The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Spiritual Guidance of Man and of Mankind, by 
Rudolf Steiner

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most
other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions
whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of
the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at  If you are not located in the United States, you'll have
to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this ebook.

Title: The Spiritual Guidance of Man and of Mankind

Author: Rudolf Steiner

Editor: Harry Collison

Release Date: February 28, 2017 [EBook #54260]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


Produced by Chris Curnow and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at (This file was
produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive)


The Spiritual Guidance
of Man and of Mankind


The Authorized English Translation



The copyright, the publishing rights, and the editorial responsibility for the translation of the works of Rudolf Steiner, Ph.D., with the exception of those already under the editorial supervision of Max Gysi, are now vested in Mr. Harry Collison, M.A., Oxon.



In the following pages are reproduced the contents of some lectures delivered by me at Copenhagen in June last, in connection with the General Meeting of the Scandinavian Theosophical Society. What is here set forth was therefore spoken to an audience acquainted with occult science, or theosophy. A similar acquaintance is assumed in this work. It is throughout based on the foundations given in my books, “Theosophy” and “An Outline of Occult Science.” To anyone taking up the present work who is unacquainted with these premises, it must needs appear the strange outpouring of mere fancy, but the above-named books point out the scientific basis of everything stated in this one.

I have completely re-written the shorthand report of the lectures; nevertheless it has been my intention on publishing them, to preserve the character given in oral delivery. This is specially mentioned because it is in general my opinion that the form of work intended for reading should be quite different from that used in speaking. I have expressed this principle of mine in all my earlier writings, as far as they were intended for the press.[4] If in this instance I have worked out my subject in closer connection with the spoken word, it is because I have reasons for letting the work appear at this juncture, and an adaptation completely in accordance with the above rule would take a great deal of time.

Rudolf Steiner.

Munich, August 20, 1911.


The Spiritual Guidance of Man and of Mankind


A man reflecting on his own nature soon becomes conscious that there is within him a second and more powerful self than the one bounded by his thoughts, his feelings and the fully-conscious impulses of his will. He becomes aware that he is subject to that second self, as to a higher power. It is true that at first he will feel it to be a lower entity as compared with the one limited by his intelligent and fully-conscious soul, with its inclinations towards the Good and True. And at first he will strive to overcome that lower entity.

But closer self-examination may reveal something else about the second self. If we often, in the course of our lives, make a kind of survey of our acts and experiences, we make a singular discovery about ourselves. And the older we are, the more significant do we think that discovery. If we ask ourselves what we did or said at a particular period of our lives, it turns out that we have done very many things which are only really understood in later years. Seven or eight, or perhaps twenty years ago, we did certain things, and we know quite well that only now, long afterwards, is our intelligence[6] ripe enough to understand what we did or said at that earlier period.

Many people do not make such discoveries about themselves, because they do not lay themselves out to do so. But it is extremely profitable to hold such communion frequently with one’s own soul. For directly a man becomes aware that he has done things in former years which he is only now beginning to understand, that formerly his intelligence was not ripe enough to understand them,—at a moment such as this, something like the following feeling arises in the soul: The man feels himself protected by a good power, which rules in the depths of his own being; he begins to have more and more confidence in the fact that really, in the highest sense of the word, he is not alone in the world, and that everything which he understands, and is consciously able to do, is after all but a small part of what he really accomplished in the world.

If this observation is often made, it is possible to carry out in practical life something which is very easy to see theoretically. It is easy to see that we should not make much progress in life if we had to accomplish everything we have to do, in full consciousness, with our intelligence taking note of every circumstance affecting us. In order[7] to see this theoretically, we have only to reflect as follows: In what section of his life does a human being perform those acts which are really most important as regards his own existence? When does he act most wisely for himself? He does this from about the time of his birth up to that period to which his memory goes back when in later life he surveys his earthly existence. If he recalls what he did three, four or five years ago, and then goes farther and farther back, he comes at last to a certain point in childhood, beyond which memory cannot go. What lies beyond it may be told by parents or others, but a man’s own recollection only extends to a certain point in the past. That point is the moment at which the individual felt himself to be an ego. In the lives of people whose memory is limited to the normal, there must always be such a point, but previously to it, the human soul has worked in the wisest possible manner on the individual, and never afterwards, when man has gained consciousness, can he accomplish such vast and magnificent work on himself as he carries out, from subconscious motives, during the first years of childhood.

For we know that at birth man takes into the physical world what he has brought with him as the result of his former earthly lives. When he is[8] born, his physical brain, for instance, is but a very imperfect instrument. The soul has to work a finer organization into that instrument, in order to make it the agent of everything which the soul is capable of performing. In point of fact the human soul, before it is fully conscious, works upon the brain so as to make it an instrument for exercising all the abilities, aptitudes, qualities, etc., which appertain to the soul as the result of its former earthly lives. This work on a man’s own body is directed from points of view which are wiser than anything which he can subsequently do for himself when in possession of full consciousness.

Moreover, man during this period not only elaborates his brain plastically, but has to learn three most important things for his earthly existence. The first is the equilibrium of his own body in space. The man of the present day entirely overlooks the meaning of this statement, which touches upon one of the most essential differences between man and animals. An animal is destined from the outset to develop its equilibrium in space in a certain way; one animal is destined to be a climber, another a swimmer, etc. An animal is so organized from the beginning as to be able to bear itself rightly in space, and this is the case with all animals up to and including the mammals most resembling[9] man. If zoologists would ponder this fact, they would lay less emphasis on the number of similar bones and muscles in man and animals, etc., for this is of much less account than the fact that man is not endowed at the outset with the complete equipment for his conditions of equilibrium. He has first to form them out of the sum total of his being. It is significant that man should have to work upon himself, in order to make, out of a being that cannot walk at all, one that can walk erect. It is man himself who gives himself his vertical position, or his equilibrium in space. He brings himself into relation with the force of gravitation. It will obviously be easy for anyone taking a superficial view of the matter to question this statement, with apparently good reason. It may be said that man is just as much organized for his erect walk as, for instance, a climbing animal for climbing. But more accurate observation will show that it is the peculiarity of the animal’s organization that causes its position in space. In man it is the soul which brings itself into relation with space and controls the organization.

The second thing which man teaches himself, and that by means of the entity which proceeds from one incarnation to another as the same being, is speech. Through speech he comes into relation[10] with his fellow-men. This relation makes him the vehicle of that spiritual life which interpenetrates the world primarily through man. Emphasis has often been laid, with good reason, on the fact that a human being removed, before he could speak, to a desert island, and kept apart from his fellows, would not learn to talk. On the other hand, what we receive by inheritance, what is implanted in us for use in later years and is subject to the principles of heredity, does not depend on a man’s dwelling with his fellows. For instance, his inherited conditions oblige him to change his teeth in his seventh year. If it were possible for him to grow up on a desert island, he would still change them then. But he only learns to talk, when his soul’s inner being, i.e., that which is carried on from one life to another, is stimulated. The germ, however, for the development of the larynx must be formed during the period at which man has not yet acquired his ego-consciousness. Before the time to which his memory goes back, he must plant the germ for developing his larynx, in order that this may become the organ of speech.

And then there is a third thing: It is not so well known that man learns this of himself, from that part of his inner being which he carries on from one incarnation to another. It is the life within the[11] world of thought itself. The elaboration of the brain is undertaken because the brain is the instrument of thought. At the beginning of life, this organ is still plastic, because the individual has to form it for himself as an instrument of thought, in accordance with the intention of the entity which is carried on from one life to another. The brain immediately after birth is, as it was bound to be, in accordance with the forces inherited from parents and other ancestors. But the individual has to express in his thought what he is as an individual being, in accordance with his former earthly lives. Therefore he must re-model the inherited peculiarities of his brain, after birth, when he has become physically independent of his parents and other ancestors.

We thus see that man accomplishes momentous things during the first years of his life. He is working on himself in the spirit of the highest wisdom. In point of fact, if it were a question of his own cleverness, it is possible that he might not accomplish what he does without that cleverness during the first period of his life. Why is all this accomplished in those depths of the soul which lie outside consciousness? This happens because the human soul and entire being are, during the first years of earthly life, in much closer connection with the[12] spiritual worlds of the higher hierarchies than is afterwards the case. A clairvoyant who has gone through sufficient spiritual development to be able to witness actual spiritual events, sees something exceedingly significant at the moment when the ego acquires consciousness, i.e., the earliest point to which the memory of later years goes back. Whereas what we call the child’s aura floats round it in its earliest years like a wonderful human and superhuman power, and, being really the higher part of the child, is everywhere continued on into the spiritual world,—at the moment to which memory goes back, this aura sinks more into the inner being of the child. A human being is able to feel himself a continuous ego as far back as that point of time, because then that which was previously in close connection with the higher worlds, passed into his ego. Henceforward the consciousness is at every point brought into connection with the external world. This is not the case with a very young child, to whom things appear only as a surrounding world of dreams.

Man works on himself by means of a wisdom which is not within him. That wisdom is mightier and more comprehensive than any conscious wisdom of later years. The higher wisdom becomes obscured in the human soul, which in exchange receives consciousness.


The higher wisdom works from out of the spiritual world deep into the bodily part of man, so that man is able by its means to form his brain out of spirit. It is rightly said that even the wisest may learn from a child, for in the child is working the wisdom which does not pass later into consciousness. Through that wisdom man has something like telephonic connection with the spiritual beings in whose world he lives between death and re-birth. From that world there is something still streaming into the aura of a child, which is, as an individual being, immediately under the guidance of the entire spiritual world to which it belongs. Spiritual forces from that world continue to flow into a child. They cease so to flow at the point of time to which memory goes back. It is these forces which enable a child to bring itself into a definite relation to gravitation. They form the larynx, and so mould the brain that it becomes a living instrument for the expression of thought, feeling and will.

What is present in childhood to a supreme degree, so that the individual is then working out of a self which is still in direct connection with higher worlds, continues to some extent even in later years, although the conditions change in the manner indicated above. If at a later stage of life we feel that we did something years before which we[14] are only now able to understand, it is just because we previously let ourselves be guided by higher wisdom, and only after the lapse of years have we attained to an understanding of the reasons of our conduct.

From all this we can feel that, immediately after birth, we had not escaped so very far from the world in which we were before entering upon physical existence, and that we can never really escape from it wholly. Our share in higher spirituality enters our physical life and accompanies us throughout it. We often feel that what is within us is not only a higher self which is gradually being evolved, but is something higher which is there already, and is the motive cause of our so often developing beyond ourselves.

All ideals and artistic creations which man is able to produce, as well as all the natural healing forces in his own body, by means of which he is continually able to adjust the injuries that befall him in life,—all these powers do not proceed from ordinary intellect, but from those deeper forces which in our earliest years are at work on our equilibrium in space, on the formation of our larynx and on the brain. For these same forces are still at work in man in later years. When sickness attacks us, it is often said that external forces cannot help us, but[15] that our organism must develop the healing powers latent within it: by this is meant that there is a profoundly wise activity present in humanity. Moreover, it is from the same source that proceed these best forces whereby knowledge of the spiritual world is attained, i.e., true clairvoyance.

The question now suggests itself, why do the higher forces which have been described work upon human nature only during early childhood? One-half of the answer may be easily given as follows: If those higher forces went on working in the same way, man would be always a child. He would not attain the full ego-consciousness. From within his own being must proceed the motive power which previously worked on him from without. But there is a more important reason, which explains still more about the mysteries of human life than what has just been said, and that is the following:

It is possible to learn through occult science, that the human body, as it exists at its present stage of evolution, must be regarded as having arrived at its present form under different circumstances. It is known to the occultist that this evolution was effected by means of the working of various forces on the sum-total of man’s being; certain forces worked on the physical body, others[16] on the etheric, others on the astral body. Human nature has arrived at its present form through the action of those beings whom we call the Luciferic and Ahrimanic. By their means it has, in a certain way, become worse than it need have been if those forces only had been active within it which proceed from the spiritual rulers of the cosmos who desire to evolve man along straight lines. The causes of sorrow, disease and even of death are to be sought in the fact that, besides the beings who are evolving man in a straight line forwards, there are also ruling the Luciferic and Ahrimanic spirits, who are continually crossing the line of straightforward, progressive development.

There is something in what man brings into existence at birth, which is better than what he can make out of it in later life. This is so, because the Luciferic and Ahrimanic forces have but little influence over man during early childhood; they are virtually only operative in what man makes out of himself by his conscious life. If he were to retain in full force beyond early childhood that part of his being which is better than the rest, he would be unable to endure its influence, because his whole being is weakened by the opposite forces of Lucifer and Ahriman. Man’s organism in the physical world is so constituted that it is only when he is, so[17] to speak, as soft and pliable as a child, that he can endure within him those direct forces of the spiritual world which operate within him during early childhood. He would be shattered, if during his later life there were still directly working in him those forces which underlie the faculty of equilibrium in space, and the formation of the larynx and the brain. Those forces are so tremendous that, if they were to go on working, our organism would pine away under the influence of their holiness. Man must only have recourse to such forces for the purpose of that kind of activity which brings him into conscious connection with the supersensible world.

