Steiner repeatedly pointed to the turn of the Millennium as a time of crisis. (As is the turn of every millennium: every 1000 years Lucifer and Ahriman work together with special power.) Also, the Dutch Anthroposophist Bernard Lievegoed, in his deathbed testament, made the following remarks:

A cynic might say that these predictions allow for plenty of “wiggle room” for the incarnation of Ahriman: 1998 to the first part of the new millennium, or even the end of this millennium. I will concede that the predicted time is not very precise, but I believe nevertheless that it is highly likely that this incarnation will manifest in the next few years to half-century or century. And even without occult insight, one who observes the present social/cultural decline can hardly avoid seeing some kind of wrenching changes approaching.

“From indications by Rudolf Steiner, we have to assume that in the year 1998 Ahriman will play an important role … it is a part of the development of the earth and of mankind that Ahriman will at one time be on earth in a physical body. In lectures, Rudolf Steiner has mentioned a time in the third millennium: ‘before even a part of the third millennium after Christ has

passed’. However, he said at a meeting of young people in Breslau, that Ahriman will do everything in his power to advance this moment as much as he can. Steiner then mentions the year 1998. It will depend on all of mankind together whether Ahriman will succeed in this or not Whether

he will succeed in this will depend on the question whether there will be enough people who see through his designs…. In 1916 Rudolf Steiner said that at the beginning of the 21st century, evil will appear in a form which at that time [1916] could not yet be described…. My estimate is that the nadir of this battle will fall around the years 2020 to 2040. Then the abyss of the demons will open. National Socialism and Bolshevism will pale in comparison with this. Millions of people will perish.” [The Battle for the Soul; pp. 98-113]

Again, it is not certain that Ahriman’s incarnation will be immediately known to the public: Steiner warns that Ahriman wants mankind to be unconscious of his true nature and to see his advent as progressive and good for human welfare. Says Steiner: “If Ahriman were able to slink into a humanity unaware of his coming, that would gladden him most of all. It is for this reason that the occurrences and trends in which Ahriman is working for his future incarnation must be brought to light.” Ahriman will establish a (possibly secret) school for powerful “magic” arts and clairvoyance. The technical applications of this highly intelligent spirit will indeed look like “magic” to us, even as advanced as we might consider our science to be—for Ahriman’s understanding is not limited by the crude materialism he foists upon mankind. And the clairvoyance bestowed upon Ahriman’s pupils will be effortless, not won through the long preparation of soul-purification and self- discipline of legitimate occultism. It will give spirit-vision, but the visions will be subjective and deceptive; people will see differing, conflicting visions of the soul/spirit worlds, and will fall into confusion and conflict. Ahriman- in-the-flesh will be an overwhelmingly powerful and impressive figure, when he reveals himself. And it seems probable that, as the Father of Lies, he will present himself as that which he is most certainly not: Christ, in His Second Coming. And again, it is America, where many religious people are expecting the Second Coming in a physical body, which will be especially susceptible to Ahriman’s deceptions. It is entirely possible that they who cling to the Gospels with a superficially literalistic interpretation closed to occult insight will be the very people who will be the false Christ’s followers.

In 1916 Rudolf Steiner said that at the beginning of the 21st century, evil will appear in a form which at that time [1916] could not yet be described.

THE TRUE SECOND COMING

Another tremendous revelation from Steiner’s spiritual science concerns the true nature of the Second Coming of Christ. Steiner was adamant that the physical incarnation of Christ can happen once and only once. “Just as a pair of scales can have only one balancing-point, so in Earth evolution the event of Golgatha can take place only once.” The amazing fact is that the Second Coming is happening now, but that most of mankind is unaware of it. (Actually, the term “second coming” is not in the New Testament; the Greek word is parousia, meaning roughly “active presence.” It was this “presence” that Saul/Paul experienced on the road to Damascus; Paul being mankind’s “premature birth” of the coming new experience of Christ. Parousia was translated into Latin as adventus, which means arrival, thus helping to give rise to the expectation of a physical arrival of Christ. The original Greek term seems in consonance with Steiner’s explanation. See Emil Bock’s St. Paul.) In fact, it is the driving force behind the “apocalyptic” convulsions and struggles of our time. For, as the picture is given in the Apocalypse of John, the bottomless pit is opened, Michael casts the dragon and his hosts onto the earth, the vials of wrath are poured out, and Babylon is overthrown—all in preparation for Christ’s triumph that brings the New Heaven and New Earth. Most of us are unaware of this present Second Coming because it is not happening in the visible, material world, but in the “ethereal” region of the Earth. “Ethereal” means the system of “formative forces,” bordering on the physical, that raise inert matter to the realm of the living. Plants, animals, and humans all have ethereal, formative-force “bodies,” and when the ethereal body forsakes the physical body, the physical body becomes ordinary matter; in other words, it dies. The earth, being the body of a living Being, also has a formative-force body, the “ethereal earth.” These ethereal forces manifest especially in weather phenomena, such as cloud formation. (It is a false, Ahrimanic science that sees cloud formation as a merely material process of evaporation and condensation of “water molecules”; this is rather a process of de-materialization and re-materialization through the workings of the ethers.)

