Life Periods (A Study)

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For years I have been concerned about life periods. This came to me early on when I was in my teens. My classmates often acted in an outrageous fashion, not that I couldn’t, but because I sensed that there was “the way of boys and the way of men”. The latter I would identify now, and did sense then to be what a mature individual, man or woman would do. Where did I get this mature view. I would say it came at the hand of a family where there was a handicapped brother who had to be cared for no matter what. Three souls in my family had to take this on, and the three by their own inherent nature were totally different, and without the handicapped youngster would never have found themselves together. So maturity also meant caring for another, and to do so even if there were great differences. So, quite early on I sensed that life was not of the moment, could not be counted to be what has passed, but in fact there was a future which could be touched and slowly moved towards. Thus when I met anthroposophy and anthroposophists and heard about life periods I was most interested. However, my soul revolted when I heard that one was living a period and one could be understood by that period. For me this was intellectual rigidity and a lack of sensing where a given person was in their particular life, or perhaps, there could be a mobility upon which a given individual could move. The same I felt could to be the case with temperaments. These could also be used to identify a given individual and fix the individual in a “box”; this individual was then “boxed-in”.

This meant I needed to discover for myself that there might be, is, or could be such a process as that of life periods, and in fact temperaments. To this end I spent many years working with all ages and worked to see if and how the temperaments might be a reality as well. After many years, ages 19-39, I began to sense that both were real but I still revolted in the way that life periods and temperaments were addressed. (Of course mostly by seasoned Anthroposophists and I will give examples of this as I go on). What was the basis of the revolt? I would say that it had to do with the lack of mobility–the Lack Of Movement. It is only now, in the last years, that I can more and more articulate how important I consider the element of movement is for taking up these two realms of human existence. This lack of movement in soul life, I have addressed most frequently and recently, not by contemplating temperament, and life periods, but by addressing the threefold make up of man and the human soul. This is a major problem with the Threefold Impulse as it is often articulated, because, life periods and temperaments are imposed and applied in a rigid way.

The problem with movement has accompanied me for years and I would say finds its origin in two major experiences. The first came about because as a late teenager, my father translated a very short lecture cycle by Rudolf Steiner from German into English. The cycle is entitled, “Human and Cosmic Thought” (Berlin-1/20-23/1914). In this cycle one is led through the manifold philosophies that one might identify in the thought life of human beings, as well as soul moods. Twelve philosophies and seven moods are possible. This points to the potential for twelve time seven combinations and permutations. This magnitude of philosophical orientations and moods does not live in a single soul, in the mood and thought life of an individual. What then Rudolf Steiner points to is that for a given soul, it is now possible for we, as individual human beings, to live with a Spirit of Movement. In this way we live with, and into the thought and mood soul life, of one’s fellow human beings. Here are a few of his words after he has explained how thinkers, formal thinkers, go about their thinking.

Forms, I said-hence we see that the philosophers of Nominalism, who stand before a boundary-line, go about their work in a certain realm, the ream of the Spirits of Form. Within this realm, which is all around us ,forms dominate; and therefore in this realm we find separate, strictly self contained forms. The philosophers I mean have never made up their minds to go outside this realm of forms and so, in the realm of universals, they can recognize nothing but words, veritably mere words. If they were to go beyond the real of specific entities – ie. of forms – they would find their way to mental pictures which are in continual motion, that is, in their thinking they would come to a realization of the realm of the Spirits of Movement – the next Higher Hierarchy.

In connection with this quote Rudolf Steiner then gives examples of carrying a mobile triangle in the thinking soul, looking at Goethe’s work with the metamorphosis of plants, contemplating the life of Nietzsche, and following up the conflict between the nominalist (word-form thinker) and the realist (the mobile thinker seeking universals). The continual effort Rudolf Steiner made in his work with Goethe was to make note of Goethe’s capacity to “think-observe-see” archetypes as living forms in movement as they pertain to the plant, for example. Thus when Schiller said to Goethe that the archetype which Goethe described was an idea, Goethe said that he saw the archetype with his eyes.

The Second experience came to me by way of my mother. She was a very mobile individual in her limbs (later semi-paralyzed) and with her mind (clear as a bell even at the moment of death). By twenty-eight years of age I could note that a kind of mental capacity involved with mobility in thinking was available and stood in sharp contrast with my academic experiences which were underway in my postgraduate work with internal medicine and psychiatry. Physical forms with rushing atoms predominated in the field of medicine, while in the field of psychiatry the soul collided with determining instincts like a mass that is set in motion by another mass but the impact was not seen. Mechanistic, and formal thinking was the method of the day. Mobility in thinking was lacking While emotions and mechanisms of medical illness ran their way as reasoning capacity of the therapist’s soul, mobility in thinking was not cognized in essential activity.

With the next 42 years I have busied myself with the question of mobility. Working with nature, human beings of all ages, and the social processes of an evolving community have been good challenges, always asking for the mobility demanded by life itself. This is said not to claim ability, but to state that the necessity to meet with the world around one and ones fellow human beings places the challenge to practice mobility in many different ways.

In more recent years, what are called the human “Inner Movements” as presented out of Anthroposophy have added to the dimension in dealing with movement. As archetype, seven such movements have been identified by Rudolf Steiner. They are outlined by Rudolf Steiner in a lecture cycle entitled: “Man in the Light of Occultism, Theosophy and Philosophy” (lecture 9-6/11/1912)

The movements are identified as derived from the planetary world (as is the case with human inner moods pointed to above). They are therefore cosmic in origin, but organic-psychological (functional) in the human.

The outline from this lecture is:

Movement of Planet
Upright Posture Saturn
Thinking Jupiter
Speaking Mars
the Blood Sun
the Breath Mercury
the Glands Venus
Reproduction Moon

The first three movements are of course manifest to the world. For many involved in education these three are considered to be important and crucial for the first three years of life reflecting the “Pre-earthly Deeds of Christ”. We might posit the possibility that the movement of the blood was very much connected with the Mystery of Golgotha, and the last three are more or less for we human beings to transform by our own inner efforts, taking Christ into consideration. If the first four inner movements are considered essential for the human being to be human, and that all men carry these movements, then one can speak to the inherent Christic element in all of mankind. The potential to take up the last three in the light of the Christ may be involved with the “Creative Word” (new breathing speaking) , the “Last Supper” (new digestive and new glandular activities) and the birth of what might be called the “Christ-I” as the new relation with ones fellow man, the outer as well as the spiritual world, not based on blood or reproduction. Thus, it is the latter three that are important in human beings, of all races, nations, and gender to find a conscious relation with the Christ.

As a kind of present stage of the search for the Beings of Movement of the last 42 years, I would share the indication that Rudolf Steiner gave to Ita Wegman concerning the Spirits of Motion. This indication can be found in the book entitled “Rudolf Steiner’s Mission and Ita Wegman” (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1977). In the fifth chapter entitled “Aristotle and Alexander” one meets with the initiation (a kind of philosophical initiation) of Alexander by Aristotle. In this lecture it is told that Aristotle meeting the spiritual wisdoms of the past was able to come forth with the “Categories” which have shaped the intellectual evolution of humanity in the western world. What Alexander took with him in his amazing conquests of the then civilized world also brought aspects of intellectual unfolding to the East to a limited degree. In this chapter is included a special diagram where Rudolf Steiner explains to Ita Wegman that at the time that the “Categories” were brought forth, there was a mighty change in the spiritual world. The changed consisted in the Spirits of Form who aided the spiritual seeker of wisdom giving over their role to the Spirits of Movement. This means for the thinker of today, in thinking activity, formalism can be left behind, and a mobility of soul met, while the Spirits of Form can be apprehended on an observational path as at work in the forms in the world. Here then we have the genesis of what we need in our time so that an old formalism of ancient times is not imposed on what is sought or brought forth in our day. Thus, It Was the Activity of Aristotle on the Island of Samothrace That Brought Forth a New Order in the Spiritual World. It Is This New Order, With the Spirits of Motion, Which We Need to Contact in Our Day in Seeking for the Living Archetypes in Human Life. The Age of Life Then Needs to Be Considered in the Light of Mobile Thinking.