But out of this there arises a thought which is of great significance, if rightly understood. It is expressed in the New Testament in the words “Except ye become as little children, ye cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.” What then becomes manifest as man’s highest ideal, if what has just been said be rightly received? Surely this,—the drawing ever nearer and nearer to what we may call a conscious relation to the forces which work in man unknown to him during early childhood. Only it must be borne in mind that man would collapse under the power of those forces, if they were at once to operate in his conscious life.[18] For this reason, careful preparation is necessary for the attainment of those faculties which induce the perception of supersensible worlds. The object of such preparation is to qualify man to bear what he is unable to bear in ordinary life.

Now the passing of the individual through successive incarnations is of importance for the collective evolution of the human race. The latter has advanced through successive lives in the past, and is still advancing, and parallel with it the earth too is moving forwards in its evolution. The time will come when the earth will have reached the end of its career. Then the earthly planet will fall away as a physical entity from the sum-total of human souls, just as the human body falls away from the spirit at death, when, in order to continue living, the soul enters the spiritual realm which is adapted for it between death and re-birth. When once this is realized, it must appear as man’s highest ideal to have progressed far enough at earthly death, to be able to reap all possible benefits which may be obtained from earthly life.

Now those forces which prevent man from being able to endure the forces working upon him during early childhood come out of the substance of the earth. When this has fallen away from a human[19] being, the latter, if he has attained the aim of his life, must have advanced far enough to be able actually to give himself up, with his whole being, to the powers which at present are only active in man during childhood. Thus the object of evolution through successive earthly lives is gradually to make the whole individual, including therefore the conscious part, into an expression of the powers which are ruling in him under the influence of the spiritual world,—though he does not know it,—during the first years of his life. The thought which takes possession of the soul after such reflections as these, must fill it with humility, but also with a due consciousness of the dignity of man. The thought is this: man is not alone; there is something living within him which is constantly affording him proof that he can rise above himself to something which is already growing beyond him, and which will go on growing from one life to another. This thought can assume more and more definite form; and in that case it affords something supremely soothing and elevating, at the same time filling the soul with corresponding humility and modesty. What is it that man has within him in this way? Surely a higher, divine human being, by whom he is able to feel himself interpenetrated, saying to himself, “He is my guide within me.”


From such a point of view, it is not long before we arrive at the thought that by all the means in our power we should strive to be in harmony with that within our being which is wiser than conscious intelligence. And we shall be referred on from the directly conscious self to an enlarged self, in the presence of which all false pride and presumption will be extinguished and subdued. This feeling develops into another, which opens the way to accurate understanding of the nature of present human imperfection; and the consciousness of this leads to the knowledge that man may become perfect, if once the larger spirituality ruling within him is allowed to bear the same relation to his consciousness which it bore to the unconscious life of the soul in early childhood.

If it often happens that memory does not go back as far as the fourth year of a child’s life, it may nevertheless be said that the influence of the higher spirit-sphere, in the above sense, lasts through the first three years. At the end of that span of time a child becomes capable of linking its impressions of the outer world to the ideas of its ego. It is true that this coherent ego-conception can only be reckoned as existing as far back as memory extends. Yet we must say that virtually memory extends to the beginning of the fourth year, only it is so weak at the beginning of distinct[21] ego-consciousness as to be imperceptible. It may therefore be granted that those higher powers which dispose of a human being in the early years of childhood can be operative for three years; therefore man, during the present middle period of the earth, is so organized that he can receive these forces for only three years.

Supposing a man now stood before us, and that some cosmic powers could cause his ordinary ego to be removed. (For this purpose we must assume that it would be possible to remove from the physical, etheric and astral bodies the ordinary ego which has gone through the incarnations with the man.) And now suppose that an ego could then be introduced into the three bodies which is working in connection with spiritual worlds, what would happen to a person thus treated? At the end of three years his body would necessarily be shattered. Something would occur, through cosmic karma, which would prevent the spirit-being which would be in connection with higher worlds, from living more than three years in that body.[1] Only at the[22] end of all his earthly lives will man have that within him which will enable him to live more than three years with that spirit-being. But then, it is true, man will be able to say to himself, “Not I, but that Higher One within me, Who was always there, is now working in me.” Till that time comes, he is not able to say this. The most he can say is that he feels that higher being, but has not yet progressed far enough with his real, actual human ego, to be able to bring the other to full life within him.

Supposing then that, at some time in the middle earth-period, a human organism were to come into the world, and later in life be freed from his ego by the action of certain cosmic powers, receiving in exchange the ego which usually only works in man during the first three years of life, and which would be in connection with the spiritual worlds in which man exists between death and re-birth: how long would such a person be able to live in an earthly body? About three years. For at the end of that time, something would arise through cosmic karma, which would destroy the human organism in question.

What is here supposed is, however, a historical fact. The human organism which stood in the river Jordan at John’s baptism when the ego of Jesus of Nazareth left the three bodies, contained, after the[23] baptism, in complete conscious development, that higher Self of humanity which usually works with cosmic wisdom on a child without its knowledge. At the same time, the necessity arose that this Self which was in connection with the higher spirit-world could only live for three years in the appropriate human organism. Events had then to take place which brought the earthly life of that being to a close. The outer events in the life of Christ Jesus are to be interpreted as absolutely conditioned by the inner causes just set forth, and present themselves as the outward expression of those causes.

We are now able to see the deeper connection existing between that which is man’s guide in life, which streams in upon our childhood like the dawn and is always working below the surface of our consciousness as the best part of us, and that which once upon a time entered the whole of human evolution and was able to dwell for three years in a human frame.

What then is manifested in that “higher” ego, which is in connection with the spiritual hierarchies, and which in due time entered the body of Jesus of Nazareth? This entrance being symbolically represented by the sign of the Spirit descending in the form of a dove, and by the words, “This is my well-beloved[24] Son, to-day have I begotten him” (for so stood the words originally). If we fix our eyes upon this picture, we are contemplating the highest human ideal. For it means nothing else than that the history of Jesus of Nazareth is a statement of this fact: “The Christ can be discerned in every human being.” And even if there were no Gospels and no tradition, to tell us that once a Christ lived on earth, we should yet learn through knowledge of human nature that the Christ is living in man.

The recognition of the forces working in human nature during childhood is the recognition of the Christ in man. The question now arises, does this recognition lead to the further perception of the fact that this Christ once really dwelt on earth in a human body? Without bringing forward any documents, this question may be answered in the affirmative. For genuine clairvoyant knowledge of self leads the man of the present day to see that powers are to be discovered in the human soul which emanate from the Christ. These powers are at work during the first three years of childhood without any action being taken by the human being. In later life they may be called into action, if the Christ be sought within the soul by inner meditation. Man was not always able, as he is now, to find the Christ within himself. There were times[25] when no inner meditation could lead him to the Christ. This again we learn from clairvoyant perception. In the interval between that past time when man could not find the Christ in himself, and the present time when he can find him, there took place Christ’s earthly life. And that life itself is the cause of man’s being able to find the Christ in himself in the manner that has been pointed out. Thus to clairvoyant perception the earthly life of Christ is proved without any historical records.

It is just as if the Christ had said, “I will be such an ideal for you human beings as, raised to a spiritual level, will show you that which is fulfilled in each human body.” In his early childhood man learns from the spirit how to walk physically, i.e., he is shown by the spirit his way through earthly life. From the spirit he learns to speak, i.e., to form truth; or in other words, he develops the essence of truth out of sound during the first three years of his life. And the life too, which man lives on earth as an ego-being, obtains its vital organ through what is formed in the first three years of childhood. Thus man learns to walk, i.e., to find “the way,” he learns to present “truth” through his physical organism, and he learns to bring “life” from the spirit into expression in his body. No more significant re-interpretation seems possible[26] of the words “Except ye become as little children, ye cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven.” And momentous is that saying in which the ego-being of the Christ comes into expression thus, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” Just as, unknown to a child, the higher spirit-forces are fashioning its organism to become the bodily expression of the way, the truth and the life, so the spirit of man, through being interpenetrated with the Christ, gradually becomes the conscious vehicle of the way, the truth and the life. He is thereby making himself, in the course of his earthly development, into that force which bears sway within him as a child, when he is not consciously its vehicle.

This saying about the way, the truth and the life is capable of opening the doors of eternity. It sounds to man out of the depths of his soul, if his self-knowledge is true and real.

Such reflections as these open up, in a double sense, the vision of the spiritual guidance of the individual and of collective humanity. As human beings we are able, through self-knowledge, to find the Christ within us as the guide Whom, since His life on earth, we can always reach, because He is always in man. And further, if we apply to the historical records that we have apprehended without them, we discover their real nature. They express[27] historically something which is revealed of itself in the depths of the soul. They are therefore to be accounted as guiding humanity in the same direction as the soul itself is proceeding.

If we thus understand the suggestion of eternity in the words, “I am the way, the truth and the life,” we cannot feel ourselves justified in asking, “Why does a person who has passed through many incarnations always re-enter life as a child?” For it becomes evident that this apparent imperfection is an ever-recurring reminder of the Highest that is in man. And we cannot be reminded often enough,—at any rate each time we enter earthly life is not too often to be reminded,—of the great fact of what man really is with reference to that Being who underlies all earthly existence, without being touched by its imperfections.

It is not well to make many definitions or summaries in occult science or theosophy, or indeed in occultism generally. It is better to give a description, and to try and call forth a feeling of what really exists. On this account we are now attempting to induce a feeling of what distinguishes the first three years of human life, and of the way in which this is related to the light that streams from the cross on Golgotha. The meaning of this feeling is that an impulse is passing through human[28] evolution, and that through this impulse the Pauline saying, “Not I—but the Christ in me,” will become a fact. We have only to know what man is in reality, in order to be able to proceed from such knowledge to insight into the nature of the Christ. When once, however, we have arrived at the Christ-idea through true observation of humanity, we know that we discover the Christ in the best way if we first look for Him in ourselves, and if we then return to the Bible records, these are for the first time rightly valued. And no one prizes the Bible more, or more consciously, than one who has found the Christ in this way. It is possible to imagine a being, let us say an inhabitant of Mars, descending to earth, without ever having heard of the Christ and His work. Much that has taken place on earth would be incomprehensible to the Martian; much that interests people nowadays would not interest him. But it would interest him to discover the central impulse of earthly evolution, i.e., the Christ-idea, as it is expressed in human nature itself.

One who has grasped this, is able for the first time rightly to understand the Bible, for he finds expressed there in a marvellous way what he has previously observed in himself, and he says: It is not necessary to have been brought up with any special reverence for the Gospel; they need only[29] be presented to me, a fully-conscious human being, to stand revealed in all their greatness, by means of what I have learnt through occult science.

It is indeed not too much to say that a time will come when it will be recognized by people who have learned through occult science rightly to appreciate the contents of the Gospels, that these are guides of the human race in a sense which is more just to those writings than people have hitherto been to them. It is only through knowledge of human nature itself that humanity will learn to see what is latent in those profound records. It will then be said: If there is to be found in the Gospels that which forms an integral part of human nature, it must have come from the people who wrote these documents on earth. Therefore what genuine reflection brings home to us about our own lives,—the more so the older we grow—must hold especially good with regard to those writers. We ourselves have done many things which we only understand years afterwards, and in the writers of the Gospels may be seen people who wrote out of the higher self which works in man during childhood, so that the Gospels are writings emanating from the wisdom which moulds human nature. Man through his body is a manifestation of spirit, and the Gospels are such a manifestation in writing.


On this assumption the idea of inspiration regains its true and loftier meaning. Just as higher forces are at work on the brain during the first three years of childhood, so there were higher forces from spiritual worlds impressed on the souls of the Evangelists, under the influence of which they wrote the Gospels. The spiritual guidance of humanity is expressed in such a fact as this. For the human race must surely be guided, if within it there are people working who write records under the influence of the same powers that are at work on the moulding of man in profound wisdom. And just as the individual says or does things which he only understands at a later period of life, so collective humanity has produced in the Evangelists means of revelation which can only be understood by degrees. The farther humanity progresses, the greater will be the understanding of these records. The individual can feel spiritual guidance within himself; and collective humanity can feel it in those of its members who work as did the writers of the Gospels.

The idea thus gained of the guidance of humanity may be extended in many directions. Let us suppose that a man finds disciples,—a few people who follow him. Such an one will soon become aware, through genuine self-knowledge, that the very fact[31] of his finding disciples gives him the feeling that what he has to say does not originate with himself. The case is rather this,—that spiritual powers in higher worlds wish to communicate with the disciples, and find in the Teacher the fitting instrument for their manifestation.

The thought will suggest itself to such a man: when I was a child I worked on myself by the aid of forces proceeding from the spiritual world, and what I am now able to give, of my best, must also proceed from higher worlds; I may not look upon it as belonging to my ordinary consciousness. Such a man may in fact say: something demonic, something like a “daimon”—using the word in the sense of a good spiritual power—is working out of a spiritual world through me on my disciples.

