65045648 ancient-myths-and-evolution-rudolph-steiner

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65045648 ancient-myths-and-evolution-rudolph-steiner

  1. 1. ANCIENT MYTHS Their Meaning and Connection with EVOLUTION by RUDOLF STEINERSeven lectures given in Dornach. 4th to 13th January, 1918
  2. 2. Translated from shorthand reports unrevised bythe lecturer, by M. Cotterell. The original Germantext of these lectures are published under the title:“Alte Mythen und ihre Bedeutung” (Vol. 180 inthe Bibliographical Survey, 1961). This Englishedition is published in agreement with the RudolfSteiner Nachlassverwaltung, Dornach,Switzerland. Printed in Great Britain by Bookprint International Ltd. England 1971
  3. 3. Ancient Myths:Their Meaning and Connection with EvolutionThe following lectures were given by RudolfSteiner to an audience familiar with the generalbackground and terminology of hisanthroposophical teaching. It should beremembered that in his autobiography, ‘TheCourse of My Life’, he emphasises the distinctionbetween his written works on the one hand and, onthe other, reports of lectures which were given asoral communications and were not originallyintended for print.It should be borne in mind that certain premiseswere taken for granted when the words werespoken. ‘These premises,’ Rudolf Steiner writes,‘include at the very least, the anthroposophicalknowledge of Man and of the Cosmos in itsspiritual essence; also what may be called
  4. 4. “anthroposophical history”, told as an outcome ofresearch into the spiritual world.’For the benefit of readers a brief list ofpublications relevant to the main theme have beenadded at the end of this volume.
  5. 5. ContentsLecture I, 4th January 1918The nature of mythical thinking. Egyptian, Greekand Hebrew way to connect oneself with theUniverse. Osiris-Isis Myth and the generation ofthe Gods of the Greeks. What had been spiritualexperience in Egyptian and Greek myth becameteaching in Old Testament.Lecture II, 5th January 1918Looking back on the change of soul indevelopment of consciousness. Change frompicture writing to letter script. Separation of theword from the soul experience. Formerly a changeof consciousness at puberty. Forces underlying thefeelings of nationalism. Development of abstractthought. Meaning of the cross.
  6. 6. Lecture III, 6th January 1918How can Osiris be awakened to new life? Manmust work towards the experiencing ofImaginations. The Veil of Isis. Man to learn to liftthe veil of knowledge. He must lay hold of theWord. Instead, today, Man flees from Wisdom.Eulenspiegelism.Lecture IV, 8th January 1918The theory of heredity. The old Isis inscription andthe motto which completes it for the present andthe future. In the present time man is estrangedfrom reality. Man turned gaze to the earth and nowmust turn to the spiritual. Inner mission of ourtime is the development of a spiritually freehumanity.Lecture V, 11th January 1918The getting younger of humanity while advancingin time. In consequence the possibility ofdevelopment of the single human beingdiminishes. Materialism must bring unhappinessand can be countered by Spiritual Science. Art of
  7. 7. education is wanting. Friedrich Schlegelsdemands for a spiritualization of science fails.Cannot build on old but through a new impulse.Lecture VI, 12th January 1918Duality of human being. Head-man and trunk-man. Transformation of head knowledge into heartknowledge. Transformation of education needed.Concepts of a mechanical universe have to beovercome so that child may feel himself to be amember of whole cosmos. When secrets of theworld and of man become social wisdom of lifethen a social theory is possible that grasps real life.Lack in religion, also. Hatred of Czarism.Lecture VII, 13th January 1918Man is solution of world riddle. His being uniteswith a cosmic auric substance that streams intoearth and out again. Today, no relation betweenhead-man and heart-man. Mankind unable to findconnection of its soul with its thoughts. Task offuture educational science to enable child to feelhow he is built up out of Cosmos. Value of myth
  8. 8. and legend. What it accomplishes is rejuvenationof man and proper reaction between head andheart. Socialism is head knowledge and the headnot of this earth. A spirituality connected with theearths future must be found.
  9. 9. Lecture I 4th January 1918.In the course of the public lectures lately given inSwitzerland I have frequently remarked that thatknowledge, that way of thinking which prevailsamong the men of our time and has taken root inhuman souls, is not adapted to grasp the social-moral life. Present conditions can only be broughtto a healthy state if men are able to come again tosuch a thinking, such a grasp of the universe, aswill give what lives in the soul a direct link withreality.I said that what prevails in the historical, thesocial, the ethical life is more or less dreamt, sleptthrough by mankind, that in any case abstractideas are not fitted to take hold of the impulseswhich must be active in the social life. I stated that
  10. 10. in earlier times men were aided through older,what we call atavistic, knowledge, through myths.They brought to expression in the form of a mythwhat they thought concerning the world, whatentered their vision of the world secrets. Myths —the contents of mythology — can be viewed in themost manifold ways, and in fact I pointed in theseobservations to a positively magnificentmaterialistic explanation of the myth by Dupuis. Inother places we have repeatedly for yearsexamined this or the other myth. However, themyth permits of many points of view and whensomething has been said about it, its content is farfrom being exhausted. Again and again fromdifferent standpoints different things may beasserted in regard to a myth. It would be veryuseful for the man of today if he made himselfacquainted with the nature of that thinking whichunderlies the mode of thought found in theconcepts of mythology. For the ideas which areformed about the origin of myths, the creation ofmythology, belong indeed to the realm of themodern superficial judgment which is sowidespread.
  11. 11. Deep truths are embedded in the myths, truthsmore concerned with reality than those which areexpressed through modern natural science aboutthis thing or the other. Physiological, biologicaltruths about man are to be found in the myths, andthe origin of what they express rests upon theconsciousness of the connection of man asmicrocosm with the macrocosm. Especially canone realize — and this I shall deal with today andtomorrow — when one has in mind the nature ofthe thinking employed in the myths, how deeply,or actually how little deeply, one is concerned withreality in ordinary modern concepts. It is thereforeuseful to recollect sometimes how myths havebeen formed among neighbouring peoples of thepre-Christian ages. Neighbours to one another andmuch interconnected in their culture are theancient Egyptians, the Greeks and the Israelites.Moreover, one can say that a great part of thethinking that still rules in the soul today isconnected with the knowledge of the Egyptians,Greeks and Israelites as expressed by them in theform of myth.
  12. 12. The myth which I should first like to discuss —but as already said, from a certain standpoint — isthe Osiris-Isis-Myth belonging to the Egyptianculture. I have already called your attention to thefact that the Osiris-Isis-Myth is also conceived byDupuis as a mere priest lie, that the priests as faras they themselves were concerned, had meantnothing but astronomical, astronomical-astrological events, and had fabricated such a mythfor the common people.One can observe in an interesting way how theGreeks not only have a number of Gods connectedwith their own life, but how they have wholegenerations of Gods. The oldest God-generationwas linked with Gaia and Uranus, the nextgeneration with Chronos and Rhea, the Titans, andall that is related to them, and the third generationof Gods, the successors of the Titans — Zeus andthe whole Zeus circle. We shall see how theconstruction of such God-myths springs from aspecial type of soul.The Greeks, Israelites and Egyptians had differentconceptions of their connection with the universe.
  13. 13. Nevertheless there prevailed in all, as we shallshortly see, a deep relationship as regards otherstandpoints, as well as in reference to the one Ishall take as a basis today. Of the Egyptians onemust say that in the age when the Osiris-Isis-Mytharose as the representative for profounder truths,they developed a knowledge which had a longingto know the deeper foundations of the human soul.The Egyptians desired in this way to turn theirgaze to that element in the human soul which livesnot only between birth and death, but which passesthrough birth and death and also leads a lifebetween death and a new birth. Even from externalperception one can see how the Egyptians — intheir preservation of mummies, in their peculiardeath-ceremonies — turned the eye of the soul tothat element in the soul which passes through theGate of Death and in new form experiences newdestinies when man treads ways that lie on theother side.What is it in man that passes through the gate ofdeath and that enters through birth into earthlyexistence? This question, more or less unconscious
  14. 14. and unexpressed, underlay the thought andaspirations of the Egyptians. For it is this eternal-imperishable element — I have often alreadyexpressed it in another form — that is united in theEgyptian consciousness with the name of Osiris.Now, in order to have a foundation, let us considerthe Osiris-Myth in its most important aspects, letus just consider it, as it has been preserved.It is related of Osiris that at one time he ruled inEgypt. It is related that above all the Egyptiansowed to him the suppression of cannibalism, thatthey owed to him the plough, agriculture, thepreparation of food from the plant kingdom, thebuilding of cities, certain legal ideas, astronomy,rhetoric, even a script and so on. It is then relatedthat Osiris inaugurated not only among theEgyptians such beneficent arts and institutions butthat he undertook journeys into other lands andthere too spread similar useful arts. And in fact itwas expressly stated that Osiris did not spreadthem by the sword but by persuasion.Then it is further related that Typhon, the brotherof Osiris, wanted to institute new things in
  15. 15. opposition to what had proved beneficial for theEgyptians throughout centuries through theinfluence of Osiris. Typhon wanted to inaugurateall sorts of novelties. We should say today: afterthe institution of Osiris had existed for hundreds ofyears, Typhon made a revolution while Osiris wasabsent extending his institutions among otherpeoples. This differs a little from the latestexample of revolution ... there somethinghappened which newcomers brought about, notwhile the other was extending beneficentinstitutions among other nations ... But betweenOsiris and Typhon there took place what has beenstated. Then, however, the myth proceeds:Isis waited at home in Egypt. Isis, the consort ofOsiris, did not permit the innovations to be reallysweeping. That, however, had the effect ofenraging Typhon, and as Osiris came back fromhis wanderings Typhon slew him and made awaywith the dead body. Isis had to search a long timefor the corpse. She found the body at last inPhoenicia, and brought it back home to Egypt.Typhon now became angrier and tore the corpse in
  16. 16. pieces. Isis collected the pieces and out of eachpiece, by means of spices and all sorts of other artsshe made a being again which had the completeform of Osiris. She then gave to the priests of theland a third of the whole territory of Egypt, so thatthe tomb of Osiris should be kept a secret, but hisservice and worship all the more fostered. [SeeEgyptian Myths and Mysteries.]The remarkable statement was then added to thismyth, that Osiris now came up out of theunderworld — when his worship had already beeninaugurated in Egypt — and that he then occupiedhimself with the instruction of Horus, the sonwhom Isis had borne after the death of Osiris.Then it is related that Isis had the imprudence torelease Typhon whom she had succeeded inimprisoning. Thereupon Horus, her son, becameangry, tore the crown from her head and set cow-horns there instead and Typhon was defeated intwo battles with the assistance of Hermes — that isthe Roman Mercury, the Greek Hermes. A kind ofHorus-cult, the cult of the son of Osiris and Isiswas instituted.
  17. 17. The Greeks in some way or other heard of theseEgyptian stories of world-mysteries. It isremarkable how in Greece they often spoke of thesame being as was spoken of over in Egypt, orover in Phoenicia or Lydia, etc. These God-conceptions flowed into one another, as it were,and this is very characteristic and significant.When a Greek heard the name Osiris, he couldpicture something from it, he identified what theEgyptian understood under the name Osiris, withsomething of which he too had certain concepts.Although the name was different, what theEgyptian conceived of as Osiris was no stranger tothe Greek. I ask you to take note of this. It is verysignificant.We have the whole thing once more. Read the‘Germania’ of Tacitus; there Tacitus also describesthe Gods that he finds in the North a hundred yearsafter the founding of Christianity, and he describesthem with Roman names. He thus gives Romannames to the Gods whom he finds there. In spite ofthe fact that the Gods whom he found there had ofcourse other names yet he recognized their being
  18. 18. and could give them the Roman names. We find inthe ‘Germania’ that he knew that in the North menhad a God, that was the same God as Hercules andso on. That is very significant and it points tosomething very deep and of great meaning. Itshows that in those ancient times there was acertain common consciousness concerningspiritual things. The Greek knew how to picturesomething of Osiris, independent of the Osiris-name, because he had something similar. Whatwas concealed behind the name Osiris was notunfamiliar to him.That is something that one must keep well in mindin order to recognize that in spite of the differenceof the separate myths, there existed a certaincommunity of soul! One could sometimes wishthat there might be as much commonunderstanding among modern men as, let us say,between the Greeks and the Egyptians, so that theGreeks understood what the Egyptians expressed!A Greek would never have uttered so muchnonsense about Egyptian conceptions as WoodrowWilson is able to think in one week about
  19. 19. European conceptions — if one can call itthinking! The Greeks related that Chronos hadbegotten a son by Rhea in an irregular way. Thusthe Greeks speak of Chronos and Rhea — we shallsee immediately how they fit into the Greek myth— and this irregular son, who was so begotten,was Osiris. So just think: the Greeks hear that theEgyptians have an Osiris, and the Greeks on theirpart relate of Osiris that he is the son of Chronosand Rhea, but not begotten in the right way, soincorrectly begotten that Helios, the Sun-Godbecame so angry about the matter that he madeRhea barren.Thus the Greeks find a certain relationshipbetween their own conception of the Gods and theEgyptian conceptions. But again on the otherhand, what the Egyptians in a certain sense formedas their highest concept of a God — the Osiris-concept — is connected among the Greeks with anirregular origin — from the Titan race — fromChronos and Rhea.One grasps this externally in the first place — weshall have to grasp it much more deeply presently
  20. 20. — if we are clear that the Egyptians sought tolearn of the eternal part of the human soul. Theysought to know about that which goes throughbirths and deaths — but in order to know of thiseternal part in life the Egyptians expressly turnedthe souls gaze beyond death. To the people ofEgypt through whom the Greeks learnt of Osiris,he is no longer the God of the living, but the Godof the dead, the God who sits on the Throne of theWorld and passes judgment when man has gonethrough the gate of death, that is, the God whomman has to meet after death. At the same time,however, the Egyptian knew: the same God whojudges men after death, has at one time ruled overthe living.As soon as one takes these ideas together, one isno longer inclined to agree with the Dupuis verdictthat it was only a matter of star-events. TheseDupuis judgments have much that is captivating,but on closer inspection they reveal themselves asvery superficial. I have said that the Egyptians —in the age when the Greeks received from them theOsiris-concept — directed their mind above all to
  21. 21. the human soul after death. This lay far from theGreek mind. To be sure, the Greeks spoke too ofthe human soul after death, but inasmuch as theyspoke of their Gods, they did not really speak ofthe Osiris-nature of such Gods as primarily givejudgment after death. The race to which Zeusbelongs is a race of Gods for the living. Manpreferably looked up to this world when he turnedhis minds eye to the world to which man belongsbetween birth and death — a race of Gods for theliving: Zeus, Hera, Pallas-Athene, Mars, Apollo,etc. But these Gods were, so to say, the last God-race for the Greeks. For the Greeks turned theirgaze to three successive generations of Gods.As you know, the oldest generation of Gods wasaround Uranus and Gaea or better said: Gaea andUranus. They were the earliest divine pair with allthe brothers and sisters and so on who belonged tothem. From this divine pair were descended theTitans, to whom also Chronos and Rhea belonged,but above all Oceanus. As you know, throughcertain cruel regulations — so says the myth —Uranus had evoked the wrath of his spouse Gaea,
  22. 22. so that she prevailed upon Chronos their son, tomake his father on the world-throne, impotent, andwe then have this rulership of the older Godssucceeded by that of the younger, Chronos andRhea with all that belongs to it. You know too thatin the Greek myth, Chronos had the somewhatunsympathetic, in many respects, characteristic ofswallowing all his children as soon as they wereborn, which was not pleasant for the mother, Rhea.(I am calling attention to various features whichwe shall particularly need.) And you know too thatshe saved Zeus and brought him up to overthrowChronos, just as Chronos overthrew Uranus, onlyin another way, so that then the new race of Godsarrives. And then we have Hera and Zeus with allthat belongs to them with all the brothers andsisters, children and so on.An important feature in the myth, which I mustrelate since we shall need it if we wish to regardthe myth as foundation for all sorts of world-conceptions, is the following. Zeus, before heovercame the Titans and cast them into Tartarus,had prevailed on the Goddess Metis, the Goddess
  23. 23. of cunning, to provide him with an emetic, so thatall the children swallowed by Chronos could bebrought again to the light of day, and be once morein existence. Thus Zeus could have his brothersand sisters again ... for they had been in the bodyof Chronos. Zeus himself alone had been rescuedby his mother Rhea.And so we have three successive generations ofGods: Gaea-Uranus; Uranus overthrown throughGaea, because he was cruel, supplanted by thechildren, Chronos and Rhea; then Chronosoverthrown again through Zeus, likewise at theinstigation of Rhea. In the Zeus-circle we have theGods who meet us where actual Greek historymakes its appearance.Now I should like to call special attention to a verysignificant feature of this. Greek mythology. It isnot clearly enough stressed, in spite of being oneof the most important features. Three successiveraces of Gods: these are thus the rulers of themacrocosm. But while Gaea and Uranus, Rhea andChronos, Hera and Zeus are ruling, the humanbeing, according to the Greek conception is
  24. 24. already everywhere in existence. Man is alreadythere without question. When therefore Chronoswith Rhea had not yet reigned, when the rulerswere still Gaea and Uranus, particularly, however,when Chronos reigned with Rhea and Zeus wasnot yet in possession of his emetic and so on, therewere already men upon the earth, according to theview of the Greeks. And, what is more, as theGreeks related, they lived a happier life than inlater times. The later human beings are thedescendants of these earlier men. We must saythen that the Greeks had this consciousness: upabove rules Zeus, but we human beings descendfrom other forefathers who were not yet ruled overby Zeus. That is an important feature of theGrecian teaching of the Gods: that the Greekvenerated his Zeus, his Hera, his Pallas-Athene,but was quite clear that they had not created him,what in general one calls ‘created’, but that menwere there much earlier than the reign of theseGods. This is important concerning the GreekGods.
