A lecture given on 17th March 2000 in Stourbridge, England
© Terry Boardman
All kinds of epithets have already been given to the 20th century by countless writers and commentators – the most radical, the most heroic, the most wicked, the most awesome, the most exciting, the most trivialising, the most destructive, the most inventive, the most un-spiritual, the most truly spiritual and so on and so on. Innumerable colourful, and moving examples have been cited in support of these claims. They have provided the stuff of conversation for countless newspaper articles, TV documentaries, Internet chat rooms and dinner table conversations. I shall not engage in any of these often entertaining but essentially subjective characterisations. As this is a meeting of the Anthroposophical Society I shall try to describe something of the nature of the 20th century in the light of what Anthroposophy can help us to understand about the course of history. Obviously, I cannot in one short lecture do justice to the scope of the whole century; I can just indicate what I think are certain key features. First, however, in order to assess the real significance of the period, we need to see the 20th century against the backdrop of the evolution of human consciousness as a whole.
Zodiac and Planets: 7 and 12
Around the year 7500 BC the cultural Age of Leo came to an end. By this is meant the 2160 year period when human culture was influenced by the forces stemming from the constellation Leo. I say cultural period, because an astronomer would tell you that the actual point at which the vernal point had entered the constellation of Leo had ended some 1200 years previously. What happens in the heavens at the zodiacal level – when for instance the Earth’s vernal point – the Springtime point when the days and nights become the same length – moves out of one constellation in relation to the Sun and into another, takes some 1200 years to percolate down to the realm of human affairs. I don’t have time now to go into the reasons for this, which has to do with the conjunctions between the Sun and Venus. But in the year 7227 BC not only did the cultural Age of Leo come to an end, a much bigger epoch of history also finally came to an end, namely, what is called the Atlantean epoch, which lasted 7 x 2160 years. Like our own Post-Atlantean epoch, the Atlantean epoch included 7 cultural or zodiacal Ages. Before Atlantis, Rudolf Steiner tells us, there was a further epoch, called Lemuria, during which the Earth as a separate body was born as a result of the Moon being thrust out of it. Again, I do not have time tonight to say why this relatively short time frame of earthly evolution disagrees so radically with that of the paleontologists and geologists. Suffice it to say that their millions and hundreds of millions of years of evolution are moonshine – a logical necessity required to prop up the Darwinian model of evolution by random mutation.
Now allow me to take a jump and say that during those 7 ages of Atlantis, what we could call Atlantean humanity was born, lived, and died. Consider the whole of Atlantean humanity as one human being, as it were. And then came another humanity – that of the post-Atlantean epoch, in which we are still living. Here again there will be 7 cultural ages.
Cultural development through time and space
in this epoch has broadly moved in a continuous stream from East to West. First there was the Indian epoch of 2160 years, the Age of Cancer the Crab, then the Persian epoch, the Age of Gemini the Twins, then the Egypto-Chaldean epoch, the Age of Taurus the Bull, then the Greco-Roman epoch, the Age of Aries the Ram (or Lamb) which lasted from 747 BC to AD 1413. Then our own epoch of 2160 years began, which is called the Age of Pisces, the 5th Post-Atlantean epoch. Now Rudolf Steiner reveals that in the middle of the 4th, or Greco-Roman epoch, in other words in the middle of what is the middle epoch of the whole Post-Atlantean epoch, the Christ was incarnated in Jesus of Nazareth in Palestine. This event – the incarnation into earthly matter of the Creator of matter (St John’s Gospel) was the fulcrum, the turning point of the whole evolution of humanity, as well one might expect, if one accepts that Christ was who St John and Rudolf Steiner say He was and is. Now earlier I said that with the end of Atlantis, one humanity died and another began. In a sense that is true, but I ask you now to imagine that, with the events in Palestine, the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ, humanity as it had existed up to that point – so Lemurian, Atlantean, and Post-Atlantean humanity – in effect died. What St Paul calls the Old Adam died and was resurrected as the New Adam. Of course that does not mean that nothing was carried over. Of course it was, in the form of traditions, customs, religions and so on, and also not least because human souls reincarnate and bring with them impulses from their previous lives. But with the events in Palestine, something new was born in the human heart that signified the birth of a New Adam, a new humanity. The archetypal life of the human being is described in the Bible as threescore years and ten, 70 years. So we see again the 7, the number of Time. We then notice that Atlantis came to an end some 7 or 8 millenia before Christ, when the Post-Atlantean epoch began and that epoch will end some 7 or 8 millennia after Christ, around the year 7893.
