OCCULT ANNIHILATION OF THE SOUL
stand at the grave of civilization in a War of All against All or turn toward a spiritualized culture.”
We live in grave times. Reading the news headlines on any particular day, one can easily feel overwhelmed with the impending collapse of cultures, countries, financial markets, common decency, law and order, education, and spiritual and moral impulses. One crisis after another, whether real or false flags, are used to chisel away our personal freedoms and liberties, leading us into an Orwellian world of global governance and the complete annihilation of all that is divine in the world. We hold on to threadbare strands of hope, praying for mercy and divine intervention in a global quagmire that seems unsolvable.
Where is the Christ that was to come? Where is the path to Shamballa? Where is the otherworldly exit door to all of this worldly madness?
If you are new to anthroposophy you may not be aware that Rudolf Steiner spoke of these matters at great length. For those that have studied anthroposophy, you will recall that Steiner wrote of the War of All against All, a time in a distant future that is the transition to the future Earth. But what many may not be aware of is that this struggle can take place at any cultural period either in a microcosmic form or in a full-fledged battle between the Moon and Earth.
In order to be victorious in this struggle–whether now or at the end of the Seventh Epoch, whether personally or globally—one must meet evil in its luciferic and ahrimanic forms with courage to see through their terrifying and daunting spectres of fear, hatred and doubt, embracing in their place a spirit full of faith, love, and wisdom. To do so is to wield the sword of Michael and slay the fiery dragon. But, first, one must become aware of evil and, like the miller’s daughter in Rumpelstiltskin, call out his name in full recognition of the devil he is.
Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) wrote and lectured extensively on these beings—Lucifer and Ahriman—as well as the Being of Christ who incarnated in Palestine and is the second person in the Holy Trinity. What may be a surprise for readers new to anthroposophy is that on each side of Christ there are two beings, a left hand and right hand path of evil. Those two beings of evil are Lucifer, the tempter, the left hand path of evil, and Ahriman, the father of lies, the right hand path of evil. Lucifer is the fallen angel we know from the Bible. Ahriman, whose name is taken from Ancient Persia where he was seen as the polar opposite of the sun god, is also known as Satan.
Another surprise comes from the teachings of Steiner that both Lucifer and Ahriman actually incarnate once as a human being, Lucifer in 2000 BC and Ahriman in 2000 AD, and that Christ balances them by incarnating in the middle. There is another being of evil that directly opposes Christ known as Sorath or Sorat the Sun-Demon who incarnates in the distant future as an assault against the development of the human ego. His incarnation is now being prepared by Ahriman. These four beings and their physical incarnations are part of the plan of spiritual evolution, and each being, even though deemed evil, has important functions in the evolution of the free human being who must develop discernment to know the difference between each of these beings. As hopeless as the world may seem at times, we can have comfort in knowing that the spirits of opposition are an important part of the divine plan.
Christ’s incarnation created the turning point of time as all evolution revolves around this central event. Christ incarnated once to defeat the existing effects of Lucifer’s human incarnation in China and prepare for the incarnation of Ahriman in North America. Christ conquered the temptations of Lucifer as He will conquer the lies of Ahriman, as He will, by donating the form of the human ego (I consciousness) to man at the turning point of time, conquer Sorat’s anti-ego influence in the distant future. Because of the Deed of Christ at the Mystery of Golgotha, Christ’s perfected ego now exists in an etheric form in the realm of the super-etheric and can replicate itself for those who wish to take on this perfected form. Although it will take humanity as a whole quite some time to take on the perfected vehicle of Christ consciousness, there are some advanced souls, and you may be one, who have or will accomplish this wonder and bring teachings that align with the perfected vehicles of Christ.
In order to become conscious of evil so that we can ascend to Christ consciousness, we must know its many faces and manifestations. We must recognize their physical incarnations. The time has passed for recognizing the incarnations of Lucifer and Christ, and Sorat does not come until a distant future. Our task today is to understand the incarnation of Ahriman. No one has written more extensively of Ahriman than Rudolf Steiner, so it would seem only logical to read what he has written and lectured about the subject. The purpose of this paper, Ahriman’s Incarnation and the Future, is to provide the initiate with a compilation of Steiner’s descriptions of Ahriman, and where those descriptions are not easily quoted, provide the reader with a summation of Steiner’s indications for the particular topic.
Passages that come directly from Steiner are referenced with their GA number (collected works) and title reference, along with a reduced font size. Summations by the author remain in the font size of the manuscript and are designated with the initials “DG.”
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The Incarnations of Lucifer, Christ, Ahriman (RS)
THE AHRIMANIC DECEPTION, ZURICH, OCTOBER 27, 1919, GA 193
The impulses entering humanity from a luciferic source sank down gradually into the soul. The ahrimanic, is growing stronger and stronger in modern times. It will become increasingly strong in the near future and on into future ages. The ahrimanic impulse proceeds from a super-sensible Being different from the Being of Christ or of Lucifer. The influence of this Being becomes especially powerful in the fifth post-Atlantean epoch. If we look at the confused conditions of recent years we shall find that men have been brought to such chaotic conditions mainly through the ahrimanic powers.
