The Four Ethers – Reading 3


“Aristotle himself, however, used to continually say this to his pupil Alexander: That Ether that is away there beyond this realm of the earthly warmth – the light-ether, chemical ether, and the life-ether – was once upon a time united with the Earth. It came in as far as the Earth, and when the Moon withdrew in the ancient epoch of evolution, then the Ether withdrew from the Earth. And so all that is around us in space as dead world – so ran Aristotle’s teaching to his pupil Alexander – is not permeated with Ether. When, however, Springtime approaches, and the plants, animals and human beings come forth to new life on the Earth, then the elementary spirits bring down again Ether from out of the realm of the Moon, bring it down unto these newborn beings. Thus is the Moon the shaper and moulder of beings.”

R. Steiner, World History in the Light of Anthroposophy, Lecture 4, 27 December 1923, CW233


“… just as the lower elements of earth, water and air are inhabited by elemental beings, so are the higher elements of light ether, chemical ether and life ether. However, these beings of the higher elements differ considerably from those of the lower ones. The beings of light, and particularly those of life, do not aim at becoming multitudes. The ones who strive the most to become multitudes are the beings of the earth element. The beings of the etheric element strive rather towards unity. It is difficult to differentiate them from one another; they do not express any individuality and rather strive to amalgamate.”

R. Steiner, The Human Soul in Relation to World Evolution, Lecture 8, 28 May 1922, CW212