THE ALCHEMYCAL PAGES
THE ORDER OF THE UNIVERSE.
'He's a great humanitarian, He's a great philanthropist.
He knows where you like to be touched, He knows, honey,
how you like to be kissed.
When he puts both arms around you, You can feel the tender
touch of the beast,
I hear sometimes Satan comes as a Man of Peace,
"Man of Peace" by Bob Dylan, ('Infidels' CD, 1983).
At the end of part two of this discussion I introduced three
spiritual beings and their influences active in the life of the
human being. I will now go into more deeply into a discussion
It is significant that what follows places a real demand on
ourselves to place squarely before our souls the statement - "Everything
I know is wrong" (with a tip of the hat to The Firesign Theatre,
who had made great LP called "Everything You Know Is Wrong"
back in the early 1970's.).
This must be taken seriously as a beginning, to wipe away
the slate of our pre-conceived notions, to clear away our prejudices
and hubris. I have quoted the following, from Rudolf Steiner,
elsewhere in The Alchemycal Pages, "Humanity has been obliged
to entangle itself in a web of error, so that, through having
to disentangle ourselves, we may become free and independent."
This statement must be weighed in all its gravity as an accurate
and truthful description of where humanity now finds itself. A
humanity enmeshed in a web of error, floundering in a Sargasso
Sea of self-deception and the hubris to not recognize that our
modern culture simply does not have the concepts or tools to be
able to even begin to solve the problems of our times. This is
because the problems of our times are the symptoms of the concepts
and tools developed by our modern culture!
And examples abound. Just this week (12/13/99) we have had
the FDA public hearings on genetically engineered foods in the
Bay Area. There have been two previous hearings and the transcript
to the one held in Chicago is available on the FDA website. Here
is what the FDA says about its mission:
Our mission is public health protection. That is our mission.
That is our goal. We carry that mission out using sound science
based policies. That is essential to our policy for biotechnology,
as well as to other products that we regulate.
FDA has authority over foods that are in commerce in the
United States and foods that are imported and this includes both
foods that are used for human food and feeds that are derived
from crops that are used as animal feed. We, of course, are here
to ensure that the food supply is safe and wholesome for the public.
That is our primary mission.
All very well and good. However, in the 50 years existence
of the FDA is there any evidence that the public's health has
been "protected"? It is evident that in the last fifty
years the health of the public has significantly deteriorated,
as everyone can attest by their own experience. So, this mission
has been a failure on every count. But the rub is that the 'sound
science based policies' are not sound at all, because the 'science'
itself is not sound, is wanting of any understanding of what is
health and what is "wholesome food".
This dissertation on Lucifer and Ahriman seeks to clarify
the spiritual reasons why our culture is so enmeshed in error
and self-deception, to illuminate the sources of the concepts
and tools lying behind our modern culture.
I will begin with a more detailed description of Lucifer,
with the next instalment being on Ahriman. (I need to point out
here that the two terms Satan and the Devil used in The Bible
do not refer to the same spiritual being. Satan refers to Ahriman
and the Devil to Lucifer.) Later instalments will be descriptions
and accounts of Asuras and Sorat, the "Sun-Demon".
As I described in the previous instalment, Lucifer began to
ray his forces in to the human soul, the astral body, during the
"Lemurian" Epoch. Lucifer also incarnated in human form
in the third millennium BC in China (as an aside here, it must
be recognized that macrobiotic principles and concepts are the
fruits of Luciferic wisdom); that is to say, he incarnated as
a being of flesh-and-blood and was the source of the profound
wisdom and insight of the whole of ancient civilization spread
over the world at that time. The deep insight into nature and
life that came from this source is known as "paganism"
and while it can be said to have been a lofty wisdom filled with
sublime concepts, it cannot be said to have contained a specific
individual ethos, whereby a human individual would be stimulated
to individual moral action. It was in order to counter this one-sidedness,
Christ incarnated in the body of Jesus of Nazareth approximately
three thousand years after Lucifer's incarnation, in order to
give the impulses for the moral education of Europe and later
Lucifer means "Bringer of Light". He has rayed his
influences in the human astral body since the Lemurian epoch and
has since then has continually had a profound influence, both
for good and ill. How does this luciferic influence act upon us?