Just as there was an incarnation of Lucifer at the beginning of the third pre-Christian millennium, as there was the Christ Incarnation at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha, so there will be a Western incarnation of the Ahriman being in the third post-Christian millennium. At the one pole stands a luciferic incarnation, in the center, the incarnation of Christ, and at the other pole the ahrimanic incarnation. Lucifer is the power that stirs up in man all fanatical, all falsely mystical forces, all that physiologically tends to bring the blood into disorder and so lift man above and outside himself. Ahriman is the power that makes man dry, prosaic, philistine – that ossifies him and brings him to the superstition of materialism. And the true nature and being of man is essentially the effort to hold the balance between the powers of Lucifer and Ahriman; the Christ Impulse helps present humanity to establish this equilibrium.
Viewed historically, we find that the luciferic preponderated in certain currents of cultural development of the pre-Christian age and continued into the first centuries of our era. On the other hand, the ahrimanic influence has been at work since the middle of the fifteenth century and will increase in strength until an actual incarnation of Ahriman takes place among Western humanity.
Ahrimanic powers prepare the evolution of mankind in such a way that it can fall a prey to Ahriman when he appears in human form within Western civilization as once Lucifer appeared in human form in China, as once Christ appeared in human form in Asia Minor. Ahriman will appear in human form and the only question is, how he will find humanity prepared. Will his preparations have secured for him as followers the whole of mankind that today calls itself civilized, or will he find a humanity that can offer resistance. Disregard of truth is precisely what will build Ahriman the best bridge to the success of his incarnation.
Ahriman stirs up all the emotions that split men up into small groups – groups that mutually attack one another. Ahriman also makes use of what develops from the old conditions of heredity which man has really outgrown in the fifth post-Atlantean epoch. The ahrimanic powers use all that is derived from old circumstances of heredity in order to set men against each other in conflicting groups. All that comes from old differences of family, race, tribe, peoples, is used by Ahriman to create confusion.
Ahriman skillfully prepares his goal beforehand; ever since the Reformation and the Renaissance, the economist has been emerging in modern civilization as the representative governing type. Since that time the economist has been in command. Rulers are in fact merely the handymen, the understrappers of the economists.
We know very well that we have no occasion either to hate Ahriman or to fear Lucifer, since their powers are inimical only when they are working outside the realm where they belong. Luciferic activity has the result of making the will young. When the activity of our soul is streamed through by luciferic activity the result is will. When the luciferic influence predominates, when Lucifer makes his forces felt in the soul, then will is active in us. Lucifer has a rejuvenating influence on the whole stream of our soul-activity.
When Ahriman brings his influence to bear on our soul-activity, he hardens it, it becomes old, and thinking is the result. The etheric body has actually this appearance; one can perceive in it luciferic light and ahrimanic hardness. But there are places where the etheric body seems to be quite non-transparent, as if it had ice tracings in it. This freezing of the etheric body at certain places is due to Ahriman; his forces have found entry there by means of thought. There are also places which seem to be full of light. Here the etheric body is transparent and gleams and glows with light. It is Lucifer who sends his rays into the etheric body of man and makes there centers of will. Then there are regions in between, where the etheric body is in perpetual movement and activity. Here you see at one moment hardness – and then suddenly the hardness is caught by a ray of light and melts right away. Hardening and dissolving, in perpetual alternation – such is the expression of the activity of feeling in the etheric body.
When the ahrimanic forces gain the upper hand, we have an expression of thinking; when the luciferic forces are in ascendance, we have an expression of willing; and when they are in mutual conflict one with the other, we have an expression of feeling.
Ahriman has great power over our waking consciousness. In sleep consciousness, Lucifer has the upper hand. They are in equilibrium only when we dream; there they pull with equal force, they strike a balance between them. The ideas which are called forth by Ahriman in day consciousness and which he causes to harden and crystallize, are dissolved and made to disappear under the influence of Lucifer.
Thus we are truly, in a certain connection, redeemers of Lucifer. When we begin to be able to love our duty, then the moment has come when we can help towards the redemption and release of the luciferic powers; we set free the Lucifer forces which are held in us as by a charm, and lead them forth to fight with Ahriman. We release the imprisoned Lucifer (imprisoned in self-love) when we learn to love our duty.
Calm and peace of mind have the coldness of Ahriman; in the quiet understanding of what is in the world, we unite our warmth and our understanding love with the coldness that is in the world outside. And then we release Ahriman, when we meet what has come about with understanding, when we do not merely demand our rights out of self-love but understand what has come about in the world. In the revolutionary stream lives Lucifer, in the conservative stream Ahriman, and man in his life of right lives in the midst between these two poles. This is the eternal battle that is waged between Lucifer and Ahriman.
Continue reading the next section titled Ahriman and Lucifer in the Modern World (DG) at the following link: