If it were impossible for man to sink into the abyss of evil, he would not have been able to attain what on the one hand we call love and on the other freedom; since to the occultist freedom is inseparably connected with the idea of love. It would be impossible for man to develop either love or freedom without the possibility of sailing down into the abyss. A man unable, of his own free decision, to choose good or evil, would be a being who would only be led on a leading-string to a good which must be attained of necessity and who had no power to choose the good of his own fully purified will, by the love which springs from freedom. If it were impossible for man to follow in the trail of the monster with the two horns, it would also be impossible for him to follow God out of his own individual love. It was in accordance with a wise Providence to give the possibility of freedom to the humanity which has been developing through our planetary system, and this possibility of freedom could be given on no other condition than that man himself has to make the free choice between good and evil.
Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 104 – The Apocalypse of St. John – Lecture XII – Nuremberg, 30th June 1908
Translated by M. Cotterell