transformation of organs that are developed in human beings into other forms. They now have the ability to change their forms.

The heart muscle is distinguished from other muscles under our voluntary control by the fact that the heart is an involuntary muscle, and yet is striated in the same way as voluntary muscle. The heart is on the way to becoming an organ with entirely different functions. We see this indicated in the structure of the muscle.

What comes forth from the voice box will become increasingly powerful. What we speak forth in order to express our thoughts shapes the air — already now it forms it according to how we think. But the word will become increasingly powerful. One day the human being will create the human being’s equal through the word that comes forth from the larynx. The one who has the sword coming forth from his mouth is an indication of the being who is the alpha and the omega.

The lamb, who will be the lord over the lower nature, forms one of the seals. Sorat is as if expelled in the eighth sphere by the woman who shows us another seal of the Rosicrucian. The seer can also see this in the spiritual world. In this way, these Rosicrucian seals have an awakening effect when we meditate upon them with understanding

1918-10-11-GA184

(SWCC) talks about the connection with the year 666 and 1998, continuing with the Academy of Jundi Sabur the next day.

The number of the Beast is 666 and it is the number of a Man.

It is the number of the Man who struggles against saying ‘Not I, but Christ in me.’

These things must become ever more conscious for men, since men have now entered upon the epoch of the Consciousness Soul.

or longer extract

It is terrible how in these days men are willing only to question nature — and of nature they can know only its ghost. Hence the reality becomes oppressively active in the unconscious, demanding entrance into consciousness, for we live in the epoch of the Consciousness Soul.

Thus I have made clear to you something important in the situation we are facing to-day. I have led you to see how it is that men form ghostly conceptions of nature, while scientific experimenters are found on all sides. … Then a man in his reality appears before them, and the scientists study him. But the ghostly concepts of natural science are inadequate for this; hence the scientists are observers not of man, but only of his ghost — psycho-analysts. Psycho-analysis is the unmistakable child of a ghostly natural science; thus I always speak of psycho-analysis as working with inadequate means.

At this point we may ask: How has this situation come about? It has come about through the pattern of events which has taken shape in earthly evolution, causing a quite definite relation between the primeval evolution of man and the two side-streams, the Ahrimanic and the Luciferic. I have shown you the normal evolution from diverse aspects, and then the two side-streams — the Luciferic flowing into earthly life in the Lemurian period, the Ahrimanic in the Atlantean. Thus they are within human evolution, these three streams, and all that happens in the evolution of mankind is under their influence.

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. It signifies the highest possible reality but not an external reality, because in external reality the two other streams flow in. If, however, evolution had proceeded in a straight line, without the side-streams flowing in, then 747 would have been the true centre and it would have been the zenith of the epoch of the Intellectual or Mind Soul. The Intellectual or Mind Soul would then have reached its highest degree of external development:

But it did not come about like that, because in a certain sense the serpent was already at work, having planned to apply in 666 — 333 years later — a quite definite procedure to human evolution. The intention of this being, the Sorat, the Beast — who had fully developed the Consciousness Soul, whereas man had reached only the age of the Intellectual or Mind Soul — was to bestow prematurely on men all the soul-spiritual achievements unobtainable through the Intellectual or Mind Soul, and within reach only of the Consciousness Soul. In effect, the culture-epoch of the Consciousness Soul was to come prematurely to man. According to world conditions, 666 was the most favourable point of time for this; the Sorat would then have been able to exercise such influence upon the earth that he could have said: “I am now teaching men everything they will ever be able to gain through the Consciousness Soul. Little by little I am pouring into man now, in the epoch of the Intellectual or Mind Soul, all that the other gods, whom I oppose, wish to give him only in the next culture-epoch.” An unjustified mingling of the Intellectual or Mind Soul with the Consciousness Soul was the object in view.

It would hardly have been possible to bring the content of the Consciousness Soul into the Intellectual or Mind Soul in the case of every man, for naturally men were at various stages of evolution; but in the case of a great number the attempt might have met with success, in the following way. When this being had reached his aim, a number of geniuses would have arisen, particularly among educated people in the West. For geniuses they would have been — just think of the middle of the epoch which began in 1413; when you add half a culture-epoch — 1,080 years — to 1413, you get 2493. The knowledge that in the normal way men will have in 2493 would have sprouted up in 666, not indeed in men as they then were by nature, but through prophetic imagination inspired with the forces of genius, and would have revealed itself to unsuspecting Western peoples.

