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Lectures from 1966

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THE FUTURE OF HUMANITY - 20 July 1966

The question of the future of humanity is a particularly burning one at this moment in history. Events in various fields of human experience have accelerated so much that it is difficult to keep pace. We have tried to recall aspects of the future of humanity, such as Rudolf Steiner has indicated through experience and investigation.

I have repeatedly spoken of the cultural ages of the seven civilizations since the end of Atlantis. These have been particularly overshadowed by cosmic events, which we can only fathom through a careful study of the precession of the vernal point (21 March the beginning of Spring and 22-23 September the autumnal point). These localities point at present to Fishes and Virgin. This we might call the ground plan for our present Age.

The precession of the vernal point applies to the present condition of our solar system. There is not much scope for study on either side of this, as cosmic conditions may alter and great changes in the cosmos are pending.

The present Age of Fishes was preceded by that of Aries or Ram (the Grco-Roman Age). Further back the vernal point was in Taurus or Bull (the Egypt-Chaldean Age), and before that, in the Ancient Persian civilization, it was in Twins. In the very first civilization of ancient India, the impacts had their origin in the direction of Cancer or Crab.

Ram was the middle, the fourth civilization; Bull is the third, and this Egyptian-Chaldean civilization was permeated by the forces coming from Bull. Ancient star maps depict only the front half of the Bull, which rushes forward mightily, lowering his head as he rushes into manifestation. This is a true picture of that civilization, when people plunged into the material world. Of this, the architecture was symptomatic. The pyramids were weighty, pressing down on the Earth. Even the embalming of corpses was an attempt to hold the soul closer to the Earth than is normally possible. The Ziggurats of Persia were similar to the Tower of Babel. However, it was a necessity to bring humanity with great momentum into the Aries civilization of Christ, when people would need to be well at home on the Earth and conscious. We are now reflecting that ancient Bull impulse in our own Age. Much that is now happening refers back to those aspects, but one has to be very discerning to recognize what is working into the present.

What of Fishes? Here we revert to an ancient astrology, and reinterpret it in modern terms. This is associated with the Divine Sophia or Venus in Greek mythology. Venus, you nay remember, was persecuted by Typhon, and jumped into the Nile to become a Fish; as did her son, Eros. This is, in a deep sense, associated with the persecuted Cosmic Wisdom of God. This is also emphasized in the constellation above Fishes, where Andromeda stands (see previous lecture), who was equally persecuted. She stood for the Cosmic Soul. This tallies with the Venus legend. The autumn vernal point is now in the constellation of Virgin, which indicates that the present Age must rescue the Divine Sophia, which is the Divine Wisdom. Thus we find in the constellation of Fishes a mighty, cosmic chronicle of what happened long ago. Ours is the fifth civilization, or cultural Age.

Ages ago, the Ancient Moon evolution was full of struggle. This was a cosmic traumatic vision of the Fall in Paradise. After that battle was concluded, peace came to the world, for all battles are transformed into wisdom. This struggle was resolved in cosmic wisdom, and the last phase of this evolution was inscribed into Fishes, which represents that Cosmos of Wisdom of Ancient Moon, as described in Occult Science. This Cosmos of Wisdom is still with us, for it is a delusion that the past has gone forever. It is always with us. The Ancient Moon is present in us all. In fact, if we were only aware of it, we would be less likely to be caught out of harmony with its wisdom.

This Cosmos of Wisdom is a Being who has died and been transformed into all that we see around us, which is the result of the Cosmos of Wisdom whose traumatic cosmic story we read in the cosmos of Fishes. Our present Age is inspired via this vernal point, and our task must be to redeem this and find the Divine Sophia again. Since the beginning of the 15th century, we have had this urge to search for Her. Through this search, the Bull can be redeemed by Fishes, which would bring a great Niagara Falls of cosmic forces into civilization, thus redeeming, by the Divine Wisdom, that which is hidden in nature.

After the Age of Fishes ends, in less than 2000 years, evolution will continue with the vernal point moving through Aquarius/Waterman. If we compare this with its reflected aspect, we find in it the residues of Gemini, the Twins the Ancient Persian civilization. This latter was a typical Twin civilization. The great Zarathustra inaugurated it and permeated it with tremendous cosmic perspectives: Ahura Mazdao, the power of the Sun and Ahriman, the darkness of the Earth. The forces of light then tried to permeate the Earth, while the darkness arose in an attempt to obliterate. This was a constant battle. Agriculture was also introduced for the first time as an organized activity. The conception behind this was that by tilling the ground one opened it up to the light of the heavens, which then combated the dark forces. By the growth of the plants, the light of the Sun was guided into the darkness of the Earth.