Dieter Lauenstein is a broadly experienced individual who in his life time has a broad academic background which permitted him entree into the languages of original documents dealing with religious life as we know it from the point of view of Christianity. He, in the later part of his life, became a Christian Community Priest. He penned a small booklet with the title of “Biblical Rhythms in Biography”. His approach is that of a more religiously oriented individual, but also an individual who has worked diligently with philosophy and his writing has a certain thoughtful philosophical bent to it.

He begins his short treatise with a rather interesting view that the human being lives in space and in time. In space man (woman and man) with the form of his organism, which for the most part is unique in the make up of the kingdoms. This form may have changed over time and may again change. He does not take the evolutionists view of the human being taking the form of the chimp or gorilla and then making the step into the form of the human being. Rather the form of the human being is seen as an archetype, as described by Anthroposophical Spiritual Science, as more cosmic to begin with. (see the painting of Adam Cadman by Rudolf Steiner)

Rudolf Steiner, the spiritual scientific investigator, has described, in much detail, how earthly man, the first man, Adam came into existence. The process is one the three kingdoms being secreted, excreted out of the human archetype. The plant came forth out of Adam Cadman first, then the animal, and finally the mineral. The whole of the earth was more or less plant and animal, and with this condition, the mineral substances of the earth, the “dust” could be drawn into the human form, that of the first man, Adam. This Adam was the form and archetype for all men, a combination of both man and woman. This first Adam had a form before the division of the sexes. With the division we have an Adam and an Eve. What the form of these two was we do not know, we assume the present form and on contrast modem evolutionists substitute the Ape.

What those who turn to Genesis assume is that Adam and Eve were individuals like we are today. This is not what is found with the researches of Rudolf Steiner as well as other spiritual scientists. Adam and Eve are still archetypes and refer to the human archetypal beings of that time. All are Adams or Eves as it were. Individuality comes later. We begin to find individuality in a hazy way as a genealogy is given, but each one mentioned in Genesis is identified by the genus. One name leads to another. A detail of individual with biography is not given. A step towards a more individual element is met when the Flood comes with the exodus of Noah and his ark. The ark is given specific dimensions and these can be considered to be more a description of the human body as the genus type carried by the line of birth and procreation. All are identified by the line of heredity and not by individuality. The distinct form of the body is then given, and this becomes the basis for the next people. Noah had offspring and they in turn were the basis for the coming forth of a definitive people after the birth of Abraham.

Abraham became the Father of a people, the twelve tribes of Israel. The twelve tribes may be linked to the working of the twelve of the Zodiac. However, when an individual sought to find his way, he linked up through the generations, through heredity with Abraham, and from Abraham with God. So the movement is from an overall archetype to a more distinct form which then leads over to a people. It is within this stream that as culture makes its way we begin to hear about specific individuals who make a difference in history. One of he mightiest of such individuals we hear of is Jesus. It is with the being of Jesus, that we hear that a lofty cosmic being could incarnate. The biography of Jesus leads from a carpenter to that of an individual whose Baptism into the world, Suffering, Crucifixion, and Resurrection points to a totally new prototype.

This progress of the whole of humanity, leading to the Mystery of Golgotha is quite new, first as given by Rudolf Steiner, and very much as pointed to by Dieter Lauenstein in his own way. The recapitulation that I have given here is different as well, but this back drop is important for a new approach to biography. In between Adam and the Mystery of Golgotha, Dieter Lauenstein points to the sayings of God, ten in number and refers to King David as representative of one whose biography can be understood in the light of these ten sayings. These ten sayings are then used to look at how the human being can move through life. The ten are given as:
1) living in the image of God
2) creating for the sake of number
3) being nourished by earth, from earth
4) experiencing evil and death
5) finding the name of true beingness
6) living with questions from the physical world
7) living with questions from the spiritual world
8) living with suffering
9) loving work
10) summation of all others leading the human being back to the divine.
This progress to be found in the Old Testament is used to indicate the potential for one who has come from God and returns there, as is the case with Christ.

With the progress from Adam, then Adam and Eve, to Noah with a specific form, and then to the form of Jesus, we can consider that form considerations pass over to time. With the building of the Solomonic Temple, the form is then given. The temple becomes the expression for the human organism, and it is in the Ark of the Temple, the temple of the human organism itself that worship can occur. With the life of Jesus and the Incarnation of Christ it is then that the form is a given (no bone shall be broken) and during the course of three years this form does not change to the physical eye, but there is in the process of Baptism, Suffering, Crucifixion and Resurrection, a change in form. For this latter form to be seen a new capacity of seeing is needed. Outer form is not changed but inner change has taken place and this change over time has changed the form in the overcoming of death. So the step from form to time is made.

The author then turns to the ages of the human being, the life periods and discusses them stage by stage. In the process he then makes the following statement “Life stages are not interchangeable, they are firmly ordered.” That these life stages are the result of Rudolf Steiner’s researches is not made clear. How Rudolf Steiner came upon these, would have to be a question for the serious seeker. That the human being lives his life in an orderly way as already suggested by Dieter Lauenstein, is pointed to in his consideration of David, but in fact is not developed for this thesis, which is really based on the researches of Rudolf Steiner.

If one takes this statement alone this can be a real problem as it is not carefully developed and can be misunderstood all too easily. For he who is not careful, this statement can mean a kind of time unfolding for the human being where during the course of a life each human being goes though and iron clad progression. This possible view can be taken along as the author progresses from age to age. He can also be suggesting with his statement that the reality of the time periods is not to be doubted and are as much a part of life as the human organism in space is. It is then a question of how the periods work. It is this question that one can then focus on, after seeking the reality of life periods, and how they are arrived at.

The step from the life course or stages pointed to in the Old Testament, to the seven year life periods as given out of spiritual science, this step is not discussed by the author. He moves from what is given in the Bible to what is given out of spiritual science without origins being given. It is because of Rudolf Steiner’s researches that we can look upon Moses as an initiate. Thus the Pentateuch with Genesis is given to the world by an initiate. The life stages of the human being as given by Rudolf Steiner is used by many now, but his initiate status in the world is not recognized. In fact initiation as a process, and as a scientific process involving knowledge is not taken seriously by most in our time. In sciences of our day, the one who has a specially deep knowledge of a subject is sometimes referred to in science as an initiate, but this is usually an off hand comment. If we here accept this initiation status of a human being, then we can as with Moses look to Rudolf Steiner as one who offers a special knowledge to mankind. With Rudolf Steiner it is the seven year periods that are offered, and these periods, stages, are used in the second half of this booklet. It is just this knowledge which is crucial for Lauenstein, or else he could not have written what he did. How Rudolf Steiner came to this knowledge we will take up later. Important for me is that we are not just dealing with a belief system as is now attributed to those who look to the Old Testament or those who take Rudolf Steiner in a dogmatic way. But this issue I will take up later.

If one looks at the second half of this booklet, it can be found that the stages are typical of the seven year periods known to most anthroposophists. These the author takes up, and then turns to the relation between these periods, stages, and the spiritual beings of the Hierarchies. Note can be made that the “Moon Nodes” are mentioned, but we will not look at this rhythm as it is not so extensively dealt with. If we take the beings of the Hierarchies as they are related to the ages, the stages, the periods in human life, then a whole new dimension is brought in addition to the effort to deal only with time. The step here is from FORM, to TIME and then to BEING. Spiritual beings are active at different times of human life. Again the time and being element can be taken up dogmatically, and as well rigidly.

It is just at this point in the booklet that one comes to what is so important in my view. This has to do with the life stage associated with the Hierarchical order of the Dynamis, the Spirits of Motion, or the Powers. It is with this step that Lauenstein comes to the problem of mobility in thought, in dealing with the problem that I posed with using the stages, the periods or the life phases in a rigid fashion. Here is how he expresses his view of how we might look at our thinking. “There is a difference between the viewing the heavenly throne in all its majesty at a distance and actually approaching the throne. In any case, Plato’s philosophy did not extend to comprehend the dynamic metamorphoses, the changes that can occur in earthly existence. The Dynamis or the Spirits of Movement did not submit to his thinking soul.”

