Anthroposophical Guidelines The Future of Humanity and Michael's Activity
The Future of Humanity and Michael's Activity
At this stage of his evolution, what is man's relation to Michael and his collaborators?
Man stands within a world which was once totally of divine-spiritual essence, to which he also belonged. At that time the world to which man belonged was divine-spiritual being. During a following stage of evolution this was no longer the case. Then it was the cosmic revelation of the divine-spiritual, and its being hovered behind this revelation. But it was in motion and lived in that revelation. A star-world already existed. The divine-spiritual lived in its brilliance and motion it as revelation. One can say: where a star stood or moved, the activity of the divine-spiritual could be seen.
In all this: how the divine spirit worked in the cosmos, how man's life was a result of a divine-spiritual act in the cosmos Michael was there, unopposed in his own element. He mediated the relationship of the divine to humanity.
Other times came. The star-world no longer directly contained divine-spiritual activity. It lived and moved persisting in the continuation of what it had previously contained. The divine-spiritual no longer lived in the cosmos as revelation, but now only as the effectiveness of its acts. A clear differentiation appeared between the divine-spiritual and the cosmic. Michael, because of his own nature, remained with the divine-spiritual. He tried to keep humanity as close as possible to this element. He has continued to do so. He wanted to protect humanity from living too intensely in a world which is only the effect of the divine-spiritual, but not its being, and not revelation.
Michael finds it deeply satisfying that he has been able, through humanity, to keep the star-world directly united with the divine-spiritual in the following way. When a human being, once he has completed the life between death and a rebirth, again treads the path towards a new earthly existence, he seeks to create a certain harmony between the star patterns and his earthly life as he descends to this existence. This harmony was self-evidently present in older times because the divine-spiritual was active in the stars, in which human life also had its source. Today though, when the movement of the stars merely continues the effects of divine-spiritual activity, it will not be there if man does not seek it. Man brings the divine-spiritual elements he has retained from older times into a relation with the stars, which themselves contain only the aftereffects of the past. Thus a divine element enters into man's relation to the world which corresponds to earlier times, yet emerges in later times. That this is so is Michael's deed. And this deed gives him such deep satisfaction that a part of his life-element, his life-energy, his living sun-filled will is contained in this satisfaction.
But today, when he directs his spiritual eye toward the earth, he sees a quite different situation. During his life in the physical realm between birth and death, man is immersed in a world which no longer shows the effects of the divine-spiritual, but only what remains of these effects; one can say that what remains is only the divine-spiritual's works. These works are completely divine-spiritual in their forms. The divine shows itself to human vision in the form of natural phenomena; but it is no longer an enlivening element in these phenomena. Nature is a divine work and is everywhere a reflection of divine activity.
Man lives in this sun-filled divine, but not actively living divine world. However, as a result of Michael's effect on him, he has retained his connection with the essence of the divine-spiritual. He lives as a being who is permeated by God in a world which is not permeated by God.
To this God-vacated world man will bring what is in him what his being has become in the present age.
Humanity will continue to develop in the evolution of the world. The divine-spiritual from which humanity originates can radiate through the cosmos which only exists at present in the image of the divine-spiritual as a cosmically proliferating humanity.
The being which was once cosmos will no longer be the one which now radiates through humanity. In its progression through humanity, the divine-spiritual will experience a being which it had not previously revealed.
The Ahrimanic powers are opposed to this evolutionary progression. They do not want the original divine-spiritual powers to illumine the universe in its progression; they want the cosmic intellectuality which they have absorbed to radiate through the entire new cosmos and that humanity continue to live in this intellectualized ahrimanic cosmos.
By living in this way man would lose Christ. For he has entered the world with an intellectuality which once existed totally in the divine-spiritual, when it was still, in its essence, shaping the cosmos. If we speak today in a way that makes our thoughts also those of Christ, we place something in opposition to the Ahrimanic powers that protects us from succumbing to them.
