J - K - L

[A]  [B]  [C-Ch]  [Ci-Cu]  [D]  [E-El]  [Em-Ey]  [F]  [G]  [H]  [I]  [J-L]  [M-Me]  [Mi-My]  [N-O]  [P-Q]  [R]  [S-Sn]  [So-Sy]  [T-V]  [W-Z]

- J -

Jahve(h) - see Jehovah

Jehovah, Jahve(h), Yahweh - see Judaism; gods; Elohim; Moon religion; Odin; cf. God

a) God (Jehovah, Jahve, Yahweh) as known to the ancient Hebrews.

b) According to Steiner: not God but a god (an Elohim), residing on the Moon; equivalent to Odin. ◊ “[The] further evolution of man has only been possible because one of the Elohim [1], Jahve, accompanied the separation of the Moon [2] — while the other six spirits remained in the Sun — and because Jahve cooperated with His six colleagues [3]....” — R. Steiner, THE MISSION OF THE FOLK SOULS (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2005), p. 99. ◊ You know that the Old Testament peoples honored Yahweh. This devotion was aimed at a real being. And this being has a connection with what reveals itself in the physical world [4] as the Moon. Of course it is only an imagistic way of talking, but it does have a reality too, if we say that Yahweh resides on the Moon. Everything connected with Yahweh is connected to the Moon. [5]” — R. Steiner, SLEEP AND DREAMS (SteinerBooks, 2003), p. 43. ◊ "From the Moon, Jahveh reigned over the heart and soul of the Jewish people." — R. Steiner, KARMIC RELATIONSHIPS: Esoteric Studies, Vol. 2 (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1974), p. 203. ◊ "[T]he name of the god who is connected with the formation of the I [6] is [Odin]...who is a god of the wind and races around in storms. [In Hebrew] ‘Jach’ (Jahweh) is the ‘blower’.... [7]” — R. Steiner, READING THE PICTURES OF THE APOCALYPSE (Anthroposophic Press, 1993), p. 53. [For more, see "Genesis" and "Lunacy".]

c) In addition, Steiner sometimes indicated that Jehovah is actually an illusion — he is the faulty perception of Christ, the Sun God, entertained by the ancient Hebrews. "If we think of Christ as symbolised by the direct sunlight, we may liken Jahve to sunlight reflected by the Moon ... Those who are to some extent conversant with this subject regard the transition from a temporary reflection of Christ in Jahve into Christ Himself just as they think of the difference between sunlight and moonlight: Jahve is an indirect and Christ a direct revelation of the same Being ... Those who speak of these things from the point of view of occultism will say: If we call the religion of Christ a Sun-religion...we may call the Jahve-religion a Moon-religion — the transitory reflection of the Christ-religion. Thus in the period preceding the birth of Christianity the Sun-religion was prepared for by a Moon-religion." — R. Steiner, BACKGROUND TO THE GOSPEL OF ST. MARK (Rudolf Steiner Publishing Co., 1985), lecture 9, GA 124.

[1] These are gods four levels higher than humanity, Steiner taught. (The word "Elohim" is used as a singular noun in the Bible, and it is applied to the one God, Jehovah. Steiner used the word as a plural noun, and he applied it to seven gods. Overall, Steiner spoke of many gods, among whom Jehovah was one fairly minor figure.) [See "Polytheism" and the entry for "Elohim" in this encyclopedia.]

[2] I.e., he went with the Moon when it became a separate body.

[3] I.e., the other Elohim, the ones who remained with the Sun.

[4] I.e., the physical universe, the physical plane of existence.

[5] I.e., as a spirit, Jehovah does not live on the physical orb we call the Moon, but he does live on/in/around the spiritual reality that manifests as the Moon.

[6] See "Ego".

[6] Odin is the chief Norse god. [See "The Gods".] Here, Steiner indicates that the names "Odin" and "Jahweh" essentially refer to the same spirit. (By extension, then, Jehovah may be deemed equivalent to Buddha, since Odin and Buddha are one. “The same being who was called Wotan [i.e., Odin] in the Germanic myths, appeared again as Buddha.” — R. Steiner, EGYPTIAN MYTHS AND MYSTERIES (Anthroposophic Press, 1971), p. 141.)


Jesus - also see Buddha; Christ; Nathanic Jesus; Solomonic Jesus; Zarathustra

a) In Christianity: the Messiah, the Son of God, who as the Christ is the second person of the triune God.

b) In Anthroposophy: one of two Jesus children who, when their spirits were united, became the host for the Sun God when he incarnated on Earth. One of the two Jesuses held the spirit of Zarathustra, Steiner taught; the other was infused with forces stemming from Buddha. The two Jesuses knew each other, and both of them had parents named Joseph and Mary. One Jesus descended from the priestly line of the ancient Hebrew priest Nathan; the other descended from the biological line of the ancient Hebrew king Solomon. At about age 12, the spirit of Zarathustra left the Solomonic Jesus and entered the Nathanic Jesus. Soon thereafter, the Solomonic Jesus died. The Nathanic Jesus bore the influences of both Buddha and Zarathustra until age 30. At that time, The Zarathusta spirit left him, and he was baptized at the Jordan River by John the Baptist. The baptism was the moment when Christ descended from the Sun and incarnated in the body of the Nathanic Jesus. Christ, in the body of Jesus, lived on Earth for a bit more than three years, after which Jesus Christ (the god incarnate in a man) was crucified. The blood of Jesus Christ flowed into the Earth, uniting the Earth with the Sun God.

◊ “[T]wo Jesus children were born. One was descended from the so-called Nathan line of the House of David, the other from the Solomon line. [1] These two children grew up side by side. In the body of the Solomon child lived the soul of Zarathustra. [2] In the twelfth year of the child's life this soul passed over into the other Jesus child and lived in that body until its thirtieth year ... And then, only from the thirtieth year onward, there lived in this body the Being Whom we call the Christ, Who remained on earth altogether for three years. [3]” — R. Steiner, THE OCCULT SIGNIFICANCE OF THE BHAGAVAD GITA (Anthroposophic Press, 1968), p. 59. 

◊ “[N]ot one but two Jesus-children were born ... The important thing is to understand clearly what kind of beings these two children were. Occult investigation [4] shows that the individuality [5] who was in the Solomon Jesus-child was none other than Zarathustra ... Buddha forces permeated the astral body [6] of the Nathan Jesus-child. [7]” — R. Steiner, FROM JESUS TO CHRIST (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2005), pp. 133-136. [See "Was He Christian?"]

◊ "The incarnation of the Christ, the sun spirit, in the body of Jesus of Nazareth was the great event which took place in the northern stream of peoples." — Rudolf Steiner, THE EAST IN THE LIGHT OF THE WEST (Rudolf Steiner Publishing Co., 1940), lecture 6, GA 113.

◊ “At the baptism in Jordan, when the significant symbol of the dove appeared above the head of Jesus, he was not merely inspired but directly intuited by the Christ. On that occasion something shot through the entire body of Jesus of Nazareth, even into those parts which, at the present stage of human development, are most withdrawn from the influence of man — the very bones. I am now about to say something which to the materialistic consciousness of the present day seems nonsense; but that is of no matter. At the moment when the body of Jesus of Nazareth was permeated and fired by the Individuality of Christ — the great Sun-Spirit — the effect reached even into the bones.” — Rudolf Steiner, UNIVERSE, EARTH AND MAN (Henry Collison, 1932), chapter 10, GA 105.

◊ “The unification of the Christ-Being with the earth took place when the blood flowed from the wounds of Jesus Christ at Golgotha [Calvary]. That is when His essence united with the atmosphere of the earth, as can be perceived even today in clairvoyant retrospection. That is how the Christ-Being came down from the Sun to earth.” — Rudolf Steiner, THE PRINCIPLE OF SPIRITUAL ECONOMY IN CONNECTION WITH QUESTIONS OF REINCARNATION (Anthroposophic Press, 1986) lecture 1, GA 109.


Steiner's teachings about the Jesus children and the Sun God are reflected in various publications penned by his followers, such as this book. [Bernard Nesfield-Cookson, THE MYSTERY OF THE TWO JESUS CHILDREN and the Descent of the Spirit of the Sun (Temple Lodge Publishing, 2005).]

[1] See the entries in this encyclopedia for "Nathanic Jesus" and "Solomonic Jesus".

[2] I.e., Zoroaster, the founder of Zoroastrianism. Zarathustra. according to various Anthroposophical teachings, is either Zoroaster himself or a previous incarnation of Zoroaster. [See "Zoroastrianism".]

[3] The "being" called Christ is, Steiner said, the Sun God. He descended from the Sun and incarnated on the Earth, inhabiting the body of Jesus. [See "Sun God" and "Was He Christian?"] 

[4] I.e., the disciplined use of clairvoyance.

[5] I.e., spiritual being or soul.

[6] The astral body is the second of three invisible bodies that, Steiner said, fully incarnated humans possess. [See "Incarnation".] The spirit of Buddha ("Buddha forces") was in the Nathanic Jesus, according to Steiner.

[7] For an Anthroposophical perspective on Buddha and Buddhism, see "Buddhism", "Mars", and "Planetary Spirits". If Buddha represents, in one sense, perfected human nature, then the Buddha essence in the Nathan Jesus-child may be identified with Adam Kamon, the perfect prototype for humanity. [See the entry for "Adam Kadmon" in this encyclopedia.] 

Jews - also see anti-Semitism; Hebrews; Jehovah; Judaism; Moon religion

People whose traditional religion is Judaism and who trace their history back to the ancient Hebrews. According to Steiner, they are materialistic and spiritually imperceptive, having been brought up in the moon religion. "As you know, we distinguish the Jews from the rest of the earth's population. The difference has arisen because the Jews have been brought up in the moon religion for centuries [1] ... The Jews have a great gift for materialism, but little for recognition of the spiritual world." — R. Steiner, FROM BEETROOT TO BUDDHISM (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1999), p. 59.

The Jews made significant contributions to mankind's development, Steiner taught. But after the Sun God descended, laying the basis for Christianity (and Anthroposophy), the Jews and their religion lost any remaining relevance. "Jewry as such has long since outlived its time; it has no more justification within the modern life of peoples, and the fact that it continues to exist is a mistake of world history whose consequences are unavoidable. We do not mean the forms of the Jewish religion alone, but above all the spirit of Jewry, the Jewish way of thinking. [2]" — R. Steiner, GESAMMELTE AUFSATZE ZUR LITERATUR 1884-1902 {Collected Essays on Literature 1884-1902} (Dornach, 1971), GA 32, p. 152. Jews as a people should likewise cease to exist, Steiner said. "[W]e can say that since everything which the Jews accomplished [in the past] can now be done in a spiritually conscious way by other people, therefore the best thing the Jews could do now would be to merge into the rest of humanity, to mix with the rest humanity, so that the Jews as a people would simply disappear. — R. Steiner, "Vom Wesen des Judentums," VOM LEBEN DES MENSCHEN UND DER ERDE - ÜBER DAS WESEN DES CHRISTENTUMS (Rudolf steiner Verlag Dornach/Schweiz, paperback edition, 1992), GA 353, p. 202. [See "RS on Jews" and the entry for "Judaism," below.]

Steiner's followers defend him, denying that he was anti-Semitic. But few Jews, reading statements such as the ones we have seen, can doubt the nature of his thinking about them, their faith, and their culture. [3]

[1] I.e., they worship the Moon being, Jehovah. See the entry for "Jehovah," above.

[2] I.e., thinking based on the Old Testament. Steiner attributed many of mankind's current ills to the legacy of Jewish, Old Testament thinking. "Old Testament thinking [led to] the atheistic science of the modern age." — R. Steiner, THE CHALLENGE OF THE TIMES (Anthroposophic Press, 1941), pp. 28-33.

[3] See the entry in this encyclopedia for "anti-Semitism". [Also see "Sympathizers?" and "Races".]

Jötuns - also see elemental beings; giants; Norse myths; cf. dwarfs

In Norse myths, giants: enemies of the gods. "[T]he Druid priest perceived how the elemental beings [1] can grow and expand into gigantic size. [paragraph break] From this resulted his knowledge of the Jötuns, the giant-beings. When he looked into the root-nature of a plant beneath the soil, where the Moon-forces were living [2], there he found the elemental being in its true bounds. But the beings were ever striving to go forth and grow outward gigantically. When the kind of elemental beings who lived beneficially in the root-nature [3] expanded into giants, they became the giants of the frost ... And what worked in the growth of the leaves [4], this too could grow to giant size. Then it lived as a giant elemental being in the misty storms that swept over the Earth." — R. Steiner, MAN IN THE PAST, THE PRESENT AND THE FUTURE AND THE SUN-INITIATION OF THE DRUID PRIEST AND HIS MOON-SCIENCE (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1966), lecture 4, GA 228. [See "The Gods" and "Beings".]

[1] Aka nature spirits. [See "Neutered Nature".]

[2] I.e., powers emanating from the Moon, penetrating the Earth.

[3] I.e., nature spirits that live in and around plant roots, enabling the growth of plants. (In general, Steiner taught, the nature spirits within the Earth are gnomes. [See "Gnomes".])

[4] I.e., nature spirits that live and around plant leaves. 

Jove - also see Jupiter

Alternate name for Jupiter, the chief god in the ancient Roman religion. [See the entry for "Jupiter", below.]


Judaism - also see Hebrews; Jehovah; Jews; Moon religion

The Jewish religion and/or the Jewish people as a whole. According to Steiner, neither the religion nor the people has any reason to continue in existence — evolution has moved on. “[T]he best thing the Jews could do now would be to merge into humankind generally…so that the Jews as a people would simply disappear … [T]he mission of Judaism is no longer needed in human development.” — R. Steiner, “Vom Wesen des Judentums”, DIE GESCHICHTE DER MENSCHHEIT UND DIE WELTANSCHAUUNGEN DER KULTURVOLKER, Dornach, 1968, GA 353. [See "RS on Jews", "Also Forbidden", and the entry for "Jews", above.]

- also see Future Jupiter; Jupiter consciousness; Jupiter humans; Jupiter organ; planetary conditions; planets

a) The fifth planet from the Sun.

The planet Jupiter that we see in the sky today should not be confused with the stage of evolution that Steiner sometimes called Jupiter (Future Jupiter — see definition c, below), although there is a connection. Steiner taught that the planet Jupiter in our present-day sky is a precursor of Future Jupiter, the fifth condition of consciousness that we will attain during our evolution. [See the entry for "conditions of consciousness" in this encyclopedia.] According to Steiner, the planet Jupiter is the home of beings who already exhibit the characteristics that we humans will exhibit when we reach the Future Jupiter condition of consciousness. [See "Planets".]

Besides representing a future stage of our evolution, Steiner said, Jupiter is the planet that — under its resident god — helped mold the racial characteristics of Europeans. “We...find [in Asia] the Venus-race or the Malay race. [1]  We then pass on across the wide domain of Asia and in the Mongolian race we find the Mars-race. [2] We then pass over into the domain of Europe and we find in the Europeans, in their basic character, in their racial character, the Jupiter men. [3]” — R. Steiner, THE MISSION OF FOLK-SOULS (Anthroposophical Publishing Co., 1929), lecture 6, GA 121. [See "Races".]

b) In Greek/Roman mythology: Jupiter is the chief god; Jove; Zeus.


Traditional image of Jupiter.

c) According to Steiner: "Jupiter" is the fifth condition of consciousness, our next stage of evolution, more properly designated Future Jupiter. After Present Earth (i.e., the solar system in its present form) ends, it will reincarnate as Future Jupiter. "[T]he end of the earth [4] will not only mean the plant and animal kingdoms perishing with it but everything out there in the cosmos perishing as well. The stars in their present form will perish into night. [5] And then the future Jupiter world [6] will emerge ... Its environment will look very different from our earth environment ... What man gains today by virtue of being man, the external power of discernment he is acquiring, will pass over into the mineral kingdom of Jupiter. [7]" — R. Steiner, THE DESTINIES OF INDIVIDUALS AND OF NATIONS (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1987),p. 228

Bizarre as Steiner's teachings may be on such points, he did not hesitate to share them with Waldorf school teachers. "All that occurs in our life between waking and sleeping expresses the ancient Moon period of evolution, the present Earth evolution, and the future Jupiter evolution. [8]" — R. Steiner, PRACTICAL ADVICE TO TEACHERS (Anthroposophic Press, 1996), p. 26.



 ◊ 1. Old Saturn ◊                              ◊ 7. Future Vulcan ◊ 

 ◊ 2. Old Sun ◊                        ◊ 6. Future Venus ◊ 

 ◊ 3. Old Moon ◊         ◊ 5. Future Jupiter ◊ 

 ◊ 4. Present Earth ◊ ....

Future Jupiter will be the fifth major stage of our evolution, according to Steiner. Each condition of consciousness is a new incarnation of the solar system. [9] During Future Jupiter, the solar system will be permeated by the influences of Jupiter. That stage of evolution should not be confused with the planet Jupiter as it exists now, during our present stage of evolution.

[1] I.e., those Asians who may be termed the Malay race have been significantly molded by the forces of Venus, Steiner taught.
[2] I.e., members of the Mongolian race have been significantly molded by the forces of Mars.
[3] I.e., Europeans have been significantly molded by the forces of Jupiter.
[4] I.e., the end of Present Earth. [See "Present Earth".]
[5] Steiner variously described the major stages of our evolution as conditions of consciousness, planetary conditions, and incarnations of the solar system. [See the entries for these terms in this encyclopedia.] Here he indicates that essentially the entire physical universe is encompassed in our evolutionary stages. When a stage such as Present Earth ends, the entire physical universe ("everything out there in the cosmos") ends.
[6] I.e., Future Jupiter, the fifth major stage of our evolution. [See "Future Stages".]
[7] I.e., conditions during Future Jupiter will be very different from conditions during Present Earth. Today, during Present Earth, we acquire rational, waking consciousness ("the external power of discernment".) During Future Jupiter, this form of consciousness will infuse the mineral kingdom as it will exist then.
[8] These are the third, fourth, and fifth major stages of our evolution: Old Moon, Present Earth, and Future Jupiter. [See "Old Moon, Etc.", "Present Earth", and "Future Stages".]
[9] See the entry in this encyclopedia for "incarnations of the solar system".

Jupiter consciousness - also see clairvoyance; Future Jupiter; imagination; intuition; Jupiter; Jupiter humans; Jupiter organ

According to Steiner, this is a perfected form of the first level of nonrational, clairvoyant spiritual insight: imagination. [1] Such consciousness can be cultivated today, Steiner taught, and Waldorf schools generally attempt to cultivate it or at least lay the groundwork for it among the students. The spiritual exercises Anthroposophists undertake are also meant, in part, to produce this consciousness. [See, e.g., "Knowing the Worlds".] But when humanity as a whole evolves to its next condition of consciousness, Future Jupiter, all humans who make that transition will attain perfected imagination, Jupiter consciousness. [2

Angels are one evolutionary step ahead of us, Steiner taught; they are gods one level above us. As such, they already possess the consciousness we will attain during Future Jupiter. ◊ “In the Jupiter-evolution [3] man will himself have the consciousness which is possessed today by the beings whom we call Angels [4] ... Men are growing in their present development into the Jupiter consciousness, which will be similar to what the Angels possess today. The Angels today are therefore actually the leaders of men.” — R. Steiner, THE INFLUENCE OF SPIRITUAL BEINGS ON MAN (Anthroposophic Press, 1961), lecture 7, GA 102. ◊ "On the planet which will replace our Earth [5], the whole of humanity will have this psychic-consciousness or Imagination, the 'Jupiter' consciousness." — R. Steiner, UNDERSTANDING THE HUMAN BEING (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1993), p. 30. [Also see R. Steiner, THEOSOPHY OF THE ROSICRUCIAN, lecture 8, GA 99.]


 ◊ Intuition : : Vulcan Consciousness ◊ 
 ◊ Inspiration : : Venus Consciousness ◊ 
 ◊ Imagination : : Jupiter Consciousness ◊ 

Steiner taught that, generally, there are three levels of "higher knowledge": imagination (the first level), inspiration (the second), and intuition (the third). Rising from one level to the next brings us closer to the goal of precise, "exact" clairvoyance. [6] In preliminary form (not yet deemed real clairvoyance), such types of thought are stressed in Waldorf schools. At a higher form, as practiced by initiated Anthroposophists, the three stages are deemed genuine levels of clairvoyance.In perfected form, the three stages will be attained by all human beings who evolve to the coming "conditions of consciousness" [7]: Future Jupiter, then Future Venus, and later still Future Vulcan.

[1] See the entry in this encyclopedia for "imagination".
[2] See, e.g., "Steiner's 'Science'".
[3] I.e., during the Future Jupiter stage of evolution. [See "Future Stages".]
[4] I.e., imagination. [See the entry for "imagination" in this encyclopedia".]
[5] I.e., during the Future Jupiter stage of evolution. (When he described life "on" various "planets," Steiner sometimes meant existence on actual planets, but often he meant existence in/on phases of the solar system's evolution. His meaning must often be deduced from context. [See the entries for "planets" and "planetary conditions" in this encyclopedia.])
[6] See "Exactly" and "The Waldorf Teacher's Consciousness". Also see the entry for "exact clairvoyance" in this encyclopedia. (In at least some statements, Steiner identified true intuition as being fully developed exact clairvoyance.)
[7] See the entry in this encyclopedia for "conditions of consciousness". Essentially, these are the types of consciousness we attain during the successive major stages of evolution, the successive incarnations of the solar system, also called "plenary conditions": Old Saturn, Old Sun, Old Moon, Present Earth, Future Jupiter, Future Venus, Future Vulcan.

