Wonders of the World, Ordeals of the Soul, Revelations of the Spirit. Lecture 5 of 10.
Rudolf Steiner, Munich, August 22, 1911:
We said yesterday that in contradistinction to conditions prevailing in previous epochs — in the Persian and the Egypto-Chaldean epochs — during the Greco-Latin culture the reins of spiritual guidance from above were less tightly drawn. That the Greeks were conscious of this somewhat freer relationship between the divine Spirits and men is quite clear from the way in which they depicted their gods, giving them thoroughly human traits, one might even say human frailties, human passions, human sympathies and antipathies. From this we can infer that they knew that just as human beings on the physical plane have to strive to make progress, the gods immediately above them do the same thing—they strive to transcend such qualities as they have. In fact, compared with the gods of Egypt or Persia, the Greek gods needed so much to make progress in their own evolution that they could not bother themselves much about men! Hence came that standing-upon-its-own-feet of Greek civilization which is so truly human. The bond between gods and men was looser than ever before. It was just because they were aware of this that the Greeks could depict their gods as so human. This very fact may well prompt us to ask where in the ranks of the hierarchies the Greeks themselves placed their gods. We can be in no doubt — their very qualities proclaim it loudly enough—we have to put them all without exception into the ranks of the Luciferic beings. If we ask ourselves what these gods were trying to do, what they were seeking to gain by their participation in earthly life, we can have no doubt that they had failed to complete their Moon evolution and that the Greeks knew it, knew that they had to take advantage of Earth evolution just as men had to do. It follows from this that the Greeks knew quite well that all their gods were imbued with the Luciferic principle.
Notes:“Der höhern Wahrheit Wege sind verworren;
nur der vermag zurecht zu finden sich
der in Geduld durch Labyrinthe wandeln kann.”
Translated as:“Tangled the paths that lead to higher truths!
And only those may hope to reach the goal
Who walk in patience through their labyrinths.”