“The Exusiai or the Spirits of Form still influence in a good way today the kind of thinking that is valid for all mankind. Their power alone, however, in no longer able to bring us as afar as it could in the time of the Greeks and during the Middle Ages. Now they must unit with the Dynamis in order to achieve as much. This uniting of forces must take place in human thinking itself. It involves a transformation in the activity of thinking, which is not at all easy. Feeling himself no longer supported by the Exusiai, man today tens to retreat in the direction of the Archai rather than to take on the additional exertion of raising himself to the Dynamis.”

If I only read what was said about the absolute reality of life periods as noted earlier on in the booklet, I could easily err in using the life stages or periods in a rigid fashion. If what is has just been quoted is added as a thoughtful way of using these periods, then it is a whole different matter. The periods, if alive in Beingness of the Hierarchies, can with mobile thinking be see as alive and as a potential for human beings but not a rigid imposition of a given human life, as was the case when it was more a whole of mankind, a people, or a tribe that is involved. As individuality, or personality arrived in the life of human beings, with the activity of the Spirits of Time or the Archai, then there is a trend towards the individual, something of an emerging ego, as a step from Archai to Exusiai.

Important With This Author Is That The Archetype For The Life Of The Human Being Can Be Traced Back To God, To The Sayings Of God. There Are As Such Ten Sayings. This Archetype Can Be Used As A Basis For The Life Periods Which Culminate In The Incarnation, The Sufferings And The Resurrection Of The Christ. The Archetype With The Nine-Fold Hierarchical Existence Points To The Human Being, Who In The Process Of His Own Evolution Through The Nine Life Periods Is Being Prepared To Become A Hierarch Himself. It Is Though The Deeds Of Christ That This New Archetype Not Given By God, But By Christ As A God, That The Human Being Can In The Course Of Life Live For The Sake Of The Godly In His Own Soul And Spirit. However, It Is Important To Consider The Archetypes As Living And Mobile.

I have already noted the role of this cycle in my life and it’s pointing to the process of mobility in thinking. Here I would like to look at this cycle a bit more and apply this cycle to the whole of life. This cycle can be used for a life view just as we have just tried to think through with stimulus of Dieter Lauenstein.

At outset, with the first lecture Rudolf Steiner points to a simple exercise that anyone can practice. This is, to take one or two triangles and make them mobile as images in ones own consciousness. A single triangle can serve and this can move in configuration and as well with in size. The same can take place with two or three triangles. They all can move, change configuration and can then come to coincide to make a single triangle or again bring about two or three triangles. It is much more difficult to increase the number to four or more triangles as consciousness does not easily contain a larger number.

A next step can be made in terms of philosophic concepts, which is that the single triangle can be said to be real, or be able to be named, but the mobile one(s) not. Such a view can be called NOMINALISM. The view that the mobile triangle(s) can be considered to be real can be called REALISM. Note that here, the view is that the realist is one who has to be able to deal with mobility, as given in the cycle here, while the nominalist can be seen as the individual who is immobile. The conflict between nominalism and realism is the one which raged in the time of Thomas Aquinas and Avicenna, the Arabist. This is a conflict which still rages but is not seen for what it is. The concrete, sense-bound scientist of our day, the “reductionist” materialist is such a thinker, but he does not realize that he actually is upholding an Arabist perspective. The reductionist tends to reduce the whole of the world to that which is tactile, visual, audible, smell based, taste penetrated, kinesthetic or equilibrium sensed.

Thus the usual five senses can be extended to seven, and some now extend these to twelve. The important, whether five or twelve senses which give the basic experience are nonetheless seen as that which gives the “real” and what the soul brings to it is only a “name”. So the modem scientist gives the sense experience, which in fact is not so often clear to himself, as a fundament, and his own naming is seen as an adjunct, is seen as not at all important. What he does not see is that in fact the isolate of a single sense does not in fact exist for a given individual, and that in fact he is taking up a point of view which is only too easily challenged by the realist as we are giving it here.