Socrates felt something of this kind. Plato tells us that he spoke of his “daimon” as of the one who led and guided him. Many attempts have been made to explain this “daimon” of Socrates, but it can only be explained by supposing that Socrates was able to feel something like that which results from the above reflections. Then we are able to understand that throughout the three or four centuries during which the Socratic principle was active in Greece, a state of feeling permeated the Greek world through Socrates, which prepared the[32] way for another great event. The feeling that man, as he now is, is not the whole of what comes through from higher worlds,—this feeling went on working. The best of those in whom it was present were those who afterwards best understood the words, “Not I, but the Christ in me.” For they could say to themselves: Socrates used to speak of a being working as a “daimon” from higher worlds; the Christ-ideal makes clear what Socrates meant. Only Socrates could not as yet speak of Christ, because in his time no one was able to find the Christ-nature within himself.

Here again we feel something of the spiritual guidance of the race, for nothing can be established in the world without preparation. Why was it that Paul found his best disciples in Greece? Because the ground had been prepared there by the teaching of Socrates and the state of feeling that has been described. That is to say, what happens in human evolution may be traced back to events which operated previously, and made people ripe for what was afterwards to be brought to bear upon them. Do we not feel here how far the guiding impulse passing through human evolution extends and how at the right moment it places people where they will be best used to further evolution? In such facts is manifested the guidance of the human race in a general way.

[1] The vitality of the human organism is maintained at the transition from childhood to later life, because the organism is capable of change at that period. Later in life, it is no longer susceptible of change, and on this account cannot continue to exist with that other Self.



If we turn our attention to what was said by the teachers and leaders of ancient Egypt about the direction and guidance of the spiritual life of their country, we may trace a remarkable parallel between what is manifested in the individual life of man, and what governs human evolution as a whole. It is related that when a Greek once asked an Egyptian, who had guided and led his nation from ancient times onwards, he answered, “In far off times of yore, the gods ruled and taught us, and only afterwards men came to be our leaders.” The Egyptians named Menes to the Greeks, as their first leader on the physical plane to be recognized as a human leader. That is to say, the directors of the Egyptian people alleged that in earlier times the gods themselves—as Greek records say—guided and led the Egyptian nation. Such an assertion, coming down to us from ancient times, must, however, be rightly understood. What did the Egyptians mean when they said, “Our kings and great teachers were gods”?

The man who thus answered the question of the Greek meant that if any one had gone back into the ancient times of the Egyptian nation, and had asked those people who felt something within them like a higher consciousness, or wisdom from higher[34] worlds, “Who are really your teachers?” they would have answered, “If I wanted to tell you about my real teacher, I should not point to such and such a person and say, ‘That is my teacher,’ but I should first have to put myself into a clairvoyant state, (it is known from occult science that this was comparatively easier in ancient times than it is now,) and then I should find my real inspirer and teacher, who comes to me only when the eyes of my spirit are opened.” For in ancient Egypt, beings who were not incarnated in a physical human body came down amongst men. In those remote ages, it was the gods who still ruled and taught the Egyptians, and by “gods” they understood beings who had preceded man in evolution.

According to occult science, the earth passed through an earlier planetary condition, called the “Moon-state,” before it became “Earth.” During this condition man was not yet human in the present sense of the word; but there were on the old Moon other beings, not possessed of the present human form and differently constituted, who nevertheless were then at the evolutionary stage which man has now attained on earth. We may therefore say, that on the ancient Moon-planet which has perished, and out of which the earth afterwards originated, there lived beings who were[35] man’s predecessors. In Christian esoteric language they are called Angel-beings (Angeloi) and the beings immediately above them—Archangels (Archangeloi). The latter were human at a still earlier period than the angels. What are called angels or Angeloi in Christian esotericism, and Dhyanic beings in Eastern mysticism, were “men” during the Moon-period. Now these beings, during the present earth-period, are a stage farther advanced than man,—those of them, that is to say, who completed their evolution on the Moon. Only at the end of the earth’s evolution will man have arrived at the stage which those beings had reached at the end of the Moon-period.

When the earth-state of our planet began, and man appeared on earth, these beings were not able to appear in an external human form, for the human body of flesh and blood is essentially a product of earth, and is only adapted to the beings who are now human. The beings, who are a stage farther advanced than man, could not be incarnated in human bodies when the earth was beginning its evolution. They were only able to take a part in the government of the earth by illuminating and inspiring people in primeval times in the condition to which these attained when clairvoyant. Indirectly, then, through these clairvoyant people,[36] the angels intervened to guide the destinies of earth.

Thus the ancient Egyptians still remembered a condition of things during which the leading personalities of the nation were clearly conscious of their connection with what are called gods, angels, or dhyanic beings. Now what sort of beings were these, who were not incarnated in a human form of flesh and blood, but influenced mankind in the way we have described? They were man’s predecessors, who had progressed beyond the human stage.

There is in these days much misuse of a word which may in this connection be applied in its true meaning, the word “Superman.” If we really wish to speak of “Supermen,” it is these beings who may rightly be so called, who were human during the Moon-period, the planetary stage preceding our earth and who have now outgrown humanity. They were only able to appear in an etheric body to clairvoyants. It was thus that they came down to earth from spiritual worlds, and ruled there even as late as post-Atlantean times.

These beings had, and still have, the remarkable quality of not being obliged to think; in fact, we might even say that they cannot think at all as man does. How then does man think? More or less in[37] this way. He starts from a certain point and says, “I understand this or that,” and from that point he then tries to understand various other things. If this were not the method of human thought, school-life would not be such a difficult period for many. We cannot learn mathematics in a day, because we have to begin at a certain point, and go slowly forwards. This takes a long time. We cannot survey a whole world of thought at a glance, for human thought runs its course in time. A system of thought does not enter the mind in a flash. We have to make an effort, and have to exert ourselves, in order to find the sequence of thought. The beings described above are without this human peculiarity. A far-reaching train of thought comes into their minds with the same rapidity with which an animal makes up its mind that it will snatch at something which its instinct tells it is eatable. Instinct and reflective consciousness are in no wise distinct in these beings, they are one and the same thing. Just as animals have instinct at their stage of evolution, in their kingdom, so these dhyanic beings or angels have direct spiritual thought and conceptions. By virtue of this instinctive inner life of conception, they are of an essentially different nature from human beings.


Now we can easily form an idea of the impossibility of the use by these beings of a brain or physical body such as we have. They have to use an etheric body, because the human body and brain only allow of thoughts in time, whereas these beings do not develop their thoughts in time, but feel the wisdom that is approaching them blaze forth, as it were, spontaneously within them. It is impossible for them to think erroneously in the sense in which man does. The process of their thought is a direct inspiration. Hence the personalities who were able to come into contact with these superhuman or angelic beings, were conscious that they were in the presence of unerring wisdom. Therefore, even as late as in ancient Egyptian times when the man who was the human teacher or king was in the presence of his spiritual guide, he felt thus: the command which he is giving, the truth which he is enunciating, is literally right, and cannot be wrong. (This was also felt by those to whom the truths were passed on.)

The clairvoyant guides of the human race were able to speak in such a manner that in their words people believed they were receiving exactly what came down from the spiritual world. In short, there was a direct current down from the higher spirit-hierarchies which were directing humanity.[39] Thus what works on the individual in early childhood may be seen working on humanity at large in the form of the next world of spirit-hierarchies which hovers over human evolution as a whole. This is the next kingdom of the angels or superhuman beings, standing a step higher than man, and extending directly into spiritual spheres. They bring down to earth from those spheres what is worked into human civilization. In the child, it is on the formation of the body that the higher wisdom leaves its impress; in human evolution of past ages, it was civilization that was so matured.

Thus the Egyptians, who described themselves as being in connection with divinity, felt that the soul of humanity was open to the action of spirit hierarchies. Just as the soul of a child opens its aura to the hierarchies up to the time mentioned in the preceding pages, so, through its work, did the whole of humanity open its world to the hierarchies with which it was connected.

This connection was most important in those teachers whom we call the holy teachers of India, the great teachers of the first post-Atlantean or Indian civilization, which unfolded itself in Southern Asia. When the Atlantean catastrophe was over, and the physiognomy of the earth had changed, so that the new conformation of Asia, Europe and[40] Africa had evolved in the Eastern hemisphere, the civilization led by the ancient great teachers of India began. This was before the time we have mentioned as reported in ancient records. The man of to-day is apt to get quite a wrong idea about these teachers. If, for example, one of the great Indian teachers were to be confronted with an educated man of the present day, the latter would gaze upon him with astonishment, and perhaps say, “Is that a great teacher? I should never have thought it.” For using the words “clever” or “learned” in the sense in which modern people of culture do, the holy teachers of ancient India had nothing clever to say. They were, in the present sense of the words, simple, homely people, who would have answered even questions of everyday life in the simplest fashion possible. And there were many periods during which scarcely anything could be elicited from them but what would seem, to an educated man of to-day, most insignificant. But on the other hand, there were certain times when these holy teachers were revealed as something more than simple, homely men. At these times they were obliged to be together to the number of seven, because what each individual was able to feel had to combine harmoniously with the other six teachers, as though in a consonance of seven[41] sounds. For it was then possible for each one to see something according to his particular gift and degree of development, so that from the harmony of the separate parts which each individual was able to see, there arose what comes down to us from ancient times as primeval wisdom, that is supposing we know how to decipher the real occult records. These records are not the revelations of the Vedas, however much we may admire them. What the Indian holy teachers taught is of much earlier date than the composition of the Vedas, and it is only a feeble echo of their wisdom which lies before us in these mighty works. But when each of these men was in the presence of a superhuman predecessor of humanity, was gazing clairvoyantly into higher worlds and listening clairaudiently to what was being taught through that predecessor, it was as though the sun shone out of their eyes. What they were then able to say worked with overpowering force on their environment, so that all who heard them knew that it was not human life or wisdom that was speaking, but that gods, superhuman beings, were influencing human civilization.

The ancient civilizations had their rise in this sounding through to mankind of the knowledge of the gods. Only by degrees in post-Atlantean times was the door, so to speak, closed into the divine[42] spiritual world which in the Atlantean period had still been wide open for the human soul. And in the various countries and nations it was felt that man was thrown ever more and more on his own resources. What is revealed in the case of a child appears in humanity at large in a different way. The divine spiritual world is first diffused into the unconscious soul of a child, and the soul works upon the formation of the body. Then comes the moment at which the child learns to feel itself an “ego” and this is the moment to which its memory goes back in later life. This is what makes it possible to say that the wisest of men may still learn something from the soul of a child. From this point, however, the individual is left to himself. The ego-consciousness comes into being, and everything combines to make it possible for him to remember his experiences.

So, too, in the life of nations there came a time when they began to feel themselves more shut off from the divine inspiration of their early forefathers. Just as the child becomes gradually shut off from the aura that floats about its head in its earliest years, so in the life of nations did the divine ancestors withdraw themselves more and more, and mankind was left to its own research and to its own knowledge. When history speaks in this manner,[43] the fact of the guidance of humanity is realized. “Menes” was the Egyptian name of him who inaugurated the first “human” civilization, and it is at the same time hinted that man thereby became liable to error, for thenceforward he was left to look for guidance to the instrument of his brain. That man was liable to fall into error is symbolically indicated by the fixing of the date of the construction of the labyrinth at the time when humanity was abandoned by the gods; for the labyrinth is an image of the convolutions of the brain as the instrument of man’s own thoughts,—windings in which the thinker is able to lose himself. The Orientals called man as a thinking being “Manas” and Manu stands for the first great thinker. The Greeks called the first organizer of the human principle of thought Minos, and with him is associated the myth of the labyrinth, because it was felt that, since his time, mankind had gradually passed from the direct guidance of the gods to a guidance in which the “ego” feels the influence of the higher spirit-world in a different way.

Besides those predecessors of man, the true supermen, who had completed their humanity on the Moon and had become angels, there are, however, other beings who did not perfect their evolution on the Moon. The beings called dhyanic in[44] Oriental mysticism and angelic in Christian esotericism, consummated their evolution on the ancient Moon, and when man began his earthly career were already a stage higher than he was. But there were other beings who had not finished their evolution on the ancient Moon, any more than the higher categories of Luciferic beings had finished theirs. When the earth-state of our planet began, man as we have described him was not the only being there. He felt also the inspiration of divinely-spiritual beings; otherwise, like a child, he would have been unable to progress. Accordingly, besides these childlike human beings, there must have been also present on the earth, acting through them, beings who had completed their evolution on the Moon. But between these and man there were yet other beings who had not finished their evolution on the Moon,—beings of a higher order than man, because, even as early as the ancient Moon-period, they might have become angels or dhyanic beings. At that time, however, they had not come to full maturity. They were angels in a backward state, yet they far out-distanced man as regards everything which man called his own. Generally speaking, they are beings occupying the lowest grade in the ranks of Luciferic spirits. They hold a middle position between men and angels, and with them begins the kingdom of Luciferic spirits.


Now it is extremely easy to get an erroneous idea about these spirits. We might ask why did the divine spirits, the vicegerents of good, allow them to fall short, and thereby admit the Luciferic principle into humanity? And it might further be objected on this ground, that surely the good gods turned everything to good. This question is obvious. And another misunderstanding which might arise, is expressed in the idea that these are “evil” spirits. Both ideas are merely misunderstandings: for these spirits are by no means purely “evil,” although the origin of evil in human nature is due to them, but they stand midway between man and superman. In a certain way they are more perfect than men. In all the qualities which human beings have to acquire for themselves, these spirits have attained a high standard, and they only differ from man’s predecessors described above in being able to incarnate in human bodies whilst man is being evolved on earth. This is because they did not consummate their humanity on the Moon.