7 – 14 – 21 The Ego of Man
Now one of the key ideas in spiritual science is the ancient Hermetic adage “As above, so below” – the macrocosm is mirrored in the microcosm. With this in mind we can compare humanity and the individual human being, and we can think of the New Adam like an individual. We know that the life of the individual human being unfolds in periods of approximately seven years. In each of these periods, a different part of the human spiritual and physical organism unfolds. In the first 7 years the child develops its own physical body, independent of that of its mother; this period ends with the change of teeth at approximately 7 years old, perhaps slightly younger today as a result of the accelerated development which has been one of the features of the 20th century. Then by 14, the end of the development of the human life body is marked by the more subtle change of puberty. Then at around 21, the individual’s capacity of feeling and thinking has developed and this is marked by the even more subtle and less physical social rites of passage such as leaving home, getting a job, the vote, the traditional key to the door, perhaps even marriage. Further even more subtle changes in the psyche and spirit occur at 7 year intervals after this, but with the development of the physical, the life, the feeling and thinking capacities, the house, so to speak has been prepared, and the master or mistress of the house then fully arrives to take up residence. This is the beginning of the unfolding of the Ego at 21 when the individual becomes truly responsible for himself or herself in the eyes of society.
We thus see that this period around 21 is of key importance in the life of the individual. Modern culture in the last century accelerated matters in the West, so that the age of majority was reduced to 18. Now it so happens that spiritual science can point out that at 18 – at 18.61 years in fact – another important development takes place in the life of the individual as a result of the return of the Moon’s nodes to the place where they were when the individual was born. It takes 18.61 years for the nodes to complete one cycle. I need hardly point out to Anthroposophists that this number 18.61 is, in a different context, the year of Rudolf Steiner’s birth – 1861 – and we can ask: why was Rudolf Steiner born when he was, in the year 1861? These years 18 – 21 are key because they are the years of the final preparation of the house before its master arrives to take possession of it.
The Threefold Sunrise Era: 19th-20th-21st centuries
We could also compare them to the three stages of the rising of the Sun – in this case the Sun of the Ego. First, we do not see the Sun above the horizon, but we observe the dark horizon lighting up and dawning; there is still mainly darkness. Then the disc of the Sun peeps above the horizon and its first rays streak out across the sky. At this point there is maximum tension and contrast between light and dark. Finally, the whole body of the sundisc clears the horizon; darkness rapidly retreats and light is predominant.
Now I would like to suggest to you that the 19th century corresponds to the first of these three sunrise periods, and that in this threefold picture of the sunrise, the second phase – the phase of maximum tension and contrast between dark and light – is the one that corresponds to the 20th century. On the one side – the side of darkness - was the fall of the Spirits of Darkness 1879 and all its consequences for human culture, especially in the field of technological development. There was also what Steiner called in 1924 the rising of the Beast from the abyss which he said humanity would have to face in 1933, and we all know what happened over the following 12 years. On the other side, the side of light, was the beginning of the Age of Michael, (New Age thought, Theosophy, Anthroposophy emerged). Thus developed the new thinking that would enable us to understand and cope with what Steiner called humanity’s unconscious crossing of the threshold of the spiritual world in 1900 following the end of the 5000 year-long period of Kali Yuga in which natural clairvoyance had declined almost to zero. After 1900 the doors of naturally inherited clairvoyant perception would begin to open and increasing numbers of people would begin to have spiritual experiences of all kinds including the unpleasant and evil kind. [e.g. the movie "The Sixth Sense"]. Furthermore, as a result of humanity’s crossing of the threshold, humanity would begin in a certain way to experience the state of soul that is ours after we die, namely, that the three human soul forces of thinking, feeling, and willing, separate and are no longer bound up together as they are in earthly life by the physical body. This separation of the soul forces can lead to one-sidedness if the ego is unable, through its own forces, to maintain the 3 in interrelationship. It is as if the 3 horses of a chariot were to go their own ways. Thus one can see individuals in society today who are uniquely unbalanced in a particular direction.
Now, you may say this has always been so, but the point is that since 1900, it has especially been so, and society as a whole will increasingly come to be affected by individuals who act only out of a kind of uncontrolled thinking, only out of an uncontrolled feeling or out of uncontrolled will forces. This may seem to be a negative phenomenon again, and indeed it is if the individual does not follow a spiritual path which enables him first to understand what is going on and secondly, to cope with it. But the positive side, as I have said, is that more and more people WILL have spiritual experiences which cannot be denied, either by themselves or by those around them – and this will work against the materialist worldview and undermine it.
