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Let's conclude the story of humanity's past, as described by Steiner. To remind you, we evolved through Old Saturn, Old Sun, and Old Moon before arriving at Present Earth. Here on Earth, we lived through the Polarian Epoch, the Hyperborean Epoch, and then the Lemurian Epoch. [See the prior sections of Steiner Static titled "Old Saturn", "Old Sun", "Old Moon", "Present Earth", and "Lemuria". We evolved through many sub-stages during all of the stages of our evolution, including during Present Earth, but we needn't go into all of them now.] 

When Lemuria was destroyed by volcanic explosions (our fault), we moved to Atlantis.


◊ 1. Polarian Epoch ◊                    ◊ 7. Epoch of Trumpets ◊

◊ 2. Hyperborean ◊              ◊ 6. Epoch of Seals ◊

◊ 3. Lemurian ◊     ◊ 5. Post-Atlantean ◊

◊ 4. Atlantean ◊....

These are the major periods of our life 
"on" Earth, in a manner of speaking.
They are called Great Epochs.
Having evolved through the Polarian, Hyperborean, 
and Lemurian Great Epochs,
we incarnated into our lives 
on the continent of Atlantis.

I'll describe Atlantis, as per Steiner, momentarily. But first, let's ask how much evidence we can find to support Steiner's narrative of human history. For that matter, what evidence did Steiner himself offer to support his assertions? The answers is: None. We can find none, and he provided none. Zero. Zilch. Steiner made up his account of the past, every bit of it. He fantasized. (Or, to be more precise, he borrowed most of his account from Theosophy and other occult systems, which themselves are based on no firm evidence whatever. Zero. Zilch.) Of course, Steiner claimed that he used exact clairvoyance to discover all the things he described. If clairvoyance existed, we might find this persuasive. But it doesn't. (That is, the evidence for its existence hovers in the vicinity of zero. Zilch. [See "Clairvoyance".])

Science has reams of evidence supporting the standard, scientific descriptions of cosmic and human history. Virtually nothing that we actually know about the real world and the real universe supports Steiner. This is particularly striking in the cases of Lemuria and Atlantis, the two “lost continents” that we supposedly lived on. The ruins of these physical realms should still exist somewhere under the ocean. Steiner said where each continent was: Lemuria, south of Asia; Atlantis, east of Gibraltar. So finding the ruins should be easy enough. Indeed, expeditions have been mounted to find them. They found nothing. Zero. Zilch.

Oh, well. Moving on: 

Steiner taught that a small part of the Lemurian population — the superior part, the most capable of evolving properly — left Lemuria and settled on Atlantis. If the gods’ original plan had worked out, humans would have received the Christ Impulse there, and we would have ascended the evolutionary ladder all that must faster. But Lucifer fouled things up for us on Lemuria, and Ahriman (the arch-demon of Zoroastrianism) played a similar, subversive role on Atlantis. Both of these demons [see "Lucifer" and "Ahriman"] held us back.

Still, life on Atlantis was pleasant, at least for a while. We had flying automobiles and attractive wooden houses. Spiritual wisdom flourished, and everything looked pretty bright. But with Ahriman working his mischief, things eventually went awry. Human initiates (people possessing occult spiritual knowledge) became corrupt, and Atlantis was destroyed. Our fault.

120) [How the Atlanteans Lived] The people of Atlantis had a highly developed technology, but unlike ours it was based on “the life force.” [See the entry for "life force" term in the Brief Waldorf / Steiner Encyclopedia.] Steiner points out that, of course, none of this information can be known by modern humans or modern science, because we depend on our senses and brains. (Hence zero, zilch.) But he assures us that everything he says is “quite certain for occult experience” — that is, clairvoyance nails down all of this information: 