The sixth civilization of Waterman will be confronted by this, too, but will strike a different note. Symbols are born out of deep spiritual insight into the nature of the constellations. Sages had mighty inner experiences when they studied the stars. Aquarius, or Waterman, speaks of a flow of water both in the heights and in the depths. Harmony is attempted here on both levels, rather than in a struggle between Ahura Mazdao and Ahriman, as with the Ancient Persians. Here, we will find a peace and love much more deeply understood than in any previous civilization, which will thereby create a healing medicine for our present evils of death and destruction, As above, so below.

The seventh civilization of this cycle will be Capricorn/Goat, with Cancer/Crab opposite the Goat and the Crab. This will reflect the first of the civilizations, Ancient India. Much has changed in India since then, but it still reflects its ancient peoples. It lived in a state of deep sorrow, due to many catastrophes. Exiled from their spiritual home and losing comprehension of the spiritual world, they still had insight into it but were aware that it was fading. This is expressed by the two spirals of Crab that are separated by an abyss. In the Norse Myths, this was called the burning of the Bridge that connected Asgard (the home of the gods) with Midgard (the home of humans). Grief weaved through this past civilization, which can still be seen in the faces of genuine Indians. They live with the world but carry the heritage of Ancient India that spoke through the Bhagavad-Gita.

We are confronted with the shadow of that past, which we must also redeem. This constellation of Goat is symbolized by the sign of extreme fighting, just as Waterman symbolizes love. Written into this Goat story is an account of great battles on Ancient Moon, when one category of luciferic beings succeeded in breaking part of the Ancient Moon away, along with humanity. Thus humanity started in the Ancient Moon to fluctuate between the spiritual world on the one hand and being implanted into the material world on the other. This was a forecast of both death and birth, almost as something between plant withdrawal and re-blossoming in recurring cycles. This all had to be resolved by great battles, which had to overcome this split. Goat retains this Imagination, which might be called in Biblical language, the War in Heaven.

There are forces working nowadays that wish to lift us out of stagnation, and there are others that wish to turn us into a robot. We have great future expectations, but that is only one side of the story. Rudolf Steiner called the Age of Goat the war of all against all. Civilization will still be going on in intervals of evolution, but in Goat we catch a glimpse of that Centaur of whom we have spoken previously, who was half horse and half human. After these great decisions are fought out, it is possible that we could be quite unable to incarnate physically, because of increasing densities.

There is a reflection of Goat in the Revelations of St. John, where it can be recognized as the first of the four apocalyptic horses. This is the rider on the white horse white, because it is no longer a centaur. The body has been transformed and the rider is in separate control, indicating the time when the vernal point will pass over from Goat to Archer.

Far into the future, we catch a glimpse, too, of great cosmic transmutations. We may complain of a tiresome present, but we should really be grateful for this schooling, which our future will have need of. Humans who have learnt how to fight the right way will be needed by Michael.

The present is a mighty preparation for the future.

There are other majestic aspects of cosmic evolution. One element, which is very important, is connected with the perihelion of the Earth. Kepler spoke of the planetary orbits as being elliptic, which we have already mentioned. We know that the perihelion is when the planet is nearest the Sun, and the aphelion is when it is furthest away.

The distance between Sun and Earth changes in the course of the year. At present the Earth is nearest the Sun at Christmas, which is the perihelion of its orbit Earth in Twins, and Sun in Archer. About mid-summer the Earth is in Archer and farthest away and in its aphelion. During the next few thousand years, the Earths perihelion will move very slowly into the springtime, and about 6500 AD, the Earth will be in its perihelion about the same time as the vernal equinox. This is rare. The last time these coincided was around 15000 BC, during the Atlantean epoch. Such events are connected with geographical changes of the Earth. The time when the perihelion moved from the spring equinox to the summer came close to the last Ice Age, which coincided with Atlantis, and upset the water economy of the Earth.

The perihelion moved from Bull to Twins about 3101 BC, and it marked the beginning of the great Kali Yuga Age, which lasted until 1899 AD. According to Indian mythology, Kali Yuga was the Goddess of Death and Darkness. It was preceded by Ages of spiritual enlightenment. We noted that its commencement in Egypt was signified by the embalming of corpses, pyramid building, etc. The Earth, in its perihelion, was entering the constellation of Twins, representing Heaven and Earth. This division of Heaven from Earth played into the Earth life.

Why should the perihelion be connected with this development, this heavenly recession? The ancient peoples still experienced the reality of the heavens as a divine world. In Norse mythology, Baldur was killed by the blind Hoeder. This blindness overtook humanity, killing the insight into the bright element of the Sun.