Jupiter humans - also see Europeans; Jupiter; Mars humans; Mercury race; Moon humans; planetary humans; Saturn humans; Sun humans; Venus humans; Vulcan humans

According to Steiner, "Jupiter humans" are, variously, Europeans, or humans who migrated to Jupiter, and/or humans who descend from those who returned from Jupiter, and/or humans at the Jupiter stage of evolution. ◊ "[I]n the Europeans, in their basic character, in their racial character, [we have] the Jupiter men.” — R. Steiner, THE MISSION OF FOLK-SOULS (Anthroposophical Publishing Co., 1929), lecture 6, GA 121. ◊ “The complete fulfilment of what I have just been describing — the development into Mars man, Jupiter man, Saturn man — will come about only in the future. During our present epoch we can make only the circle of the Mars region after death [1], through the activity of world-forces; after that we are unable to do more than touch on the Jupiter region. We have to go through many earthly lives before being able — between death and rebirth — to enter fully the Jupiter region and, later still, that of Saturn. [2]" — R. Steiner, THE EVOLUTION OF CONSCIOUSNESS (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1966), lecture 10, GA 227. [See "Planetary Humans".] ◊ "[I]t came about that the great majority of human souls had to relinquish their union with the earth [3] ... Some soul/spirits were more suited to pursue their evolution on Saturn for the time being, others on Mars, others again on Mercury and so on ... So what we call our human soul condition went through an evolution on the neighboring planets of our earth." — R. Steiner, GENESIS: Secrets of Creation (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2002), pp. 124-126. [See, e.g., "Genesis".] ◊ "Just as the leader of the Sun’s evolution became the higher I [4] that worked in the life body [5] of the descendants of human beings who had remained on Earth, this Jupiter leader [6] became the higher I that spread like a common consciousness through the human beings who had their origins in the interbreeding of Earth offspring with humans who...moved to Jupiter." — R. Steiner, AN OUTLINE OF ESOTERIC SCIENCE (Anthroposophic Press, 1997), p. 238.

[1] I
.e., we ascend into the Mars sphere after we die. Steiner taught that after death, and while asleep, we (or parts of ourselves) ascend into the "spheres" of the planets. "Spheres," in this context, means spiritual regions that are coextensive with the regions of the solar system dominated by various planets and their gods. [See "Higher Worlds".]
[2] Steiner indicated that planetary spheres are defined by the orbits of the planets: The sphere of any planet is the area within that planet's orbit. This means that some spheres are nested within others. (The sphere of Mars, for instance, lies within the spheres of Jupiter and Saturn, since those planets are farther from the Sun.) However, he sometimes said that planets do not orbit the Sun [see "Deception"], and he said that some planets (Uranus and Neptune) are not really part of the solar system so they scarcely enter into his scheme [see "Steiner's Blunders"]. He generally did, however, include the Sun and Moon as "planets," and he included the nonexistent planet Vulcan [see "Vulcan"]. Here he indicates that the truest "Jupiter men," "Saturn men," etc., will be those who rise into these planets' spheres following death.
[3] Steiner taught that this occurred during the Lemurian Epoch. [See "Lemuria" and the entry in this encyclopedia for "planetary migrations".]
[4] See the entry in this encyclopedia for "higher I".
[5] I.e., etheric body. [See "Incarnation".]
[6] I.e., the leading spirit of Jupiter.

Jupiter organ - also see Jupiter consciousness; organs of clairvoyance

According to Steiner: a spiritual organ developed through the influence of Jupiter. Steiner taught that we develop various spirit-endowed "organs" on our passage through the higher worlds. [See "Planetary Humans" and "Higher Worlds".] "These are then our inner organs, just as heart, pineal gland, kidneys, are [organs] on Earth. [1] All this has gone through a metamorphosis into the spiritual and these new organs, not fully formed when first we leave the soul-world and enter the world of spirit [2], now have to be gradually developed. [3] For this purpose we do not describe one circle only in the Sun-existence, as in our Moon-existence, but three. [4] In the first circle the spiritual Mars organ is developed; in the second, the Jupiter organ; and the Saturn organ in the last circle." — R. Steiner, THE EVOLUTION OF CONSCIOUSNESS (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1966), lecture 10, GA 227.

At a more mundane level, the "Jupiter organ" may be considered the liver, which Steiner said is especially affected by the forces of Jupiter. ◊ "[S]eers of all times connected the activity of the spleen with the action of Saturn, the activity of the liver with the action of Jupiter, and the activity of the gall-bladder with the action of Mars." — R. Steiner, see FOUNDATIONS AT THE PERIPHERY, March 22, 1911. ◊ "In occult medicine...the heart is the Sun, the brain the Moon, the spleen Saturn, the liver Jupiter, the gall Mars, the kidneys Venus and the lungs Mercury." — R. Steiner, THE BEING OF MAN AND HIS FUTURE EVOLUTION (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1981), p. 32.

[1] "Inner organs" are incorporeal, they exist within parts of ourselves that transcend mere physical existence. Our Earthly organs (those we possess while incarnated physically on Earth) are our normal physical organs. Inner organs may, however, be reflected in the physical body. "We have the Jupiter organ here between the eyes, and here the Mars organ in the larynx region." — W. Sucher, COSMOLOGY COURSE I. 
[2] I.e., rise from the world of soul (the soul world, the lower of the two "higher worlds") into the world of spirit (the spirit world). [See "Higher Worlds".]
[3] Our incorporeal organs develop gradually, as we ascend. We "take up inwardly the Mars organ in the sphere of Mars, the Jupiter organ in the Jupiter-sphere, and in the sphere of Saturn the corresponding Saturn organ." — R. Steiner, THE EVOLUTION OF CONSCIOUSNESS. These organs essentially allow us to live in the higher worlds as our lowly physical organs allow us to live in the physical world, and they expand our higher capacities.
[4] I.e., we spend one period (one "circle") in the Moon sphere, but three in the Sun sphere. (We stay there three times as long, as it were.)

Jupiter race - see Europeans

- K -

Kabbalism - see Cabbalism

Kafka, Franz (1883-1924)

Czeck novelist, who wrote in German; author of THE TRIAL, THE CASTLE, and other works. He was drawn to Rudolf Steiner, but only briefly. "[I]n March, 1911, [Kafka] approached Rudolf Steiner ... He explained how he was torn between his duties to the outer world and his 'inner duties,' and that while he had an interest in anthroposophy, he had strong doubts as to whether he could add a third element to the other two dominant elements of his life, so he asked Steiner’s opinion. Kafka ended his account of this visit with rather a detailed description of how Steiner blew his nose — there is no description of how Steiner answered him. By the fact Kafka showed no further interest in anthroposophy we can assume what the answer (or non-answer) was." [The Kafka Project.]

Kali - also see Hinduism; Kali Yuga

The most terrifying Hindu goddess. "Kali, (Sanskrit: 'She Who Is Black' or 'She Who Is Death') in Hinduism, goddess of time, doomsday, and death, or the black goddess (the feminine form of Sanskrit kala, 'time-doomsday-death' or 'black')." — ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA ONLINE, Mar. 20, 2016. As explained in THE EFFECTS OF ESOTERIC DEVELOPMENT, a collection of ten Steiner lectures (SteinerBooks, 1997), Kali is the "dark goddess...the female representation of [the forces of] destruction and cosmic dissolution." — p. 164. [See, e.g., "Double Trouble".]

Kali Yuga - also see Dvarpa Yuga; Kali; Krita Yuga; Treta Yuga; yugas

According to Steiner (via Theosophy): the dark age — not to be confused with the historical Middle Ages. The term "Kali Yuga" comes from Hinduism, meaning the fourth of four world ages. According to Steiner, it is a time of the "brain-bound intellect". [1Hinduism and Theosophy indicate that Kali Yuga, like the other world ages, recurs over and over as the cycle of ages recurs, and they specify that each age is immensely long. Kali Yuga is the shortest of the ages, yet it lasts 432,000 years. Steiner largely accepted these teachings, but he also referred to the yugas as briefer, more recent periods. Kali Yuga has essentially been a span of centuries when mankind has lost its connection with the spirit realm, he said. "[T]he doors of the spiritual world closed. Men's vision was more and more confined to the outer material world and to the intellect which elaborates the sense-impressions ... What men now actually knew from their own experience was the material-physical world ... It is the age when man was most lacking in spirituality and therefore established himself firmly in the material world ... This age is called Kali Yuga, or the Dark Age ... Kali Yuga began approximately in the year 3101 B.C." — R. Steiner, TRUE NATURE OF THE SECOND COMING (Anthroposophical Publishing Co, 1961), lecture 1, GA 118. 

Anthroposophists often say that Kali Yuga ended when Steiner began spreading his occult teachings in 1899. [2] “Rudolf Steiner did not immediately step forward as an esoteric teacher ... Rudolf Steiner had to wait [until] the last part of the dark period (Kali Yuga) that ended in 1899.” — E. Katz, “The Mission of Rudolf Steiner”, an essay based on an address to the American Anthroposophical Society, November, 2004.

[1] For Steiner's views on intellect, see, e.g., "Thinking", "Steiner's Specific", and "Thinking Cap".
[2] See the entry in this encyclopedia for "1899".

Kamaloka, Kamaloca - also see Devachan; heaven; hell; purgatory

According to Steiner (via Theosophy), this is the Earth-encompassing astral region of desire, equivalent to Purgatory or Hades. “The soul [after death] is like a wanderer in the desert, suffering from a burning thirst and looking for some spring at which to quench it [1]; and the soul has to suffer this burning thirst because it has no organ or instrument for satisfying it. It has to feel deprived of everything, so that to call this condition one of burning thirst is very appropriate. This is the essence of Kamaloka. The soul is not tortured from outside, but has to suffer the torment of the desires it still has but cannot satisfy. [paragraph break] Why does the soul have to endure this torment? The reason is that man has to wean himself gradually from these physical wishes and desires, so that the soul may free itself from the Earth, may purify and cleanse itself. When that is achieved, the Kamaloka period comes to an end and man ascends to Devachan. [2]” — R. Steiner, AT THE GATES OF SPIRITUAL SCIENCE (Rudolf Steiner Publishing Co., 1986), lecture 3, GA 95. [See "Kamaloka".]

[1] The thirst or suffering consists of unfulfilled wishes and desires carried over from physical life, Steiner taught.

[2] I.e., the heavenly realm. [See the entry for "Devachan" in this encyclopedia.] One dwells in Kamaloka, as it were, until the ties to Earth are cut and one is sufficiently purified to enter the higher worlds (the soul and spirit worlds).

karma - also see reincarnation; will; cf. freedom

The concept of karma is intimately linked to the concept of reincarnation. [1] Both concepts are drawn from Eastern religions. Karma is destiny or fate — it is the consequence of one’s actions in previous lives, determining one's situation in the next life. You are bound by your karma, yet it is your own creation. If you were wicked in past lives, you must atone; if you were virtuous, you gain the reward. Karma is considered central to the Waldorf educational process. “[T]he purpose of education is to help the individual fulfill his karma. The teacher is an intermediary and his task is to guide the incarnating individualities [2] into the physical world and equip them for earthly existence, bearing in mind what they bring with them from the past and what they are likely to take with them into the future. [3]” — Waldorf teacher R. Wilkinson, THE SPIRITUAL BASIS OF STEINER EDUCATION (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1996), p. 52. 

Not all Waldorf teachers understand or embrace all Anthroposophical doctrines, and not all of them teach such doctrines to their students. But many do. “You need to gradually teach the children about something they can experience only through feeling [4], namely the difference between finished karma and arising or developing karma. [5] You need to gradually teach children about the questions of fate in the sense of karmic questions.“ — R. Steiner, FACULTY MEETINGS WITH RUDOLF STEINER (Anthroposophic Press, 1998), p. 45.  [See "Karma".]

[1] See "Reincarnation". According to Anthroposophical teachings. discharging one's karma, through the process of reincarnation, is central to the quest for spiritual evolution. [See, e.g., "Evolution, Anyone?"]
[2] I.e., children. [See "Incarnation".]
[3] I.e., karma and the karmic results of Earthly actions. Note that the role of the teacher, as described here, is essentially that of a spiritual guide or priest. [See "Schools as Churches".]
[4] Steiner generally taught that deeper knowledge is attained through feelings rather than through thought. [See, e.g., "Thinking".]
[5] I.e., the difference between karma that is fulfilled (and hence discharged) and karma that is being formed (meaning it will carry over into future lives).

kernel of life, soul-spiritual kernel - see monad

King Arthur - see Arthur, King; Holy Grail

King Winter - also see Christmas; nature; nature tables

"[P]ersonified seasonal image drawn from the elemental world [1] ... In the kindergarten and lower classes of the Waldorf school [sic], the seasonal table [2] is decked out with a winter landscape in the midst of which King Winter and his castle of ice are enthroned ... By such means, young children are helped to connect more deeply with the forces active in nature." — H. van Oort, ANTHROPOSOPHY A-Z (Sophia Books, Rudolf Steiner Press, 2011), p. 67.


King Winter.

[Public domain image.]

[1] In Anthroposophical belief, the "elemental world" is the realm of elemental beings or nature spirits. [See the entries for these terms in this encyclopedia; also see "Neutered Nature".]

[2] Waldorf classrooms often contain special tables, resembling altars, where natural objects are displays. [See the entry for "nature tables" in this encyclopedia.]

kingdoms of life - see conditions of life

kingdoms of nature - also see animal kingdom; Animal Kingdom Condition of Life; human kingdom; Human Kingdom Condition of Life; mineral kingdom; Mineral Kingdom Condition of Life; plant kingdom; Plant Kingdom Condition of Life; nature

In Anthroposophical belief, there are four kingdoms of nature: mineral, plant, animal, and man. As on many matters, Steiner was not wholly consistent in describing the kingdoms of nature, but in general he gave this account: ◊ Minerals are thoroughly physical — they have a physical body and nothing higher. ◊ Plants have physical bodies and etheric bodies [1], but they do not exist on the higher planes. ◊ Animals have physical, etheric, and astral bodies [2] — they rise above the physical plane, but only slightly. Rather than possessing individual souls, they share group souls. [3] ◊ Man rises above the three lower kingdoms. Man has physical, etheric, astral, and ego bodies (the last being the 'I' [4]); man thus has individual spiritual identity. Man bridges the divide between the physical and spiritual planes and belongs, ultimately, in the latter.

"We are surrounded in the first place by the four kingdoms of nature; the mineral, vegetable, animal, and human kingdoms. Man is not the mere material physical being of which the outer senses inform us, and which the scientific intellect describes and explains but he is a complicated being made up of physical body, etheric body, astral body, and ego. [5] All this we know. When we allow our gaze to sweep over the beings of the other kingdoms of the earth we must be fully aware that the expressions physical body, etheric body, astral body, and ego are by no means meaningless in respect of them also. When dealing with the physical world we have to allow that of all earthly beings man alone possesses an ego-nature [6]; he alone in this physical world has a self-conscious ego. With animals it is quite different; the ego of animals is not in the physical world in the same way man's ego is [7] ... Man has his ego within him, it is enclosed within his skin; each human being is a centre in himself, a 'man-centre.' [8]" — R. Steiner, UNIVERSE, EARTH AND MAN (Harry Collison, 1931), lecture 3, GA 105.

[1] See the entry in this encyclopedia for "etheric body". (Steiner taught that fully incarnated human beings have three invisible bodies. Less-evolved entities have fewer or no invisible bodies. Among human beings, the etheric body is the lowest invisible body.)
See the entry in this encyclopedia for "astral body". (Steiner taught among human beings, the astral body is the second of three invisible bodies.)
[3] See the entry in this encyclopedia for "group soul".
[4] See the entry in this encyclopedia for "I".
[5] See "Incarnation".
[6] I.e., only man has an I. [See "Ego".]
[7] Steiner taught that animals do not have individual egos; instead they share group egos or group souls. [See the entries for these terms in this encyclopedia.] Such egos or souls are actually spiritual beings who dwell above; these gods are the spirits or souls of the species they oversee.
[8] Steiner taught that human beings are, individually and collectively, the center of creation. [See, e.g., "Center".]

Kings' Play
 - also see Christmas Play; Paradise Play; Shepherds' Play

"The third in a sequence of three plays performed at Waldorf schools [usually by faculty members] between Advent and Epiphany ... The Kings' Play represents the events that took place after the birth of Jesus, as described in the Gospel of St. Matthew." — H. van Oort, ANTHROPOSOPHY A-Z (Sophia Books, Rudolf Steiner Press, 2011), p. 67. 

knitting - also see crafts; teeth; thinking

Waldorf schools emphasize handwork such as knitting. Ostensibly, such crafts promote the students’ powers of thought. Steiner taught that we think better with our fingers than with our brains. ◊ "[O]ne can think with one's fingers and toes much more brightly, once one makes the effort, than with the nerves of the head." — R. Steiner, BLACKBOARD DRAWINGS 1919-1924 (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2003), p. 126. ◊ “In Waldorf schools, the boys and girls are together and the boys become enthusiastic about knitting and crocheting; through this they also learn to manipulate their thoughts ... [P]eople...cannot think clearly if they are incapable of knitting ... [T]he thinking of today’s women is much more flexible [than men’s].” — R. Steiner, HUMAN VALUES IN EDUCATION (Anthroposophic Press, 2004), p. 170.

A more occult reason for the Waldorf emphasis on knitting is that knitting promotes dental health, according to Steiner. “Go into our needlework classes and handicraft classes at the Waldorf School, and you will find the boys knit and crochet as well as the girls ... This is not the result of any fad or whim, but happens deliberately in order to...permeate the fingers with soul. And to drive the soul into the fingers means to promote all the forces that go to build up sound teeth.” — R. Steiner, THE RENEWAL OF EDUCATION (Anthroposophic Press, 2001), p. 10.

knowledge - also see Anthroposophy; brain; clairvoyance; Goethean "science"; good and evil, and knowledge of them; intellect; KNOWLEDGE OF THE HIGHER WORLDS AND ITS ATTAINMENT; libraries; living thoughts; mystery knowledge; mystery science; natural science; occult science; OCCULT SCIENCE - AN OUTLINE; physical science; science; spiritual science; truth; Waldorf education: goals; wisdom

Anthroposophy generally requires rejection of ordinary knowledge, substituting "clairvoyant" knowledge instead. [See "Truth".] Steiner's statements about ordinary knowledge — knowledge that is attainable using ordinary senses and ordinary cognition — are largely dismissive, although he often claimed to be a scientist (of spiritual matters) and he sometimes said that ordinary science would ultimately confirm his occult teachings. In general, he considered ordinary knowledge of the physical universe dispensable, since the real answers to all questions lie in the spirit realm. To the extent that he affirmed ordinary or natural science, he gave it a Goethean twist by which the observer "detects" spiritual essence in the phenomena being observed. But this procedure depends on subjective projection, not objective observation — the spirit discerned is imagined by the "observer." This is, then, not real natural science at all. Steiner, of course, denied such criticism of his approach, arguing that his form of natural science can lead to perception of the spirit realm if certain "barriers" are overcome. "There are two experiences whence the soul may gain an understanding for the mode of knowledge to which the supersensible worlds will open out. [1] The one originates in the science of Nature; the other, in the Mystical experience whereby the untrained ordinary consciousness contrives to penetrate into the supersensible domain. [2] Both confront the soul of man with barriers of knowledge — barriers he cannot cross till he can open for himself the portals which by their very essence Natural Science, and ordinary Mysticism too, must hold fast closed." — R. Steiner, "Supersensible Knowledge", ANTHROPOSOPHY QUARTERLY, Vol. 1 (Anthroposophical Publishing Co., 1926), GA 35. The real barriers imposed by natural science are inherent in its methodology and cannot be overcome. Natural science observes and experiments upon physical reality; it has little or nothing to say about spiritual reality. Steiner's system of "overcoming" such limitations is, in essence, a matter of allowing one's spiritual yearnings and convictions to color one's view of the physical universe. Steiner advocated the disciplined use of clairvoyance, but this is not a genuine technique for acquiring knowledge — clairvoyance is a fantasy. [See "Clairvoyance".]

In Waldorf schools, where the faculty members generally share Steiner's occult views on knowledge, imparting ordinary knowledge to students is a low priority. More emphasis is given to fostering the incarnation of the students' invisible bodies [3], helping the students to fulfill their karmas [4], and so forth. [See "Spiritual Agenda", "Soul School", and the entry for "Waldorf education - goals" in this encyclopedia.] Waldorf faculties often rationalize their aversion to factual information by arguing, for instance, that facts change. Thus, a prominent Waldorf proponent has pointed out that asbestos was once considered a desirable, useful substance, but later we learned that it is hazardous. This is the nature of factual "knowledge" — it changes, and what was considered true becomes false. “Americans were so enthusiastic about asbestos that we put it in our floor tiles, our ceiling tiles, [etc.] ... Today we are spending millions of dollars on its removal. [paragraph break] This is the obvious flaw in fact-based education. Whether we were taught about the solar system, the Soviet Union, or computers, much of what we had to learn in school is now outdated.” — J. Petrash, UNDERSTANDING WALDORF EDUCATION (Gryphon House, 2002), p. 26. But the proper response to the increase in human knowledge is not to avoid factual information; rather, we must develop the skills and attitudes to keep abreast of the increase in knowledge. Thus, Petrash overlooks the real lesson we should learn from his anecdote about asbestos: If we did not keep abreast of new discoveries and knowledge, we would not remove the dangerous carcinogen that we had mistakenly put in our buildings. Failing to appreciate the importance of knowledge, we would fail to protect ourselves and our children from the errors of the past. And this, indeed, is precisely the danger that Waldorf schools often invite, clinging to outworn ideas long after the rest of humanity has progressed beyond them. [See, e.g., "Waldorf Astrology", "Temperaments", "Steiner's 'Science'", and "The Ancients".]

