Looking Both Ways
This page — like several pages that follow it —
was originally created for use on a different website.
I have edited these pages for use here.
Rudolf Steiner claimed to be clairvoyant. The “discoveries” he made using his supposed psychic powers are astonishing. Here's a fine example:
Steiner cast his psychic gaze back into the dimmest reaches of mankind's ancient past and forward into the brightest glories of our distant future. A distillation of Steiner's views has been offered by devout Anthroposophist Richard Seddon, in a slim volume titled THE FUTURE OF HUMANITY AND THE EARTH AS FORESEEN BY RUDOLF STEINER.  I propose now — here and on the following pages — to use Seddon's book as a sort of guide through Steiner’s fantasies, with special emphasis on the vistas beckoning us from the far future. What lies ahead may surprise you. 
Seddon buzzes lightly over the 21st and 22nd centuries; his guide to the future essentially begins with the century #23. So let's cast our minds forward to that coming era. 
Seddon writes that Steiner foresaw the following:
I know, I know.
Not as exciting as you expected? Sorry.
But here’s some of what Seddon/Steiner were getting at. Michael is a really good guy: an Archangel, which means he is a benevolent god standing two spiritual stages higher than human beings. (See Steiner’s book THE ARCHANGEL MICHAEL: His Mission and Ours.) Michael has special authority over events occurring on the Sun (he, like Christ the Sun God, is essentially a Sun spirit), but he also has temporary authority over our lives on Earth. He is a warrior Archangel who has fought to protect us from the demonic spirit called Ahriman. [See "Ahriman".] Thus, for instance, in 1879, Michael managed to defeat Ahriman and his hordes on the Moon, casting them downward. [See "Michael".] Michael will gradually relinquish his various protective duties over us, but in a real sense we will be able to survive and evolve only thanks to the strenuous steps he has taken on our behalf.
Seddon alludes to some of the evolutionary effects overseen by Michael when tells us that "human etheric bodies gradually loosen from the physical, and souls begin to extricate themselves....” In Anthroposophical belief, real human beings have four bodies, three of which are invisible.
The lowest of our invisible bodies is the "etheric body," which is an envelope of formative forces. Today, in the 21st century, our etheric bodies are still tightly bound to our physical bodies, but in the future, as we evolve, our etheric bodies will free themselves from our physical bodies. Before long, we won't need physical bodies at all. Part of this process will be the freeing of our souls from the toils of material existence ("souls begin to extricate themselves..."). All of this lies ahead, but not so very far ahead, just a matter of a few ticks on the cosmic clock, really.
Things, of course, will shake out differently for people who are not really human. Some people are demonic or subhuman, according to Seddon/Steiner.  Wicked subhumans, of course, will not evolve upward alongside good, full-fledged humans. Indeed, the process of evolution frequently requires lowly, backward, or evil beings to be separated out and left behind.
Seddon/Steiner tell us that the animals and plants we see around us today are, by and large, examples of this process. Long ago, the souls of animals and plants stood at the same evolutionary level as ourselves, but they were unable to evolve further, so we left them behind. Plants are beings who could not even evolve to the level of animals; we left them behind long ago. Animals are beings who could evolve further than plants, but they could not keep up with us beyond the animal level, so we left them behind also. The general lineup of "beings" on the physical plane of existence includes minerals (which have physical bodies but nothing higher), plants (which have both physical and etheric bodies), animals (which have physical, etheric, and astral bodies), and humans (who have physical, etheric, astral, and ego bodies). Thus, for instance:
But we're getting sidetracked. (I'm stalling, a little, because we are approaching some very nasty stuff.)
Past, present, and future are bound up with the processes of karma and reincarnation. [See "Karma" and "Reincarnation".] Basically, you get what you deserve. If you were wicked in one life, you will have to make amends in a future life. Or, if you fail to make amends, you may slip backward, becoming less evolved. Or, as we have seen, you may be kicked out of evolution and get left behind like a plant or an animal. This helps explain the existence of subhumans on the Earth today, along with the continued existence of "lower" races. 
