The Epoch of Consciousness
The fundamental principle in this, the Consciousness Soul Epoch, is
the emergence in the Man of conscious, individualized, independent
thinking. Concurrent with the emergence of this soul-force (as a
by-product, as it were) are wider possibilities for the workings of
the forces of Death and Evil. But these workings are (as is
characteristic of Ahriman) so falsified that, for example, the
cultural institutions that are generally regarded as most beneficial
-- education and medicine -- are in fact among the worst carriers of
(Not to imply that these institutions should be shunned of
destroyed, but purified and renewed -- in part by their liberation
from money and politics.)
When this epoch has run its course (if it
will have fulfilled its potentials), human culture will be vastly
changed. For example, the distinction between "civilized" and
"primitive" peoples will have been erased, and a kind of moral
"socialism" will have become instinctive.
Our specific task for the Consciousness Soul Epoch is to acquire
three great truths, the same truths that Sorat wished to foist upon
mankind in the Seventh Century, with his own slant. We might presume
that Ahriman-in-the-flesh will likewise try to insert them into our
culture and distort them to his own ends. It is the task of an alert
and conscious mankind, schooled in spiritual science and led by the
Christ, to gain these three truths through our own striving and to
use them for the good development of the earthly creation.
The first truth concerns the
Mystery of Birth and Death: that the
human soul in the physical world has but the semblance of the true
soul-life that it had before conception and will have again after
death. The life in the sense-world interrupts the supersensible
soul-life in the world-between-death-and-rebirth, so that we can
gain, for the spirit, that which can be gained only in the
To see this truth, we must "look Lucifer in the eye",
and thus see through the distortions and illusions he spreads over
the human soul. The destiny of the "East" (meaning the Slavic
regions and eastwards) is to give rise to an "eugenic occultism":
the knowledge of how, through astrological regulation of conception,
to bring the right human entities to birth at the right time and
place for forward evolution, or conversely, to bring in the wrong
entities, for the hindrance of right evolution. Thus, this eugenic
occultism can cause great good or great harm, depending on how it is
The second truth concerns the Mystery of the Body: that the human
body is not a lump of matter, but a form, which is spiritual in
origin, and through which interchanging substances are constantly in
flux. This knowledge will lead to a true medical art, the essence of
which is to keep intact the natural healing forces of the body. The
destiny of the "Middle" (meaning Central Europe) is to give rise to
this "hygienic occultism" -- which, of course, can lead to great
good, but can also cause great harm if it is used without strict
The third truth concerns the Mystery of Matter: that the reality
behind "material substance" is not "atoms", "molecules", or
"ultimate particles", but is spirit -- to be exact: Ahrimanic
spirits, in rhythmic inter-relations. The true picture of "solid
matter" is not a machine, but a rainbow: a ghostly appearance, an
outcome of spiritual processes.
Modern physics, in some advanced
theorizing, may have made some halting moves toward this truth, but
the dead, mechanistic world-conception still holds sway over the
scientism which dominates world-culture. This scientism is the Ahrimanic lie, the descendant of the Jundi Sabur influence, which,
even though weakened, banished soul and spirit from the scientific
To see through this lie, we must "look Ahriman in the
eye" -- a dangerous undertaking if we are not prepared by spiritual
science. The destiny of the West (meaning primarily the
English-speaking world) is to give rise to a "mechanistic
occultism", which will bring about fantastic machine forces, based
on rhythm and resonance. (The lost, fabled "Keely motor" was a start
in this direction.)
But the introduction of such machine forces
would cause harm to society if the political, cultural, and economic
spheres are not made mutually independent, and if egotism is not
banished from the economy. (Steiner laid down the basis for this
healthy social re-ordering, in his concept of the "threefold
Ahriman seeks to divert and pervert these three destined
developments of the Consciousness Soul Epoch, through the activity
of angels who rejected the Christ influence during the Egypto-Chaldean Epoch. In the present times, the "Christian" angels
pour pictures of spirit-realities into the deep regions of the human
soul-organism. If the Man does not take up these pictures
consciously, they sink down into the ethereal body and act as
unconscious instincts through the influence of the Ahrimanic angels.
These unconscious instincts work against the three progressive
evolutionary trends in the following ways:
Perverting the Eugenic Occultism, destructive sex impulses affect
the whole social life, working against the development of conscious
human brotherhood, and making a mankind entirely egotistical and
entirely controlled by instinctive urges carried in the blood.