Memorizing facts is not, of course, the end-all and be-all of education. But there is a deep flaw in the typical Waldorf claim that instead of cramming their students with facts they teach the kids how to think for themselves. Steering children away from factual information, Waldorf schools deny them the knowledge needed to think sensibly — that is, Waldorf schools downplay the very information students need to reach rational, factually true conclusions about themselves and their world. Moreover, the types of thinking promoted in Waldorf schools are themselves deeply flawed. [See, e.g., "Thinking Cap" and "Thinking".] The degree to which various Waldorf schools fall into these errors varies, but in general the aversion to "fact-based education" leads to an embrace of fantasy-based miseducation. [See, e.g., "Academic Standards at Waldorf".]

The Steiner/Waldorf view of factual (earthly, scientific) knowledge is indicated by the following: "I am now giving you for the first time a definition of the nature of human earthly knowledge. It consists of the dim and dulled impulses of destruction. Shiva [5] in his most terrible [i.e., destructive] form, so far stupefied that he cannot freely find expression but is, as it were, made threadbare, compressed into the human world of ideas — this is the maya [6] of the human being, this is the knowledge of man ... [T]he original terrible impulse [for this is] ruled by Ahriman [7]...." — R. Steiner, THE EFFECTS OF OCCULT DEVELOPMENT UPON THE SELF AND THE SHEATHS OF MAN (Rudolf Steiner Publishing Co., 1945), lecture 8, GA 145. The implications of this statement for Waldorf education are profound.

[1] "Supersensible" essentially means supernatural or spiritual — the supersensible worlds lie beyond the reach of our ordinary senses.
[2] I.e., ordinary consciousness cannot attain true knowledge of the supersensible worlds, although it may penetrate to some degree. For true knowledge, extraordinary consciousness — discipline clairvoyance — is needed.

[3] See "Incarnation". ("Waldorf education is based upon the recognition that the four bodies of the human being [the physical, etheric, astral, and ego bodies] develop and mature at different times.” — Waldorf teacher R. Trostli, RHYTHMS OF LEARNING (SteinerBooks, 2017), p. 4.)

[4] See "Karma". ([T]he purpose of education is to help the individual fulfill his karma.” — Waldorf teacher R. Wilkinson, THE SPIRITUAL BASIS OF STEINER EDUCATION (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1996), p. 52.)

[5] Shiva is the Hindu god of procreation and destruction.

[6] I.e., illusion. Steiner indicates that all ordinary knowledge is illusory.

[7] According to Steiner, Ahriman is an arch-demon. [See "Ahriman".]


KNOWLEDGE OF THE HIGHER WORLDS AND ITS ATTAINMENT (book by Steiner) - also see clairvoyance; initiation; self-deception; spiritualistic agenda

This is, arguably, Steiner's second most important book (the most important being OCCULT SCIENCE - AN OUTLINE). [1] In KNOWLEDGE OF THE HIGHER WORLDS AND ITS ATTAINMENT, Steiner specifies techniques his followers should use to develop disciplined clairvoyant powers [2] through which they will be able to objectively study the "higher worlds" of the spirit realm. [3] The book has been published in various translations and under various titles, including THE WAY OF INITIATION, INITIATION AND ITS RESULTS, HOW TO KNOW HIGHER WORLDS - A Modern Path of Initiation, and KNOWLEDGE OF THE HIGHER WORLDS - How Is It Achieved?

To explore the contents of this book, see "Knowing the Worlds".


Rudolf Steiner, 
(Anthroposophic Press, 1947).

Rudolf Steiner,
- How Is It Achieved?
(Rudolf Steiner Press, 2009).


The chapters of KNOWLEDGE OF THE HIGHER WORLDS - How Is It Achieved? bear these titles:

1.   How is Knowledge of the Higher Worlds Achieved?
2.   The Stages of Initiation
3.   Initiation
4.   Practical Aspects
5.   The Conditions of Esoteric Training
6.   Some Effects of Initiation
7.   Changes in Dream Life
8.   Continuity of Consciousness
9.   Division of the Personality during Spiritual Training
10. The Guardian of the Threshold
11. Life and Death. The Great Guardian of the Threshold

[1] See "Everything".
[2] See "Clairvoyance".
[3] See "Higher Worlds".


Koguzki, Felix (1833-1909) - also see "M"

The herb gatherer who gave Steiner his first occult initiation, according to Steiner. Steiner claimed to have received a second initiation, later, from a mysterious figure he identified as "M." [1]

◊ "In the summer of 1879...Rudolf Steiner...met a person who deeply impressed him ... This was the herb-master Felix Koguzki ... Koguzki and Steiner both traveled to Vienna each week, the young man to visit bookstores and libraries, the older man to sell his medicinal herbs ... [I]n Felix, Steiner met a man in whom an original nature wisdom and spirituality of a kind very rare in Western humanity still lived." — H. Barnes, A LIFE FOR THE SPIRIT - Rudolf Steiner in the Crosscurrents of Our Time (Anthroposophic Press, 1997), p. 30. ◊ "In the same train, weekly, rode a strange man. He was a licensed herb gatherer who went to pharmacies in Vienna to sell the medicinal herbs he had collected. This man had profound insights into the spirituality in nature, related to the sun and the moon. For Rudolf Steiner it was a blessing of destiny [2] that he could share with this man some of his own experiences. ... However, Rudolf Steiner had questions that went far beyond the grasp of Felix, so Felix brought him in contact with another man in Vienna, whose identity has never been revealed. Rudolf Steiner refers to him as a 'Master' and states that he taught him what one needs to know in order to work effectively out of the spiritual world into this materialistic age." — E. Katz, "The Mission of Rudolf Steiner", an essay based on an address to the American Anthroposophical Society, November, 2004. 


Felix Koguzki.

[Public domain; color added.]

[1] See "Rosy Cross" and the entry for "M" in this encyclopedia.

[2] I.e., karma.

, Karl (1902-1966) - also see Camphill

Austrian pediatrician, founder of the Camphill movement [1] in which Anthroposophists seek to apply Rudolf Steiner's therapeutic principles to assist individuals having special needs.

Koran - also see Islam; Nathanic Jesus

"Qurʾān, (Arabic: 'Recitation') also spelled Quran and Koran, the sacred scripture of Islam. According to conventional Islamic belief, the Qurʾān was revealed by the angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad in the West Arabian towns Mecca and Medina beginning in 610 and ending with Muhammad’s death in 632 CE." — Encyclopaedia Britannica Online, February 20, 2020.

Rudolf Steiner found little to praise in the Koran, although he occasional referred to it. "If you take the concept of Jesus from the Koran, for example, and consult from 19th Surah, you will see that it specifically mentions that the Nathan Jesus Child actually spoke immediately at his birth. This is what the Koran says: 'Jesus spoke and said: "See, I am the servant of God. He has given me the book and He has made me to a prophet and He has blessed me wherever I am, and He has given me His blessings so long as I live, and love to my mother and peace upon the day of my birth and the day when I die and the day when I am resurrected again to life. This is Jesus, the son of Mary, the Word of truth"'. This actually appears in the Koran." — R. Steiner, THINGS PAST AND PRESENT IN THE SPIRIT OF MAN (manuscript, Rudolf Steiner Archive), lecture 11, GA 167.

Kovacs, Charles (1907-2001)

Austrian-born Anthroposophist, for many years a Waldorf educator in Britain, author of numerous Waldorf teachers' guides.

Krishna - also see avatars; Hinduism

A Hindu god, an incarnation of Vishnu. According to Steiner, Krishna — an avatar — is the architect of human self-consciousness. Like other avatars, he descended to earthly incarnation as a self action, to assist evolving humanity. "[T]he great spiritual Beings, the Avatars [1], descend and incarnate in human bodies from time to time when men are in need of help. They are Beings who for the purpose of their own development need not come down into a human body, for their own human stage of evolution had been completed in an earlier world-cycle. [2] They descend in order to help mankind. Thus when help was needed, the great God Vishnu descended into earthly existence. One of the embodiments of Vishnu — namely, Krishna — speaks of Himself, saying unambiguously what the nature of an Avatar is." — R. Steiner, THE FESTIVALS AND THEIR MEANING, Vol. 2 (Anthroposophical Publishing Co., 1956), lecture 7, GA 109.

[1] Avatars are spirits, generally gods, that incarnate on Earth; they often serve as high spiritual teachers. [See "Avatars".]

[2] I.e., they had evolved to the level of humanity during previous conditions of consciousness, and then they evolved higher. [See the entry for "human stage of evolution" in this encyclopedia.] Steiner taught that spirits higher than humans, gods, evolve much as humans do.

Krishnamurti, Jiddu (1895-1986) - also see Christ; Steiner, Rudolf; Theosophy

An Indian religious leader, educated by Theosophists. Struck by his spirituality, some Theosophical leaders hailed him as the "World Teacher" and/or the reincarnated Christ. Rudolf Steiner rejected this, and partly as a result (other factors were involved) broke from Theosophy to establish his own movement, Anthroposophy. Jiddu Krishnamurti himself eventually broke from Theosophy and disavowed the claims that had been made for him, although he remained a religious teacher, establishing "Krishnamurti foundations" in several countries. He died in California, USA, in 1986. [See "Krishnamurti".]

Krita Yuga - also see Dvapara Yuga; Kali Yuga; Treta Yuga; yugas

The golden age; from Hinduism, the first of four world ages. Theosophy incorporates this concept, and it accepts the Hindu belief that Krita Yuga lasts 1,728,000 years at the beginning of each cycle of ages. In Steiner's teachings, the golden age is considerably shorter. During the golden age, humanity was closely involved with, and aware of, the gods; during following ages, this attachment and awareness declined. "Higher knowledge speaks of this age when man was still united with the divine-spiritual Beings [1] as the Golden Age, or Krita Yuga. It is an age of great antiquity, the most important period of which actually preceded the Atlantean catastrophe. [2] Then came an age when men no longer felt their connection with the divine-spiritual world as strongly as during Krita Yuga, when: they no longer felt that their impulses were determined by their life with the Gods, when their vision of the spirit and the soul was already clouded. [3] Nevertheless, there still remained in them a memory of their life with the spiritual Beings and the Gods." — R. Steiner, TRUE NATURE OF THE SECOND COMING (Anthroposophical Publishing Co, 1961), lecture 1, GA 118. Steiner generally indicated that Krita Yuga lasted 20,000 years. [See the entry for "yugas" in this encyclopedia.]

[1] I.e., gods. [See "Polytheism".]
[2] I.e., the destruction of Atlantis. [See "Atlantis".]
[3] This is Treta Yuga, the silver age.

Kronos, Cronus - also see Saturn

In ancient Greek mythology: a titan or, in some tellings, the supreme god before he was deposed by Zeus. Kronos — also sometimes identified as Saturn — was variously described as a benevolent or hostile power. Some myths tell of his eating his own children. “[E]verything that has made itself independent as a result of a saturnine activity [1] is doomed at the same time, because of this saturnine activity, to destroy itself again. Saturn, or Kronos [2], devours his own children, so the myth tells us. Here you see a deeply significant harmony between an occult idea, expressed in the name Kronos or Saturn, and a myth which expresses the same thing in a picture, a symbol [3]: ‘Kronos devours his own children!’” — R. Steiner, AN OCCULT PHYSIOLOGY (Rudolf Steiner Publishing Co., 1951), lecture 3, GA 128.

[1] I.e., everything that has separated itself and attained autonomy through the influence of Saturn.

[2] Kronos is the Greek name for this god; Saturn is the Roman name.

[3] Steiner taught that myths are essentially true imagistic accounts of spiritual realities. [See the entry for "myths" in this encyclopedia.]

 - also see Dominions; Spirits of Wisdom

Gods six levels above mankind, according to Steiner. “Certain sublime Beings whose life Saturn rays back [1], may be called Spirits of Wisdom. (In Christian spiritual science they bear the name Kyriotetes, i.e. Dominions.) Their activity on Saturn [2] does not by any means begin with the middle epoch of evolution [3] ... Indeed in a certain sense it is by then already at an end. Before they could become conscious of the reflection of their own life, proceeding from the warmth-bodies of Saturn [4], they had first to make these bodies capable of bringing about such a reflection. [5] Hence their activity began soon after the commencement of Saturn evolution, at a time when the Saturn corporeality was still chaotic substance which could not have reflected anything [6] ... The Spirits of Wisdom have in their etheric body [7] attained the power to do more than enjoy the reflection of Life — as on Saturn; they are now able to pour Life out of themselves, endowing other beings with it. [8]” — R. Steiner, OCCULT SCIENCE - AN OUTLINE (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1963), chapter 4, part 3, GA 13. [See “Polytheism”.]



 • 4. Dominions, Spirits of Wisdom, 

 Wisdom Spirits, Kyriotetes • 


 • 5. Mights, Dynamis, Spirits of Motion, 
 Spirits of Activity, Principalities, Virtues • 


 • 6. Powers, Spirits of Form, Revelations, 
 Exusiai, Elohim, Spirits of Light, Authorities • 

There are nine ranks of Gods, Steiner taught. They occupy three "hierarchies." Kyriotetes are members of the highest rank in the second — middle — hierarchy. [See the entries for "gods" and "hierarchies" in this encyclopedia."]

[1] I.e., the life forces of these gods are reflected by Saturn.
[2] I.e., during the first incarnation of the solar system, called Old Saturn. [See "Old Saturn".] (When he described life "on" various "planets," Steiner sometimes meant existence on actual planets, but often he meant existence in/on phases of the solar system's evolution. His meaning must often be deduced from context. [See the entries for "planets" and "planetary conditions" in this encyclopedia.])
[3] I.e., their contributions during Old Saturn did not begin in the middle period of that evolutionary stage.
[4] We, as evolving entities during Old Saturn, were essentially amorphous bodies of warmth. (Old Saturn itself was a realm of warmth.) 
[5] I.e., before the Kyriotetes could know that their life forces were reflected back from Saturn, they had to make our bodies capable of giving such reflections. (Thus they contributed to our development.)
[6] They began their work at the very beginning of Old Saturn, when the substance of Old Saturn was not yet able to reflect their divine influences.
[7] Etheric bodies are formed, and function, at the etheric level. [See "Incarnation" and the entries for "etheric body" and "etheric realm" in this encyclopedia.]
[8] Steiner taught that the gods themselves evolve. The Kyriotetes contributed to our evolution during Old Saturn, and they in turn evolved to a higher level than they had attained previously. (The good gods act selflessly, Steiner taught; their selfless actions nonetheless are beneficial to themselves, enabling them to evolve higher.)

- L -

language - also see declamation; eurythmy; genius of language; larynx; speech; speech formation; speech sense

In Anthroposophical belief, language is created and bestowed by the gods; it is a formative, creative power. Steiner taught that the gods create by speaking their thoughts. Humans share this power to some degree, and we will share it more when we evolve higher. The highest use of language produces the highest spiritual embodiments. Thus, for instance, the characters of Shakespeare's plays really exist, now, in the spirit realm, having been created by Shakespeare's words and by performers speaking Shakespeare's words. “When you make Shakespearean characters living in that sense [1], you can raise them into the supersensible world [2] where they remain living. Of course, they do not do in the higher worlds what they do on the physical plane, but they remain alive, nevertheless, and they act there.“ — R. Steiner, FACULTY MEETINGS WITH RUDOLF STEINER (Anthroposophic Press, 1998), p. 336.

Language is divine, Steiner said: It embodies the Spirit of Language, a god. "[D]eeply hidden in language there is something that leads out and beyond it to something higher, something that is over language — to the Spirit itself. And this Spirit is not such that in the manifold languages it too can be manifold. [3] It lives within them all as a single unity." — R. Steiner, "Language and the Spirit of Language" (ANTHROPOSOPHY, A Quarterly Journal of Spiritual Science, Vol. 4, No. 3, 1929), GA 36. Language is essentially a gift from the gods. “You will surely believe me when I say that the structure of language has not been formed by human beings ... It is extremely important to learn how to feel something definite in the activity of the spirits of language. [4]" — R. Steiner, PRACTICAL ADVICE TO TEACHERS, Foundations of Waldorf Education (Anthroposophic Press, 2000), p. 59.

Steiner created a form of dance, called eurythmy [5], that is meant to express the inner, spiritual essence of language. He taught, moreover, that in the future the womb will be replaced by the larynx — the voice box, through which we produce spoken language — as the human organ of reproduction. [6]

[1] I.e., when you bring them to life.
[2] I.e., the world the lies beyond the reach of our senses — in essence, the spirit realm.
[3] I.e., there are many different languages, but the Spirit of Language is unified, it is a single god.
[4] I.e., the gods of language. (Previously we saw Steiner speak of a single god of language, here he speaks of several. Reconciling Steiner's many conflicting statements on many subjects is often difficult.)
[5] See "Eurythmy".
[6] See the entry for "larynx", below.

language sense - see speech sense

lantern walks - see St. Martin's; also November 2011

large-headed children - also see constitutional types; phrenology; cf. small-headed children

Anthroposophy generally identifies six "constitutional types" of children [1], especially "difficult" children. Large-headed children are excessively influenced by their metabolic-limb systems. [2] ◊ "In the large-headed child, the metabolic system strongly influences the nerve-sense organization. [3] These children have a rich imagination [4] and are not particularly open to sense impressions. They repose in themselves ... They have a tendency to daydream [5] and usually have a stout physique. There is a link here to the phlegmatic temperament. [6]" — H. van Oort, ANTHROPOSOPHY A-Z (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2011), p. 27. ◊ Large-headed children "are quite introverted with good concentration. They are rather dreamy and imaginative and quite artistic. They lack the hardening element as the 'I' and the astral body [7] are diverted from the nerve-sense system. [8] Therapeutically, Rudolf Steiner indicates washing the head and neck with cold water in the morning and a diet rich in root vegetables for their high content of salty substances. However, great care must be taken in the use of salt ... Vitamin D and potentized hypophysis extract can also be helpful.— Summary of presentation by Michaela Glöckler, Waldorf Journal Project 2: Child Observation and Study, ONLINE WALDORF LIBRARY.
[1] See "Holistic Education". Some Anthroposophists refer to just two constitutional types: large-headed and small-headed children.
[2] See the entry in this encyclopedia for "metabolic-limb system"; also see "What We're Made Of".
[3] See the entry in this encyclopedia for "nerve-senses system"; also see "What We're Made Of".
[4] See the entry in this encyclopedia for "imagination".
[5] Cf. the entry in this encyclopedia for "fantasy-rich children".
[6] See "Temperaments".
[7] See the entries for these terms
 in this encyclopedia; also see "Incarnation".
[8] Sic. See the entry in this encyclopedia for "nerve-senses system".

larynx - also see language; speech; speech formation

The voice box. According to Steiner, in the future it will become the new human reproductive organ. Our thoughts and words create real spiritual beings who exist in the spirit realm, Steiner said. [1] In the future, all of our reproductive activities will occur in this transcendent manner. "The larynx [appears to the initiate] to be an organ that is quite in the beginning of its evolution and has a great future before it. From what the larynx itself tells, he will feel that it is like a seed, not at all like a fruit or like a withered object, but like a seed. [2] He knows quite clearly from what the larynx itself brings to expression that a time must come in human evolution when the larynx will be completely transformed, when it will be of such a nature that whereas now man only utters the word, he will one day give birth to man. [3] The larynx is the future organ of birth, the future organ of procreation. Now man brings forth the word by means of the larynx, but the larynx is the seed that will in future times develop to bring forth the whole human being — that is, when man is spiritualised. [4]" — R. Steiner, THE WORLD OF THE SENSES AND THE WORLD OF THE SPIRIT (Rudolf Steiner Publishing Co., 1947), lecture 2, GA 134.

[1] See the entry for "language," above.

[2] I.e., the occult initiate (one who possesses hidden spiritual knowledge) knows that the larynx is still in a germinal state; it is still unevolved.

[3] I.e., we will give birth to our offspring through our larynxes.

[4] I.e., this will occur when we are much more highly evolved — essentially spiritual beings, no longer physical.

Last Supper - also see Christ; Holy Grail; Jesus

In Christian teachings, the Last Supper was the final meal Jesus Christ shared with his disciples. The meal is commemorated in Christian observance in the ceremony of Holy Communion or Eucharist. The miracle of transubstantiation is believed to have occurred at the Last Supper, when Christ told his disciples that the bread and wine they consumed had become His body and blood. [1] Steiner taught that the real meaning of the Last Supper was the transition to higher levels of existence, moving beyond the killing of animals and even vegetables for sustenance. "Christ...pointed to Bread and Wine: ‘This is my Body; this is my Blood.’ Here He wished to create a transition from animal nourishment to plant nourishment [2] ... At that time there were two classes of human beings: Firstly those whose nourishment was flesh and blood; these are the pre-Christian people with whom Christ in no way concerned himself. Secondly those who only killed plants...people who drank wine and ate bread. With these He was still concerned; they are the forerunners of that humanity which will exist in the future. [paragraph break] The significance of the Last Supper is the transition from nourishment taken from the dead animal to nourishment taken from the dead plant. When our Fifth Sub-Race [3] will have reached its end, in the Sixth Sub-Race, the Last Supper will be understood. Even before this it will be possible for the third form of nourishment to begin to make its appearance, the purely mineral. [4]" — R. Steiner, FOUNDATIONS OF ESOTERICISM (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1982), lecture 30, GA 93a.

