Saturn works in warmth – Reading 2


“The human being is born out of God. Sublime spiritual beings formed the human body; they were cosmic forces, so the human being was built out of the cosmos and grew out of the cosmos.

The first condition of development in which we can point to the influence of those cosmic forces, was the one which is called the ancient Saturn condition. It was then that these forces started to work in space and in time, so that ancient Saturn came into being in space and evolved in time. At that time there existed no solar system with planets, there existed only a body of warmth surrounded by the twelve signs of the zodiac, which poured their forces into this warmth-body as though from a periphery into a common centre. Out of this centre other powers worked from the opposite direction, but the inflowing forces were the stronger and hence the centripetal tendency in evolution. If one looks at the present-day minerals as they appear spiritually, the same effect can be observed there too, except that we are dealing in this case with solid matter. From other sides out in far distant spaces the spiritual forces work inwards towards a common point in space, and the stone or mineral appears at this point. From this central point forces work against the instreaming powers, but the latter are stronger. Thus arose the first embodiment of the present Earth as a sphere of warmth of ancient Saturn through the influence of the twelve starry constellations from the periphery towards the centre. Because these forces working inwards towards the centre, surpassed the other ones, a further densification and a kind of division took place. Several points were formed in the one central point during further development and so the whole planet consisted eventually of many such centres of power which arose through the effect of cosmic forces, or spiritual beings from the cosmos. In this central point itself spiritual beings were also at work, they enlivened it and worked on it in such a way that it could form the basis for what was later to become humankind. We were already endowed with the powers which, working on into the future, were able to supply us with a physical body in which we dwell today as self-conscious earthly human beings. We also acquired at that time the faculty that would enable us later to develop spirit human through our own efforts. On ancient Saturn at that time the nucleus was laid down for life on the physical and the spiritual planes and the human physical and spiritual centre was established. When this development had proceeded to a certain stage, the spiritual powers ceased their activities, a kind of planetary night, or withdrawal, ensued and when the next day dawned, the Earth appeared again in its new embodiment as old Sun.

The development proceeded further. In connection with the former Saturn condition everything was repeated under quite different conditions. Then something new took place. The centres which had arisen in ancient Saturn appeared again in the old Sun condition. Owing to the still active centripetal forces, the old Sun, as a celestial body, was more compact than ancient Saturn. It had become more densified and was no longer so extended. As a physical centre it did not need to disperse its forces so far into the outer space, it was able to hold itself in more and retain something for itself as inner strength. It was able to display this in such a way that it could counter the influence coming from the zodiac with something with something which came from its own being in the light that radiated into its surroundings. Just because of the densification with regards to what was physical, the possibility arose of giving away something of itself which was spiritually effective. So it was, too, with separate centres on the old Sun. Through their own strength they could ray forth something of themselves into the surroundings. A dispersal of their own being took place, which can be described as a growth in light. In our present development a similar power is active in the plant kingdom, only there it takes place within dense earthly substance. Just as the present–day plants grow from their seed towards the sunlight, so did growth take place on the old Sun, an extension and advance in the light from the centres into the surroundings. Not only did the forces from the twelve constellations work down from the surroundings onto the old Sun, but the Sun itself sent back something in return in its outraying light. And there grew out of it the rudiments of those planets that we know today under quite different conditions in our present solar system. Just as the seven colours can be revealed in the white light by deflecting the light beams, so did these seven planets become organised in their rudiments at that time as radiant points of light in the sunlight itself.

Once again spiritual beings worked in these centres and formed them in such a way that they became the basis for what ones knows today as the life body or etheric body. Human beings were also endowed with the rudiments of what they will one day themselves acquire as life spirit. The principle of growth and extension was developed in both the physical and in the spiritual centre of our being during the time of the Sun development. For just as the etheric body makes it possible for the physical body to grow, so with the life spirit is denoted what can be called the surroundings, the environment of the spiritual centre of spirit human in which this is revealed.

The centripetal force which was active in ancient Saturn continued to work on in the old Sun condition. Through that came about the densification, so that the warmth sphere became a gas sphere. Through this force the living beings also divided up and became distinct from one another. But through the centrifugal force the Sun radiated forth and the living beings were enabled to forsake set forms and to grow.