  25. 25. That this is especially important for the GreekGods can strike you when you compare thequestion with the Jewish teaching of the Gods. Itis, of course, quite unthinkable that one would findthe same feature in the Jewish teaching. You couldnot possibly imagine that according to the OldTestament men were pointed to ancestors who hadnot yet come under the rulership of Jahve and theElohim. This therefore is something which differsradically in the Grecian teaching of the Gods. TheGreek looks up to his Gods and knows: theyindeed are ruling now, but they have nothing to dowith what I call ‘creation’ of the human race.This was absolutely impossible within the OldTestament conception. In the Old Testament thosewhom men looked upon as Gods were in the mainfar more concerned with the creation of man. Inobserving the course of world events it is verynecessary to consider such things. The point is notmerely to form concepts, the point is that one isable to form concepts that connect one withreality; the especially characteristic, the especiallyrepresentative concepts, these are what one must
  26. 26. have in mind.And with this, we have considered an importantfeature of Greek mythology. Let us just examine it.When the Greek looked up to his Gods, they werenot those of whom he had the consciousness: theyhave created me. For human beings were alreadythere, as we have said, before these Gods hadassumed their rulership. What these Gods wereable to do was, for the Greeks, quite a respectableamount, but they could not produce for him ahuman race on a planet. That lay in the Greekconsciousness: these Gods could not produce ahuman race.Now, what actually were the Gods of the Zeuscircle, the Olympian Gods, for the Greekconsciousness? To form even an historical conceptof what these Gods were — I mean now in theGreek consciousness, we have of course saidvarious things about these Gods, but let us placeourselves into the Greek consciousness — whatwere they? Well, they were not beings which wentabout among men under ordinary circumstances.They dwelt in fact on Olympus, they dwelt in the
  27. 27. clouds and so on. They paid only at timessympathetic or unsympathetic visits; Zeus inparticular, as you know, sometimes paidsympathetic or unsympathetic visits into thehuman world. They were in a certain respectuseful; but they also did things about which themodern man, who is somewhat more narrow-minded than the Greeks, would probably take thelaw into his own hands and involve such a Zeus ina divorce suit and so on. In any case, these Godshad a half-divine, half-human connection withmen, and such beings, so it was thought, are notmaterialized in the flesh ... When Zeus wanted toconduct his affairs he took on all sorts of forms,did he not — a swan, golden rain, and so on; thusin ordinary life these Gods were not incarnated inthe flesh. But on the other hand, if one looksdeeper, one finds that the Greeks had theconsciousness that these Gods were connectedwith men who lived in primeval times. Far morethan looking up to the connection with the stars, asDupuis supposed, the Greeks looked up to men ofprimeval times and brought the concept of thebeing of Zeus — please note exactly how I form
  28. 28. the sentence, for that is the point — intoconnection with some ancient ruler of a long-pastage. Please note that I have not said that theGreeks had the idea that what they meant by Zeushad been an ancient ruler; but I said: that whichthey pictured as Zeus they brought into connectionwith an ancient ruler who had once lived in longgone-by ages. For the kind of connection for Zeusand also for the other Gods was a somewhatcomplicated one.We will examine the words a little, so that we canform an idea of what really underlies them. Let ussuppose that at some time a personality had livedin Thrace, a region in Northern Greece, on whomthe Zeus-concept was fastened. Now the Greek,even the quite ordinary Greek was quite clear: I donot, as it were, venerate this ancestor, nor do Ivenerate the single individuality which has lived inthis ancestor, nevertheless I venerate somethingwhich had some connection with this ancientforefather, this ancient king in Thrace, or inEpirus. The Greek had in fact this idea: There wasonce such a king in whose whole being not only
  29. 29. his own individuality had lived, but theindividuality of a supersensible being; this hadexpressed itself, had lived upon the earth, by oncedescending into a human being. The Zeus-conceptwas not made earthly in this way, it was broughtinto connection with an ancient ruler, who at onetime had furnished the garment — or let us say —the dwelling place for this Zeus-being. Thus theGreek differentiated essentially that which heconceived of as Zeus from the human individualitywhich had lived in the body to which the Zeus-concept was referred. But the Zeus-rulership, therule of Zeus and the Gods, took its starting point,as it were, from the fact that Zeus had descended,had lived in a human being, had found his centrethere in order to work in the being of man — butwho then went on working no longer as anordinary man but in fact as an ‘Olympian’. And itwas the same in the case of the other Greek Gods.Why did the Greek form this conception — thatthere was once a ruler who was possessed, so tosay, by Zeus, but that now there is no longer aruler who can be possessed by Zeus, but that Zeus
  30. 30. only rules as a supersensible being — why did theGreek form this concept? Because the Greek knewthat human evolution had progressed, that it hadchanged. In other words, the Greek knew thatthere were ancient times when human beingscould have Imaginations in a particularlyoutstanding degree. A certain clairvoyancenaturally remained for some few, but the authorityof the Imaginations, that disappeared: the beingswho can still have real Imaginations, these canonly hold sway for the life that man knowsbetween birth and death, in supersensible worlds.This is the essence of what the Greeks pictured tothemselves concerning their Gods: there wereBeings who could imagine. But the time is pastwhen such Beings as can ‘imagine’, can enter intohuman bodies. For human bodies are no longeradapted to Imaginations. So said the Greeks tothemselves: we are governed by a race of Beingswho can have Imaginations, while we no longercan have them. The Greek had a quiteunsentimental concept of his Gods. It wouldmoreover have been rather difficult to be
  31. 31. sentimental over Zeus. Yet the Greek said tohimself quietly (I shall again elaborate the mattersomewhat, one must add detail when one wants tobe quite clear), “We men are going through adefinite evolution; we have developed fromatavistic clairvoyance in Intuition, Inspiration,Imagination; now we must have ordinary objectivethinking. But the Gods have not ventured upon it,they have remained in their imaginativeconsciousness, otherwise they would have to bemen and wander about here in the flesh. It did notsuit them (so thought the Greeks in theirunsentimental way of regarding the Gods) to passover to objective thinking, so they have notdescended to the earth, but kept to theirimaginative consciousness. In this way, however,they rule over us, for they have more power, as itwere, since the Imaginative concept, when it isutilized fully, is more powerful than the objectiveconcept.”From this, however, you see that the Greekslooked back to a time when mans forming ofconcepts, his observation and perception were
  32. 32. different, and that this looking back went hand inhand with the ideas they formed of the Gods. Thusthey looked back to Zeus, Hera, and said: Theseare ruling over us now, at one time we were also asthey are, but we have developed further and havebecome weaker. Therefore they can rule over us,they have remained as it was at that time. A certainLuciferic character, as we should say today, wasgiven to their Gods by the Greeks. And thoseBeings who had remained at the Imagination stage— this developed in the Greek consciousness —these were themselves successors of these Beingswho remained at the Inspiration stage. Hera andZeus remained behind at Imagination, Rhea andChronos at Inspiration, Gaea and Uranus atIntuition.You see, the Greek examined his own soul, and hebrought his generations of Gods into connectionwith the evolution of mankind and the differentstates of consciousness. This he felt, this heperceived. The eldest Gods, Gaea and Uranus,were Beings whose whole inner relation to theworld was ordered by the fact that they had an
  33. 33. intuitive consciousness. They wanted to remain atthe stage of Intuition; and those at the stage ofInspiration set themselves against them. And againthe inspiring Beings wished to remain atInspiration; and those living in the Imaginativeconsciousness set themselves against them. TheIntuitive were thus overthrown through theInspiring, the Inspiring through the Imagining. Welive as human beings and above us the Imaginings.Now you know that in the Prometheus myth, theGreek already desired to find some kind ofinstrument against the Imagining. Gaea-Uranus == Intuition Man {Rhea-Chronos} == Inspiration Hera-Zeus == ImaginationThe Greeks graded their Gods in such a way thatin this gradation they showed how they lookedback to earlier states of consciousness of thatbeing who has at the same time evolved ashumanity. The Greeks showed how they connectedthis with their retrospect of the Gods. Just think
  34. 34. how deeply significant this is for theunderstanding of the Greek consciousness! Thusthe Greek in looking back to his generations of theGods looked back to the past in the mental life. Heconnected the ancient Intuitional Beings withGaea, the Earth, and Uranus, the Heavens, andconnected the Inspirational Gods with Rhea andChronos. They still perceived what Gaea andUranus were. Rhea and Chronos are described asTitans — What are they actually?Now for some centuries mankind has lostpractically all consciousness of what lies at thefoundation of all this.Let me remind you that you know how a fewhundred years ago the human being was broughtinto connection with three fundamental elements.You can still find this knowledge in Jacob Boehmeand Paracelsus, even up to the time of SaintMartin. Jacob Boehme still gives: Sal == Salt;Mercur == Quicksilver; Sulphur == Sulphur. Inthe Middle Ages one said: Salt. Mercury, Sulphur.What was understood was not the same but yethad something to do with what the Greek meant
  35. 35. when he spoke of Uranus-Gaea, or Gaea-Uranus;Rhea-Chronos; Hera-Zeus. For you see Chronosdrove Uranus from World-rulership, Gaea became— shall we say — as good as widow. For what didshe become? She became what is ‘Earth’ — notthe ordinary earth which we find outside, but theearth that man carries in himself, i.e. — Salt.Could man — this was known to the investigatorof nature in the Middle Ages — make useconsciously of the salt that existed in him, then hewould have Intuition. Thus the process which hassunk down deep into the nature of man was a moreliving one in the old Gaea-Uranus time.A younger process which has also entered deepdown into human nature is that which can bedescribed as the Rhea-Chronos-process. TheGreeks said: the power of Rhea was oncewidespread, and ‘Chronos’ represented the forcesthat confronted Rhea. Chronos was overthrown.What has been left? Well, just as from Uranus-Gaea the dead salt has been left, so from Chronos-Rhea, the fluid, Mercury, has been left; the fluid inman that can take a drop formation; that has
  36. 36. remained behind. But neither can man makeconscious use of this; it has sunk into unconsciousdepths.Today, of course, that is long past and in the timeof the Greeks it was already gone by, for theGreeks said to themselves: the time of Zeus uponearth was in hoary primeval ages, but at that timeman could make use of the Sulphur to be found inhim. Were man able to make use consciously ofhis Salt, he would be able to use Intuition in anatavistic way. If he could consciously make use ofhis Mercury, his fluid element, he would be able touse Inspiration, and Imagination if he could usehis Sulphur — not in that transmitted sense, but inthe actual sense as the Alchemists of the MiddleAges still understood it, when they spoke of the‘philosophical sulphur’. Today there is also aphilosophical sulphur: [Schwefel (Sulphur) hasalso a slang meaning of ‘hot air’. Trans.]Professors of philosophy manufacture it in vastquantities, but this is not what the Alchemistsunderstood by it. They understood an imaginativeconsciousness, an atavistic Imagining, which was
