Steiner Online Library Spiritual Science for Human Evolution

Polarities in the Evolution of Mankind
GA 197

Table of Contents

  • Title Page
  • Colophon
  • Lecture I. Stuttgart 5 March 1920
    • The development of conscious awareness; luciferic and ahrimanic spirits. Early humanity thinking in images and dependent on higher spirits. Gradual separation from those spirits; intellectual thinking developing to train humans in freedom. Ahriman's aims and purposes. Opposition in Norway.
  • Lecture II. Stuttgart 7 March 1920
    • Different potentials of Asians and Europeans. Need to understand Christ in a new way. Development of the intellect from beginning of postAtlantean period. Intelligence developed in soul and spirit in the Orient and at the physical level in Europe. East accepted Christianity into the soul in a way incomprehensible to modern European scientists. The rational Western mind was bound to the physical body and could not understand the Mystery of Golgotha. Goetheanism. Theosophy of the Theosophical Society as pre-Christian wisdom. Initiation the precondition for social thinking.
  • Lecture III. Stuttgart 9 March 1920
    • Changing awareness in political life. Empires evolving in three stages on earth. Stage 1: Imperialism of partly prehistoric times; earthly and hierarchic order one. Present-day example — pastoral from a bishop. Stage 2: Ruler by the grace of God. Example: Holy Roman Empire. Stage 3: Substance lost from words and symbols. Phrase and convention instead. Need for new social impulses.
  • Lecture IV. Stuttgart 13 June 1920
    • Powers of decline in present-day civilization. Secret societies, Jesuitism and Leninism: three initiation streams in the present day. Religious confessions opposing spiritual science. Their denial of pre-existence and dogma of eternal hell. Professor Traub's smear campaign. Opposition from Roman Catholic Press in Switzerland.
  • Lecture V. Stuttgart 24 June 1920
    • Decline of human civilization as a consequence of materialism. Material world can only be truly understood in the spirit. Materialistic view of the human heart as a pump. Head as the fruit of previous life on earth. Materialistic view of history. Economic life as head organ of the social organism, the sphere of rights as its rhythmical organ and cultural life as its metabolic organ. Threefold social order, Waldorf School, Kommender Tag. The destructive quality of untruthfulness. Spiritual science and and practical life.
  • Lecture VI. Stuttgart 25 July 1920
    • Materialism and mysticism. True perceptiveness as a deed of the human soul. Disguised materialism in theosophy and spiritism. Materialism of modern science. Mysticism gives experience of physical matter by revealing material processes within the human organism. Mysticism as a disease. Need for transition from experience in space to one in time. Nature of force of gravity. Inner experience of force of gravity. Ahriman, Lucifer, Christ.
  • Lecture VII. Stuttgart 30 July 1920
    • Materialism and mysticism on the wrong road. Active perceptiveness in Anthroposophy. Looking for nature of matter in the phenomena of the outside world leads to feeblemindedness; looking for the spirit by practising inner mysticism leads to childishness. Politics an illusion: Conservative element ahrimanic, liberal element luciferic. Fight of Jesuits against Anthroposophy. Rightness of materialism in its own sphere.
  • Lecture VIII. Stuttgart 21 September 1920
    • Distinction between knowledge and belief. Ancient wisdom had to fade to make freedom possible. As modern science evolved, knowledge reduced to mere belief. Jesuitism. Rome as the source spring of materialism. No longer inner experience connecting with words. Need to speak of human existence before birth. The threefold social order and its opponents.
  • Lecture IX. Stuttgart 8 November 1920
    • East, Middle and West. The threefold social order. Sleeping and waking. The threefold nature of the human being. In the East, life before birth was experienced in the spirit. This spirit has grown decadent. In the Middle, culture of material world and spirit, eminence given to thinking (Hegel). West: material culture, yet also preparation for future Imaginations; incipient awareness of principles that go beyond death. In the East: instinctive wisdom; in the Middle; dialectics, intellectual life; in the West: materialism, spirit of economics. East: end (example of Tolstoy); West: beginning (example of Keely). Mission of the Middle for the present.
  • Lecture X. Stuttgart 14 November 1920
    • Transition from luciferic to ahrimanic age and the Christ event to come. Technology; human beings and machines. Ahrimanic demons active in the present, luciferic elemental spirits in the past. Appearance of the etheric Christ in the present time. Ahrimanization of the world. Increasing stress in human souls. Need to prepare for the Christ event.
  • Lecture XI. Stuttgart 22 November 1920
    • The impersonal attitude of modern science. The Christ spirit which has to enter into science. The threefold social order as 20th century Goetheanism. Spirit-self, life-spirit and spirit-man cannot evolve through forces provided by the earth but only through the Christ. Schiller's letters on aesthetic education and Goethe's Tale. The mystery play The Portal of Initiation as a metamorphosis of the creative potential in Goethe's Tale. Golden, Silver and Brazen Kings representing the three aspects of the social organism.

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"You can see from this, my dear friends, what mischief will be set on foot if the truths of Spiritual Science are withheld. For man will be exposed to the forces of evil, and he will only be protected from it by giving himself up to the spiritual life of the good. To withhold the spiritual life of goodness from men is to be no friend to humanity. Whoever does this, be he Freemason or Jesuit, is no friend to humanity. For it means handing men over to the forces of evil. And there may be a purpose in doing so. This purpose may be to confine goodness to a small circle, in order by the help of this goodness to dominate the helpless humanity who are thus led by evil into the follies of life."

—Rudolf Steiner,
Spiritual Science Notes On Goethe's Faust, Vol. II, No. 273-8.

Spiritual Exercises

Calendar of the Soul

In 1912 Rudolf Steiner offered a “calendar of the soul” with weekly verses that express how the changing seasons in both the outer natural world and our inner lives help humanity evolve. Download and read the verses in four translations with commentary by Eloise Krivosheia of the Los Angeles Branch of the Anthroposophical Society.


2022-2023 Calendar Dates