Remarkable phenomena were planned. If you consider the scientific ideals of to-day and hear people describing the wonderful progress made in recent decades … just think what sort of picture these people could form of humanity in 2493, when in 1918 they are already so clever! People would not have built machines and so on, would not have made experiments, would not have gone the slow way … with the forces of genius they would have foreseen everything and would also have created much. This year 666 was intended to deluge humanity with a knowledge and a culture which the primal gods had intended for men only during the third millennium. It cannot be conceived — need not be conceived — into what situation the so-called civilised world would have come if it had been deluged with this wisdom in the year 666! With their lack of self-discipline people would have come utterly to grief. For go to your history books and see what they say about man’s unbalanced mood of soul in 666, and you will get some idea of how people would then have behaved if in this way genius had come among them. They have indeed brought things to a wonderful pass in what they have developed up to the year 1914 … whatever would have become of them had they been deluged with all this wisdom of the Beast? It was nevertheless planned by certain higher spirits, particularly by a being of Ahrimanic nature who was to lead these spirits, that this being should appear, even if not on the physical plane — but he was to appear.

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 supersensible forces, because for earthly evolution the whole proceeding was of supersensible 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.

You see what connections are concealed behind the maya of externally apparent facts. In the epoch of the Consciousness Soul the essential thing is for men to be enlightened about such matters — to become conscious of them. Just think — we are involved in what could be brought about only through the Beast being put in chains by Christ Jesus, as an Epistle expresses it.

[Epistle of Barnabas]

It is a most remarkable fact that in this Epistle of Barnabas ..

[See Excluded Books of the New Testament (published by Eveleigh Nash and Grayson, London). The relevant passage occurs in Section 4 (p. 214) of The Epistle of Barnabas, translated by Bishop Lightfoot. In the Introduction to this collection of early Christian documents, J. Armitage Robinson, D.D., refers to four books (of which The Epistle of Barnabas is one) as being “so near to the possibility of being included in the Canon of the New Testament that they are actually found in one or other of two of our earliest manuscripts of the whole Greek Bible.” The text of The Epistle of Barnabas is included at the end of the Sinaitic Codex (fourth century).],

.. looked upon as genuine in many early editions of the New Testament but judged as apocryphal by the Western Church, there is an indication of this most important fact of Christ holding the Beast in balance. Certain circles knew very well what needed to be withheld from Western man if an increasing knowledge of the Christ Mysteries was to be prevented from passing into the Consciousness Soul.

If you take what I have said today, you will not be surprised that the writer of the Apocalypse speaks of this rather heatedly. What I have said today from the temporal aspect you can easily connect with what I have said about the Beast of 666 from other aspects — these matters axe always given light from various directions. You know we have to do this. The writer of the Apocalypse expresses himself with a certain vehemence in the passage where he speaks of the appearance of the Beast, and he uses approximately these words: The number of the Beast is 666 and it is the number of a man. Or, put better: It is the number of the man, the man who struggles against saying “Not I, but Christ in me.” These things must become ever more conscious for men, since men have now entered upon the epoch of the Consciousness Soul.

1918-10-12-GA184

synopsis:

The task of the present epoch will be the achievement of free human personality by self-training, as intended by the Divine Powers. Working against this goal are the Luciferic and Ahrimanic Powers. The true significance of outward events and their spiritual background.

Closing of the Greek schools of philosophy by Justinian in A.D. 529. Banishment of scholars from Edessa by the Emperor Zeno.

Founding of the Academy of Jundí Sábúr. A tremendous but dangerous Luciferic-Ahrimanic wisdom flowed out of Jundí Sábúr, but was blunted by the emergence of Mohammedanism. Thus the Gnostic wisdom of Jundí Sábúr was unable to follow its intended course; but it spread into Europe indirectly through the monasteries and gave rise to the beginnings of scientific thinking.

Under the leadership of Christ Jesus, men must achieve wisdom by their own capabilities.

1924-09-12-GA346

By bringing before our souls the central points in which the apocalyptist’s revelations culminate — as we have already done with certain aspects — we can soon arrive at the overall composition as well as the consecutive content of the Book of Revelation. Today we shall therefore continue in our consideration of the central points, so that tomorrow we can really get down to the content consecutively.

