Sun and Moon – Reading 1


“Let us now go back still further, to a period in which the conditions were again quite different, to a primeval past when the sun, which is now separate, was bound up with our earth. At one time the earth and the sun formed a single body. All the finer and more etheric parts were still within this common body. We will consider this body at the time when the two were connected as somewhat resembling in shape a fancy biscuit, one part, a smaller globe (namely the earth-plus-moon) hanging as it were on to the other.

We must imagine the sun as a vast etheric body on which earth-plus-moon hung. The rays of force from the sun still mingled with the earth, they passed from the sun to the earth and back from earth to sun — for the two were in a certain way one body. We shall best understand the purpose of this development if we enquire: What would have happened if, without anything further taking place, the sun had turned entirely away from the earth after the separation, and had no longer sent its beams and currents to the earth? All life upon the earth would in this case have dried up and hardened. It was necessary to the earth that the fertilizing influences from the sun should remain. We have to regard this interaction between sun and earth as the interaction between two principles: one leading to destruction, the other giving life. This was also the case later; invigorating life flowed continually from the sun to the earth.

We have now briefly recapitulated the various stages in the evolution of our earth. First there was a primeval past when the earth was still within the sun-body; then a second stage in which the earth was more loosely connected with the sun; then a third, when the two bodies were completely separated from each other. It was only in this third epoch that the ego really entered into man and at this stage sexual reproduction began. Then followed the fourth epoch, the Atlantean, and lastly the post-Atlantean epoch, that in which we are now living. To those who look more deeply into the structure of the world, all that happens visibly, all that is external, takes place under the influence of Spiritual Beings. At one time the sun and the earth were one. (We will go into the Moon development later.) This common body was then permeated with harmoniously working Divine Spiritual Beings. Such lofty beings were necessary to govern the forces that at that time were still undifferentiated.

Now think of development as having progressed: the sun withdrew. What took place then? With the sun went forth the highest beings and the finest substances; henceforward they worked upon the earth from outside. Beings who represented truly living ever-accelerating life, dwelt upon the sun; and on the earth the beings who, if they had been left to themselves, would have suffered stiffening, darkness, destruction. At this second stage of evolution light and darkness were both at work.

At the third stage of evolution the earth-man is endowed with his ego, and the time begins when his self-conscious “ I “ dwells within him. He becomes aware of this ego by its opposite, and he gradually passes into one condition in which he has a clear consciousness, and into another in which he has a dim consciousness; the first comes to him from the sun, and the other preferably from the earth. The ego, the eternal germ, has to alternate between two forms, one an eternal form, and the other a form which can be born and can die. Those beings, who always possess what man has only occasionally, have forsaken their earth bodies. First that being who brings about fertilization, who lives principally on the sun, went forth from the moon-earth, then the being who makes the human form static or more permanent goes forth with the moon.

Sun and moon gradually separated from the earth. With the sun went forth the beings who, had they remained united with it, would have brought a too precipitate life to earth; and with the moon all those forces withdrew which would have brought about a hardening and stiffening; everything which would have tended to make form permanent. The earth remained in the midst, as it were between the two.”

R.Steiner, Universe, Earth and Man, Lecture 2, 5 August 1908, CW105


“Let us to begin with consider man alone. Previous to this, when the sun was still one with the earth, mighty forces which proceeded from exalted sun beings were united with the earth, and worked upon man from within it. At first man was just as he came from the Old Moon, he had only just evolved from the seed, as one might say, and was to begin with furnished only with a physical, etheric, and astral body. The physical body was not so dense as it is now, it was more etheric and finer, and the ego was not yet formed.

Now, through the sun shining upon the earth from outside, and the sun-beings also working on it from outside, conditions on earth became completely changed. You can think of it in this way: as long as the earth was bound up with the sun, exalted Beings (who later went forth with it) were hampered in their own development hence also in their powers, and power to govern — by the gross forces of the earth. But now that they had become free they could continue their evolution at a quite different rate from before, when they had to carry the very heavy weight of the earth mass with them. They freed themselves from the earth as regards their own evolution, and thus gained power to work on man more strongly from outside. Evolution would have been enormously accelerated through this, and human life would have been brought to an issue with extreme rapidity, if something else had not taken place. Man was unable to proceed at this rate of development, therefore from the totality of Spirits who existed previously, one, with his hosts, separated from the rest, and remained united with the earth.

The task of this Spirit of Form was to hold back and limit that which the sun forces had accomplished with their enormous acceleration, so that these sun Spirits did not work alone. If this Spirit of Form had remained connected with the earth and continued to work there, the whole earth would have grown stiff and hard, his influence would have been too powerful; therefore he took the grossest materials and forces and led them out of the earth; that which he thus led out of the earth constitutes our present moon. So this Spirit which had undertaken the duty of retarding and holding back the too-rapid development of humanity was now united with the moon.

Evolution went on the earth-beings and the moon-beings had separated. At this time the earth-beings came principally under the influence of two forces, one proceeding from the sun, the other from the moon. If man had come merely under the influence of the sun forces he would soon have grown old, almost as soon as he was born; whereas, under the influence of the moon alone he would have stiffened, become hard, and mummified. He could only develop rightly through the sun and the moon forces being balanced; he was placed upon the earth and, in a spiritual sense, beings and forces acted on him from outside in order that he might pass through his present evolution.

R. Steiner, Universe, Earth and Man, Lecture 4, 7 August 1908, CW105