Thursday, January 31, 2013
The human being: a chalice glowing with inner light
Rudolf Steiner: Egyptian Myths and Mysteries, Lecture 5, The Genesis of the Trinity of Sun, Moon, and Earth. Osiris and Typhon. September 7, 1908
"In the fullness of the light lived still higher beings also: the Powers, or Exusiai, or Spirits of Form; the Virtues, or Dynameis, or Spirits of Motion; the Dominions, or Kyriotetes, or Spirits of Wisdom; those spirits who are called the Thrones, or Spirits of Will; finally, in looser connection with the fullness of the light, more and more detaching themselves therefrom, the Cherubim and Seraphim. The Earth was a world inhabited by a whole hierarchy of lower and higher beings, all sublime. What radiated out into space as light, the light with which the Earth-body was permeated, was not light only but also what was later the mission of the Earth: It was the force of love. This contained the light as its most important component. We must imagine that not only light was rayed forth, not physical light alone, but that this light was ensouled, inspirited, by the force of love. This is difficult for the modern mind to grasp. There are people today who describe the Sun as though it were a gaseous ball that simply radiates light. Such a purely material conception of the Sun prevails exclusively today. The occultists are the only exception. One who reads a description of the Sun today as it is represented in popular books, in the books that are the spiritual nourishment of countless people, does not learn to know the true being of the Sun. What these books say about the Sun is worth about as much as if one described a corpse as the true being of man. The corpse is no more man than what astrophysics says of the Sun is really the Sun.
Just as one who describes a corpse leaves out the most important thing about man, so the physicist who describes the Sun today leaves out the most important thing. He does not reach its essence, although he may believe that with the help of spectroanalysis he has found its inner elements. What is described is only the outer body of the Sun. In every sunbeam there streams down on all the inhabitants of the Earth the force of those higher beings who live on the Sun, and in the light of the Sun there descends the force of love, which here on Earth streams from man to man, from heart to heart. The Sun can never send mere physical light to Earth; the warmest, most ardent, feeling of love is invisibly present in the sunlight. With the sunlight there stream to Earth the forces of the Thrones, the Cherubim, the Seraphim, and the whole hierarchy of higher beings who inhabit the Sun and have no need of any body other than the light. But since all this that is present in the Sun today was at that time still united with the Earth, those higher beings themselves were also united with the Earth. Even today they are connected with Earth evolution.
We must reflect that man, the lowest of the higher beings, was at that time already present in the germ as the new child of the Earth, borne and nourished in the womb by these divine beings. The man who lived in the period of Earth evolution that we are now considering had to have a much more refined body, since he was still in the womb of these beings. The clairvoyant consciousness perceives that the body of the man of that time consisted only of a fine mist-form or vapor-form; it was a body of air or gas, a gas-body rayed through and entirely permeated by light. If we imagine a cloud formed with some regularity, a chalice-like formation expanding in an upward direction, the chalice glowing with inner light, we have the men of that time who, for the first time in this Earth-evolution, began to have a dim consciousness, such a consciousness as the plant-world has today. These men were not like plants in the modern sense. They were cloud-masses in chalice-like form, illuminated and warmed by the light, with no firm boundaries dividing them from the collective Earth-mass."