How should the relation between animal and man be thought of?  

How should the relation between animal and man be thought of? The theory of man’s ascent from apes may be considered as obsolete, for it is based upon a false train of thought. Think of a morally degenerate and of a highly ethical man. The assertion that man is descended from apes is like saying that the perfect man descends from the imperfect one. They need not descend from one another at all, but they may have a common father and be brothers! The one developed upwards, the other became decadent. Also the relation between ape and man may be viewed in this light. On Atlantis, the human form was still ape-like. During the Lemurian age the sole possession of a body which was even less perfect. This body then took an upward course of development. But the ape-like forms have partly degenerated and have become the apes of to-day. The apes are therefore the degenerated bodily brothers of man.

In the Atlantean age the human race branched out; the one main stem to an ascending development and became the human being of to-day, whereas the other descended and became the ape of to-day. All animals which live among us are consequently human beings who were expelled and condemned to degeneration. The ascent of certain beings is only possible through the fact that others sacrifice themselves. The higher expels the lower, in order to rise still higher; later on there will be a compensation for those who were expelled.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 94 – POPULAR OCCULTISM – IX. Lemurian Development – Leipzig, 7 July 1906


Orphaned mountain gorilla, Ndakasi, lies in the arms of her caregiver, Andre Bauma, shortly before her death in September at a gorilla orphanage at Virunga – Africa’s oldest national park – in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Mr Bauma rescued Ndakasi as a two-month-old in 2007 after poachers killed her parents. With no relatives, rangers decided it was too unsafe to let Ndakasi back out into the wild, and so raised her at the gorilla orphanage.

Meat / Animals / Bacteria

The bad about eating meat is the lasting effect of hurting and killing animals. These martyred animals return in the form of creatures who turn their forces against the bodies of the descendents of those who once killed them. Bacteria are re-embodied tortured, killed and eaten animals.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 – Esoteric Lessons – Part II: Cologne, May 9, 1912

Previously posted on March 19, 2020


Intelligence is not the decisive factor

When the famous eruption of Mount Pelee in Central America took place, very noteworthy and instructive documents were found in the ruins afterwards. In one of them it said: “You need not fear any more because the danger is past; there will be no more eruptions. This is shown by the laws which we have recognised as the laws of nature.” These documents, which stated that further volcanic eruptions were impossible according to the current state of knowledge of nature, had been buried — and with them the scholars who had written these documents on the basis of their normal scholarly knowledge. A tragic event took place here. But that precisely demonstrated the disharmony of the human being with the physical world quite clearly. There can be no doubt that the intelligence of the scholars who investigated these natural laws would have been adequate to find the truth if they had been sufficiently trained. For they were not lacking in intelligence. 

But although intelligence is necessary, it is insufficient on its own. Animals, for example, leave an area if such an event is imminent. That is a well-known fact. Only the domesticated animals perish with the human beings. The so-called animal instinct is therefore sufficient to develop a far greater wisdom as far as those future events are concerned than human wisdom today. “Intelligence” is not the decisive factor; our current intellect is present also in those who commit the greatest follies. Intelligence is therefore not lacking. 

What is lacking is sufficiently matured experience of events. As soon as the intelligence lays something down which appears plausible to its narrow limited experience it can come into disharmony with the real outward events and then the outer events break down around it. For there is a relationship between the physical body and the world which the human being will gradually learn to recognise and grasp with the forces which he possesses today already. But he will only be able to do this once he has accrued and assimilated the experiences of the outside world. Then the harmony which will have developed as a result of this experience will have been created by no other intellect than the one we have today; for it is precisely in the present that our intellect has developed to a certain stage. The only thing lacking is the ripening of experience. If the maturing of experience does not correspond to the outside then the human being becomes disharmonious with the outside world and can be broken on events in the outer world.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 59 – Metamorphoses of the Soul – Paths of Experience Vol. 2: Lecture 5 – Sickness and Healing – Berlin, 3rd March 1910

Translated by C. Davy and C. von Arnim / Original translation by George Metaxa

Previously posted on March 1, 2020


Animal group-souls

You will have gathered from the lectures given here recently that when we ascend with clairvoyance into the higher worlds we there meet with beings who, it is true, do not belong to our physical world, but who are in themselves so independent that we can describe them as ‘persons’ for those worlds, just as we call men here on the physical plane ‘persons.’ 

You have seen that groups of animals of the same species together belong to a group-soul or group-ego and that on the astral plane we come upon the lion-soul, the tiger-soul, and so on, as independent personalities whom we can meet there as we meet the human being on the physical plane. 

In the same way we find in still higher regions, on the devachanic plane, the egos of quite large plant groups, and in the highest parts of Devachan we find the egos of the minerals, personalities as distinct as men are here on the physical plane. We saw in this way that in these higher worlds we meet with certain beings who, so to speak, extend part of their organism, their separate members, down into the physical plane. 

If a man were to extend his fingers through openings in a curtain or partition we should only see the ten fingers, the man himself would be behind the partition. So it is with the group-egos of the animals. Here with the physical eye we see what is extended down below as members by higher beings of the astral world, and the actual ego is behind the partition, behind that wall which separates the physical world from the astral world.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 102 – The Influence of Spiritual Beings on Man: Lecture I – Berlin, 6th January 1908

Previously posted on September 27, 2019


A human being is born less capable than, for example, a hen, or a beaver

In the course of his history man has had to learn the use of the most primitive instruments, and our children have still to learn the simplest things, and have to spend a certain time in order to learn them.

Man has to make efforts to produce even the simplest things, or to manufacture his instruments and tools. When, on the other hand, when we observe the animals we are obliged to admit how much easier it is for them in this respect.

Think how the beaver builds its complicated dwelling. It does not need to learn; it knows how to do it, because it brings the knowledge with it as an indwelling law, just as we human beings bring with us the power of changing our teeth at about seven years of age. No one needs to learn that.

In the same way, such animals as the beavers bring with them the capability to build their houses. If you observe the animal kingdom you will find that the animals bring with them definite capacities by which they can achieve things which human art, great as it is, is far from achieving.

The question may now arise: How does it come about that when a human being is born he is less capable than, for example, a hen, or a beaver; and that he has first, with much pains, to acquire what these creatures already bring with them? (See link full lecture below)  

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 120 – Manifestations of Karma: LECTURE 2: KARMA AND THE ANIMAL KINGDOM – Hamburg, 17th May 1910


How did the beaver learn to build its complicated dwelling?