The dhyanic or angelic beings proper, who are the great inspirers of humanity, and to whom the Egyptian referred as being still their teachers, did not appear in human bodies, but could only manifest themselves through human beings. On the other hand, the beings in a mid-position between[46] men and angels were still able, in very early times, to incarnate in human bodies. Hence amongst the human race inhabiting the earth in the Lemurian and Atlantean periods, we find people whose innermost soul-nature was that of an angel in a backward state; i.e., in the ancient Lemurian and Atlantean periods, there were not only ordinary people going about the earth, who through their successive incarnations were to arrive at what corresponds to the ideal of humanity, but beings who only outwardly appeared like the others. They had to bear a human body, for the outward form of a human being in the flesh is dependent on earthly conditions. Especially in the more ancient times did it happen that beings belonging to the lowest category of Luciferic individualities were present amongst men. And so at the same time when the angel-beings were working on human civilization through man, Lucifer-beings were also incarnated and founding human civilizations in various places. And when in the old folk-legends it is related that in some place there lived a great man who was the founder of a civilization, we are not to understand that a Lucifer-being was incarnated who must necessarily have been the vehicle of evil, for, on the contrary, human civilization received countless blessings through those beings.


Now it is known through occult science that in ancient times, particularly in the Atlantean period, there existed a kind of primitive human language, a manner of speech which was similar all over the earth, because “speech” in those days came much more out of the depths of the soul than it does now. This may be gathered from the following: In Atlantean times, people felt all outward impressions in such a way that if the soul wished to express anything outward by a sound, it was constrained to use a consonant. What therefore existed in space pressed for imitation in a consonant. The blowing of the wind, the murmur of the waves, the shelter given by a house were felt, and imitated by man in consonants. On the other hand, the sorrow or joy which was felt inwardly, or even what in another being might be feeling, was imitated in a vowel. From this we can see that the soul became one, in speech, with outer events or beings. The following instance is taken from the Akashic Records: A man drew near a hut, which was arched in the ancient fashion and gave shelter and protection to a family. He noticed this, and expressed the protective arch by a consonant; and by a vowel he expressed the fact, which he was able to feel, that within the hut the souls in bodies were comfortable. Thence arose the thought, “Shelter.” “There[48] is a shelter for me,—shelter for human bodies.” The thought was then poured forth in consonants and vowels, which could not be otherwise than they were, because they were a direct impression of experience and had but one meaning. This was the same all over the earth. It is no dream that there was once a primitive human root-language. And, in a certain sense, the initiates of all nations are still able to feel that language. Indeed there are in all languages certain similar sounds which are nothing else than the remains of that universal language.

This speech was prompted in human souls by the inspiration of the superhuman beings, man’s true predecessors, who had perfected their evolution on the Moon. From this it may be seen that if that evolution alone had taken place, the entire human race would practically have remained one great unity, and there would have been uniformity of speech and thought all over the earth. Individuality and diversity could not have been developed, nor at the same time could human freedom. In order that man might become individual, cleavages had to take place in humanity, and the difference of language in different parts of the world is due to the work of those teachers in whom a Luciferic spirit was incarnated. According as a particular[49] angel-being, who had fallen short in his evolution, was incarnated in a particular race, was he able to instruct its people in a particular language. Thus the ability to speak a separate language is, in all races, traceable to the illuminating presence of these great beings, who were angels in a backward state and stood far above the people of their immediate environment. For instance, the beings described as the original heroes of the Greeks and other nations, and who worked in a human form, were those in whom an angel who had fallen short was incarnated. Therefore these beings must by no means be characterized as entirely “evil.” On the contrary, they brought to man that which predestined him to be a free human being all over the globe, and they differentiated what otherwise would have constituted a uniform whole everywhere on earth. This is not only true of languages but of many other departments of life. Individualization, differentiation,—freedom, we may say, comes from the beings who fell short in their Moon-evolution. It is true that we might say that it was the purpose of the wise government of the cosmos to bring all beings in planetary evolution to their goal, but if this had been done in a direct way, certain things would not have been attained. Certain beings were therefore arrested in their development because they[50] were to have a special mission in the progress of humanity. Since the beings who had fulfilled their mission on the Moon would only have been able to educate a uniform human race, beings who had fallen short on the Moon were set over against them, and it thereby became possible for these backward ones to turn into good what had been really a fault on their part.

This opens up the question, why do evil, wickedness, imperfection and disease exist in the world? This problem should be looked at from the point of view from which we have just considered the imperfect angel-beings. Everything which at any time exhibits imperfection or backwardness will nevertheless be turned into good in the course of evolution. It is of course unnecessary to mention that such a truth as this affords no justification for bad actions on man’s part.

Thus we already have an answer to the question, why does a wise Providence allow certain beings to lag behind and not reach their goal? This happens just because there will be good reason for it at the time following upon the formation of such a purpose. For it was when nations were not yet able to guide and govern themselves that the teachers of particular periods and individuals arose. And all the different race-teachers, Cadmus, Cheops,[51] Pelops, Theseus, etc., are, in one aspect, angel-beings in the depths of their souls. From this it appears that in this respect also, humanity is really subject to direction and guidance.

Now at every stage of evolution there are beings who lag behind and do not attain the possible goal. Let us then look once more at the ancient Egyptian civilization, which ran its course thousands of years ago in the Nile valley. Superhuman teachers were manifested to the Egyptians, who said that these teachers guided mankind like gods. At the same time, however, other beings were also at work, who had only half or partially attained the angelic stage. Now we must fully understand that in ancient Egypt man reached a definite stage of evolution, i.e., that the souls of people of the present day had attained a definite stage in the Egyptian period. But it is not only man who gains by letting himself be guided; the beings also who direct and guide him attain thereby something which furthers their evolution. For instance, an angel is something more after he has guided humanity for a while, than he was before that guidance began. His guiding work helps him to progress, and this is true not only of one who has completed his evolution as an angel, but also of one who has lagged behind. All beings are able continually to advance;[52] everything is in a state of perpetual development; but at every stage beings are left behind. Thus, in accordance with what has just been said, there can be distinguished in the ancient Egyptian civilization the divine leaders or angels, the semi-divine leaders who did not quite attain the angelic stage, and the men. But certain beings in the ranks of the angels again lag behind, i.e., they do not bring all their powers into expression when guiding humanity, but remain behind as angels during the ancient Egyptian stage of civilization. Similarly some of the incomplete angels lag behind. Thus whilst men below were progressing, certain individuals of the beings above, the dhyanic spirits or angels, fell behind in their evolution. When the Egypto-Chaldæic civilization came to an end, and the Graeco-Roman period began, certain guiding spirits from the former period, who had fallen behind in their evolution, were present. But they could not use their powers, for other angels or half-angelic beings had replaced them, and that meant that their own evolution was at a standstill.

Hence there comes under our notice a category of beings who might have used their powers during the Egyptian period, but did not at that time use them fully. In the ensuing Graeco-Roman period they were not able to use them, because then they[53] were replaced by other guiding spirits, and all the conditions of that time made their intervention impossible. But just as the beings who had not reached the angelic stage on the old Moon were afterwards allotted the task of once more actively interposing in human evolution during the earth-period, so also the beings who as guiding spirits in the Egypto-Chaldæic civilization had stopped short in their development, afterwards received the mission, as beings who had lagged behind, of again intervening in civilization. Thus we shall be able to watch a later period of civilization in which beings sent to be guides are certainly there to direct the normal progress of evolution, but in which, at the same time, other beings are intervening who were left behind at an earlier stage, and more particularly those who fell behind during the ancient Egyptian period. The civilization to which we are referring is our own. We live at a time when, side by side with the normal directors of humanity, others are interposing who were left behind in the ancient Egyptian and Chaldæic period.

Now we have to look upon the evolution of events and beings in such a way that occurrences in the physical world must be considered only as effects or manifestations, the true causes of which are to be sought in the spiritual world. On the[54] one hand our civilization is in the main marked by an upward movement towards spirituality, and this tendency of certain people towards spirituality is the manifestation of the spiritual directors of our contemporary humanity, who have attained their own normal stage of development. In everything which tends to lead man up to the great spiritual wisdom-truths transmitted to us by theosophy, these normal guides of our evolution are manifested. But the beings out-distanced during the Egypto-Chaldæic civilization are also affecting the tendencies of our age. They are manifested in much that is being thought and done at the present time, and will again be manifested in what lies in the near future. They are revealed in everything which gives a materialistic stamp to our civilization, and may often be seen even in aspirations after spiritual things. In our age we are virtually experiencing a revival of Egyptian civilization. The beings who are to be looked upon as the invisible directors of what takes place in the physical world, fall accordingly into two classes. The first includes those spiritual individualities who have passed through their own normal course of development up to the present time. Hence they were able to interpose in the guidance of our civilization, whilst the directors of the preceding Graeco-Roman[55] period were gradually finishing their task of guiding civilization during the first thousand years of Christianity. The second class, who work simultaneously with the first class of beings, are spiritual individualities who did not complete their evolution during the Egypto-Chaldæic civilization. They were obliged to remain inactive during the ensuing Graeco-Roman period, but are now able to resume their activity because our present age has points of resemblance to the Egypto-Chaldæic period. It thus comes about that many things arise in contemporary humanity which look like a revival of ancient Egyptian forces, but there is also much which is like a materialistic resuscitation of forces which then worked spiritually. To illustrate this, we may point to an example of the way in which ancient Egyptian knowledge has been revived in our days.

Let us think of Kepler. He was quite possessed by the feeling of the harmony of the cosmos, and this idea was expressed in his important mathematical laws of the mechanism of the heavens, the so-called laws of Kepler. These are outwardly very dry and abstruse, but in Kepler they were the outcome of an understanding of the harmony of the universe. We may read in Kepler’s writings that in order to discover what he did, he was obliged to[56] go to the sacred Egyptian mysteries, purloin their temple-vessels, and by this means bring knowledge into the world, the importance of which to humanity would only be known in later times.

This utterance of Kepler’s is by no means an empty phrase, but contains a dim consciousness of a revival of what he had learned in the Egyptian period, during a former incarnation. We may certainly entertain the idea that Kepler assimilated the ancient Egyptian wisdom during one of his previous lives, and that it reappears in his soul in a new form, adapted to a later age. That a materialistic impulse should enter our civilization through the Egyptian spirit is quite intelligible, for Egyptian spirituality was wrapped in a vigorous materialism, which found expression, for instance, in their embalming the physical bodies of the dead. This meant that they attached value to the preservation of the physical body. This has come down to us from the Egyptian period in a different form, but in one corresponding to our time. The same forces which had not then run their course, affect our age, but in a different way. The temper of mind which embalmed dead bodies gave rise to that which idolizes the merely material. The Egyptian embalmed dead bodies and thereby preserved what he accounted valuable. He thought that the development[57] of the soul after death was connected with the preservation of the physical, material body. The modern anatomist dissects what he sees, and thinks that in this way he understands the laws of the human organism. Thus in our modern science there are living the forces of the ancient Egyptian and Chaldæic world, which then were progressive forces, but which now represent what has lagged behind, and which must be recognized for what they are, if a correct estimate is to be formed of the character of the present time. These forces will injure a man of the present day if he does not know their real significance. He will take no harm from them, but will turn them to good account, if he knows their effect and thereby brings himself into the right relation to them. They have their value, for without them we should not have the present great achievements in technique, industries, etc. They are forces belonging to Luciferic beings of the lowest stage, and the danger lies in the fact that if they are not recognized aright, the materialistic impulses of the present time are thought to be the only possible ones, and the other forces, which lead up to the spiritual world, are not seen. For this reason any clear diagnosis is certain to discern two currents of thought in the present age.


Now if a wise Providence had not allowed certain beings in the Egypto-Chaldæic period to fall short in their evolution, our contemporary civilization would have been wanting in necessary weight. In that case only those forces would be operative which would bring man into the spiritual world by main force. People would be only too ready to yield themselves up to those forces, and would become dreamers. The only life they would wish to know about would be one which is being spiritualized as fast as possible, and their standard of action would be a view of life which showed a certain degree of contempt for what is physical and material. But the present epoch of civilization can only fulfill its mission if the forces of the material world are brought to the fullest perfection, and if thus by degrees their sphere too is won for spirituality. Just as the fairest things may become corrupters and tempters of mankind if pursued in a one-sided way, so if this one-sidedness took root, there would be great danger that all kinds of good efforts would come into manifestation as fanaticism. True though it is that humanity is helped forward by its noble impulses it is also true that wild and fanatical advocacy of the noblest impulses may bring about the worst of results as far as true evolution is concerned. Only when people strive after the highest[59] modestly and sensibly, not out of wild fanaticism, can anything beneficial to the progress of humanity take place. In order that the work done on earth at the present day may have the necessary weight, and that material beings of the physical plane may be understood, the wisdom which directs the government of the world left those forces behind which would normally have completed their evolution during the Egyptian period; and it is they who are now directing man’s attention to physical life.

