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An Outline of Occult Science

It is difficult to express in the language of to-day the effects on man, in that far-off time of the spiritual beings referred to. They must not be thought of as analogous to natural influences of the present time, nor yet as similar to the influence of one human being on another, when the first awakens in the second inner powers of consciousness by words which help the second person to understand something, or which stimulate him to virtue or vice. The effect referred to as operative in that primeval age was not a force of nature but a spiritual influence, conveyed in a spiritual way, which descended upon man as a spiritual influx from higher spirits, conformable with man's state of consciousness at that time. If we think of this influence as a force of nature we altogether miss its essential reality. If we say that the spirits with the old Moon nature tempted man in order to lead him astray for their own ends, we are using a symbolical expression, which is good as long as we remember that it is but a symbol and are at the same time clear in our minds that a spiritual fact underlies the symbol. The influence brought to bear on man by the spirits who had remained behind during the Moon-evolution had a twofold result. Man's consciousness was divested of the character of being merely a mirror of the universe, because the possibility was aroused in the human astral body of regulating and controlling, by means of this astral body, the images in the consciousness. Man became the ruler of his own knowledge. But on the other hand it was the astral body that was the starting point of that rulership, and consequently the ego set over the astral body came to be continually dependent upon it. Hence man was from this time forth exposed to the lasting influences of a lower element in his nature. It was possible for him in his life to sink below the height on which he had been placed by the spirits of the earth-moon in the course of the world's progress. And subsequently he was open to the lasting influence on his nature of the irregularly evolved Moon-spirits. We may call these Moon-