To understand the sense of the Michael-mission in the cosmos means to speak in this way. One must be able to speak today about nature as the consciousness soul evolutionary stage demands. One must absorb the purely natural scientific way of thinking. But one should also learn to speak about nature meaning to feel in a way which is appropriate to Christ. We should not learn the Christ-language merely about the redemption of nature, not merely about souls and divinity, but about the cosmos.
We will be able to maintain our connection with the primordial divine-spiritual and understand how to cultivate the Christ-language about the cosmos, if we completely, with all our hearts, adjust ourselves to the acts of Michael and his collaborators among us. For to understand Michael means to find the way to the logos, the Christ who lives on the earth among men.
Anthroposophy correctly values what the natural scientific way of thinking has learned about the world over the past four to five hundred years, and speaks of it. But it also speaks about the nature of man, about the evolution of man and the cosmos; anthroposophy wishes to speak the language of Christ-Michael.
Both languages will then be spoken and evolution will not be defeated and succumb to the Ahrimanic before finding the divine-spiritual. To speak merely in the natural-scientific way corresponds to the separation of intellectuality from the original divine-spiritual. It can succumb to the Ahrimanic if Michael's mission is ignored. It will not succumb if the liberated intellect rediscovers itself through the force of Michael's example in the primordial cosmic intellectuality, which lies at the source of humanity and has appeared within the human domain through Christ after it abandoned man in order that his freedom could be realized.
Goetheanum, October 25 , 1924
(Translated by Frank Thomas Smith, http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/anthroposophy_world/ )
THE ACTIVITY OF MICHAEL AND THE FUTURE OF MANKIND
How does man stand today in his present stage of evolution with respect to Michael and his hosts?
Man is surrounded today by a world which was once of a wholly divine-spiritual nature divine-spiritual being of which he also was a member. Thus at that time the world belonging to man was a world of divine-spiritual being. But this was no longer so in a later stage of evolution. The world had then become a cosmic manifestation of the Divine Spiritual; the Divine Being hovered behind the manifestation. Nevertheless, the Divine-Spiritual lived and moved in all that was thus manifested. A world of stars was already there, in the light and movement of which the Divine-Spiritual lived and moved and manifested itself One may say that at that time, in the position or movement of a star, the activity of the Divine and Spiritual was directly evident.
And in all this in the working of the Divine Spirit in the Cosmos, and in the life of man resulting from this divine activity Michael was as yet in his own element unhindered, unresisted. The adjustment of the relation between the Divine and the Human was in his hands.
But other ages dawned. The world of the stars ceased to be a direct and present manifestation of Divine-Spiritual activity. The constellations lived and moved, maintaining what the Divine activity had been in them in the past. The Divine-Spiritual dwelt in the Cosmos in manifestation no longer, but in the manner of its working only. There was now a certain distinct separation between the Divine Spiritual and the cosmic World. Michael, by virtue of his own nature, adhered to the Divine-Spiritual, and endeavoured to keep mankind as closely as possible in touch with it.
This he continued to do, more and more. His will was to preserve man from living too intensely in a world which represents only the Working of the Divine and Spiritual which is not the real Being, nor its Manifestation.
It is a deep source of satisfaction to Michael that through man himself he has succeeded in keeping the world of the stars in direct union with the Divine and Spiritual. For when man, having fulfilled his life between death and a new birth, enters on the way to a new Earth-life, in his descent he seeks to establish a harmony between the course of the stars and his coming life on Earth. In olden times this harmony existed as a matter of course, because the Divine-Spiritual was active in the stars, where human life too had its source. But today, when `the course of the stars is only a continuing of the manner in which the Divine-Spiritual worked in the past, this harmony could not exist unless man sought it. Man brings his divine-spiritual portion which he has preserved from the past into relation with the stars, which now only bear their divine-spiritual nature within them as an after-working from an earlier time.