Perverting the Hygienic Occultism, medicine becomes materialistic
and can be used to heal or harm, according to egotistic purposes.
Perverting the Mechanistic Occultism, powerful, Keely-like machine
forces are employed, controlled not by the "vibrations" of good
people (seeking the liberation of the workers), but by egotistic
people for the evil purpose of attaining power and control over the
The first two perversions are readily apparent in modern society;
the third has yet to emerge in public. -- Again, the direction that
these three trends of the present epoch will take depends upon human
consciousness and will.
Some Occult Politics
Some powerful, Ahrimanic secret societies, linked to the Lodges, in
Britain and the USA strive to keep their version of this third truth
(of the spirituality of matter) as their own secret and to ensure
that the wider public knows only a crude atheistic-mechanistic
scientism, in which spirit and soul have no place. (In more recent
times, one can notice that the "crude materialism" given to the
public is beginning to be replaced by a more quasi-esoteric
These societies also strive to guide political and
economic trends over the world so that the budding potentialities of
the Middle and Eastern peoples come under their domination. The
history of modern times has very largely been the story of the outworkings of this struggle.
(The crimes of the secret
Anglo-American power groups include the instigation of the First
World War and the consequent establishment of the Bolshevik regime
in the East. These power groups believe that the English-speaking
peoples are destined to justifiedly dominate the East-Slavs in this,
the fifth cultural epoch, for the purpose of guiding their nascent
potentialities, which should blossom to lead the world-culture in
the sixth epoch -- just as the Romans, during the fourth epoch,
dominated and educated Britain for her future leadership in the
Some truth does lie behind this concept: this is the
epoch of the consciousness soul, and the English-speaking peoples
are gifted to develop the consciousness soul in an instinctive way,
and it is true that the Slavs are destined to lead world-culture in
the sixth epoch. But these power groups seek, through illegitimate
means, to guide toward illegitimate, Ahrimanic ends these inherent
potentialities, which are loosely "written into" destiny.)
historians and "paranoid right-wing conspiracy nuts" have, solely
through common sense and open-eyed observation of external events,
discerned some of the outworkings of the influence of these secret
societies through their semi-secret instruments: the
Foreign Relation, the
Order of Skull and Bones (whose members
included George Bush, Averell Harriman, and an amazing number of
powerful Americans), the Rhodes Scholarships,
the Round Table, etc.
But these observers, lacking occult knowledge, can only guess at the
true aims of the secret power groups. The "Anglophile" societies may
disagree among themselves about means and details, but essentially
they aim to gain world-domination for themselves (though certainly
not for the good of the masses of the English-speaking peoples) and
to influence all cultural trends in an Ahrimanic direction.
Now, in "post-Cold War" Europe, the Anglo-Americans and
Jesuit-Catholic power groups apparently are working together to make
the basic arrangements of this part of the "New World Order":
Central Europe, from France to Poland, is to be dominated by the
Jesuit interests, while the "East" (meaning roughly the regions
historically Orthodox Christian) is to dominated by the
This arrangement furthers the aims of the
Anglo-Americans by preventing cultural collaboration between Central
Europe and the Eastern Slavs, thus preventing the rise of a strong,
healthy, and independent Central European culture that could mediate
and balance the East and the West. Thus, the present push toward the
"New World Order" in Europe is a continuation of the long-standing
Anglo-American policy of obliterating Central Europe (especially
Germany) as a political/cultural force and of controlling the
future-seeds being prepared in East-Europe -- the same policy that
led to First World War and the Bolshevik Revolution.
The deeper, Ahrimanic aim of the Anglo-Americans is to defeat the
Gods' plan for Earth-evolution, by turning the earth into a heap of
dark, frozen, cosmic slag, haunted by an earth-bound mankind of
ghostly homunculi -- and to secure for themselves a privileged place
in this Ahrimanic world-order: an Ahrimanic immortality, with
earthly consciousness and with power over the uninitiated.
Professor Carroll Quigley, mentor of the young Wm. Jefferson
Clinton, wrote the fairly well-known tome Tragedy and Hope, and the
lesser-known work The Anglo-American Establishment, in which he
described, from a sympathetic point of view, some of the
machinations of semi-secret "Anglophile" [his word] power groups.
Prominent among these "Anglophile" groups was the secret society
organized by Cecil Rhodes around 1891. Its members included Wm.
