The 8th Sphere

From “The Occult Move­ment in the 19th Cen­tu­ry,” lec­ture 5, Oct 1915 (audio below) 

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Sphere Four comes into being through the birth of the min­er­al ele­ment. In that Lucifer and Ahri­man approach, snatch min­er­al sub­stan­tial­i­ty out of Sphere Four and infuse it into Sphere Three, the Old Moon is reca­pit­u­lat­ed, but now with mate­ri­al­i­ty that belongs prop­er­ly to the Earth.

Mark this well: instead of pure Imag­i­na­tions being there, the Imag­i­na­tions are den­si­fied by the infu­sion of a min­er­al ele­ment that has been wrest­ed from the Earth. Den­si­fied Imag­i­na­tions are thus cre­at­ed. We are there­fore drawn into a world of den­si­fied Imag­i­na­tions which are not lunar in char­ac­ter because they have been den­si­fied by mate­ri­al­i­ty belong­ing to the Earth. They are ghosts, spec­tres — that is to say, behind our world there is a world of spec­tres cre­at­ed by Lucifer and Ahriman.

Let me express it schemat­i­cal­ly, as fol­lows: On the Old Moon cer­tain pic­tures were present. These should have passed over to the Earth as some­thing every­where per­cep­ti­ble. But Lucifer and Ahri­man retained them for them­selves. Lucifer and Ahri­man wrest­ed from the Earth cer­tain of its con­stituents and made them into Imag­i­na­tions, so that these Earth-sub­stances became, not Earth­ly for­ma­tions, but Moon for­ma­tions. Into our Fourth Sphere, there­fore, there has been instilled a sphere that is real­ly a Moon-sphere, but is filled with Earth­ly sub­stan­tial­i­ty and is there­fore a bogus cre­ation in the Uni­verse. To the sev­en Spheres, an Eighth, cre­at­ed in oppo­si­tion to the pro­gres­sive Spir­its, has been added. The nec­es­sary con­se­quence of this is that the Spir­its of Form must do bat­tle on the Earth for every morsel of sub­stan­tial­i­ty capa­ble of min­er­al­i­sa­tion, lest it should be wrest­ed from them by Lucifer and Ahri­man and borne into the Eighth Sphere.

In order that he might be ripe for free­dom, the min­er­al nature had to be incor­po­rat­ed into him; he had to become a being per­me­at­ed with the min­er­al ele­ment. Hence man can be edu­cat­ed for free­dom only with­in the earth­ly-mate­r­i­al world.

This by itself indi­cates the tremen­dous sig­nif­i­cance of the earth­ly-mate­r­i­al world. That which must be acquired by mankind — free­dom of the will — can be acquired only dur­ing Earth-evo­lu­tion. In the Jupiter, Venus, and Vul­can stages men will need this free­dom of will. There­fore when we con­sid­er the ques­tion of free­dom, we are in a realm of great impor­tance; for we know that the Earth is the beget­ter of free­dom pre­cise­ly because it is the Earth that impreg­nates man with the phys­i­cal-min­er­al element.

From this you will under­stand that what stems from the free will must be kept with­in the realm of Earth. To Spheres Three, Two and One, it is impos­si­ble to apply any­thing that stems from the prin­ci­ple of free­dom. But the endeav­our of Lucifer and Ahri­man is to drag the free will of man, and what­ev­er stems from it, into the Eighth Sphere. This means that man is per­pet­u­al­ly exposed to the dan­ger of hav­ing his free will wrest­ed from him and dragged by Lucifer and Ahri­man into the Eighth Sphere.

This hap­pens if the ele­ment of free will is trans­formed, for exam­ple, into vision­ary clair­voy­ance. When this is the case, a man is already in the Eighth Sphere. This is a mat­ter of which occultists are so reluc­tant to speak, because it is an awful, ter­ri­ble truth. The moment the free will is trans­formed into vision­ary clair­voy­ance, what unfolds in the human being becomes the booty of Lucifer and Ahri­man. It is imme­di­ate­ly cap­tured by them and there­by spir­it­ed away from the Earth. You can see from this how, through the shack­ling of free will, the spec­tres of the Eighth Sphere are cre­at­ed. Lucifer and Ahri­man are engaged per­pet­u­al­ly in shack­ling man’s free will and in con­jur­ing all sorts of things before him in order to tear away what he makes out of these things and let it dis­ap­pear in the Eighth Sphere.

When clair­voy­ance in all kinds of dif­fer­ent forms devel­ops in naive, cred­u­lous, super­sti­tious peo­ple, it is often the case that their free will has been sac­ri­ficed. Then Lucifer instant­ly seizes hold of it, and where­as these peo­ple imag­ine they have had an expe­ri­ence of immor­tal­i­ty, the truth is that in their visions they see a part, or a prod­uct, of their souls being wrest­ed away and pre­pared for the Eighth Sphere. 

From this you will realise that Lucifer and Ahri­man have an avid desire to bring as much as pos­si­ble into the Eighth Sphere. Although Goethe mixed Lucifer and Ahri­man togeth­er, he has nev­er­the­less cor­rect­ly described how a soul is wrest­ed away from the clutch­es of Mephistophe­les-Ahri­man! It would be the rich­est prize for Lucifer and Ahri­man if they could ever suc­ceed in cap­tur­ing a whole soul for them­selves; for there­by such a soul would dis­ap­pear into the Eighth Sphere and be lost from Earth-evo­lu­tion. The great­est vic­to­ry for Lucifer and Ahri­man would be if one day they could claim that count­less num­bers of the dead had passed into their sphere. That would be their great­est vic­to­ry. More­over there is a way of achiev­ing it. Lucifer and Ahri­man may say: human beings long to know some­thing about the life between death and a new birth. If, there­fore, we tell them that they are learn­ing some­thing from the dead, they will be sat­is­fied and will direct their feel­ings towards the realm from which announce­ments are made to them as com­ing from the dead. If there­fore we desire that the hearts and minds of men shall be guid­ed towards the Eighth Sphere, let us say to them: we are telling you some­thing that comes from the dead. We shall cap­ture men by alleg­ing that the dead are in our domain.

This dev­il­ish plan — for here we have indeed to do with the dev­il — was put into effect by Lucifer and Ahri­man when it had occurred to occultists to endeav­our to accom­plish some­thing through medi­umship. Lucifer and Ahri­man inspired the medi­ums through whom they arranged the whole busi­ness, in order that peo­ple might be guid­ed to the realm whence the dead were alleged to be speak­ing. Lucifer and Ahri­man could then lay hold of their souls. The occultists were alarmed when they saw what course things were tak­ing and they took coun­sel among them­selves as to how to steer away from it. Even those who belonged to the left wing realised what was hap­pen­ing, and they said: we will do some­thing dif­fer­ent! An oppor­tu­ni­ty then pre­sent­ed itself through the appear­ance of a remark­able per­son­al­i­ty, name­ly H. P. Blavatsky. Now, after the plan had been seen through and the occultists on the Earth no longer lent their hands to it, Lucifer and Ahri­man were oblig­ed to pur­sue their aim in a dif­fer­ent way.

Mate­ri­al­ism had come upon the scene in the nat­ur­al course of the Earth­’s evo­lu­tion. There­fore in order to reck­on with the min­er­alised process of evo­lu­tion, it was nec­es­sary that men’s atten­tion should be focussed entire­ly on mate­r­i­al things. That is mate­ri­al­ism pure and simple!


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