[1] "And having taken bread, he gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, 'This is my body, which is being given for you; do this in remembrance of me.' In like manner he took also the cup after the supper, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which shall be shed for you.' (Luke 22:19-20)
[2] I.e., transition from eating meat to vegetarianism.
[3] In Theosophy, sub-races are racial types within root races, the intended racial forms for humanity during specific periods of evolution. Steiner used this terminology especially in his early occult lectures and writings. We currently exist in the fifth sub-race of the Aryan root race, he taught. [See the entries in this encyclopedia for "sub-races" and "root races".]
[4] I.e., we will no longer kill vegetables in order to eat them; we will eat minerals or preparations created directly from minerals.

lazure - also see arts; colors; painting

◊ "Rudolf Steiner encouraged artists to paint walls with transparent radiant color. He used the word 'lasur' to describe this new way of coloring walls — where color would feel as though it were in the space and not just on the wall. This provided a pure experience of color — as though one could 'spiritually pass through the walls.' [1] In 1907 and 1908 Steiner spoke of new impulses in the arts and demonstrated these new directions. In a lecture given in 1911 he spoke especially of the importance of transparent color on walls." — http://www.lazurebylogsdon.com/what_is_lazure.htm. [2] ◊ "Lazuring is not a solid splash of paint, it’s a technique that involves dabbing or applying the paint with a seafoam sponge and then swirling it with a dry paint brush. The effect is soft, fluid, transparent color that breathes." — L. Cox, THE MISSING TEACHER: A Memoir (Buffalo Publishing, 2015), p. 45. [3] The walls of Waldorf classrooms are often painted in accordance with lazure principles. The colors are meant to be spiritually appropriate for the ages of the students who occupy the rooms (first grade, second grade, etc.). [4] Steiner taught that different spiritual beings are spiritually perceptible in rooms of differing colors. ◊ "You will best realize the significance of colour if we describe how it affects the occultist ... [A]ccording to the capacity of clairvoyant vision, there may be visible and invisible beings in the same space. What spiritual beings become visible in any particular instance depends on the colour to which we devote ourselves. In a red room, other beings become visible than in a blue room." — R. Steiner quoted in ART INSPIRED BY RUDOLF STEINER, p. 95.

[1] Making walls seem transparent creates a suggestion of, and even a prompting toward, clairvoyance. It is part of the subtle spiritual conditioning undertaken by Waldorf schools. Steiner taught that for clairvoyants walls truly are transparent. [See, e.g., John Fletcher quoting Steiner, ART INSPIRED BY RUDOLF STEINER (Mercury Arts Publications, 1987), p. 95.]

[2] See "Magical Arts".

[3] See "Ex-Teacher Too".

[4] See "Mystical Colors". "The Waldorf classroom colors evolve from...warm, reddish tones in the early grades, through energetic orange/yellow around third grade, into the middle spectrum greens around fourth and fifth grade. It is here at the half-way-point of childhood that a kind of balance is achieved just before the onset of puberty. Green is the balanced color between light and darkness, and meets this age group in a harmonious way. From sixth grade on into the high school, various shades of blue dominate, and even lavender, lilac, and violet tones are indicated for the more inwardly active, thoughtful work of the upper school adolescent. However, craft rooms are often appropriately painted with warm colors, and spaces for eating are aided by appetite sympathetic golden-orange colors." — "Color in the Waldorf School: Van James", WALDORF TODAY.

leaders - also see Buddha; Christ; guru; "M"; Manu; masters; Noah; Rosenkreutz, Christian; Steiner, Rudolf; White Lodge; Zoroaster

According to Anthroposophical doctrine, a "leader" is a highly evolved spirit giving correct guidance to a group or, occasionally, to an individual; a leader is then a guru. [1] Thus, for instance, Noah was such a spiritual leader. Here is a Waldorf teacher discussing the story of Noah and the Flood: "Many people, and also giants, now lived on the earth but men had become wicked ... The story [of Noah and the Flood] refers to the sinking of the continent of Atlantis ... Noah, or Manu, as he is known elsewhere [2], was the leader of the sun-oracle of Atlantis [3] ... He was the most advanced leader and he was obviously still in touch with the creators of the Earth, the Elohim or Spirits of Form [4] ... Noah gathered together people sufficiently mature [5] and, knowing that the catastrophe was coming, emigrated to the center of Asia ... Here he set up a cultural or mystery center [6] from which the early Post-Atlantis civilizations were inspired." — R. Wilkinson,  COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT STORIES (Henry Goulden, 1984). pp. 20-21. Reprinted by the Rudolf Steiner College Press. [See "Old Testament".]

[1] See "Guru".

[2] I.e., in other religions and/or mythologies.

[3] I.e., a center of occult knowledge located in Atlantis.

[4] I.e., gods four levels above man. According to Anthroposophical accounts, they gave form to the physical Earth. (They should not be thought of as the "creators" of heavens and earth. The solar system, the cosmos, and the beings therein all existed in various conditions before the Elohim gave physical form to the Earth, Steiner taught. Many gods of various ranks contributed to the creation and evolution of man and the universe. [See "Origins" and "Polytheism".])

[5] I.e., sufficiently highly evolved.

[6] A "mystery center" is a locus or institution where occult, "mystery" knowledge is concentrated. [See the entries for "mystery" and "mystery schools" in this encyclopedia.]


left, left hand, left-handedness - also see abnormal; black; evil

Steiner sometimes used the term "left" as a synonym for "black" or "evil." "[L]eft or black power strives to make the earth ever denser and denser, like the moon. [1]" — R. Steiner, FOUNDATIONS OF ESOTERICISM (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1982), lecture 20, GA 93a.

According to Steiner, left-handedness usually should be "corrected." If the left is black or evil, then left-handedness can have terrible consequences. "[C]hildren will become idiotic through lefthandedness [sic]." — R. Steiner, quoted by G. Hueck in THE PROBLEM OF LEFTHANDEDNESS (Rudolf Steiner College Press, 2002), p. 15. [2]

[1] I.e., evil powers strive to make the Earth more and more densely physical — in other words, less and less spiritual. (Steiner taught that the Moon today is already super-hardened, ultra-dense.)

[2] One "cure" for left-handedness is to undertake long sessions of "form drawing" with the right hand. [See the entry in this encyclopedia for "form drawing".]

legends - also see fairy tales; fantasy; folk tales; Grimm's fairy tales; myths

According to Steiner, legends and myths are true accounts of visions had by people in olden times. ◊ "[M]en have obtained mighty revelations from one or the other direction, they have obtained mighty revelations which were expressed in the legendary form of myths and which have arisen out of deep wisdom." — R. Steiner, "The Wisdom Contained in Ancient Documents and in the Gospels", ANTHROPOSOPHIC NEWS SHEET, No. 26, 1937, GA 125. ◊ “At night they [1] were really surrounded by the world of the Nordic gods of which the legends tell. Odin, Freya, and all the other figures in Nordic mythology were...experienced in the spiritual world with as much reality as we experience our fellow human beings around us today. [2]” — R. Steiner, THE FESTIVALS AND THEIR MEANING (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1998), p. 198.

[1] I.e., ancient people, in this case in northern Europe.
[2] Nordic or Norse myths, which are stressed in Waldorf schools, originated in northern Europe. Odin was the chief Norse god, the god victory and death, the god of kings. Freya was the goddess love, the night, war, and death. [See "The Gods".]

lemniscate - also see form drawing; geometry

A geometric form, essentially a figure eight. Steiner found occult significance in the lemniscate, using it to illustrate the interaction of apparently opposing forces or conditions, and also indicating that the actual path of the Earth and other planets through space is a lemniscate. This motion is replicated, he taught, at the microcosmic level in the human body. [1] "[I]f we could indicate the movements of metabolism by a line, then it cannot be a straight line or a circle, for they would not contain the points of awaking and of falling asleep. We must find a line which actually depicts the movements of metabolism, so as to contain these points, and the only one — search as long as you like — is the lemniscate. Here you have the point of awaking in one direction and the point of falling asleep in the other direction. The directions alone are opposite, the two movements being equal as regards life-condition. We can now distinguish in a real way the cycle of day and the cycle of night. 

"Whither does all this lead? If we have grasped the fact that the motion of the daily metabolism corresponds to the motion of the Earth, we can no longer, with the Earth here [Steiner draws a diagram] attribute to any one point a circular motion. [2] On the contrary, we must form the conception that the Earth in actual fact proceeds along her path in such a way as to produce a line like that of the lemniscate. The motion is not a simple revolution, but a more complicated movement; each point of the terrestrial surface describes a lemniscate, which is also the line described by the metabolic process." — R. Steiner, MAN - HIEROGLYPH OF THE UNIVERSE (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1972), lecture 6, GA 201. (The illustration appears in the text as shown here.)

[1] In Anthroposophy, the human metabolism is thought to reflect the functioning of the cosmos. A human being is the microcosm, the cosmos is the macrocosm — they mirror one another. [See "The Center."] In this case, Steiner says that the human metabolism reflects the movement of the Earth through the cosmos.
[2] I.e., the Earth does not circle or obit the Sun.

Lemuria - also see Atlantis; catastrophes; Lemurian Epoch; planetary migrations

A hypothetical continent proposed by nineteenth century scientist P. L. Sclater to account for the distribution of lemurs along a rough arc extending from southern Africa to Madagascar, India, and eastward to the Philippines. Sclater imagined a small continent in the Indian Ocean; he named it Lemuria. But there is no evidence that such a continent ever existed, and the concept of Lemuria has long since been discarded by science.

According to Steiner, Lemuria did exist — it was mankind’s home before Atlantis. Steiner taught that we occupied Lemuria during the third stage of our evolution on Earth. It was the first stage during which we became civilized. “The ancestors of the Atlanteans lived in a region which has disappeared, the main part of which lay south of contemporary Asia ... [T]hey are called the Lemurians. After they had passed through various stages of development the greatest part of them declined. These became stunted men, whose descendants still inhabit certain parts of the earth today as so-called savage tribes. Only a small part of Lemurian humanity was capable of further development. [1]” — R. Steiner, COSMIC MEMORY (Rudolf  Steiner Publications, 1959), chapter 3, GA 11. [See "Static Too" and "Past and Future".]


Steiner's teachings about Lemuria and Atlantis appear in various publications. This is THE SUBMERGED CONTINENTS OF ATLANTIS AND LEMURIA - Their History and Civilization (Rajput Press, 1911.)

The residents of Lemuria were very different from modern humans, Steiner taught. “[T]he Lemurian could communicate with his fellow-men without needing a language. This communication consisted in a kind of ‘thought reading.’ The Lemurian derived the strength of his ideas directly from the objects which surrounded him ... [H]e understood plants and animals in their inner action and life ... [T]he Lemurian built without engineering knowledge on the basis of his faculty of imagination [2] ... [H]e could increase the strength of his arm by a simple effort of the will ... He was...a born magician in all fields of lower human activities. [3]” — R. Steiner, COSMIC MEMORY (Rudolf  Steiner Publications, 1959), chapter 5, GA 11. [See "Static Too".]

Just as Atlantis would be destroyed by cataclysms, so was Lemuria destroyed. “Lemuria was turbulent ... The thin ground was everywhere undermined by volcanic forces which broke forth in smaller or larger streams. Mighty volcanos existed almost everywhere and developed a continuous destructive activity ... It was through the activity of this volcanic fire that the destruction of the Lemurian land came about.” — R. Steiner, ibid. [See "Static Too".]

According to Steiner, the Earth hardened considerably during the Lemurian period, and Lucifer worked much mischief. Many humans fled from the Earth to other planets — they returned later when they thought conditions might be more congenial. "Because of the increased hardening of the Earth more and more souls leave [i.e., left] for the 'planets' [4] ... The hardening on Lemuria relents as our present (physical) Moon splits off from Earth. In the course of time the souls who have left earth for the 'planets' return and multiply ... Fear, illness and death arise with the increased power of Luciferic Spiritual Hierarchies [5] ... [Humans acquire] the first ideas of good and evil. [6]" — G. Ahern, THE SUN AT MIDNIGHT (James Clarke and Co., 2009), pp. 131-132. [See the entry in this encyclopedia for "Moon crisis".]

Lemuria was destroyed when men fell under the sway of Lucifer. "[I]n the lower kinds of human beings the life-body [7] was after all too little protected, and could not sufficiently resist the encroachments of the Luciferian nature. [8] Such human beings could [use] the fiery spark of the I...to call forth in their environment mighty workings of fire [9] ... This led eventually to a stupendous Earth catastrophe. A great portion of the then inhabited Earth was destroyed in these fire-storms, and with it perished also the human beings who had fallen into error. [10]" — R. Steiner, OCCULT SCIENCE - AN OUTLINE (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2009), pp. 191-192.

[1] I.e., further evolution. Those who could not evolve further became "savage tribes" or "lower races," Steiner taught. [See "Races".] Throughout Steiner's account of human evolution, large numbers of people are left behind at each stage, becoming decadent or dying out. Generally, only a small minority advances to succeeding evolutionary levels.

[2] I.e., clairvoyance of a preliminary sort. [See the entry for "imagination" in this encyclopedia.] Steiner taught that primitive peoples had natural clairvoyant abilities.

[3] Anthroposophists generally believe that various forms of magic are real. [See "Magic" and "Magicians".]

[4] I.e., the planets as they existed then, in different form.

[5] I.e., Lucifer and his minions.

[6] I.e., the actions of Lucifer and his minions led mankind to the knowledge of good and evil. Steiner's narrative parallels, and also diverges widely from, the biblical account of mankind's fall.

[7] I.e., etheric body, the first of our three invisible bodies. [See the entry for "etheric body" in this encyclopedia.]

[8] I.e., the effects of Lucifer (what might be called the temptations offered by Lucifer).

[9] The "I" is the spark of divinity that gives us individual spiritual identity; it is also the third of our invisible bodies. [See "Incarnation" and "Ego".] Here Steiner says that the Lemurians misused this spark, summoning forth catastrophic volcanic forces of heat and fire.

[10] Steiner taught that Lemuria and Atlantis were both destroyed by human wickedness. He said, further, that our own epoch will culminate in the War of All Against All, another catastrophe caused by human wickedness. [See "All vs. All".]

Lemurian Epoch - also see Atlantean Epoch; great epochs; Lemuria

In Theosophy and Anthroposophy: the great epoch during which humanity lived on the continent of Lemuria. [1] Humanity was evolving toward its present form, but was still largely unformed or strangely formed. ◊ "According to the Theosophical account, Lemuria in its prime reached from the Indian to the Pacific Oceans ... Its inhabitants were members of the third root race [2], hermaphrodite egg-laying apemen, some with four arms and others with an eye in the back of their heads." — J. M. Greer, THE NEW ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE OCCULT (Llewellyn Publications, 2009), p. 269. ◊ "The human being. whose physical body was then still malleable, was open to cosmic influences, and more or less hovered in the very young, liquid and gaseous atmosphere of the earth. At a certain stage, man was able to inhale divine substances to create separate interiority [3] ... At this period, differentiation of the sexes into male and female occurred [4] ... Unfortunately, evil forces at work in human beings gained the upper hand and, as a result of this, the continent of Lemuria disappeared in turbulent volcanic activity...." — H. van Oort, ANTHROPOSOPHY A-Z (Sophia Books, Rudolf Steiner Press, 2011), pp. 68-69.


 • GREAT EPOCHS • .....

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

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

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

 ◊ 4. Atlantean Epoch ◊ ..... 
Steiner taught that the Atlantean Epoch was the third great epoch of our existence on the physical Earth 
during our current stage of form. 
After Lemuria was destroyed by human wickedness, humanity dwelled on the continent of Atlantis,
which in turn would be destroyed by human wickedness. [5]

[1] Seethe page titled "Lemuria" and the entry for "Lemuria", above.

[2] See the entry in this encyclopedia for "root races".

[3] I.e., they gained a separate, interior consciousness allowing them to recognize themselves as separate from their surroundings.

[4] See, e.g., "Gender" and the entries in this encyclopedia for "female", "male", and "sex, sexes, sexism".

[5] See "Atlantis".

Leo - also see astrology; constellations; Sun; zodiac

◊ "Astrological sign (July 24-August 23); Element — Fire ... Ruling Planet — the Sun. Qualities — possess great charm and personality, endurance and loyalty; mysterious supernatural powers; ambitious, impulsive, talented in many directions; able to inspire love, trust, and loyalty; but they can be ruinously restless, hot-headed, impetuous, tricky, overly stubborn and opinionated." — G. Riland, THE NEW STEINERBOOKS DICTIONARY OF THE PARANORMAL (Rudolf Steiner Publications, 1980), p. 165. ◊ "The heart of the Zodiac, its life and fire, is LEO, the Lion, ruled by the Sun, the heart of our solar system [1] ... Without the Sun, which is the heart of things, there would be no power to grow and evolve [2] ... Man...is creative and procreative in virtue of the Sun and its sign, Leo; nay, it is by their means that he is able to recreate himself in every one of his earthly incarnations [3] ... The strength and power of the Lion sign derive from the very exalted beings known as Thrones, also called Spirit of Will. [4]" — J. Jocelyn, MEDITATIONS ON THE SIGNS OF THE ZODIAC (SteinerBooks, 2006), pp. 99-101.

Astrological lore of this sort receives serious attention from Anthroposophists. Astrology underlies much of Anthroposophy, including Waldorf education. [See, e.g., "Astrology" and "Star Power".] Steiner himself designed new representations for the twelve signs of the zodiac, including Leo. [See "Waldorf Astrology".
] Here is a mystic verse Steiner wrote, expressing the "mood" of Leo. (He wrote similar verses for all the other signs of the zodiac.) "Invigorate with senses’ might/Matured existence of all worlds,/Perceptive element of beings,/Toward the firm resolve 'to be’./In the surging shine of life,/In the prevailing pains of growth,/With senses' might, arise!" — R. Steiner, TWELVE MOODS (Mercury Press, 1984), GA 40. 


Steiner reimagined the signs of the zodiac. This is his version of the sign for Leo. [R.R. copy, 2010, based on image in CALENDAR 1912-1913 (SteinerBooks, 2003; facsimile edition).]

[1] In Anthroposophical teachings, the Sun is the home of Christ, the Sun God. [See "Sun God".]
[2] Humanity's evolution to higher and higher stages of consciousness is the central narrative of Anthroposophy. [See the entries in the encyclopedia for "evolution" and "evolution of consciousness".]
[3] Steiner taught that we reincarnate many times as we evolve. [See "Reincarnation".]
[4] These are gods seven levels higher than humanity, according to Anthroposophical teachings. "Spirits of Will" is Steiner's preferred name for them. [See "Polytheism".]

leprosy - also see demonic beings; disease; medicine

A disfiguring contagious disease. According to Steiner, its spread is associated with the activity of demonic beings. “[W]ith the dying out of the worst parts of the ancient population of which I have been speaking [in Asia], the whole region gradually became filled with demonic beings ... Their influence can best be seen at the time of the Great Migrations, when large masses of people, including Attila [1] and his hordes, came over from Asia and caused great terror among the people in Europe. This terror made the population susceptible to the influences of the demonic beings ... As a consequence of the terror produced by the hordes coming over from Asia, there gradually developed what manifested during the Middle Ages as the epidemic of leprosy.” — R. Steiner, THE SPIRITUAL FOUNDATION OF MORALITY (SteinerBooks, 1995), p. 31. [See "Steiner's Quackery".]

[1] I.e., Attila the Hun. He and his armies invaded Europe in the fifth century CE. They were eventually defeated by an alliance of Romans and Visigoths.

lesson books - cf. textbooks

Standard textbooks are rarely used in Waldorf schools (at least in part because they contain much real-world information that runs counter to Anthroposophical beliefs). Instead, students create their own "lesson books" (also called block books or class books). The results are often quite attractive. However, they may also be misleading. These books do not generally reflect what the students have learned, nor are they "textbooks" created by the children themselves. Generally, the students create these books by carefully copying what their teachers put on the chalkboard. Aside from whatever may be picked up during the process of copying, little instruction may result. "Copying is the curse of the Waldorf Schools. There is altogether too much of it, and it is not confined to the elementary school. In high school, where there is much less excuse for it, it still goes on. The way in which many [Waldorf] teachers organize their work implies that they consider that the whole object of the course is the creation of a gorgeous notebook. And the way in which some teachers judge the work of other teachers implies the same thing.” — K. Francis, THE EDUCATION OF A WALDORF TEACHER (iUniverse, 2004), p. 132. [See "Lesson Books"; also see "Academic Standards in Waldorf Schools".]


Two-page spread from a Waldorf student's lesson book. Parents and visitors are typically delighted with such books, often not realizing that students create them by copying images and text put on the chalkboard by their teachers, in a process that involves little actual learning. At most, the students absorb bits and pieces of the Anthroposophical worldview, while being denied the actual information contained in standard textbooks (which are generally banned from Waldorf schools). 

