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Mission of Rudolf Steiner
this article some of the first letters of the "secret writing"
are translated into English. The translator would be grateful for
in November 2002.
occult language the words richness and treasure mean spiritual
knowledge or abilities. Someone who had spiritual knowledge or
abilities was a "rich man", had "great possessions".
Those who do not have such but who longed for such were "poor".
a previous life Rudolf Steiner was embodied as the personality whom
history knows as "Plato". It would be possible to say that
Plato was, in the above-mentioned sense, a "rich man".
Rudolf Steiner himself best characterizes Plato in his book The
Riddles of Philosophy: "Plato, who was born in
Athens in 427 B.C., felt, as a disciple of Socrates, that his master
had helped him to consolidate his confidence in the life of thought.
What the entire previous development tended to bring into appearance
reaches a climax in Plato. This is the conception that in thought
life the world spirit reveals itself." (English translation:
Anthroposophic Press; Spring Valley, NY, USA; 1973)
ascent into the higher worlds was attained with the assistance of a
spiritual being, of a so-called "Daemon". A Man had to
descend into the Abyss, cross Hell, in order to be able to be
resurrected as a god. The "Daemon" was not selected by man
himself. With Plato begins a time in which man himself could
consciously search for a "Daemon" and analyze it with
thinking. Knowledge about the facts of the spiritual worlds had been
gotten with the assistance of such a "Daemon". This
knowledge was retained in secret spiritual schools, in the form of a
few symbols or objects, and it continued to be transmitted secretly.
At that time there were no libraries where the knowledge in today's
scientific sense was systematically analyzed from all sides and
was also the period in which man developed the rational soul.
Increasingly the old natural ability of clairvoyance was lost, and
man was increasingly cut off from observation of the spiritual world,
in order to be able to develop his reason. Increasingly, ordinary
man had become a barbarian regarding the spiritual world. He could
no longer understand the symbols of the secret knowledge. With his
thought-life Plato attains at that time entrance to the so-called
"spiritual library". One is to understand such a spiritual
library as some kind of a stage of consciousness in which knowledge
about the Ideas is stored, as it were. This spiritual knowledge was
stored by those human souls who no longer needed for their
development of consciousness to incarnate themselves into physical
bodies. Plato speaks words which may be paraphrased thus: "Increasingly
men become barbarians. We must guard knowledge against the
barbarians." This decision was at that time justified. One
could see the proof for this justification today in the ruins of the
organized for the first time in the history of mankind a
school-library, which on the one hand was similar to the earthly
libraries of today and on the other hand was some kind of image of
the spiritual library. The stored knowledge in this school-library
was protected by certain rituals. Not everyone had access to the
knowledge of this school-library. The first guardians of this
library were the initiates, who were the successors of Plato himself.
his death Plato continued his development in the spiritual world. He
had experienced the event of Golgatha in the spiritual world. His
meeting with the "second, Greater Guardian of the Threshold"
in the spiritual world may best be characterized with the words from
the Gospel of Matthew (19; 21): "Jesus said unto him, If thou
wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the
poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and
made his choice and was born as Rudolf Steiner. One should
understand this event correctly also. Plato had also the free choice
not to incarnate himself in a physical body on Earth again if such a
choice concerned only him alone; for the sake of only his own
development such an incarnation actually was no longer necessary. It
would also have made no sense to embody himself before modern times,
since conditions for the development of the human consciousness were
not yet ripe. He was thus born as Rudolf Steiner in the period
wherein men are to develop the consciousness soul. This epoch can be
designated as the European cultural epoch, in contrast to the
preceding Greco-Latin cultural epoch, in which Plato had worked. The
name "European" cultural epoch, in contrast with
the names of the preceding cultural epochs, points to the fact that
the development of the consciousness soul of a man is no longer
dependent on any affiliation to a nation. Such names are not for one
to invent, for they are to be read from the "secret writing".
One can use the name "Continental" Age for the
period which follows the Atlantean one.
course of his life Rudolf Steiner was led to a secret school, which
may be called the successor of the first school-library of Plato.
