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Chapter IV. The Evolution of the World and Man


oracles. To them was revealed what had been hidden through the influence of Lucifer and Ahriman. Lucifer concealed from man what had flowed from the spiritual world into the human astral body, without his co-operation, up to the middle of the Atlantean period. Had the etheric body not been partially separated from the physical body, man would have been able to experience within himself this part of the spiritual world as an inner revelation to his soul. As a result of Lucifer's encroachment, this could be done only in special states of the soul. At those times a spiritual world appeared to man in the guise of the astral. The corresponding spiritual beings manifested themselves in forms which embodied only the higher principles of the human being, and in those principles the symbols of their particular spiritual forces were astrally visible. Superhuman forms were manifested in this way. After the encroachment of Ahriman, still another kind of Initiation was added to this one. Ahriman concealed from man everything out of the spiritual world which would have appeared behind physical sense-perception, had he not interfered in human affairs from the middle of the Atlantean period onward. The Initiates of the Mysteries owed the revelation of what he had thus kept hidden, to the fact that they had developed within their souls all those faculties which man had attained since that time, beyond the degree necessary for physical sense-impressions. Thus there were revealed to them the spiritual powers lying behind the forces of nature. They could speak of the spiritual beings behind nature. The creative might of those forces acting in nature below man, was revealed to them. That which had been active since Saturn, Sun and the old Moon and had shaped man's physical, etheric and astral body as well as the mineral, plant and animal kingdoms, formed the contents of a certain kind of mystery-secrets,窶馬amely those over which Ahriman held his hand. That which had formed the sentient-, rational-and consciousness-souls and which had been concealed from man by