Libra - also see astrology; constellations; Venus; zodiac

◊ "Astrological sign (September 24-October 23); Element — Air ... Ruling Planet — Venus. Qualities — exceptionally well-balanced, generous, sociable, esthetic, intuitive, also very logical, perceptive, adaptable, humane; but Librans exhibit a tendency to drift, to be materialistic, careless of necessary details, easily hurt, impatient." — G. Riland, THE NEW STEINERBOOKS DICTIONARY OF THE PARANORMAL (Rudolf Steiner Publications, 1980), pp. 166-167. ◊ "Libra souls desire perfect harmony arising from the balanced threefold man [1] whose thinking, feeling, and willing [2] here become separate, free, and independent, yet are harmonized and under true control of the Ego. [3] ... Mankind is in the process of developing into a Hierarchy known as 'The Spirits of Freedom and Love.' [4] ... In Libra, we see how souls are given opportunities to test their soul quality and so secure balance, sometimes bringing to resolution a series of past earthly lives. [5]" — J. Jocelyn, MEDITATIONS ON THE SIGNS OF THE ZODIAC (SteinerBooks, 2006), p. 136.

Astrological lore of this sort receives serious attention from Anthroposophists. Astrology underlies much of Anthroposophy, including Waldorf education. [See "Astrology" and "Star Power".] Steiner himself designed new representations for the twelve signs of the zodiac, including Libra. [See "Waldorf Astrology".
] Here is a mystic verse Steiner wrote, expressing the "mood" of Libra. (He wrote similar verses for all the other signs of the zodiac.) "The worlds are sustaining worlds,/And being perceives itself within being,/Existence bounds itself with existence./And being stirs and causes being/To pour out deeds that unfold,/To rest in world-enjoyment./Oh worlds, uphold the worlds!" — R. Steiner, TWELVE MOODS (Mercury Press, 1984), GA 40.

[1] In Anthroposophy, humans are often described as threefold beings, possessing physical bodies, souls, and spirits. Steiner also gave other accounts, however. [See "What We're Made Of".]
[2] These are the three chief psychological/subjective processes that characterize earthly humans, according to Anthroposophy. [See the entries in this encyclopedia for "thinking", "feelings", and "will".]
[3] See "Ego".
[4] In Anthroposophy, the term "hierarchies" is often used as a synonym for "gods." More precisely, the hierarchies are subdivisions of the nine ranks of gods. [See "Polytheism".] Steiner taught that humanity is evolving to become a tenth rank or "hierarchy" of gods. [See "Tenth Hierarchy".]
[5] See "Karma" and "Reincarnation".

libraries - also see Ahriman; brain; education; intellect; knowledge; cf. living thoughts

According to Steiner, libraries are repositories of dead information; no true, living knowledge is to be found there. [1] Consequently, the arch-demon Ahriman [2] promotes the creation of libraries. “One of the things Ahriman wants for us is that we produce lots of libraries, storing lots of dead knowledge all around us.” — R. Steiner, POLARITIES IN THE EVOLUTION OF MANKIND (SteinerBooks, 1987), p. 163. This is part and parcel of Steiner's general rejection of ordinary knowledge and intellect. He advocated "living thoughts" and clairvoyance instead. [See "Thinking".] In Waldorf schools, this attitude translates into a rejection of "fact-based education". [See the entry for "knowledge," above.]

[1] See the entries in this encyclopedia for "knowledge" and "living thoughts".

[2] See "Ahriman".

lies, lying - also see evil; secrecy; sin; cf. morality; truth

According to Steiner, untruthfulness is both a consequence of karma and a cause of karmic effects. "Let us suppose that in one life a person manifests a particular tendency towards telling lies ... If a person is untruthful, the actions which proceed from untruthfulness will again arouse the most forcible feelings against himself in the life after death [1] ... Spiritual Science [2] shows that a fickle life which knows neither devotion nor love — a superficial life in one incarnation — expresses itself in the tendency to lying in the next incarnation; and in the third incarnation this tendency to lying manifests itself in incorrectly formed organs. [3] Thus we can karmically trace the effects in three consecutive incarnations: superficiality and fickleness in the first incarnation, the tendency to lying in the second, and the physical disposition to disease in the third incarnation." — R. Steiner, MANIFESTATIONS OF KARMA  (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1969), lecture 3, GA 120. [See "Morality".]

[1] I.e., the life in the spirit real, following one incarnation and preceding another.
[2] I.e., as Steiner generally used this term, it applies to his own teachings, Anthroposophy. (Theosophy also refers to itself as "spiritual science.")
[3] I.e., physical deformities.

life after death and before birth - also see pre-earthly life; preexistence; reincarnation; spirit realm

According to Steiner, we live many Earthly lives, and between these incarnations we live in the spirit realm. Life after death and before birth is spent in the spirit realm, preparing for the next incarnation. We must understand that human beings belong to the spirit realm as much as, if not more than, we belong in the physical realm. Steiner stressed the importance of such concepts for Waldorf education. "If you cannot manage to see every human being as a cosmic mystery, you will not get beyond the sense that people are no more than mechanisms, and if such a feeling were cultivated, it would lead to the downfall of earthly culture. [1] On the other hand, earthly culture is raised only when we permeate education with the feeling that the whole human being has cosmic significance. [2] And this cosmic feeling arises only when we regard the content of human feeling as belonging to the period between birth and death. Human thinking indicates [i.e., reflects] the period before birth, and what exists in the human will points to what comes after death as a seed for the future. [3] As the threefold human being [4] stands before us, first we see what belongs to the time before birth, then we see what lies between birth and death, and, third, we see what awaits us after death. Our life before birth enters our existence as images [5], and the seed of what lies beyond death exists within us even before death." — R. Steiner, PRACTICAL ADVICE TO WALDORF TEACHERS (Anthroposophic Press, 2000), p. 28. [See "Advice for Teachers".]

[1] I.e., "materialistic thinking" — conceiving human being to be wholly physical beings ("mechanisms"), living exclusively in the physical universe — will destroy human civilization. Steiner offered Anthroposophy as humanity's salvation, built upon the perception that each human is a spiritual being whose essence is profound, supernatural, and occult (a "cosmic mystery").

[2] This is, essentially, the agenda for Anthroposophically attuned education: Waldorf education.

[3] I.e., our feelings arise during our Earthly lives, our thoughts arise from life before incarnation on Earth, and our will "points to" our life after death.

[4] Steiner gave varying accounts of the human constitution. [See "What We're Made Of" and "Our Parts".] In his teachings, the "threefold human being" is usually described as a being with a physical body, a soul, and a spirit. Here, Steiner stresses the three faculties of feeling, thinking, and willing.

[5] I.e., we carry within us images ("imaginations") planted there before Earthly incarnation; we also carry intimations of our lives following Earthly death (lives after death and before new births on Earth).

life body - see etheric body

life conditions - see conditions of life

life ether - also see chemical ether; ether; light ether; quintessence; warmth ether

In Anthroposophical belief: the fourth of four subdivisions of ether. [1] Steiner taught that the ether is an element, a view advanced by scientists in the nineteenth century but subsequently discarded. "The first element which is finer than the air [2] is the one which causes it to expand, which always increases its spatial content. What expands the air in this way is warmth; it is really a fine etheric substance, the first grade of ether, the Warmth Ether. Now follows the second kind of ether, the Light Ether. Bodies which shine send out a form of matter which is described...as Light Ether. The third kind of ether is the bearer of everything which gives form to the finest matter, the formative ether, which is also called the Chemical Ether. It is this ether which brings about the union of oxygen and hydrogen. And the finest of all the ethers is that which constitutes life: Prana, or Life Ether." — R. Steiner, FOUNDATIONS OF ESOTERICISM (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1982), lecture 5, GA 93a.


 • Life Ether • 
 • Chemical Ether • 
 • Light Ether • 
 • Warmth Ether • 

Steiner taught that the "four elements" (earth, air, fire, water) [3] are accompanied by a "fifth element" — ether or quintessence. [4] In turn, he said, ether is subdivided into four forms of ether. Life Ether is the highest of the four.

[1] See the entry for "ether" in this encyclopedia.
[2] Steiner accepted the ancient view that there are four basic elements, one of which is air. The others, in this view, are earth, water, and fire. [See the entries for these terms in this encyclopedia.] Science today recognizes more than a hundred elements, but Anthroposophists tend to cling to the view that really, essentially, there are just four. In his discussion of ether, Steiner indicates a fifth element (having four subdivisions): ether. But this component of his teachings is often overlooked.
[3] See the entry for "elements" in this encyclopedia; also see "Neutered Nature".
[4] See the entries for "ether" and "quintessence" in this encyclopedia.

life force - also see etheric body; life spirit; vital force; Waldorf education: goals

Several nineteenth century philosophers and scientists hypothesized the existence of a force in nature, a "life force" (élan vital), that conveys life, confers health, and fosters the process of evolution. The concept was widely adopted in science and in popular culture, but scientists gradually turned from it when it proved to have little value in explaining specific phenomena or in making testable predictions. Although the idea of such a force seemed intuitively obvious to many people, no specific, identifiable life force was ever discovered. "Life force" came to be understood as a catch-all term, a hazy generalization encompassing all the disparate factors that go into the production of life. But as he did with many bits of discarded or discredited science, Steiner affirmed the notion of a life force, and his followers tend to cling to it still. Thus, for instance, Steiner said that the residents of Atlantis were able to harness life force — or one form of it — for use in their technology. "The Atlantean...controlled the actual life force contained in seeds. Think of the life force that causes the blades of grass to sprout from the earth. This life force was extracted from the seed by the Atlanteans and put to use. In their sheds where the Atlanteans kept their 'air ships' they laid up enormous stocks of seeds, just as we today store coal. With the force accumulated from the seeds they propelled their vehicles." — R. Steiner, ROSICRUCIAN ESOTERICISM (Anthroposophical Press, 1978), lecture 8, GA 109.

Life force, as conceived in Anthroposophy, may be equated with the soul forces of the etheric body. For Anthroposophists, virtually anything that is spiritually potent — anything that inspires of vivifies — can be taken as a source of life force. This includes texts revered in Anthroposophy, such as Goethe's FAUST and Biblical accounts of the life of Christ. ◊ "A human being who is basically the representative of the whole humanity stands before us in Faust. [1] We cling to him; he fulfils us with purpose in life, with life-force. Beyond his death Goethe points out that to us, FAUST cannot become outdated; we find deeper and deeper truths in it." — R. Steiner, ORIGIN AND GOAL OF THE HUMAN BEING (transcript, Rudolf Steiner Archive), lecture 17, GA 53. ◊ "Mankind is always in need of truths ... The assimilation of truths is not significant only for our knowledge; truths themselves contain life-force ... To permeate ourselves with the truth that resides in the New Testament [2] is not without significance, even if we cannot yet understand the truth in its deepest inwardness. Later on, truth becomes cognitional force, but it is already life-force...." — R. Steiner, CHRIST AND THE HUMAN SOUL (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2008), lecture 4, GA 155.

The concept of a life force is sometimes used in efforts to legitimize Waldorf education. Thus, for instance: “The success of Waldorf Education...can be measured in the life force attained. Not acquisition of knowledge and qualifications, but the life force is the ultimate goal of this school.” — P. Selg, THE ESSENCE OF WALDORF EDUCATION (SteinerBooks, 2010)‚ p. 30. Such efforts are weakened, of course, if the term "life force" is recognized as having little or no definite, practical meaning.

[1] Steiner found great significance in Goethe's two-part play about the magician Faust. [See "Goethe".]

[2] Anthroposophists revere Christ and they take inspiration from the New Testament. However, they also believe that much of the New Testament is wrong or, at least, it requires occult interpretation. Steiner revised many central Christian teachings. [See "Was He Christian?" and "Steiner's Fifth Gospel".]

life kingdoms - see conditions of life

life processes - also see astrology; disease; planets; soul types

In Anthroposophical medicine, generally, seven basic processes of life or metabolism are identified. They are (1) breathing, (2) warm­ing, (3) nutrition, (4) circulation, (5) maintenance, (6) growth and maturation, and (7) reproduction. While physical in nature, these processes also reflect qualities or types of soul. The life processes, like soul types, are associated with the seven planets occultly believed to constitute the solar system. Thus, these processes fall under astrological influences. The planets associated with the seven life processes, in order, are generally said to be (1) Saturn, (2) Jupiter, (3) Mars, (4) Sun, (5) Mercury, (6) Venus, and (7) Moon. The key to all diseases is said to be found in the seven life process.

"Rudolf Steiner gave us a key to this by identifying the seven physiological functions that shed light on our basic life processes. Once you understand these you will know which disease is connected to which process ... Planets, everchanging in the sky, govern all moveable, interchanging func­tions in the body. Breathing is the first life process. Steiner emphasizes that this is an occult term, which signifies "intake" from the outside world ... Breathing is associated with the planet Saturn, the most peripheral planet from a spiritual point of view ... Steiner called the second process warm­ing (ruled by the planet Jupiter). This di­rects our attention to whatever increases body temperature ... Nutrition is the third process. It is also connected with Mars. Mars is an aggressive Planet, related to destruction. Nutrition has this same quality [breaking down ingested matter] ... With the fourth process, circulation, we have ar­rived at the center of the body. It relates to the beat of the heart and the rhythm of the lungs. The transformed substances must now be transported to the organs that use them. This is done through the cardiovascular sys­tem, governed by the Sun and the Ego ... The fifth process, maintenance, relates to tissue and cell connections. It is the sum total of making sub­stance into the body's own cells, each one round like little mercury droplets. This process belongs to [the planet] Mer­cury ... Sixth, growth and maturation belong to the same process that forms tissue or ac­tual organs like liver, lung, kidney, etc. It takes a new impulse, that comes from Venus, to individualize tissues and trans­form them into organs ... The last process, reproduction is the total opposite of the Saturn forces. It is gov­erned by the Moon. Reproductive forces result in the formation of an embryo that grows and is ultimately a totality; a new world, excreted to the outside at birth. Sat­urn forces bring the outer world in, the Moon forces take the inner world out." — R. Renata, "The Seven Life Processes", AnthroMed Library, https://www.anthromed.org.

life sciences - see biology; botany; zoology


life sense - also see physical body; senses

In Anthroposophical belief: ◊ "[O]ne of the 12 senses. [1] This sense informs us of our physical condition and of feelings such as hunger, thirst, pain ... The life sense ensures a correct balance between physical body, soul and spirit." — H. van Oort, ANTHROPOSOPHY A-Z (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2011), p. 69. ◊ "What Rudolf Steiner means by [life sense] is that we experience our constitution. You have an experience of how you feel. This is spread throughout the entire body." — A. Soesman, OUR TWELVE SENSES (Hawthorn Press, 1990), p. 20. Life sense exists under the influence of Scorpio, according to Steiner. [2] He identified life sense as one of four physical senses, along with the senses of balance, movement, and touch.

[2] See the entry in this encyclopedia for "Scorpio".

life spirit - also see spirit; spirit man; spirit self

According to Steiner, life spirit is a high component of the human constitution, part of our spiritual nature; Budhi or Buddhi. It is the transformed or elevated etheric body, embodying an advanced stage of human consciousness. It is, as it were, the etheric body when it is permeated by the "I" [1], our spark of divinity: "This member may be called the second spiritual member, the life spirit. (It is called 'buddhi' in Oriental wisdom.) [2] The expression 'life spirit' is the appropriate term for the reason that the same forces are active in [it as in] the 'life body' [3]; only, in these forces, when they manifest themselves as life body, the human ego [4] is not active. If they manifest as life spirit, however, they are permeated by the activity of the I." — R. Steiner, AN OUTLINE OF OCCULT SCIENCE (Anthroposophic Press, 1972), chapter 2, GA 13. [See "Our Parts".]

Life spirit is the second of three members of our spirit nature — it stands between “spirit self” and “spirit man.” [See "What We're Made Of".] All three of these represent lower bodies that have been transformed into higher bodies by the active influence of the "I": "'Spirit-self' arises when the astral body [5] is transmuted to a higher state [by the "I"]. 'Life-spirit' is the similar transformation of the etheric nature. [6] 'Spirit-man' is the conscious penetration and complete transmutation of the physical organism [7] itself [by the "I"]. These spiritual states are considered to belong generally to the future, but [they are] anticipated in the Imagination, Inspiration, and Intuition of the path of knowledge. [8]" — G. Ahern, THE SUN AT MIDNIGHT (James Clarke & Co., 2009), p. 107.

Spirit, being immortal, is higher than soul, which changes with each incarnation, Steiner taught. Thus, our spirit nature is higher than our soul nature — and, indeed, we have not yet truly attained our spirit nature. ”[W]hat is spiritual in modern human beings exists only as a tendency ... What we call Spirit Self is present only as a tendency ... Then there is a second highest aspect of the human being that we call Life Spirit. The Life Spirit is barely perceptible in modern human beings. It is something very spiritual that will develop in the distant future. The highest part of the human being is something that presently exists only as a barely perceptible tendency, the actual Human Spirit. [8]” — R. Steiner, THE FOUNDATIONS OF HUMAN EXPERIENCE: Foundations of Waldorf Education (Anthroposophic Press, 1996), pp. 80-81.

[1] See the entry in this encyclopedia for "I"; also see "Ego".

[2] In Indian philosophy, buddhi is intelligence. (A Buddha is one who has attained supreme wisdom or intelligence.) In Theosophy, buddhi is enlightened intellect or intuition.

[3] I.e., the etheric body, the lowest of our three invisible bodies. [See "Incarnation".]

[4] I.e., the spiritual ego or "I": the highest of our three invisible bodies. [See "Ego".]

[5] This is the second of our invisible bodies. [See "Incarnation".]

[6] See the entry for "etheric nature" in this encyclopedia. Here, Steiner refers principally to the etheric body.

[7] I.e., the physical body.

[8] In Anthroposophy, imagination, inspiration, and intuition are stages of clairvoyance. [See the entries for these terms in this encyclopedia.]

[9] I.e., spirit man. [See "What We're Made Of" and the entry for "spirit man" in this encyclopedia.]

light - also see electricity; Goethean science; stars; Sun

According to Steiner, light consists of emanations coming from distant spiritual beings. It decays and becomes electricity. Steiner affirmed Goethe's description of light and rejected Newton's; and he added his own professed clairvoyant insights. “If we look up to the stars, we can say that something streams from them that can be perceived by the human being's sense organs here on earth ... [I]t proceeds from beings of intelligence and will [1] whose life is bound up with those stars. The effects appear to be physical because the stars are at a distance. They are not really physical at all. [2] What you see are the activities of beings of will and intelligence in the stars. I have spoken to you of the ingenious description of the sun given by astrophysicists. [3] But if it were possible to journey to the sun it would be found with amazement that nothing of what is to be expected from these physical descriptions exists ... What we see is in reality the working of will and intelligence which at a distance appears as light.” — R. Steiner, AGRICULTURE (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2003), p. 35. [See "Overhead".]

[1] I.e., gods.

[2] I.e., light is not really a physical phenomenon.

[3] Steiner denied that astrophysicists — or natural scientist generally — give true accounts of the subjects they study. Here, he rejects the standard astronomical description of the Sun.

light body - also see etheric body; light world

a) According to Steiner: our true form, revealed after death. Here is a prayer, addressed to multiple gods, that touches on the light body:

"O, Powers in the spiritual world [1],

Let me be outside my body [2],

Let me be knowing in the world of light [3],

So that I may observe my own light body.

And let the power of Ahrimanic forces [4]

Be not too strong over me.

Let them not make it impossible for me

To behold what passes in my light body."

— R. Steiner, 

START NOW! (SteinerBooks, 2004, p. 179. 

[See "Serving the Gods".]

b) The light body may also be taken as the etheric body. "[O]n Old Moon [5]...there were warmth, light and water. Man has [i.e., had] his etheric or light body as on Old Sun [6]; the new element that is added [i.e., was added] on Old Moon is what may be called tone or sound." — R. Steiner, ROSICRUCIAN ESOTERICISM (Anthroposophic Press, 1978), lecture 6, GA 109.

[1] I.e., gods. [See "Polytheism".]
[2] I.e., the physical body.
[3] I.e., the spirit realm.
[4] I.e., powers of the minions of Ahriman. [See "Ahriman"]
[5] I.e., during the third incarnation of the solar system, a period called Old Moon. [See "Old Moon, Etc."] (When he described life "on" various "planets," Steiner sometimes meant existence on actual planets, but often he meant existence in/on phases of the solar system's evolution. His meaning must often be deduced from context. [See the entries for "planets" and "planetary conditions" in this encyclopedia.])
[6] Old Sun was the second incarnation of the solar system. [See "Old Sun".]

light ether - also see chemical ether; ether; life ether; quintessence; warmth ether

In Anthroposophical belief: the second of four subdivisions of ether. [1] Steiner taught that ether is an element, a view advanced by scientists in the nineteenth century but subsequently discarded. "The first element which is finer than the air [2] is the one which causes it to expand, which always increases its spatial content. What expands the air in this way is warmth; it is really a fine etheric substance, the first grade of ether, the Warmth Ether. Now follows the second kind of ether, the Light Ether. Bodies which shine send out a form of matter which is described in Theosophy as Light Ether. The third kind of ether is the bearer of everything which gives form to the finest matter, the formative ether, which is also called the Chemical Ether. It is this ether which brings about the union of oxygen and hydrogen. And the finest of all the ethers is that which constitutes life: Prana, or Life Ether." — R. Steiner, FOUNDATIONS OF ESOTERICISM (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1982), lecture 5, GA 93a.


 • Life Ether • 
 • Chemical Ether • 
 • Light Ether • 
 • Warmth Ether • 

Steiner taught that the "four elements" (earth, air, fire, water) [3] are accompanied by a "fifth element" — ether or quintessence. [4] In turn, he said, ether are four forms of ether. Light Ether is the second of the four.

