WHERE AND WHEN?
Steiner says that the Ahrimanic incarnation will happen in the West in the Third Millennium. In his nomenclature “West” means primarily Britain and English-speaking America. There is ample reason to suspect that the destined place for this event is (North) America, for the effect of the American natural environment on the human body and soul especially favors Ahrimanic tendencies. According to Steiner’s insights, each of the various regions of the earth has its unique effect upon the human organism. In America, the Ahrimanic influence is strong, rising from the center of the earth, carried by electromagnetism. This strengthens the entity known to occultism as the human “double” or “Doppelgänger.” This Doppelgänger is an Ahrimanic soul-being with intelligence and will, but with no individual, spiritual ego, and tending to bind the human soul to the body, hardening human thinking, feeling, and willing. All Men have a Doppelgänger living in their nerve- electricity, infusing into their souls all sorts of degrading, depressing impulses, as well as instigating internal illnesses. (Electricity is the “sub- natural,” rigidifying shadow of soul forces.) The Ahrimanic tendencies in America are well known even to those whose perception is unenlivened by occult know-edge; American culture has long been famous for its violence and “hard-boiled” materialism, and its degeneracy and decadence.
These impulses are running amok in this world, more so all the time. They are, in fact, approaching a climax; they are preparations for the incarnation of Ahriman himself in a human body.
As to exactly when Ahriman’s incarnation will happen, Steiner (as far as I am aware) does not give a precise time. In at least one passage he seems to indicate the end of the Third Millennium; in other places he indicates the early part of that millennium. In many places he points to a great crisis at the end of the 20th century, even a “War of All against All,” when mankind might well “stand at the grave of civilization.” In any case, it seems highly likely that a major Ahrimanic onslaught—either the incarnation or birth of
Ahriman himself, or the advent of the “false prophet” of the Apocalypse, or some other attack—occurs around 1998 AD (approximately). To see why this is so, we need to do a few simple calculations, based on the occult principle of meaningful rhythms in history. (Let the skeptical reader be a true skeptic and suspend judgment, and take in the following discussion with a mind open to possibilities unsuspected by the materialistic mind.)
SOME OCCULT HISTORY
Unknown to history, but revealed by Steiner’s spiritual research, while the Incarnation of Christ was happening in Palestine another stupendous drama played out in Mexico. A high initiate of the negative Mysteries, the most advanced “black magician” in the world, had reached, by repeated ritual murders of an especially horrible kind, the threshold of knowledge of certain deep, cosmic secrets. This knowledge would have given him the ability, as was his intention, of achieving the Ahrimanic goals of completely rigidifying the earth, so as to draw it out of the progressive development toward the New Jupiter, and of binding human organisms as automata in that “slag” of the earth. He was thwarted in this intention by the incarnate high Sun-being “Vitzliputzli,” who caused the black magician to be crucified at the same time as the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ—a shattering reflection in the American continent of the Events in Palestine. (Since then the soul of this black magician has been held in a kind of “prison.”)
Recall that the Greco-Roman Epoch ran approximately 2160 years, from 747 BC to 1413 AD. The midpoint of this epoch was 1413 AD minus 2160/2 = 333 AD. Consider (as an hypothesis) the occult teaching that events in history occur at times that, as it were, reflect and balance the events equidistant in time from a midpoint. Taking 333 AD as the midpoint, the fulcrum of the balance, and on one side the Birth in Palestine, on the other side of the scales would be 333 AD + 333 = 666 AD. The big event, known to history, of the 7th century was the rise of Islam. Another event, not so famous but still known to history, was the transfer of ancient Greek philosophy (especially Aristotle’s works, probably including the lost work on alchemy) to the Academy of Jundi Sabur (near present-day Baghdad). Following the expulsion of the philosophers from Syrian Edessa in 489 AD and from Athens in 529 AD, the philosophers had found refuge in what was then the Persian Empire, and at that Academy they pursued their calling. Then this knowledge passed to the Islamic Arabs, and science of a particular bent
reached a high development under them, while Europe was in the “Dark Ages.” Only gradually, over many centuries, did this science pass over to Europe, where it developed into the modern scientific revolution. Again, the trend of modern science, as it has in fact developed, is Ahrimanic. The direct ancestor of scientific materialism was this Arabian science, which was itself derived from the Academy of Jundi Sabur. Thus, on the other side of the 333 AD midpoint from the Birth in Palestine was the rise of an active materialistic, anti-Christian worldview in Jundi Sabur.
