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Chapter IV. The Evolution of the World and Man


directed to earthly phenomena than that of the other Initiates. They laid the first foundations of what afterwards became the human arts and sciences. On the other hand, the Mercury Initiates established the study of the more super-sensible things; and the Venus Initiates did this to a still greater extent. The Vulcan, Mercury, and Venus Initiates differed from those of Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars in the manner of receiving their Mysteries; the latter received them more as a revelation from above, and in a more finished state; whereas the former gained their knowledge more in the form of their own thoughts—in the form of ideas. The Christ Initiates occupied a middle position. While having a direct revelation, they acquired the capacity for clothing their Mysteries in a human form of conception. The Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars Initiates were obliged to express themselves more in symbols; the Christ, Venus, Mercury, and Vulcan Initiates were able to impart their knowledge more through ideas or concepts. Whatever knowledge of this kind reached Atlantean humanity came indirectly through the Initiates. But the rest of mankind also received special faculties through the Lucifer principle; for, through the intervention of lofty cosmic beings, what otherwise might have wrought ruin was transformed into good. One of these faculties was that of speech. This was brought about by the condensation of man's physical body and by the separation of part of his etheric from his physical body. For some time after the separations of the moon, man felt himself connected with his physical ancestors through the group-ego. But this common consciousness, linking posterity with its ancestors, was gradually lost in the course of generations. Later descendants had an inner memory of only their more recent ancestors, no longer of their earlier forefathers. It was only in conditions akin to sleep, during which mankind came in contact with the spiritual world, that the remembrance of one ancestor or another again emerged. Then people thought of themselves as one with that ancestor