All too easily as has happened in the foregoing paragraph, the switch from a philosophical perspective to sense experience is not noted (nominalism and realism to sense experience as the only reality) . This is a problem. The reason is that the reductionist of the sense type, the materialist, (there can be a spiritual reductionist as well who makes all into a single spirit and this is called monotheism) such a person does not realize that he is in fact expressing a philosophical view. If this were not the case, the case that he is sharing an idea perspective and only the real are sense experience, then he could not share his own ideas in the form of writing, speaking, or thinking for himself. The reductionist would become one who is a slave to his sense experiences alone, and as such would be nothing but an experientialist, unable to think and unable to share in any way other than react like a billiard ball to an impact in the form of sense experience. THE IMPORT OF WHAT IS JUST SAID CAN BE THAT IN FACT, WE HUMANS CARRY ON AN ACTIVITY WHICH CULMINATES IN A PHILOSOPHICAL VIEW WHEN ELABORATED, BUT WE ARE ASLEEP TO THIS FACT, THIS REALITY.

Therefore, a potential result of considering the first lecture is that human thinking can be related only to what is given by the senses, and by this means the philosophies of materialism, experientialism, and nominalism can be evolved, but not realized. At the same time, there can be another evolution, another approach, and this is called realism. And it can be considered from this point of view that mobility of thinking, in relation to the senses can be undertaken. Then the multiplicity of sense experience can be brought into relation with the manifold simultaneous experiences (sight, hearing, tasting, smelling, etc, etc,) A mobility in relation to ones own senses has to be evolved after one has practiced enough to be able to be mobile with purely mental, thing constructs, such as a triangle, a kind of pure form in consciousness. This making a step from a pure mental construct that is made mobile to meeting with the senses, and taking up what is given by the sense, can be termed a movement from MYSTICISM to OCCULTISM. The mystic seeks within, the occultist seeks through the senses into the world which the reductionist claims is given by the senses. However, the occultist notes that in fact the world contains forms identifiable by dint of recognizing these forms first in ones own consciousness.

The fact is, that our search in the soul of the thinker is an inward mystical trend, but the effort to identify this objectively asks that we evolve a sense for that which is given by thinking itself. Thus we need a THINKING SENSE. By dint of this thinking sense we identify ideas and approach the forms created and observed in thinking consciousness. This thinking sense makes the purely mystical of thinking into a more objective occult fact. Now when the thinking occultist looks outward he can observe in the world what has been met in consciousness, which is the reality of forms. Form recognition via the senses, points to the fact that the observer is in fact meeting outwardly what has been met inwardly to begin with. The thinking occultist may identify forms, but not be conscious of his or her own recognizing in the world what has been first identified in consciousness. One such individual who did this was Goethe. Goethe is the father of MORPHOLOGY. He identified form in nature, while the psychologists identified form perception inwardly and these are called GESTALTISTS. Goethe did not identify this inwardness of his in the outward cognitive process, but Rudolf Steiner did. Goethe did not want to introspect, he did not trust himself with this. What he did was to identify the reality of forms in the world, and then the changes in form. The changes in form are called TRANSFORMATIONS, just as we have identified them in consciousness. But Goethe recognized more than a transformation, he recognized transformations of a higher order, with one form flowing in mobile fashion into another. This he called METAMORPHOSIS. He then undertook a careful investigation of the plant and noted what he called THE METAMORPHOSIS OF THE PLANT. He not only investigated this metamorphosis, but he entitled a small booklet “The Metamorphosis of the Plant”.

It is Goethe’s work, his soul-observational activity that is addressed in this lecture. This is an occult, and at the same time unconscious mystical activity of Goethe, where there is mobility of soul. And it is possible in the realm of the plant to find soulness, but a soulness of a different order than in the human being. In the case of the plant it is the flower that carries a kind of soulness, but in expressed form while the same in the human being is more that activity of thinking. In the plant, it is life that is grasped while within the human being it is the inwardness that is sensed. The leaf bespeaks this life. In the plant it is color and blossom as a kind of soulness, while within the human being it is mobility that is sensed. Within this blossom there is also an activity which permits, by dint of form, that a kind of individual thinking activity is manifest while within the human being it is the thinking individual which is active. The plant is an outer manifestation on a bit of a lower level of what takes place within the life and soul-individual-ness of the human being.

Then in the same lecture Rudolf Steiner turns to the abstract thinkers of his day and reveals how they can think themselves into an unreality, into abstractions which do not have to do with the reality of the realist or the reality of the nominalist. Here, the thinking activity is researched in and of itself. The problem of this type of thinking is presented. It is however, from a spiritual point of view, that this type of thinking has a value. Its value is when such thinking is carried on to create a situation, totally knowingly, where the thinking individual is able to place content in the soul, that is derived from such abstract thinking. Such thinking however is a step to bring forth a soulness which is quite independent and can then strive to meet either the physical, the soul or the spiritual world out of a kind of self­ sustained activity. This self sustained activity has to be brought about in a careful and knowing way. One of the most important thinkers of modern times to introduce the potential for such thinking is Kant.

The same line of consideration is taken up in the second lecture, but then he goes on to speak of Jacob Böhme who could meet the physical and soul-spiritual worlds in his inner and outer meetings as he plied the work of a hand-man, that of a shoemaker. His hands moved and met the world in a creative way, while his soul and spirit met this world but as well met lower and higher spiritual worlds. It is from this hand-man’s work that Rudolf Steiner then moves on to consider the domain of numbers. The domain of numbers is a direct step into the mobile world where idea is an archetype. The numbers we all use are so fluid and flexible as archetypes, as general concepts, as living concepts of the realist, that they can serve as a secure basis for coming to understand the whole world. If number is not used to understand the world many, if not most, in our world feel totally insecure. The living nature of number can be considered if one thinks of the viability of numbers, and how they can be molded and used in the mathematical processes. The numbers, as concepts are thus general ideas, that approach a living reality which tend in the direction of the abstract thinker who seeks to penetrate the world knowingly. Note can be made that Rudolf Steiner has at times identified the exactness of his spiritual science to that of mathematical thinking. The reason for this is that the general concept, process of grasping numbers, and using them in a mathematical process, can lead into the knowledge of the existences of BEINGS AND THEIR ACTIVITIES. In the lecture at hand he does not go that far but elsewhere he does.

Once this depth of existence is penetrated, Rudolf Steiner goes on to consider that human beings have the propensity to think in ways which can be called WORLD VIEWS or PHILOSOPHICAL VIEWS. He then goes on to march through, in mobility of thought, a whole zodiac of philosophical views. He speaks of twelve views, as it were, views that a soul brings along from life in the cosmos before birth, or from the time of death and rebirth. Such a reality as “world views” is questioned by those who do not want to recognize their own particular perspective. To recognize the world views takes much effort, and an introspective capacity which has to be won. World views are recognized by those sensitive to ideas, that is the philosophically inclined, and not those who are psychologically or physiologically inclined. This points to a very important division in mankind, those who look to physiological (this includes physiological-chemical processes), psychological activities and then philosophical activities. To deal with all three this is very difficult and demands a flexibility as great as that when one moves from one world view to another. The three domains just mentioned will be considered from the point of view of the philosophically inclined individual as we go on. Here the world views can be listed with their relation to the zodiac, to the human connection with the stars, the zodiacal star world. This relation is given diagrammatically in lecture three, the next lecture, on page 50.

World View Constellation
Light Signs
Idealism Ares
Rationalism Taurus
Mathematism Gemini
Materialism Cancer
Sensationalism Leo
Phenomenalism Virgo
Realism Libra
Dark Signs
Dynamism Scorpio
Monadism Sagittarius
Spiritism Capricorn
Pneumatism Pisces
Psychism Aquarius

With the third lecture Rudolf Steiner now goes on to move more from the domain of spiritual perspectives to that of the soul. Now the soul orientations are called MOODS. These are presented as seven in nature and again they are given in diagrammatic form on page 50. This means that it is quite possible for an individual to identify not only his more philosophical trend, but his soul trend as well. In the case of the philosophical-spiritual orientation it is ideas which need to be grasped. In the case of the soul it is more the moods which need to be apprehended, and this is very difficult to do. The moods are then given in relation to the planetary world and again it is from the domain of pre-birth, or life between death and pre-birth that the moods can be seen in their origin. This then is a more cosmic psychic orientation, and not such a philosophical one. Here are the moods.