Occult history (as given by Steiner) reveals how this came about: Sorat intended to approach physical manifestation in 666 AD at Jundi Sabur, and to bestow upon the philosophers there a super-human knowledge. This knowledge was to consist of everything that mankind, under the plan of the regular Gods, was to learn through its own efforts by the height of the present, Consciousness Soul Epoch. This epoch began in 1413 AD, so its midpoint will be 2493 AD. In other words, Sorat wanted to give to mankind, prematurely and without the requisite human effort and experience, the knowledge that would be right and healthy for mankind to achieve through work and evolution by the middle of the Third Millennium. The regular Gods’ plan for the Consciousness Soul Epoch is for mankind to acquire, through self-education and self-discipline, the free, conscious, individualized human personality. If the mankind of the 7th century had been given this advanced knowledge at that immature stage of development, when people could not think in full consciousness, the result would have been disastrous. Just consider how much evil mankind has done with the science we have acquired up to now, at our present stage of maturity (or immaturity), and then try to imagine what the relatively primitive people of the 7th century would have done with the science of 2493 AD. This picture is bad enough, but we need to recall Steiner’s occult insights to begin to get the whole picture. If Sorat had succeeded, we humans would have lost the possibility of developing our true nature, and would have become egotistic, animalistic automata, with no possibility of further development. We would have become earth-bound, and the Earth could never then pass over to the Jupiter, Venus, and Vulcan stages. The normal Gods’ plan would have been thwarted and Men could not become the Spirits of Freedom and Love. However, the rise of Islam thwarted this plan of Sorat. It is a deep, mysterious paradox that Islam, which was, and is, opposed to Christianity in many ways, also in effect worked jointly with the Christ-impulse in history, by blanketing, by “skimming the cream off,” this
Sorat-science, and by watering it down. Still, this science survived, and has worked on into the present day, but the worst was averted, for those times. The weakened Jundi Sabur impulse, as a distorted quasi-Aristotelianism, passed to the Arabs, over Africa and Spain, to France, England, and through the monasteries (e.g. Roger Bacon) back over to the Continent. The “Realism” of the Medieval scholastics (especially the revived Aristotelianism of Thomas Aquinas) opposed this Arabian influence, somewhat correctly seeing it as inimical to Christianity; but with the decline and decadence of Medieval Aristotelianism, and with the dawn of modern, anti-Aristotelian “empiricism” (e.g. Francis Bacon), the diluted, but still powerful, Sorat- science came to dominate world-culture.
A high initiate of the negative Mysteries, the most advanced “black magician” in the world, had reached, by repeated ritual murders of an especially horrible kind, the threshold of knowledge of certain deep, cosmic secrets.
The true spirit of this kind of scientism can be illustrated by a telling metaphor coined early in this epoch by scientism’s seminal spokesman, Francis Bacon. He said, pro-pounding scientific experimentalism, that we must put Nature on the rack and force Her to answer the questions we put to Her. This figure will speak volumes to those who meditate upon it: We, seeking information for whatever motives, are to torture the Goddess who gave us birth and nurture, so as to cause Her, through unbearable pain and injury, to blurt out secrets which She, in her wisdom, conceals from the impure and self-seeking. In much of so-called “physiological research” and “medical training” this is hardly even a metaphor; the torture unto death is quite literal. The usual victims are animals, but all too many “researchers” are not above using human “subjects” when they can get enough power over them. And even a slight whiff of occult knowledge shows us a deeper meaning: The central rite of “Satanism” or “black magic”—sometimes crude, sometimes sophisticated—is the deliberate, ritual torture and killing of animals and, at a more advanced level, of humans. When done in a precise way, this practice confers knowledge and power upon the practitioner; also, it affects the whole earth, hardening and rigidifying it, to the characteristic Ahrimanic purpose. Thus we can see the hordes of “researchers” and medical
students—who hurt, injure, and “sacrifice” animals—as undergoing an unconscious, Ahrimanic black magic initiation, which hardens, brutalizes, and Ahrimanizes their souls, and through them also the culture, and even the earth itself. (Sacrifice is the actual word they commonly use, not thinking which “god” they sacrifice unto.) Vivisection is truly the archetypal act of modern science as it is generally understood and practiced.
