According to Steiner's insights, each of the various regions of the earth has its unique effect upon the human organism. In America the Ahrimanic influence is strong, rising from the center of the earth, carried by electromagnetism. This strengthens the entity known to occultism as the human "double" or "Doppelgänger". This Doppelgänger is an astral quasi-personification of a Man's karma, both "good" and "bad"; it is a being with intelligence and will, but with no individual, spiritual ego, and tends to bind the human soul to the body, hardening human thinking, feeling, and willing.
All Men have a Doppelgänger living in their nerve-electricity, infusing into their souls all sorts of degrading, depressing impulses, as well as instigating internal illnesses. (Electricity is the "sub-natural", rigidifying shadow of soul forces.)
The Ahrimanic tendencies in
America are well-known even to those whose perception is not
enlivened by occult knowledge; American culture has long been famous
for its violence and "hard-boiled" materialism, and, more recently,
for its degeneracy and decadence.
In any case, it seems highly likely that a major Ahrimanic onslaught -- either the incarnation of Ahriman himself, or the advent of the "false prophet" of the Apocalypse, or some other attack -- occurs around 1998 AD (approximately). To see why this is so, we need to do a few simple calculations, based on the occult principle of meaningful rhythms in history. (Let the skeptical reader be a true skeptic and suspend judgment, and take in the following discussion with a mind open to possibilities unsuspected by the materialistic mind.)
This knowledge would have given him the ability, as was his intention, of achieving the Ahrimanic goals of completely rigidifying the earth, so as to draw it out of the progressive development toward the New Jupiter, and of binding human organisms as automata in that "slag" of the earth.
He was thwarted in this intention by the incarnate high Sun-being "Vitzliputzli", who caused the black magician to be crucified at the same time as the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ -- a shattering reflection in the American continent of the Events in Palestine. (Since then the soul of this black magician has been held in a kind of "prison".)
silver gilt, pearl and pyrite, ca.1550—1600
Recall that the Greco-Roman Epoch ran approximately 2160 years, from 747 BC to 1413 AD. The midpoint of this epoch was 1413 AD minus 2160/2 = 333 AD. Consider (as an hypothesis) the occult teaching that events in history occur at times that, as it were, reflect and balance the events equidistant in time from a midpoint.
Taking 333 AD as the midpoint, the fulcrum of the balance, and on one side the Birth in Palestine, on the other side of the scales would be 333 AD + 333 = 666 AD. The big event , known to history, of the Seventh Century was the rise of Islam. Another event, not so famous but still known to history, was the transfer of ancient Greek philosophy (especially Aristotle's works, probably including the lost work on alchemy) to the Academy of Jundi Sabur (near present-day Baghdad).
Following the expulsion of the philosophers from Syrian Edessa in 489 AD and from Athens in 529 AD, the philosophers had found refuge in what was then the Persian Empire, and at that Academy they pursued their calling. Then this knowledge passed to the Islamic Arabs, and science of a particular bent reached a high development under them, while Europe was in the "Dark Ages". Only gradually, over many centuries, did this science pass over to Europe, where it developed into the modern scientific revolution.
Again, the trend of
modern science, as it has in fact developed, is Ahrimanic. The
direct ancestor of scientific materialism was this Arabian science,
which was itself derived from the Academy of Jundi Sabur. Thus, on
the other side of the 333 AD midpoint from the Birth in Palestine
was the rise of an active materialistic, anti-Christian world view
in Jundi Sabur.
This epoch began in 1413 AD, so its midpoint will be 2493 AD. In other words, Sorat wanted to give to mankind, prematurely and without the requisite human effort and experience, the knowledge that would be right and healthy for mankind to achieve through work and evolution by the middle of the Third Millennium. The regular Gods' plan for the Consciousness Soul Epoch is for mankind to acquire, through self-education and self-discipline, the free, conscious, individualized human personality. If the mankind of the Seventh Century had been given this advanced knowledge at that immature stage of development, when people could not think in full consciousness, the result would have been disastrous.
Just consider how much evil mankind has done with the science we have acquired up to now, at our present stage of maturity (or immaturity), and then try to imagine what the relatively primitive people of the Seventh Century would have done with the science of 2493 AD.