  37. 37. connected with the use of this active sulphur inman. Human beings, so said the Greeks, and theirpriests of the Mysteries also said so, for themysteries of Salt, Mercury and Sulphur areancient; human beings, through their evolutionhave overcome atavism, making use of sulphuratavistically. But Zeus and his circle havewithdrawn into the supersensible and availthemselves of the Sulphur processes: hence Zeuscan hurl his lightning. If man, like Zeus, could hurllightning, that is, if he could transform the sulphurthrough Imagination into reality, if he couldinwardly and consciously hurl lightning, then hewould use Imagination atavistically. That is whatthe Greeks wished to say when they said of Zeusthat he could hurl lightning.It was known, even by Saint Martin, that with theSulphur of the Alchemists something different ismeant from the ordinary earthly sulphur, of whichone could at most say — excuse the plain speaking— it is the excrement of that which wasunderstood by Saint Martin and those before himas the real sulphur, which they also called the
  38. 38. ‘philosophical sulphur’. And Saint Martin stillspeaks of how thunder and lightning are reallyconnected with the processes of the macrocosmic,or one could say the cosmic sulphur. Today,indeed, many a physical-natural scientificexplanation creeps into science, which is also asulphur, [See former note. Trans.] but not exactly a‘philosophical sulphur’. Yet, remember that thereally clever people of today are, of course, farbeyond talking of sulphur processes in the cosmoswhen thunder and lightning arise; for lightning andthunder arise, as you can read in elementary bookson physics, through some sort of friction processesin the clouds — dont they? Anything reallyrational one cannot find in what is said aboutlightning and thunder; for the wet clouds in theirmutual action are supposed to create the electricitywhich comes about through thunder and lightning!But if an electrical experiment is made in theschoolroom each apparatus is most carefully dried,for the least dampness prevents any electricityfrom arising. The clouds up there, however, areapparently not wet! The teacher can do nothingwith an electric machine which is damp, which
  39. 39. indeed is not completely dry, but at the same timehe explains that the wet clouds are supposed to beconnected with the creation of electricity. Yes,indeed such things get thoroughly mixed up, dontthey! I wanted, however, only to say that in SaintMartin there was still a consciousness that thiselement of which the Greeks dreamt when theyspoke of Hera and Zeus, had something to do withlightning and thunder.You see, even superficial ideas can indicate to usthat certain nature processes, the Salt, Mercury,Sulphur-processes, but in their older sense — areconnected with what the Greeks possessed in theirmythology. Let us hold that fact to begin with. Wemust have such fundamental concepts in order topass over in the right way to our own time.Thus the Greeks looked back to generations ofGods, to conditions that had ceased to exist, butthat in earlier ages were also perceptible to man.They connected what lived in their Gods withwhat we call processes of nature. Mythology wastherefore at the same time a sort of natural science.And the more one learns to know mythology, the
  40. 40. deeper is the natural science one finds in it, only adifferent one, which is at the same time a scienceof the Soul. This is how the Greeks thought, andhow the Egyptians too conceived of their Osiris,who once had ruled but who was now in theunderworld.Do you notice how different the things are and yethow they are all to be traced back to a commontype? If the Greeks refer to earlier ages when sucha being as Zeus, who in their own time could liveonly supersensibly, could even incorporate in aman, so could the Egyptians also point to an olderage when Osiris or Osirises — the number is notthe point — ruled, when they had descended intohuman beings, when they were present. But thattime has gone by ... now (in the Egyptian Osiris-culture) one can no longer look to a human beingon the physical plane if one wants to find Osiris,one must look to the world which man enterswhen he goes through the portal of death. Osirisesare no more in the world where human beings live,but man meets them after death. Thus the Egyptiantoo looked back to an ancient time in the sense of
  41. 41. the change of human consciousness, when hedistinguished between the Osiris who could oncewander the Earth, and the Osiris who can now nolonger wander the Earth, who only belongs to theKingdom of death.If we confine ourselves today to the twomythologies and tomorrow touch briefly upon theOld Testament teachings before we draw anyconclusions, we can make the following statement:We observe from the whole way in which Greekand Egyptian stood to their Gods, that at the sametime there was expressed in this consciousness aremembrance of the ancient times of atavisticclairvoyance. They have vanished, they are nomore there. With the destinies which the humanbeing has gone through together with his Gods —whether with Zeus or Chronos in Greece, or withOsiris in Egypt, man was describing to himself atthe same time this knowledge: If I look fartherback, I was related as a human being to themacrocosm in a different way from how I am now.This relation has altered.
  42. 42. To look back in this way to earlier ages when theGods walked among men, had a distinct reality forthese ancient peoples, since they knew that thehuman being stood as microcosm to macrocosm ina different way from in their own time. The oldatavistic clairvoyance actually faded away in thefourth post-Atlantean epoch. This was what it wassought to express through the Greek mythology,what it was also sought to express through theOsiris-mythology of the Egyptians.
  43. 43. Lecture II 5th January, 1918.It was my task yesterday to show how the specialconfiguration of such mythologies as the OsirisMyth, the Greek mythology — and in a certainsense even the Old Testament teachings to whichwe will return presently — is connected withchanges in the stages of human consciousness. Weknow of the development of consciousness inmankind, we know that we have to look back toearlier times of mans evolution in which thereexisted an old clairvoyance, a perceptibility ofsuper-earthly things. It is well to look back at suchthings for this retrospection gives us orientation.Mankind is again to achieve vision directed to thesupersensible; it is to be achieved on the path ofSpiritual Science, through spiritual scientificthinking. The realization of what each one can do,
  44. 44. no matter where he stands in the world, can behelped by the will to orientate oneself for what isto come by considering what has been.In a certain sense things take place in later times inconnection with events of earlier times. We lookback from our Fifth Post-Atlantean epoch, in thedevelopment of which we are standing, to theFourth Post-Atlantean epoch, the Greco-Latin, andto the Third, the Egyptian; we come then alreadyto the time in which it was natural for men toexpress in certain mythical pictures andimaginations what they thought and felt aboutcosmic mysteries. In another connection we havealready stated that we in our Fifth Post-Atlanteanepoch have to recapitulate in a sort of invertedway what had happened in the Third, the Egypto-Chaldean epoch, so that it emerges againdifferently. The booklet ‘The Spiritual Guidance ofMan and Mankind’, also refers, as you know, tothis subject.Now we saw yesterday that in the time of theGreco-Latin evolution, in the time that begins withthe 7th or 8th century before our era, there was a
  45. 45. kind of looking back of mankind, and this lookingback to other states of consciousness in factexpressed in imaginative myths facts about theruling spiritual beings, as we described yesterday.Men in the Fourth Epoch knew: when we lookaround us we see only the physical, on the otherwe can reflect. You know, moreover, if you havefollowed attentively what is said in my book TheRiddles of Philosophy, that in Grecian times, andeven much later, people saw Ideas — as it were —as Goethe still did, and that they could really say:we see them. Entirely abstract thinking has onlycome about in modern times. But at that time therewas indeed a seeing of ideas, a seeing of spiritualrealities, a living in spiritual realities.In the Fourth Post-Atlantean epoch this was nolonger so in the full sense, but the peopleremembered that it had been so earlier. They said— and in fact this represented the truth: — thereare, however, Beings in existence, who are nothuman beings, who live in supersensible worldsand have still preserved life in the imaginativeconsciousness. The Greeks saw such Beings in the
  46. 46. individuals of the Zeus-circle.The Egyptians again said to themselves: that agein which men still lived directly with Imaginationswas the age when Osiris wandered upon Earth.They meant of course not one Osiris, but it wasbelieved that there had been a time in which menon earth lived in Imaginations. And this type ofhuman soul which was able to live in Imaginationswas described by saying: Osiris lived upon earth.Lost and slain had been this life-in-Imaginations.Osiris has been killed by his brother Typhon —that is, by that force of the human soul, which tobe sure is still directed to the supersensible, butwill no longer evolve the Imaginative faculties.The ancient clairvoyance exists no more. Theforces active in the old clairvoyance are nowamidst the dead. Hence Osiris is the Judge of thedead; the human being meets him when he haspassed through the portal of death. The figures ofOsiris and Isis were brought into connection withthe Death-Mystery by those people who set theOsiris myth into the centre of their thought.Moreover, in the details through which the Osiris
  47. 47. myth has been elaborated there actually lies allthat I have been stating. The point of time has alsobeen specified in which according to the legend,Osiris was killed by Typhon.And just as we could point to a quite definiteheavenly constellation, which the Magi of the Eastknew as the constellation in which the new cosmicage was to approach (we have pointed out in theChristmas lectures that by a certain constellationof the ‘Virgin’ the Magi of the East knew that theywere to bring their offerings to the new World-Saviour) so too have those whose thoughts centredon the Osiris myth looked back to quite definitestar-constellations. They have said: Osiris wasslain. They meant to say: the old life in theImaginations vanished when the setting sun inautumn stood in seventeen degrees of Scorpio andin the opposite point of the heavens the full moonrose in Taurus or in the Pleiades. This constellationof the full moon rising in Taurus at a definite pointof the year in connection with the Scorpio positionof the Sun, this moment of evolution has beengiven by the followers of Osiris as that in which
  48. 48. Osiris has vanished from the earth, that is, inwhich he was no longer there. These thingsnaturally come about in such a way as to leavelegacies behind. There have always been people,stragglers even up to recent centuries withImaginative clairvoyance, but the point is to showwhen Imaginative clairvoyance disappeared fromearth as a normal faculty of the human soul. Andmen were aware that in the ages when Imaginativeclairvoyance prevailed on earth conditions werequite different from what they were later. And thistoo was plainly indicated in the Osiris-Isis myth.But it is just this that is so very little understood bythose who explain the myth of Isis and Osiris.It is related, as you know, that when Isisdiscovered that her spouse, Osiris, had been slain,she departed on a search for the dead body. Shefound it at last in Byblos in Phoenicia and broughtthe corpse of Osiris from Phoenicia back to Egypt.A deep wisdom is expressed in such a myth, awisdom of humanitys physiology. What sort ofconditions were there then during the Osiris-time?During the Osiris-time there was not yet such a
  49. 49. script as the later script. What prevailed in Egyptduring the age of Osiris was a picture-writing andthis was considered sacred. And how actually wasthe picture-script brought about? It was broughtabout inasmuch as the most important signs weretaken, not from animal or earthly forms, but fromthe star-constellations, in fact from whatclairvoyance saw in the star-constellations. If Iwere to make a comparison from something latelyin our minds, I might say: You have heard in the‘Dream of Olaf Åsteson’ how he experiences thespirit-snake, the spirit-dog and the spirit-bull; hedescribes what he feels about them. Imagine toyourselves such pictures, but in a far more perfectform, as signs — such signs then are images ofImaginations. Such signs as the signs of theearliest writing were held to be holy. In such signswas cosmic wisdom contained for ancient times,this cosmic wisdom which in fact was at the sametime a heavenly wisdom, inasmuch as men readthe cosmic mysteries in the star-script, as the deadalone are able to do now. The gift of possessing awriting which is really a reproduction ofImaginations only belonged to humanity at a