It is obvious from the foregoing that evolution takes place under the influence both of normally progressive beings and of those who lag behind. Clairvoyant vision is able to trace the co-operation of both classes of beings in the supersensible world, and hence is able to comprehend the spiritual events of which the physical facts surrounding humanity are the manifestations.

We observe that, in order to understand cosmic events, it is not enough to have spiritual eyes and ears opened to the spiritual world by some kind of exercise. This only means that we see what is there, that we are cognizant of spiritual beings and know that they are entities of the soul-world or spirit-sphere. But it is also necessary to recognize what kinds of beings they are. We may meet some being of the soul or spirit world, but we do not[60] necessarily know whether it is progressing in its evolution, or whether it belongs to the category of powers that have lagged behind; whether therefore it is pushing evolution onwards, or hindering it. Those people who acquire clairvoyant faculties and do not at the same time gain complete understanding of the conditions of human evolution which we have described may know absolutely nothing of the nature of the beings whom they meet. Mere clairvoyance must be supplemented by clear judgment of what is seen in the supersensible world. There is urgent necessity for this especially in our own time, but it had not always to be so much considered. If we go back to very ancient civilizations, we find different conditions. If in the most ancient Egyptian times a person was clairvoyant, and was confronted with a being from the supersensible world, the latter had, as it were, written on his forehead who he was. The clairvoyant could not mistake him. Now, however, the possibility of misunderstanding is very great. Whereas humanity in early times still stood very near the kingdom of the spiritual hierarchies and could see what beings it was meeting, it is now very easy to be mistaken, and the only protection against being severely injured is the effort to gain ideas and conceptions like those indicated above.


A person who is able to look into the spiritual world is called esoterically a “clairvoyant,” but merely to be clairvoyant is not enough, for such a man might be able to see well enough but not able to discriminate. He who has acquired the faculty of distinguishing one from another the beings and events of higher worlds, is called an “Initiate.” Initiation brings with it the possibility of distinguishing between different kinds of beings. Thus it is possible to be clairvoyant in the higher worlds without being an Initiate. In ancient times distinguishing between spirits was not specially important, for when the ancient occult schools had brought a pupil so far as clairvoyance, there was no great danger of error. Now, however, this danger exists to a high degree. Therefore in all esoteric training, care should be taken that initiation should be acquired in condition to clairvoyance. In proportion to the extent of his clairvoyance must a man become capable of distinguishing between the various kinds of supersensible beings and events.

In modern times the powers guiding humanity are faced by the special task of bringing about a balance between the two principles of clairvoyance and initiation. Leaders of spiritual training had necessarily to pay attention to this at the beginning[62] of the modern era. Therefore the esoteric spiritual movement which is adapted to present conditions, always makes a point of maintaining the right proportion between clairvoyance and initiation. This became necessary at the time when mankind was passing through a crisis with regard to its higher knowledge. That time was the thirteenth century. About the year 1250 was the point of time when mankind felt itself most shut out from the spiritual world. A clairvoyant looking back upon that period sees the following: The most eminent minds of that time who were striving after some kind of higher knowledge, could only say to themselves, “What our reason, our intellect, our spiritual knowledge are able to find out is limited to the physical world around us. With all our human endeavor and power of perception, we cannot reach a spiritual world. We only know of it by accepting the information concerning it which our forefathers bequeathed us.” This was the time when direct view of the higher worlds was obscured. That this can be said of the era in which scholasticism flourished, is not without significance.

About the year 1250 was the time when men were compelled to fix a boundary between what they were able to apprehend for themselves, and what they had to believe from the impression made upon[63] them by the traditions which had been handed down. What they could find out for themselves then became limited to the physical world of sense. Afterwards, however, came the time when there was more and more possibility of again winning a view of the spiritual world. But the new clairvoyance was of a different kind from the old, which virtually became extinct just about the year 1250. In the new form of clairvoyance, western esotericism was obliged strictly to uphold the principle that initiation must be the guide of spiritual sight and hearing. This was the special task assigned to an esoteric current which then entered the stream of European civilization. As the year 1250 drew near there arose a new kind of guidance into the supersensible worlds.

This guidance was prepared by the spirits then standing behind outer historical events, who centuries before had provided for the kind of esoteric training which would be rendered necessary by the conditions prevailing in 1250. If the term “modern esotericism” be not misused, it may be applied to the spiritual work of those very highly evolved personalities. External history knows nothing of them, but what they did is apparent in every form of civilization which has developed since the thirteenth century.


The importance of the year 1250 for the spiritual evolution of humanity is specially apparent if we look at the result of clairvoyant research given in the following fact: Even those individualities who had attained high stages of spiritual development, in previous incarnations, and who were reincarnated about 1250, were compelled for a while to undergo a complete clouding over of their direct view of the spiritual world. Quite enlightened individuals were as though cut off from the spiritual world, and their only knowledge of it was through their remembrance of earlier incarnations. Thus we see how necessary it was that from that time onwards a new element should be brought into the spiritual guidance of humanity. This element was true modern esotericism. By its means it is for the first time possible rightly to understand how that which we call the “Christ-impulse” may intervene to guide the whole of mankind and the individual also, in all possible eventualities.

Between the accomplishment of the Mystery of Golgotha and the beginnings of modern esotericism, lies the first period of the working of the Christ-principle in human souls. During that period, people received Christ to a certain degree unconsciously as far as their higher spirit-forces were concerned, and this caused them afterwards,[65] when they were obliged to receive them consciously, to make all kinds of mistakes, and to lose themselves in a maze instead of understanding Christ. In primitive Christian times we may trace the adoption of the Christ-principle by the lower soul-forces. Then came a new period, in which mankind of to-day is still living. Indeed, in a certain respect, people are only now beginning to understand the Christ principle with the higher faculties of their souls. In the further course of this work it will be shown that the decline of supersensible knowledge down to the thirteenth century, and on the other hand its slow revival since that time, coincide with the interposition of the Christ-impulse in human evolution.

We may therefore take modern esotericism to mean the raising of the Christ-impulse to be the motive power in the guidance of souls desiring to work their way to a knowledge of higher worlds, in accordance with the evolutionary conditions of modern times.



In accordance with what has been said in the preceding chapters, the spiritual guidance of the course of human evolution may be sought for among those beings who went through their stage of humanity during the previous embodiment of the Earth-planet, i.e., during the ancient Moon period. This guidance stood contrasted with another which checked, and yet in a certain sense furthered, whilst checking the first, and which was carried out by those beings who had not completed their own evolution during the Moon-period. Reference is made in both these cases to those guiding beings immediately above man—to those who lead humanity forward, and to those who provoke resistance, thereby strengthening and confirming the forces arising through the progressive beings, by bestowing on them balance and individuality. In Christian Esotericism, these two classes of superhuman beings are called Angels (Angeloi). Above these beings in an ascending order, stand those of the higher hierarchies, the Archangels, the Archai, etc., who likewise take part in the guidance of humanity.

Within the ranks of these different beings there are all possible gradations in regard to perfection. In the category of the Angels there are at the beginning of the present Earth-evolution, some[67] standing high and others less developed. The former have progressed far beyond the minimum of their Moon-development. Between these and those who had just reached this minimum when the Moon-evolution had come to an end, and the Earth-evolution had begun, there are all possible gradations. Conformably with this gradation of rank, the beings in question entered during the Earth-period upon the leadership of human evolution. Thus the evolution of the Egyptian civilization was effected under the guidance of beings who had become more perfected on the Moon than those who were the leaders of the Graeco-Roman period, and these again were more perfect than those who have the leadership at the present time. In the Egyptian as also in the Greek Period, those who later on assumed the direction, were meanwhile developing, and making themselves ready to guide the civilization of later periods.

Since the time of the great Atlantean catastrophe, seven consecutive epochs of civilization have to be differentiated; the first is the ancient Indian epoch, and it is followed by the ancient Persian.[2] The[68] third is the Egypto-Chaldæic, the fourth is the Graeco-Roman, and the fifth is our own, which, since about the twelfth century, has been gradually developing and in which we are still living. And as the separate periods overlap, we see already in our times those early events preparing which will lead over into the sixth post-Atlantean epoch. And a seventh epoch will succeed the sixth in due course. On closer observation we find the following evidence with regard to the guidance of mankind. It was during the third epoch of civilization, the Egypto-Chaldæic, that the Angels (or lower dhyanic beings according to Oriental mysticism) were to some extent independent leaders of humanity. They were not so during the ancient Persian civilization. For then they were subject to a higher direction in a much greater degree than in the Egyptian times, and had to regulate everything in conformity with the impulses of the hierarchies immediately above them. In this way everything was under the immediate guidance of the Angels, but these themselves submitted to the rulership of the Archangels. And in the Indian epoch when post-Atlantean life had reached such a height in spiritual matters as has never been attained since—a natural height under the direction of great human teachers—then the Archangels themselves were[69] subject in a similar sense to the guidance of the Archai or Primal Powers. Thus if we trace the evolution of humanity from the Indian epoch through the ancient Persian and Egypto-Chaldæic civilization, we may say that certain beings of the higher hierarchies withdrew as it were, ever more and more from the direct guidance of humanity. And in the fourth post-Atlantean period of civilization, i.e., the Graeco-Roman epoch, man had become in a certain sense quite independent. The guiding superhuman beings were certainly intervening to develop humanity, but only in such a way that the reins were tightened as little as possible, and also that the spiritual leaders themselves might profit as much through the deeds of men as men profited through them. Hence arose that peculiar and quite “human” civilization in the Graeco-Roman time in which man was made to rely entirely on himself. For all the distinctive characteristics of Art and political life in Greek and Roman times are traceable to the fact that man had to live out his own life in his own way.

So, when we look back to the most ancient times of civilization, we then find evolution guided by beings who had accomplished their evolution as far as the human stage, in earlier planetary conditions. But the fourth post-Atlantean period of civilization[70] was intended as a time when man should be put to the test as much as possible, and consequently was the time when the whole spiritual guidance of humanity had to be re-organized. We are now living in the fifth post-Atlantean period of civilization. The leading beings of this period belong to the same hierarchy as that which ruled the ancient Egyptians and Chaldæans. In fact those beings who then took the lead, have again begun to be active in our times, for it has been stated that certain beings remained behind during the Egypto-Chaldæic civilization, and that these are to be found manifested in the materialistic feelings and perceptions of our own period.

Now the progress made by the beings of each class of Angels or lower dhyanic beings—the class which leads mankind forward and the class which obstructs—consists in their being able to be leaders among the Egyptians and Chaldæans by means of those qualities which they had acquired in primordial times, and which they had further developed by their work as leaders. Thus the progressive Angels are intervening to guide the fifth post-Atlantean civilization by means of capacities which they themselves had won during the third or Egypto-Chaldæic civilization. Through the progress they make they are acquiring for themselves[71] quite special capabilities, for they are qualifying themselves to receive the influx of forces emanating from the most important Being in the whole evolution of the Earth. The power of the Christ is working in them; for that power works not only on the physical world through Jesus of Nazareth—but also in the spiritual worlds upon the superhuman beings. The Christ exists not only for the earth but also for these other beings. The beings who guided the old Egypto-Chaldæic civilization were not at that time under the direction of the Christ, but have only placed themselves under His guidance since. And their progress consists in their following Him in the higher worlds, so that they may guide our fifth post-Atlantean period of civilization in accordance with His influence. And the remaining behind of those beings of whom it has been said that they operate as obstructive powers, is due to their not having put themselves under the leadership of the Christ, and thus they continue to work independently of Him. Hence the following state of things will become more and more evident in human evolution: There will be a materialistic movement under the guidance of the backward Egypto-Chaldæic spirits. It will have a materialistic character, and the greater part of what in all countries, may be called contemporary[72] materialistic science is under this influence. There are, for example, people to-day who say that our earth in its primary origin consisted of atoms. Who instils this thought into men’s minds? It is the superhuman angel beings who had remained behind during the Egypto-Chaldæic period. But, side by side with this movement, there is another making itself felt, the one which has as its goal that man shall eventually find in all that he does, that which may be called the Christ-principle.

Now what will those beings teach who attained their goal in the old Egypto-Chaldæic sphere of civilization, and who then learned to know the Christ? They will be able to instill into man other thoughts than that there are only material atoms; for they will be able to teach that, even to the minutest particle of the world, the substance is permeated with the Spirit of the Christ. And, strange as it may seem, there will be in the future, chemists and physicists who will not teach chemistry and physics as they are now taught under the influence of the backward Egypto-Chaldæic spirits; but who will teach that “Matter is built up in the way in which the Christ gradually ordained it.” The Christ will be found working even in the very laws of chemistry and physics. It is a spiritual chemistry, and spiritual physics that will come in[73] the future. To-day such a statement appears certainly to many people as something fanciful or worse than that, but in many cases the sense of the future is folly to the past. The factors which in this sense enter into the evolution of human civilization are already there for the careful observer; but such an one will know quite well the objections which may, with apparent justice, be urged against such alleged folly from the modern scientific or philosophic point of view.