Due to its "raying" into the astral body it works upon
all three 'bodies' of the human being - the astral, etheric and
Due to Lucifer's influence on the astral body there arises
selfishness, on the etheric body, lying and falsehood, and on
the physical body, sickness and death.
It is a profound mystery of human and earthly evolution that
sickness and death is a reality which is the consequence of the
luciferic influence on the human constitution. However, is was
not that these luciferic influences lead as a direct consequence
to sickness and death. It was rather, that if nothing had been
down to counterbalance the luciferic influences raying powerfully
into the human astral body and therefore resulting inexorably
in lying, deceit, error and egotism, human beings would have no
means to resist or temper the luciferic influences. Thus it was
the action of the spiritual hirearchies that have to do with the
wise guidance of world evolution who introduced death, illness,
suffering, old age and pain into human evolution.
Thus it is very important to understand that illness and pain
are the consequences inevitably arising out of the human being
allowing the luciferic influences to work unhindered in the human
soul. It is therefore important to keep in mind that illness and
pain are BENEFICIAL in there fundamental intent - which is to
remind us or bring to our attention that we experience pain and
illness to the degree our manner of living and thinking and doing
is the result of the lucferic impulse.
Here, we must remember that the essential consequence of the
luciferic powers acting in the human soul was we were thrust deeper
into the material realm prematurely. Thus Rudolf Steiner's statement
to the effect that the pole between human beings allowing the
luciferic impulses to work untempered in the human souls and the
consequent development of pain and illness is always and at all
times kept in balance by the"wise guidance of the world".
The deeper and more insistent the materialistic tendencies of
a culture, the more there will be illness and pain.
It must be always be kept in mind that the workings of the
"opposing powers" (Lucifer, Ahriman and the Asuras being
those spiritual beings who wish to thwart the proper destiny of
humanity and the earth) work to their best advantage when human
beings are completely unaware of their existence; this suits their
This is an important point. If we ask ourselves, what would
have occurred had Lucifer NOT rayed his influences powerfully
into the human astral body? If this had been the case, human beings
would never have lost sight of their relationships and discourse
with the Gods, which we DID have in the Atlantean Epoch, and the
records of human beings discourses and activities with the Gods
are recounted and recorded in the myths of all cultures. In the
case of the Luciferic influence NOT raying into the human astral
body, then the consequence is we would have not experienced pain,
illness, suffering, old age or death, and we would have continued
to be surely guided along a very different path of evolution.
However, at the same time, we would never have had the possibility
of developing freedom. Thus we owe it to Lucifer's influence
that we even have the possibility of freedom at all.
As I have said, it is entirely agreeable to Lucifer that he
slips into us without us being aware of his presence. So, what
would have been the consequence if the "wise spiritual guidance'
of human beings had not done what they in fact did, which was
to make sickness, pain and suffering the balancing factor to the
luciferic forces? We would have developed the positive attributes
of Lucifer's influence of a passion for noble, lofty ideals, creative
artistic genius as well as the tendency toward lust, desire, error
and sin, without having to suffer the consequences. We would have
become so luciferically one-sided that the ultimate consequence
would have been human beings refusing to have any interest in
other human beings, so content in their own self-absorbed narcissism
they would have conceived of a profound distaste for the earth
and everything connected to it. To the extent they would be glad
to fly off into the lofty heights of the luciferically conceived
"heavenly paradise", to live there forever satiating
their passions and desires, where, of course, Lucifer would be
more than happy to be their congenial host.
Thus, it was the influences of the "good gods" who
brought it about that sickness and death is the consequence of
the luciferic influence. In regard of sickness, it is illuminating
to understand that sickness is the consequence of humanity being
so "thrust" into the material plane as a result of the
raying into the human soul of Lucifer's influence that the true
understanding of the divine and spiritual origins of humanity
gradually became lost and forgotten. Thus, today, the understanding
of humanity's origin is conceived of as totally materialistic,
with "life" being conceived of as arising out of some
sort of "Big Bang Theory", as if the human organism
was some kind of elaborate unified chemico-physical machine functioning
according to the laws of physics and chemistry.