This picture is bad enough, but we need to recall Steiner's occult insights to begin to get the whole picture. If Sorat had succeeded, Men would have lost the possibility of developing our true nature, and would have become egotistic, animalistic automata, with no possibility of further development. We would have become earth-bound, and the earth could never then pass over to the Jupiter, Venus, and Vulcan stages.
The normal Gods' plan would have been seriously hindered, and Men would have lost their due and timely opportunity to become Spirits of Freedom and Love. -- However, the rise of Islam thwarted this plan of Sorat. It is a deep, mysterious paradox that Islam, which was, and is, opposed to Christianity in many ways, also in effect worked jointly with the Christ-impulse in history, by blanketing, by "skimming the cream off", this Sorat-science, and by watering it down.
Still, this science survived, and has worked on into the present day, but the worst was averted, for those times. The weakened Jundi Sabur impulse, as a distorted quasi-Aristotelianism, passed to the Arabs, over Africa and Spain, to France, England, and through the monasteries (e.g. Roger Bacon) back over to the Continent.
The "Realism" of the Medieval scholastics (especially the revived Aristotelianism of Thomas Aquinas) opposed this Arabian influence, somewhat correctly seeing it as inimical to Christianity; but with the decline and decadence of Medieval Aristotelianism, and with the dawn of modern, anti-Aristotelian "empiricism" (e.g. Francis Bacon), the diluted, but still powerful, Sorat-science came to dominate world-culture.
This figure will speak volumes to those who meditate upon it: We, seeking information for whatever motives, are to torture the Goddess who gave us birth and nurture, so as to cause Her, through unbearable pain and injury, to blurt out secrets which She, in her wisdom, conceals from the impure and self-seeking. In much of so-called "physiological research" and "medical training" this is hardly even a metaphor; the torture unto death is quite literal.
The usual victims are animals, but all too many "researchers" are not above using human "subjects" when they can get enough power over them. And even a slight whiff of occult knowledge shows us a deeper meaning: The central rite of "Satanism" or "black magic" -- sometimes crude, sometimes sophisticated -- is the deliberate, ritual torture and killing of animals and, at a more advanced level, of human beings.
When done in a precise way, this practice confers knowledge and power upon the practitioner; also, it affects the whole earth, hardening and rigidifying it, to the characteristic Ahrimanic purpose. Thus we can see the hordes of "researchers" and medical students -- who hurt, injure, and "sacrifice" animals -- as undergoing an unconscious, Ahrimanic black magic initiation, which hardens, brutalizes, and Ahrimanizes their souls, and through them also the culture, and even the earth itself. (Sacrifice is the actual word they commonly use, not thinking which "god" they sacrifice unto.)
Vivisection is truly
the archetypal act of modern science as it is generally understood
His mode of scientific thinking was quite different form the Baconian-Ahrimanic mode, and likewise he illustrated it with a telling metaphor. He said (in paraphrase) that we must approach Nature as a reverent lover, and, perhaps, She will whisper to us Her intimate secrets. The contrast to Bacon's metaphor could hardly be more stark. Also, the Goethean method of scientific investigation, in contrast to amoral experimentalism, is a method of self-improvement and self-development -- a reverent meditating upon the facts of experience, in the hope that they will speak.
This scientific method has, of course, been all but buried under the Baconian-Ahrimanic avalanche, even in Goethe's own country. And it was no mere accident that Steiner's first professional appointment was to edit Goethe's scientific writings, in the Goethe-Schiller Archive in Weimar. Steiner and his successors have developed and expanded the Goethean method to an amazing extent, giving us a reasonable hope for renewed life in our deadened, death-dealing scientific culture. Steiner too has been almost totally ignored by scientists in the West, slightly less so in Central Europe.
Also, the practice of Goethean-Steinerean science has vast implications for the soul of the practitioner, as well as for the whole earth. Spiritual science sees soul and spirit in Nature, in a real, practical way, completely consistent with the "empirical" facts. It reverently approaches the scientific laboratory as a holy place, and the experiment as a sacrament, as a revelation of the Creator-Spirits through the sacred symbols of Nature. This is consistent only with the moral development of the scientist, and with the furtherance of the Gods' plan of human and cosmic evolution.