The initiates, who preserved the secret knowledge from many
different spiritual schools into our time, rightly earned great
respect. Rudolf Steiner could use this secret knowledge to verify
his own spiritual researches, and he could continue to lead this
secret school-library. Here in this school-library were the "rich";
the "poor" had no access there. But just the "poor"
need methods which are accessible to everyone and which correspond
to today's human consciousness. Such methods should not work by the
destruction of the old school-libraries, but by the impulse of the
Christ, by the principle "I am the I-am". And these
methods of Imagination, Inspiration, and Intuition were given to the
where does one attain by Intuition? To the self-consciousness "I
am the I-am". One learns by Imagination to know the
spiritual letters of the "I am the I-am". One
learns by Inspiration to read the spiritual words of the "I
am the I-am" and wins admission to the spiritual library.
One does not need the secret outer school in order to come to the
self-consciousness "I am the I-am". Every man has
the secret school inside, and the teacher is the Christ himself.
is the Christ? This is the Jesus self-consciousness "I am
the I-am", which continues to work as spiritual being. It
is the general law: "If one man attains to some consciousness,
then this consciousness is also accessible to other men." And
if one man comes to the self-consciousness of the "I am the
I-am" by Imagination, Inspiration, and Intuition, then he
comes to the Christ; he becomes then finally the Christ himself. Who
could give to the "poor" such methods, which lead the men
in full consciousness to the Christ? Only an initiate who himself
came to the Christ by these methods and who by the Christ-initiation,
by the "I am the I-am" initiation, went in full
consciousness on Earth through Imagination, Inspiration, and
Intuition. The external proof for this principle is to be found in
the "Fifth Gospel". Rudolf Steiner was the first initiate
of this kind, and if Rudolf Steiner, as a man, attains to some
consciousness, then this consciousness is also accessible to other
these methods of Imagination, Inspiration, and Intuition are still
effective, are not yet exhausted, then it makes no sense at all that
Rudolf Steiner would incarnate again on Earth. This incarnation
could happen only if mankind becomes ripe for new consciousness, if
new methods for attaining to self-consciousness of "I am the
I-am" would be necessary, and if Rudolf Steiner would be
the best one to bring the new methods to the mankind; in that case
this embodiment of Rudolf Steiner would be his last on Earth.
Chronologically seen, this incarnation could happen at the end of
our "Continental" Age, which has a tendency to end with a
fiery catastrophe. What can thus cause this catastrophe?
development is the development of the self-consciousness "I
am the I-am". One can with the concept of "threefoldness"
differentiate three kinds of this consciousness. One can regard the
whole world-structure as the outer manifestation of the "I
am the I-am" consciousness. There one can notice, as it
were, "lower", "middle" and "top"
parts of the "I am the I-am" consciousness. Moses
had the "I am the I-am" consciousness in the
elements of Fire, Air, Water, and Earth. That which the outer senses
supply to man of these elements one can term the "lower",
the "ahrimanic" part of the "I am the I-am"
consciousness, if that consciousness has the other parts
subordinated. If the "top" part has a preponderance, then
one has "luciferic" consciousness. The "middle"
part, which encloses both kinds harmoniously in itself, is the
"Christian" consciousness. In every man these three kinds
of consciousness are effectively mingled with each another.
Steiner's drawing which is placed at the beginning of the article
can illustrate the development of consciousness. The drawing is an
Imaginative picture of the world-structure. One can also find some
similarity with a flying "Eagle" which carries three
degrees, three main stages of consciousness on itself. The lower
dark part corresponds to the degree of consciousness that makes it
possible for a man to be conscious of only one object at the same
time. The middle dark part corresponds to the degree of
consciousness that makes it possible to a man to be conscious of
several objects at the same time. This is the stage of the Teachers
of mankind, the stage at which is the consciousness of Rudolf
Steiner. The upper dark part corresponds to that degree of
consciousness which one can call cosmic consciousness. If
every man attains to this consciousness, then the goal of the
development of consciousness in the world-structure would be
achieved. The threefoldness is represented by three lower parts of
"Eagle". The middle lower part corresponds to the Christ,
the right lower part to Ahriman, and the left lower part to Lucifer,
in whose direction the "Eagle" flies. In this way the
development of consciousness in the world-structure is inclined to
the wisdom of Lucifer. The duality is represented in the drawing
with the dark and bright areas. The surface of the dark areas
corresponds to the time which man spends on one stage of
consciousness before he ascends to the next one. Access to the next
