Archival Starman ("Ahriman and Lucifer: and the Dual Nature of Evil")
Ahriman and Lucifer:
and the Dual Nature of Evil
FIRST OF ALL, we should always keep in mind that the opposing powers work together, so that there is never a purely Ahrimanic or purely Luciferic influence. Secondly, since a science must work on objective principles, we should remember the characterization of each: the evidence of the operation of Luciferic beings is to increase egotism, to encourage the illusion of self-sufficiency, and stimulate the feeling that there is no need to pay attention to the body or the material world, that you by your thinking and wishing can do everything. They stimulate the inner consciousness to an extreme. (The "New Thought" movement of the 1800s and its descendants like Unity, Science of Mind, Course in Miracles etc., where people believe their thinking creates the reality around them, all those kind of philosophies are under the influence of Lucifer. The philosophy is not untrue but taken to an extreme.)
The opposite extreme is our modern science which says that there is only the material world and your material body, and your consciousness is completely created and explained by your material brain. The Ahrimanic spirits encourage every kind of thinking where the outer world has a fixed reality apart from your self. The evidence of their operation is materialism, heavily condensed thinking, where things are just as they are and your thinking and wishing can't change them.
Since they are much more powerful than the Luciferic (being of the class of fallen Archangels where Lucifer is only a fallen Ange), the materialistic influence is over everything in our time, even Luciferic people. So, for instance, the materialism of Karl Marx is completely Ahrimanic--- Lenin even had the face of Ahriman from Steiner's statue, as I've pointed out previously--- but it took a powerful Luciferic personality like Stalin to make it work in the Soviet Union, with his personality cult built around himself. On the other side in World War II was a completely Luciferic movement, Naziism, based on fantasy and the principle of following one powerful personality (the Fuehrerprinzip), but it had to make use of a modern industrial state and the material world. The former was Ahrmanic-Luciferic, while the latter was Luciferic-Ahrimanic.
Most New Age movements are Luciferic, that is, consist of fantasy, wishing, dreaming, and the belief that the inner self is all you need. It was also the case with the old Theosophical Society, and Steiner had to battle that in order to get people grounded and able to accomplish anything. This was because so many people in that movement were into Eastern religious practices, which were all tainted by Lucifer when he incarnated about 3000 B.C. in the East. This is why they had the one-sided teaching of "Maya", that the outside world didn't actually exist. (It's unfortunate that many people attracted to Anthroposophy don't appreciate the great difference between it and these other new age things and still follow greatly unbalanced paths.)
Most religions in our time have become influenced by Lucifer, in other words, don't deal with external reality as science does but rather, feeling secretly discredited by science, cede all actual knowledge of the outside world to science, while retreating into the inner world and claiming authority there. Steiner referred many times to this dualism in speaking, for instance, of the Jesuits and their harmful influence.
But as I said, even if things are Luciferic in our age, they are only so within an over-arching Ahrimanic coloring, so to speak. As William James put it when commenting on a group of philosophers who met and decided that there is no external reality, they still left by the door and not the window; the Luciferic Hitler needed German industrialism and the Ploesi oilfields, etc., to achieve his fantasy. While religions are generally Luciferic, they also always have an Ahrimanic side, which is revealed by the degree they are rigid and unbending, believing in fate or destiny like Calvinism, or in laws which have been given and are fixed forever in a book. Roman Catholicism thus is Ahrimanic with its refusal to go past the dead letter to the actual Spirit itself, where most Protestant denominations have broken away from that to a greater or lesser degree. When you go away from the Ahrimanic pole, by degrees you begin to approach the Luciferic one, and this is shown by how much importance the philosophy or religion places on the individual. Orthodox Judaism with its Torah is Ahrimanic, where reformed Judaism has broken free and gotten a little more balance.
Now, Steiner has taught us clearly that there is no divine dictator over the world, that we can be free beings. A religion that believes that what human beings must do is submit to the "will" of anin imaginary divine dictator, that being free and following your own will is evil--- and that in addition believes that all truth was given out centuries ago and is all contained in one book---shows to anyone who has any perception of Ahriman that it is under his influence.
[The same is true, by the way, for Marxism, which is just another form of fundamentalist religion like any other. It believes that all individuals must submit to its imaginary higher authority, which in its case is the government, and that exercising their freedom is evil, and that all truth was given out (by Saint Karl and Archbishop Vladimir) long ago and is unchangeable. Within Marxist movements, you can find powerful Luciferic personalities, but the philosophy itself is wholly materialistic.]
United States is indeed Ahrimanic, as is all of Western civilization---in fact all civilization--- in our present time. It believes in the existence of the material world, quite the opposite of Luciferic fantasy. The U.S. was created by merchants, and mercantile people have become powerful in our time because we have become more and more Ahrimanic as the time approaches for his incarnation. But a truly Ahrimanic society is one that places no value on the individual, sees the world as fated and ruled by iron law---as the Soviet Union was, and as the Islamic imams would make theirs by forcing everyone to live under Shar'ia (Islamic law). Within America, instead, we have a Hollywood, where Ahrimanic machinery of light, sound and electricity converts fantasy images into a whole Luciferic world. We have all the Luciferic religions and new age movements (which would be exterminated under the absolute rule of Ahriman, as they were in the Communist and Islamic worlds). We have a philosophy of freedom of the individual (ditto). We have a free market economy instead of a "command economy" dictated by the government. Any individual who wishes to become an entrepreneur can start any venture. Nothing like this would be found in any truly Ahrimanic social order.
So we could say that all modern governments by easily influenced by the Ahrmanic beings--- being rigid, mechanical things working by regulations--- but that in Western civilization, there has arisen a counterbalancing pole of respecting the freedom of the individual, which is the result of the Christ redeeming Lucifer. All the old Eastern ways of thinking which fear and loathe the individual ego, do not experience this working of the Christ. And it's undeniable that Islam is an Eastern-oriented religion, one which does not see the central working on the Christ, but rather whose founder makes him into just another prophet, just as the old Theosophists did and many other New Age movements still do.
I would say that Islam, like communism, is heavily influenced by Ahriman, but so is the whole world: the difference is that in some places in this world, the counter-balancing influence of Lucifer through Christ is allowed to work. This working is what we call Western civilization, and it's no accident that Steiner was born into it in order to start Anthroposophy. It could only have been started in the Christian world. This counter-balancing influence is not found in the Islamic world.
Thus, modern industrial civilization is Ahrimanic, and rigid religion is Ahrimanic, but within that, in some places, a state of balance is being kept by a healthy working of the opposite pole, while in others Ahriman rules completely. Islam as practiced in Turkey is in a relative state of balance-- but in the rest of the Islamic world it is wholly Ahrimanic. (Steiner even talked about this in relation to the personalities in the middle ages that incarnated at the court of Haroun al Rashid, that the Arab learning was used by the opposing powers to increase materialism: he himself, in his former incarnation as Thomas Aquinas, prevented it from spreading west and corrupting Western civilization.) In America, Ahriman encourages materialism, but the opposite pole and the working of the Christ is very, very strong---thank God.
Happy Palm Sunday.
copyright © 2003 by Dr. Starman. All rights reserved.