  50. 50. certain period of time, and then vanished. And theancients knew: this imaginative way of writingexisted in the age of Osiris. Together with thedying away of the old life of the world inImaginations, the ancient picture-scriptdisappeared and there arose that which hasbecome the abstract script. This no longerexpresses mysteries, but gradually, since it hasbecome abstract, only serves to express the senseworld — namely, the ordinary letter-script. Just asOsiris was looked on in those ancient times as thehero, as the divine hero of the Imaginative script,so is Typhon, his brother but his opponent, thehero of the abstract script of letter, developed fromit.This is also indicated profoundly in the Osiris-Isismyth. Over to Phoenicia must Isis go to find thecorpse; that means to find the picture-scripttransformed into the letter-script — to find thecorpse of Osiris. The letter-script was ‘found’,invented, as we say, in Phoenicia. From Phoeniciaback to Egypt the abstract-script has come,whereas the Egyptians in their old mysteries in the
  51. 51. Osiris-time had a picture-writing reflectingImaginations. Thus the transition from the oldconcrete conception in the Imaginative-script tothe newer concept in the abstract script has alsofound expression in the Osiris-Isis myth.All these things lie in the course of mankindsevolution. We are there looking back to an olderexperience in Imaginations. Real physiologicalwisdom is, in fact, expressed in the myths.Thinking gradually passed over to abstractions —not immediately to the quite empty abstractions oftoday but to the somewhat fuller abstractions ofabout the 6th and 5th-centuries B.C. — in thework of Thales, with whom one generally beginsthe history of philosophy. (You can read of it inmy The Riddles of Philosophy.)But you can see from this that humanity has tolook back to earlier evolutionary periods withquite different conditions of soul. CertainBrotherhoods of modern times know, to be sure,about these entirely different conditions, but theyhold that such things should still be kept underlock and key. That is not right for the present day,
  52. 52. but it is a little dangerous to talk of these thingsbeyond a certain degree. Up to a certain degree,however, it is not only a case of should, thesethings must be spoken of today, because theknowledge of ancient conditions of humanconsciousness helps to give orientation for what isto develop as the new. If we have knowledge ofwhat once existed, that can help us to further thenecessary new conditions of evolution, although ofan entirely different kind.Now today you find in boys who develop to theage of puberty a change of voice. It is as we know,the expression in the boys of an organic process,which occurs differently in the female sex, andwhich apparently makes greater inroads into thehuman being in the case of the female, since theprocess reaches more directly into the physical.But that is not true. The influence on boys is justas strong, though it lies in a different sphere, so tosay, and though externally it only comes toexpression physically in the change of voice.This reaching maturity by the human being istoday — in fact since the times when Osiris was
  53. 53. dead for the outer world — almost a physicalprocess. It was not merely a physical process inthe ages when Osiris lived, no, it was a soulprocess. The boy of fourteen or fifteen years — asyou know we have already spoken of otherexperiences at the time of puberty — experiencednot only that his voice changed, but that whattoday only enters, presses into, the region of thevoice, extending from the sexual essences of theorganism, in those ancient times pressed also intothe thoughts, the conceptual world of the youngboy. We must deal with such things truthfully; thevoice apparatus is simply pervaded with the sexualessences of the organism. Today the voice breaks;in those days the thoughts ‘broke’ too, since it wasstill the ancient Imaginative time. In those timesthe young boy before the age of puberty hadcertain Imaginations; it was a living process andall knew that the child up to nine or ten years ofage had Imaginations — Imaginations of spiritualevents in the atmosphere. (Today there are stillslight remains of this in almost every child oftender age, it is only that people pay no attentionto it, or talk the children out of it as being foolish
  54. 54. nonsense.) In the air spiritual events are takingplace around us all the time. The air is not onlywhat physical science describes, but spiritualevents are taking place. These spiritual events,essentially events of the etheric world, wereperceived by children in full Imaginations up tothe time of puberty. And when puberty entered —not only for the voice, but the life of concepts —the human being felt something in him (it was infact that which shot up out of the forces which areusually called in physiology the sex forces), feltsomething in him of which he said: what I saw asa child through the Imaginations in theatmosphere, now comes to life in me again, it isperception, it lives in me. That took place. Theman was aware that he had taken something intohimself out of the atmosphere. Formerly he hadseen it outside; now he felt it within him.For woman too, in those ancient times, there hadbeen, before puberty, a perception in Imaginationsof what was outside in the atmosphere. But afterpuberty that which in the case of boys merelyemerged in the feeling of an alteration in their
  55. 55. mental life, in the case of the woman was like anascent of still more inward Imaginations: it wasthe human image that the woman perceived withinher again and again in Imagination. And then shesaid to herself: what I now perceive Imaginatively,is the same as I experienced in childhood beforepuberty, out in cosmic space, as Imaginativepictures. Both sexes, only in different ways,experienced the fact that they actually knew in thesoul: in me something is born which cosmic spacehas fructified in me.There you have a still more concrete form of theOsiris-Isis-myth: it is universal wisdom in so far asit is won from the atmosphere, but it is in organicconnection with man, the deeper layers of thehuman spirit. You can get an idea of it if you seekit in the following way. You see, men thinknowadays in an abstract way, inasmuch as theydesire to know through the head what the worldcontains of laws and so on. In these old times menwere clear that in this way, merely through headknowledge, one cannot know, but one knowsthrough the whole human being. One knows what
  56. 56. goes on outside in space, goes on etherically, byhaving perceived it formerly as it were, outside,and then after puberty pictured or felt it inwardly.How do you perceive then today, with the abstractperception that you have? You discover somethingwhich you see with the senses; then you think itover afterwards. That happens in rapid succession.With those mysteries, through which man inancient times penetrated into the laws of theatmosphere present in Imaginations, it was adifferent matter. As child, up to puberty, heperceived, he only perceived; afterwards heworked this over inwardly. One might say it isonly a perceptive process and a thinking processspread out in time; whereas today it is placed atmans own discretion to observe abstractly and toreflect, conceive abstractly. Over the whole lifewas spread what we now crowd together in a fewmoments as regards the outer physical world,perceive, conceive. That was something which inhis relation to the world man thought of as spreadout over the whole of human life between birthand death. To the age of puberty he perceivedcertain things, afterwards he reflected upon them.
  57. 57. Such an age was once in existence.But now think. People said to themselves: ‘thisperceiving and reflecting, this is connected in acertain way with the day, with the rising andsetting sun. With the rising sun, one wakes, getsup, begins to perceive and to think; with thesetting sun this ceases, since one lies down tosleep.’ Thus people connected perceiving andthinking with the day; and what was spread outover the whole life between birth and death theybrought into connection with more widelyextended cosmic events in the heavens. Just as itdepends on the sun, on the ordinary rising andsetting of the sun, that I can perceive and think, sodoes it depend on greater, more extended starconstellations which appear after centuries, aftermillennia, what man develops in perceiving andthinking of the kind that I have described. And asin those old times people connected the ordinaryperception and thinking with the day, with sunriseand sunset — indeed as people do today thoughthey dont think so and even believe they go by theclock — so they connected matters concerning
  58. 58. more comprehensive cosmic mysteries with theother star-constellations, with the other events inthe heavens.You see, a deep logic, a deep wisdom lies in thesethings. With superficialities one cannot get at thefacts. But something else too is bound up with it.These ancient peoples — and we could speak ofothers besides the Egyptians and the Greeks —these ancient peoples knew that the more inward-lying forces of human nature are connected withwhat come to expression in celestial happenings,in star-constellations. That decadence of manwhich is expressed in the modern attitude to thesex problem, and that greatest decadence which isexpressed in the most modern attitude to sexualproblems, of this nothing was yet known to thoseancient peoples of the ages of which one mustspeak when one deals with these things. For themit was something very different when they had thefeeling: it is the sexual essences which aresuffused into the human being when the voicebreaks and therewith the thoughts break too — orwhen the other appears of which I have spoken.
  59. 59. That the divine was then pouring itself forth inman — that was the conviction of the ancients.Hence what is only viewed in a pernicious sensetoday is found in all old religious rites: the sex-symbols, the so-called sex-symbols, point thus tothis connection — we can call it the connectionbetween the atmosphere with its air-events and thehuman processes of knowledge which take placeduring the whole human life between birth anddeath.‘Through my eye, through my ear’ — so said thesepeople — ‘I am connected with what is brought bythe day. Through the deeper, more inwardly lyingforces, I am connected with something quitedifferent, with the secrets of the air, which,however, are only perceived in Imaginativeexperience.’ And this Imaginative experience in itsconcrete form I have described for you withreference to these early times.The Old Testament conception in these matterswas different inasmuch as it put doctrine in theplace of actual experience. The Egyptian of theOsiris-age, especially of the earlier Osirisage, said
  60. 60. as follows: ‘The true human being only enters mewith puberty, for I then take in what formerly Isaw in Imaginations. The air transmits to me thetrue man.’ In the doctrine of the Old Testament thiswas transformed into the conception: The Elohimor Jahve have breathed into man the living breath(Odem), the air. There the essence was lifted out ofthe direct living experience and became doctrine,theory. This was necessary, for only so couldmankind be led — and that is the meaning of theOld Testament — be led from that living in unionwith the outer world, which still had an innerconnection between the microcosm, man, and themacrocosm, the world, to their further evolution(of which I will speak later). As this connectiongradually vanished, it was necessary to fall backon just such a doctrine as that of the OldTestament.But now there came the time of the death of Osiris— and therewith the time too in which, while onething became finer, the other thing, as it were,became coarser. How is that to be understood?Well, you can imagine it thus: When we go back
  61. 61. into the old Osiris-time, then the human being sawor felt before puberty the Light-Imaginationswithin the outer air (see sketch) — if I speak forthe one sex — Thus he saw in his environment theLight-Imaginations in the air up to the time ofpuberty. Afterwards he had the feeling that theyhad entered into him, and the changes occurred ofwhich we have spoken. For the child the air waseverywhere filled with Light phenomena; for thegrown man, the matured man, the air was certainlystill there, but he knew that as child he had seensomething else in it. He knew that the air was atthe same time the bearer, the mother, of light. Heknew that it was not true that when he looked outinto the air there was nothing in it but what wasshown physically. Beings live in it which are to beperceived in Imagination.