Secondly, on the side of light in the 20th century was the central event of the century – an event which was passed over in ignorance by most of humanity in the same way that the Events of Palestine were passed over in the first century AD. This was the reappearance of the the etheric Christ 1933 (nb 2-3 again) otherwise known as the Second Coming. The First coming was to physical Man at the moment of his deepest descent into matter. Now in the millennia-long upcurve of excarnation, Christ accompanies us again and helps us on our way back to the Godhead. First He returns in etheric form in the Second Coming. He is now acting in the earth’s spiritual biosphere, the etheric, in the realm in which the angels are active, also known as the Moonsphere. During this time Man will develop a feeling-understanding for the etheric world of life, both within and without the human body. Then there will in the distant future be a Third or astral, Coming in the sphere of the archangels, within the orbit of Venus. Man will develop a feeling-understanding for the world of feeling itself, both human and non-human, and finally there will be a Fourth Coming in the sphere of the Archai within the orbit of Mercury. This Coming of Christ will be most intimately related to the human Ego. Man will then come at last to really know and feel from the inside out and the outside in what the human Ego is. During each of these periods more and more people will develop the spiritual faculties to perceive the Christ active in these three realms.
The 20th century then was the second of the 3 sunrise centuries – the time of maximum tension between light and dark. And in fact, the century was dominated by a great dual struggle: would the light of the individual be overwhelmed by the darkness of the social systems of totalitarianism which negated and stultified the individual’s light? This struggle took the form for most of the century of the struggle between capitalism and communism – the so-called East-West bipolarity. It would be absurd in this to identify capitalism with absolute light and communism with absolute darkness. True Freedom within capitalist societies has always been severely restrained, not least by the scientific materialist propaganda inflicted upon children’s minds by state education systems in the so-called democratic countries.
But in relative terms, there can be no doubt that totalitarian states represented either a throwback to the collectivist groupmind and tribalism of past ages (fascism), or a hugely premature attempt, as in communism, to realise what will only be realised at the time of the Third Coming of Christ – an entire society based on a true brotherhood of humanity. Fortunately, both of these gross temptations were resisted in the 20th century, and that will surely be remembered as one of humanity’s great achievements in that century. The age ended as it began - with the media telling us “it was tough, horrendous, but we survived; how wonderful all is – you’ve never had it so good.”
The C20th as the consequence of the Industrial Revolution (crossing the threshold downwards)
Now we can ask: what precipitated this great struggle between light and dark in the 20th century? What were the origins of fascism and communism, the totalitarian assault? How can Anthroposophy help us to understand this? Now, we can of course say that they were the result of the gradual – and indeed necessary – decline of spiritual life and the growth of materialism since the Renaissance. Rudolf Steiner indicated that this decline and growth go back to the 4th century AD when thinking became more personal and physically oriented. He also indicated in the karma lectures of 1924 that key individualities such as Darwin and Marx brought with them impulses from their previous lives which greatly added to the development of materialism in the 19th century. Indeed, much of history is precisely this – the working out of karmic impulses from previous lives in the biographies of individuals. Not only the growth of materialism but also Man’s need – as a consequence of the evolution of human consciousness in the 5th Post-Atlantean epoch - to explore and understand the world of physical and especially mineral matter led to the Industrial Revolution, and both fascism and communism were responses to the upheavals caused by that Revolution. Now the Industrial Revolution was a phenomenon within the economic life of society. Whereas ancient societies in the 3rd Post Atlantean epoch had been essentially monarchies in which all social activity was subject to spiritual or religious imperatives, the 4th Post-Atlantean epoch (747 BC – AD 1413) saw the emancipation of politics from religious control. By the 16th century two social forces existed in the west, for example – the church and the state. In the 5th Post-Atlantean epoch, a third element – the economic life – has been attempting to emancipate itself from the other two and especially from political control. We see here on the social plane, following the Events of Palestine, the working out, in the separation of the three elements of social life, of something that corresponds to what we each experience after death – the separation of the three soul forces of thinking, feeling, and willing. In other words, since Christ humanity has been – despite a seeming plunge into materialism – on an excarnating path, albeit very gradual. Since 1900 this excarnation process will accelerate in the sense that the separation of the individual’s three soul forces is now underway. The social separation of the three spheres – cultural, political, and economic – and the soul separation – thinking, feeling, and willing are consequences of excarnation. Crossing over the threshold separates or dissolves the one into three; incarnating into physical reality blends the three into one. This is also why in the East, which remains in its social life closer to the beginnings of human incarnation, there is such an emphasis on The One and unity in general, and why in the West, where the modern presses on rapidly, the One gives way to the Many - pluralism.
