What is it we are able to experience by means of physical consciousness? Everything in our surroundings that is present to our senses, all the objects of Earth existence. What can we experience by means of the second consciousness? Leaving on one side for the moment the example we brought forward, the story of the Temptation, we find that by means of the first stage of a higher kind of consciousness, something further than the objects of the senses can be discovered. You will find it described in outline in my Occult Science in the part where the Moon is spoken of, that condition of Earth which preceded our present Earth. This old Moon condition is no longer in existence, it has to be described by means of a consciousness that can function without an object present to hand. The Moon condition of our Earth is in the higher worlds. It is present in the higher worlds, preserved, as you have often heard me tell, in the Akashic Record. So that for the first consciousness of a higher kind we have, besides the Story of the Temptation, all the processes that can be said to have relation to the old Moon. Everything connected with the old Moon is capable of being described by this consciousness.
When we direct our gaze now to Christ, now again to Lucifer, a new perception begins to dawn upon us. Lucifer, the ruler of Venus, appears in a form that is extraordinarily full of light — I mean, of course, spiritual light. We have the feeling that all the glow and brilliance we can ever experience on Earth in looking upon a manifestation of light is weak and dim in comparison with the majesty of Lucifer in the old Sun time. But then we notice, when we begin to perceive his intentions — and we are able to see through these — that Lucifer is a Spirit endowed in his very nature with infinite pride, so great a pride that it can prove a temptation to man. For, as is well-known, there are things which up to a point are not temptations for man but become so when they grow majestic in their proportions, and pride is one of them. When pride is majestically great it tempts man. Lucifer's proud greatness, Lucifer's pride in his majestic figure of light — these contain a seductive element. “Unmanifest light,” light that does not shine outwardly but has immense, strong power in itself — that Lucifer has in full measure.
Bearing all this in mind, you will at any rate be able to conceive the possibility that by means of the various supersensible consciousnesses man beholds other worlds than the physical; and when you remember that the first rudiments of physical man began, as is shown in Occult Science, during the condition of ancient Saturn, you will also see that there is in man himself a certain connection with the world of the third supersensible consciousness.
A little reflection will make plain to you the following. In your day consciousness you go about making external movements. Such movements are connected with your day consciousness, your Earth consciousness. The movements that take place inside you, on the other hand — the movements, I mean, of the middle man that continue even when you are asleep — are regulated by the consciousness we may call the consciousness of deep sleep. The movements of the heart and of the breathing are movements connected with this second consciousness and can only be understood in their whole connection with the higher worlds when man awakens outside his body, that is, in the deep sleep condition of the body.
You see, therefore, it is quite possible to perceive with ordinary intelligence that there are these three styles of consciousness. It would take us too far now to investigate the indications that undoubtedly exist in man of still higher consciousnesses. We have, however, shown that whenever man sets out to reflect on his life as Earth man, he discovers manifestations of higher consciousnesses. It is, therefore, possible to speak to Earth man of these higher states of consciousness. One can point out first how man experiences the ordinary processes of life on Earth by means of his everyday consciousness. One can then go on to show how, if his dream consciousness were to undergo a tremendous enhancement, he would experience all that belongs to the laws that have been brought over to Earth, so to speak, as a legacy from old Moon; and finally how, were he to become awake in deep sleep, independently of the body, he would experience the old Sun conditions in that form in which they too extend over into the conditions of Earth.
There is yet another point in our study that might present a difficulty, and I would like to dispose of it before we separate. It is the fact that the various religions on Earth, which as every theosophist knows have a common single source, are differently related to occult communications. Every religion has to be referred back to a founder who through this religion made known to a group of people, in a manner suited to their capacity, some experience belonging to a particular stage of initiation. You have for instance the religion which is not able to rise to the Christ, the Spirit of the Sun, but is peculiarly adapted to rise to the great and far-reaching soul that lived in the being who was many times incarnated as a Bodhisattva — a religion that looks up in worship to him who is the great Initiator, the great Inspirer, of the Buddha. This religion is not able to ascend to a vision of how the Christ is the Sun Spirit and has descended to Earth. It sees only as far as to the one who is sent as a messenger; it gathers together, as it were, for its content that which goes forth from the Sun and becomes a planetary spirit. And we can well understand that Buddha is regarded as a planetary spirit.
Such a religion, that lifts men's thoughts to the Spirit who guides the evolution of the Buddha, could only grasp a figure like the figure of Vishnu in the Indian Trimurti. Moreover, since a religion of this kind has not yet come through to the knowledge of the universal victory of Christ over Lucifer, neither is it able to place the figure of Lucifer in such relation to the Christ as we can today. To the followers of such a religion Lucifer seems to be standing beside the Christ as an independent figure — His equal, unsubdued. We have seen how Lucifer is given the place of a kind of brother. This is what you have when Shiva confronts Vishnu. Look into the religion of Shiva, study it carefully; and you will follow me when I say that the Shiva religion of India can be understood when one has knowledge of the Lucifer Being. For Shiva is in reality Lucifer in the form in which he is not yet overcome. All its cult and ritual, the whole of the religion of Shiva with its 60 million adherents — viewed from this standpoint, it shows itself to be an eminently Luciferic kind of religion. From these examples, you will readily understand how all forms of occult knowledge have been able to impress their influence on different religions at different stages, according to the character and disposition of the peoples concerned.
And now I want to ask you to follow me in a further consideration. We have spoken of the Unmanifest Light, and of the Inexpressible Word, and we have succeeded also in arriving by many detours at the Consciousness Without Object. Let us now pause a moment at this trinity, and ask: Do these three things come to expression at all in our world, do they reveal themselves there?
The answer is, that by taking together all that has been given in the course of these lectures, we can without difficulty arrive at a knowledge of how these three things express themselves in our world. Take Light! When we gave a description of the proud Lucifer, it was all Light! Light is essentially an attribute of the spiritual; and when he is on the physical plane, man only has light — and then in its very weakest expression — in his thoughts.