From such hypotheses we are able to understand what advantage the guiding superhuman beings have compared with man. Humanity learned to know Christ in the fourth civilization period of the post-Atlantean times, i.e., in the Graeco-Roman epoch, for it was in the course of this civilization that the Christ-event found its place in evolution, and it was then that man learned to know the Christ. The guiding superhuman beings, however, learned to know Him during the Egypto-Chaldæic times, and worked themselves up to Him. Then during the Graeco-Roman civilization they had to leave man to his own fate in order that, later on, they might re-enter the sphere of human evolution. And if nowadays theosophy is cultivated, that signifies nothing else than a recognition of the fact that the superhuman beings who formerly guided[74] humanity are now continuing their task as leaders in such a way as to be under the direct guidance of the Christ themselves. Thus it is with other beings also.

In the ancient Persian epoch, the leadership of humanity was apportioned to the Archangels. They put themselves under the direction of the Christ earlier than did the beings in the rank next below them. Of Zarathustra it can be said that pointing to the sun, he spoke to his followers and his people in some such words as these: “In the sun there lives the great Spirit Ahura Mazdao, who will one day come down to the earth.” For the beings out of the region of the Archangels who guided Zarathustra, pointed to the great sun-leader, who had not at that time come down upon the earth, but had only begun his journey thither in order, later on, to enter directly into the earth evolution. And the guiding beings who directed the great teachers of the Indians, also pointed these to the Christ of the future; for it is a mistake to think that these teachers had no foreknowledge of the Christ. They said that He was “beyond their sphere” and that they “could not attain” unto Him.

As now in our fifth period of civilization, it is the Angels who bring down the Christ into our spiritual evolution, so the sixth period of civilization[75] will be directed by beings who belong to the ranks of the Archangels who guided the ancient Persian civilization. And spirits of Personality—the Primal Powers—or Archai—who guided humanity during the ancient Indian epoch will have to guide humanity in the seventh period of civilization. In the Graeco-Roman period, the Christ descended from the heights of the spirit-world and revealed Himself in the physical body of Jesus of Nazareth. He then came down as far as the physical world. It will be possible to find Him in the world immediately above ours when humanity shall have become sufficiently ripe. It will not be possible in the future to find Him in the physical world, but only in the world immediately above, for human beings will not always remain the same; they will become more mature, and will then find the Christ in the spiritual world, as Paul found Him in his experience before Damascus, which event prophetically foreshadowed the future means of finding the Christ. And since in our times the same great teachers who have already guided mankind through the Egyptian Civilization are working, so also in the twentieth century it will be these same teachers who will lead men out to behold the Christ as Paul beheld Him. They will show mankind how the Christ not only works upon the earth,[76] but how He spiritualizes the whole solar system. And those who will be the reincarnated holy teachers of India in the seventh period of civilization will proclaim the Spirit Who was foreshadowed through the undivided Brahma, to whom however the right content and meaning could only be given through the Christ, as the great, the immense Spirit, of Whom they formerly said that He hovered above their sphere. Thus will humanity be led upwards from stage to stage into the spiritual world.

To speak in this way about the Christ—how He is the leader of the higher hierarchies also in the successive worlds, is to teach the science which, under the title of modern esotericism, has endured into our civilization since the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and which, as has been shown, had from that time become necessary. If from this aspect we observe more closely the Being Who lived in Palestine, and Who consummated the Mystery of Golgotha, then we find the following:

Up to the present time many ideas concerning the Christ have found expression. There was for instance the idea of certain Christian Gnostics in the first centuries, who said that the Christ Who lives in Palestine was not present in any physical body of flesh at all; that He had only an apparent[77] body—an etheric body which had become physically visible; so that His death on the Cross had been no real death but only an apparent one, for the very reason that only an etheric body was present. Then we find the various disputes among those who professed Christianity, as for example, the well-known controversy between the Arians and Athenatians, etc., and the most varied explanations concerning what the Christ really was. And indeed right up to our own times people express and have expressed the most varied ideas concerning the Christ.

Now spiritual science must recognize in Christ not merely an earthly but also a cosmic Being. In a certain sense man is, taken as a whole, a cosmic being. He lives a twofold life—one in a physical body from birth to death, another in the spiritual worlds between death and a new birth. When he is incarnated in a physical body, he is living in dependence on the earth, because the physical body is restricted by the forces and conditions of existence belonging to the earth. A man, however, does not only take the substances and forces of the earth into himself, but is joined to the whole of the earth’s organism. When he has passed through the gate of death, he does not any longer belong to the forces of the earth; but it would be incorrect to[78] imagine that he then belongs to no forces at all, for he is then connected with the forces of the solar system and the more distant star-systems. In this way, between death and a new birth, he lives in the domain of the cosmic, just as in the period between birth and death he lived in the domain of the earthly. From death to a new birth he belongs to the cosmos, as on the earth he belongs to the elements—Air, Water, and Earth. Accordingly, while he is passing through a life between death and a new birth, he comes into the region of cosmic influences, for the planets send forth not merely the physical forces of what astronomy teaches, such as gravitation and others, but also spiritual forces, and with these spiritual powers of the cosmos man is connected—each person in a special manner according to his own individuality. If he is born in Europe, he lives in a different relation to warmth conditions, etc., than if he had been born, let us say, in Australia. Similarly, during his life between death and a new birth, one person may stand more closely related to the spiritual powers of Mars, another to those of Jupiter, others again to those of the whole planetary system in general, and so on. It is also these forces which bring man back again to the earth. Thus before he is born he is living in connection with the collective whole of stellar space.


According to the way in which a man stands individually related to the cosmic system, so are the forces directed which lead him to this or that set of parents and to this or that locality. The impetus, the inclination to incarnate here or there, in this or that family, in this or that people, at this or that time, depends on how the person was organically connected with the cosmic before birth. In former times, in that territory where the German tongue was spoken, a specially apt expression was used whereby to indicate a person’s entrance into the world through birth. When a person was born, people said that in such and such a place he had “become young” (jung-geworden). Therein lies an unconscious reference to the fact that man in the time between death and a new birth continues at first to be subject to the powers which had made him old in a previous incarnation, but that before birth there come in their place such forces as again make him “young.” Thus Goethe in “Faust” still uses the expression “to become young in Nebelland”—Nebelland being the old name for mediæval Germany.

The truth underlying the casting of a horoscope is that those who know these things can read the forces which determine a person’s physical existence. A certain horoscope is allotted to a person[80] because, within it, those forces find expression which have led him into being. If, for example, in the horoscope, Mars stands over Aries (the Ram) that signifies that certain of the Aries forces are not allowed to pass through Mars—and are weakened. Thus is a man put into his place within physical existence, and it is in accordance with his horoscope that he guides himself before entering upon earthly existence. This subject, which in our times seems so much a thing of chance should not be touched upon without our attention being called to the fact that nearly everything practiced in this connection to-day is simply dilettantism—a pure superstition—and that for the external world the true science of these matters has been for the most part completely lost. Consequently, the principal things which have been said here are not to be judged according to that which nowadays frequently leads a questionable existence under the name of Astrology.

Now it is the active forces of the stellar world that impel man into physical incarnation; and when clairvoyant consciousness observes a person, it can perceive in his organization how this has resulted from the co-operation of cosmic forces. We may now attempt to illustrate this hypothetically, but in a form corresponding entirely with clairvoyant observations:[81] If a person’s physical brain were extracted and its construction clairvoyantly examined, so that it might be seen how certain parts are situated in certain places, and send out appendages, it would be found that the brain of each individual is different. No two people have brains alike. Then let us imagine further that this brain could be photographed in its complete structure so that one would have a kind of half-sphere in which every detail was visible, then this would make a different picture in the case of each person. And if one were to photograph a person’s brain at the moment of birth and then photograph also the heavens lying exactly over the person’s birthplace, then this latter picture would be of exactly the same appearance as that of the human brain.

As certain centres were arranged in the latter, so would the stars be in the photograph of the heavens. Man has within himself a picture of the heavens, and every man has a different one, according to whether he was born in this place or that, and at this or that time. This is one indication that man is born from out of the whole cosmos.

When we keep this clearly in view we can rise to the idea of how the macrocosm manifests itself in each separate individual, and then, starting from this point, we can attain a conception of how it[82] showed itself in the Christ. But if we were to imagine the Christ after the Baptism of John as though the macrocosm had then been living in Him in the same way as in other people, we should be mistaken.

Let us first consider Jesus of Nazareth: His conditions of existence were quite exceptional. At the beginning of our era two boys were born and named Jesus. The one came through the Nathan line of the house of David, and the other through the Solomon line of the same house. These two children were not born quite at the same time, but nearly so. In the Jesus descended from Solomon, Who is described in the Gospel of St. Matthew, there was incarnated the same individuality who had formerly lived on the earth as Zarathustra, so that in this Child Jesus there appears the reincarnated Zarathustra or Zoroaster. The individuality of Zarathustra grew up in this Child until, as St. Matthew says, His twelfth year. In that year, Zarathustra left the body of this Child and passed over into that of the other Child Jesus Whom the Gospel of St. Luke describes. In consequence of this the latter child became suddenly quite different. The parents were astonished when they found Him in Jerusalem in the temple after the spirit of Zarathustra had entered into Him.[83] This is intimated when it is said that the Child after having been lost and found again in the temple, so spake that his parents did not recognize Him. They only knew Him—the Child descended from Nathan as He had been before up to this time. But when He began to reason with the doctors in the temple, it was possible for Him to speak as He did because the spirit of Zarathustra had come into Him. Until the thirtieth year did the spirit of Zarathustra live in the Jesus who was descended from the Nathan line of the house of David. In this body He ripened to a still higher perfection. The remark must here be added that as regards this personality in which the spirit of Zarathustra now lived, an extraordinary feature was, that from the spiritual worlds the Buddha rayed forth his impulses into its astral body.

The oriental tradition is correct which says that the Buddha was born as a “Bodhisatva,” and only during his time on earth, in his twenty-ninth year, rose to the dignity of a Buddha. When the Gautama Buddha was a little child, the Indian sage Asita came weeping into the royal palace of his father, Suddhodana. He wept because, as a seer, he knew that this King’s son would become the Buddha, and because as an old man, he felt that he would no longer be living to see that event take[84] place. Now this sage was born again in the time of Jesus of Nazareth. It is he who is brought before us in the Gospel of St. Luke as the priest of the temple who saw the revelation of the Buddha in the Child Jesus descended from Nathan. And seeing this he was able to say: “Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace for I have seen my Master.” What he had not been able to see previously in India, he saw through the astral body of the Boy Jesus, Who comes before us in St. Luke’s Gospel, the Bodhisatva become a Buddha.

All this was necessary in order that that body might be produced which received the baptism of St. John in the Jordan. At that moment the individuality of Zarathustra left the threefold body, the physical, the etheric and the astral body of that Jesus Who had grown up in so complicated a manner, in order that the spirit of Zarathustra might be able to dwell in Him. Through two possibilities of development which were given in the two Jesus-Children, the reincarnated Zarathustra had to pass, and thus there stood before the Baptist the body of Jesus of Nazareth and in it from that time onwards there acted the cosmic individuality of the Christ. Now, as we have shown, in the case of any other human being, the cosmic spiritual laws work upon him only in so far that they give him a start in[85] earth-life. Afterwards there appear in opposition to these laws, others which arise out of the conditions of the earth-evolution. In the case of the Christ Jesus, after the baptism of John the cosmic-spiritual forces alone remained effective without being influenced in any way through the laws of the earth evolution.

Thus in Palestine during the time that Jesus of Nazareth walked on earth as Christ-Jesus,—during the three last years of his life, from his thirtieth to his thirty-third year, the entire Being of the cosmic Christ was acting uninterruptedly upon Him, and was working into Him. The Christ stood always under the influence of the entire cosmos—He made no step without this working of the cosmic forces into and in Him. That which here took place in Jesus of Nazareth was a continual realization of the horoscope, for at every moment there occurred that which otherwise happens only at a person’s birth. This could be so only because the whole body of Jesus descended from Nathan had remained open to the influence of the sum total of the forces of the cosmic spiritual hierarchies which direct our earth. If thus the whole spirit of the cosmos worked into the Christ Jesus, who was it that went, for example, to Capernaum or anywhere else? He who went about as a being upon the[86] earth appeared quite like any other man. The forces active within Him, however, were the cosmic forces, coming from the sun and stars; and these directed His body. And it was always in accordance with the collective Being of the whole Universe with whom the earth is in harmony, that all which the Christ Jesus did took place. It is because of this that in the case of the acts of the Christ Jesus there is so often some slight hint given in the Gospels, about the relative grouping of the stars at the time. We read in St. John’s Gospel how the Christ finds His first disciples. There we are told: “It was about the tenth hour,” because in this fact the spirit of the whole cosmos found expression in conformity with the appointed moment of time. Such intimations are less clear in the other Gospel passages, but he who can truly read the Gospel finds them everywhere. From this point of view also the miracles are to be judged. Let us take one passage,—The one that runs thus: “When the sun was set, they brought the sick unto Him, and He healed them.” What does that mean? The evangelist is drawing attention to the fact that this healing was connected with the whole position of the constellations, and that at the time in question, the constellations throughout the heavens stood in such a way as could only have happened[87] when the sun had set. The meaning of that, at the time, the requisite healing forces could make themselves felt after sun-set, and the Christ Jesus is represented as the intermediary Who brought the sick into connection with the forces of the cosmos which, just at that time could work curatively. These forces were the same as those which worked as Christ in Jesus. It was through the presence of Christ that the healing took place, because in consequence of the same, the sick person was exposed to the healing forces of the Cosmos which could only work as they did when they were in the right relationship to time and space. Thus these forces worked on the sick person through their representative the Christ. But it was only just during the time of Christ on earth that they could so work. It was only then that such a connection existed between the cosmic constellations and the powers of the human organism, that for certain illnesses, healing could intervene when through the instrumentality of the Christ Jesus, the cosmic grouping of the same forces was able to work on men. A repetition of this relationship in the evolution of the cosmos and the earth is as little possible as is a second incarnation of the Christ in a human body. Regarded in this way, the life of the Christ Jesus appears as the earthly expression of a definite[88] connection between the cosmos and the forces of man. The tarrying of a sick person by the side of Christ means that through the proximity of Christ, this sick person found himself in such a relation with the macrocosm that the latter could work upon him curatively.