“While the power to think logically was absent among the Atlanteans (especially the earlier ones), in their highly developed memory they possessed something which gave a special character to everything they did ... Memory is closer to the deeper natural basis of man than reason, and in connection with it other powers were developed which were still closer to those of subordinate natural beings [low-level embodiments of natural forces] than are contemporary human powers. Thus the Atlanteans could control what one calls the life force. As today one extracts the energy of heat from coal and transforms it into motive power for our means of locomotion, the Atlanteans knew how to put the germinal energy of organisms into the service of their technology ... The vehicles of the Atlanteans, which floated a short distance above the ground, traveled at a height lower than that of the mountain ranges of the Atlantean period, and they had steering mechanisms by the aid of which they could rise above these mountain ranges ... Today, the above-mentioned vehicles of the Atlanteans would be totally useless. Their usefulness depended on the fact that then the cover of air which envelops the earth was much denser than at present ... The above-mentioned density of air is as certain for occult experience as any fact of today given by the senses can be.” — Rudolf Steiner, COSMIC MEMORY (Anthroposophic Press, 1987), pp. 42-44.

121) [The Gods] The Atlanteans knew various pagan gods as well as we today know our neighbors. Gods descended to Earth during the Atlantis period, when the Earth’s atmosphere was more watery than it is today — they walked among us in semi-aquatic human form. But later, when we developed more solid bodies, the gods backed off. 

“Already in Atlantis we meet beings [i.e., gods] who were among men as our fellows are today ... [M]an learned to know Thor, Zeus, Wotan, Baldur [i.e., gods] as actual companions ... When man still lived in the water-fog atmosphere...incarnations were possible for [some gods]. Such a figure was the later Wotan [i.e., the Norse god later known as Odin], for example. He said to himself, ‘If man incarnates in this fluid matter, then I can also.’ Such a being assumed a human form and moved about in the physical world. But as the earth condensed and man took on ever denser forms, Wotan said, ‘No, I shall not go into this dense matter.’ Then he remained in invisible worlds, in worlds removed from the earth.” — Rudolf Steiner, EGYPTIAN MYTHS AND MYSTERIES (Anthroposophic Press, 1971), p. 140. For more on gods who descended to Earth, see "Avatars". 

122) [Unmasking Wotan] Incidentally, you may be interested to learn: 

“The same being who was called Wotan in the Germanic myths, appeared again [i.e., later] as Buddha.” — Rudolf Steiner, EGYPTIAN MYTHS AND MYSTERIES, p. 141.

123) [Initiates] The population of Atlantis included occult initiates, who gained their secret knowledge in special occult schools. Steiner’s description of the Atlantean initiates can be applied to Steiner himself and to his followers: 

“[T]the initiates and their schools...are [or were] in advance of the stage of development of their period [i.e., they were more highly evolved than everyone else]. For admission into such schools, the decisive factor is not age, but whether in his previous incarnations the applicant has acquired the faculties for receiving higher wisdom. The confidence placed in the initiates and their representatives during the Atlantean period was not based on the richness of their personal experience, but rather on the antiquity of their wisdom. In the case of the initiate, personality ceases to have any importance. He is totally in the service of eternal wisdom. Therefore the characteristic features of a particular period do not apply to him.” — Rudolf Steiner, COSMIC MEMORY, p. 42.

124) [Trouble Comes] Sadly, however, the initiates on Atlantis made terrible errors. 

“Powerful rulers [of Atlantis] themselves were initiated ... [T]he initiated kings and leaders of the Atlanteans came into being. Enormous power was in their hands, and they were greatly venerated. [paragraph break] But in this fact also lay the reason for decline and decay ... Man wanted to count for something through his power. The greater the power became, the more he wanted to exploit it for himself. The ambition which had developed turned into marked selfishness. Thus the misuse of these powers arose. When one considers the capabilities of the Atlanteans resulting from their mastery of the life force, one will understand that this misuse inevitably had enormous consequences.” — Rudolf Steiner, COSMIC MEMORY, pp. 51-52.

125) [Ahriman Sticks His Nose In] The errors of the powerful rulers of Atlantis led to the destruction of their beautiful continent. But before we hear about that, we should examine the role Ahriman played. 

“Ahriman follows Lucifer and instills into human beings the illusion that matter is a reality in itself. So in the course of their evolution, during which the divine-spiritual beings [i.e., the good gods] wanted their influence to work upon them [i.e., us], human beings allowed themselves to be subject to two other forces: those of Lucifer who attacks human beings in their inner nature, in their astral body, endeavoring to confuse and mislead them; and Ahriman who, working from outside, deludes human beings to a certain extent, causing the external world to appear as maya, as matter.” — Rudolf Steiner, ATLANTIS (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2001), p. 37. 

Lucifer tempts us toward false spirituality; Ahriman tempts us toward excessive materialism. Lucifer and Ahriman remain active today, and this description applies to us today. But In our history, Lucifer played the chief deceptive role on Lemuria, and Ahriman took this role on Atlantis.

Rudolf Steiner, ATLANTIS - 

The Fate of a Lost Land and It's Secret Knowledge

(Rudolf Steiner Press, 2001).

126) [Ahriman II, The Sequel] Any movie about Atlantis would include spectacular special effects depicting the destruction of that continent. Here’s Steiner’s account (imagine him providing this voice-over as the terrible scenes appear on the movie screen):

“Mighty and ominous powers of Nature were thus let loose by the deeds of men, leading eventually to the gradual destruction of the whole territory of Atlantis by catastrophes of air and water.* Atlantean humanity — the portion of it, that is, which did not perish in the storms — was compelled to migrate. As a result too of the great storms, the whole face of the Earth changed ... [S]upersensible [i.e., supernatural] forces were placed in the service of lower instincts, passions and desires ... [H]uman figures would arise [i.e., did arise] that were monstrous and grotesque in size and shape** ... [O]ther beings [i.e., demons] had, since the middle of the Atlantean time, been making themselves felt ... The leader of them may be called...Ahriman. (Mephistopheles is the same being.)” — Rudolf Steiner, OCCULT SCIENCE - AN OUTLINE (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1979), pp. 198-200.

Steiner equated this with the Biblical Flood.

** As we gave in to "lower instincts, passions and desires" we became human monsters.

127) [Racial Divisions] According to Steiner, one crucial result of the catastrophe that destroyed Atlantis is that humans migrated to other parts of the Earth. Some of those people were less evolved than others. Thus, higher and lower human races came into being. We’ll pick up the story by returning to the quotation I just now gave you, filling in some of the words I omitted. (Steiner always rambled; making his statements seem clear and coherent is a challenge.) 

“...the whole face of the Earth changed. Europe, Asia and Africa on the one hand, and America on the other, began gradually to assume their present shape. Vast numbers of human beings migrated into these countries ... Peoples of many kinds took up their abode in these countries, people that stood at many different levels of evolution — and also of corruption ... Physically speaking, post-Atlantean humanity evolved form Atlantean forebears whose bodily figure [i.e., form] had already become firm enough [to survive on the dense, modern Earth] ... Human racial forms which had hardened before this time could continue to propagate themselves for a good while to come, but...these races too had to die out [i.e., some low races managed to survive for a while, but most of them died out eventually]. Many of the forms were nevertheless able to maintain themselves right into the post-Atlantean times [i.e., some of these races survived into the present epoch]; indeed, some of them...survived in a somewhat altered condition for a very long time.” — Rudolf Steiner, OCCULT SCIENCE - AN OUTLINE, pp. 198-199.

128) [Steiner’s Racism] Examining Steiner’s unfounded statements about Atlantis brings us, inevitably, to his deplorable statements about race. We currently live in the Post-Atlantean Epoch, according to Steiner, and among us are survivors of higher and lower racial types whose roots extend back to Atlantis. I apologize for quoting the following, but anyone who studies Steiner deeply must come to terms with remarks such as this: 

