Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Evolution: Consciousness, Life, Form
Rudolf Steiner, Berlin, October 2, 1905:
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, in The Secret Doctrine, called Jehovah a Moon God. There is a deep reason underlying this. In order to understand it we must be clear about the further development of man. In man as he is today, his higher forces are intermingled. His further development depends on the emergence of his higher self from the sheath of the lower forces and organs.
The brain is divided into three actual parts: into thinking, feeling, and willing sections. Later these three parts, like the three divisions of an ant-heap, will be directed by man from outside. The parts, however, from which the higher has been withdrawn do not remain as they are today, but they then descend a further stage lower. This is the reason why many people practicing a one-sided spiritual development suffer a moral decline. In the case of Western cultural life there is less danger of this, for Western science does not yet compel the higher things of the mind to rise up out of the lower body. Through Theosophy, on the other hand, man actually absorbs a wisdom through which the ego is partially torn out of the usual environment of the organs. It can happen that when a person who, through his conventional milieu had observed ordinary moral standards, takes up theosophical teachings, his worser qualities, which up to that time had remained hidden, actually make their appearance. Frequently the lower comes to the surface because one occupies oneself with spiritual things without at the same time strengthening one's morality. This fact brings with it a certain tragedy. Certain men of academic standing, who in the sphere of Western knowledge had been quite admirable people, suffered through having come into the Theosophical Society; in their case the lower nature made its appearance without being mastered by the higher.
The same law is also to be found on a larger scale. The beings whom we meet with on the Old Moon had not as yet incorporated their power of thinking in a physical brain. The power of thinking in the case of the Moon-Nirmana-kayas, Bodhisattvas, Pitris, and pure human beings did not yet work in a physical brain but in the ether masses surrounding them. On the Old Moon the environment consisted not only of air, but also of ether filled with wisdom. On the Old Moon thoughts were not in the individual beings, but they flew hither and thither in the ether. In occultism therefore the Old Moon is also called the Cosmos of Wisdom. The Old Moon was surrounded by Warmth Ether and other forms of ether. In these ethers lived intelligence and reason, as they now live in the human brain. Underlying this however there was development. At the beginning of the Moon evolution wisdom still impressed itself into beautiful forms. The beings who only possessed the lower human members — physical body, etheric body, and astral body — were directed by these streams of wisdom. In the course of further development the three lower bodies descended more deeply. When the Old Moon evolution came to an end the beings who were wise, but did not possess wisdom in a brain, had progressed so far that they could completely relinquish these lower bodies. These beings — who had now become Pitris and who no longer needed to enter into such physical, etheric, and astral bodies — were the hosts of the Elohim in different stages. The lowest rank of these Elohim is the Jehovah stage. Jehovah therefore is an actual Moon divinity, who on the Old Moon passed through physical development. Nevertheless on the Moon he was never able to work on the physical surroundings using a brain as the vehicle of thought. Only his physical, etheric, and astral bodies had worked on the physical environment. This however he did through pictures. Thinking hovered above. The name Jehovah does not designate a single being, but a rank in the order of the hierarchies. Many beings can take on the Jehovah rank, or assume it for a purpose. Eliphas Levi repeatedly emphasized that with the designations Jehovah, Archangeloi, Angeloi, we have to do with ordered ranks of beings.
The first human beings to receive teaching on the Earth received it from Jehovah in pictures. That is why Genesis is a sum of great pictures, pictures which Jehovah had experienced on the Old Moon.
While on the Old Moon, on the one hand only the lower being of man was developed in physical, etheric, and astral bodies — on the other hand the higher trinity was being cherished and fostered. These principles had reached a certain degree of maturity, after having been implanted; Atman on Old Saturn, Buddhi on Old Sun, Manas on Old Moon. They could then develop further on the Earth. What came over on to the Earth from the Old Moon as physical, etheric, and astral bodies are the grotesque animals in which Atman, Buddhi, and Manas gradually incorporated themselves. The Moon Pitris had left aside the lower parts, but to make up for this they had cherished and fostered Atman, Buddhi, and Manas in an objective way. Through their fostering care they brought it about that a thinker could develop on the Earth. If one looks at the external creatures on the Old Moon, these are the sheaths which surrounded man, not man himself. The sheaths could be made use of because what had to leave them had departed. [Gap in the text ...] Now the remaining material could be condensed to form the brain. In a germinal condition the matter for the brain was there, but could only condense after the Pitris had left.
What took place in the pre-Lemurian Age is a preparation. The human body is so worked upon that Atman, Buddhi, and Manas can sink into it. These principles enveloped themselves with Kama-substance. Let us now imagine a jelly-like being which had freed itself from what had come over from the Old Moon. This provides a physical foundation. In addition to this there are Atman, Buddhi, and Manas, and an astral body which these principles organize around themselves. They work on the jelly-like masses from outside until they are able to take possession of them from within. Finally the spiritual penetrates the physical. Now two kinds of beings have amalgamated. The moment the brain is formed they interpenetrate one another. Through this, birth and death entered into Earth evolution. Previously human beings had themselves built up the physical body; in the future this will be so again. But because two beings are united who are only partially suited to one another we have birth and death, and every period of time between birth and death is a continual attempt to make these two beings fit together better — a swinging to and fro of the pendulum until eventually a rhythmical condition is brought about.
Up to the middle of the Sixth Root-Race (epoch) this will continue, until this rhythmical condition is attained and the one being has become completely adapted to the other. And karma is nothing else than the measure of balance which the human being has already brought about. In each single incarnation one attains a certain degree of adaptation. After each incarnation man must ascend again to Devachan in order to survey what has still to be done. Only when the balance is achieved is karma overcome and the human being can take up something new: the true Wisdom, Buddhi, which until that time must be fostered and cherished.
Future evolution must be prepared for. What man already produces from himself, as preparation for the future human being, is the word, speech. What man speaks remains in the Akashic Record. It is the germinal beginning for the future human being. Speech is one half of the former means of reproduction. Through speech man propagates himself spiritually. The breaking of the male voice is connected with this. One half of what is sexual has been carried over into speech. The voice is the future organ of reproduction. In ancient Hebrew the same word was used for sex and speech. Today man thinks, and the thought passes outwards through the larynx. The next stage will be that feeling, warmth, passes outwards. Then the word will be the expression of the inner warmth of the body. This can happen when the pituitary gland (hypophysis) develops in the brain. The stage following this appears when the pineal gland (epiphysis) is developed. Then not only the warmth-imbued word will go forth, but the word will remain, will be given form through the will, which then lives within it. Then when one utters the word it becomes an actual being.
Related to this is: ‘I think, I feel, I am’ (will). The word in this sense is ‘the word’ which undergoes a transformation from thinking into feeling and then into willing. This is a threefold process. First the word is ‘consciousness’ (in thinking), then ‘life’ (the warmth-permeated word), and lastly ‘form’, the word shaped through the will. This latter is the word become objective. So here too, following one another, we have: consciousness, life, form. Everything which today is form stems from earlier times and has arisen through such a process. The physical body, the form, is the most perfected body; less developed are the etheric body, life, and the astral body, consciousness.