Therewith the points of view have been specified which enable us to discern how the guidance of humanity has come under the influence of the Christ. The other forces, however, which had remained behind in the Egypto-Chaldæic times worked further side by side with those that are permeated by the Christ. This is evident even in the attitude frequently adopted to-day towards the Gospels. Literary works appear in which great pains are taken to show that the Gospels can be understood through an astrological interpretation. The greatest opponents of the Gospels employ this astrological interpretation in such a manner that, the way, for example, taken by the Archangel Gabriel from Elizabeth to Mary is supposed to signify nothing more than the progress of the sun from the constellation of Virgo to another. This, in a certain sense, is correct, except that these thoughts were poured in this manner into our age by the beings who had remained behind during the[89] Egypto-Chaldæic Period. Under such an influence people are induced to a make-belief that the Gospels present only allegories in the place of definite cosmic relations. The truth really is, that in the Christ the whole cosmos finds expression and therefore one can express the life of the Christ by connecting its separate events with the cosmic relations which work into Earth existence unceasingly through the Christ. A right understanding of this matter will thus lead to a full recognition of the Christ, as having lived on earth, whereas the above mentioned error, if it were true, would mean that the Christ life in the Gospels is expressed by cosmic constellation and shows that it was only a matter of constellations being treated allegorically, and that there was no real earthly Christ at all.

If a comparison were to be used, we might think of each human being as represented by a spherical mirror—which, if it were set up, would give pictures of all its surroundings. Let us suppose we were to trace with a pencil the outline of all that is shown from the surroundings. We could then take the mirror and carry the picture about with us wherever we went. Let this be a symbol for the fact that when a person is born, he brings with him a copy of the cosmos in himself, and afterwards carries about with him all through his life the effect[90] of this one picture. The mirror might, however, be left untouched by the pencil, so that wherever the person carried it, it would depict the immediate surroundings. It then would always be giving a picture of the collective environment. This would be a symbol of the Christ from the baptism by St. John up to the mystery of Golgotha. That which, in the case of any other person, passes into his earthly existence at birth only flowed into the Christ-Jesus at every moment. And when the mystery of Golgotha was consummated, that which had been radiating from out the cosmos passed over into the spiritual substance of the earth, and has from that time forward been united with the spirit of the earth.

When St. Paul became clairvoyant before Damascus, he could recognize that That which had formerly been in the cosmos has passed over into the spirit of the earth. Of this every one can be convinced who can bring his soul into such a condition that he can have the same experience as had St. Paul. It is in the twentieth century that those people will first appear who will have St. Paul’s experience of the Christ event in a spiritual way.

Whereas up to our times this event would be experienced only by such persons as had gained clairvoyant powers by means of an esoteric training,[91] hereafter to look upon the Christ in the spiritual sphere surrounding the earth will be possible for the advanced powers of the soul in the course of the natural evolution of humanity. This—as a repeated experience of the event before Damascus—will be possible for some people from a certain point of time in the twentieth century. The number of such people will afterwards increase, until in the distant future, it will be a natural faculty of the human soul.

With the entrance of Christ into the evolution of the earth an entirely new impulse or direction was given to evolution. External facts of history also express this. In the early times of post-Atlantean evolution men knew very well that above them there was not merely a physical Mars, but that what they saw as Mars, Jupiter or Saturn was the expression for a spiritual being. In later times this perception was completely forgotten. The heavenly bodies became, according to human ideas, mere bodies to be estimated according to their physical condition. And in the Middle Ages people saw in connection with the stars only what the eyes can see—the sphere of Venus, the sphere of the Sun, the sphere of Mars, etc., up to the sphere of the fixed stars; and then came the eighth sphere like a[92] solid blue wall behind. Then Copernicus appeared and broke down the idea that only that which is perceptible to the senses can be authoritative. The modern physical scientists may indeed say: “It is madness to declare that the world is Maya, or illusion, and that you must look into a spiritual world in order to see the truth, for in spite of all you say true science is that which relies on the senses and notifies what these senses tell.” But when did astronomers rely only on the senses? Surely at the very time when that astronomical science was dominant which is attacked by the science of to-day! It was at that time when Copernicus began to think out what exists in the cosmic space beyond the evidence of the senses, that our modern astronomy as a science began. And so it is in every domain of science. Everywhere that science, in the most modern sense of the word, has arisen, it has done so in opposition to what had been apparent to the senses. When Copernicus declared “what you see is Maya—or deception, rely on what you cannot see,” then the science came into being which is recognized as such to-day. It might thus be said to the representative of modern science “your science itself only became ‘science’ when it was no longer willing to depend upon the senses only.”


Giordano Bruno came as philosophical interpreter of the teachings of Copernicus. He led the gaze of man out into cosmic space, and announced that what people had called the limitations of space, what they had placed there as the eighth sphere limiting everything in space—was in reality no limitation; it was Maya, or illusion; for an infinite number of worlds had been poured forth into cosmic space. That which was formerly considered to be the boundary of space was shown to be only the boundary of the sense-world of man, and if we direct our gaze beyond the sense-world, we shall no longer see the world only as known to the senses, but we shall also recognize Infinity.

From this it is apparent how the course of human evolution has been such that man started from an originally spiritual view of the cosmos and in the course of time lost it. In its place there came a mere sense-perception of the world. Then there came into evolution the Christ Impulse. Through this, mankind was led to stamp the spiritual view once more upon the materialistic. At that moment when Giordano Bruno burst the fetters of the sense illusion, the Christ evolution was so far advanced, that the soul power, which had been kindled by the Christ Impulse, could then be active within him. Therewith an indication is given[94] of the whole significance of how the life of Christ penetrates all human evolution, an evolution only at the beginning of which humanity stands to-day.

To what then does spiritual science now aspire? It completes the work begun for external science by Giordano Bruno and others in that it says: that which external science is able to perceive is Maya, or illusion. Just as formerly one looked to the “eighth sphere” and thought that space was thereby bounded, so contemporary human thought believes that man is shut in or enclosed between birth and death. Spiritual science, however, expands man’s vision by directing his attention out and beyond the limits of birth and death.

There is a continuous chain in human evolution which such ideas as these make us recognize. And in the true sense of the words, that which resulted in the conquest of sense illusion through Copernicus and Giordano Bruno, already proceeded from the inspiration due to that spiritual current which is now working in the modern spiritual science of theosophy. What one might call the newer esotericism worked in a mysterious manner on Copernicus, Bruno, Kepler and others. Those therefore who now stand, base their thought on foundations laid by Giordano Bruno and Copernicus and do not wish to accept theosophy, are unfaithful to[95] their own traditions in desiring to hold fast by sense illusion. But spiritual science demonstrates that, as Giordano Bruno forced a way through the blue firmament of heaven, even so does this science break down the barriers of birth and death for man by showing how he originates from out of the macrocosm, lives in a physical existence, passes through death, and re-enters macrocosmic life. And what we see in a limited degree in each individual meets us unrestrictedly and in a larger sense in the representative of the spirit of the cosmos—in the Christ-Jesus. Once and once only could that impulse be given which the Christ gave. Once only could the whole cosmos be thus reflected, for the conjunction of the stars which then took place can never be repeated. In order to give an impulse to the earth, this conjunction was obliged to work through a human body. As it is true that this same grouping cannot occur a second time, so it is equally true that the Christ was only once incarnated. Only if one did not know that the Christ is the representative of the whole universe and only if it were impossible to win one’s way to this Christ-Idea, the elements for which are given through spiritual science—only then would it be possible to maintain that Christ could appear more than once upon the earth.


Thus we see how an idea of Christ arises out of the new spiritual science or theosophy, which reveals to man in a new form his connection with the whole macrocosm. Certainly, in order to gain a true knowledge of the Christ, those inspiring forces are absolutely necessary which are now being bestowed by those same superhuman beings who formerly guided the Egypto-Chaldæic epoch and who have now put themselves under the Christ. There is need of a new inspiration of this kind, of an inspiration which the great esoteric teachers of the middle ages had prepared from the thirteenth century onwards, and which from this time forth must ever come more and more into publicity. When man, according to the meaning of this science, prepares his soul aright for the knowledge of the spirit-world, he can then hear clairaudiently and he can see clairvoyantly what is revealed by the old Chaldæic and Egyptian angel beings who are now again acting as spiritual leaders under the guidance of the Christ. That which humanity will some time later actually gain thereby could only be prepared in the first centuries of Christianity and up to our times.

Consequently we may say that in the future there will live in the hearts of men an idea of the Christ incomparable in greatness with anything which[97] humanity has so far recognized. That which arose as a first impulse through the Christ, and has lived as an idea of Him up to the present time—even in the case of the best representatives of the Christ-principle—is only a preparation for the true understanding of the Christ. It would be strange indeed if, against those who in the West gave expression in such a way as this to the Christ-idea, it were brought as a reproach that they do not stand on the foundation of western Christian tradition, but it is quite possible, for this western tradition does not by any means suffice to help us to comprehend the Christ of the near future.

From the hypothesis of eastern esotericism we can see the spiritual direction of humanity gradually flowing into what may be in a real, true sense called the guidance, which comes from the Christ-impulse. That which is appearing as the new esotericism will flow slowly into the hearts of men, and the spiritual guidance of men and of humanity will ever more and more be consciously seen in such a light. We realize to ourselves how at first the Christ-principle flowed into the hearts of men because the Christ had gone about Palestine in the physical body of Jesus of Nazareth. Later men gradually surrendered themselves entirely to a reliance on the world of sense, and could only receive[98] the impulse which corresponded to their perception. Afterwards that same impulse so worked through the inspiration of the new esotericism that such spirits as Nicholas Cusamus, Copernicus and Galileo were able to be inspired and Copernicus, for instance, was enabled to make this assertion: “That which is evident to the senses cannot teach the truth about the solar system; if we want to find the truth we must investigate behind sense appearances.” At that time men, even spirits like Giordano Bruno, were not yet ripe enough to join consciously to the new esoteric stream. The spirit of the movement had to work in them unconsciously. Yet powerful and magnificent was the announcement of Giordano Bruno: “When a human being enters into existence by means of birth, then it is something macrocosmic that concentrates itself as a monad; and when a human being passes through death the monad spreads itself out again; that which was enclosed within the body spreads itself out in the cosmos in order to draw itself together again in other stages of existence, and again to spread itself out.” There Bruno gave expression to mighty conceptions which, even if expressed in stammering tongue, were yet in entire accord with the sense of the new esotericism.


The spiritual influences which lead humanity need not work in such a way that man is always conscious of them. For example, they put Galileo in the cathedral of Pisa. Thousands had seen the old church lamp there, but they have not seen it as did Galileo. He saw the church lamp swinging; compared the time of its oscillation with the beat of his own pulse; found that the church lamp swung in a regular rhythm resembling his pulse-beat; and from this discovered the laws of the pendulum in the sense of modern physics. Anyone acquainted with contemporary physics knows that these would not be possible without Galileo’s principle. In this way the force was then working which is now appearing as spiritual science; Galileo was placed in the cathedral of Pisa before the oscillating church lamp, and modern physics gained its principles. In such a mysterious way do the guiding spiritual forces of humanity perform their work.

We are now approaching the time when people are to become conscious of these guiding powers. We shall always come to a better and better understanding of what has to happen in the future if we rightly understand what is working inspirationally as the new esotericism, and which shows that the same spiritual beings, indicated by the ancient[100] Egyptians when the Greeks asked them about their teachers, who then ruled as gods, are now again assuming control, through having placed themselves under the leadership of the Christ. Ever more and more will men feel how they can cause to reappear in a brighter lustre, in a nobler style and on a higher level, that which was pre-Christian. The consciousness necessary for the present time, which must be an intensified consciousness, ought to give us a feeling of our high duty and great responsibility in reference to the recognition of the spiritual world, and this can only penetrate into our soul when we have recognized in the sense indicated, what is the task of spiritual science.

