The Mysteries of the Samothracian Kabiri ~ Steiner Archives

Mystery Centres

Schmidt Number: S-5513

On-line since: 10th November, 2004

Dornach, 21st December, 1923.
IN the course of the last few weeks I have drawn your attention to many different kinds of Mysteries, and we have especially attempted to obtain an insight into those Mysteries which were, so to say, the last of the great Mysteries which connected man s inner being directly with the life of nature, with the spirit of nature. These were the Mysteries of Hibernia; and we have seen how, through insight into man himself, an insight which was, however, of an intimate spiritual as well as an individual personal nature, the Mysteries of Greece also penetrated into the inner being of man. One can indeed say that as in the world of external nature the different regions of the earth bring forth this or that kind of vegetation, so in the course of human evolution there streamed down into the different regions of the earth the most manifold influences from the spiritual world, and these worked upon mankind.
If we were to pass over to the East, the Orient — as we are to do shortly in a historical connection — we should find there many other kinds of Mysteries; but today, as all our visitors are not yet present with us, I will link on rather to what we have already studied in preference to beginning something new.
If we look back at the course of human evolution, we may say that there appears before our Imaginative consciousness, with all possible clearness, a threefold evolution. I say “before our Imaginative consciousness,” because of course if we extend those epochs of which I am now speaking further back still, towards still earlier times, we naturally get a greater number than three, and this is also the case if we go further on into the future; but we will today take these middle stages of human evolution, which appear not through Inspiration but already in all clearness before our Imagination; these we will place before our souls today and study them from one particular point of view.
Now, even down to the Egyptian time it was still the case for humanity that, as regards the consciousness of that time — and this applies to the African and European races as well as to the Asiatic races — what we today call matter simply did not exist. Human consciousness did not even grasp the external coarse substances, let alone those abstractions which we today describe as carbon, hydrogen, sulphur, and so on. These things simply did not exist for them; but everything which was spread out externally in nature was seen directly as the body of divine spiritual beings, who revealed themselves in the whole of nature. Today we can go out into the mountains, we can tread on the rocks, we can even throw stones, and all these things we regard as indifferent neutral substances. In our consciousness today there is nothing in any way similar to what was in the consciousness of the ancient, Egyptian or the ancient Oriental.
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