main stage of consciousness is determined by the attributes of man
which he acquires himself. The bright areas correspond to the
innumerable intermediate stages of consciousness in the
world-structure, which there are between three main stages of
the second half of the year 1999 one man in America brought his
ahrimanic part of the "I am the I-am" consciousness
to the point that he became Ahriman. That is the event of the
incarnation of Ahriman. The embodied Ahriman is the "I am
the I-am" self-consciousness of this man, the ahrimanic
part of the "I am the I-am" that continues to act
as a spiritual being. And if one man attains to some consciousness,
this consciousness is also accessible to other men. The consequence
of this embodiment has the tendency that it will lead to further
technical progress. That will at first be perceived as beneficial
for mankind. Technology will be changed so quickly that man will be
forced to exert all his abilities and life-forces to not fall behind
technical progress; one will then find hardly any strength or time
for spiritual development. This trend can go so far that man will
become helpless without technology; he will be forced to live in a
rhythm of technology, in a rhythm of the ahrimanic and luciferic
forgoing can be illustrated by an example, by imagining a man who
plays a computer game and regards his activity as a harmless
occupation. At first the man experiences much pleasure. Gradually,
the play-rhythm accelerates itself, the tension grows, and the man
no longer notices that he increasingly gives his forces, his energy,
his consciousness to this playing. He forgets the world that
surrounds him, forgets his self-consciousness, and his goal becomes
to not fall behind the play-rhythm. The playing does not have any
meaning for the development of the self-consciousness; the purpose
of this play is pleasure. Playing is ended only if he has no more
strength. After recuperation this man strives for more play, which
can offer him more rhythm, more pleasure. If one understands the
embodied ahrimanic beings behind the computer, and the embodied
luciferic beings behind the computer program - which man created
himself - and behind the life the play, then one has an approximate
conception of the life in the rhythm of the ahrimanic and luciferic
follows luciferic or ahrimanic consciousness, because they offer
pleasure to him. Striving for pleasure through ahrimanic
consciousness will destroy the balance of the "I am the I-am"
consciousness in the elements. The relationship between the elements
of Fire and Air will be so changed that air will become
self-igniting. The "Continental" Age has a tendency to end
in a fiery catastrophe. One can thus picture to oneself this
catastrophe as the re-establishment of balance in the parts of the
"I am the I-am" consciousness.
is free to choose which consciousness he wants to develop. Whether
our "Continental" Age will end with the fiery catastrophe
depends on the free choice of every man.
are free. What is your next choice?
same principles of the development of consciousness, which are
represented in the drawing by Rudolf Steiner, were also represented
in the architecture of the Goetheanum. It was built as a worthy
temple of the "I am the I-am" consciousness, as the
center from which Anthroposophic knowledge will be spread. And if
one looks on the web page of the Goetheanum, then one finds names,
addresses, and prices. One has the impression that one is looking at
the web page of a merchandise house where Anthroposophic knowledge
is sold, where the materialistic, ahrimanic part of the "I
am the I-am" consciousness prevails, and of which the
Christ spoke the words that stand in Gospel of John (2; 16):
"And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence;
make not my Fathers house an house of merchandise".
temple of body, where the "I am the I-am"
consciousness lives, is the house of God. If a man with
materialistic consciousness tries to sell spiritual knowledge, then
he closes to himself the entrance to the spiritual library, then he
is instructed only through outer writings, and then man can come to
strange conclusions. For example, from GA 238 were drawn the
conclusions that the incarnation-sequence Plato - Hroswitha of
Gandersheim - Karl Julius SchrÃer was correct.
that were correct, then it would be also correct that the Plato, as
an initiate, had met his end, in his incarnation as a Karl Julius
SchrÃer, in senility, which for an initiate is impossible.
Then that outcome would not be a spiritual evolution, but a
spiritual degradation. It is indeed correct that an initiate cannot
unfold all his spiritual forces in one incarnation, however it is
impossible that his spiritual forces could so degrade that he would
die in senility. That result could only mean that the Plato was not
an initiate. And if one nevertheless accepts that an initiate could
die in senility, then it is also acceptable that Rudolf Steiner
himself and all Anthroposophists who strive for initiation will die
sometime in senility. Thus one comes to a contradiction. GA 238
concerns a Platonically formed spirit, a Plato-essence, which lived
in Plato, but not Plato himself. The personality Hroswitha of
Gandersheim achieved a certain consciousness of this Plato-essence.
That is a specific embodiment of the spirit of the Platonism. If
Plato attains to some consciousness, then this consciousness is also
accessible to other men. Plato worked at that time from the
spiritual world; it was not necessarily for him to be incarnated.
the present article are communicated spiritual facts, which one can
approach by his own Imaginations and Inspirations. The most
important of these facts is the incarnation of Ahriman. One could
say that the great War of All against All has begun. Each man,
consciously or unconsciously, stands before the decision: what
kind of consciousness does he wish to develop? Everyone can
decide that question only for himself. However, one can, for example,
affect the development of human consciousness by placing the works
of Rudolf Steiner free of charge on the Internet. If the
Anthroposophists at the Goetheanum do not do this, then they work in
an ahrimanic sense and draw themselves into the War of All against
All through the simple fact of their own survival. If they
nevertheless do this, then they work consciously in a Christian
sense and open the entrance to knowledge in the spiritual library.
The knowledge in the spiritual library is free for everyone, but
only those who are ready to give knowledge are able to receive it.
the axiom of Anthroposophy: "the outer world is the
physiognomy of the spiritual", it follows that the
Anthroposophists should consciously imitate the spiritual world. If
in the spiritual world knowledge is free, then the Anthroposophists
should imitate this practice also. If, however, the Anthroposophists
sell knowledge to each other, then money, the ahrimanic power, is
placed between men, and then they are in the War of All against All.
If, however, one uses money in order to offer something free of
charge, then the ahrimanic power is used in a Christian sense and
placed in the service of mankind.
science is a corpse if it is not able to react to the events of
life. The incarnation of Ahriman is a fact whether one believes in
it or not, and living spiritual science must be able to pass over
from theory to practice, to find effective solutions independently
of whether one believes in it or not. The theoretical solution says:
explain and give freely. In order to find a practical
solution one should trace out the sources of the ahrimanic effect on
men. One of the sources is schoolbooks, in which the materialistic
conception prevails, and in which the scientific theory that the
earth circles the sun is taught as a reality. Men will be brought up
according to this statement, who do not strive for reality, because
they already know "reality".
is an art, and in order to teach reality in school a teacher must
have exemplary statements, which without the word spirit can
teach spiritual science.
conception that the earth circles the sun is a scientific theory
which does not correspond to reality, because the axis of the earth
always points to the Pole Star." That is a very important
statement, because it has to do with the existence of men on earth
and their connection with the sun and the stars. Here spiritual
science is hidden and works unconsciously, although no word is
spoken about the spirit. This statement can lead students to
scientific theory describes not reality, but the relations which
belong to reality". Both the Ptolemaic and the Copernican
world-system can describe the same relations correctly while both do
not describe reality. It would be also possible to describe the same
relations with a lemniscate, but this lemniscatic world-system also
could not describe reality. This statement can lead students to
relations it is not possible to get a correct conception of reality,
likewise it is not possible, for example, from a cardiogram to form
a correct conception of a heart." This statement can lead
students to the Intuition. A cardiogram is strictly speaking nothing
else than a transformed lemniscate. In order to come to a correct
conception of the reality, one must talk about spiritual beings with
different stages of consciousness, and one must be able to come to
Intuition. It is important that one does not talk at all about the
spirit with students, because such a practice is very dangerous. It
is particularly dangerous if one talks about all kinds of spiritual
beings with children, since most children are still able to
experience themselves these spiritual beings and get into dependence
on them. Only an initiate may do this practice with children,
because only he can come to assistance.
can recognize in these three statements a general paradigm, which is
applicable not only in astronomy and which can lead students to
Imagination, Inspiration, Intuition, to spiritual science: "A
conception that ... is a scientific theory which does not correspond
to reality, because ...". "A scientific theory describes
not the reality, but relations, which belong to reality".
"From relations it is not possible to get the correct
conception of reality, likewise it is not possible for example
...". Men who strive for reality will be brought up according
to this paradigm, because they do not yet know reality. But it is
also not as easy to use this paradigm in other branches of science.
order to introduce this paradigm into schoolbooks one does not need
Imaginations, Inspirations, or Intuitions. One needs however a
society which consists of men who understand spiritual science, who
are ready to explain and give freely, and who can pacify the War of
All against All. The Goetheanum and the publishing house can then
only be winners in these times. Unfortunately the tendency at
present is that ever fewer young people find the way to the
spiritual science. The Goetheanum can change this tendency.