Stead [a spiritualist known to Annie Besant of the Theosophical
Society], Lord Esher [an advisor to Queen Victoria], the Earl of
Rosebury, Nathan Rothschild, Alfred Milner [whose posts included
Colonial Secretary, and War Minister during the First World War], H.A.L. Fisher [sometime Education Minister], and
not imply that Quigley, or Clinton [or all those working for the
goals of these power groups] were, or are, fully aware of the deeper
aims behind the "Anglophiles", but that they are more or less
knowingly, or unknowingly, under the influence of the occultists and
will usually act in the way desired by these occultists. Altogether,
of those who work in accordance with the aims of what may be loosely
called the "Anglo-American power groups" [e.g. the Freemasons (or at
least some factions of them), C.F.R., Round Table, Rhodes
Scholarships, Skull and Bones, and their associated political and
economic instruments] -- or of the Jesuits -- very few are aware of
the true, occult aims.
This is true even of most of the "initiated",
for the ceremonial magic of the initiation-rituals works on the
ethereal bodies of the acolytes so as to make those lower initiates
into receptive, unsuspecting instruments for the wishes of the few
who are more aware. This process might loosely be likened to a
sophisticated kind of "post-hypnotic suggestion". In general, we
should hold suspect any secret society that practices ceremonial
magic and is administered by higher "grades".
Nor do I wish to
imply that one super-secret power group on earth "controls
everything"; various occult power groups, arrayed in various and
shifting alliances and antagonisms, vie for their various aims. The
centers of the conspiracies do not lie on the physical plane, and no
matter how great their power, they are not omnipotent. Again, the
primal force behind present-day turmoil is the Coming of the
Ethereal Christ. As an old saying goes: "Where there is bright
light, there are deep shadows.")
But much depends on us, on mankind. We need to become conscious of
these power groups, as well as their deeper aims and the aims of
Ahriman himself. If we do not acquire this alert consciousness,
Ahriman might have his way, and the future of the earth, and of
mankind, will be dark and bleak.
The earth's future, as well as our
own, is our responsibility. -- Any real progress toward a healthy
social order depends on mankind's development of a new kind of
thinking. The present, Ahrimanic, brain-bound pseudo-thinking is
inherently anti-social; it (subconsciously) tries to dominate other
people and put them to sleep. Most present anti-social aspects of
society proceed from anti-social consciousness; the brain-bound
pseudo-thinking is determined by subjective, unconscious instincts,
not by concurrence with the objective truth, not by the
meaning-process of the thinking itself.
An anti-social society is a
physical picture of the anti-social human consciousness. If human
consciousness becomes harmonious with objective reality, then a
truly social society will be possible. Again, it all depends on
human consciousness -- and will.
The "Emergence" of "Maitreya"
The foregoing discussion can help us understand a presently
unfolding event: the "emergence" of
the so-called "Maitreya", now
being promoted by Benjamin Creme and others. Allegedly this "Maitreya"
is not only the Christ but also the Messiah, Krishna, and the
The story goes like this:
In 1977 "Maitreya" left his "ancient retreat in the Himalayas" to
reside incognito in London. Allegedly he has created his own
physical body -- a "mayavirupa" -- which can appear in many places
at once, according to his intention. Nevertheless, he supposedly
rode an airliner from Pakistan to London, "coming in the clouds".
also appears in dreams to many people around the world. The "Maitreya"
is a highly advanced Man, not a god. He has been working behind the
scenes to inspire many recent events, such as the "environmental"
movement, the end of Communism in the Soviet Union, the end of
apartheid in South Africa, and the end of the East-West
confrontation. Since 1988 he has "miraculously" appeared to speak
before religious groups worldwide, causing miraculous healings and
"charging" water with healing power.
Other miraculous phenomena
around the world are said to emanate from him: Marian appearances
and weeping Madonna statues, "crop circles", holographic "crosses of
light", and mysterious hitchhikers who announce the Return of Christ
and then vanish. These phenomena are leading to a fast-approaching
"Day of Declaration" when "Maitreya" will announce his "true
identity" over world-wide radio and television, and listeners (and
even those not listening) will hear him telepathically in their own
languages -- and, simultaneously, spontaneous healings will occur
around the world.
Thereafter, "Masters" (advanced initiates who have
reached the stage that they no longer need to incarnate, but return
to earth voluntarily) of "Maitreya's" "Vanguard" will reveal
themselves to support his efforts. One of these "Masters" will be
the "Jesus" whom the supposed Christ-Maitreya "overshadowed" from
the Baptism to the Crucifixion.
