We are living in the fifth post-Atlantean epoch of culture (1413-3573), the ancient Indian being the first (7227-5067BC), the ancient Persian the second (5067-2907BC), the Babylonian-Chaldean the third (2907-747BC), the Græco-Roman the fourth (747BC-1413); the sixth and seventh epochs will follow our own. And then another great catastrophe will befall the Earth and humanity, as was the case at the end of the Atlantean epoch.
Occult research is able to indicate the characteristic trend of human evolution in each of these post-Atlantean epochs of civilisation — including the fifth, sixth and seventh. The essential characteristic of our present fifth epoch is the development of intellect, of reason. The main characteristic of the sixth epoch will be that very definite feelings regarding what is moral and what is immoral will arise in the souls of men. Delicate feelings of sympathy will be aroused by compassionate, kindly deeds and feelings of antipathy by malicious actions. Nobody living at the present time can have the faintest conception of the intensity of these feelings.
To be continued
Source: Rudolf Steiner: GA 130 – BUDDHA AND CHRIST: The Sphere of the Bodhisattvas – Milan, 21st September, 1911
Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond