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The Rudolf Steiner Archive

a project of Steiner Online Library, a public charity

Lucifer and Ahriman
GA 191

We live in critical, apocalyptic times. In these lectures, given just after the end of the First World War and in the midst of trying to effect the social-political life of his times with the movement for a threefold social order, Rudolf Steiner focuses on the vital task of developing a right orientation toward the spirit: a free spiritual life. With great compassion and understanding he shows, in telling examples, how humanity must walk a conscious middle path between the two “tempting” powers of Lucifer and Ahriman. He tells of the incarnation of Lucifer, in the third millennium BCE, from which flowed not only the wisdom of paganism but also the intellectual consciousness we enjoy today. Ahriman is shown to be approaching humanity through phenomena such as materialism, nationalism, and literalism in preparation for his incarnation in the millennium now opening. It must not be thought, however, that these two powers work apart: on the contrary, they work more and more together. Our task is to hold them in balance, continually permeating the one with the other. Doing this requires a new form of conscious spirituality.

Five lectures given by Rudolf Steiner in November, 1919 Authorised translation from shorthand reports unrevised by the lecturer. The original German texts of these lectures can be found in the Collected Edition of Rudolf Steiner's works under the titles: “Soziales Verstandniss aus geisteswissenschaftlicher Erkenntnis” and “Der innere Aspekt des sozialen Ratsels. Luziferische Vergangenheit and ahrimanische Zukunft” Nos. 191 and 193 in the Bibliographical Survey, 1961. Translated by D. S. Osmond

Lecture I November 01, 1919
Lecture II November 02, 1919
Lecture III November 04, 1919
Lecture IV November 15, 1919
Lecture V November 09, 1919