Chapter IV. The Evolution of the World and Man
such a solidification of the bodily form had taken place that it no longer yielded to those powers of the soul which had now become perverted. There was a certain period in the Atlantean evolution during which, by means of the law ruling in and around the earth, just those conditions prevailed which tended to solidify man's bodily form. Those human racial types which had been solidified before this period could, it is true, reproduce themselves for a long time, yet the souls incarnating in them gradually became so cramped that they had to die out. It is true that some of these race-types survived into the post-Atlantean times; those which had remained sufficiently agile lasted even for a very long time in modified form. Human forms which had remained flexible, after the period just described, became bodies for such souls as had, in a large measure, undergone the pernicious influence of the betrayal described above. These forms were destined to speedy extinction. In consequence of what had thus happened, beings had brought their influence to bear upon human evolution, since the middle of the Atlantean period, beings whose influence tended to make mankind live in the physical sense world in an unspiritual manner. This went so far that, instead of man's seeing the real form of that world, phantoms, hallucinations, and illusions of every kind appeared to him. Mankind was exposed not merely to the Luciferian influence but to that of those other beings mentioned above, whose leader may be called Ahriman, according to the appellation given him later in the Persian civilization. (He is the same as Mephistopheles.) Through this influence man was subject, after death, to powers which made him appear even then as a being adhering only to material earthly conditions. He lost more and more the unobstructed vision of the events of the spiritual world. He was forced to feel himself in Ahriman's power, and to a certain extent shut out from intercourse with the spiritual world.