In this way there comes into man's relation to the world something of the Divine, which corresponds to former ages and yet appears in these later times. That this is so, is the deed of Michael. And this deed gives him such deep satisfaction that in it he finds a portion of his very life, a portion of his sun-like, living energy.
But at the present time, when Michael directs his spiritual eyes to the Earth, he sees another fact as well very different from the above. During his physical life between birth and death man has a world around him in which even the Working of the Divine-Spiritual no longer appears directly, but only something which has remained over as its result; we may describe it by saying it is only the accomplished Work of the Divine-Spiritual. This accomplished Work, in all its forms, is essentially of a Divine and Spiritual kind. To human vision the Divine is manifested in the forms and in the processes of Nature; but it is no longer indwelling as a living principle. Nature is this divinely accomplished work of God; Nature everywhere around us is an image of the Divine Working.
In this world of sun-like Divine glory, but no longer livingly Divine, man dwells. Yet as a result of Michael's working upon him man has maintained his connection with the essential Being of the Divine and Spiritual. He lives as a being permeated by God in a world that is no longer permeated by God.
Into this world that has become empty of God, man will carry what is in him what his being has become in this present age.
Humanity will evolve into a new world-evolution. The Divine and Spiritual from which man originates can become the cosmically expanding Human Being, radiating with a new light through the Cosmos which now exists only as an image of the Divine and Spiritual.
The Divine Being which will thus shine forth through Humanity will no longer be the same Divine Being which was once the Cosmos. In its passage through Humanity the Divine-Spiritual will come to a realisation of Being which it could not manifest before.
The Ahrimanic Powers try to prevent evolution from taking the course here described. It is not their will that the original Divine-Spiritual Powers should illumine the Universe in its further course. They want the cosmic intellectuality which they themselves have absorbed to radiate through the whole of the new Cosmos, and in this intellectualised and Ahrimanised Cosmos they want man to live on.
Were he to live such a life man would lose Christ. For Christ came into the world with an Intellectuality that is still of the very same essence as once lived in the Divine Spiritual, when the Divine-Spiritual in its own Being still informed the Cosmos. But if at the present time we speak in such a manner that our thoughts can also be the thoughts of Christ, we set over against the Ahrimanic Powers something which can save us from succumbing to them.
To understand the meaning of Michael's mission in the Cosmos is to be able to speak in this way. In the present time we must be able to speak of Nature in the way demanded by the evolutionary stage of the Consciousness Soul or Spiritual Soul. We must be able to receive into ourselves the purely natural-scientific way of thinking. But we ought also to learn to feel and speak about Nature in a way that is according to Christ. We ought to learn the Christ-Language not only about redemption from Nature, about the soul and things Divine but about the things of the Cosmos.
When with inward, heartfelt feeling we realise the mission and the deeds of Michael and those belonging to him, when we enter into all that they are in our midst, then we shall be able to maintain our human connection with the Divine and Spiritual origin, and understand how to cultivate the Christ Language about the Cosmos. For to understand Michael is to find the way in our time to the Logos, as lived by Christ here on Earth and among men.
Anthroposophy truly values what the natural-scientific way of thinking has learned to say about the world during the last four or five centuries. But in addition to this language it speaks another, about the nature of man, about his evolution and that of the Cosmos; for it would fain speak the language of Christ and Michael.
If both these languages are spoken it will not be possible for evolution to be broken off or to pass over to Ahriman before the original Divine-Spiritual is found. To speak only in the natural-scientific way corresponds to the separation of intellectuality from the original Divine and Spiritual. This can indeed lead over into the Ahrimanic realm if Michael's mission remains unobserved. But it will not do so if through the power of Michael's example the intellect which has become free finds itself again in the original cosmic intellectuality, which has separated from man and become objective to him. For that cosmic intellectuality lies in the original source of man, and it appeared in Christ in full reality of being within the sphere of humanity, after it had left man for a time so that he might unfold his freedom.