Steiner taught that there are multiple races on the Earth today because demons interfered with human evolution. The good gods such as Michael wanted all humans to evolve together at the same pace. Thus, long ago, all humans stood at a single, rather low level of development. The gods' plan was for us to ascend to higher stages as a unified human family. Advancing uniformly, we would all develop from lowly racial forms to higher racial forms. There would be only one race on the Earth at any one time. During one phase of evolution, we would all be members of Race X. Then during the next stage of evolution, we would all be members of Race Y. And so on. (In Theosophy, from which Steiner borrowed heavily, the large, progressive racial forms of humanity are called Root Races. [To investigate Theosophy as it influenced Steiner, see "Basics".])
So. All humans should have evolved together, rising from lowly racial forms to higher racial forms. But two demons interfered in this divinely ordained process. One of these demons was Ahriman, whom we have already met. The other was Lucifer. [See "Lucifer".] These demons caused older, lower racial forms to continue existing alongside higher, more evolved types:
In the future, Steiner said, the interference of Lucifer and Ahriman will be overcome and all humans will again be a single, unified group. [See "Love and the Universal Human".] But the story of human evolution thus far is inextricably entwined in our racial histories, Steiner taught. We have been evolving from lower races to higher races as we approach the human ideal:
That's the future we will glimpse on coming pages: the ideal future in which we finally attain true spiritual freedom. Getting there will not be easy, however. Even when we have evolved far, far ahead, there will still be some aberrant souls among us who will need to be cast off and left behind so that the rest and best of us can keep ascending.
Here's a preview. After our lives on Earth during the current stage of the solar system's development, we will evolve to a higher condition called Future Jupiter. That, in turn, will be followed by a still higher stage called Future Venus, which will eventually lead us to the gloriously elevated stage called Future Vulcan.
The climb toward Future Vulcan will be long and demanding, and as we approach our goal, the last remaining low, backward, aberrant souls among us will be cast off. They will be relegated to a cosmic penal colony, an irreclaimable or unredeemable moon. Only good humans, who evolve properly, will make it to Vulcan:
So. Welcome to the future.
Here are a few more glimpses ahead. (I have mainly quoted Steiner up to this point. I'll turn to Seddon now.)
The proper way to develop clairvoyance, of course, is to follow Rudolf Steiner's instructions. [See "Knowing the Worlds".] Only then can mankind truly support Michael in his battles against the Spirits of Darkness — perverse, rebellious, malicious demons.
Fortunately, Michael will prevail and Ahriman will be thwarted.
The "reasoning" advocated by Steiner is not truly reasoning at all — it is not the "intellectual" or "scientific" thinking promoted by Ahriman. Steiner generally opposed the rational use of the brain. [See "Thinking" and "Steiner's Specific".] Anthroposophic "reasoning" is emotional, subjective, and "clairvoyant." It occurs not in the brain but in "organs of clairvoyance" such as the "the two-petal lotus flower" (a chakra) located in the forehead. [See "Inside Scoop".] As "living thoughts," Anthroposophical thinking will actually reform nature and its phenomena. [See "If Only".]
But despite Michael's best efforts, strife will continue. The Antichrist (or a version of the Antichrist) will step forth, and Ahriman will threaten a terrible spiritual overthrow of all that is good.
Many of the terms Seddon uses here are likely to be unfamiliar to you, I fear. But we will work at correcting this as we proceed. In the meantime, you may want into dip into The Brief Waldorf / Steiner Encyclopedia, from time to time. There, you may learn, for instance, that the Post-Atlantean Epoch is the period on Earth following the sinking of Atlantis. It is the period we live in now. It began in the eighth millennium BC, and it will extend to approximately the year 7900 AD, when it will culminate in the horrific War of All Against All. [See "All vs. All".]
— Roger Rawlings
We’ll pick up the story in “Oriphiel”.
On subsequent pages,
we’ll move progressively farther
into the future,
and then branch out to other topics.
Detail, Rudolf Steiner portrait
I will walk you through the book,
but I encourage you to get your own copy.
It is a condensed and startling presentation
of Steiner's doctrines.
