Incarnation of Ahriman (2 of 3)

It would undoubtedly be of the greatest benefit to Ahriman if he could succeed in preventing the vast majority of men from perceiving what would make for their true well-being, if the vast majority of men were to regard these preparations for the Ahriman-incarnation as progressive and good for evolution. If Ahriman were able to slink into a humanity unaware of his coming, that would gladden him most of all. It is for this reason that the occurrences and trends in which Ahriman is working for his future incarnation must be brought to light.

One of the developments in which Ahriman’s impulse is clearly evident is the spread of the belief that the mechanistic, mathematical conceptions inaugurated by Galileo, Copernicus and others, explain what is happening in the cosmos. That is why anthroposophical spiritual science lays such stress upon the fact that spirit and soul must be discerned in the cosmos, not merely the mathematical, mechanistic laws put forward by Galileo and Copernicus as if the cosmos were some huge machine. It would augur success for Ahriman’s temptings if men were to persist in merely calculating the revolutions of the heavenly bodies, in studying astrophysics for the sole purpose of ascertaining the material composition of the planets — an achievement of which the modern world is so proud. But woe betide if this Copernicanism is not confronted by the knowledge that the cosmos is permeated by soul and spirit. It is this knowledge that Ahriman, in preparing his earthly incarnation, wants to withhold from men. He would like to keep them so obtuse that they can grasp only the mathematical aspect of astronomy. Therefore he tempts many men to carry into effect their repugnance to knowledge concerning soul and spirit in the cosmos. That is only one of the forces of corruption poured by Ahriman into the souls of men. 

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 191 – Lucifer and AhrimanMan’s Responsibility for the Earth – Lecture 1 – Dornach, 1st November, 1919

Translated by D. S. Osmond

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Incarnation of Ahriman (1 of 3)

Just as there was an incarnation of Lucifer in the flesh and an incarnation of Christ in the flesh, so, before only a part of the third millennium of the post-Christian era has elapsed, there will be, in the West, an actual incarnation of Ahriman: Ahriman in the flesh. Humanity on earth cannot escape this incarnation of Ahriman. It will come inevitably. But what matters is that men shall find the right vantage-point from which to confront it.

Whenever preparation is being made for incarnations of this character, we must be alert to certain indicative trends in evolution. A Being like Ahriman, who will incarnate in the West in time to come, prepares for this incarnation in advance. With a view to his incarnation on the earth, Ahriman guides certain forces in evolution in such a way that they may be of the greatest possible advantage to him. And evil would result were men to live on in a state of drowsy unawareness, unable to recognise certain phenomena in life as preparations for Ahriman’s incarnation in the flesh. The right stand can be taken only by recognising in one or another series of events the preparation that is being made by Ahriman for his earthly existence. And the time has now come for individual men to know which tendencies and events around them are machinations of Ahriman, helping him to prepare for his approaching incarnation.

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 191 – Lucifer and AhrimanMan’s Responsibility for the Earth – Lecture 1 – Dornach, 1st November, 1919

Translated by D. S. Osmond

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We have in German a good expression for a man who refuses to become wise

We have in German a good expression for a man who refuses to become wise. We call him a Philistine. [German: Philister – The German and the English meanings of the word are rather different. (Tr.)] A Philistine is a man who resists the development of wisdom, who wants to remain as he is his whole life through, without altering his opinions.

A man who seeks to become wise makes the effort to carry over the work which he has done and stored up in the course of earlier incarnations. The wiser we become, the more we bring over from earlier incarnations into the present, and if we do not wish to become wise, so that we leave barren the wisdom developed in earlier incarnations, there is then one who comes to saw it off: Ahriman. No-one likes it better than Ahriman that we fail to grow wiser.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 159 – The Great Virtues – Zürich, January 31, 1915

Previously posted on August 18, 2018

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Why good people often have poor and disturbed sleep, while criminals sleep well

Reference has been made in the newspapers recently to questions that are being investigated by scientists, as to why criminals sleep well, while moral people with a good conscience often sleep badly. […] 

In the case of a highly conscientious and devout man, who has a fine moral feeling, his moral sensibility enters so deeply into his soul that he takes it with him into sleep; with the result that he sleeps badly, believing as he does that he has been guilty of many misdeeds.

A bad man, on the other hand, whose moral sensibility is very little developed, will carry with him into sleep no such pangs of conscience, — and this will mean of course at the same time that he will have, spiritually speaking, an open ear for the whisperings of Ahriman who makes evil appear good. Hence the quiet and contented sleep of the criminal!

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 218 – Man’s Life on Earth and in the Spiritual Worlds: Lecture IV – London, 12th November, 1922

Translated by George and Mary Adams

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Painted by David Newbatt

Previously posted on January 12, 2018

A moment of supreme importance

I have told you that the Event of the Mystery of Golgotha was a moment of supreme importance for the evolution of the world. The Christ appeared in the realm into which man enters after death, where Ahriman’s influence was even mightier than in the world around man here on earth between birth and death. In the realm of existence between death and rebirth, Ahriman’s influences worked upon man with terrible, overwhelming power.

And if nothing else had taken place, utter darkness would gradually have closed in upon man in the ‘realm of Shades’ — as it was correctly designated by the ancient Greeks. A condition of complete isolation, leading to the intensification of egoism would have set in between death and rebirth; man would have been born into his new life as a gross and overweening egotist. Hence it is more than a figure of speech to say that after the Event of Golgotha, at the moment when the Blood flowed from the wounds, the Christ appeared in yonder world, in the realm of the Shades, and cast Ahriman into fetters. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 107 – The Deed of Christ and the Opposing Spiritual Powers: Mephistopheles and Earthquakes – Berlin, 1st January 1909

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond

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Previously posted on December 15, 2017