This possibility was thwarted by the power of the French King, Philip the Fair, and his allies in the Church. Philip, through the torture and killing of the Templars, and through the material inspiration from their looted gold, attained a kind of Ahrimanic initiation-knowledge, but he died soon thereafter. The Templars were either killed or driven underground, and Medieval culture declined until the Renaissance and Reformation.
The Templar-impulse did continue underground, to pass over to the "Lodges", especially York and Scottish Rite Freemasonry. These Lodges worked in opposition to Roman Catholicism (at least until the end of the Eighteenth Century, when Freemasonry and esoteric-political Catholicism united in opposition to Napoleon), but the esoteric content of Freemasonry became decadent and Ahrimanized.
Nevertheless, many of the modern institutions of
"liberal republican democracy" (such as freedom of speech, religion,
and the press) are very largely due to the influence of Freemasonry,
especially in the USA. -- This is a huge and interesting story, but
it is beyond the scope of this essay (as well as the knowledge of
It is an easy guess that the times around 1998 AD are
a propitious period for a major Ahrimanic manifestation: perhaps the
incarnation of Ahriman himself; or since 1998 = 3x666 years since
the Birth of the body for the incarnation of Christ, perhaps the
body was born which is to be the vehicle for Ahriman, possibly 30
years later; or perhaps some other major event, such as the advent
of the "false prophet" of the Apocalypse.
Those manifestations of evil did not fully succeed according to the "plan"; other influences intervened and moderated the outcomes. The occult machinations were hardly known to the public. Such may also be true in the present: the actual course of events depends on many contending forces, and upon the consciousness and will of Men; and the crux of the struggle will likely be hidden [="occult"] to the wide public.
We will live and/or die in the outer effects of the
occult causes, as uncomprehending [most of us, probably] as is usual
in social cataclysms. This essay is an attempt to lessen the
incomprehension, and to lighten the mental atmosphere of this
planet, even a little. Surely, as "thoughts are things", even a
slight change in consciousness can influence physical event in the
Also, the Dutch Anthroposophist Bernard Lievegoed, in his deathbed testament, made the following remarks:
A cynic might say that these predictions allow for plenty of "wiggle
room" for the incarnation of Ahriman: 1998 to the first part of the
next millennium, or even the end of that millennium. I will
concede that the predicted time is not very precise, but I believe
nevertheless that it is highly likely that this incarnation will
manifest in the next few years to half-century or century. And even
without occult insight, one who observes the present social/cultural
decline can hardly avoid seeing some kind of wrenching changes
Ahriman will establish a (possibly secret) school for powerful "magic" arts and clairvoyance. The technical applications of this highly intelligent spirit will indeed look like "magic" to us, even as advanced as we might consider our science to be -- for Ahriman's understanding is not limited by the crude materialism he foists upon mankind. And the clairvoyance bestowed upon Ahriman's pupils will be effortless (not won through the long preparation of soul-purification and self-discipline of legitimate occultism).
It will give spirit-vision, but the visions will be subjective and deceptive; people will see differing, conflicting visions of the soul/spirit worlds, and will fall into confusion and conflict. Ahriman-in-the-flesh will be an overwhelmingly powerful and impressive figure, when he reveals himself. And it seems probable that, as the Father of Lies, he will present himself as that which he is most certainly not: Christ, in His Second Coming.
And again, it is America, where many religious people are expecting the Second Coming in a physical body, that will be especially susceptible to Ahriman's deceptions. It is entirely possible that they who cling to the Gospels with a superficially literalistic interpretation closed to occult insight will be the very people who will be the false Christ's followers.
occult insight is needed to understand what the Scriptures do
literally say, for they were written in occult terminology, out of
The amazing fact is that the Second Coming is happening now, but that most of mankind is unaware of it. Actually, the term "second coming" is not in the New Testament; the Greek word is parousia, meaning roughly "active presence". It was this "presence" that Saul/Paul experienced on the road to Damascus; Paul being mankind's "premature birth" of the coming new experience of Christ.