This is the epitome of the materialistic delusion and it is
THIS that is the fundamental cause of illness. In so many words,
the longer and the more people believe in this "machine"
explanation of human life (the genetic basis of life, the chemical
basis of emotions, the brain is nothing but a computer "made
out of meat" and similarly grotesque ideas) and behaviour
then the greater and more widespread will be the manifestation
of disease - both infectious diseases and degenerative disease.
It is, however, the good gods who are responsible for this consequence,
and they keep the balance such that it is a perfectly balanced
scale - on the one side, belief in the materialistic delusion
(the result of luciferic influence) by human beings, and on the
other, the consequent illnesses. It is therefore crucial that
people generally become more acutely aware of the influences of
the "opposing powers" in their lives if there is to
be any possible hope for a healthy future - personally, socially,
ecologically, economically etc.
So, to go into more detail on Lucifer's activities in the
human being (in the next installment I will detail Ahriman's activities.)
As I have related in an earlier instalment, the human being is
three-fold - body, soul, spirit, and another way of looking at
the three-foldedness is Lucifer-Christ- Ahriman.
Thus, the human being is, from this perspective, made up of
of these three, and the key point, totally in keeping with macrobiotic
principles, is to keep the influences of Lucifer and Ahriman in
balance (although it must NOT be assumed that Lucifer and Ahriman
ARE Yin and Yang, respectively - which will become clearer later
on) and it is the Christ Impulse which furnishes the possibility
of mediating, that is balancing, these two.
So, from 8000 BC until the Mystery of Golgotha (the Crucifixion
and Resurrection of Christ, also described as The Turning Point
of Time) is the luciferic age. Since then it has been gradually
the ascent of ahrimanic influence. This is not to say that the
luciferic influence stopped at that time, and the luciferic influence
continues to play into the human being as follows:
physical body - softening, rejuvenation.
illnesses are those of fever and too much warmth.
soul - fantasy, dreaming, mysticism, theosophy
spirit -falling asleep
conceptual illusion - that spiritual phenomena arise out of
Steiner has a momentous revelation for us here, from his lecture
"The Tree of Life" in the volume of lectures "Evil"(Rudolf
Steiner Press, 1997):
"The Yahweh deities originally intended that the knowledge
we acquired during the day should be permeated and penetrated
by us at night. If this had happened, our science and knowledge
would have been of a quite different kind - a much more vital
and living science, in which each concept of ours would really
live in us. We should also be aware that the concepts we experience
during the day are the shadows of living beings, as I have oftened
described. During the night we would perceive all the concepts
we had formed during the day coming alive, waking up into the
form of elemental beings. We would know that the science and knowledge
we developed was actually alive, was a real, living, weaving force
within the world - active, elemental, weaving life.
But it cannot be this for us, for Lucifer grasps hold of
it, and deprives us of it. He takes living knowledge away from
us. Every night he sucks dry the living content of our knowledge,
leaving us with only abstract, dry husks, the dead concepts which
"Let me sum up, in the hope that these very important
observations lodge in your memory. Ahriman and Lucifer are intimately
involved in our lives; they work together, preventing us from
establishing a proper harmony and equilibrium between belief and
knowledge. Instead we oscillate between the false poles of unknowing
belief and unbelieving knowledge.
But it is quite false to think we could ever escape the
clutches of Lucifer and Ahriman. They have their cosmic task -
all that has happened had to happen."
Our task is to become vitally aware of the activities the
two so that we can balance them in our souls and lives. It thus
suits them most admirably if we do not take the time and make
the effort to become intimately and consciously familiar with
In the next instalment I will discuss Ahriman in more detail.
I must also add that I have not said everything there is to be
said about Lucifer and you can explore his activities in more
detail, using the following books as a starting point, both containing
lectures of Rudolf Steiner:
"The Influences of Lucifer and Ahriman" (Anthroposophic
"Evil" (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1997).
Comments or questions can be sent to the address below as I check
this address every few weeks. Please mention Alchemycal Pages in the
subject line. Thank you. Patricia
The Alchemycal Pages Copyright © Kaare Bursell, 1996-2031.