Three meetings

From Anthroposophy

During life on earth during birth and death, Man has 'three meetings' on a daily and yearly basis, and once in a lifetime.

  • on a daily basis: every night the 'I' has a meeting with your personal angel (a.k.a. genius or guardian angel)
  • every year, around the Christmas period, there is a connection of the higher astral body (life spirit) with the Christ (represented through an archangelic being as an entry point). This shows again the importance of the yearly rhythm and the Christmas period.
  • and once in a life, usually around middle of life, there is one 'meeting with the father', connecting Man's embryonal spirit man with a connection at archai level

These three meetings with the Third Hierarchy (H3) of angel, archangel, archai provides a sort of cyclic traction. As an image metaphor imagine wheels in a gearbox with recurring touchpoints at regular intervals. One can feel the relationship with life after death when Man has to connect into H3 with his individuality - see FMC00.023B below. More info on Structure of Man between death and a new birth

This has to be seen in perspective that H3 lives in Man's soul activities, see Man and the spiritual hierarchies.


Schema FMC00.023 provides a concise overview summary of the GA175 lectures:

Schema FMC00.023B puts this in perspective, by connecting it to how Man finds a connection with the third hierarchy (H3) after death.

As a metaphoric image, we can see these touchpoints like the connection points of the tooths of gears that give a certain traction at regular intervals, because these connection points indeed give us traction on the development of our higher self with the 'stakeholders' beings of the third hierarchy, that we will also meet after death. See also Structure of Man between death and a new birth

Lecture coverage and references


(two translations on rsarchive)

Man must necessarily from time to time enter into inner communion with his Spirit-Self, with the Spirit-Self which is visible in the astral aura in rudimentary form as I have described; but it still has to be developed; it will be rayed down, as it were, from above, and stream in from the future. Man must from time to time be brought into touch with his Spirit-Self. When does this occur?

We now come to the first meeting of which we have to speak.

When does it take place? It takes place quite simply in normal sleep, on almost every occasion, between sleeping and waking. With simple country people, who are nearer to the life of nature, and who go to bed with the setting sun and get up at sunrise, this meeting takes place in the middle of their sleeping time, which as a rule is the middle of the night. With people who have detached themselves from their connections with nature, this is not so much the case. But this depends on man's free will. A man of modern culture can regulate his life as he pleases, and though this fact is bound to affect his life, still he can regulate it as he likes, within certain limits. None the less he too can experience in the middle of a long sleep, what may be called an inner union with the Spirit-Self — that is, with the Spiritual qualities from which the Spirit-Self will be extracted; he can have a meeting with his genius. Thus this meeting with one's genius takes place every night, that is, during every period of sleep — though this must not be taken too literally. This meeting is important for man. For all the feelings that gladden the soul with respect to its connection with the Spiritual world proceed from this meeting with one's genius during sleep. The feeling, which we may have in our waking state, of our connection with the Spiritual world, is an after-effect of this meeting with our genius. That is the first meeting with the higher world; and it may be said that most people are at first unconscious of it, though they will become more and more conscious the more they realise its after-effects by refining their waking conscious life, through absorbing the ideas and conceptions of Spiritual Science, until their souls become refined enough to observe carefully these after-effects. It all depends on whether the soul is refined enough, sufficiently acquainted with its inner life, to be able to observe these. This meeting with the genius is brought to the consciousness of every man in some form or other; but the materialistic surroundings of the present day which fill the mind with ideas coming from the materialistic view of the world and especially the life of today, permeated as it is by materialistic opinions, prevent the soul from paying attention to what comes as the result of the meeting. As people gradually fill their minds with more Spiritual ideas than those set forth by materialism, the perception of the nightly meeting with the genius will become more and more self-evident to them.

The second meeting of which we now have to speak is higher.

From the indications already given it may be gathered that the first meeting with the genius is in connection with the course of the day. If we had not, through modern civilisation, become free to adjust our lives according to our own convenience, this meeting would take place at the hour of midnight. A man would meet his genius every night at midnight. But on account of man's exercise of free will the time of this meeting has become movable; the hour when the I meets the genius is now not fixed.

The second meeting is however not so movable; for that which is more connected with the astral body and etheric body is not so apt to get out of its place in the cosmic order. That which is connected with the I and the physical body is very greatly displaced in present-day man. The second meeting is already more in connection with the great macro-cosmic order. Even as the first meeting is connected with the course of the day, the second meeting is connected with the course of the year.

I must here call attention to various things I have already indicated in this connection from another point of view. The life of man in its entirety does not run its course quite evenly through the year. When the sun develops its greatest heat, man is much more dependent upon his own physical life and the physical life around him than in the winter when, in a sense, he has to struggle with the external phenomena of the elements, and is more thrown back on himself; but then his spiritual nature is more freed, and he is more in connection with the Spiritual world — both his own and that of the Earth — with the whole spiritual environment. Thus the peculiar sentiment we connect with the Mystery of Christmas and with its festival is by no means arbitrary, but hangs together with the fixing of the festival of Christmas. At that time in winter which is appointed for the festival, Man, as does indeed the whole Earth, gives himself up to the spirit. He then passes, as it were, through a realm in which the spirit is near him. The consequence is that at about Christmas-time and on to our present new year, Man goes through a meeting of his astral body with the Life-Spirit, in the same way as he goes through the first meeting, that of his ego with the Spirit-Self. Upon this meeting with the Life-Spirit depends the nearness of Christ Jesus. For Christ Jesus reveals himself through the Life-Spirit.