Parousia was translated into Latin as adventus, which means arrival, thus helping to give rise to the expectation of a physical arrival of Christ. The original Greek term seems in consonance with Steiner's explanation. See Emil Bock's St. Paul.) In fact, it is the driving force behind the "apocalyptic" convulsions and struggles of our time.
For, as the picture is given in the Apocalypse of John, the bottomless pit is opened, Michael casts the dragon and his hosts onto the earth, the vials of wrath are poured out, and Babylon is overthrown -- all in preparation for Christ's triumph that brings the New Heaven and New Earth. Most of us are unaware of this present Second Coming because it is not happening in the visible, material world, but in the "ethereal" region of the earth. "Ethereal" means the system of "formative forces", bordering on the physical, that raise inert matter to the realm of the living.
Plants, animals, and Man all have ethereal, formative-force "bodies", and when the ethereal body forsakes the physical body, the physical body becomes ordinary matter; in other words, it dies. The earth, being the body of a living Being, also has a formative-force body, the "ethereal earth".
These ethereal forces manifest especially in weather
phenomena, such as cloud formation. (It is a false, Ahrimanic
science that sees cloud formation as a merely material process of
evaporation and condensation of "water molecules"; this is rather a
process of de-materialization and re-materialization through the
workings of the ethers.)
On the contrary, the Second Coming shall be a tremendous event, not limited to a particular location:
The ethereal is super-physical, not bound by the laws of material space; Christ's appearance in the ethereal earth is everywhere-at-once. And since the ethereal is super-physical, some degree of super-physical vision, or "clairvoyance", is needed to see into it.
Few people at the present stage of evolution have that kind of clairvoyance, and some may have it only sporadically. But the Second Coming is only at its beginning; true clairvoyance (as opposed to the deceptive Ahrimanic clairvoyance) will reveal to consciousness the ethereal Christ in the centuries to come. Ahriman dreads human consciousness of the ethereal Christ, and fights against it. It is essential for us to grasp the fact that he who shall come in the flesh is not Christ, but Ahriman:
Steiner revealed the occult fact that, since the beginning of the present reign of the Sun-Archangel Michael as the Time Spirit in 1879 AD, the human ethereal body is becoming less closely bound to the physical body, thus opening the possibility of new clairvoyance. 1933 AD (two 950-year cycles of the precession of the nodes of Saturn since the Crucifixion and Resurrection in 33 AD) would have been an especially propitious time for the beginning of widespread perception of the ethereal Christ.
But this was hindered by the rise to power of Hitler -- one expression of Sorat himself "rising from the Abyss" -- and by the many convulsions and distractions around the same time in earth-life. What was hindered in 1933 might again become propitious around 2000-2100 AD (a reflection of the calling of Abraham around 2000-2100 BC). We may speculate that Ahriman, and Sorat, will oppose this new Christ-consciousness by even more horrendous hindrances.
For example, in the 1840's, around the time of Jehovah's abandonment of human blood-bound thinking to Ahriman, Boolean algebra was developed. The year 1879 -- the time of Michael's accession as Time Spirit and the final expulsion of the "dragon" onto earth -- saw the publication of Frege's Begriffschrift, a great milestone in the development of "formal logic": the separation of logic from the spiritual "Word".
Also in 1879:
The Christ's "coming in the clouds" in the early 1930's was reflected on earth by the publication of Gödel's "incompleteness theorem", which demonstrated that a truly-thinking machine is impossible, but which also led to the development of "recursion theory", which is the essential conceptual framework for "artificial intelligence" and "artificial life". Also in 1930, by a fortuitous comedy of errors, the planet Pluto was discovered.
Pluto, of course, is the god of the underworld, and the discovery of "his" planet was a synchronistic harbinger of the unleashing of the sub-material "powers of the pit" upon earth: later transits of Saturn and Uranus to Pluto's discovery position marked the bombing of Hiroshima and the explosion of the first "H-bomb".
As is well-known, the development of the electronic computer proceeded exponentially, from von Neumann's development of the "stored program" to the desktop and the laptop. A lesser-known development was the "Josephson effect", which allows the construction of semi-conductors from superconducting materials. Thus, electrical circuits can operate without "Luciferic" heat, and Ahriman, whose nature is "freezing cold", can completely enter into electrical devices.