The social teachings of "Maitreya"
oppose unfettered market forces and support the easing of the vast
disparity between the rich and the poor by "the principle of
sharing". Governments will be forced to institute sharing after the
coming collapse of the stock markets (beginning in Japan) and the
Under the leading of "Maitreya" and the
"Masters" a new world-wide civilization will emerge, based on the
principles of: lessened regulation, liberty, freedom, environmental
equilibrium, solar energy -- and the guarantee to all of enough
food, clothing, housing, health care, and education.
"What's wrong with all that?"
It is true enough that runaway
"market forces", aided by their agents in government, are grievously
oppressing mankind; the gap between rich and poor is cruel and
dangerous; the natural environment is being degraded; and so on and
on. We can begin to see "what's wrong" when we consider, as
explained above, that Christ appears once and only once in the
flesh, and that His Second Coming is now taking place in the
supra-physical, ethereal earth.
Clearly this is inconsistent with
the supposed Christ-Maitreya coming down from the Himalayas to live
in London and appear around the world to the physical senses.
Furthermore, the "Maitreya's" supporters teach that the "anti-Christ
energy" will not be manifested through individuals on earth, until
3000 years will have passed since the defeat of Hitler.
is the reverse of the truth, as explained above: this is the time of
climaxing activity of the Antichrist, through Ahrimanic influence,
leading to the physical incarnation of Ahriman. Evidently, this
supposed Maitreya-Christ is an impostor who tries to falsify the
tremendous events breaking upon us.
We get a strong clue to the true nature of the "Maitreya" from this
statement of his supporters:
"For the last 100 years, the Ageless
Wisdom teachings have been released through individuals such as
Helena Blavatsky, founder of the Theosophical Society, and later by
Alice A. Bailey and Helena Roerich. In 1948, the imminent return of
Christ was revealed in Alice Bailey's book, The Reappearance of the
[Emergence Quarterly, No. 9]
Steiner and, following his researches,
Sergei O. Prokofieff
(grandson of the composer) have uncovered the occult influences
behind Blavatsky, Bailey, and Roerich. This story, much abridged,
goes as follows: Around 1875 Blavatsky gave voice to some true
Western (Rosicrucian) wisdom, much garbled, in her Isis Unveiled.
She later came under the influence of a particular group of Eastern, Tibeto-Indian occultists, who inspired her
Secret Doctrine, with its
strongly anti-Christian bent.
These inspirers were the "mahatmas",
the supposed "Morya" and "Kut Humi". (The true identity of these
"mahatmas" is problematic.) Under her influence, and that of
A. P. Sinnet (whose Esoteric Buddhism was inspired by the same
"mahatmas"), the Theosophical Society took a decidedly Eastern turn,
even moving its headquarters from New York to Madras. The teachings
of the "mahatmas" derived from a pre-Christian occult wisdom and
held Lucifer higher than Christ, but also had a strongly
materialistic and atheistic tinge.
This "occult materialism" did not
deny the existence of higher beings (up to a point), or the human
afterlife and reincarnation under the law of karma (indeed, the
concept of karma entered Western culture mostly through the
Theosophical Society), but it did deny the existence of a theistic
God and held that the higher realms consist only of refined, subtle
matter. Blavatsky traveled to India and a secret location in Tibet
to be initiated into these teachings.
The "mahatmas" aimed to get a
kind of revenge on the Western world for having overwhelmed the East
and suppressed Eastern occultism. We have Blavatsky's (hearsay)
testimony that at least one of her "mahatmas" even hated and
despised the white race. On a deeper level, the aim was to work with
Lucifer and Ahriman to draw mankind into the illegitimate realm
known to occultism as the "Eighth Sphere".
This realm lies outside
the normal seven great ages of the Saturn-Vulcan series. It arose
through Lucifer's introduction, into the Earth Age, of the
supersensible Old Moon forces, containing reflected images of higher
worlds. Ahriman tries to take earthly, dense matter and join it to
these images to create "densified imaginations" or "spectres".
