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An Outline of Occult Science

embryo was developing within man, it was under the influence of those beings who, under the leadership of the mightiest of their number, had detached the moon from the earth in order to conduct the evolution of the latter over a critical point. When the earth had developed the air element within it, astral beings were present as described above, who had belonged to the old Moon and who had been left behind. They had fallen short even of the lowest human souls in their evolution. They became the souls of those forms which already before the separation of the Sun had to be abandoned by man. These beings are the ancestors of the animal kingdom. As time went on, they developed especially those organs which in man thus far only existed as appendages. Their astral body had to work on the physical and etheric bodies in the same way as did the human astral body during the old Moon-period. Now the animals which had thus come into existence had souls which could not dwell in the individual animals. The soul extended its being also to the descendant. Virtually, animals descended from one form have a soul in common. Only when the descendant diverges from the ancestral type through special influences, does a new animal soul become incarnated. In this sense, in accordance with occult science, we can speak of a species or group-soul, in animals. Something of a similar nature took place at the time of the separation of sun and earth. There came forth from the watery element, forms no further evolved than man was before the old Moon-evolution. They could only receive an impression from anything of an astral nature when the latter influenced them from without. This could not happen until after the departure of the sun from the earth. Whenever the sun-period of the earth set in, the astral element in the sun stimulated these forms in such a way that they formed their vital body out of the etheric part of the earth. When the sun turned away from the earth, that etheric body was again dissolved into the common earth-life. And as a result of the co-operation of the astral part of the sun with the