Steiner's racial teachings comprise one of the worst sectors of his ideology. His followers today should openly and decisively reject these teachings. The problem for Steiner's followers, however, is that the concept of humanity's rise through racial forms lies near the heart of Anthroposophy. This concept cannot be surgically removed, as it were, without leaving a gaping hole. A related problem is that Anthroposophy rests primarily on the belief that Rudolf Steiner truly was clairvoyant — he saw how things truly are. So, if his followers were now to say that Steiner was wrong about one important subject — race — they would open the possibility that he could have been wrong about other important subjects, too. But for them, this is virtually unthinkable. It would undermine their entire belief system.
Christ is the leading figure in Anthroposophy
(Christ as reinterpreted by Steiner, that is).
Yet many of Steiner's doctrines come
from quite unchristian sources.
Hinduism is crucially important,
supplying such concepts as
polytheism and reincarnation.
Why do I call this page "Prehistory 101"
when Seddon's book is about the future?
Seddon takes as a given, a premise,
Steiner's account of the past.
Everything Seddon says about the future
depends upon Steiner's account of the past.
Up to this point, we have looked ahead.
Let's pause, now, to look back.
Much of the rest of this page
will sketch humanity's past,
according to Steiner.
Here is an item from the Waldorf Watch "news" page:
“If you recall the teachings of Spiritual Science on the subject of the education of the child you will know that in the first seven-year period of life, between birth and the change of teeth, man develops principally the physical body ... [T]his is really a recapitulation of what man underwent on Old Saturn ... The second of the seven-year periods from the ages of seven to fourteen...is a recapitulation of what man underwent on Old Sun ... The third seven-year period covers the years between fifteen and twenty-one. During this period man recapitulates the development of the astral body that normally belongs to the Old Moon epoch.”
— Rudolf Steiner, THE MISSION OF THE FOLK SOULS (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2005), p. 68.
• ◊◊ •
Waldorf schooling has only a tangential connection with the real world and real knowledge about the real world. Much if not all of what happens in Waldorf schools is keyed to bizarre occult doctrines.
Allow me to try, in as few words as possible, to explain the Waldorf conception of humanity’s past. Thus far in our long, mystic history, we have evolved through three “Conditions of Consciousness” or “Planetary Stages” — i.e., major evolutionary phases — which are named for "planets" (Old Saturn, Old Sun, Old Moon). We became progressively more physical at each stage, and now on Earth we are about as densely physical as possible. In the future, we will become less and less physical and more and more spiritual as we evolve through additional Conditions of Consciousness (Future Jupiter, Future Venus, Future Vulcan, and beyond).
Each Condition of Consciousness contains seven Conditions of Life, each of which contains seven Stages of Form, each of which contains seven Epochs, each of which contains seven Ages. (The terms vary from Condition to Condition, but the pattern does not.*) As we move along through these stages and sub-stages, we repeatedly recapitulate — in altered form — the stages and sub-stages we passed through previously. Cumulatively, we progress, although certainly not in a straight line. We sharpen our capacities, and develop new capacities, as we go, so that in the future we may rise to higher and higher states of perfection.
In our current Earth Condition of Consciousness we are now in the fourth Condition of Life, the Mineral Condition (very densely physical indeed). Like all the other Conditions of Life, the Mineral Condition contains Stages of Form ranging from (stage #1) Higher Spiritland to (stage #7) the Archetypal Stage of Higher Spiritland (a recapitulation of stage #1 with improvements).
We are presently in the Physical Stage of Form (very very densely physical indeed indeed) — stage #4. There are or will be seven Epochs or Great Epochs in this Stage of Form. So far we have passed through the Polarian, Hyperborean, Lemurian, and Atlantean Epochs. We are currently in the Post-Atlantean Epoch (i.e., the period following the sinking of Atlantis — yes, Atlantis).
Each Epoch consists of (you guessed it) seven sub-epochs. In our Post-Atlantean Epoch, these sub-epochs are called Cultural Ages or Cultural Epochs. Our current Cultural Epoch — known as the Anglo-Germanic Age, or simply as the Present — falls between the Greco-Roman and the Russian Cultural Epochs. (Don't worry — the Russian Age will be followed by the American Age.)