Materialistic thoughts in human brains, especially the "occult
materialism" taught by the "mahatmas", greatly furthers this
process. If human evolution could be diverted into this Eighth
Sphere, the Gods' plan for earthly and human evolution would be
Later, after Madame Blavatsky's death, the Theosophical Society,
under Annie Besant, tried to put forth the young Krishnamurti as the
Christ, or Maitreya, or both. Krishnamurti was prepared over a
number of years, going through some "initiations", but later lost
faith in his putative mission, at least in part because his ailing
brother died despite the assurances of the "Masters" that he would
As is well known, Krishnamurti later disavowed his
nomination, and the whole undertaking collapsed. (This affair also
led to the departure of Steiner from the Theosophical Society --
wherein he had been the Secretary of the German Section -- and
subsequently to the founding of the Anthroposophical Society.)
Helena Roerich (and her husband, the painter Nicholas Roerich) came
into the picture in the 1920's. Helena Roerich started receiving
telepathic dictations from a "mahatma", and she began to write these
inspirations in her multi-volume work Agni Yoga.
Then began a series
of journeys, the most amazing of which (1925-28) was an expedition
which, under the American flag, crossed India, Tibet, Mongolia, and
the new Soviet Union. Incredibly, they traveled to Moscow -- with
aid of the OGPU (later called the "KGB") -- to meet with high
Bolshevik commissars, and to deliver a letter from the "mahatmas",
along with some Tibetan soil for the grave of "our brother Mahatma
Lenin". For the "mahatmas" were indeed cooperating with
Anglo-American secret societies in promoting the "socialist
experiment" in Russia.
Emissaries of the "mahatmas" had even met
with Marx in London and with Lenin in Switzerland. Though the
Anglo-Americans and Indo-Tibetans oppose each other in some ways
(the Indo-Tibetans opposed British rule in India), they were united,
for somewhat differing motives, in supporting the Bolshevist war
against the Russian people and culture. For the destiny of the
Slavic East is to create an humane, Christ-inspired society in the
Sixth Cultural Epoch; both these occult groups wish to divert this
destiny into other paths -- even by the destruction of human
civilization, which would have been the result of Bolshevism, had it
(Today, after the "fall of communism", Russia, and much
of Eastern Europe, lie prostrate, both physically and morally.
Russia is grievously wounded, but not yet dead; she might yet rise
to her destiny, if "free market reforms" and other destructive
Western influences don't kill her first.)
It even turns out that the
Indo-Tibetans were behind the depredations of the "Mongol Hordes" of
Genghis Khan and his successors, who devastated and enslaved almost
all of Russia. -- And even today the supporters of "Agni Yoga" are
active in Russia; Mikhail Gorbachev is among them. The hidden
Tibetan "mahatmas'" headquarters visited by the Roerich expedition
was the same as was visited by H. Blavatsky.
This is the "earthly Shamballa", whose high ruler, according to
H. Roerich, is the "Maitreya".
(In its true meaning "Shamballa" is an Eastern term for the
soul-spirit world which was lost to ordinary human perception with
the decline of atavistic clairvoyance. The "return of Shamballa"
refers to the coming recovery of this perception with the new,
And it is this same "earthly Shamballa" and these same "mahatmas"
Alice Bailey, and her organizations, the "Servants of
the World" and the "Secret School" (Schola Arcana). Creme's group
uses the same prayer, now called the "Transmission Meditation",
given in Bailey's The Reappearance of Christ. And, of course,
Bailey's "Christ" who will "reappear" is none other that this
The truth, as given by Steiner, about the real Maitreya is roughly
this: There are twelve exalted beings, called "Bodhisattvas", who
serve the Christ Spirit in the guidance of mankind. One of these
Bodhisattvas was incarnated in the Sixth Century BC as Gautama, who
rose to rank of "Buddha".
The excarnate Gautama Buddha closely
cooperated with the mission of Christ-Jesus in Palestine, and later
took on a mission of redemption on Mars. His successor was
"appointed", so to speak, to take his place in the Lodge of
Bodhisattvas, and this Bodhisattva is destined to become the Maitreya Buddha, "the Bringer of the Good", approximately two and a
half millennia from now. Meanwhile, he repeatedly incarnates, at
least partially, on earth, in the service of the Christ.
these incarnations (or "incorporations" -- not quite incarnations in
the usual sense) was as Jeshu ben Pandira, the Essene teacher and
martyr (circa 105 BC). Today this Maitreya-Bodhisattva works to
proclaim and further the coming of the Ethereal Christ. When this
Bodhisattva becomes the Maitreya Buddha the earth and the human
organism will be constituted very differently than now: thinking,
speaking, and doing will be morally consistent.
