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Lectures from 1952

On-line since: 31st August, 2016

Threefold Commonwealth

Unrevised Lecture by Willi Sucher - March 1952


The connection between the realm of social questions and the stars is unusual, but it really is a very intimate one, as revealed through the history of social development and astronomical world conceptions, which were born simultaneously with new revelations in literature of the importance of the social question.

Two to three thousand years ago the outlook on the starry world was different. We now look on the celestial manifestations as points or discs in cosmic space. Between them and the Earth is a huge gap of empty space. However, the ancients saw it differently. We can trace the Moons movements against the background of the fixed stars, through the various constellations and in a huge circle around the Earth. This circle was the most important thing for the ancients. They had an experience of the spheres of the planets, and these spheres were greatly significant; whereas modern consciousness points only toward single stars. However, the sphere used to have an impact on the social consciousness, which was seen as a reality, for the Moon was seen as encircling the Earth from all sides.

It was somewhat of a group-soul experience, acting out of a common impulse such as the animals have. The modern mind cannot bear that and wishes to express its own individuality, not the general pattern of life according to anothers authority. The social consciousness of humanity changes with every alteration in the astronomical world conceptions; thus they progressed together until just before Copernicus, when humanity thought the Sun stood still in the center of a revolving universe.

However, in the 16th century, Copernicus changed this conception. In the same years, Machiavelli wrote Il Principe (1513), and Thomas Moor wrote Utopia (1516). Caesar Borgia was considered to be the prototype of the autocrat in Machiavellis book, achieving his intentions by any means.

Now lets look at the Arthurian type of Kinghood. King Arthur was one of those at the Round Table; he has his throne but is one of a company of Knights who sit around a round table that carries their nourishment and is also for the feeding of humanity. Every Knight was sent out in turn to help all in distress. In cosmic terms, this was as the Sun moving around the Earth.

With Copernicus, however, came the world conception of Le Roi Soleil (Louis XIV), whose Versailles initiated the radiating Sun out into France, Letat cest moi. The King has now become the center of the world, his little universe, as the Sun is center of the universe. Copernicus was a priest of the Roman Catholic Church; he was very pious, and the Sun was the manifestation of the deity to him. Then with Newton, again conceptions changed. Through Newton came a mechanistic conception, and we will see the same in modern educational methods. The universe is purely mechanistic; accompanying this in the social sphere, we found the corresponding reaction in human consciousness. We find that the social order has also become a mechanism in modern terms, a perfectly functioning state machine. This goes back to Frederick of Prussia who spoke of himself as the servant of the state, not I am the state Letat cest moi. Napoleon and Hitler are the authoritarian counterparts of the central power in a great state machine. It is no longer a living organism, for the universe has become mechanistic. This is a great danger.

In the solar system we have the moving Sun passing through the galaxy, taking the whole solar system with it toward a chosen point in the universe as its final goal in fact, from the constellation of Lyre to that of Hercules. If modern astronomy developed a step further, they would really reach living and helpful conclusions. Fred Hoyle has spoken of the Sun poking a hole into cosmic space. This is a significant phrase. The air closes in behind a bullet, as you know, and the water closes in behind the ship. The Sun sweeps out a similar tunnel in cosmic space, says this astronomer, which is our solar universe. However, I do not agree that our Sun is the compact mass that he suggests; rather, that through its existence as the Sun with its movement, it sucks up cosmic substance from the ovum, the galaxy, and this activity distributes the planetary substances and influences. The Sun holds together our solar system. It cares for every solar planet and its existence, keeping each one in a state of stability within the family. We have first a principle of gestation, and then of equilibrium.

The main experience of Earth is death, but we can also experience resurrection, as Christ has revealed. Individually we have all that the human world develops over time of religion, culture and the sciences. We can speak of cultural values created by humanity, but are these only a kind of trivial play hour in the cosmos? Only spiritual science can give the answer. For we are now continuously led into voids in every aspect of life, yet we must go on. However, this is also a rebirth of the spirit, which is possible. As the Apocalypse insists, watch for that which remains, after our universe itself will have died.

Because spatially the Earth is small, it has the potential for growth. This cosmos has three spheres:

  1. The tremendous store-house of Divine energy to draw upon through great Hierarchical Beings. Out of the living Will of creation, our solar system is continually recreated through metamorphosis of substance, and rejuvenated from the store house of the Deity, even beyond the depths of space. Infinity is beyond human space conception; it is the spiritual world.
  2. We have the right distribution in the second sphere of these properties through the Sun's determining comic cooperation through nature, which we transform into the goods and necessities of our economic life. In this second realm is also a sphere that is the stability of human relationships. This is the sphere of our rights.
  3. We come to the Earth where all is dying, to be reborn into the cultural life as the spiritual germ of the future.


The above is a very primitive conception of this threefoldness that is preeminent in every sphere of life, and which we have no time to elaborate. However, this threefold cosmos can be the yardstick for our threefold commonwealth. In the Revelation of St. John the Divine, he is asked by an angel to measure the Temple. This points us toward building our personal earthly Tabernacles to radiate, as stars.

World conceptions are still undergoing great changes and with forthcoming impacts on the social order and consciousness. Even with Newton, the cosmic machine was still a majestic one. Now our little solar system seems entirely insignificant to modern science, and great galaxies shrink in a growing universe to grains of dust. Our Earth has become insignificant, and atomism is the result of our social consciousness. A human being also loses significance, and this is an elimination of the individual. This repercussion is obvious in our world. There are two main manifestations that have emerged, such as lack of initiative and lack of responsibility, producing a major social crisis of this age.

It is difficult to find anyone with creative and constructive imagination, for all are becoming leveled to uniformity. Even a machine needs a technician, even though it must come to a stop by itself someday. This is the danger of the lack of personal initiative and responsibility.

Therefore, we need a change in our world conception away from the expanding universe, which is purely an explosive one. We can find in our own being the inner fund to heal social conditions, and we can find ideas ready to carry us further into the future.

The ancients built their house according to the majestic prototype of the House of God. They formed their tabernacle of life according to a Divine architecture. Now we only shape it out of our own spiritual and personal poverty. We must recognize a healthy prototype of the Temple of humanity, built into the universe by human hands. It is not necessary to condemn or destroy, but to take what science has discovered; however, we must stop at the abyss of opinion, theory, and hypothesis of the scientist. What we discover objectively can be recognized as truth, and we will find the cosmos to be a threefold being also. We must take this as the measuring rod for the building up of our social tabernacle.

The galaxy is the greater universe beyond our own, and this Milky Way is revealed through a telescope as a multitude of fixed stars. Looking out from within it, we see this rim, the Milky Way, as a circle of our greater universe. It contains many suns like our own, but somewhere within it lies our little solar system. Two-thirds from the center of the galaxy toward the periphery is our solar system (top drawing).

Astronomers, however, see it as a spiral form, and this galaxy in which our solar system swims is important. In embryology we have the ovum, which then develops into cavities. And we find a certain resemblance between the two, as seen in the drawing of and embryo.

This comparison is a reality; by studying embryology, we can study astronomy and vice versa. The galaxy is a nourishing ovum in which swims our solar universe, which can grow and expand into a great and living reality. The ovum is a feeding ocean for the potential embryo, just as the galaxy nourishes our solar system, from which come all the substances on which our Earth subsists. Even our body is nourished by these influences from the greater universe.


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