When the development had proceeded for a while, another pause for rest ensued, in which the cosmic powers withdrew their activity. Then the Earth stepped forth from its cosmic night in its new embodiment as old Moon and that which had taken place in the two previous stages of development was repeated under different conditions. The densification and contraction of the whole planetary body and of separate centres or living entities still continued, and thereby a stronger manifestation of inner forces became possible. The centripetal and centrifugal forces were both active and sought to come into harmony with one another. Through that a great oscillation came about. On the one hand the effect of the centripetal forces showed in the densification of the old Moon and in the ever-increasing emancipation of the separate centres from their surroundings. On the other hand the centrifugal force found expression in being able to reveal more and more of the spiritual forces from the centre into the environment. These two forces worked in such a way that during the evolution of old Moon they came to a crisis. A kind of split took place. The part of old Moon in which the centrifugal forces were most active separated from the other part in which the centripetal forces remained more active. Thereby a planetary body evolved that chiefly radiated its forces outward and revealed itself to the outer world in its spiritual strength as a sun raying forth light, and another planetary body, the old Moon, which was exposed to further densification and on which the further development of those beings took place that were destined to become Earth-humans.

Through this contraction the bodies of these beings became ever denser and more independent and they acquired the possibility of manifesting stronger inner powers. That which worked upon them from outside was thereby enabled to echo within them and they could reply to it in a certain way. A sound then issued forth from the inner depths of these beings that was an echo of the sound which came to them from without. The old Moon had become a watery sphere through this further densification and the bodies of the living beings had become correspondingly denser as well. Light still shone forth from the Sun towards the Moon and those forces that strove for the spiritualisation and refinement of matter were also contained therein. In the more refined part of the old Moon, which had separated itself off as Sun, spiritual forces had also departed and left the courser body and rayed light and life into it. The courser body then rotated about this source of light as the old Moon. It was the same with the separate centre-points on the old Moon. At the time of the separation the part which was to continue to evolve spiritually, and above all develop the centrifugal force, went away with the Sun, and the part which was to become more dense and develop the centripetal force within it stayed with the old Moon and densified to a watery condition. The bodies of the living beings were on the old Moon, and the spirit that enlivened them was outside on the Sun and rayed its light into them from there. There is something in the animal kingdom, as it appears in present earthly evolution, which corresponds with this operation, though it is adjusted to earth conditions. In an animal the physical body is animated by the real spirit, which does not dwell in the animal itself. There is a spiritual centre, distinct from the forms of the animals out of which life streams down into them. On the present Earth a whole genus of animals is animated by the same spiritual entity in such a way that one can regard the entity as the centre-point and the animals in the genus as the periphery, surrounding it and receiving its life from it. In this way the old Moon rotated around its Sun and was animated from this spiritual centre. As a result of the fact that these spiritual forces had left the Moon and now worked on it from outside, as it circled around the Sun, movement was initiated in the Moon evolution, and this also applied to the separate centres. Spiritual beings adapted the latter so that, in embryo, they could develop what is today called the astral body. Within the human astral body the perceptions and feelings that are aroused in it by its surroundings are in continual movement. Through these perceptions and feelings we reply to the sound that comes to meet us from outside. An organ with which to gain spiritual understanding, a spiritual atunement to cosmic wisdom, was also implanted into humans during the Moon evolution, so that they felt at one with it. Just as we allow the stream of pulsating sensations to flow through our astral body, detain it within ourself and send out a force against it, in order to react consciously to it, so does the light of cosmic wisdom flow into our spirit self and it becomes possible for us to receive it and consciously ray it back again. Because the old Moon split in half as a cosmic body to form two bodies mutually interacting, movement and also conscious sensations arose. The influences spread from one planetary body to the other. The influences of the Sun on the Moon were experienced there as forces coming from without, and it was the same with the Moon influences that spread to the Sun. At the place where the Sun and Moon influences met, a conscious experience was evoked. A kind of blockage occurred and a boundary was formed where the inflowing force met with the force flowing from the opposite direction. For every living entity on the Moon there was a limit to the field of experience in which it could consciously apprehend something. The possibility of projecting its forces further afield ceased at this point. Its own force was met by the instreaming forces. The living beings that later became human beings on Earth, possessed consciousness on the old Moon; they did not yet have self-consciousness, for they lived entirely in their surroundings. They had no experience of their own and could only let what was revealed to them from outside resound within them.