[1] See the entry for "ether" in this encyclopedia.
[2] Steiner accepted the ancient view that there are four basic elements, one of which is air. The others, in this view, are earth, water, and fire. [See the entries for these terms in this encyclopedia.] Science today recognizes more than a hundred elements, but Anthroposophists tend to cling to the view that really, essentially, there are just four. In his discussion of ether, Steiner indicates a fifth element (having four subdivisions), but this component of his teachings is often overlooked.
[3] See the entry for "elements" in this encyclopedia; also see "Neutered Nature".
[4] See the entries for "ether" and "quintessence" in this encyclopedia.

light, spirits of - also see gods; Spirits of Light; cf. Darkness, Spirits of

In Anthroposophical doctrine: beneficent gods of various ranks. They have directed the divine cosmic plan for humanity's benefit. [1] We are the center of their attention. [2] They assist us individually, one by one, but they also guide us as members of groups such as nations and races. "Through millennia, the progressive spirits of light guided humanity by means of blood bonds. They brought people together in families, tribes, nations and races, uniting those who belonged together on the basis of truly ancient human and world karma. [3] With their feeling for those blood bonds [4] people then also had a feeling for missions which went a very long way back in the world, missions designed to make the blood bonds — which, of course, came from the earth — part of the general human karma. [5] If one turns one's attention to the spiritual world during the 1820s and 1830s, when the souls which were later to enter into human bodies were still in that world [6], one finds that the souls which were about to descend [to the physical plane] had certain impulses which, among other things, were due to the fact that for millennia they had been bound to particular families, tribes, nations and races each time they were on earth. From the 1840s onwards these souls were meant to make the decision to enter into particular bodies. [7] For the spirits of light who sent their impulses into human souls were, of course, guiding human evolution according to the old blood bonds. [8] And so the human souls in the spiritual worlds had certain impulses to follow the ancient human karma on entering into bodies which were to be the population in the second half of the nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries. [9] The spirits of light were using the old measures of controlling and guiding those souls." — R. Steiner, THE FALL OF THE SPIRITS OF DARKNESS (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1993), lecture 13, GA 177. Whereas all beneficent gods may be deemed spirits of light, gods of one particular rank — the sixth — are designated specifically as Spirits of Light. [10]

[1] See the entry in this encyclopedia for "divine cosmic plan".
[2] See "The Center".
[3] According to Steiner, the gods who most directly supervise "families, tribes, nations and races" are Spirits of Fire or Archangels. [See "Embedded Racism".] Here Steiner says that people are brought together in groupings by their shared karma (ancient human karma and/or the karma of the world [see "Karma"]).
[4] For Steiner's teachings about blood, see "Blood".

Steiner taught that various peoples have various missions to fulfill as human evolution proceeds. [See, e.g., "The Good Wars".] The karma, mission, or purpose of a people is a portion of "the general human karma."


i.e., these human souls were sojourning in the spirit realm between Earthly incarnations.

[7] Steiner taught that before Earthly incarnation, a soul selects the body in which it will dwell, based largely on the requirements of karma.

[8] I.e., the gods who lent their aid to humans during this process were largely guided by the karmic requirements manifested in the blood bonds between members of families, tribes, etc.

[9] Here Steiner is focusing here on a particular period of history, but very much the same process occurs in other periods, he taught.

[10] See the entry in this encyclopedia for "Spirits of Light".

light world, world of light - also see etheric realm; light body; Spirits of Light; Sun God; Zoroastrianism

a) Sometimes, in Anthroposophy, this is the spirit realm, the higher region where the spirits of light (good gods) reside. [See "Higher Worlds".] Thus, "spiritual eyes and ears [1] are organized into him [2] and begin to function when he devotes himself to the exercises with patience, persistence and concentration. He learns to see the light world of spiritual beings...." — R. Steiner, FROM THE CONTENTS OF THE ESOTERIC LESSONS (transcript, Rudolf Steiner Press), GA 266.

Light is brought to mankind by Lucifer (whose name means light-bearer), although this light is very often deceptive — it is the intellectual apprehension that Ahriman corrupts, Steiner taught. [3] While benefiting us, Lucifer primarily lures us toward false spirituality. [See "Lucifer".] True spirituality, true light, comes through Christ, the Sun God, and the Archangel of the Sun, Michael. [See "Sun God" and "Michael".] The world of light, then, is the Sun or the entire cosmos illuminated by the Sun.

Steiner's teachings on the world of light derive, in part, from his interpretation of Zoroastrianism. [4] Steiner taught that various ancient peoples had various apprehensions of the Sun God — visions of Christ that were, to varying degrees, incomplete. "[T]he ancient Persian people...would all too readily have fallen a prey to the snares of Ahriman, had not Zarathustra [the founder of Zoroastrianism], with his teaching of the God of Light [5], impressed it so earnestly upon them that behind the world of the physical senses is the world of the Spirits of Light." — R. Steiner, OCCULT SCIENCE - AN OUTLINE (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1969), chapter 4, GA 13. 

b) Also in Anthroposophy, more specifically, the light world may be taken as the etheric realm, where the etheric man has his being. [See the entry for "light body", above.]

[1] I.e., organs of clairvoyance. [See "Knowing the Worlds".]
[2] I.e., the candidate for initiation. [See "Inside Scoop".]
[3] In Anthroposophy, Lucifer and Ahriman are arch-demons. They offer us gifts, but their attentions can be deadly. [See "Lucifer" and "Ahriman".] 
[4] See "Zoroastrianism".]
[5] I.e., Ahura Mazda, the Zoroastrian God of Light. According to Steiner, he is an apprehension of Christ.

Lilith - also see Adam; Eve; etheric body; Lucifer; Mephistopheles

In Jewish folklore, Lilith (a demon) was Adam's first wife; she was replaced by Eve. In discussing Goethe's FAUST, Steiner gives this account of Lilith: "Reference is made to how the soul element has to leave the body, and how a part of the etheric body too must be lifted out, and what I might call a kind of Nature-initiation ... Part of Faust's etheric body has gone out; and because a man's etheric body, as I have often told you already, is feminine, this is seen as Lilith. This takes us back to times when man was not constituted at all as he is now. According to legend Lilith was Adam's first wife and the mother of Lucifer. Thus we see here how Mephistopheles is making use of the luciferic arts at his disposal, but how something lower also enters in that, in the following speech amounts almost to a temptation. Faust moreover is afraid he may lose consciousness and losing consciousness he would fall very low — so that Mephistopheles would like to promote this. He has already brought Faust to the point of having part of his etheric body drawn out, which makes him able to see Lilith appear." — R. Steiner, THE PROBLEM OF FAUST (Anthroposophical Society of Great Britain, 1930), lecture 2, GA 273. 

limb man - also see chest man; head man; metabolic-limb man; nerve-senses man; rhythmic man

In Anthroposophical belief, this is the inner human being that embodies the forces of the metabolic-limb system. [1] (Steiner taught that a human being consists of multiple, small, inner human beings.) The limb man — who is also sometimes called the metabolic-limb man — stands in opposition to the head man. [2] The limb man of one incarnation is altered so that it reincarnates as the head man in the following life. "The Head man is the metamorphosis of the Limb man of the previous incarnation. [3] The forces that formed the Limb man in the last incarnation, have, during the period between the last death and the last birth [4]...metamorphosed so that they could now form the head. Thus the Head man and the Limb man are complete polar opposites, and the central, Rhythmic man [5] is the adjustment between the two.... [6]" — R. Steiner, MAN - HIEROGLYPH OF THE UNIVERSE (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1972), lecture 2, GA 201.

[1] See the entry in this encyclopedia for "metabolic-limb system".
[2] See the entry in this enecyclopedia for "head man".
[3] See "Reincarnation".
[4] I.e., while one lived in the spirit realm following one's previous earthly incarnation and before one's present earthy incarnation.
[5] I.e., the chest man. [See the entry in this enecyclopedia for "chest man".]
[6] Throughout Steiner's teachings, balance is described as a condition in which a central force or being mediates between two other forces or beings that stand in opposition to one another. Here, Steiner says that the chest man mediates between the limb man and the head man. (In other contexts, Steiner told of Christ mediating between Lucifer and Ahriman [see "Was He Christian?"] and Germany mediating between America and Russia [see "Steiner and the Warlord"].)

limb-metabolic system - see metabolic-limb system

limbs - also see eurythmy; limb man; metabolic-limb man; metabolic-limb system

Steiner taught that the limbs (arms and legs), which he said are part of the same physiological system as the metabolism, are the members that prepare our future incarnations. [1] “In a certain sense, we take from earthly life only the physical medium, the actual human being [2] ... [W]e allow this human being to make manifest...what is already prepared in us as a result of previous lives; we transfer this to our limbs, which are the part of us where life after death is being shaped in advance." — R. Steiner, ART AS SPIRITUAL ACTIVITY (Anthroposophic Press, 1998), p. 247.

See "Reincarnation".
[2] I.e., during earthly life we dwell within a physical form, which reductively may be deemed the "actual human being" (although one's truest self, Steiner taught, is spiritual).

lion - also see bull; eagle; group soul; man

a) A large cat, a predator.

b) According to Steiner: one of the four group souls [1] shared by humans at an early stage of evolution. Modern humans of varying kinds still reflect the influences of these souls, Steiner said. "One calls these four group souls by the names of the apocalyptic beasts [2]: Bull, Eagle, Lion, Man. The Man, however, was at another stage of evolution than the man of today. [3] The names are taken from the organization of the group souls ... There were forms existing [4] which were especially adapted to receive the Lion egos, others the Bull egos, etc. That was in a very early age of earth evolution ... The group in which the aggressive quality belonging to the organization of the heart was specially developed, formed the human beings whose group soul belonged to the Lion [5] ... One would have found one kind of race, of which someone with a prophetic gift could have said: Those are physical beings who remind one somewhat of the lion, who reproduce the character of the lion, even though they looked different from the lion of today. They were lion-hearted people, aggressive human germs [6] ... [T]hese lion natures...developed a special attractive force for the male forms of the etheric bodies. These felt themselves especially drawn to the lion men [7] ... The male etheric bodies which crystallized a physical lion body out of themselves, had the power of fructifying the physical lion body itself [8], so that the procreation of humanity was especially cared for by the lion-like race. It was a kind of fructification from out of the spiritual, a non-sexual procreation ...The result was that on the one side there was a humanity [the lion race] which was maintained by fructification, on the other side, another half [the bull race] which became more and more unfruitful. The one side became the female sex, the other the male. [9] The modern female physical nature has in fact a male etheric body, whereas the etheric body of the man is female. The physical body of the woman has proceeded from the lion nature, whereas the physical bull-body is the ancestor of the male body.”  — R. Steiner, "The Four Human Group Souls (Lion, Bull, Eagle, Man)" (transcript, Rudolf Steiner Archive), GA 107. [See "Four Group Souls".]


Pictorial representation of the four group souls, including the lion. [FROM COMETS TO COCAINE (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2000), p. 51; color added.]

[1] Group souls are souls shared by all the members of a species, nation, race, etc., or so Steiner taught. Modern humans have individual souls as well as remnants of group souls; proto-humans had only group souls, as do animals today, Steiner said.

[2] I.e., beasts mentioned in the Book of Revelation.

[3] The "man" who counts as one of the "beasts" is not the human being of today.

[4] i.e., proto-humans existed, beings who would evolve to become human.

[5] I.e., the proto-humans who had aggressive characteristics arising from the functioning of the heart shared the lion group soul.

[6] I.e., preliminary human embodiments, proto-humans who were the seeds for what would eventually become true humans: us.

[7] I.e., masculine etheric bodies were drawn toward incarnation in the lion men. [For information about etheric bodies, see "Incarnation".]

[8] I.e., the masculine etheric bodies brought the physical bodies of the lion men into existence, and they enabled the lion bodies to reproduce themselves non-sexually. (The division into sexes had not yet occurred, Steiner taught.)

[9] I.e., members of the lion race, with their masculine etheric bodies, evolved to become female human beings; members of the bull race, with their female etheric bodies, evolved to become male human beings. The former (the lion people who became females) were more fruitful, so that they became capable of bearing children.

literature - also see English (subject); fairy tales; folk tales; legends; myths; sagas

The Waldorf curriculum emphasizes legends, myths, folk tales, and other narratives considered spiritually true (i.e., affirmed by clairvoyance). [See "Oh My Word".] Steiner taught that all fairy tales, legends, and myths are true accounts of clairvoyant experiences in the spirit realm: They are stories that ancient clairvoyants told, attempting to convey their spiritual insights. ◊ “Fairy tales are never thought out [i.e., invented]; they are the final remains of ancient clairvoyance, experienced in dreams by human beings who still had the power ... All the fairy tales in existence are thus the remnants of the original clairvoyance.” — R. Steiner, ON THE MYSTERY DRAMAS (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1983), p. 93. ◊ “Myths...are the memories of the visions people perceived in olden times ... At night they were really surrounded by the world of the Nordic gods of which the legends tell. Odin, Freya, and all the other figures in Nordic mythology were...experienced in the spiritual world with as much reality as we experience our fellow human beings around us today.” — R. Steiner, THE FESTIVALS AND THEIR MEANING (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1998), p. 198.

Waldorf teachers attempt to steer their students toward apprehension of the underlying clairvoyant content in the stories they tell in class or assign for study. [See, e.g., THE INTERPRETATION OF FAIRY TALES, by Waldorf teacher R. Wilkinson (Rudolf Steiner College Press, 1998), and THE NORSE STORIES AND THEIR SIGNIFICANCE, by the same author (Rudolf Steiner College Press, 1999).] Works of real literary merit are included in Waldorf literature classes, but so are works that are studied only because they express Anthroposophical themes. The latter works, often written by Waldorf faculty members, present arguably pleasing ideas, but considered as works of art they are frequently doggerel and generally they are found nowhere except in Waldorf schools. [See "Clearing House".] Thus, for instance, THE WALDORF BOOK OF POETRY (Living Arts Books, 2012), includes several poems by Waldorf teachers. Here are excerpts from one, a poem that is less objectionable than some others. (The Anthroposophical doctrines that peek from behind these lines are not made explicit.)

"The Sun is in my heart,
He warms me with his power... [1]

"The stars above my head
Are shining in my mind,
As spirits... [2]

"The earth whereon I tread
Lets not my feet go through...

"Then must I thankful be
That man on earth I dwell...." [3]

— From "The Sun Is in My Heart," 
by A. C. Harwood.

When classic works of literature are studied in Waldorf literature classes, very often they have been carefully selected so that they may be interpreted as supporting Anthroposophical beliefs. [See, e.g., "I Went to Waldorf".] Some works, such as Goethe's FAUST, are treated as virtual gospel — they are sacralized, presented as virtually the expressions of the gods. Such works, carefully interpreted in compliance with Anthroposophy, can be used to openly present in class Anthroposophical doctrines that otherwise, in other courses, usually reman in the background. [See "Indoctrination."]

[1] In Anthroposophical doctrines, the Sun is the abode of Christ, the Sun God. [See "Sun God".] Many Waldorf poems and prayers are addressed to the Sun or sing praises to the Sun, which is often depicted as masculine ("He warms me..."). The Sun is in our hearts, Steiner taught, when we make room for the Sun God there. (Waldorf teachers generally seek to make space for Christ and the other gods in their classrooms. “Waldorf education strives to create a place in which the highest beings [i.e., gods], including the Christ, can find their home....” — Waldorf teacher J. Almon, WHAT IS A WALDORF KINDERGARTEN? (SteinerBooks, 2007), p. 53.)

[2] In Anthroposophical doctrines, the stars are the abodes of numerous gods, or — as they are described here — "spirits." The influences of these gods flow down into our hearts and minds as astrological effects, Steiner taught. The reference to spirits, here, is perhaps the most explicit Anthroposophical teaching in the poem. (Astrology is implicit in many Waldorf beliefs and practices. [See "Astrology".])

[3] Teaching children to be grateful for being human and for living on Earth is generally unobjectionable and need not imply Anthroposophical beliefs. But Anthroposophical beliefs are inevitably present when Anthroposophists themselves offer such teachings. According to Steiner and his followers, humans are uniquely glorious beings, situated at the center of the created universe. [See "The Center" and "Tenth Hierarchy".] That we dwell on Earth is undeniable, but Steiner taught that humans have also lived on other planets [see "Planetary Humans"], and that we live in the spirit realm during the periods between our Earthly incarnations [see "Reincarnation"]. A poem like this at least opens a possibility for Waldorf teachers to discuss or allude to such beliefs. (Should we be grateful that, during life on Earth, our feet do not crash through the surface of the planet, plunging us into interior regions ("The earth...lets not my feet go through")? Steiner taught that such regions exist, and that while the Earth seems solid to us, it is vaporous and hollow to other beings, such as gnomes [see "Past and Future"]. Discussion of these subjects is unnecessary during a study of this poem, but again the possibility for such discussion is opened.)

living pictures - also see clairvoyance; imagination; indoctrination; inspiration; intuition; living thoughts; thinking; wet-on-wet painting

In Anthroposophy, these are powerful images arising from true use of the imagination. Imbued with spiritual power, living pictures can have profound impact. Ideally, they are true, clairvoyant images that convey the essence of living thoughts. They are, then, effectively images reflecting the fluid spirit realm — they are not static representations of mere physical reality. 

Living picture are essential to Waldorf education, according to Steiner. Speaking to teachers at the first Waldorf school, Steiner said, “You will injure children if you educate them rationally ... [L]iving pictures go through imagination and sympathy. Concepts are abstractions, and they go through memory and antipathy. They come from life before birth ... If you bring children as many living pictures as possible, if you educate them by speaking in pictures, then you sow the seed for a continuous retention of oxygen, for continuous development, because you direct the children toward the future, toward life after death ... We must see that thinking is a pictorial activity which is based in what we experienced before birth ... To take this into our own feelings, namely, that education is a continuation of supersensible activity before birth, gives education the necessary consecration.” — R., THE FOUNDATIONS OF HUMAN EXPERIENCE, Foundations of Waldorf Education (Anthroposophic Press, 1996), pp. 61-62

Living pictures can convey Anthroposophical doctrines wordlessly to children. So, for instance, "if a teacher shows in living pictures how the whole earth is a living being, how it bears the plants as a man bears his hair...a kind of expansion takes place in the soul of the child ... It is not correct to say that the child is not mature enough for conceptions of this kind. A teacher in whom they live and who has this world conception at the back of him, knows how to express them in forms for which the child is ripe and in which it can concur with its whole being.” — R. Steiner, ESSENTIALS OF EDUCATION (Anthroposophical Publishing Company, 1926), pp. 63-64. The use of such pictures becomes, then, a subtle form of Anthroposophical indoctrination. This is, ultimately, the purpose of Waldorf schooling. [See "Indoctrination" and "Sneaking It In".]

living thoughts - also see clairvoyance; contradiction; imagination; inspiration; intuition; living pictures; thinking; cf. brain; critical thought; intellect; materialistic thinking

According to Steiner, these are true spiritual thoughts, achieved through the use of intuition or clairvoyance — a participatory process in which one lovingly, imaginatively enters into the inner essence of the subject being considered. Steiner developed the concept of living thoughts as an extension of Goethe’s approach to the study of nature. Steiner said that most living thoughts are essentially implanted in us at or before the moment of birth; they come to us from higher spiritual beings — gods. Most living thoughts are thus received rather than originated, although using the cognitive organs of one’s invisible bodies may produce new living thoughts. Our good thoughts become beneficent supernal beings, while our bad thoughts become evil supernal beings. The antithesis of living thoughts is found in dead, materialistic thoughts produced by the physical brain, Steiner taught. 

◊ "The cosmic ether [1], which is common to all, carries within it the thoughts; there they are within it, those living thoughts of which I have repeatedly spoken in our anthroposophical lectures, telling you how the human being participates in them in pre-earthly life before he comes down to Earth. There, in the cosmic ether, are contained all the living thoughts there are; and never are they received from the cosmic ether during the life between birth and death. No; the whole store of living thought that man holds within him, he receives at the moment when he comes down from the spiritual world — when, that is, he leaves his own living element, his own element of living thought, and descends and forms his ether body. [2] Within this ether body, within that which is the building and organising force in man [3], are the living thoughts; there they are, there they still are.” — R. Steiner, CURATIVE EDUCATION (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1999), p. 37. [See "Thinking" and "Criticism".]

◊ "Our thoughts live outside us as elemental beings [4] ... We have gradually to develop a will — and this we really do — which streams forth from us, which pours forth from us, as it were, and undulates and moves to where our living thoughts are ... When the will strikes against an elemental thought-being, the contact produces an up-glimmering of feeling and we perceive this ‘ricochet’ of our will as an absolute reality of the spiritual world [5] ... Our own being which is poured out into the cosmos lives as feeling which comes back to us on the waves of will. The elemental beings thereby become real to us and we gradually perceive that which exists outside us as the outer spiritual world." — R. Steiner, THE INNER NATURE OF MAN AND LIFE BETWEEN DEATH AND REBIRTH (Anthroposophical Publishing Co., 1928), lecture 5, GA 153.

Considered skeptically, living thoughts are fantasies that one projects onto reality. This, of course, is not how Anthroposophists view the matter.