Cultural Epochs are divided into fairly brief (350-year) periods, which in turn are divided into very brief (33-year) cycles. (The math doesn't quite work out, but let it go.) Each condition and epoch and period along the way is presided over by various gods, and during each condition, epoch, and period we spin through repetitions (with improvements) of all the prior conditions and epochs and periods.
OK? Got it? Few Waldorf teachers will lay out much of this for the students, at least not openly. But this is what devout Waldorf teachers believe and, directly or indirectly, it informs almost all of their work. [If you’d like more information on all of this imaginary history — which Anthroposophists take for reality — see, e.g., “Matters of Form” and “Everything”. “Steiner Static” and “The Brief Waldorf / Steiner Encyclopedia” are also, I hope, informative.]
* Different labels may apply to some of these subdivisions in some macro-devisions. We can be a little loose in our terminology, since all of this is fantasy.
The prehistoric events described by Steiner are difficult or impossible to date in terms of time as we now know it. Note, also, that some of the final prehistoric events overlap early stages of the subsequent historical period.
• In what is to us an unknowable mystery, the Beginning occurs as a free act of divine will
• After dissolution, the solar system reincarnates as Old Sun; we exist at a level akin to plants as we now know them; our consciousness is akin to deep sleep; Spirits of Wisdom (gods six levels beyond ourselves) yield their life-substance, which will become our etheric bodies; the beings we now know as Archangels (Spirits of Fire, Agnishvattas, Solar Pitris...) evolve to their human stage; higher beings — other gods — evolve still higher
• After dissolution, the solar system reincarnates as Old Moon; we exist at a level akin to animals as we now know them; our consciousness is akin to dreaming; Spirits of Motion (gods five levels beyond us) yield their astral substance, which will become our astral bodies; the beings we now know as Angels (Sons of Twilight, Sons of Life, Lunar Pitris...) evolve to their human stage; higher beings — other gods— evolve still higher
• After dissolution, the solar system reincarnates as Present Earth (our fourth condition of consciousness); we evolve to reach our human stage, and our consciousness develops to the level of ordinary waking awareness; "physical reality" develops; we move toward extreme separation from the spirit realm; the planets and other members of the solar system as we know them now gradually develop; the beings who had been human during Old Moon evolve to become gods of the lowest rank; higher gods evolve still higher
• The first great epoch of Present Earth, occultly denominated the Polarian Epoch, occurs; the Sun and Moon are still united with the planet Earth; we have incorporeal, gossamer bodies
• The Sun separates from the planet Earth, and the second great epoch of Present Earth — the Hyperborean Epoch — occurs; we have airy bodies
• The Lemurian Epoch occurs — we dwell on the continent of Lemuria; the Moon separates from the planet Earth; we have iridescent, soft, animal-like bodies; many human souls leave the Earth for other planets; Lemuria is eventually destroyed by human wickedness
• The Atlantean Epoch occurs — we dwell on the continent of Atlantis; we develop the physical body, which will evolve to become the human form as we now know it; human souls that left for other planets return to Earth
Early Historical Period
Some of the following events, described by Steiner, overlap some of the later phases of the prehistoric period, and some may overlap one another. Steiner gave clear dates in some instances, but not in others.