Totalitarianism in the 20th century, then, was both a modern phenomenon, in that it was a response to the inevitable development of economic life in the 5th Post-Atlantean epoch, and an ancient phenomenon, in that it presented an historically illegitimate ancient solution – oneness, totality – to a modern problem.
All that I have said thus far about the origins of totalitarianism in the 20th century can be drawn from indications given by Rudolf Steiner. I would now like to point to another aspect – this time from my own thoughts and those of my contemporaries – which I believe throws some light upon the 20th century. I shall call this aspect, the aspect of the Three Kings, by which I mean, not the three kings which Anthroposophers are accustomed to – the gold, silver and brass kings in Goethe’s Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and Beautiful Lily – but rather three other kings: Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto
The 3 Kings
2000 years ago three human “kings” or magi came to witness the birth of a single human baby. This baby was to be the bearer of knowledge which was later transferred to another baby who grew up to become the bearer of the Christ, Who is the Ego of Mankind. The three kings appear in the New Testament story out of “nowhere”, vaguely referred to as “the East” and they return to “nowhere”, referred to as “whence they came”. They come because they have seen a new star, and we can imagine that they are indeed masters of ancient astronomy and astrology, star wisdom. Mediaeval esoteric wisdom intuited that the three were from three different human cultures, which modern esoteric wisdom says correspond not so much to space as to time: representatives of the wisdom of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd Post-Atlantean epochs respectively, bearing gifts to the child born in the 4th epoch. Their three gifts are deeply symbolic: gold, frankincense and myrrh, which relate to the three individual human soul forces of thinking, feeling, and willing – and also to the three social spheres: the cultural life, the rights life, and the economic life respectively. Why this is so I have no time to go into now. The three gifts can also be related to the three hierarchies of spiritual beings above Man: Gold (the third, or lowest hierarchy: Angels, Archangels, Archai), Frankincense (the middle hierarchy: Exusiai, Dynamis, Kyriotetes), and Myrrh (the highest hierarchy: Thrones, Cherubim, Seraphim).
Now as I have said, in the 20th century, Christ came again; He reappeared for Man on the etheric plane. This means, He came unlike 2000 years ago, but is now unlimited in time and space for all humanity. Working not through a single human physical body but through the hierarchy of the angels, He can therefore appear simultaneously to any number of human individuals. [e.g. perhaps even to such a "sinner" as Jonathan Aitken] His activity is not micro, but macro. 33 years passed (1900-1933) between the opening of the doors of natural clairvoyant perception and the reappearance of Christ on the etheric plane – the first 33 years of the 20th century. That period was a threshold for modern humanity, a birth period. As humanity approached that birth, three kings approached it also – this time not human but stellar cosmic kings. They came from “nowhere” – humanity had not known of them before (though Greek and Egyptian mythology had had a dim intimation of their existence) and unlike the kings 2000 years ago, they have not vanished; they remain with us. They appeared to come separately, in Uranus in 1781, Neptune in 1846, and Pluto in 1930 – but viewed against the whole of human history, we can say the period 1781-1930 was “one time”. In effect, they came together bringing their three gifts for the birth of humanity’s Ego in the 21st century. But unlike the three gifts of 2000 years ago, which were entirely benevolent, the gifts of the cosmic kings are amoral, neither benevolent nor malign, and also both at the same time. They are gifts which nevertheless do bear a certain relationship to the gifts of 2000 years ago. Gold becomes in the gift of Uranus Spiritual Illumination or the electrification of thinking; frankincense becomes in the gift of Neptune Spiritual Inspiration or the magnetisation of feeling, and myrrh becomes in the gift of Pluto Spiritual Union or the annihilating will.
Now what happened around the time Uranus was discovered in 1781 (in Gemini)?
