'The human astral bodies had still to receive a third impact. This
was brought down from Mercury. Christ united his sovereignty with
that of Lucifer. If one has the will to ascend the heights in order
to find the way to the Gods one needs Mercury, the Divine Messenger.
He is the one who prepared the path of Christ from the middle of the
Atlantean Root-Race onwards in order later to enter into the astral
bodies, which had received the mercurial element.
All our present metals have only gradually become what they are now.
Gold, silver, platinum and so on all pass through certain conditions.
When they are heated they become first hot, then liquid, then
gaseous. This latter was once the condition of all metals in the
Gold too first densified with the Earth: at one time it was entirely
etheric gold. When we go back to the time when the Earth was still
united with the Sun, there was as yet within it no solid gold. The
particles of the white Sun-Ether became first fluid and then solid.
These are the veins of gold which are now in the Earth.
Gold is solidified sunlight. Silver is solidified moonlight. All
mineral substances have gradually solidified. When human beings
become ever more spiritualised, quicksilver will also become solid.
At one time gold and silver formed drops just as water does now. The
fact that mercury is still fluid is connected with the whole process
of Earth evolution. It will become solid when the God Mercury has
fulfilled his mission.
In the middle of the Atlantean Root-Race quicksilver was brought down
from Mercury in etheric form. Had we not had quicksilver we should
not have had the Christ-Principle. In the drops of quicksilver we
have to see what was incorporated in the Earth in the middle of the
Foundations of Esotericism, Lecture xxv1
Berlin, 28th October 1905
Outlooks for the Future
From the lectures
"Significant Facts Pertaining to the Spiritual Life of the Middle of
the XIXth Century"
Lecture by Dr. Rudolf Steiner
Dornach, October 31st, November 1st and 7th, 1915
'Generally speaking, we may therefore say, if we wish to characterize
the human being: At the present time, man's physical body is
extremely rigid, but his etheric body is still mobile to some extent,
so that the etheric body still assumes forms in accordance with man's
In the case of an evil-minded person, it is therefore significant
indeed, it is to some extent a reality that outwardly his face may
only have a slight resemblance with a hyaena, whereas his etheric
body will have a far greater resemblance with a hyaena.
The etheric body is still changeable; it still possesses something
which allows it to be transformed. But even the etheric body is on
the way of growing rigid, like the physical body.
Just as the physical body has taken on rigid forms from the Atlantean
epoch onwards, up to our fifth post-Atlantean epoch, so will also the
etheric body take on more rigid, solid forms from the fifth post-
Atlantean epoch onwards, into the sixth epoch and on into the second
As a result and I have pointed this out in many lectures in the
etheric body, whose forms penetrate into the physical body, will
assert itself very strongly. We are now living in the fifth epoch of
the first post-Atlantean age; then come into the sixth and seventh
During the sixth and seventh epochs, the rigidity of the etheric body
will have a great influence upon the physical body and the physical
body will become a faithful copy of the etheric.
This will give rise to serious and important results. During the
sixth epoch of the post-Atlantean evolution of the earth, the human
beings will therefore be born with specially marked bodies, which
will express their inner moral qualities. We shall then be meeting
someone and we shall know what his moral constitution is like, for
his outward appearance shall reveal it.
In future, the MORAL physiognomy will be particularly conspicuous,
whereas all those marks which now characterize the human physiognomy
will be far less conspicuous.
The human physiognomy is now strongly dependent upon heredity: we
resemble our parents, our ancestors and bear the characteristics of
our race. But these things will have no meaning whatever during the
sixth epoch, our bodily form will then obtain its expression from the
series of our incarnations.
The human beings will differ very much from one another and their
features will be strongly marked. When we encounter somebody, we
shall then know exactly: This is a good person and that is an evil
one. Just as to-day we know that this is an Italian and that a
Frenchman etc., so we shall know in future that this is a good person
and that a bad one ... Of course, there will be many intermediary
stages of good and evil. The human countenance will thus more and
more express the moral qualities'.