Yesterday I spoke about how the apocalyptist in a sense saw something that was threatening to engulf Christianity — that which he felt to be the true Christianity — something that would turn it away from the Christ-Principle and lead it back to the Father-Principle which, if it were to win the day, could take on only materialistic, naturalistic forms in this time.

The apocalyptist saw things and processes in accordance with the secret of numbers or, better, he both looked and felt in accordance with the secret of numbers. Just as the musician senses the way notes sound together in accordance with the secret of numbers, although he becomes conscious of this at most in the occasional passage, so did the apocalyptist sense more or less consciously the secrets that are linked to a number such as 666.

Let us now ourselves look into the cosmos in order to glean from it more of those secrets of the number 666. Let us consider that the Christian revelation as a whole is actually a Sun revelation, that Christ is the Being who comes from the Sun and who sends Michael with his hosts on ahead, just as in a different way Jehovah of old sent Michael on ahead. If we consider that we ourselves are now living in a Michael age we shall find that the Christ-Impulse as a Sun Mystery appears very profoundly indeed before our soul.

We must become profoundly aware in our soul that in the fight against Christianity what is being fought against is the fact that the real spiritual element of Christianity is connected with the Sun. Nothing would please the opponents of Christianity more than if human beings entirely lost their vision of the Sun as a spiritual being and retained only the view of the Sun as it is in physical existence — as I have already mentioned elsewhere during these lectures. When Arabism broke in upon humanity it brought with it the immense danger of humanity forgetting the Mystery of the Sun as the Mystery of Christ. The whole of human evolution would then be sent off in a direction different from the Michael direction which has the task of preparing the Christ-Evolution in a way that would make it comprehensible for human beings.

The apocalyptist who can see behind the scenes of external history realizes that what is happening externally in the order of the world is taking place on the foundation of supersensible processes. So let us have a look at these supersensible processes perceived by the apocalyptist as standing behind external happenings.

Every star in our planetary system, including the sun, has a collection of beings within it. On the earth we have the collection of human beings in their evolution. If we want to gain a very profound view of human beings on the earth we could take a look at a later point in evolution when humanity will have attained a much higher stage than the one we occupy today. We could look, for example, to the Vulcan condition, which will follow later after the Earth condition.

Dear friends, imagine what kind of a picture someone would have of the earth if he were to see before him a cosmic body containing a collection of Vulcan human beings. Yet this would still be the earth with its human beings, only it would be in a different stage. It is most important for the human soul to imagine the earth as a totality in this way, to imagine not only humanity in its present stage on earth but what is already present today in seed form, to look at what the human being carries within him and therefore what he also is: the human being at the Vulcan stage. The other planets everywhere also have a collection of beings living in them. To the earth has been assigned the task of being the place where the human being evolves, which is why it stands in the middle. We also have other planets, for example today’s Jupiter which shows us quite clearly that its beings are entirely different. After all, we meet these beings when we are working out our karma between death and a new birth. If we take the totality of all the beings who are at work in connection with the individual planets including the Sun, we have what was seen right up to the fourteenth century as the spiritual Intelligence of each of the planets; even by the teachers of the Catholic church it was seen as the Intelligence of the planets. We can speak about the Intelligence of the planets as a reality, just as we can speak of humanity on earth being the earth’s Intelligence. Every such planet possesses not only its Intelligence but also its Demon. The teachers of the church knew this right up to the fourteenth, fifteenth century. The totality of all the opponents of the Intelligences on a planet are Demons. And thus it is also on the Sun.

If we regard Christianity primarily as an evolution that accords with the Sun Genius, the Sun Intelligence, then we have to see that which is opposing this evolution of Christianity as the Sun Demon. The apocalyptist saw this. He saw what was happening behind the scenes when Christianity fled eastwards from Rome, and he saw Christianity taking on different ways of knowing. He saw the mighty counter-principle of Arabism bursting in on a Christianity that was threatened from two sides by illusion. And what he saw behind the scenes of external Arab and Mohammedan deeds made him realize that the Sun Demon was working there against the Sun Genius, against the Sun Intelligence. So he had to depict the Sun Demon as working and living counter to the Christian principle in the human being in such a way that if a human being succumbed to this Sun Demon he then no longer wanted to make contact with the divinity of Christ but wanted instead to remain in the sub-human realm. If asked, the apocalyptist would have called the representatives of Arabism in Europe ‘human beings who have surrendered to the Sun Demon’ in their soul nature. It was clear to him that from this Arabism everything arises that brings the human being close to animal nature, first of all in his views but gradually also in his will impulses. Who could deny that this also lives in the will impulses? With things that happen as realities in the world one does not always have both cause and effect side by side; one does not see the purpose nor that towards which the purpose is directed.