The Uranus orbit is very odd (90º tilt); the planet is very distant. Uranus was discovered by an Englishman, Herschel at a time when the Industrial Revolution was taking off in the UK The USA was founded at about that time – the first world state – a unique creation, recognised by Britain in 1783. Six years later, in the French Revolution, electric violent ideas seized a nation and fired the will of millions. Revolutions in art and philosophy followed in the successive decades: the Romantic movement, the music of Beethoven, the three kings of Goethe’s Fairy story “The Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily”. Electricity was discovered in 1781 with Galvani’s frogs’ legs, and in 1800 came Volta’s electric battery. One anonymous American writer (the self-styled Rational Mystic) who in 1798 belonged to the Office of Mystics and Intellectual Electricity, wrote the Electric-Oxygenous Pindaric Ode:
“Then th’ELECTRIC SPARK clashes,
with OXYGEN flashes,
Expanded genius flows,
Each gen’rous Spirit glows,
And mortals to heaven advance”
The first hot air ballons Montgolfier were duly rising 1783. Lavoisier showed that water is H and O. Electrolysis was discovered and electricity was used to split water into H and O. We recall that at this time the archangel Michael was instructing his pupils in heaven in the supersensible cult, indicating what was to come in the future Age of Michael that began in 1879:
Rational Mystic wrote:
But when effete shall burst earth’s womb,
And wakes the universal shock (electricity) the tenants of the tomb:
Some Spirit kind, the long enigma solve!
Shall back to Eden time revolve;
And further yet ‘fore angels fell
And heaven was ting’d with smoke of hell?
Was EIGHTEEN HUNDRED EIGHTY EIGHT
(Say) the hollow voice of fate?
1781-1881 = development of electricity 1881 – 1981 = application thereof
1781 + 42 (Uranus opposition) = 1823 Monroe Doctrine (USA opposes Europe)
1781 + 84 (1 orbit) = 1865 (USA reunites), so the period 1776-1781 (Yorktown) corresponds to the period 1860-1865.
1781 + 168 (2 x 84, 2 orbits) =1949 (the Cold War begins in earnest)
1781 + 210 (84 + 42, 2½ orbits) = 1991 New World Order
1781 + 252 (3 x 84) = 2033
Two cycles of 33 years on from 1781 brings us to the year 1847. In 1846 Neptune was discovered by Adams and Le Verrier and sighted by Galle in Germany. Two years later, the positive liberal revolutions of 1848 and the negative hate-based Communist Manifesto, an outgrowth of popular materialist radicalism of the French Revolution all occurred, as well as the Irish potato famine. This period was the high point of the Industrial Revolution: the railway revolution based on steam and vacuum, the deepest point of materialism according to Rudolf Steiner. Britain was at the height of her power based on the dominion of the sea. The Corn Laws were repealed in the name of the new gospel of Free Trade. As if to provide some kind of balance to all these more materialistic developments, there was an outpouring of new sectarian religious movements all over the world (Mormons, 7th Day Adventists, Taipings in China, the Tenrikyo sect in Japan) The California gold rush broke out in 1847-1849. 1850 saw the Second Law of Thermodynamics stated by William Thomson of Glasgow University. Faraday’s work on electro-magnetism, telegraphy & anaesthetics not to mention the new craze of Spiritualism – all centred round the year 1848. The 1840s saw the Opium war, the beginning of Hong Kong, a sea port based on the drug trade. The motif of this period was a kind of unconsciousness, magnetism and ‘the magnetisation of feelings’.
Astronomical phenomena of Neptune:
164 years orbit 1781 + 164 = 1945 (A-bombs, USA world power)
1781 + 82 (Neptune opposition) = 1863 Gettysburg, peak of Civil War
1846 + 82 (Neptune opposition) = 1928 (1929 Great Crash)
1846 + 123 (41 x 3 =123 ) = 1969 Moon landing; domestic crisis of confidence
1846 + 164 = 2010
Discovered 1930 in USA by Clyde Tombaugh. 1846 – 1930 = 84
1929-1933 Crash, Depression, Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Roosevelt
1931 Edison died aged 84; the atom split; Empire State Building;
1932 Alduous Huxley’s “Brave New World”; King Kong
1933 the Beast from the abyss & the reappearance of the etheric Christ
1934 – the Loch Ness monster
1945 A-bombs, Hitler’s Nero Order: “destroy everything!”)
One orbit of Pluto = 248 years
1781 + 248 = 2029
1781 + 124 = 1905 Russian Revolution, the Russo-Japanaese War, Einstein’s Theory of Relativity
1846 + 124 =1970
1781 + 62 = 1843
1846 + 62 = 1908
1930 + 62 = 1992
1930 + 124 = 2054
1781 + 210 (84 + 42, 2½ orbits) = 1991 New World Order announced by President George Bush
1846 + 164 = 2010 (1 orbit of Neptune)
1781 + 248 = 2029 (1 orbit of Pluto)
1781 + 252 (3 x 84) = 2033 (3 orbits of Uranus)
1930 + 124 = 2054 (a Pluto opposition)
What has all this meant for humanity? Since Uranus and electricity, a tremendous acceleration of history – a helterskelter rollercoaster ride for Man, barely in control, the Internet revolution is but the latest episode.