An essential characteristic of the spheres comes into being in just such an aspect. In its perihelion, a planet affiliates more with the solar system, while in the aphelion the tendency is more to escape. The perihelion inclines more toward a head aspect, tending to become thought, following obediently the solar systems requirements a kind of head metamorphosis. The aphelion has more of a limb and will activity and tries to flee into the greater universe, to escape. The Earth in its perihelion seems to have brought to a head the dynamics of the constellation of Twins, when the perihelion entered that constellation during Kali Yuga. This is a very slow movement, which will continue for some time, and it is a situation that relates to around 1900. If we calculate the perihelion at its present rate (it could accelerate), we find when it will enter Crab. This coincides with the seventh civilization Goat and the war of all against all. Then, mighty forces will attempt to retard the evolution of the Earth. Its aphelion will be in Goat and coincide with the vernal point.

This indicates an attempt to avoid ones tasks. When in Twins there is tension but there is still a bond, as religion, art and science still have the possibility of reaching out into reality. However, in Crab this triad is torn apart. The Seventh Age will be accompanied in heaven by a situation where people must grapple with the abyss. No one can sidetrack it. Furthermore, we know that according to a tradition, which Rudolf Steiner endorses, the planets and the Moon have their houses in certain constellations. There, they are supposed to have certain affinities. The Sun is at home in Leo, so to speak; that is its house, astrologically speaking. The Moon is housed in Cancer. The period when the Earths perihelion is in Crab will last a long time, starting about 3101 and ending about 7900 AD. This will be accompanied by the return of the Moon, which was once a part of the Earth and was ejected. It will return in about 6000 years time and alter all earthly conditions. It could dissolve, or form a ring around the Earth all is presumed.

The Moon is connected with the water economy of the Earth with tides, precipitation, saps, human fluids, etc. If it reunites with the Earth, all propagation and life processes must change, maybe even the consistency of matter. We will no longer propagate the human race in the present fashion. This seems associated with the return of the Moon cosmically.

These are just a few perspectives. One could still go into Ages beyond the present cycle and beyond Scorpion, and find them important. One thing we must note: At present it cannot happen that Saturn and Jupiter come so close in the heavens that Jupiter covers Saturn. This is because the nodes are still apart, so that the orbits of Saturn and Jupiter do not coincide. However, eventually the nodes will coincide. Then Jupiter and Saturn will conjoin, and Jupiter will pass before Saturn. It could even be that the Sun also steps in front of them the Sun, Jupiter, and Saturn standing in one line, with the Sun covering both and Jupiter covering Saturn. Here we would have a twofold eclipse. This will happen eventually in the constellation of Bull. This is somehow connected with the perihelion of the Earth in Crab. It points to natural events dissolving the Earths crystalline matter, necessitating that the human being seek a different relationship with the Earth, as then there will no longer be any consistency of matter.

So you can see that we have something to look forward to! What can we do? We can do one important thing: We can use our forces of cognition to recognize the signs by living with and suffering with this Age to the end in full realization of what is happening. All this is of immense importance for the future of humanity and the Earth that at least a few shall be aware with spiritual understanding, for otherwise the Earth will lose its mission. The present moment is therefore of great significance.

The Events of Palestine were of great importance as a turning point for the development of our present Age. The year of 2000 BC reflects into 2000 AD. Compare this present time with the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, when Abraham was involved asking for mercy. But he was told by the Divine Beings that they must be destroyed because of their sin. Abraham asked if it could not be saved for the sake of the few righteous. You will remember the bargaining until only one righteous man was found and thus saved the people who left the city and didnt look back. The righteous ones nowadays are those who have the courage, endurance, and inner peace to recognize and carry forward spiritual consciousness with an awareness of the magnitude and significance of the problems of our present Age. If we will only do our homework, we will achieve tremendous things for the future, however inconspicuous the results may seem now.

We may remember how, in one of the Mystery Plays, Benedictus recognizes Ahriman, and the latter becomes apprehensive: If he starts to think me, he will create in himself the power to destroy me therefore I must go. We must think Them! This is our weapon, to recognize the adversaries in our search for the Sophia, which is the Holy Spirit of Wisdom.

   

Answer to Questions:

The fixing of Easter is an attempt, a first step, to isolate the Earth from the cosmos in general.

It is possible that the rockets, etc., could prevent the return of the Moon. However, as an antidote we must study as a spiritual reality the true elements of the Moon, then other events need not matter. It is, again, a case for the few righteous. However, the danger is that the present Moon explorations could do serious damage to the effect of the Moon rhythms on the Earth. These could be felt chiefly in the fluid element of the Earth and weather effects. The Earth could become uninhabitable. But those things of which we are aware rarely happen. The adversaries cannot work successfully in the realm of spiritual awareness and of the Ego. There they are powerless.

   

   



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