Mood Planet
Gnosis Saturn
Logicism Jupiter
Voluntarism Mars
Empricism Sun
Mysticism Mercury
Transcendentalism Venus
Occultism Moon

The story does not rest there, however. Another perspective is still possible and that has to do with what can be called TONES. The human being’s make up has a deeper strata, and this is identified as tone. Three tones are identified but the relation with the cosmos is not given, rather, one would have to infer that these tones are related to the human being as a physical reality. Here it is more the body, not the soul, or spirit that can be a focus. Now, it is the physical make up, that is revealed as a manifestation of God, intuited in depth and related to nature that is at question. Man’s relation to these three realms might be considered if we relate them to a potential for a threefold make up of the human being as a manifestation of God, the soul and the spirit. Such a revelation can be considered to be the threefold make up as given later by Rudolf Steiner as the nerve-sense system, the rhythmic system and the limb-metabolic system. The tones are:


And with grand finally we arrive at the uni-fold make up of all that exists in the world, brought into a single form and make up. Now one can have the philosophical, the psychological and the physical synthesized in idea striving, with the view of ANTHROMOPHISM. (Editor Note – This is not a typo of anthropomorphism.) Now, the three aspects of the human make up as spirit, soul, and body are unified, made into one. The mystery of the trinitary in the world seen by dint of human and cosmic thinking is solved in its unity in the human make up. Macrocosm and Microcosm mirror one another and find a unity in the make up of the human being himself.

With this perspective one can move on to the next lecture. Here Rudolf Steiner takes up the life of Nietzsche and the archetype at work in his life that is not that of the life periods, rather that of the zodiac and the planets as they are active in the way of philosophy and mood. Nietzsche was born in the sign of Ares which gives a soul-spirit orientation of Idealism. His mood make up came from Venus giving him a mystical trait. During the course of his life he moved from the philosophical view of Idealism to that of Dynamism with a mood of Voluntarism. If l understand correctly this move was brought about not by his own will, but by the use of hashish. As he moved from idealism to dynamism he became psychotic as it were, and what appeared in his writings in his last phase was not his doing but that of Ahriman. Not only was the archetype of life stage not operative here, but other archetypes stepped in when he was not able by his own means to become mobile in relation to the dynamics and workings of the zodiac and the planets. His was a more fixed mystical-idealistic make up, and his need to move on was impeded by the purely materialistic thinking of his time, rational, mathematical and materialistic, just at a time when he needed to progress to psychism, pneumatism and the like to dynamism. He did not have the capacity of soul and spirit to move about in the cosmos, and the result was that he used poisons and was thrown into a world view and a mood that out of himself he could not manage.

Again the need now is for a soul-spirit to be able to take up the New Spirit of Movement, but this spirit was not yet elaborated in the form of anthroposophy, psychosophy and pneumotosophy. The light side of the cosmos had not yet been elaborated in the domain of the dark dimensions of the cosmos. He could not enter the realm of the soul which united him with the dark signs, where in fact materiality has to be penetrated by light. Dark materiality needs to be penetrated by light as for example when rationalism and mathematism serge though existence. This would be needed before the dark signs can be taken into the soul. The “dark signs” with opposition to the “light signs” will bring havoc to the soul if the light signs are not penetrated in a progressive way by spiritual, idealistic work. The soul with psychism and the spirit with pneumatism will fail without the penetration of the material world with rational, mathematical, sense based phenomenal activities. Needed is to begin with ideas, ideals, and move counter-clock wise in the zodiac of world views, so that the soul and spirit can be penetrated knowingly with the will of the voluntarist who seeks knowledge. The mystic needs thus to follow an upward path in the planetary world to come to knowledge which can incorporate a path that includes transcendental occult experiences. In all that is said, it is again the mobility of soul and spirit that is needed.