Prior to the opening of the doors in 1900, there was the war in Heaven 1840-79 (39 steps) and the Fall of the Ahrimanic Spirits of the darkness and the consequent acceleration of techno-progress and general ahrimanisation of culture, incl the arts.
The electric century was thus prepared between the discovery of Uranus and Neptune, from 1781-1846 (this was the period of impulse) then came the war in Heaven. 21 years after it began, Rudolf Steiner was born in 1861. Then came the beginning of the Age of Michael, the founding of the Theosophical impulse in 1875 and the Fall of the Spirits of Darkness in 1879, the end of Kali Yuga and the opening of the doors of clairvoyance in 1899-1900, the First World War, which brought the 19th century world of materialist illusions to a horrific end – all of this between the discoveries of Uranus and Pluto, under the aegis of Neptune as it were, when Neptune was thought to be the outermost planet. During the First World War Holst (who so vividly captured the spirit of the astral plantary cosmos, as Vivaldi 200 years before in “The Four Seasons” had captured the spirit of the etheric forces of the Earth) wrote The Planets, which included a brilliant intuition of crossing the threshold with Saturn, as well as intuitions of the being of Uranus and Neptune. During this truly dark period, first Theosophy then Anthroposophy emerged to bring a new spiritual light to guide Mankind.
The electric century then began in earnest with the discovery of Pluto in 1930 1933 – 2033 (= the period of deed) and in the next 70 years the world was utterly transformed to the point where we seriously began to conceive that we are responsible for the planet which we have the power to destroy.
It is scarcely possible for us to conceive of the might of the three beings or groups of beings that must be associated with the three spheres of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, the 3 cosmic kings. They have shown us the threefold shadow of the true light – false enlightenment, false community, false ecology. This threefold evil belongs to the essential nature of the 5th Post-Atlantean epoch, the task of which is for us to dedicate the power of thinking which we won in the 4th epoch to the service of morality and conscience – for the heart to take charge of our capacity to think. This can only be done in the confrontation with evil. And that confrontation – in its widest sense was certainly a hallmark of the 20th century when an abyss of horrors, the like of which humanity could scarcely remember, opened up before it.
The Ahrimanic spirits have to do their work quickly and forcefully if they are to prepare the earth for the arrival of their master before enough time has gone by in which sufficient numbers of human beings can wake up to perceive what is really going on. Hence the furious pace of change.
But there have been many positive lights in the darkness: cosmopolitanism, women’s rights , the growth of civil society movements, a feeling of scientific and economic responsibility. The Filipino social reformer, Nicanor Perlas, for example, has written:
Humanity’s attempt to confront the grave challenges of elite forms of globalization has resulted in a new social innovation: “global civil society”. The emergence of civil society in the 20th century is as significant as the “inventions” of the “nation state” in the 17th century and the “market” in the 18th and 19th centuries. (see the webpage of CADI, Perlas’ Centre for Alternative Development Initiatives at
The Age of Biology: 1953-2003 (= impulse) 2003- 2103 (= deed). In this age will surely be posed the most profound questions related to spiritual quality: what is Man – animal? machine? or spirit being?
Ray Kurzweil, Bill Joy & Dolly and the Roslin cloned piglets have given one answer. Those who say we are animals are inheritors of materialist monism (i.e. we see here an excessive love of the physical and a hatred of the spirit), while those who say we are machines are inheritors of spiritual monism (i.e. we see here an excessive love of the idea and a hatred of the physical). Man is obviously both and indeed, something more than both.
The role of Anthroposophy (The wisdom of Man, or the wisdom that IS Man). to lead the Michaelic struggle in the battle of ideas in the 21st century over the I-dentity of Man. For this, one needs to engage with the opponents of the spirit, the scornful ones, understand their arguments, and develop vibrant counter-thoughts and counter-deeds.
© Terry Boardman March 2000
This page was first uploaded 7th Feb 2001 Last updated 16.7.2012