“Just at the time when Atlantis began to sink there was a great contrast between men who were good as to their qualities of soul, and were a race of little men, and the giant forms who were wicked and in whom everything turned to flesh ... There were people whose inner nature was correctly balanced and who were normal ... [T]hese were the men that the Atlantean initiates could do the most with [they were the most capable of evolving higher]. On the other hand there were other men who had developed a tremendously strong ego-feeling ... There were other people again who had not reached anything like a normal ego-feeling...  [So there were good, normal people, and two types of abnormal people: those who were too egoistic and those who were not egoistic enough.]  ... [I]t was the normal human beings that were the best material for the initiates to use for the evolution of the future ... Those peoples whose ego impulse was developed too strongly...gradually wandered to the West and became the nation the last survivors of which appeared as the Red Indians of America. Those people who whose ego-feeling was too little developed migrated to the East, and the survivors of these people became the subsequent Negro population of Africa. If you look at those things in a really spiritual scientific way you will see evidence of them right into the physical characteristics ... [T]he colour of egohood is red or copper or a yellowish brown ... Those people who had developed their ego being too little...became black ... [T]hey deposited too many carbonic constituents in their skin and became black. This is why the Negroes are black. Thus both east of Atlantis in the black population and west of Atlantis in the red population we find survivors of the kind of people who had not developed their ego-feeling in a normal way. The human beings who had developed normally lent themselves best to progress.” — Rudolf Steiner, THE BEING OF MAN AND HIS FUTURE EVOLUTION (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1981), pp. 117-119. 

Hence we come to see the enormous significance Steiner attributed to human skin color. 

128a) “One can only understand history and all of social life, including today's social life, if one pays attention to people's racial characteristics. And one can only understand all that is spiritual in the correct sense if one first examines how this spiritual element operates within people precisely through the color of their skin." — Rudolf Steiner, VOM LEBEN DES MENSCHEN UND DER ERDE - ÜBER DAS WESEN DES CHRISTENTUMS  (Verlag Der Rudolf Steiner-Nachlassverwaltung, 1961), p. 52.

Can you guess what color the best, “normal,” upwardly evolving humans were and are? And can you guess where they migrated to, according to short, white, Austro-German R. Steiner? 

128b) “[O]ur white civilized humankind originated because certain elements segregated themselves from the Atlanteans and developed themselves higher here, under different climatic conditions. Certain elements of the Atlantean population remained behind, at earlier [i.e., lower] levels; thus we can see that the peoples of Asia and America are remnants of the various Atlantean races.” — Rudolf Steiner, DIE WELTRÄTSEL UND DIE ANTHROPOSOPHIE (Rudolf Steiner Verlag, 1974), GA 54, p. 145. 

Steiner's racism was cerebral and mild-mannered, not visceral and apoplectic. But it was racism, and it was — and remains — indefensible. "For Steiner, indigenous peoples in the modern world are...the degenerate descendants of Lemurians and Atlanteans, those who failed to progress racially." — Historian Peter Staudenmaier. [For more on this subject, see "Steiner's Racism" and "Races".]

On this dreadful note, I will now conclude our summary of Steiner's account of human history. Steiner’s views were baseless and, on some topics, deplorable. Fortunately, nothing is or ever was the way Steiner described it. All of his views amount to static: crackling interference in the air — crackling that clears up when we twist the dial, tune in another station, and turn our attention to reality.`

Use this link to go to "Steiner Static, Part I",

or use the following link to go to "Steiner Static, Part II".

To visit other pages related to this page,

use the following links:



early earth : before Lemuria and Atlantis

epochs : great and not so great

Lemuria : third stop

millennium : the will be that wasn't

Old Moon, etc. : loony

Old Saturn : starting out

Old Sun : dim light


The problem with all the maps that have 

ever been drawn of Atlantis,

such as the ones below, is that they 

are utterly without substance.

They are fantasies. 

No trace of Atlantis has ever been found.

(Moreover, the maps are inconsistent 

with one another.

Compare the maps shown below.

How big was Atlantis? What was its shape?

Precisely where was it located?

These maps provide no real information

on these — or any other — points. )


The Earth,

including Atlantis.

[Public domain images.]

The formatting at Waldorf Watch aims for visual variety, 
seeking to ease the process of reading lengthy texts on a computer screen.