  62. 62. These Beings were for the Greeks the Being of theZeus-circle. Thus man knew that there wereBeings in the air. But all this — the fact thathuman states of consciousness became changed —all this is connected with the fact that evenobjective things became different in the finersubstantiality. Naturally, for the modern cleverman it is an outrage if one says such things. Iknow it is an outrage, but nevertheless it is true:the air has become different. Naturally it has notchanged in a way that can be tested by chemicalreagents; nevertheless the air has become different.The air has lost the strength to express the Light-Imaginations; the air has — one could say —
  63. 63. become coarser. It has actually become differenton earth since that ancient time. The air hasbecome coarser. But not only the air, but manhimself has become coarser. That which formerlylived spiritually in the essences which permeatedthe larynx and the rest of the organism, that hasalso grown coarser. So that in fact if one speakstoday of the sexual-essences one speaks of what isdifferent from what one would speak of in ancienttimes. Everyone in older times knew: ‘Theperception of the day is connected with mypersonality; the other, which I experience from theatmosphere, experience with my whole life, that,however, is connected with mankind as such, thatgoes beyond the individual man.’ Hence they alsosought to fathom the social mysteries under whichmen live together, through the link which boundthem with the macrocosm, they sought for socialwisdom through the star-wisdom. But what livedin man as social wisdom bound him in fact to thecelestial. This came to expression in the mosteveryday concepts. A human pair before the deathof Osiris would never have felt anything else thanthat they had received a child from heaven. That
  64. 64. was a living consciousness and corresponded alsowith truth. And this living consciousness coulddevelop because man knew that he received out ofthe air-filled space what he himself experienced.Of all this the coarse dregs, so to say, have beenleft. As in the air the coarse sediment has remainedbehind of that power of the air that revealed itselfto man in Imaginations in earlier ages, so in manhimself are the coarse dregs left behind. This hadto come about since otherwise men could not haveattained freedom and a full consciousness of theego. But it is the dregs that have remained. In thisway, however, all that the ancients meant by thedivine, which as you can now readily realize, theyconnected in a roundabout way with the sexualessences, all this has been coarsened, not only inidea but also in reality. But it is there nevertheless;naturally not only in the one way, but in the otherway too. The reproduction of mankind was inthose olden times thought to be in directconnection with the micro-macrocosmic bond ofmankind, as you have seen, but the whole sociallife of man on earth was in fact also thought to be
  65. 65. in connection with this micro-macrocosmic bond.Numa Pompilus went to the Nymph Egeria toreceive information from her as to how he shouldarrange social conditions in the Roman Kingdom.This, however, means nothing else than that he hadlet the star wisdom be imparted to him, had let thestar-wisdom tell him how social conditions shouldbe organized.That which men reproduce on earth, and which isconnected with successive generations, was to beplaced in the service of what the stars have to say.As the individual man directed his life with hisordinary perceiving and thinking, according to therising and setting of the sun, so theinterconnections of mankind which later became‘States’, were to be placed under the star-constellations as expressions of cosmicrelationships.In our language — and languages often containmemories of old conditions — we still have aremembrance of this connection in the fact that therelation of male and female is described by theword ‘Geschlecht’ (sex) and also the successive
  66. 66. generations as ‘Geschlechter’ (races). It is one andthe same word: the ‘Geschlecht’ — the family,interconnected, blood relations — and then therelation of man and woman. And so is it too inother languages, and it all points to how mansought to find a recognizable connection with themacrocosm for what lay in his nature, in thedeeper strata of his being.These things have become coarsened in thedirection we have discussed. Among other thingsthat have remained behind is the attachment inlonging and feeling to nationality, the clinging tothe national, the chauvinistic impulse for thenational; that is the lingering relic of what in oldertimes could be thought of in quite differentconnections. But only when one looks into suchthings does one know the truth contained in them.What is expressed by the nationalistic longing?When man develops to excess this nationalfeeling, this sentiment for the nation, what is livingin it? Exactly the same as lives in the sexual, in thesexual in one way, in national sentiment inanother. It is the sexual human being that lives his
  67. 67. life through these two different poles. To beChauvinistic, is, nothing else really thandeveloping a sort of group-sexuality. One couldsay that where the sexual essences, in what theyhave left behind, grip men more, there is presentmore national Chauvinism; for it is the very forceliving in reproduction that comes to manifestationtoo in national sentiment. Hence the battle-cry ofthe so-called ‘Freedom of the Peoples or of theNations’ is really only to be understood in its moreintimate connections if one said — in a mostrespectable sense of course — ‘The Call for theRe-establishment of the National in the Light ofthe Sex-Problem’. It is necessary to realize as oneof the secrets of the time-impulse, the fact that thesexual problem is proclaimed in quite a specialform over the earth today, without people havingany idea of how out of their subconsciousness thesexual clothes itself in the words: ‘Freedom of thePeoples.’ And far more than men imagine aresexual impulses present in the catastrophic eventsof today, far more than men imagine! For theimpulses to what is happening today lie, in fact,very, very deep.
  68. 68. Such truths must no longer in our present age bekept under lock and key. Certain Brotherhoodshave been able to keep them under lock and key,because in the strictest sense of the word they haveexcluded women. Although joint work withwomen can nevertheless lead to all sorts of badthings, as has indeed constantly been shown today,yet the time has come in which right views,general views, on these matters must be spreadamong humanity. Ideas are nevertheless spreadabroad which are impure, foolish, empty,inasmuch as from certain directions, withoutknowledge of the more intimate connections, allsorts of things are treated today as sexualproblems. But you see how what here is pure,genuine, honourable truth comes in contact, on theone hand, with what can be the most impure,lowest way of thinking, as is shown from time totime in the outgrowths of Psycho-Analysis orsimilar things. You will always find, however, thatwhat on the one hand, rightly understood, isprofound truth, needs hardly to be altered at all inwords, but only to be permeated with a low-minded type of thought, and it is simply a
  69. 69. pernicious, stupid, objectionable conception.A former age could speak of ‘nations’, when onepictured ‘Nations’ in such a way that one nationhad its guardian spirit in Orion, another in anotherstar, and one knew that ones life was ruled fromthe star-constellations. One then appealed, as itwere, to the ordering in the heavens. Today wherethere is no longer such ordering in the heavens,there is the appeal to the merely national, theChauvinistic appeal to the merely national, that isto say, an asserting of an impulse, psycho-sexualin the most pronounced sense, a backwardluciferic impulse.If one would see clearly and plainly what is today,one must not shrink from the actual underlyingtruth. But one can also see from such things whypeople are so afraid of the truth. Just imagine if, inthe outcry on the freedom of nations and so forththat is raised today, people were to hear ‘thatcomes from sexual impulses!’ One should justimagine that! One should picture for once thecrowing cock ... I dont mean any special one, notsimply Clemenceau ... one should picture all the
  70. 70. declaimers on this theme ... and imagine that theyhad to realize that what they crow is after all themating-voice of the cock, however finely it isdecked out in national garments.These are things which mankind must learn toknow today, and which they do not want to hear,for, as you know, of things that are black it isasserted that they are white, and of those that arewhite, that they are black. The point is, that thatancient time of which I have spoken has comenow to the fifth Post-Atlantean epoch in whichabstraction has gradually developed. There wherethe boundary lies between the fourth and fifthPost-Atlantean epochs (you can read about this inmy book The Riddles of Philosophy), there menstrove with all their might over the intellectualvalue — so to say — of the abstract. Readafterwards in my The Riddles of Philosophy whereI speak of the nominalism and realism of theMiddle Ages. Abstraction had grown to such apitch that they asked themselves: When I form aconcept, has that any significance for the thingsoutside, or is it only a name in my head? Today
  71. 71. people no longer reflect on such things. Of whatinterest is it to people to know that men havetormented themselves in the Middle Ages, whenthe abstractive power of thought was felt, whatrole the so-called universals, the general ideas,play in the world! That one wrestled and stroveabout what role abstractions play! Nowadays onethinks no more about it; one has already becomeused to abstractions; one does not strive to getbeyond the abstract impulse but, on the contrary,to get thoroughly within it. The conflict over‘universals’ — this ultimately came to the pointwhere it was said: ‘Universals, General Ideas, areat first as certain Ideas in God: those areUniversals ante rem; then the Ideas are in theobjects: Universals in re; and then the Ideas are inour mind, our soul: post rem — Universals postrem.’ That was an expedient, in order to take up astand on the question: is a man connected withreality when he thinks, when he only thinks ideas?They still felt something of how in ancient timesmen had been connected with reality. When theyreached maturity they thought over, as it were,what as a child they had formerly perceived; they
  72. 72. knew therefore that only then had the true humanbeing entered in. One had to struggle desperatelyover the Universals, as to whether, when onethinks, there is still something of reality left inones thought or whether it is entirely divorcedfrom reality and has nothing to do with it. Sincethat time people have grown accustomed to takethe universals, the abstractions, as abstractions,and are more or less completely cut off fromreality in their consciousness.Such a process is taking place continually on asmall scale. Think for a moment: words which arethe representatives of concepts, are originally indirect connection with what is seen. For instance, asmall group of fighting men has one man at thehead, they have this one man before them, theycall him the foremost, the first, Fürst (Eng: Chief,Prince). There one has it linked directly with whatis beheld, later it was set free, it became a wordwhich denoted something without any sort ofconnection with a direct perception. Just think tohow many words this applies! And the next step isthat then certain words become privileged, that
  73. 73. speech becomes monopolized, becomes theproperty of the State. Even in language certainthings are developing in this direction, are theynot? ... Take the simple case that someone haslearnt a great deal, has become wise — let us say,without meaning anything foolish by it — he is alearned man. In a certain naive way one wouldthen say: he is a ‘Doctor’. Here we have aconnection with fact if we call someone ‘doctor’who is seen to be learned. For it still has a certainsignificance when there is documentary evidenceheld by a Corporation which gives thisrecognition. But it loses the significance when it ismonopolized ... Yet mankind is enthusiastic aboutsuch monopolizing nowadays. All possible wordsare to be monopolized. A man is not supposedmerely through his gifts to be an ‘engineer’, butthis must also become a recognized title fromheaven knows where. And increasingly things areto be loosed from their connections. There you cansee the abstraction-process on a small scale, but itis accomplished wholesale with infinitesignificance. A family has a father. What is theconnection between the pater, who is the father of
  74. 74. the family and the Pater, who is a priest? Thistearing loose of what is contained in the word — Iwanted to bring it forward as illustrating theabstraction-process taking place in humanity.And in the case of ideas it is much moremischievous than in language; people often makeuse of concepts without having the least idea oftheir connection with what is perceived.Sometimes people then search for the realobservation, become comic, frightfully comic inthis search! Only remember how there is a wholeliterature today about the cross-sign, which isreally a universal sign, spread over the world.Most amusing is all the learnedness applied to it!This sign is traced back to this
  75. 75. That was supposed to have been the cross offormer times.Sometimes they then trace that back by saying:only the parts have been left, the swastika and soon. Yes, it is frightfully clever what has beenwritten about it, quite immensely clever, the way‘cleverness’ has been applied to such things.I do not wish at all to go in for detailed criticism.But to know what is true, cleverness is not enough.One ought, of course, to know that the cross-signmeans nothing else than that the human beingtakes his stand, stretches out his arms and then heis the cross. From above downwards goes a streamof existence that binds man with the macrocosm,
  76. 76. and through the outstretched hands too. And theCross is the sign for Man.And when you find distinguishing marks of theAssyrian kings or of the Egyptian kings,medallions, for instance, then they are medallionswith the cross-sign.And two other signs (the cross on the medallion isone sign that ancient kings had) were, for instance,these.The star in the sign is generally made in such away that one does not immediately recognize thepentagram in it — or is it even a hexagram; —however, that is not the point.