With these concepts, we can see new meaning in the Bible verses concerning

the Ascension and Return of Christ. “… [A] cloud received him out of their sight” (Acts 1;9) seems to be saying that Christ ascended into the ethereal, formative-force region of the earth. And the statement that He “…so shall come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1;11) seems to say that He shall return from the ethereal regions: “Behold he cometh with clouds….” (Rev. 1;7) Steiner’s assertion that Christ shall not come again in the flesh seems to be in consonance with the Bible: “Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not…. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth; behold he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.” (Matt. XXIV;23,26) On the contrary, the Second Coming shall be a tremendous event, not limited to a particular location: “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so also shall the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matt. XXIV; 27) The ethereal is super-physical, not bound by the laws of material space; Christ’s appearance in the ethereal earth is everywhere-at-once. And since the ethereal is super-physical, some degree of super-physical vision, or “clairvoyance,” is needed to see into it. Few people at the present stage of evolution have that kind of clairvoyance, and some may have it only sporadically. But the Second Coming is only at its beginning; true clairvoyance (as opposed to the deceptive Ahrimanic clairvoyance) will reveal to consciousness the ethereal Christ in the centuries to come. Ahriman dreads human consciousness of the ethereal Christ, and fights against it. It is essential for us to grasp the fact that he who shall come in the flesh is not Christ, but Ahriman: “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders ” (Matt. XXIV; 24)

It is America, where many religious people are expecting the Second Coming in a physical body, which will be especially susceptible to Ahriman’s deceptions.

Steiner revealed the occult notion that since the beginning of the present reign of the Sun-Archangel Michael as the Time Spirit in 1879 AD, the human ethereal body is becoming less closely bound to the physical body, thus opening the possibility of new clairvoyance. 1933 AD (two 950-year cycles of the precession of the nodes of Saturn since the Crucifixion and Resurrection in 33 AD) would have been an especially propitious time for the beginning of widespread perception of the ethereal Christ. But this was hindered by the rise to power of Hitler—one expression of Sorat himself

“rising from the Abyss”—and by the many convulsions and distractions around the same time in earth-life. What was hindered in 1933 might again become propitious around 2000-2100 AD (a reflection of the calling of Abraham around 2000-2100 BC). We may speculate that Ahriman and Sorat will oppose this new Christ-consciousness by even more horrendous hindrances.

THE OCCULT MEANING OF THE COMPUTER

A very interesting theory (by David B. Black) interprets the progressive mechanization of culture not only as an Ahrimanic influence, but as the actual “macrocosmic incarnation” of Ahriman: This is being brought to completion through the development of the electronic computer. Black traces the milestones in the evolution of the computer as reflections of the spiritual events in the heavens. For example, in the 1840s, around the time of Jehovah’s abandonment of human blood-bound thinking to Ahriman, Boolean algebra was developed. The year 1879—the time of Michael’s accession as Time Spirit and the final expulsion of the “dragon” onto earth—saw the publication of Frege’s Begriffschrift, a great milestone in the development of “formal logic”: the separation of logic from the spiritual “Word.” Also in 1879: Edison invented the electric light (light is separated from the sun and plunged into the “sub-earthly”: “Electricity is Ahrimanic ‘light”’); Trotsky and Stalin were born; Merganthaler invented the Linotype machine; Bessemer introduced the hard-steel process; and the US Census Bureau hired Herman Hollerith, who developed the first large-scale punched-card tabulating machine. The Christ’s “coming in the clouds” was reflected on earth in the early 1930s by the publication of Gödel’s “incompleteness theorem,” which demonstrated that a truly-thinking machine is impossible, but which also led to the development of “recursion theory,” which is the essential conceptual framework for “artificial intelligence” and “artificial life.” Also in 1930, by a fortuitous comedy of errors, the planet Pluto was discovered. Pluto, of course, is the god of the underworld, and the discovery of “his” planet was a synchronistic harbinger of the unleashing of the sub- material “powers of the pit” upon earth: later transits of Saturn and Uranus to Pluto’s discovery position marked the bombing of Hiroshima and the explosion of the first H-bomb.