When the Moon evolution had reached a certain stage of maturity, the spiritual powers that had instigated it all withdrew. Sun and Moon forces neutralised each other; they gradually united once more and a period of rest began. Then the Earth emerged as a new heavenly body out of this planetary night. To begin with the former evolutionary conditions were repeated under new circumstances, the Earth underwent a period in which, as regards the physical, it was a body of warmth, as formerly on ancient Saturn. Then the separate centres gradually evolved again under the influence of the centripetal force. And then there came a period in which the Earth became a gas ball and the centrifugal force exerted its influence on it as it had done formerly on old Sun. The separate centres began to radiate outwards once more; that was the Sun condition on Earth. Afterwards came a repetition of the Moon condition on Earth. The Sun then separated from the other part of the cosmic body and left behind the Earth in which the Moon forces remained. Once again the forces seeking to become spiritualised departed with the Sun and from there they radiated light and life towards the planetary body, which continued to grow more dense. The planets also departed with the Sun, and only the Moon forces remained with the Earth. Some of centres that were striving to become spiritualised also departed with the Sun and sent down their forces from there, while the coarser ones remained behind on the earth. Now a condition was reached in which there was a repetition of all that had happened on the old Moon. The earth and the bodies of living entities became more and more dense. The centripetal forces were in the ascendency. But then a new phase began, which came about through the fact that in Earth evolution not only the old Moon remained behind, as formerly during the old Moon evolution, but that a new force , the actual Earth force, was added. This Earth force acted in such a way that it formed a uniting force between Sun and Moon forces, which it was able to bring into harmony and balance with one another. When the densification progressed further, owing to it being only the Moon forces, which were connected with the earth, the earth force brought about a kind of balance by separating itself off from the Moon forces. The Earth left these forces with the Moon and remained on its own between the forces of Sun and Moon, between the impulse of spiritualisation and the impulse of densification. It was influenced by both and carried both within it and held the balance through its own forces. A similar force is to be found in the modern human “I”, for just as the Earth is the mediator between Sun forces and Moon forces, so does the human “I’ form the connecting link between what is spiritual and what is material, so that both can unite in the human being. The Earth is also so placed in the universe that it is encircled by the Moon with its rigidifying forces and by the Sun from which it receives spirit light. The Earth is surrounded as though by a sheath by the Moon forces; the Sun forces come to it from a more distant centre, situated far above this sheath. That is how the human “I” is embedded in its sheaths, but the spirit light streams towards it out of cosmic distances.

In the two forces, which worked upon each other during the Moon evolution, a third power showed itself, working vertically upon the other two. Through that something new came about in movement as a whole, which can only be called self-movement. In Earth evolution the physical expression of that can be seen in the rotation of the Earth about its axis. On the old Moon a kind of consciousness was engendered through the blockage where the two forces met. Now, through their encounter with the third force, a double blockage is brought about that causes the general consciousness to be restricted and shut off, so that it is thrown back upon itself. Through that it becomes deepened to become self-consciousness, in which it comprehends itself and the seed of the “I”-consciousness is laid down. The same forces influenced the bodes of the entities and thereby these entities all became more independent. They acquired their own movement, just as the Earth had acquired it, and just because of this movement further densification took place. The bodies became more restricted within themselves, so that an inner life of their own became possible. The further densification of the bodies was no longer brought about merely by the Moon forces, but through independent movement, through the Earth forces themselves, and these forces represented the sum total of all that had taken place earlier in the three previous evolutionary stages and had become transformed in the fourth, the actual Earth stage.

Once again it was spiritual beings who brought self-awareness to humanity, by implanting in it during Earth evolution, the germ of “I”-consciousness, through which the human being was able to say “I”. The physical centre on Earth was inhabited by the human being and under the guidance of higher beings. This was gradually developed to become the human physical body as it appears today. The inner force, which was the foundation for “I”-consciousness, could only develop in a physical body, which, depending on itself alone, was distinct in form from its surroundings. Gradually the human physical body took shape in this way; but the foundation for the ‘I” was impressed on it at an earlier time. In the same way that the warmth-sphere of ancient Saturn densified to become the gas-sphere of the old-Sun and then was able to ray out its own spiritual forces into the cosmic surroundings in the form of light, and as it later densified still further during the old Moon condition to become fluid, but on the other hand to reveal more inward forces to produce sounds and movements, so did a further densification take place during Earth evolution, which on the one hand produced hard earthly conditions, on the other hand led to a further revelation of inner forces manifesting as life, as individual inner life. On ancient Saturn everything was contained within a dark sea of warmth, on the old Sun everything shone in light, on the old Moon everything vibrated in sound and on Earth everything lived an individual inner life of its own.”

R. Steiner, “Freemasonry” and Ritual Work, CW265, p266-274