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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How has man really come to what we call his freedom — that is to say, to his ability to distinguish between good and evil, and in freedom to do either good or evil? (2 – End) 

What we human beings did not possess before the midpoint of our earth evolution was freedom of choice between good and evil. Now we cannot talk about good and evil in the subordinate kingdoms of nature. It would be ridiculous to discuss whether a mineral wanted to crystallise or not; it crystallises if the appropriate conditions are present. It would be equally ridiculous to ask whether the lily wants to blossom or not; or to ask the lion to abstain voluntarily from killing and devouring other animals. 

Only with man, only in our phase of evolution, do we speak about what we call freedom of choice. Only to human beings do we ascribe the capacity to distinguish between good and evil. How man got this capacity is described in the Bible, in the great symbol of the Fall, in the scene of the temptation, where the Devil or Lucifer appears to Eve and persuades her to eat of the Tree of Knowledge. Through that, man obtained free will; with it he began the second part of his evolutionary path. We can no more inquire into freedom, good and evil for man prior to that evolutionary mid-point, than we can for minerals, plants and animals.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 93 – The Temple Legend: Lecture 14: CONCERNING THE LOST TEMPLE AND HOW IT IS TO BE RESTORED – Berlin, 5th June 1905

Translated by John M. Wood

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Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil

Previously posted on September 17, 2017

The best remedy against a tormenting astral being

Lucifer and Ahriman are at their most harmful when they are not seen, when they remain invisible. Let us suppose that somebody is tormented by ahrimanic forces; what would be the best remedy? The best remedy would be for him to have some kind of picture made of Ahriman which he could place in his room. The best remedy against an astral being which torments one, is to place it before oneself in a physical form. It is incorrect to suppose that if we have Ahriman before us we will be persecuted by him; the contrary is true. Things must be made visible. But we must not let the matter get on our nerves; we must not develop a condition in which, if we happen to pass by the picture of Ahriman and look at it unconsciously, we then carry the image within ourselves. For this image will then be invisible inside us, thus making us nervous or excited.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 275 – Art as Seen in the Light of Mystery Wisdom: Lecture Three: IMPULSES OF TRANSFORMATION FOR MAN’S ARTISTIC EVOLUTION II – Dornach, 30th December 1914

Translated by Pauline Wehrle

Previously posted on September 13, 2017

Moderation and health

One can be impulsive because one eats or drinks too much. This is the lowest kind of impulsiveness. There the astral completely sinks into the bodily desire, and we completely enjoy life in our body. If, however, we control our desire, if we almost order the body what he has to do or not, then we are temperate, one can also say moderate. Then we keep by such moderation those forces in the correct order which should help that we do not deliver the concerning organs to Lucifer in the next incarnation. Since we deliver the forces to Lucifer, which we spend to a passionate life. Most badly when the passions transport us into a state of drunkenness, when we feel well with dozing.

Where we lose our temperance, we always deliver forces to Lucifer. He takes these forces, but with them, he also takes the forces from us we need for the respiratory and the digestive organs. We return then with bad respiratory and digestive organs if we do not practice the virtue of moderation. Those who like to be captivated by their life of passions, who dedicate themselves to their passionate life, are the candidates for the decadent people of the future, for those people of the future who will suffer from all possible shortcomings of their physical bodies.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 159 – The Mystery of Death – Zurich, 31st January 1915

Previously posted on May 29, 2016

The dead do not judge

As to the way in which the dead person sees the human beings who are here on earth, there is one thing of outstanding importance. Let us not imagine that the dead has not a keen and living interest in the world of human beings. He has, indeed, for the world of human beings belongs to the whole cosmos. Our own life belongs to the cosmos. And just as we, even in the physical world, interest ourselves in the subordinate kingdoms, so do the dead interest themselves intensely in the human world, and send their active impulses into the human world. For the dead work through the living into this world. We have only just given an example of the way in which they go on working soon after their passage through the Gate of Death.

But the dead sees one thing above all, and that most clearly. Suppose, for example, that he sees a human being here following impulses of hatred — hating this person or that, and with a merely personal intensity or purpose. This the dead sees. At the same time, however, according to the whole manner of his vision and all that he is then able to know, he will observe quite clearly, in such a case, the part which Ahriman is playing. He sees how Ahriman impels the person to hatred. The dead actually sees Ahriman working upon the human being. On the other hand, if a person on earth is vain, he sees Lucifer working at him. That is the essential point. It is in connection with the world of Ahriman and Lucifer that the dead human being sees the human beings who are here on earth. Consequently, what generally colours our judgement of people is quite eliminated for the dead. We see this or that human being, whom in one sense or another we must condemn. Whatever we find blameworthy in him, we put it down to him. The dead does not put it down directly to the human being. He sees how the person is misled by Lucifer or Ahriman. This brings about a toning-down, so to speak, of the sharply differentiated feelings which in our physical and earthly life we generally have towards this or that human being. To a far greater extent, a kind of universal human love arises in the dead. This does not mean that he cannot criticize — that is to say, cannot rightly see what is evil in evil. He sees it well enough, but he is able to refer it to its origin — to its real inner connections.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 168 – On the Connection of the Living and the Dead – Berne, 9 November 1916