He reveals himself through a being of the realm of the archangels. He is, of course, an immeasurably higher being than they, but that is not the point with which we are concerned at the moment; what we have to consider is that he reveals himself through a being of the order of the archangeloi. Thus through this meeting we draw specially near to Christ Jesus at the present stage of development — which has existed since the Mystery of Golgotha — and in a certain respect we may call the meeting with the Life-Spirit: the meeting with Christ Jesus in the very depths of our soul.

Now when a Man, either through developing spiritual consciousness in the domain of religious meditation or exercises, or, to supplement these, has accepted the concepts and ideas of spiritual science, when he has thus deepened and spiritualised his life of impression and feeling, then, just as he can experience in his waking life the after-effects of the meeting with his Spirit-Self, so he will also experience the after-effects of the meeting with the Life-Spirit, or Christ.

It is a fact that in the time following immediately on Christmas and up to Easter the conditions are particularly favourable for bringing to a man's consciousness this meeting with Christ Jesus.

In a profound sense (and this should not be blotted out by the abstract materialistic culture of today) the season of Christmas is connected with processes taking place in the Earth. For Man, together with the Earth, takes part in the Christmas changes in the earth.


A third meeting is that in which a Man approaches the Spirit-Man, which will only be developed in the far future and which is brought near to him by a being belonging to the hierarchy of the archai. We may say that the ancients were sensitive to this, as are even the people of the present day, although the latter, in speaking of such things, no longer have a consciousness of the deeper truth of the subject. The ancients felt this meeting as a meeting with that which permeates the world, and which we can now hardly distinguish in ourselves or in the world, but in which we merge in the world as in an unity. Just as we can speak of the second as a meeting with Christ Jesus, so can we speak of the third as a meeting with the Father-Principle, with the Father, with that which lies at the foundation of the world, and which we experience when we have the right feeling for what the various religions mean by ‘the Father.’

This meeting is of such a nature that it reveals our intimate connection with the Macrocosm, with the Divine-Spiritual Universe. The daily course of universal processes, of world processes, includes our meeting with our genius: the yearly course includes our meeting with Christ Jesus: and the course of a whole human life, of this human life of ours (which can normally be described as the patriarchal life of seventy years) includes the meeting with the Father-Principle. For a certain time, our physical earth-life is prepared (and rightly so - by education — at the present day to a great extent unconsciously, yet it is prepared; and most people experience unconsciously, between the ages of twenty-eight and forty-two — and though unconsciously, yet fully appreciated in the intimate depths of the soul — the meeting with the Father-Principle.

The after-effects of this may extend into later life, if we develop sufficiently fine perceptions to note that which thus comes into our life from within ourselves, as the after-effects of our meeting with the Father-Principle.

During a certain period of our life — the period of preparation — education ought, in the many different ways this can be done, to make the meeting with the Father-Principle as profound an experience as possible. One way is to arouse in a man, during his years of education, a strong feeling of the glory of the world, of its greatness, and of the sublimity of the world-processes. We are withholding a great deal from the growing boy and girl if we fail to draw their attention to all the revelations of beauty and greatness in the world, for then, instead of having a devoted reverence and respect for these, they may pass them by unobserved. If we fill the minds of the young with thoughts connecting the feelings of their hearts with the beauty and greatness of the world, we are then preparing them for the right meeting with the Father-Principle.

For this meeting is of great significance for the life spent between death and a new birth. This meeting with the Father Principle, which normally occurs between the above-mentioned ages, can be a strong force and support to a Man, when he has, as we know, to recapitulate his life on earth retrospectively after having passed through the portals of death, and while he passes through the soul-world. This retrospective journey, which as we know, lasts one-third as long as the time spent between birth and death, can be made strong and forceful; as indeed it ought to be, if a Man can see himself at a certain point and place meeting with that being, whom he can only dimly guess at and express in stammering words, when he speaks of the Father of the Cosmic Order. This is an important picture, which after a Man has passed through the gates of death, should always be present with him, together with the picture of death itself.

Now it is natural that a certain question should arise in connection with this. There are people who die before they reach the middle of life, when they would normally have the meeting with the Father-Principle. We must consider the case of those whose death is brought about by some outer cause, such as illness (which is an outer cause) or weakness of some kind. If then, through this early death, the meeting with the Father-Principle has not yet taken place in the subconscious depths of the soul — it will take place at the hour of death. At the moment of death this meeting occurs. Here we may express, somewhat differently, what has indeed already been expressed in another form in a like connection, in the book Theosophy in reference to the always deplorable phenomenon of a man bringing his life to an end by his own will. No man would do this if he could see the significance of his deed; and when once Spiritual Science has really been taken into people's feelings and thoughts, there will be no more suicides.

For the meeting with the Father-Principle at the hour of death, when death occurs before middle-life, depends upon that death approaching a Man from outside, not being brought about by himself. The difficulty then encountered by the soul (and which is described from another standpoint in the book Theosophy) might be described from that from which we are speaking today, and we might say: Through his self-chosen death a man may eventually deprive himself of the meeting with the Father-Principle in this incarnation.

... [continued]


describes the fact the in the current times and cultural age (since the 15th century), Man looks ahead each night to the happenings of the next day, but in such way that these don't always have to be kept in full consciousness. This happens through communion with Man's angel (also called HGA or holy guardian angel). During the night, the angel fructifies Man, even without Man's I being conscious, of the happening of the next day. This has nothing to do with curiosity, but by sowing to allow Man to take the benefit of this fructification in his conscious daytime life and actions and choices that next day.

Note: compare what is described here with the characteristics of the life-spirit as described in descriptions of lurking/future faculties ao in the next sixth cultural and Christ in the etheric (Schema FMC00.081, faculties 2 premonition and 3 karmic impact and below description 2 increasing communion).


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References and further reading