  77. 77. Specially clever people have said: that is the Sun,that is the Cross, that is the moon, that is the star.But the deeper meaning lies precisely in the factthat it is man, the microcosm, who is compoundedof sun and moon. You see from this ordinarycross-sign, how the concept has been separatedfrom the real object. The direct perception is this,the sign is this: man in the form of a cross. Peopletoday know so little of how to connect the objectwith the sign, that, as I have said, an immenselyclever literature exists which seeks to find out howthis sign is connected with what it wants toexpress. And so one could write quite cleverarticles over the most everyday words withoutdiscovering how these things, these words, wereconnected with the realities.Humanity had to go through the period ofabstractions. We know that today we are no longerin the sign of Aries, in which the Sun stood at thebeginning of Spring when the transition took placefrom the old Imaginative time, of which echoesstill lingered, to the age of abstractions. We haveentered the age of Pisces. A special characteristic
  78. 78. of this age is that man receives the force forabstract ideas out of the macrocosm. Man receivesthis force today from the macrocosm. But in themeantime man does not know how he is to unitethe abstract ideas again with reality. They must beunited again with reality.I said at the beginning of the lecture that in thisfifth Post-Atlantean epoch there must be a kind ofrecapitulation of the time in the Egyptian-Chaldean epoch when one looked back to theancient Osiris-age, when Imaginations were inexistence. The reverse, as it were, must take place:man must find the way back again to theImaginations. One could say in another form:Osiris must become alive again, we must findways and means to bring Osiris to life. I havespoken very concretely in these studies by sayingthat we must find forms of experience which arecommon to the dead and the living. Since Osiriswas slain he has been with the dead; he willremain with the dead, but he will have to comeagain among the living, when there are concernswhich are common to the dead and the living for
  79. 79. the social life of men.This brings us to the fact that people mustunderstand something which it is above allnecessary for our time to understand: how willOsiris be revivified? How can Osiris come to newlife? How does man approach again life andexperience in the Imaginative consciousness?We will speak of this tomorrow — how he is torise again, and how the resurrection is to bebrought about. Tomorrows considerations shallhave then, as their subject, the Imaginativeconsciousness.
  80. 80. Lecture III 6th January 1918.We have been endeavouring in these lectures tounderstand something of the course of mankindsevolution; we have sought to follow up the deeperfoundations of such Myths as the Osiris-Isis Myth;we have further sought to find our way again, froma certain aspect, in the world of the Greek Gods.We have lightly touched upon the inner meaningof the concepts which perhaps do not come toclear expression, but which underlie the poeticmyths of Egypt and Greece, and have sought tostudy, at any rate to indicate, the connectionbetween the basis of these myths and the OldTestament doctrines. These Old Testamentdoctrines have sprung from a different spirit fromthat of the mythology of the Egyptians and theGreeks. We have seen that the Egyptian and
  81. 81. Grecian mythologies in the manner of theirstructure, are derived from certain ancientexperiences of mankind. They are based on acertain consciousness that humanity oncepossessed atavistic clairvoyance, and through theatavistic clairvoyance had stood in the same innerrelation to the spirit pervading Nature, as later onman is related between birth and death to thethings of the senses. We have seen that for this oldatavistic knowledge the far-reaching world-conception, which was an inner experience,signified more than the mere sense-perceptionknowledge of the transitional humanity to whichwe still belong.All that had arisen as pictures in the Egyptian andthe Greek mythology, or better to say,contemplation of the Gods, is to be found in theOld Testament as actual doctrine, with the keynoteof morality. In fact, the day before yesterday, as Ispoke of the important difference between themythology of Egypt and Greece and the OldTestament, I told you that the divine spiritualBeings who stand at the beginning of the Old
  82. 82. Testament, the Elohim, Jahve, can only be thoughtof as together creating mankind. We can only thinkof them as producing through their deeds what wecall earthly humanity. In fact the whole evolutionof earthly man is only accomplished according tothe fundamental deed of the Elohim, of Jahve. Isaid that that is not the case in Egyptian or Greekmythology. There men looked back into ancienttimes and said to themselves: the Gods Osiris, Isis,Zeus, Apollo, Mars, Pallas, who are nowconnected with the guidance of human destiny,they have arisen from other generations of Gods,but men were already in existence. The Egyptianand the Greek mythology traced man back to oldertimes in which those Gods were not yet creatingand ruling who were recognized in their owntimes. Thus men in Egypt and Greece ascribed tothemselves a greater antiquity than that of theGods then in power.This is so fundamental and significant a differencethat one must bear it well in mind. In the course ofthese studies we shall see to what an infinitelyimportant and significant fact this conception
  83. 83. points. In the Old Testament doctrine the Godswho were revered were at the same time the Godswho created the human race. Only because the OldTestament doctrine makes the Divine the creator ofman, only through this was it possible for the OldTestament doctrine to insert at the same time themoral element, moral impulse, into the divineorder and hence into the whole ordering ofmankind, into Providence, one might say.This is important for an understanding of thepresent-day world conception. For the worldconcepts of today are not derived in any verydefinite way from a uniform source; they havevery different origins, and we bear much within usin which we believe, which we profess as modernmen, that is directly rooted in Greek ideas. Webear much within us, especially the immediatepresent bears much in it, that points back to theOld Testament. The search of many human beingsto find their right way among these oftencontradictory concepts and ideas, comes throughthe impulse that proceeds from the Mystery ofGolgotha. This all lies as yet in our programme
  84. 84. and we shall have to build it up in the time we arestill vouchsafed to be together.It is above all important that we can lay one thingas a foundation; I have already referred to ityesterday. We have often related that we are living,since the 15th century, in the fifth Post-Atlanteanepoch, and in a certain connection, I said, certainimpulses of the third Post-Atlantean epoch, theEgypto-Chaldean must reappear in the fifth, just asin the sixth Post-Atlantean epoch, certain impulsesof the second, the Zarathustra, the Old Persianepoch will light up, and as in the last Post-Atlantean epoch, the seventh, certain impulses ofthe original Indian epoch will light up again. Thatis a law in the course of human evolution whichpoints in a significant manner to the essentialsstanding spiritually before mankind up to the newcatastrophe that is to come — like a catastrophe ofnature.Now we have seen in part what immense depth ofhuman consciousness in ancient times is expressedin the fact that these ancient ages evolved theOsiris-myth. We have seen that this early age
  85. 85. meant to say: there once lived a perception amongmen through which man could still directlyexperience the spiritual in his natural surroundingsin his atavistic imaginations. That was the age inwhich Osiris ruled. But the new perceptions, theTyphon perceptions, those perceptions that havemade the letter-script from the picture-script, thoseperceptions which from the primeval sacredlanguage which men used to speak in commonhave formed the individually sounding languages,these perceptions of Typhon, they have slain whatlived in humanity as the Osiris-impulse. So thatsince then Osiris is a Being at the side of men onlywhen they are between death and a new birth.We have then followed the Osiris-Isis Legend inits essentials, have seen how Osiris was regardedas a primeval ruler of Egypt who brought theEgyptians the most important of their arts, whoruled in Egypt throughout long ages, who alsotraveled from Egypt into other lands, and not bythe sword but by persuasion brought them thebenefits of the arts taught in Egypt. During hisabsence upon journeys, as he conferred on other
  86. 86. lands the benefits with which he had instructed theEgyptians, Typhon, his wicked brother, introducedinnovations into his own land of Egypt. And thenas Osiris returned he was slain by Typhon despitethe watchfulness of his consort Isis. Then Isissought everywhere for Osiris. Through boys — sosays the legend — it was revealed to her that thecoffin had been carried away by the sea; shediscovered it then in Byblos in Phoenicia andbrought it back to Egypt. Typhon cut up the corpseinto fourteen pieces. Isis collected the pieces; withthe use of spices and by other means she was ableto give each piece the appearance of Osiris again.She then induced the priests to accept a third of theland from her, and by being in possession of athird of the land, on the one hand they should keepthe grave of Osiris secret, on the other handinstitute the Osiris cult — that is to say, amemorial service of the ancient Osiris-time, tokeep in memory that there had once been adifferent perception in humanity. Thisremembrance was thenceforward to be preservedand all sorts of secrets surrounded it. The time inwhich Typhon had slain Osiris was indicated to be
