6 QUESTION: A friend of ours who is a follower of Rudolf Steiner’s teachings said that there are not only two “kingdoms,” heaven and earth, good and evil, but three. According to this concept the earth is ruled by a being that is not Lucifer or the devil, but Ahriman, who is the ruler of matter and who is supposed to be more dangerous than Lucifer. Is this true?
ANSWER: Here, too, there is a kernel of truth. You know that not only Lucifer “fell,” but that he dragged down many other beings also. Not all of them are equally heavily burdened. Now God had seven sons, those first created beings who were closest to Him. Two of these “fell,” along with a number of others, among whom there were also some who had been close to God but about whom I don’t want to speak here. Let this suffice for the time being.
Now one of these other sons who went with Lucifer is the one who rules over matter, and so in a certain sense you can say that he rules over the earth. This spirit is also heavily burdened; however, Lucifer, who initiated the “fall” is the one who carries the heaviest burden.
When some teachings say that there are three kingdoms, they are not quite accurate, because from this point of view there are more than three: Lucifer, who has the greatest power over the domains which are separated from God, has given certain districts—if I may call them so—to other fallen spirits, where they rule more or less independently.
Only in specific cases do they have to turn to Lucifer. This is an imitation of what exists in God’s world and what humans have also imitated on earth, and what has to exist where many beings live together: a certain order, a hierarchy. Here, in God’s divine kingdom, the spirit entities also have independent power according to their development; their area of activity increases and expands continuously, and they can, to a certain degree, in the precise knowledge of the spiritual laws, make their own decisions and carry them out. Only when a particular issue exceeds their degree of knowledge do they have to turn to the being who is above them.
Now it is true that the aforementioned brother of Lucifer was given dominion over the earth and that he rules over matter. However, this does not mean that Lucifer’s world has no access to you. Ultimately, this spirit is also subject to Lucifer, no matter how great his power, and thus is part of Lucifer’s sphere. If this was not specifically explained to you, it was only because it is not so important for you.
But you know that Lucifer has his underlings and that they are endowed with varying degrees of power. This specific spirit who rules over matter is one of them. But, as I said, he is not the only one; there are other Luciferic spirits who have just as much or almost as much power in other domains. It would be impossible to explain it all. Also, it is not necessary.
There are then, on earth, beings who are directly under Lucifer’s rule, that is, they are from Hell, while others are directly subject to that other spirit of matter. But ultimately they are all ruled by Lucifer. Yet those who say that this spirit of matter is more dangerous for humans than the Luciferic spirits are right. For Lucifer’s underlings are the spirits of evil, hate, murder, envy, prideful arrogance and other vices. They are embodiments of all these base currents.
However, no such spirit has access to a human being unless there is a corresponding vibration in that person. When a person has gone beyond a certain level of development—if only in certain respects, since, as you know, all aspects of the personality do not evolve simultaneously—then the worst of the evil spirits have no access to him. Even if there are still traces of these negative feelings in the soul, such people will know how to fight them and will not yield to their temptations, and will certainly not act them out.
There are, however, many people who, although no longer capable of base and evil actions and therefore not available to serve the Luciferic spirits directly, are nevertheless very susceptible to the enticements of the servants of Lucifer’s brother. They don’t necessarily intend to harm others, but they turn away from God and anything spiritual and thus become blind and unreceptive to the spirit. Thus this brother of Lucifer’s has triumphed directly, Lucifer indirectly. For the aim of the dark powers is to turn all beings away from God.
As a consequence of turning away from God and the spiritual life, a person can again become receptive to the influence of the spirits of Hell, since through the strong bondage to material things certain low feelings will be awakened. This is how the Spirit of Matter serves Lucifer in an indirect way. He can take prisoner many human beings where Lucifer would fail. Thus they give over to Lucifer indirectly, through matter.
These are not necessarily evil people—for those Lucifer doesn’t need his brother. They are those whose vision is troubled and whose vision will get worse as they bind themselves more to matter. They don’t enlarge their vision by taking a path of self-search and discipline, of love and humility, in order to establish contact with God’s world. They live in a flat, shallow and grey world and nothing is really alive to them, because through their bondage to matter they suffocate the living spirit.