We may therefore ask ourselves: What would happen if Arabism, the teaching of the Sun Demon, were to be entirely victorious? Humanity would be withdrawn from being able to experience conditions that human beings must experience if they are to comprehend the working of karma from earlier incarnations or if they are to comprehend the Transubstantiation. In the final analysis, that which flowed from Arabism was directed against an understanding of the Transubstantiation. Certainly external facts do not look as if this were the case, but by allotting validity only to the old Father Principle, to the natural world-order, the Sun Demon does indeed intend to sweep away from human view that kind of union which is active in the very highest degree in a sacrament such as the Transubstantiation.

For the apocalyptist, then, the Sun Demon was particularly active around the year 666. He describes him in a way that allows any initiate to recognize him. All such spiritual beings, the Intelligences of the planets, the Intelligences of the Sun, and the Demons of the planets and the Demons of the Sun, have their key sign within the Mysteries where they are present during important ceremonies, and the Sun Demon has this sign:

The apocalyptist describes the Sun Demon as the two-horned beast. In the Latin era, during which Greek and Latin were joined together in the language of the Mysteries, the kind of reading that involved reading in numbers had already become external to some extent, but nevertheless, people did still read in numbers. The apocalyptist used the special mode of reading that was current in his day. He wrote the number 666 using Hebrew characters.

He wrote the characters by giving their number values, and he wrote them to be read from right to left. The consonants, to which the appropriate vowels must be added when speaking, give the name of the Demon that has this sign of the Sun Demon: Sorat. Sorat is the name of the Sun Demon at that time, and the apocalyptist describes this sign which we can easily recognize. The apocalyptist sees everything that works against Christianity in this way — such as Arabism — as an outflowing of that spirituality which is represented by Sorat, the Sun Demon.

Dear friends, the number 666 was there in one instance at the time when Arabism was flowing into Christianity in order to impress the seal of materialism on to western culture. But it was there for a second time after a further 666 years had passed, in 1332, in the fourteenth century. At that time once again the Beast rose up out of the waves of world events. To one whose vision is like that of the apocalyptist, world events appear as continuous waves of timespans measuring 666 years. The Beast rises up to threaten Christianity in its search for true humanity; beasthood asserts itself against humanhood: Sorat stirs. In the fourteenth century we see Sorat, the adversary, rising up once again.

It was the time when — out of the deepest depths of soul much more than out of orientalism — the Order of the Knights Templar wanted to found a sun view of Christianity, a view of Christianity that looked up again to Christ as a Sun Being, as a cosmic being, a view that knew again about the spirits of the planets and stars, a view that knew how in cosmic events Intelligences from worlds that lie far apart from one another work together, not only the beings of one particular planet, a view that knew about the mighty oppositions that are brought about by such obstinate beings as Sorat, the Sun Demon, who is one of the most mighty demons in our system. What is at work in the materialism of human beings is, fundamentally, the demonic work of the Sun Demon.

It is of course difficult now to consider what might have become of European civilization if that powerful, that externally powerful Order of the Knights Templar — their riches were confiscated, as we know — had been able to achieve its goals. But in the hearts and souls of those who could not rest until the Order had been destroyed in 1312 and until Jacques de Molay had met his death in 1314, in the hearts of those who were the adversaries of the Christ who looked to the cosmos, in these hearts Sorat lived again, not least by making use of the Roman Church’s attitude of mind at that time to bring about the death of the Templars. The appearance of Sorat was more visible than it had been the previous time, and the demise of the Templars is shrouded in a stupendous secret. When you can see into what went on in the souls of the Templars while they were being tortured you can gain some idea of how what lived in their visions was instigated by Sorat. As a result they slandered themselves, providing their enemies with a cheap indictment through what they themselves uttered. People were confronted with the terrible spectacle of seeing individuals being unable to speak about what they genuinely represented, while different spirits from among the cohorts of Sorat spoke through them instead, accusing the Order of the most disgusting things out of the mouths of its own adherents.