Thus it is evident that the so-called "Maitreya" presently
"emerging" is not only a false Christ, but also a false Maitreya.
The "mahatmas" of "Shamballa" have deep knowledge and far-reaching
influence and abilities, but they are severely limited and falsified
by their blindness, or opposition, to the Christ. Their occult
vision extends only to this "solar system", and backwards only to
the Old Moon.
They do not comprehend the Cosmic Christ, Who
descended from the starry realms to the sun, and thence to the
earth. They are basically Luciferic, with strong Ahrimanic
tendencies. It is not clear (to this writer) exactly what role the
pseudo-Maitreya will play in the incarnation of Ahriman: perhaps he
will be the bodily vehicle for Ahriman; perhaps he will work in that
uneasy, problematic of alliance that sometimes holds between Lucifer
But this much is clear: if mankind accepts him as he
presents himself to be, much evil will follow. Again: The
consciousness of Men is essential. If the stated aims of the pseudo-Maitreya
seem benign, remember that, not very long ago, many otherwise
intelligent people believed Bolshevism to be the inauguration of a
The "mahatmas" of "Shamballa" inspired
Khan, Marx, and Lenin; they are not to be taken lightly.
Now, some might say:
"Your occultist Steiner says one thing; these
Indo-Tibetans say something else; still others say yet other things.
What's to choose between them, or among them; it's all
Again, the aim in this short essay is
not to prove things conclusively, but to get some important
information to a wider public.
Those who absorb these concepts will
at least be forewarned, so that they need not be caught wholly
unprepared, and unaware, by onrushing events. It is hoped that those
thus forewarned will not easily take at face value the phenomena
surrounding the putative "Maitreya" or "Christ", and that they will
not be wholly oblivious to the real, Ethereal Christ.
it is hoped that people will take the information given here, and
begin their own investigations, and even set out on the "Path of
Knowledge". There is no need to be dismayed and defeated by the
complexity and abstruseness of this subject-matter: truth does live
in the human heart, and it speaks to us through a "sense of
reality", if we truly will to listen to it.
Those who have a real,
persistent will-for-the-truth will eventually find truth, even
though most may stray temporally into byways. The Law is: "Seek, and
ye shall find".
Many modern people, especially those trained in the sciences, regard
such concepts as spiritual beings, spiritual worlds, divine
Providence, etc., to be preposterous, impossible, or at least
unknowable. The prevailing epistemology (usually unconsciously
assumed) of scientific-technical culture holds that whatever
"knowledge" we can gain, whether considered certain or hypothetical,
we can gain only through the physical senses, mathematizing, and
But, as we are taught primarily by Steiner in
modern times, we can find other approaches toward gaining
experiential knowledge. Sense-bound, mechanistic-mathematical
scientism is peculiar to a particular mode of human consciousness,
which mode is prevalent in our time but is not the only kind of
consciousness available to mankind. (We might regard the
"psychedelic revolution" as a muddled attempt to open up these other
kinds of consciousness.)
In ancient times mankind had a dream-like
consciousness of "supersensible" realities. (This consciousness is
often and somewhat confusedly called primitive animism).
course of evolution we lost this faculty in order to enter deeply
into the sense-world, losing our experiential membership in the
spiritual cosmos, thus to gain the possibility of individuality and
freedom. We have now reached the evolutionary stage at which we are
poised to regain this supersensible experience ("clairvoyance") at a
higher level; that is, with the ability of independent, self-willed
And the practice of this consciously self-willed thinking,
as opposed to the Ahrimanic thinking discussed above, is the gateway
to true clairvoyance. For thinking itself, when consciously
self-willed and freed from dependence on the subconscious human
organism, is itself the first stage of clairvoyance -- a "waking-up"
to a higher state of consciousness, which is just as experientially
distinct as is ordinary waking day-consciousness from
dream-consciousness. Still higher development of clairvoyance leads
to experiences which can be metaphorically described as spiritual
"seeing", "hearing", and "touching".
Steiner has given detailed
instructions for the orderly, healthy development of these higher
faculties of experience. To entertain another figure of speech, we
might consider the developing of these faculties as the refining of
the human organism itself into an instrument for scientific
investigation -- just as the mineral substances of the earth can be
refined and developed into, say, a telescope -- only, the human
organism consists of body, life, soul and spirit, and its refining
is to make us conscious of supersensible realities.
accomplished this self-development to a higher degree than anyone
else who has made himself publicly known in our times, and his
teachings on "spiritual science" flow from his supersensible
experience. (There are other, dubious -- or downright evil -- ways
of gaining some kind of supersensible experience, but these can lead
to delusion and/or moral and spiritual ruin.)