I would like to mention here that many people believe themselves spiritual because they love the arts or because they pursue intellectual interests. This, however, does not make them really spiritual, really alive. Thus it happens that those over whom the brother of Lucifer has achieved such dominance that they become increasingly weaker and duller, can get into a state in which they unwittingly give over to Lucifer, since their vision is blurred and they do not believe in anything but matter; therefore they cannot see the danger and fight it. The enemy whom you do not know is always more dangerous than the one of whose existence and nature you are well aware.
101 QUESTION: In my private work, my Helper and I found that I have an inadequate concept of a human being. What is a human being?
ANSWER: If I were to answer that, it would probably take me at least a month of continuous talking. This, I think, may be the best answer for you to adjust your concept to a more truthful one. Compare this statement with the limited concept you have when you say, “he is this or that,” or “she is thus and thus.” Realize the infinite variety, the manifoldness, the contradictoriness, the unlimited possibilities and potentials of thought, and the range of feelings in every human being.
Every human being has, in both a positive and a negative aspect, every emotion, trend or characteristic you can name. The reasons why the same quality displays its positive facet at one time and its negative at other times are among the difficult intricacies of the human psyche.
The more you understand the limitless possibilities and potentials of any human being, the further do you come in understanding a particular human being. On the other hand, the more you believe, either consciously or unconsciously, that a human being is only this or only that, in other words, the more limited your concept is, the less will you understand about others.
In a strange way, the unconscious aim of human beings is to limit the human personality, because they believe that if there is less to a human being, it is easier to know one another. This is not true. The more you realize the infinite possibilities and aspects, the more understanding and insight you will have. This is the best answer I can give you. Any description, no matter how detailed, would not do it justice. It would be limited, and it would be an oversimplification.
QA149 QUESTION: In your lecture two weeks ago [Lecture #149 Cosmic Pull Toward Union – Frustration], I understood you to say that the nature of man has a limiting factor – there is a negative element which doesn’t allow the complete positive force to manifest. If it did, we would not be in the human consciousness. To what degree can we accept this? At what point do we realize that we have a limitation and we should not become frustrated because we can’t transcend our very nature?
ANSWER: First of all, at no point should you become frustrated. And the second answer is there is no point in which you can say, “Now, here I set the limit,” because potentially there is a limitless power and possibility for expansion in you. But in order to get to that, every moment of the Now must be accepted, but accepted in the right spirit.
In other words, let us say you encounter a present inability. If this inability is either denied or struggled against or run away from, it is a denial of the present limitation that is unhealthy. But, if you would say, “I cannot ever overcome this inability,” it is an equal error, and equally unhealthy. So it is in the how.
If you say, “Here I am at present; I find myself unable to feel differently. This is my Now and I want to observe myself, how I operate with this error, and I want to understand what is the error behind this limitation in me, behind this inability.”
The more you understand of the error, and the better you observe – in an objective spirit of nonstruggle and yet knowing it is not something that you cannot ever transcend – to that extent you will transcend it, and perhaps much sooner than you think.
While you observe the inability and accept yourself with it, at the same time know that it does not have to be so. There is another possibility that is right here and right there deep within you, if you know it without struggling for it.
If you calmly know of its existence without grabbing for it, without the spirit of “If I do not get it, I will perish,” then it will open itself up to you spontaneously without you doing a thing. The grabbing for it is a direct result of the inability to face your limitation in a constructive, healthy, realistic way.
If you face the inability of the moment, you will not have to grab, and you will at the same time know this inability does not have to be yours. Suddenly, when you least expect it, it will prove itself that there is no longer a limitation.
This also answers the question of how self-realization manifests in an individual. This is the way it is attained. This is the way it manifests. It is attained by the full acceptance of the moment, while knowing it does not have to have this limitation, while wanting to transcend this limitation without force, without struggle, without grasping. Then the spontaneous revelation of the limitless universe within will make itself known.