The number 666 has twice been fulfilled. And now the time has come in the spiritual world when Sorat and the other opposing demons are preparing to prevent the Sun Principle from entering into the earth. Michael, on the other hand, preparing for his new regency, is fighting with his hosts for this entry of the Sun Principle. Michael was regent of the earth before the time of the Mystery of Golgotha, around the time of Alexander. The other archangels then in turn took over from him: Oriphiel, Anael, Zachariel, Raphael, Gabriel. Since the last third of the nineteenth century he has again been regent of the earth in order to continue working in his way for Christ, for whom he worked until his previous regency ended, approximately until the end of Alexander’s rule. Michael is on the earth once again, this time in order to serve here on earth the preparation for Christ and for the deeper comprehension of the Christ-Impulse.

As time has gone on I have spoken here and in various other places about how Christianity has been introduced spiritually through Michael. I mentioned one aspect of this two days ago when I spoke in a lecture about Michael’s regency in the time of Aristotle and Alexander, during which a genuinely Christian impulse was already introduced, and when I also pointed to the year 869 in which a kind of supersensible Council took place. This continued further. And at the beginning of the new era, when the consciousness soul is beginning to take effect, we now have — if we look up to spiritual events belonging to earthly humanity and running parallel with earthly events — the wonderful sight of a supersensible school with Michael as its teacher. Those who were to work towards a real development of Christianity — souls not at the moment incarnated on the earth, and also other spiritual beings — were gathered in great numbers around Michael, from the fourteenth to the sixteenth century, as though in a great, supersensible school in which those souls were being prepared who were to appear on earth at the beginning of the twentieth century during Michael’s regency. When we look at what was being prepared there we find that it was the anthroposophical world view, which wants to work for this evolution.

From what the ancient Mystery wisdom saw, and through the prophetic sight of future Mystery wisdom, we gather that human beings who take in what we call the inner Christianity, the spiritualized Christianity, those who look to the Genius of the Sun with regard to Christ: these individuals will experience an acceleration of their evolution and reappear on the earth again at the end of the twentieth century. Dear friends, everything we are able to do now in our time by way of taking in the spirituality of these teachings is of great significance, for we are doing it for the human beings who are, sub specie aeternitatis, alive at this time. It is a preparation for what is to take place at the end of the century, initially in the form of great, all-embracing, intense deeds of the spirit, after a great deal will have happened that is inimical to a spiritualization of modern civilization. The great revolutions that came about in Europe as a result of the Crusades belonged under the sign of the second occurrence of the number 666. This fact found its expression in the demise of the Templars. Sorat continues to work on and on against the forces coming from the Genius of the Sun that are battling for a genuine Christianity.


Before us lies the time of the third number 666: 1998. At the end of this century the time will come when Sorat will once again raise his head most strongly out of the waves of evolution to become the adversary of that appearance of Christ which those who have been prepared for it will already experience during the first half of the twentieth century when the Etheric Christ becomes visible. Only two thirds of the century have still to run before Sorat once again raises his head most mightily.

  • During the first 666, dear friends, Sorat was still hidden away inside the evolutionary process of events; he was not seen in any external form, for he lived within the deeds of Arabism,and initiates were able to see him.
  • When the second 666 years had passed he showed himself in the thinking and feeling of the tortured Templars.
  • And before this century is out he will show himself by making his appearance in many humans as the being by whom they are possessed.

Human beings will appear of whom it will be impossible to believe that they are real human beings. They will even develop externally in a peculiar manner, for outwardly they will have intense, strong dispositions with savage features and furious destructiveness in their emotions. Their faces will be like the faces of beasts. The Sorat human beings will be recognizable by their external appearance; in a terrible way they will not only scoff at everything but also oppose and want to push into the pool of filth anything that is spiritual. This will be experienced, for example, in the way something that is at present concentrated into a small space in seed form as today’s Bolshevism will become incorporated into the whole of human evolution on earth.