But this knowledge is not altogether closed to those who do not yet
have this clairvoyance. Steiner time and again emphasized that those
of us without spiritual vision can, because true thinking itself is
a kind of living-into spirit realities, understand and justifiably
believe true information given by the spiritual seer:
"It would be would wrong for anyone to say: `I cannot accept the
teachings of spiritual science until I myself become a seer,' for
without inward application to the results of spiritual research
there is no chance whatever of attaining genuine higher knowledge.
It would be as though child, during gestation, were to refuse the
forces coming to it through its mother, and proposed to wait until
it could procure them for itself.
Just as the embryonic child in its
incipient feeling for life learns to appreciate what is offered to
it, so can the non-seer appreciate the truths of spiritual science.
An insight into these teachings based on a deeply-rooted feeling for
truth, and a clear, sound, all-round critical and reasoning faculty
are possible even before spiritual things are actually perceived.
The esoteric knowledge must first be studied, so that this study
becomes a preparation for clairvoyance."
[Knowledge of Higher
Worlds; p.189 f.]
"For in thought itself an inner entity is present that is connected
with the supersensible world."
[Occult Science; p.294]
really thinking, finds oneself in the region of a living
[Occult Science; p.295]
"...if we read
communications about supersensible facts in the right way, we are
living into the stream of spiritual existence."
"Certain powers are required to discover the things referred to, but
if after having been discovered they are made known, every person
can understand them who is willing to bring to them unprejudiced
logic and a healthy sense of truth."
"...all knowledge of the worlds of soul and spirit slumbers in the
profoundest depths of the human soul. We can grasp, however, not
only what we ourselves have brought to light, but also what someone
else has brought up from the depths of soul. This is so even when we
have ourselves not yet made any preparations for the treading of the
Path of Knowledge.
Correct spiritual insight awakens the powers of
comprehension in anyone whose inner nature is not beclouded by
preconceptions and prejudices. Unconscious knowledge flashes up to
meet the spiritual fact discovered by another, and this `flashing
up' is not blind faith but the right working of healthy human
"The thoughts [presented by the seer] are, indeed, already present
when one [the non-clairvoyant reader] surrenders to them; but one
cannot think them if one does not, in every case, recreate them anew
within the soul. What is important is the fact that the spiritual
researcher calls up thoughts in listeners and readers that they must
first draw forth out of themselves...."
[Occult Science; p.296]
We can find our way toward the truth about soul and spirit through
our healthy human feeling for reality:
"The feeling for truth and the power of understanding it are
inherent in everyone....This feeling, which perhaps at first
perceives nothing at all of what it is told [about higher worlds],
is itself the magician that opens the `eye of the spirit'. In
darkness this feeling stirs, the soul sees nothing, but through this
feeling it is seized by the power of truth. The truth then gradually
draws nearer to the soul and opens the higher sense in it."
Of course, we must learn what is so hard for most of us: to
distinguish between a healthy feeling for truth and the feeling of
satisfaction of our egotistic prejudices. The key here is unsparing
self-examination and a sincere preference for objective reality over
our short-sighted, selfish interests and subconscious impulses.
must have a firm grasp of the fact that the truth is still true
regardless of our ignorance or resistance, and have an energetic
Will-to-Reality. Again, the Law is: "Seek, and ye shall find." If we
really love the objective truth above all else, we will come to feel
healthy and happy in the presence of truth, and to feel sick and
pained in the presence of falsehood.
These pure feelings, and pure,
objective thinking are our touchstones of reality and of guidance,
and, if fostered, will eventually develop into personal, firsthand,
higher cognition -- perhaps not in the present incarnation, but the
Will-to-Reality is itself an indestructible reality which carries
into future lives and into eternity. -- Of course, treading the
"Path of Knowledge" does not immediately confer infallibility. In
occultism the possibilities for illusion and deception are vast. One
might yet stray into error; however, the essential thing is the
seeker's purity of striving for truth.
