This page comprises one section of
Do not confuse Old Moon
with the Moon.
Old Moon was a period in time;
Moon is a place in the sky.
As you may recall, our first stage of evolution occurred on/during Old Saturn, and our second stage unfolded during/on Old Sun. In a rhythmic fashion, our solar system emerged from nonphysicality into physical existence (manvantara) as "Saturn," and then it subsided (pralaya); then it reemerged as "Sun," and then it sank from view again.* During the manvantara phases — which we might call periods of manifestation — our ancient predecessors (us, in our earliest incarnations) began their crawl upward toward becoming the fine specimens of humanity we are today.
During Old Saturn, we were little more than eggs of warmth, but we began developing our physical bodies, although our consciousness was no higher than utter dullness. We existed at an essentially mineral level (on an evolutionary scale that goes from mineral to plant to animal to human). After Old Saturn sank back out of existence, Old Sun eventually manifested. During Old Sun, we became airy creatures and we began developing our etheric bodies (the first of three invisible bodies we would develop). Our consciousness rose to the equivalent of deep slumber, and we were, in effect, plants or plant-men. Another pralaya followed Old Sun, and then eventually the next manifestation occurred in the form of Old Moon, which I will now describe.
During our Old Moon phase, we gained the first primordial version of our astral bodies (the second of our invisible bodies), our consciousness rose to the level of dreaming sleep, and we became animal-men. Our chief assistants on/during Old Moon were the Sons of Life, aka Spirits of Twilight, aka Angels (gods one level above us). But, as during previous manvantaras, other gods also pitched in.
* Manvantara and pralaya are sanskrit terms used in Theosophy. Steiner used them early in his occult career, but later he tended to drop them. Manvantara means coming into existence or activity, and pralaya means subsiding or melting away. More or less. Bear in mind that the "physical" conditions that prevailed during all phases prior to the present were quite different from what we know now. "Saturn," in the sense meant here, is not the planet Saturn we see in the sky today. It is Old Saturn, the first incarnation of the solar system, the first mega-stage of our evolution. "Sun" is Old Sun, the second incarnation of the solar system, the second mega stage of our evolution.
67) [Bodying Up]
* For a list of types of gods, see "Polytheism". For a discussion of our invisible bodies, see "Incarnation". For an overview of other portions of the human constitution, such as spirit self, see "Our Parts".
68) [The Sun Splits]
In brief, the Sun split off and took with it various higher beings. Left on the Moon were lower beings and substances, including you and me as we existed then, as animal-men. We were all together in a nebulous cloud which was the Old Moon, containing what would become our present Earth and Moon. On Old Moon, after the Sun left, everything got denser and harder — that is, more physical: This was preparation for becoming even more physical and descending to our very, very physical earthly existence now. Following the departure of the Sun, we could receive the Sun's influence only externally, no longer internally. We moved over the face of the Moon like lice.
69) [The Sun Returns] The departure of the Sun was reversed, as it were, when everything collapsed in the post-Old Moon pralaya, but the split would recur. There's a neat chart on p. 357 of THE TEMPLE LEGEND (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1997) that gives at least a general sense of it all (albeit some of the terminology is Theosophical; Steiner changed to different terms for some things later).
[THE TEMPLE LEGEND (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1997), p. 357.]
We are evolving left to right along each of these scales. At the risk of repeating myself, briefly: We have lived "on" Old Saturn, Old Sun, and Old Moon, and now we are "on" Present Earth. (This can get a bit confusing. "Earth" is the planet we live on, but "Present Earth" is the period of evolution we are now going through. The planet Earth existed, in various forms, as part of Old Saturn, Old Sun, and Old Moon, just as the "planets" Saturn, Sun, and Moon exist now, during Present Earth. OK?) At present, during Present Earth, we live in the Mineral Kingdom. (That is, we have not yet become fully human — we are still very densely physical or mineral. We will evolve upward to the Human Kingdom.) Within the Mineral Kingdom, we are presently incarnated in the Physical-Etheric State. (That is, at present we are largely defined by our physical and etheric bodies. This is often called simply the Physical State or the Physical State of Form. We will evolve higher.) Within the Physical-Etheric State, we currently live in the Present Great Epoch. (We left the continent of Atlantis and now we live in the world as we know it now. This is often called the Post-Atlantean Epoch.) Within the Present Great Epoch, we are currently in the Present Cultural Epoch. (Cultural Epochs are far shorter than Great Epochs; there are seven Cultural Epochs in one Great Epoch. Our present Cultural Epoch is sometimes called the Anglo-Germanic Age; the coming Sixth Cultural Epoch is sometimes called the Russian Age; the Seventh Cultural Epoch — the last one in our Great Epoch, which will culminate in the cataclysmic War of All Against All — is sometimes called the American Age. Survivors of the War of All Against All will evolve to the Sixth Great Epoch.) OK?