That is why it is so important that all who are capable of doing so should strive for spirituality. What is inimical to spirituality will he there anyway, for it works not through freedom but under determinism. This determinism has already decreed that at the end of this century Sorat will be on the loose again, so that the intention to sweep away anything spiritual will be deepseated in large numbers of earthly souls, just as the apocalyptist has foreseen in the beast-like countenance and the beast-like strength that will underlie the deeds of the adversary against the spiritual. Even today the rage against spiritual things is already immense. Yet it is still only in its very early infancy.

All this was foreseen by the apocalyptist. He saw the true unfolding of Christianity as a matter connected with the Sun, but he also foresaw how terrible would be the unfolding of the Sun Demon. All this appeared before him. The entry of Michael into the spiritual evolution of humanity at the end of the nineteenth century, and the appearance of the Etheric Christ during the first half of the twentieth century are events that will be followed by the arrival of the Sun Demon before this century comes to an end. In this Michael age of ours, especially if we want to work in the realm of theology and religion, we have every reason to learn above all from the Book of Revelation how to think and feel in an apocalyptic way, how not to remain stuck in what are merely external facts but how to rise up to the spiritual impulses that lie behind them.

The trail is being blazed for the entry of the demons, the adherents of the great Demon Sorat. To gain an idea of this you only need to speak to people who understand something of what led to the World War. It is fair to say that of the approximately 40 people who are guilty of causing that war, almost all were in a state of lowered consciousness at the moment when it broke out. Such a state of consciousness is always a way in for ahrimanic demonic powers, and one of the greatest of these demons is Sorat. Such are the attempts Sorat is making to gain at least temporary access to the consciousness of human beings in order to bring about calamity and confusion. Not the World War itself, but what followed it and what is even more terrible and what will become more terrible still — for example the present state in which Russia finds herself — this is what the Sorat spirits who invade human souls are aiming at.

We must be aware of the fact that this is so. For in times when there was true spirituality on the earth, what did it mean to work as a priest? It has always meant, dear friends, that one worked not only within the sphere of earthly events but also in full consciousness of how one stands in the spiritual world, in intercourse with the divine world. This and no other was the spirit in which the apocalyptist wrote his Book of Revelation. Someone who wants to lead human beings into the spirit must himself be able to see into the spirit. Every age has to do this in its own way. Look at the inner laws according to which — although perhaps somewhat alienated from the spirit — the sequence of Egyptian pharaohs appears to be so logical. We can glean from this that the succession of pharaohs was indeed not arbitrary. Ancient scriptures told which task each pharaoh following on the previous one must regard as his specific obligation and that the impulse for the formulation of that obligation emerged from what later came to be called the Hermetic revelation, the revelation of Hermes. I do not mean the Hermetic revelation we know today in a somewhat bowdlerized version, but the ancient Hermes wisdom that also belongs to the great Mysteries in which one spoke of the revelation as being three times holy: a revelation of the Father, a revelation of the Son, a revelation of the Holy Spirit. All this points to the fact that priestly work everywhere meant working out of the spirit into the material world; this is what priesthood was always understood to signify.

This is what the impulse of priesthood must once again become, now that the period of time is over when it was not felt to be true that one can work out of the spiritual world. With the culture and education we have today, which in the era of the consciousness soul has gradually come to take on materialistic forms in every field, people are very far from being able to comprehend such a thing as the mystery of the Transubstantiation and with this the spiritual mysteries of Christianity. For individual priests today, contemporary education makes it seem like a kind of untruth to speak of the profound contents of the Mysteries that are connected with the Transubstantiation. Hence the rationalistic discussions about Transubstantiation that began at the time of the second attack by Sorat and continue today up to the time of the third attack. There is absolutely no point in taking the Book of Revelation as something about which commentaries can be written. The only meaningful thing to do is to learn through the Book of Revelation how to become an apocalyptist oneself, and in becoming an apocalyptist to get to understand one’s own time so well that the impulses of that time become the impulses of one’s own work.

As a human being of the present time and as a priest one can enter into this by looking directly at the beginning of the Michael age in the 1870s, at the appearance of Christ in the first half of the twentieth century and at the threatening rise of Sorat and his adherents at the end of the twentieth century. As human beings who understand these things and know how to interpret the signs of the times, let us arrange our lives in accordance with these three mysteries of our time: the mystery of Michael, the mystery of Christ, and the mystery of Sorat. If we do this, we shall work in the right way in the field to which our karma has led us, and so will the priest in his priestly field.

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