  87. 87. the time in the November days of autumn whenthe sun sets in the seventeenth degree of Scorpio,and opposite in Taurus the moon appears in thePleiades as full-moon.Then it was related that Osiris once more betookhimself from the Underworld, where he rules overthe dead and judges them, to the Upperworld inorder to instruct his son Horus, whom he had hadby Isis. It is further related by the legend that Isislet herself be induced to set free Typhon, whomshe had held imprisoned. Her son Horus,instructed by Osiris, grew so angry at this that hecame in conflict with Isis his mother and seizedthe crown from her. Then it is related that either hehimself, or, in other versions, Hermes, set cow-horns upon her head in place of the crown, andsince then she has been portrayed with these.Now you see Isis in ancient Egyptian mythsstanding there at the side of Osiris. And for thefeeling of the old Egyptians she was not only amysterious deity, a mysterious spirit-being whostood in inner relation with the ordering of theworld, but one could say that Isis was the epitome
  88. 88. of all the deepest thoughts the Egyptians were ableto form about the archetypal forces working innature and in man. If the Egyptian was to look upto the great mysteries in his surroundings, then hemust look up to Isis who had a statue in the templeat Sais which has become famous. Beneath thisstatue, as is well known, stood the inscription thatshould express the being of Isis: ‘I am the All, Iam the Past, the Present and the Future; no mortalhas yet lifted my veil.’Especially in the later period of the Egyptiancivilization that was a central thought. And ingazing at the mysteries of Isis, one rememberedthe other mysteries of the ancient Osiris age. Andin connection with Isis, with the Isis at the sight ofwhom the pious Egyptian trembled when he let thewords work upon him: ‘I am the All, I am the Past,the Present and the Future, no mortal has yet liftedmy veil;’ when these words worked upon him theEgyptian remembered at the same time that Isiswas once united with Osiris, when Osiris stillwandered upon earth. The laity looked at it aslegendary. In the mysteries the Priests explained
  89. 89. that the ancient Osiris time was that in which theold clairvoyance united man with the spirit ofnature all about him.For an understanding of the Osiris-Isis legend ormyth at the present day, one must view it with thesensations and feelings which were in the soul, inthe heart, of the Egyptian. We have done so in afew characteristic features to begin with. Andthrough these characteristic features there is tostand before our souls gaze that which oncesounded over from ancient times into newer times,which lost its meaning through the Mystery ofGolgotha, but must be again unriddled today —precisely for the better understanding of theMystery of Golgotha. There must stand before oursouls gaze all the mystery that at first could onlybe divined when the Egyptian felt the words thatgave the description of Isis: ‘I am the All, I am thePast, the Present and the Future; no mortal has yetlifted my veil.’ For, my dear friends, we will setopposite this Osiris-Isis myth another Osiris-Isismyth, quite another one. And in the relation of thisother Osiris-Isis myth I must count upon your
  90. 90. freedom from prejudice, your impartiality in thehighest degree, in order that you do notmisunderstand it. This other Osiris-Isis myth is inno way born out of foolish arrogance, it is born inhumility; it is also of such a nature that perhaps itcan only be related today in a most imperfect way.But I will try to characterize its features in a fewwords.It is in the first place left to each one — thoughthat can only be provisionally — to fix the timewhen this Osiris-Isis myth was related in a waythat I can only relate today approximately,superficially, even banally. But, as I said, I will tryto relate this other Osiris-Isis myth disregarding asmuch as possible many prejudices and callingupon your unbiased understanding. This otherOsiris-Isis myth then has somewhat — I say‘somewhat’ — the following contents. ‘It was inthe age of scientific profundity, in the midst of theland of Philisterium. Upon a hill in spiritualseclusion was erected a Building which wasconsidered to be very remarkable in the land ofPhilisterium.’
  91. 91. (I should just like to say that the futurecommentator here adds a remark that by ‘the landof Philisterium’ not merely the very nearestenvironment is meant.)If one wanted to use the language of Goethe onecould say that the Building represented an ‘opensecret’. For the Building was closed to none, itwas open to all, and in fact everyone could see it atconvenient times. But far the greater number ofpeople saw nothing at all. Far the greater numberof people saw neither what was built nor what thisrepresented. Far the greater number of peoplestood — to use Goethes words again — before an‘open secret’, a completely open secret.A statue was intended to be the central point of theBuilding. This statue presented a Group of beings:the Representative of Man, then — Luciferic andAhrimanic figures. People looked at the statue anddid not know in the age of scientific profundity inthe land Philisterium that the Statue, in fact, wasonly the veil for an invisible statue. But theinvisible statue was not noticed by people, for itwas the new Isis, the Isis of a new age.
  92. 92. Some few persons of the land of scientificprofundity had once heard of this remarkableconnection between what was visible and what, asIsis-image, was concealed behind what was openand evident. And then in their profoundallegorical-symbolical manner of speech they hadput forward the assertion that this combination ofthe Representative of Man with Lucifer andAhriman signified Isis. With this word ‘signified’,however, they not only ruined the artistic intentionfrom which the whole thing was supposed toproceed — for an artistic creation does not merelysignify something, but is something — but theycompletely misunderstood all that underlay it. Forit was not in the least the point that the figuressignified something, but that they already werewhat they appeared to be. And behind the figureswas not an abstract new Isis, but an actual, realnew Isis. The figures ‘signified’ nothing at all, butthey were in fact, in themselves, that which theymade themselves out to be. But they possessed thepeculiarity that behind them there was the realbeing, the new Isis.
  93. 93. Some few who in special circumstances, in specialmoments, had nevertheless seen this new Isis,found that she is asleep. And so one can say: thereal deeper-lying statue that conceals itself behindthe external statue is the sleeping new Isis, asleeping figure — visible — but seen by few.Many persons then turned in special moments tothe inscription, which is plainly there at the spotwhere the statue stands in preparation, but whichalso has been read by few. And yet the inscriptionstands clearly there, just as clearly as theinscription once stood on the veiled form at Sais.In fact the inscription stands there: ‘I am Man, Iam the Past, the Present and the Future. Everymortal should lift my veil.’Another figure, as a visitor, once approached thesleeping figure of the new Isis, and then again andagain. And the sleeping Isis considered this visitorher special benefactor and loved him. And one dayshe believed in a particular illusion, just as thevisitor believed one day in a particular illusion: thenew Isis had an offspring — and she consideredthe visitor whom she looked on as her benefactor,
  94. 94. to be the father. He regarded himself as the father,but he was not. The spirit-visitor, who was noneother than the new Typhon, believed that he couldacquire a special increase of his power in theworld if he took possession of this new Isis. So thenew Isis had an offspring, but she did not know itsnature, she knew nothing of the being of this newoffspring. And she moved it about, she dragged itfar off into other lands, because she believed thatshe must do so. She trailed the new offspringabout, and since she had trailed and dragged itthrough various regions of the world it fell topieces into fourteen parts through the very powerof the world.Thus the new Isis had carried her offspring into theworld and the world had dismembered it infourteen pieces. When the spirit-visitor, the newTyphon, had come to know of this, he gatheredtogether the fourteen pieces, and with all theknowledge of natural scientific profundity heagain made a being, a single whole, out of thefourteen pieces. But in this being there were onlymechanical laws, the law of the machine. Thus a
  95. 95. being had arisen with the appearance of life, butwith the laws of the machine. And since this beinghad arisen out of fourteen pieces, it couldreproduce itself again, fourteen-fold. And Typhoncould give a reflection of his own being to eachpiece, so that each of the fourteen offspring of thenew Isis had a countenance that resembled the newTyphon.And Isis had to follow all this strange affair, half-divining it; half-divining she could see the wholemiraculous change that had come to her offspring.She knew that she had herself dragged it about,that she had herself brought all this to pass. Butthere came a day when in its true, its genuine formshe could accept it again from a group of spiritswho were elemental spirits of nature, could receiveit from nature elementals.As she received her true offspring which onlythrough an illusion had been stamped into theoffspring of Typhon, there dawned upon her aremarkable clairvoyant vision: she suddenlynoticed that she still had the cow-horns of ancientEgypt, in spite of having become a new Isis.
  96. 96. And lo and behold, when she had thus becomeclairvoyant, the power of her clairvoyancesummoned — some say Typhon himself, somesay, Mercury. And he was obliged through thepower of the clairvoyance of the new Isis to set acrown on her head in the place where once the oldIsis had had the crown which Horus had seizedfrom her, that is to say, on the spot where shedeveloped the cow-horns. But this crown wasmerely of paper — covered with all sorts ofwritings of a profoundly scientific nature — still itwas of paper. And she now had two crowns on herhead, the cow-horns and the paper crownembellished with all the wisdom of scientificprofundity.Through the strength of her clairvoyance there oneday arose in her the deep meaning, as far as theage could reach, of that which is described in St.Johns Gospel as the Logos. There arose in her theJohannine significance of the Mystery ofGolgotha. Through this strength the power of thecow-horns grasped the paper crown and changed itinto an actual golden crown of genuine substance.

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