As is well known, the development of the electronic computer proceeded exponentially, from von Neumann’s development of the “stored program” to

the desktop and the laptop. A lesser-known development was the “Josephson effect,” which allows the construction of semi-conductors from superconducting materials. Thus, electrical circuits can operate without “Luciferic” heat, and Ahriman, whose nature is “freezing cold,” can completely enter into electrical devices. As superconducting computers become more common, Ahrimanic beings higher than “elementals” might actually incarnate in them, since no physical energy is consumed in a superconducting circuit. (Ahrimanic “elemental spirits” inhabit our artificial machines, just as normal “elementals” [or “nature spirits”: gnomes, undines, sylphs, salamanders] work in and throughout the living processes of Nature.) Black sums up: “Sunless light and Wordless logic intertwined, and out of them came the computer.” Thus, while Ahriman incarnates “microcosmically” in a human body, we might also face the “macrocosmic” literal incarnation of Ahriman in our machines.

AN EVOLUTIONARY LEAP

The incarnation of high spiritual beings in human bodies has the special significance that new possibilities for human development are opened up, because, as it were, the way is cleared by these high-spiritual-beings-in-the- flesh being the first to accomplish these developments. Lucifer was the first to use the organs of intellect. Christ was the first to redeem the “fallen” death-prone human body with the Resurrection Body. Likewise, Ahriman-in- the-flesh will try to inaugurate a new human capacity, for his own ends: he wishes to bring the shadowy, brain-bound, semi-conscious, clever Ahrimanic “thinking” into the human ethereal body. This would be an especially evil development if it is carried into the average human organism. It is normal and healthy, at the present stage of human evolution, for the human ethereal body to dissolve into the wide cosmos in the days immediately following death (after “one’s whole life passes before one’s eyes”). Afterwards the human soul-and-spirit entity rises to higher regions, where it is purified and prepared for a new earth-life. But materialism in the earth-life hardens the ethereal body so that it does not dissolve, but remains near the earth for a longer time, while the dead human entity serves Ahriman. Only slowly and in unconsciousness do such dead spirits enter the spirit-worlds to prepare for a new incarnation. Ahriman wishes to be the first to so harden the ethereal body so that it becomes the vehicle of automatic, intellectual thinking- devoid-of-will, and thus to make it possible to keep human ethereal bodies

permanently in the region of the earth. Then the earth would become so hardened that it would not pass over to the Jupiter Age, and humans would become clever, animalistic, ghostly, earth-bound creatures. The Gods’ plan for human and earthly evolution would be thwarted. Steiner put it this way: “Ahriman works against the word ‘Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.’ He wills that the words shall be thrown away, that heaven and earth shall continue on.” Here we can get a glimpse into the motives of the sophisticated “Satanists” or “black magicians.” Ahriman’s acolytes seek a kind of “immortality” in the slag-earth-surrounded-with-Old- Moon-forces, but an immortality with egotistic, earthly consciousness instead of the cosmic consciousness of the individualized spiritual Ego.

The regular Gods intend that in the present epoch people should indeed think free of the physical brain, but with free, conscious, self-created thinking. This development would gradually open the possibility of the reintegration of mankind into the spiritual cosmos, and further the passing of the earth over to the New Jupiter. Mankind could eventually rise to the rank of Spirits of Freedom and Love, and not sink to the level of earth-bound, animalistic, clever automata. To put it mildly: a lot is at stake here.

Today it is essential that more of this wisdom become generally known, if human culture is not to succumb to Ahriman.

TURNING EVIL TO GOOD

But Ahriman’s incarnation need not be an evil event, as he wishes it to be. This incarnation is necessary in human and earthly evolution, and it can be turned toward the good, if mankind meets it in the right way: On the mundane level, we can remedy Ahrimanic tedium in the work-life and the intellectual life, by filling them with warm, Luciferic enthusiasm, by finding what is interesting in them, by getting ourselves interested in objective, impersonal facts and processes. On the psychological level, we can remedy Luciferic subjectivity and fiery emotionalism by observing ourselves coolly, as we would an external natural process.