In contrast to our Baconian science, there does exist a lit-tie-known scientific trend, inaugurated by the German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. In the general culture he is known primarily as the author of Faust; but he was also a scientist, known for (if known at all) the prediction of the discovery of the intermaxillary bone in humans, or, less often, for his anti-Newtonian theory of color. His mode of scientific thinking was quite different from the Baconian-Ahrimanic mode, and likewise he illustrated it with a telling metaphor. He said (in paraphrase) that we must approach Nature as a reverent lover, and, perhaps, She will whisper to us Her intimate secrets. The contrast to Bacon’s metaphor could hardly be more stark. Also, the Goethean method of scientific investigation, in contrast to amoral experimentalism, is a method of self-improvement and self-development—reverent meditating upon the facts of experience, in the hope that they will speak. This scientific method has, of course, been all but buried under the Baconian-Ahrimanic avalanche, even in Goethe’s own country. And it was no mere accident that Steiner’s first professional appointment was to edit Goethe’s scientific writings, in the Goethe-Schiller Archive in Weimar. Steiner and his successors have developed and expanded the Goethean method to an amazing extent, giving us a reasonable hope for renewed life in our deadened, death-dealing scientific culture. Steiner too has been almost totally ignored by scientists in the West, slightly less so in Central Europe. Also, the practice of Goethean- Steinerean science has vast implications for the soul of the practitioner, as well as for the whole earth. Spiritual science sees soul and spirit in Nature, in a real, practical way, completely consistent with the “empirical” facts. It reverently approaches the scientific laboratory as a holy place, and the experiment as a sacrament, as a revelation of the Creator-Spirits through the sacred symbols of Nature. This is consistent only with the moral development of the scientist, and with the furtherance of the Gods’ plan of human and cosmic evolution.
The 666-year rhythm continued further; another period
ended in 1332 AD. Around this time (circa 1312) the cruel suppression of the Knights Templar began.
The 666-year rhythm continued further; another period ended in 1332 AD. Around this time (circa 1312) the cruel suppression of the Knights Templar began. Little is known to history of the true nature of the Templars, because of their secretive nature and the distortions passed to history by their triumphant enemies. But these Knights did cultivate an esoteric Christianity that, although somewhat flawed, had the potential of bringing about a more humane civilization in Europe. This possibility was thwarted by the power of the French King, Philip the Fair, and his allies in the Church. Philip, through the torture and killing of the Templars, and through the material inspiration from their looted gold, attained a kind of Ahrimanic initiation-knowledge, but he died soon thereafter. The Templars were either killed or driven underground, and Medieval culture declined until the Renaissance and Reformation. The Templar-impulse did continue underground, to pass over to the “Lodges,” especially York and Scottish Rite Freemasonry. These Lodges worked in opposition to Roman Catholicism (at least until the end of the 18th century, when Freemasonry and esoteric-political Catholicism united in opposition to Napoleon), but the esoteric content of Freemasonry became decadent and Ahrimanized. Nevertheless, many of the modern institutions of “liberal republican democracy” (such as freedom of speech, religion, and the press) are very largely due to the influence of Freemasonry, especially in the USA.
And, of course, another 666-year cycle ended around 1998 AD. As stated already, it is apparent that the Ahrimanic influence in culture is building to some kind of climax. Indeed, as is obvious to all with eyes to see, that civilization in the USA, despite (or because of) the triumphant march of technology, human culture and civilization are decaying (regardless of erstwhile “rising economic indicators”). It is an easy guess that the decades after 1998 AD are a propitious period for a major Ahrimanic manifestation: perhaps the appearance of Ahriman himself; or since 1998 = 3×666 years since the Birth of the body for the incarnation of Christ, perhaps the body was born which is to be the vehicle for Ahriman, possibly 30 years later; or perhaps some other major event, such as the advent of the “false prophet” of the Apocalypse.
(These are approximate times only; the outer effects of occult [=“hidden”] events may manifest only gradually. In 1998 we did not see newspaper headlines announcing a spectacular, “supernatural” event. But if we had been alive in 666 AD or 1332 AD neither would we have likely been informed by the then contemporary analogues of headlines that any major, “supernatural” events had occurred. Those manifestations of evil did not fully succeed according to the “plan”; other influences intervened and moderated the outcomes. The occult machinations were hardly known to the public. Such may also be true in the present: the actual course of events depends on many contending forces, and upon the consciousness and will of Men; and the crux of the struggle will likely be hidden [“occult”] to the wide public. We will live and/or die in the outer effects of the occult causes, as uncomprehending [most of us, probably] as is usual in social cataclysms. This essay is an attempt to lessen the incomprehension, and to lighten the mental atmosphere of this planet, even a little. Surely, as “thoughts are things,” even a slight change in consciousness can influence physical events in the right direction.)