• ~ 48,000 BCE - Krita Yuga, the "golden age," begins: human beings live essentially in harmonic union with the spirit realm
• ~ 28,000 BCE - Treta Yuga, the "silver age," begins: still a glorious time, but human ties to the spirit realm weaken
• ~ 13,000 BCE - Dvapara Yuga, the "bronze age," begins: human spiritual vision is dimmed, ties to the physical world increase
• ~ 7500 BCE - Atlantis is destroyed by human wickedness; the Post-Atlantean Epoch is prepared
• ~ 7227-5067 BCE - The Ancient Indian cultural epoch (the first post-Atlantean epoch) occurs; mankind develops the etheric body
• 5067-2907 BCE - The Ancient Persian cultural epoch occurs; mankind develops the astral body
• ~ 3000 BCE - Kali Yuga, the "dark age," begins: men directly experience only the physical realm
• 2907-747 BCE - The Egypto-Chaldean cultural epoch occurs; mankind develops the sentient soul
• 747 BCE - 1413 CE - The Greco-Roman cultural epoch occurs; mankind develops the intellectual soul; rational thought becomes possible
• ~ 30 CE - the Sun God, Christ, incarnates on Earth for three years; this is the Turning Point of Time, the event that makes correct future human evolution possible; at the end of three years, Christ's human body is crucified and his blood flows into the Earth
• 1413 CE - The fifth post-Atlantean cultural epoch (sometimes called the Anglo-Germanic Age) begins, ushering in the modern world; mankind develops the consciousness soul
• ~ 1471 CE - The Archangel Gabriel becomes Time Archangel for the next ~ 350 years
• 1605 CE - Buddha incarnates on Mars; he achieves crucifixion there
• 1861 CE - Rudolf Steiner is born
• 1879 CE - Michael defeats Ahrimanic powers in the spirit realm, and he ejects them; he becomes Time Archangel for the next ~ 350 years; Rudolf Steiner meets the man who will give him his first of two occult initiations; later he meets "M" who gives him his second
• 1899 CE - Kali Yuga, the "dark age," ends as Rudolf Steiner begins his occult teachings
"Evolution is found to proceed in various 'layers' of time ... Each layer is sevenfold ... [T]he first and last stages are really transitional, so only five show significant progress ... Real knowledge can only reach back to...the Saturn condition, when a loving, courageous sacrifice of their substance by exalted, already existing beings known as Thrones of Spirits of Will engendered a warmth of soul, which later manifested in...primitive bodies of mere warmth, precursors of our physical bodies ... During the Sun condition the Spirits of Wisdom bestowed their substance, the origin of our etheric bodies ... During the Moon condition, through the gift of the Spirits of Motion of their astral substance...our astral bodies originated...." — Richard Seddon, THE FUTURE OF HUMANITY AND THE EARTH AS FORESEEN BY RUDOLF STEINER, pp. 8-9.
"Only with the fourth, central epoch known as Atlantis can one speak of human races, but these were at first still soft and animal-like, without a solid skeleton (hence the 'missing link') ... Meanwhile the reptiles of the Jurassic...trod the still living, malleable earth." — Richard Seddon, THE FUTURE OF HUMANITY AND THE EARTH AS FORESEEN BY RUDOLF STEINER, p. 11.
A map of Atlantis
(utterly imaginary, of course).
— Rudolf Steiner,
BLACKBOARD DRAWINGS 1919-1924
(Rudolf Steiner Press, 2003), pp. 130-131.
[My sketch of Steiner's sketch,
shown in the book;
Steiner arranged the figures horizontally;
I have put them vertically.
Plausibility is unaffected.]
Here you see, in schematic form, the beginning of the Archangel Michael's reign. The horizontal line separates the astral plane (above) and the physical world (below). The arc from the left represents the reign of Gabriel, which ended in 1879. The arc to the right is Michael's reign, beginning in that year. Trouble, though: Mammon poked his snout in at about the same time.
In case the forgoing left any doubt, here's a clarification on one point:
The small band to whom Michael radiates esoteric wisdom is, of course, the small group to whom Steiner delivered "esoteric lessons": initiated Anthroposophists.
Re. a stage in Earth's history
long predating Atlantis:
To gaze deeper into humanity's past
(as described by Steiner), see
To sneak a peek into the future, see
The tone of several pages here and elsewhere on this site is distinctly one of mockery. This must offend some readers, for which I'm genuinely sorry. I don't expect to convert any Anthroposophists to my point of view, but I hope I may offer some insight that will prove helpful to many other readers. Having lived with Steiner's teachings, in one way or another, for most of my life, I can honestly say that they strike me as absurd. We can laugh or weep. I choose to laugh. I urge you to join me.
We will proceed, now, to study the future.
If you want to jump the gun,
you can find an outline of our entire evolution
— past and future —in the final section of
For Steiner's view on abnormality,
please use this link: "Abnormal".