[1] See the entry for "ether" in this encyclopedia.
[2] I.e., we receive our living thoughts while we are still in our true "living element" — the spirit realm. (When we descend to Earthly incarnation, we immediately enter a physical body and we begin forming the first of our invisible bodies, the etheric body. [See "Incarnation".])
[3] Steiner taught that the etheric body largely consists of shaping forces that help mold the physical body.
[4] I.e., nature spirits. [See "Neutered Nature".]
[5] Steiner is saying that true, living thoughts exist outside our brains, we do not think them up; instead, we project our willpower to make contact with the living thoughts, and we receive back reflections or "ricochets" (emotions, feelings) that enter our brains as "thoughts." Thus our brains are not thinking organs, they are receivers. [See "Steiner's Specific", "Thinking", and the entry for "brain" in this encyclopedia.]

Lodge of Twelve, The - also see Bodhisattvas; Christ; leaders; lodges; Mother Lodge; occult lodges; White Lodge

According to Steiner, this is the lodge or locus in the spirit realm where a dozen Bodhisattvas — enlightened beings, buddhas — guide human evolution; the thirteenth and presiding member is Christ. "A Lodge of twelve Bodhisattvas is to be regarded as the Lodge directing all Earth evolution. The concept of ‘Teacher’ familiar to us at lower stages of existence can be applied, in essentials, to these twelve Bodhisattvas. They are Teachers, the great Inspirers of one portion or another of what mankind has to acquire. [1] Whence do these Bodhisattvas receive what they have to proclaim from epoch to epoch? — If you were able to look into the great Spirit-Lodge of the twelve Bodhisattvas you would find that in the midst of the Twelve there is a Thirteenth — one who cannot be called a ‘Teacher’ in the same sense as the Bodhisattvas, but of whom we must say: He is that Being from whom wisdom itself streams as very substance. [2]" — R. Steiner, THE GOSPEL OF ST. LUKE (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1964), lecture 7, GA 114; emphasis by Steiner. [See, e.g., "God" and "The White Lodge".]

[1] I.e., the members of the lodge guide various peoples, in various epochs, toward the correct evolutionary path for humanity ("what mankind has to acquire").

[2] I.e., the Sun God, from whom light — both physical and spiritual — streams. The Sun God, according to Steiner, is Christ. [See "Sun God".]

lodges - also see Lodge of Twelve; Mother Lodge; occult lodges; secret brotherhoods; White Brotherhood; White Lodge

As used in Anthroposophical discourse, the term "lodges" applies to meeting places for spiritual orders. There are true orders and false orders; true lodges and false lodges. Orders and lodges have their real location in the spirit realm, although they may be manifested on the physical plane. "Now quite apart from the many occult Orders which have become pure mummies [1]...and are carried on more out of a liking to dabble in mysteries [2], we find that as late as the first half of the nineteenth century there always existed, as well as these others, very earnest and sincere Orders ... The Orders to which I am referring were able to impart more [truth], because certain needs prevailed in the spiritual world among Beings belonging to the Hierarchy of the Angeloi [3] ... Certain Beings of the Hierarchy of the Angeloi...have needs of knowledge, and can only satisfy them by letting human beings reach over, probingly as it were, to these genuine occult Orders before they have come down from pre-earthly into earthly existence. [4] It has actually happened that in connection with certain Lodges working with ancient ceremonial forms, men of vision have been able to assert: Here there is present the soul of a human being who will descend to the earth only in the future. [5] Before the man is born, the soul may be present in such a Lodge and, through their feelings, men can acquire a great deal from this source [6] ... [I]n certain occult Lodges the spirits of human beings not yet born hover in a kind of anticipatory existence. What happens in a case like this does not stimulate intellectual thoughts, for modern men have these thoughts naturally and need no such stimulus. But when they are working in their occult Lodges with the right mood of soul, they can receive communications from human beings not yet born, who are still in their pre-earthly existence and who can be present as a result of the ceremonies. Such men feel the reality of the spiritual world and can, moreover, be inspired by the spiritual world." — R. Steiner, SUPERSENSIBLE INFLUENCES IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND (Rudolf Steiner Publishing Co., 1956), lecture 3, GA 216. [See "Occult Lodges".]   

[1] I.e., they have died spiritually and their wisdom is now null.
[2] I.e., the mummified orders merely dabble in occult teachings, poking around in spiritual mysteries.
[3] I.e., gods one step above humanity. [See "Polytheism".]
[4] I.e., these gods allow human beings to probe the wisdom of the true lodges (existing in the spirit realm) during our lives in the spirit realm between Earthly incarnations.
[5] I.e., members of true occult lodges here on Earth are able to discern the presence of unborn humans in the lodges in the spirit realm. ("Men of vision" are those who are clairvoyant. Using their clairvoyance, and following "ancient ceremonial forms," they can see into the spirit realm.)
[6] I.e., spiritual savants, "men of vision," attain spiritual wisdom "through their feelings" far more than through their thoughts. (Steiner repeated asserted the superiority of feelings over thinking. [See, e.g. "Steiner's Specific" and "Spiritual Agenda".] He especially disparaged intellectual thinking.)

Lödur - also see blood; Loki; Norse myths; races

The Norse god of blood and pigmentation. "Archangels [1] are to be found amongst the companions of Odin [2]: Hönir who gave the power of thought and Lödur who gave that which is intimately connected with race, namely pigmentation and the character of the blood. These two Beings, therefore, are Archangels more in the normal line. In Vili and Ve [Odin's brothers], on the other hand, we have Archangels of abnormal development. [3]" — R. Steiner, THE MISSION OF THE INDIVIDUAL FOLK SOULS (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1970), lecture 8, GA 121. Lödur is sometimes identified as Loki, the Norse trickster god, who was half giant. "Loki or Lodur gave Germanic man his own characteristics and light skin colour, his racial characteristics." — K. Zoeteman, GAIASOPHY (SteinerBooks, 1991), pp. 164-165. In some tellings, often referenced by Steiner's followers, Lödur is one of the three most important gods for the development of human beings. Odin gave humans breath and soul; Honir gave us mind and the power of thinking; Lödur gave is blood, stature, and pigmentation. [See R. Wilkinson, THE NORSE STORIES AND THEIR SIGNIFICANCE (Rudolf Steiner College Press, 1999), p. 15.] The significance Steiner attached to race can seem shocking today; the problem for Anthroposophists is whether to renounce this portion of Steiner's teachings, thus opening the possibility that Steiner may have been wrong on other topics as well. The alternative is to affirm Steiner's racial teachings while finding some way to rationalize them.

[1]  I.e., gods two steps above humanity. [See "Polytheism".]
[2] He is the highest Norse god. [See "The Gods".]
[3] Abnormal beings, Steiner taught, are those that lag behind others in evolutionary development. [See the entry in this encyclopedia for "abnormal, abnormality".]

logic - also see critical thought; intellect; logicism; rationalism; science; thinking; cf. clairvoyance; contradiction; imagination; inspiration; intuition

Although he claimed that Anthroposophy is a science, Steiner indicated that logic (the essential mental discipline used in science) applies primarily to lowly material or physical existence; it is largely irrelevant at higher levels of being, the levels he claimed to investigate as a "spiritual scientist." Steiner repeatedly stressed the need for a logical approach to spiritual investigation, yet he also repeatedly downplayed intellect, emphasizing "living thoughts" and clairvoyance instead. He claimed that contradictions — which violate the basic tenets of logic — are necessary and unavoidable. [See, e.g., "Thinking", "Clairvoyance", and "Steiner's Illogic".]

On some occasions, Steiner said that logic applies uniformly at all levels of existence — material and spiritual — but on other occasions he indicated that the supersensible realm and its truths transcend logic just as they exceed the reach of our senses. Certainly, he taught, as we evolve to higher and higher states of consciousness, rational thought as such will be less and less valuable to us — we will proceed to high forms of clairvoyance that ultimately will provide complete, instantaneous awareness of spiritual reality. The gods operate at a level far beyond rationality and superior even to intuition. (Steiner ranked nonrational, true forms of thought as — from lower to higher — imagination, inspiration, and intuition.) "[W]hat actually concerns these beings [i.e., gods], what they themselves need in order to guide human evolution [1], can only be observed by means of a mode of cognition that transcends intuition. [2] This points to worlds whose lowest spiritual concerns can be viewed as including Earth’s highest spiritual concerns. [3] For example, rational conclusions are among the highest concerns within the earthly domain, while the effects of the mineral kingdom are among the lowest. In these higher realms, rational conclusions are the approximate equivalent of mineral effects on Earth. [4] Beyond the domain of intuition lies the domain where the cosmic plan [5] is fashioned out of spiritual causes." — R. Steiner, AN OUTLINE OF ESOTERIC SCIENCE (Anthroposophic Press, 1997), p. 409.

[1] Steiner taught that the chief occupation of many if not all gods is to assist humans to evolve properly.
[2] I.e., it is even higher than intuition.
[3] I.e., in the higher worlds above our world [see "Higher Worlds"], the lowliest matters dealt with are equivalent to the most elevated matters we are able to contemplate.
[4] I.e., rationality is present, but it is the lowest stratum.
[5] I.e., the gods' divine plan for evolution. [See the entry for "divine cosmic plan" in this encyclopedia.]

logicism - also see logic; mathematics

a) A mathematical approach that equates mathematics with logic.

b) According to Steiner, one of the seven world outlooks, which are soul moods that he said function under the influence of the seven astrological "planets." “The special mark of Logicism consists in its enabling the soul to connect thoughts, concepts and ideas with one another. As when in looking at an organism one comes from the eyes to the nose and the mouth and regards them as all belonging to each other, so Hegel arranges all the concepts that he can lay hold of into a great concept-organism — a logical concept-organism. Hegel was simply able to seek out everything in the world that can be found as thought, to link together thought with thought, and to make an organism of it — Logicism!" — R. Steiner, HUMAN AND COSMIC THOUGHT (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1991), pp. 45-46. Steiner associated logicism with Jupiter. [See “Philosophy”.]

Logoi - also see Godhead; Logos; trinity

According to Steiner, these are the three gods who comprise the Godhead. ("Logoi" is the plural form of "Logos.") "Here we have three definitions of Beings who bring about, who underlie a planetary chain. [1] They are called the three Logoi. The Third Logos produces by means of combining. When out of one substance something else having new life comes into being, this is brought forth by the Second Logos. Everywhere, however, where we have to do with a coming forth out of nothing, we have the First Logos. This is why the First Logos is also often called the One who is immanent in things, the Second Logos the One who in the quiescent substance in things creates life out of the living, the Third Logos the One who combines everything existing, who puts the world together out of things. [2]" — R. Steiner, FOUNDATIONS OF ESOTERICISM (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1982), lecture 27, GA 93a. [See "All" and "Logos".]

[1] i.e., an evolutionary sequence; this is Theosophical terminology.
[2] In describing the actions and powers of the three Logoi, Steiner approximates some Christian teachings about the three members of the one-and-only triune God. The chief difference is that Steiner refers to three separate gods, not a single God. [See "Polytheism" and "God".]

Logos - also see Christ; Gnosis; Logoi; Sun God; trinity

a) From the Greek for word or reason. In theology: the Word of God.

b) Often, gnostic or esoteric knowledge of the Word of God.

c) Sometimes, Gnosis itself. ("Gnosis" is Greek for knowledge. In theology and esotericism, the word denotes knowledge of spiritual mysteries.) [See "Best".]

d) According to Steiner, one of the three Logoi; especially Christ. ◊ “When the Intellectual or Mind-Soul was unfolded [1], it was through the reality alone that man could continue to be preserved from being severed from the Divine-Spiritual Beings who belonged to him. [2] The Divine had to enter inwardly as Being, even in the earthly life, into the Organization of the Intellectual or Mind-Soul [3] ... This took place through the Divine-Spiritual Logos, Christ, uniting His cosmic destiny with the Earth.... [4]” — R. Steiner, "A Christmas Study: The Mystery of the Logos" (ANTHROPOSOPHICAL LEADING THOUGHTS, Rudolf Steiner Publishing Co., 1973), GA 26. [See "Gnosis".] ◊ "A comprehensive, preparatory understanding is necessary to look into the world of the three Logoi ... [Very high gods] who went through worlds before the earth was Saturn [5] sounded down the creative word when the earth was at the beginning of its evolution. 'In the beginning was the word' should be taken quite literally. At the end of evolution man will be a being who creates through the word. [6] He arose from a creative Logos and he'll later be a creative logos himself. [paragraph break] The creative word is the third Logos of the Trinity. [7] He's the world sound that resounds through the world. A higher, more sublime power is the creative light. Man will also be a shining light later. [8] Warmth that's raised to a higher level becomes light. In the future man won't just be sound — he'll become a radiant, shining being that is light. The creative light is creative for our world as the second Logos. The world aroma [9] goes through the cosmos as the highest revelation; it's a higher principle of creation than world sound and world light. World sound is the third Logos, world light is the second Logos and the universe's aroma is the first, most creative and highest Logos." — R. Steiner, FROM THE CONTENT OF THE ESOTERIC CLASSES (transcript, Rudolf Steiner Archive), GA 266. 

[1] I.e., the second level of our soul nature was developed. [See "What We're Made Of".] Steiner taught that the mind soul was developed during the Greco-Roman Age, enabling mankind to think rationally for the first time.
[2] I.e., this development enabled mankind to remain under the guidance of the gods (the "Divine-Spiritual Beings") who were most essentially involved in our evolution (the gods "who belonged to him"). 
[3] I.e., divine influences had to manifest on the physical plane through the structure of the mind soul (also called intellectual soul). [See "What We're Made Of".]
[4] I.e., this happened when the Sun God descended to Earth, incarnating in the body of Jesus. [See "Sun God" and "Was He Christian?"] Christ is referred to as the Logos or the living embodiment of the Word of God. [See "Logos".]
[5] I.e., during the first incarnation of the solar system, called Old Saturn. [See the entries in this encyclopedia for these terms.]
[6] I.e., at the culmination of our evolution, we will be, in effect, God the Father, with the power to create through voicing our intentions.
[7] See the entry for "trinity" in this encyclopedia.
[8] I.e., we will evolve to be not just the equivalent of the lowest Logos but to be the equivalent of higher forms of Logos.
[9] I.e., the highest form of Logos is not "heard" (as "word") nor "seen" (as "light") but it is "smelled" (as "aroma"). [See the entry in this encyclopedia for "world aroma".]

Loki - also see Lödur; Lucifer; Norse myths; Ragnarök

a) In Norse mythology: a trickster god. Half-giant, he arranged the murder of Baldur and will fight alongside the giants against the gods at Ragnarök.

b) According to Steiner: a real being: the disguised Lucifer. “Lucifer [1] conceals himself behind the figure of Loki who has a remarkably iridescent form.” — R. Steiner, THE MISSION OF THE FOLK SOULS (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2005), p. 144. [See "The Gods".]

Loki is an ambiguous figure in many Norse myths; sometimes he seems playful and — in a mischievous way — pleasing. But in Anthroposophical texts, he is usually presented as wicked. "Loki or Lopt. The Scandinavian god of evil, who had formerly assisted Odin [2] in the creation of the world. He fathered Hel, goddess of Death and Hades; the colossal serpent Jormungader; the Fenris-Wolf; the Midgard Snake; and Augurburda, the messenger of sorrow. Loki, obsessed with evil, wrought havoc on earth, devised the death of Balder [3], and continued to flourish after the coming of Christianity as the instigator of sensuality, under the name of Satan." — G. Riland, THE NEW STEINERBOOKS DICTIONARY OF THE PARANORMAL (Rudolf Steiner Publications, 1980), p. 169. (Note that Steiner often distinguished between the Devil and Satan, identifying the first with Lucifer and the second with Ahriman. [4])

In some accounts, Loki is identified with Lödur, or he is seen as Lödur's replacement as Norse mythology developed. "...Hoder seems to take the place of Honir [5] and Loki of Lodur. It means that the senses become materially oriented and self becomes predominant in the fire of the blood." — R. Wilkinson, THE NORSE STORIES AND THEIR SIGNIFICANCE (Rudolf Steiner College Press, 1999), p. 15. 



[Public domain image; color added.]

[1] See "Lucifer".

[2] Odin (or Woden, Wotan) is the highest Norse god. [See the entry in this encyclopedia for "Odin".]

[3] Balder or Baldur (or Baldr) is a son of Odin. He is usually depicted as a pure, loving god (although he is also associated with lust), and in Anthroposophy is deemed a Christ figure. [See the entry in this encyclopedia for "Baldur".]

[4] See "Ahriman".

[5] Hoder or Hodur (or Hod) is another son of Odin. Blind, he is tricked by Loki into launching a deadly dart at Balder. Honir or Hoenir is an enigmatic figure. He may have been involved in the creation of man, with some accounts saying he imparted the power of motion.

looping - also see class teachers; Waldorf teachers

At Waldorf schools, a teacher will take responsibility for a group of children and remain with the group for several years, cycling or "looping" with the students as they progress from grade to grade. ◊ "Waldorf teachers [1] stay with the same students from preschool until Grade 8 [2] — a process called looping. The teachers believe this practice promotes security and trust in the classroom." — C. Milstone. [See "Anthropopery".] ◊ "Looping has been around for a while in various forms. Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian educator and philosopher living in Germany in the early 1900s, founded the Waldorf Schools. These schools educated the children of the Waldorf-Astoria Cigarette Factory workers. Steiner believed that a long-term relationship with the teacher was beneficial to children. Waldorf teachers stayed with their students from grades one through eight. Today in Germany, students and teachers stay together from grades one through four." — A. Becker et al, LOOPING (Northeast and Islands Regional Educational Laboratory At Brown University, 1997), p. 4.

[1] Specifically, Waldorf "class teachers" do this. [See the entry in this encyclopedia for "class teachers".] Other members of the faculty, called "subject teachers," specialize in one or two subjects,  presenting these subjects to students at various grade levels. They do not reman with a single group of students. [See the entry in this encyclopedia for "subject teachers".]
[2] This varies from school to school. Often, a teacher takes charge of a group of students at the beginning of first grade and stays with the group through fourth or fifth grade, at which point another class teacher takes charge. In rare cases, a teacher may stay with the group from first grade through high school.

Lord of Karma - also see Christ; karma

"['Lord of Karma' is a] term coined by Rudolf Steiner, defining one of the aspects of Christ. [1] It will rest with Christ to decide how our karmic account, with its credit and debit sides, will shape our lives in future incarnations." — H. van Oort, ANTHROPOSOPHY A-Z (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2011), p. 70. As Lord of Karma, Christ holds mastery over karma. [2] He decides how karma must be fulfilled and how it is discharged. Ultimately, he will decide when each individual, and humanity as a whole, will be freed from karma.

Moreover, in freeing us from the burdens of karma, Christ will lay the groundwork for our future evolution. Specifically, he will enable us to evolve to the Future Jupiter condition of consciousness. [3] "Christ taught people to forgive. If people forgive their fellow human beings, the need for karmic redress disappears, and cosmic energy is freed ... This liberated energy is used to give shape to the next developmental stage in which our planet earth will evolve — the new Jupiter." — H. van Oort, ANTHROPOSOPHY A-Z, p. 70.
According to Steiner, Christ only recently assumed the role of Lord of Karma. (Speaking before the event, Steiner cast it in the future.) “[T]owards the end of the twentieth century, a significant event will again take place ... What is this event? It consists in the fact that a certain office in the Cosmos, connected with the evolution of humanity in the twentieth century, passes over in a heightened form to the Christ. Occult clairvoyant research tells us that in our epoch Christ becomes the Lord of Karma for human evolution.” — R. Steiner, FROM JESUS TO CHRIST (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2005), pp. 46-47. [See "Millennium".]

[1] The term is not unique to Anthroposophy. Sometimes multiple "Lords of Karma" have been discussed. Such Lords have sometimes been conceived as spirits who bind us to karma, but they have also sometimes been conceived as spirits who free us from karma. In some astrological schools, Saturn is called the Lord of Karma.
[2] See "Karma".
[3] See "Future Stages".

The Lord’s Prayer - also see Christ; prayers; Sun God

The model prayer offered by Jesus (see, e.g., Matthew 6:9-13). [1] Steiner used several reworked versions. The most radical is this: 



Evils reign

Bearing witness to I-being

Separating itself

and to selfhood's guilt —

Incurred through others,

Experienced in the daily bread

Wherein the will of heaven

Does not reign,

Because humanity

Has separated itself

From Your Kingdom

And forgot your names

Ye Fathers in the Heavens."

 — R. Steiner

START NOW! (SteinerBooks, 2004), p. 221.

Little purpose may be served in annotating this prayer line by line. The key points to notice are ◊ The text reverses the order of the prayer as given by Christ, ending in "Amen" [2]. ◊ This version of the prayer is addressed to multiple gods ("Ye Fathers in the Heavens") instead of a single God ("Our Father which art in heaven"). [See "Power Words" and "Polytheism".] (There is some debate over whether Steiner actually began this version of the prayer with "Aum". This is a mantra, often given as "Om," used in several Eastern religions.) [2]

[1] "Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen." — Matthew 6:9-13, King James Version.

[2] In esotericism and occultism, reversing texts and rituals is thought to reveal their true meaning and/or to invoke divine intervention. See, e.g., the collection of Steiner lectures titled REVERSE RITUAL (Anthroposophic Press, 2001): "Religious reversal is often seen as a way of bringing down divine influences into the material world."