As superconducting computers become more common, Ahrimanic beings higher than "elementals" might actually incarnate in them, since no physical energy is consumed in a superconducting circuit. (Ahrimanic "elemental spirits" inhabit our artificial machines, just as normal "elementals" [or "nature spirits": gnomes, undines, sylphs, salamanders] work in and throughout the living processes of Nature.) Black sums up: "Sunless light and Wordless logic intertwined, and out of them came the computer."
Thus, while Ahriman incarnates
"microcosmically" in a human body, we might also face the
"macrocosmic" literal incarnation of Ahriman in our machines.
(This was but one of the tremendous deeds of Christ. Even a minimal exposition of the scope of the accomplishments of this Incarnation is far, far beyond the limits of this essay. Suffice it to say, for now, that Steiner, out of his clairvoyant initiation-knowledge, revealed that the Incarnation of Christ was the turning-point of the evolution of the earth, and of mankind, from descent into the physical toward ascent into the spiritual. Not that this evolution "turned on a dime"; the downward momentum is obviously still very great; but the seed for the upward growth was planted. The true "stigmatists" have participated somewhat in the Redeemed Body, as harbingers of future evolution.)
Likewise, Ahriman-in-the-flesh will try to inaugurate a new human capacity, for his own ends: he wishes to bring the shadowy, brain-bound, semi-conscious, clever Ahrimanic "thinking" into the human ethereal body. This would be an especially evil development if it is carried into the average human organism. It is normal and healthy, at the present stage of human evolution, for the human ethereal body to dissolve into the wide cosmos in the days immediately following death (after "one's whole life passes before one's eyes").
Afterwards the human soul-and-spirit entity rises to higher regions, where it is purified and prepared for a new earth-life. But materialism in the earth-life hardens the ethereal body so that it does not dissolve, but remains near the earth for a longer time, while the dead human entity serves Ahriman. Only slowly and in unconsciousness do such dead spirits enter the spirit-worlds to prepare for a new incarnation.
Ahriman wishes to be the first to so harden the ethereal body so that it becomes the vehicle of automatic, intellectual thinking-devoid-of-will, and thus to make it possible to keep human ethereal bodies permanently in the region of the earth. Then the earth would become so hardened that it would not pass over to the Jupiter Age, and Man would become clever, animalistic, ghostly, earth-bound creatures.
The Gods' plan for human and earthly evolution would be obstructed. Steiner put it this way:
(Here we can get a glimpse into the motives of the sophisticated
"Satanists" or "black magicians". Ahriman's acolytes seek a kind of
"immortality" in the slag-earth-surrounded-with-Old-Moon-forces, but
an immortality with egotistic, earthly consciousness instead of the
cosmic consciousness of the individualized spiritual Ego.)
Mankind could eventually rise to the rank of Spirits of Freedom and Love, and not sink to the level of earth-bound, animalistic, clever automata. -- To put it mildly: a lot is at stake here.
On the psychological level, we can remedy Luciferic
subjectivity and fiery emotionalism by observing ourselves coolly,
as we would an external natural process.
And we can
truly understand and feel how Ahriman's influence need not be evil,
but can be quite decidedly good, if we bring to it the right
consciousness. -- And so it will be with Ahriman's incarnation: very
much depends on the consciousness with which mankind meets him. He
wants us to be unconscious; it is our responsibility to strive to be
more and more conscious, and to inculcate consciousness in as many
people as we can. Such are the motives behind this essay.)
Today it is essential that more of this wisdom becomes generally known, if human culture is not to succumb to Ahriman. Just as the ancient Initiates entered into the Luciferic wisdom and rescued it for the good of mankind, now must mankind, with the consciousness gained from spiritual science and from the Ethereal Christ, enter into the coming Ahrimanic knowledge and turn it to good purpose.
The Ahrimanic knowledge will show what cleverness can, and cannot, produce from earthly forces. If we meet Ahriman consciously, we can acquire through him the realization that the earth is becoming old and must decline physically, eventually to die and enter the spiritual worlds, to be reborn as the New Jupiter.
And through this decline, mankind is to be lifted above the earthly, as the seed survives the dying plant in winter, to sprout and grow in the spring.