Quotations there also bear on quack medicine,
human freedom, the central position of
humans in the cosmos,
and the temperaments of nations.
For a statement about the identity of individuals
quoted and paraphrased at Waldorf Watch,
The real world is okay. Really.
We don't need phantasmagoric alternatives
such as Steiner's.
[R. R., 2004.]
To visit other pages in this section of Waldorf Watch,
use the underlined links, below.
◊◊◊ 11. THE WALDORF WORLDVIEW ◊◊◊
Some illustrations on each page here at Waldorf Watch
are closely connected to the essay on that page;
others are not — they provide general context.
 Rudolf Steiner, RUDOLF STEINER SPEAKS TO THE BRITISH (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1998), p. 93. The beings who moved were not humans such as we are now. In Steinerspeak, “human” applies to any spiritual being passing through a particular stage (the “human” stage) of evolution. Various beings — now gods — passed through the human stage before we entered that stage, according to Steiner.
At this website, I mock and deplore Rudolf Steiner's teachings. But all of my references to Steiner's works are accurate. I am serious about the malignancy of Steiner's doctrines, and I take my obligations as a critic seriously. If you have any doubts, I invite you to look up each citation. You'll find each is accurate. Why would I change Steiner's words? They constitute the most powerful argument against him.
My references to Richard Seddon's work are also accurate. You could look it up.
For a concise summary of Steiner's take on our prehistory, see Gary Lachman's RUDOLF STEINER (Jeremy P. Tauchman / Penguin, 2007), pp. 143-147. To go straight to the horse's mouth, re. both past and future, see Rudolf Steiner, OCCULT SCIENCE - AN OUTLINE (Anthroposophic Press, 1969). A neat summation of both past and future, Steinerwise, can be found in Geoffrey Ahern's SUN AT MIDNIGHT (James Clarke & Co., 2009), pp. 122-139.
 The past is surprising, too. According to Steiner, one of the most important events in mankind's history was the sinking of Atlantis. Yes, Steiner taught that Atlantis actually existed. Steiner also talked a lot about past human evolution. He didn't mean the sort of evolution science describes; he meant a weird kind of racial and “spiritual” progress made by good humans. (Bad humans are something else, as we'll soon see.) He said that humanity made great evolutionary strides both before and after Atlantis went under. He also taught that long before Atlantis was destroyed, another lost continent, Lemuria, endured a similar catastrophe. (See Steiner’s books ATLANTIS: The Fate of a Lost Land and Its Secret Knowledge, and ATLANTIS AND LEMURIA.)
 Richard Seddon, THE FUTURE OF HUMANITY AND THE EARTH AS FORESEEN BY RUDOLF STEINER (The Temple Lodge, 2002).
 For a glimpse of what has happened, or is happening, or will happen before the 23rd Century (especially before the end of the 20th), see "Millennium".
 Ibid., p. 26.
 “Imagine what people would say if they heard that we say there are people who are not human beings. Nevertheless, these are facts.” — Rudolf Steiner, FACULTY MEETINGS WITH RUDOLF STEINER (Anthroposophic Press, 1998), p. 650. Non-human humans may be automatons or demons in disguise, Steiner said; they may have etheric and astral bodies, but they lack the third nonphysical human body, the “I”; they may lose their souls, fall through the floor or evolution, and become "subordinate nature spirits."
 Rudolf Steiner, COLOUR (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1996), p. 19.
 Bear in mind, please, that I am expressing Steiner's views, not my own. See "Steiner's Racism".
 Rudolf Steiner, THE UNIVERSAL HUMAN: The Evolution of Individuality (Anthroposophic Press, 1990), p. 75.
 Rudolf Steiner, KNOWLEDGE OF THE HIGHER WORLDS AND ITS ATTAINMENT (Anthroposophic Press, 1944), p. 149.
 Rudolf Steiner, AN OUTLINE OF ESOTERIC SCIENCE (Anthroposophic Press, 1997). p. 394.
 THE FUTURE OF HUMANITY AND THE EARTH AS FORESEEN BY RUDOLF STEINER, p. 27.
 Ibid., pp. 27-28.
 Ibid., p. 29.