A lecture given by Rudolf Steiner 100 years ago today — October 31, 1911:
If we wish to pursue the studies we carried on in our lectures last year, it will be necessary to acquire still other concepts and views than those that have so far been discussed. We know that what we have to say about the Gospels and other spiritual documents of humanity would not suffice if we did not presuppose the evolution of our whole cosmic system, which we describe as the embodiments of our planet itself, through the Saturn-existence, the Sun-existence, the Moon-existence, on to our present Earth-existence. Anyone who recollects how often we have had to start from these fundamental conceptions will know how necessary they are for all occult observations of human evolution. If you now turn to the accounts given, for instance, in my Occult Science about Saturn, Sun, and Moon evolution, to that of the Earth, you will admit that nothing but a sketch could be given (indeed even if it were much more amplified it would still be no more), nothing but a sketch from one side, from one point of view. For just as the Earth-existence comprises an infinite wealth of detail, it is quite obvious that the former embodiments are equally detailed, and that it would never be possible to give more than a merely rough charcoal drawing, just an outline, of these. It is, however, necessary for us to describe evolution from yet another side.
And inasmuch as we can experience the sacrifice that the Spirits of Will make to the Cherubim, something looses itself from our being. This we can express by saying: through the sacrifice made by the Spirits of Will to the Cherubim, time is born. But “time” here is not the abstract time of which we usually speak, but independent being. We can now first speak of something that begins. Time begins with the birth of time-beings--whose nature is pure time. Beings are born consisting only of time. These are the Spirits of Personality, known to us as Archai in the hierarchy of spiritual beings. In the Saturn-existence they are nothing but time. We have also described them as Time-Spirits, as Spirits who rule time. But there they are born as spirits, they are really beings consisting of nothing but time.