[2] By “Ancient Persian” is not meant “Persian” in the usual historic sense, but a pre-historic Asiatic (Iranian) civilization which developed in that land over which, later on, the Persian Kingdom extended.


End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of The Spiritual Guidance of Man and of
Mankind, by Rudolf Steiner


***** This file should be named 54260-h.htm or *****
This and all associated files of various formats will be found in:

Produced by Chris Curnow and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at (This file was
produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive)

Updated editions will replace the previous one--the old editions will
be renamed.

Creating the works from print editions not protected by U.S. copyright
law means that no one owns a United States copyright in these works,
so the Foundation (and you!) can copy and distribute it in the United
States without permission and without paying copyright
royalties. Special rules, set forth in the General Terms of Use part
of this license, apply to copying and distributing Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works to protect the PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm
concept and trademark. Project Gutenberg is a registered trademark,
and may not be used if you charge for the eBooks, unless you receive
specific permission. If you do not charge anything for copies of this
eBook, complying with the rules is very easy. You may use this eBook
for nearly any purpose such as creation of derivative works, reports,
performances and research. They may be modified and printed and given
away--you may do practically ANYTHING in the United States with eBooks
not protected by U.S. copyright law. Redistribution is subject to the
trademark license, especially commercial redistribution.



To protect the Project Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting the free
distribution of electronic works, by using or distributing this work
(or any other work associated in any way with the phrase "Project
Gutenberg"), you agree to comply with all the terms of the Full
Project Gutenberg-tm License available with this file or online at

Section 1. General Terms of Use and Redistributing Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works

1.A. By reading or using any part of this Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic work, you indicate that you have read, understand, agree to
and accept all the terms of this license and intellectual property
(trademark/copyright) agreement. If you do not agree to abide by all
the terms of this agreement, you must cease using and return or
destroy all copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in your
possession. If you paid a fee for obtaining a copy of or access to a
Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work and you do not agree to be bound
by the terms of this agreement, you may obtain a refund from the
person or entity to whom you paid the fee as set forth in paragraph

1.B. "Project Gutenberg" is a registered trademark. It may only be
used on or associated in any way with an electronic work by people who
agree to be bound by the terms of this agreement. There are a few
things that you can do with most Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works
even without complying with the full terms of this agreement. See
paragraph 1.C below. There are a lot of things you can do with Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works if you follow the terms of this
agreement and help preserve free future access to Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic works. See paragraph 1.E below.

1.C. The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation ("the
Foundation" or PGLAF), owns a compilation copyright in the collection
of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works. Nearly all the individual
works in the collection are in the public domain in the United
States. If an individual work is unprotected by copyright law in the
United States and you are located in the United States, we do not
claim a right to prevent you from copying, distributing, performing,
displaying or creating derivative works based on the work as long as
all references to Project Gutenberg are removed. Of course, we hope
that you will support the Project Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting
free access to electronic works by freely sharing Project Gutenberg-tm
works in compliance with the terms of this agreement for keeping the
Project Gutenberg-tm name associated with the work. You can easily
comply with the terms of this agreement by keeping this work in the
same format with its attached full Project Gutenberg-tm License when
you share it without charge with others.

1.D. The copyright laws of the place where you are located also govern
what you can do with this work. Copyright laws in most countries are
in a constant state of change. If you are outside the United States,
check the laws of your country in addition to the terms of this
agreement before downloading, copying, displaying, performing,
distributing or creating derivative works based on this work or any
other Project Gutenberg-tm work. The Foundation makes no
representations concerning the copyright status of any work in any
country outside the United States.

1.E. Unless you have removed all references to Project Gutenberg:

1.E.1. The following sentence, with active links to, or other
immediate access to, the full Project Gutenberg-tm License must appear
prominently whenever any copy of a Project Gutenberg-tm work (any work
on which the phrase "Project Gutenberg" appears, or with which the
phrase "Project Gutenberg" is associated) is accessed, displayed,
performed, viewed, copied or distributed:

  This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and
  most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no
  restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it
  under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this
  eBook or online at If you are not located in the
  United States, you'll have to check the laws of the country where you
  are located before using this ebook.

1.E.2. If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is
derived from texts not protected by U.S. copyright law (does not
contain a notice indicating that it is posted with permission of the
copyright holder), the work can be copied and distributed to anyone in
the United States without paying any fees or charges. If you are
redistributing or providing access to a work with the phrase "Project
Gutenberg" associated with or appearing on the work, you must comply
either with the requirements of paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7 or
obtain permission for the use of the work and the Project Gutenberg-tm
trademark as set forth in paragraphs 1.E.8 or 1.E.9.

1.E.3. If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is posted
with the permission of the copyright holder, your use and distribution
must comply with both paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7 and any
additional terms imposed by the copyright holder. Additional terms
will be linked to the Project Gutenberg-tm License for all works
posted with the permission of the copyright holder found at the
beginning of this work.

1.E.4. Do not unlink or detach or remove the full Project Gutenberg-tm
License terms from this work, or any files containing a part of this
work or any other work associated with Project Gutenberg-tm.

1.E.5. Do not copy, display, perform, distribute or redistribute this
electronic work, or any part of this electronic work, without
prominently displaying the sentence set forth in paragraph 1.E.1 with
active links or immediate access to the full terms of the Project
Gutenberg-tm License.

1.E.6. You may convert to and distribute this work in any binary,
compressed, marked up, nonproprietary or proprietary form, including
any word processing or hypertext form. However, if you provide access
to or distribute copies of a Project Gutenberg-tm work in a format
other than "Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other format used in the official
version posted on the official Project Gutenberg-tm web site
(, you must, at no additional cost, fee or expense
to the user, provide a copy, a means of exporting a copy, or a means
of obtaining a copy upon request, of the work in its original "Plain
Vanilla ASCII" or other form. Any alternate format must include the
full Project Gutenberg-tm License as specified in paragraph 1.E.1.

1.E.7. Do not charge a fee for access to, viewing, displaying,
performing, copying or distributing any Project Gutenberg-tm works
unless you comply with paragraph 1.E.8 or 1.E.9.

1.E.8. You may charge a reasonable fee for copies of or providing
access to or distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works
provided that

* You pay a royalty fee of 20% of the gross profits you derive from
  the use of Project Gutenberg-tm works calculated using the method
  you already use to calculate your applicable taxes. The fee is owed
  to the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark, but he has
  agreed to donate royalties under this paragraph to the Project
  Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation. Royalty payments must be paid
  within 60 days following each date on which you prepare (or are
  legally required to prepare) your periodic tax returns. Royalty
  payments should be clearly marked as such and sent to the Project
  Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation at the address specified in
  Section 4, "Information about donations to the Project Gutenberg
  Literary Archive Foundation."

* You provide a full refund of any money paid by a user who notifies
  you in writing (or by e-mail) within 30 days of receipt that s/he
  does not agree to the terms of the full Project Gutenberg-tm
  License. You must require such a user to return or destroy all
  copies of the works possessed in a physical medium and discontinue
  all use of and all access to other copies of Project Gutenberg-tm

* You provide, in accordance with paragraph 1.F.3, a full refund of
  any money paid for a work or a replacement copy, if a defect in the
  electronic work is discovered and reported to you within 90 days of
  receipt of the work.

* You comply with all other terms of this agreement for free
  distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm works.

1.E.9. If you wish to charge a fee or distribute a Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic work or group of works on different terms than
are set forth in this agreement, you must obtain permission in writing
from both the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation and The
Project Gutenberg Trademark LLC, the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm
trademark. Contact the Foundation as set forth in Section 3 below.


1.F.1. Project Gutenberg volunteers and employees expend considerable
effort to identify, do copyright research on, transcribe and proofread
works not protected by U.S. copyright law in creating the Project
Gutenberg-tm collection. Despite these efforts, Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic works, and the medium on which they may be stored, may
contain "Defects," such as, but not limited to, incomplete, inaccurate
or corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other
intellectual property infringement, a defective or damaged disk or
other medium, a computer virus, or computer codes that damage or
cannot be read by your equipment.

of Replacement or Refund" described in paragraph 1.F.3, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, the owner of the Project
Gutenberg-tm trademark, and any other party distributing a Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic work under this agreement, disclaim all
liability to you for damages, costs and expenses, including legal

defect in this electronic work within 90 days of receiving it, you can
receive a refund of the money (if any) you paid for it by sending a
written explanation to the person you received the work from. If you
received the work on a physical medium, you must return the medium
with your written explanation. The person or entity that provided you
with the defective work may elect to provide a replacement copy in
lieu of a refund. If you received the work electronically, the person
or entity providing it to you may choose to give you a second
opportunity to receive the work electronically in lieu of a refund. If
the second copy is also defective, you may demand a refund in writing
without further opportunities to fix the problem.

1.F.4. Except for the limited right of replacement or refund set forth
in paragraph 1.F.3, this work is provided to you 'AS-IS', WITH NO

1.F.5. Some states do not allow disclaimers of certain implied
warranties or the exclusion or limitation of certain types of
damages. If any disclaimer or limitation set forth in this agreement
violates the law of the state applicable to this agreement, the
agreement shall be interpreted to make the maximum disclaimer or
limitation permitted by the applicable state law. The invalidity or
unenforceability of any provision of this agreement shall not void the
remaining provisions.

1.F.6. INDEMNITY - You agree to indemnify and hold the Foundation, the
trademark owner, any agent or employee of the Foundation, anyone
providing copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in
accordance with this agreement, and any volunteers associated with the
production, promotion and distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic works, harmless from all liability, costs and expenses,
including legal fees, that arise directly or indirectly from any of
the following which you do or cause to occur: (a) distribution of this
or any Project Gutenberg-tm work, (b) alteration, modification, or
additions or deletions to any Project Gutenberg-tm work, and (c) any
Defect you cause.

Section 2. Information about the Mission of Project Gutenberg-tm

Project Gutenberg-tm is synonymous with the free distribution of
electronic works in formats readable by the widest variety of
computers including obsolete, old, middle-aged and new computers. It
exists because of the efforts of hundreds of volunteers and donations
from people in all walks of life.

Volunteers and financial support to provide volunteers with the
assistance they need are critical to reaching Project Gutenberg-tm's
goals and ensuring that the Project Gutenberg-tm collection will
remain freely available for generations to come. In 2001, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation was created to provide a secure
and permanent future for Project Gutenberg-tm and future
generations. To learn more about the Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation and how your efforts and donations can help, see
Sections 3 and 4 and the Foundation information page at

Section 3. Information about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation

The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation is a non profit
501(c)(3) educational corporation organized under the laws of the
state of Mississippi and granted tax exempt status by the Internal
Revenue Service. The Foundation's EIN or federal tax identification
number is 64-6221541. Contributions to the Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation are tax deductible to the full extent permitted by
U.S. federal laws and your state's laws.

The Foundation's principal office is in Fairbanks, Alaska, with the
mailing address: PO Box 750175, Fairbanks, AK 99775, but its
volunteers and employees are scattered throughout numerous
locations. Its business office is located at 809 North 1500 West, Salt
Lake City, UT 84116, (801) 596-1887. Email contact links and up to
date contact information can be found at the Foundation's web site and
official page at

For additional contact information:

    Dr. Gregory B. Newby
    Chief Executive and Director

Section 4. Information about Donations to the Project Gutenberg
Literary Archive Foundation

Project Gutenberg-tm depends upon and cannot survive without wide
spread public support and donations to carry out its mission of
increasing the number of public domain and licensed works that can be
freely distributed in machine readable form accessible by the widest
array of equipment including outdated equipment. Many small donations
($1 to $5,000) are particularly important to maintaining tax exempt
status with the IRS.

The Foundation is committed to complying with the laws regulating
charities and charitable donations in all 50 states of the United
States. Compliance requirements are not uniform and it takes a
considerable effort, much paperwork and many fees to meet and keep up
with these requirements. We do not solicit donations in locations
where we have not received written confirmation of compliance. To SEND
DONATIONS or determine the status of compliance for any particular
state visit

While we cannot and do not solicit contributions from states where we
have not met the solicitation requirements, we know of no prohibition
against accepting unsolicited donations from donors in such states who
approach us with offers to donate.

International donations are gratefully accepted, but we cannot make
any statements concerning tax treatment of donations received from
outside the United States. U.S. laws alone swamp our small staff.

Please check the Project Gutenberg Web pages for current donation
methods and addresses. Donations are accepted in a number of other
ways including checks, online payments and credit card donations. To
donate, please visit:

Section 5. General Information About Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works.

Professor Michael S. Hart was the originator of the Project
Gutenberg-tm concept of a library of electronic works that could be
freely shared with anyone. For forty years, he produced and
distributed Project Gutenberg-tm eBooks with only a loose network of
volunteer support.

Project Gutenberg-tm eBooks are often created from several printed
editions, all of which are confirmed as not protected by copyright in
the U.S. unless a copyright notice is included. Thus, we do not
necessarily keep eBooks in compliance with any particular paper

Most people start at our Web site which has the main PG search

This Web site includes information about Project Gutenberg-tm,
including how to make donations to the Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation, how to help produce our new eBooks, and how to
subscribe to our email newsletter to hear about new eBooks.