69a) [Lucifer Rises] Returning to the past: During Old Moon, certain rebellious spirits separated themselves from the good spirits of the Sun. (When the Sun separated from the rest of the unified mass of Old Moon, the rebellious spirits stayed on Old Moon rather than accompanying the better spirits to the Sun.) The rebels were Lucifer and his cohorts. Their rebellion benefited humanity, because it created a distinct differentiation between good and evil. This would enable humans to become free (we would have the power to choose between good and evil). But Lucifer and his minions also represented a great danger to us (they might lure us into evil), and their efforts to tempt and mislead us would continue long after Old Moon ended. (The Sun separated from the rest of the solar system during Old Moon. Later, the Moon would separate from the "Earth" — that is, it would separate from the solar system having Earth at its spiritual center.)
* For more on Lucifer, see "Lucifer". Concerning the Anthroposophical conception of freedom, see "Freedom". For more on the white and black paths, see "White-Black". Concerning Concerning the Anthroposophical conception of evil, see the entry for "evil" in the Brief Waldorf / Steiner Encyclopedia.
70) [Good Ol' Lucifer] Because Lucifer gave us the gift of potential freedom, Anthroposophists often speak of him as a good god. But note that Steiner says Lucifer also brought us "the possibility of error, of evil.” Heeding Lucifer is dangerous. We may be led into evil, in which case we may descend into states of being that are almost too awful to contemplate.
Evil is a very real force in Steiner's cosmology, even though his followers sometimes deny it. Lucifer if an "adversary." He may lead us to "error" or "evil." Specifically, he may lead us into the "abyss." According to Steiner, the abyss is akin to hell — it is the region separating us from the spirit realm. If we fall into it, we may be forever cut off from spirituality. Bear in mind, however, the Lucifer is not our only adversary.
70a): "[T]here is also an opposing principle to the Lamb [Christ], there is also a Sun-Demon [the Antichrist], the so-called Demon of the Sun, that works with the evil forces of man, thrusting back the force of the Lamb, and it works in such a way that a certain part of the human race is trust out of the evolution that leads to the sun [i.e., evil people become subhuman; they cannot enter the realm of Christ, the Sun God] ... [They will] be thrown out of our evolution when the 666 conditions of development have passed away; they will then be finally cast into the abyss.” — Rudolf Steiner, THE APOCALYPSE OF ST. JOHN (Anthroposophic Press, 1993), p. 198.
* See the entry for "abyss" in the Brief Waldorf / Steiner Encyclopedia; also see "Hell". Concerning our evil adversaries, see "Evil Ones" and "Bad, Badder, Baddest". According to Steiner, evolution always entails the process of separating the good or high from the evil or low. See, e.g., Steiner Static quotation #57.
71) [A Future Moon] In discussing the Moon, and Old Moon, and the fate of evil humans, we should leap far ahead for just one moment. Following our lives during Present Earth, we will evolve to Future Jupiter, then Future Venus, and then Future Vulcan. [See "Future Stages".] Aberrant humans will be dropped off or pushed out at various stages, although often the good humans will reach back in an effort to redeem the wicked. Eventually, a more or less complete separation between the good and evil will occur during Future Venus. The good will continue evolving — they will go on to Future Vulcan. But the evil will be split off to reside in a moon created to serve as their penal colony.
You may be asking yourself how Steiner knew all this, and — more to the point — why so many Waldorf teachers believe all this. But maybe we shouldn't ask. It can be disillusioning. (The answer is clairvoyance, dreams, astrology, and so forth. Delusion. Fantasy. Imagination.)
After Old Moon, we evolved to Present Earth. We'll pick up the story in a future installment.
SEVEN PLANETARY CONDITIONS
or CONDITIONS OF CONSCIOUSNESS:
INCARNATIONS OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM
◊ 1. Old Saturn ◊ ◊ 7. Future Vulcan ◊
◊ 2. Old Sun ◊ ◊ 6. Future Venus ◊
◊ 3. Old Moon ◊ ◊ 5. Future Jupiter ◊
◊ 4. Present Earth ◊....
These are the seven mega-stages of our evolution, according to Steiner. (He sometimes said there will be five more after Future Vulcan, but he didn't describe them.) As the solar system evolves from one incarnation to the next, we evolve from one form of consciousness to the next. Along the way, we dwell "on" the successive "planets" (i.e., we live at the focal point of the solar system as it exists then). [See the entries for "incarnations of the solar system", "conditions of consciousness", and "planetary conditions" in the Brief Waldorf / Steiner Encyclopedia.] Our evolution from Old Saturn to Present Earth is, in a sense, a descent, in that we become more densely physical at each stage. But thereafter we reascend toward greater and higher spirituality.