[2] For more on Anthroposophical prayers — including prayers written by Steiner for use by Waldorf students — see "Prayers".

lotus flower - also see chakras; organs of clairvoyance

a) The flower of a large water lily.

b) In Greek mythology, a legendary flower that causes forgetfulness.

c) In Asian art and religion, a sacred symbol of birth, purity, sexuality, rebirth, etc.

d) In astrology, a symbol of the rising Sun.

e) In Theosophy, a symbol of the "self-producing soul."

f) According to Steiner, drawing from Eastern religious teachings, an incorporeal organ of the soul. [See, e.g., "Inside Scoop".] Essentially, each lotus flower is an organ enabling a form of psychic/spiritual vision: clairvoyance. We have or can develop several such organs, Steiner said. "The six-petalled lotus flower, when developed, permits intercourse with beings of higher worlds [1], though only when their existence is manifested in the astral or soul-world. [2] The development of this lotus flower, however, is not advisable unless the student [3] has made great progress on that path of esoteric development which enables him to raise his spirit into a still higher world. [4] This entry into the spiritual world proper must always run parallel with the development of the lotus flowers, otherwise the student will fall into error and confusion. He would undoubtedly be able to see, but he would remain incapable of forming a correct estimate of what he saw. [5] Now, the development of the six-petalled lotus flower itself provides a certain security against confusion and instability, for no one can be easily confused who has attained perfect equilibrium between sense (or body), passion (or soul), and idea (or spirit). And yet, something more than this security is required when, through the development of the six-petalled lotus flower, living beings of independent existence [6] are revealed to his spirit, beings belonging to a world so completely different from the world known to his physical senses. The development of the lotus flowers alone does not assure sufficient security in these higher worlds; still higher organs are necessary." — R. Steiner, KNOWLEDGE OF THE HIGHER WORLDS AND ITS ATTAINMENT (Anthroposophic Press, 1947), chapter 6, GA 10.

[1] I.e., through the development of this lotus flower and the clairvoyance it enables, we can have interactions with the gods who reside in the higher worlds.
[2] According to Steiner, usually, the soul world is the lower of two worlds above the physical world. [See "Higher Worlds".] (Steiner distinguished between the soul and the spirit. See the entries for these terms in this encyclopedia.)
[3] I.e., one who aspires to initiation, or a devout student of spiritual science — Anthroposophy. (Steiner referred to his own teachings as Anthroposophy even while he was still nominally a Theosophist.)
[4] I.e., the second of the higher worlds: the spirit world, which is above the soul world. [See "Higher Worlds".]
[5] Steiner stressed the need for guidance when one rises to the higher worlds; otherwise, the things perceived there will be confusing and even distressing. [See "Guru".] We can develop several lotus flowers, Steiner said, as well as additional incorporeal organs that are still more elevated and potent.
[6] I.e., generally, gods — autonomous, powerful spirits.

love - also see Cosmos of Love; Planet of Love; Spirits of Love

According to Steiner, love is repayment of spiritual debt; also, it is a high spiritual goal. "[E]verything we do out of love we pay off debts. [1] From an occult point of view, what is done out of love brings no reward but makes amends for profit already expended. The only actions from which we have nothing in the future are those we perform out of true, genuine love. This truth may well be disquieting and men [2] are lucky in that they know nothing of it in their upper consciousness. But in their subconsciousness all of them know it, and that is why deeds of love are done so unwillingly, why there is so little love in the world. Men feel instinctively that they may expect nothing for their 'I' [3] in the future from deeds of love. An advanced stage of development must have been reached before the soul can experience joy in performing deeds of love from which there is nothing to be gained for itself. The impulse for this is not strong in humanity. But occultism [4] can be a source of powerful incentives to deeds of love.” — R. Steiner, LOVE AND ITS MEANING IN THE WORLD (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1972), a lecture, GA 143. [See, e.g., "Love and the Universal Human".]

[1] I.e., in one life we love people to whom we became indebted in past lives. [See "Reincarnation".]
[2] I
.e., people in general, not just males.
[3] I.e., the human spark of divine individuality. [See "Ego".]
[4] Steiner explicitly identified himself as an occultist and his teachings as a form of occultism. The "occult," he said, is hidden or mysterious spiritual wisdom. [See "Occultism".]

lower I - also see ego; higher I; highest I; I

A distinction is generally drawn in Anthroposophy between the higher I and the lower I. The "I" is the highest of our invisible bodies, a flash of divinity that gives us individual spiritual identities or spiritual egos. [See ""Incarnation" and "Ego".] The I has, generally speaking, two parts: the higher I and the lower I. The former is one's true spiritual self, which should evolve to ever higher degrees of perfection; this true self remains in the spirit realm even as one lives an incarnated life on Earth. The lower I, by contrast, is the reflection of this higher self here below. "The higher 'I' remains in the spiritual world during and incarnation on earth ... What we feel as our 'I' during our life on earth is the mirror image, or 'ego', of this higher 'I' ... The more someone identifies with his ego or lower 'I', the more difficult it becomes to gain awareness of the purely spiritual entity of this higher 'I'." — H. van Oort, ANTHROPOSOPHY A-Z (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2011), p. 58.

The lower self may be deemed partially illusory; if we think of it as ordinary "ego," then it may be prone to the evils of egoism. The lower I may know evil in ways that the higher I does not. "The higher self ('I') of the human being is able to behold the Mystery of the Good, while at the same time the lower 'I' perceives the Mystery of Evil."— R. Powell, PROPHECY - PHENOMENA - HOPE (Lindisfarne Books, Anthroposophic Press, 2011).

Excessive egoism — excessive involvement in the lower I, attenuating one's ties with the higher I — may lead to catastrophic errors, both for the individual and for mankind generally. The dreadful War of All Against All will be a titanic eruption of egoism. [See "All vs. All".]

lower mental plane - also see Devachan; Lower Spiritland; mental plane; cf. higher mental plane

According to Theosophical teachings, this is the less elevated portion of the mental plane. [1] It is essentially the level of existence and consciousness in which one can apprehend the primary precincts of Devachan. [2] Steiner used the terms "mental plane" and "Devachan" during his time as a Theosophist, but he generally dropped them later. "Devachan. The plane on which the causal body [3] exists when it has thrown off, after death, all bodies lower than the mental." — T. Besterman, A DICTIONARY OF THEOSOPHY (Cosimo, 2005), p. 35. After breaking with Theosophy, Steiner generally referred to this plane as Lower Spiritland. [4]

[1] See the entry in this encyclopedia for "mental plane".

[2] See the entry in this encyclopedia for "Devachan".

[3] In Theosophical teachings, this is the immortal part of a human being, which passes through all incarnations. In Steiner's teachings, it is essentially the spirit, as distinct from the soul. [See the entries for these terms in this encyclopedia.]

[4] See the entry for "Lower Spiritland", below; also see "Higher Worlds".

Lower Spiritland - also see astral world; Devachan; Higher Spiritland; Lower Spiritland Stage of Form; soul world; spirit world; Spiritland

In Theosophy and Steiner's teachings, generally, Spiritland is the spirit world and/or Devachan (the heavenly realm} — it is the higher of the two higher worlds, situated above the soul world. [See "Higher Worlds".] Spriitland itself has two regions, one higher than the other. Lower Spiritland generally implements impulses received from Higher Spiritland. The gods in Higher Spiritland conceive the proper workings of evolution; the gods in Lower Spiritand begin the process of implementing these conceptions. To assume physical form, a spirit is conceived as an archetype in Higher Spiritland is made specific in Lower Spiritland, receives an imagined form in the soul world, and becomes material in the physical world. The ascent to spiritual improvement works in the opposite direction. 

"When a man goes through the first stages of initiation [1], he can raise himself clairvoyantly to the world of the lower spirit-land; he experiences conceptions of what has to do with the soul, of what is moral and what is intellectual. [2] He looks down on all that is going on in souls, even if they do not comprehend themselves as ego beings. [3] This comprehension of one's being as an ego being, together with all the blossoming of spiritual life in the initiates, is experienced in the higher spirit-land [4] with one single exception that is right and good if it can happen as an exception that breaks through the general rule. From the lower spirit-land one sees the whole being of Christ Jesus! [5] So that, looking back in a purely human way, and holding fast to what is present in remembrance, you have a memory of Christ Jesus and of all the events that have taken place in connection with Him ... The truth about the other initiates, however, you experience for the first time in the higher spirit-land. [6]" — R. Steiner, INITIATION, ETERNITY AND THE PASSING MOMENT (Anthroposophic Press, 1980), lecture 5, GA 138.

[1] Attaining initiation, gaining hidden knowledge of spiritual matters, is the proximate goal for all Anthroposophists. [See "Inside Scoop".]
[2] I.e., Lower Spiritland is a realm of the soul, which is lower than the spirit. [See the entries for these terms in this encyclopedia.] (The "intellectual" insight attainable in Lower Spiritland should be differentiated from ordinary intellect, which Steiner said is largely confined to the physical world. [See "Thinking".] We carry intellectual powers into Lower Spiritland, where they are corrected, as it were; and when we rise higher, we leave these powers behind. Lower Spiritand may overlap, in some accounts, the soul world. [See the entries in this encyclopedia for "soul world" and "spirit world(s)".])
[3] I.e., true human beings who possess, and know they possess, I's. [See "Ego".]
[4] I.e., the knowledge gleaned in Lower Spiritland is made more complete — one's spiritual life blossoms — in Higher Spiritland.
[5] I.e., although higher knowledge is generally reserved to Higher Spiritland, knowledge of Christ is vouchsafed to us in Lower Spiritland. (This may be deemed a mercy or blessing.)
[6] I.e., an initiate attains inner knowledge of other initiates in Higher Spiritland.

Lower Spiritland Stage of Form - also see Higher Spiritland Stage of Form; Lower Spiritland; stages of form

According to the grand pattern of evolution as described by Steiner (drawing heavily from Theosophy), during each condition of life (a subdivision of a condition of consciousness), we pass through seven stages of form. [1] In essence, these stages give progressively evolved form to the type of life an evolving being experiences during any given condition of life. We evolve downward, as it were, from a highly incorporeal but essentially unformed condition in Higher Spirtland, arriving after two intermediate stages at the densely corporeal Physical Stage, before reascending to a perfected version of Higher Spiritland. Put in slightly different terms, we proceed from the higher region of the spirit world (Higher Spiritland) to the lower region of the spirit world (Lower Spiritland) to the soul world (the Astral Stage) and then to the physical world (the Physical Stage). Thereafter we reascend toward incorporeality/spirituality in higher, more evolved forms than previously. We proceed from the physical world back to the soul world and then to the two regions of the spirit world. Thus, during our evolution in any condition of life, we pass through Lower Spiritland twice, once descending, once ascending.

The Lower Spiritland Stage ofFform is the second of the seven stages of form. [2] In it the conceptions of Higher Spiritland are first organized in a clairvoyantly perceptible form. The sixth stage of form is the perfected, more highly evolved version of Lower Spiritland, the step leading to the perfected, highly evolved version of Higher Spiritland, the final stage of form. 


 • STAGES OF FORM • ....

 ◊ 1. Higher Spiritland ◊                 ◊ 7. Perfected Higher Spiritland ◊ 
 ◊ 2. Lower Spiritland ◊        ◊ 6. Perfected Lower Spiritland ◊ 
 ◊ 3. Astral Stage ◊   ◊ 5. Perfected Astral Stage ◊ 
 ◊ 4. Physical Stage ◊ .......

During each condition of life (a major subdivision of our evolutionary progress), we pass through seven stages of form. Evolving to develop our true forms, we descend from Higher Spiritland to the Physical Stage (where we exist now), before ascending again, in stages, in progressively more perfected form.

[1] See the entries for "conditions of life" and "conditions of consciousness" in this encyclopedia.
[2] See the entry for "stages of form" on this encyclopedia.

Lucifer, Luciferic influence - also see Ahriman; demons; Devil; evil; evil beings; Loki; Luciferic beings; sin; Venus

a) The morning star; herald of the dawn.

b) Satan before his fall.

c) According to Steiner: “the devil,” the demonic rival/partner of Ahriman (who is, sometimes, referred to as "Satan"). Lucifer offers us the benefit of the knowledge of good and evil, and in a sense he is the author of intellect ("light"), but he also embodies obscurity, irrationality, pride, and — most centrally — spiritual delusion. He is the god of Venus. He incarnated in the third millennium BC. His forces are centered in the East. “Lucifer wants to take men's souls away and found a planet with them of his own. Ahriman [1] has to help him. While Lucifer sucks the juice out of the lemon, as it were, Ahriman presses it out, thereby hardening what remains. This is what he tried to do to the civilization of Rome. Here we have an important cosmic process going on — all due to the intention and resolve of luciferic and ahrimanic powers. [2] As I have said, they were disappointed. They have continued their efforts, however, and our fifth post-Atlantean age [3] has yet to learn how strong these attacks are.” — R. Steiner, INNER IMPULSES OF EVOLUTION (Anthroposophic Press, 1984), lecture 2, GA 171. [See "Lucifer".] 

Lucifer had special effect during Old Moon, and in some early lectures, particularly, Steiner refers to Lucifer as a composite of multiple Moon spirits, beings who had evolved faster than others. ◊ "On the Old Moon [4] the predecessors of man [5]...went through a certain normal development. But there were also Moon Adepts who hastened on in advance of the rest of mankind [6] ... ‘Lucifer’ is the name given to the Moon Adepts; they are the bestowers of human intellectuality." — R. Steiner, FOUNDATIONS OF ESOTERICISM (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1982), lecture 23, GA 93a. Intellect is a highly dubious gift, according to Steiner. ◊ “The intellect destroys or hinders.” — R. Steiner, WALDORF EDUCATION AND ANTHROPOSOPHY, Vol. 1 (Anthroposophic Press, 1996), p. 233. Lucifer has corrupted us, giving us knowledge we should not have; but this will benefit us in the long run as we ultimately apotheosis and rise through the divine ranks. [See, e.g., "Tenth Hierarchy".] Lucifer and Ahriman may be viewed as humanity's benefactors, in that they have given us temptations that ultimately can be turned to good account. But Steiner taught that it is only through the intervention of Christ that the workings of Lucifer and Ahriman can be made beneficial. [See "Was He Christian?"]


Lucifer as depicted by Steiner in the monumental sculpture that stands in the Anthroposophical headquarters, the Goetheanum. Lucifer's face is pleasing, but his body is reptilian and skeletal. Below Lucifer — and partially entangled with him — crouches Ahriman. [Public domain photo.]

[1] In Anthroposophy, Ahriman is the other great demon, working alongside but also in rivalry with Lucifer. [See "Ahriman".]
[2] I.e., the spiritual influences of Lucifer and Ahriman and their minions.
[3] I.e., our current epoch, which has followed from the destruction of Atlantis.
[4] I.e., during the third incarnation of the solar system, a period called Old Moon. [See "Old Moon, Etc."] (Steiner often employed terminology that can mystify and beguile more than inform. When he described life "on" various "planets," he sometimes meant existence on actual planets, but often he meant existence in/on phases of the solar system's evolution. His meaning must often be deduced from context. [See the entries for "planets" and "planetary conditions" in this encyclopedia.])
[5] I.e., spirits moving ahead of us in evolutionary development. Steiner taught that the gods above us have evolved much as we are evolving. [Also see the entry for "Lunar Pitris", below.]
[6] "Moon Adepts" are spirits who, during Old Moon, became occult initiates (they acquired hidden spiritual knowledge). The line between human and divine is sometimes blurred in Steiner's account. To be "human" is to reach the human stage of evolution, higher than animals but lower than gods. We are human now, but others were human before us. During Old Moon, the gods we now call angels were human and we were still subhuman. [See the entry for "human stage of evolution" in this encyclopedia.] The Moon Adepts were, in a sense, human, but they were superior to us, bestowing on us the dubious gift of intellect.

Luciferic beings - also see Ahrimanic beings; demons; evil beings; Lucifer

Minions of Lucifer. Just as Lucifer may be considered beneficial as well as evil, so may the Luciferic beings. ◊ "I beg you earnestly — although I know that such requests are of little avail — not to adopt a philistine attitude when mention is made of Luciferic beings. Even among anthroposophists there is still the tendency to say: 'That is certainly Luciferic. At all costs let us avoid it, reject it!' But these things have to be considered in many different aspects and it must always be remembered that the whole of the old Pagan wisdom [1] emanated from a Luciferic source. The subject is one that calls for deep and serious study." — R. Steiner, LUCIFER AND AHRIMAN (Steiner Book Centre, 1976), lecture 6, GA 191. ◊ "Let us observe the Luciferic beings and see what interests they have in cosmic existence. We shall find that their chief interest is to make the world, and above all the human world, desert the spiritual beings whom man must regard as his true creators. [2] The Luciferic beings wish nothing more than to make the world desert the divine beings. [3] Do not misunderstand me: it is not the prime intention of the Luciferic beings to appropriate the world to themselves. From various things I have said about them you can gather that this is not their chief intention; their chief aim is to make the human being forsake his own divine creator-beings, to liberate the world from these beings. [4]" — R. Steiner, THE MISSION OF THE ARCHANGEL MICHAEL (Anthroposophic Press, 1961), lecture 1, GA 194.

[1] Steiner taught that many spiritual traditions around the world have contained deep spiritual wisdom. Indeed, his own teachings are largely an amalgam of such traditions, offered under the claim that Anthroposophy corrects and completes teachings that were wise but incomplete. Here, Steiner credits Luciferic beings with giving mankind "the old Pagan wisdom," a genuine wisdom, as far as it went, but wisdom that needed to be supplanted by later, higher teachings (especially his own).
[2] Here, Steiner offers a somewhat different view of the Luciferic beings, stressing their malignancy.
[3] I.e., the gods.
[4] The "liberation" offered by Lucifer and his minions is, clearly, a potential calamity for mankind, separating us from the gods.

Luciferic rebellion - also see evil; the fall of man; Lucifer; Luciferic beings; sin

At a certain point in the history of the solar system, Luciferic beings rebelled against the established divine pattern of evolution. Seeking to develop their own, independent form of inner awareness, they became spiritually deviant. "Rudolf Steiner describes the luciferic rebellion ... '[A]n impulse arose in a number of the Third Hierarchy [1] to develop an inner life of their own ... What then was [the] result? It was in fact a terrible one, namely, the betrayal of their own nature; untruth, falsehood ... [Y]ou should understand that the spirits of the Third Hierarchy which had this impulse, did not do what they did for the sake of lying, but in order to develop an independent life of their own; but in so doing they had to take the consequence, they had to become Spirits of Untruth — spirits which betrayed their own being — in other words, Spirits of Lies ... Now all the spiritual beings which in this way, through betraying their own nature, arose as a second category beside the spirits of the Third Hierarchy, are called in occultism, Luciferic Spirits.'" [2] — S. Franke, THE TREE OF LIFE AND THE HOLY GRAIL (Temple Lodge, 2007), p. 37.

The rebellion occurred during Old Moon. [3] ◊ “...Certain spiritual beings...retained so much of their Moon nature that they could not participate in the separation of the sun from the earth [4] ... In their Moon nature lay the cause of their rebellion during the ancient Moon evolution [i.e., during Old Moon] against the sun spirits [5] ...These moon beings...may be called Luciferic spirits.” — R. Steiner, AN OUTLINE OF OCCULT SCIENCE (Anthroposophic Press, 1972), chapter 4, Part 6, GA 13. The Luciferic rebellion was, in effect, the fall of Lucifer and his cohorts, and it led to the fall of man. [6] The result is potentially beneficial to mankind, although it entails terrible risks. ◊ "These spirits [i.e., the Luciferic Spirits] brought to the human being the possibility of unfolding a free activity in his consciousness, but at the same time also the possibility of error, of evil." — R. Steiner, ibid. By creating a clear separation between good and evil, the Luciferic rebellion ultimately created the basis for human freedom: We became able to freely choose between good and evil. [7] But this meant we ran the risk for falling into "error" or "evil." [8]

[1] The Third Hierarchy — comprising gods of the seventh, eighth, and ninth ranks — is the lowest of three groupings of gods. [See "Polytheism".]
[2] Steiner's statement is taken from THE SPIRITUAL BEINGS IN THE HEAVENLY BODIES AND IN THE KINGDOMS OF NATURE (Steiner Book Centre, 1981), lecture 6, GA 136.
[3] Old Moon was the third incarnation of the solar system, following Old Sun and preceding Present Earth. [See "Matters of Form".]
[4] Steiner taught that the Sun, Moon, and Earth were all once a single cosmic body. (Indeed, the entire solar system was originally a single body.) During Old Moon, the Sun separated from the unified cosmic body which might be called the Earth.
[5] Spirits having an essential Sun nature accompanied the Sun when it broke away; the Luciferic beings, in staying behind, effectively rebelled against this purer, higher spirits.
[6] See the entry for "fall of man and other beings" in this encyclopedia.
[7] See "Freedom".
[8] See "Evil".

Luciferic Spirits - see Lucifer; Luciferic beings

Lunar Pitris - also see Angels; Pitris; spiritual guides; cf. Solar Pitris

Forebears of humanity, advanced spiritual beings who — like other gods — passed through the human level of evolution during a prior cosmic stage. (That is, they were then human in their own way, much as we are human now in our own way.) They are commonly called Angels. They became human "upon" the Moon — i.e., during Old Moon [1] — and they have risen to the rank of lowly gods during the Present Earth cycle of evolution. [2] "[T]he Moon Spirits now stand above the human being. They are also called 'Lunar Pitris', 'Moon Fathers' and 'Spirits of Twilight' ... The Angels are the Spirits immediately above man, who passed through their human stage upon the ancient Moon." — R. Steiner, THEOSOPHY AND ROSICRUCIANISM (General Anthroposophical Society, 1942), lecture 9, GA 100. [See "Polytheism".]

[1] I.e., during the third incarnation of the solar system, a period called Old Moon. [See "Old Moon, Etc."]
[2] See "Present Earth".