In Steiner's words:
"...the truth is what leads to the highest and noblest impulses for
human evolution; the truth should be dearer to us than we are to
ourselves. If our relationship to truth is guided by these words and
we still make a mistake in this life, the truth will be strong
enough to draw us to itself in the next incarnation. Honest mistakes
we make in this incarnation will be compensated and redeemed in the
next. It is better to make an honest mistake than to adhere to
dogmas dishonestly. After all, our path will be lit by the promise
that truth will ultimately prevail, not by our own will, but by its
own inherent divine power."
[Spiritual Guidance of the Individual
and Humanity; pp. 88-9]
(Note: One of the questions which occasion much illusion and
confusion is that of reincarnation. Even many of those who readily
accept the reality of the supersensible worlds can easily fall into
error here, if they do not appreciate the complexities and
possibilities for illusion. According to Steiner, not only does the
individual human spirit undergo reincarnation on earth, but so also
might, in a way, the ethereal bodies, astral bodies (i.e. the
soul-organisms), and even "copies" of the individual Ego.
latter are not at all necessarily unique and individualized; they
might be shared by many incarnated individual Men. [See the lectures
published in English as The Principle of Spiritual Economy.] It
is possible that one with insufficiently developed clairvoyance
might misperceive these other kinds of reappearance of supersensible
entities, taking them to be the true reincarnation of human
To see how and why, we need some understanding of
the stages of higher knowledge metaphorically called "spiritual
seeing, hearing, and touching". Steiner calls these stages (in his
special, restricted meanings) "Imagination", "Inspiration", and
"To have knowledge of a sense-being means to stand
outside it and to judge it according to the external impression. To
have knowledge of a spiritual being through intuition means to have
become completely one with it, to have become united with its inner
Step by step the student of the spiritual ascends to such
knowledge. Imagination leads him to sense the perceptions no longer
as outer characteristics of beings, but to recognize in them the
outpouring of something psycho-spiritual; inspiration leads him
further into the inner nature of beings. He learns through it to
understand what these beings are to each other; with intuition he
penetrates into the beings themselves."
[Occult Science, p. 310]
"What is released after death from the human bodily
nature goes through various states in the subsequent period. The
states directly after death might be described in some measure
through imaginative cognition. What, however, takes place when man
advances further into the period between death and rebirth would
have to remain quite unintelligible to imaginative cognition, if
inspiration did not come to the rescue.
Only inspiration is able to
discover what may be said about the life of man in the land of
spirits after purification....Whoever wished to fathom the nature of
man by imagination and inspiration alone, would miss the innermost
processes of his being that take place from incarnation to
incarnation. Only intuitive cognition, therefore, makes possible an
adequate research into repeated earth lives and into karma."
Science, pp. 310-1]
In general, those of us who have not attained
to "intuitive cognition" should use great caution in forming
judgments on our own about the identities of particular individuals
in cases of reincarnation. We might be misled by an incomplete
perception of the reappearance of unindividualized parts of the
To judge these as being "reincarnation" might be
partially true, in that some supersensible human "energies" are
indeed reappearing in the physical world, but such judgments could
be seriously misleading if one were to read uncritically from them
deep meanings concerning an individual's destiny through repeated
We might first set foot on the Path of Knowledge as skeptics, but if
we are true, consistent skeptics, we must admit that we cannot claim
to know of the impossibility of higher knowledge. This realization
should make us unprejudiced and open-minded about that possibility.
With this attitude, and with a Will-to-Reality, we then can
assimilate the concepts of higher knowledge (without "blind faith"),
and their truth will call forth inchoate recognition in our souls,
because the truth is already in our souls.
We might find that this
"knowledge" is much more alive and paradoxical than we conceived it
to be in our skepticism. Says Steiner:
"When you look at reality you
do not arrive at concepts which can be fitted into systems, for one
thing is always at the same time and in a certain way the other
[Ideas for a New Europe ]
Even our skepticism can carry
truth, if we are imbued with a sincere desire for reality. Steiner
"And our high goal is this: that we may know more exactly how
much we still need to know. Then we shall be more and more permeated
with the truth of the old Socratic saying:
'The more a man learns,
the more he knows how little he knows.'
But this conviction is good
only when it is not a confession of passive, easy-going resignation,
but testifies to living effort and will towards an ever-extending
knowledge....The right result is to be more and more inspired to
further striving: to regard every new thing learnt as a step towards
the attainment of yet higher stages."
[From Jesus to Christ]
further, work upon ourselves, through the proper training, to begin
to develop our own higher perception.