Secret History of Consciousness, II

Contents of Part II ("Esoteric Evolution") = Capp. 7-12





The Bishop & the Bulldog

55 to 57


Enter the Madame

58 to 66


Dr. Steiner, I Praesume?

67 to 70


Goethean Science

71 to 79


Cosmic Evolution

80 to 84



85 to 94



The Bishop and the Bulldog

55 to 57

p. 56 time-scale of million of years

"Darwin's idea called for a gradual change from one species to another over vast spans of time, much more than the mere five or six thousand years Archbishop Ussher would allow. The kind of changes Darwin spoke of required millions of years".

{Christianity is almost unique among the traditional religions of the world in advocating such a short time-scale. Chinese religion uses million of years, and Hindu religion billions of years.}

p. 56 evolution of the species according to the praedecessors of Charles Darwin

"In 1721 the French philosopher Montesquieu ... had proposed that a few early species had multiplied into the present ones and that the differences between species could increase or decrease over time, a process he called "transmutation." ...

{The Aztecs and other Amerindians were aware of fossils of extinct species of animals. The S.ufi-s considered species of animals as having evolved and devolved, alternatingly over cycles of time.}

By 1760 the great Swedish taxonomist Linnaeus had come to the conclusion that species could vary.

In 1790 the poet Goethe ... had published his Metamorphoses of Plants, in which he argued that all existing plants had derived from a common ancestor.

And in 1809 Jean-Baptiste Lamarck had designed a kind of "evolutionary tree," beginning with tiny animals and continuing on to ourselves".

{Christianity is almost unique among religions, in its denying evolution of the species.}

p. 57 Wallace & evolution of the species

"Alfred Russel Wallace had hit upon the idea of "natural selection" independently [of Charles Darwin] ... . Wallace could not accept all of Darwin's conclusions ... [concerning] our ... spiritual faculties, believing that some nonphysical agency had to be involved. It is perhaps for this reason, as well as the fact that Wallace was an ardent spiritualist, that he has been gently airbrushed out of most discussions of evolution."



Enter the Madame

58 to 66

p. 59 transphysical element in evolution

"A century after the publication of Isis Unveiled, Theodore Roszak, the historian of the 1960s counterculture, remarked [UA, p. 118], "In the years following publication of The Origin of the Species, HPB ... was the first person to aggressively argue the case for a transphysical element in evolution.""

UA = Theodore Roszak : Unfinished Animal. London : Faber & Faber, 1976.

pp. 60-1 Himalayan Hidden Masters

p. 60

"Blavatsky ... founded the Theosophical Society with Colonel Henry Steel Olcott in 1875 ... . ...

p. 61

She was, she told Colonel Olcott, in contact with higher intelligences. These were the Hidden Masters, adepts who guide the evolution of humankind from ... the forbidding heights of the Himalayas. They had chosen her as their spokeswoman ..., in order to prevent the modern world from sinking deeper into the spiritless doctrines of matter."

pp. 61-2 unity of existence/being

p. 61

"the central idea of Theosophy is that of the fundamental unity of all existence ...

p. 62

-- for Blavatsky, this unity of being is predicated on consciousness. One basic, primal being {existential substratum}, preceding any of its manifestations, is shared by everything ... .

In its "positive" aspect, this being is consciousness;

in its "negative" aspect, it is substance ..., that which consciousness is conscious of.

(In this formulation, Blavatsky's metaphysics are very similar to Hegel's.)"

pp. 62-3 magic

p. 62

"In contrast to modern science which sees them as passive, accidental creatures acted upon by physical forces beyond their control, human beings for Blavatsky house within themselves all of the energies available in the universe, and are capable of using these at will. Magic is the

p. 63

knowledge of these energies and the ability to use them, a discipline known and employed by the ancients, but lost to us with the rise of modern [materialistic] science."

p. 63 universes in aeternity

"Eternity for Blavatsky is [SD, vol. 1, p. 44] "the playground of numberless Universes incessantly manifesting and disappearing,"

{This doctrine is taken from the Pan~ca-ratra-s.}

SD = Helena Petrovna Blavatsky : The Secret Doctrine. London : Theosophical Publ Soc, 1905.

pp. 63-4 creative evolution; planetary civilizations

p. 63

"In the early days of humankind, a "Great Being" {maha-sattva} appeared and, with a group of "semidivine" beings, ... for future human adepts. Human development began, Blavatsky declared ..., not through the vagaries of chance ..., but through the highest and best from other worlds. ... later this idea would reappear ... in ... Erich von Daniken and in ... Arthur C. Clarke".

p. 64

"Blavatsky prophesied that all planets "are, were, or will be man-bearing," an idea that ... was put forward recently by the physicist Frank Tippler."

pp. 64-5 manu-antara-s & rays

p. 64

"Blavatsky's vision of human and cosmic evolution ... in many ways resembles a later vision of future ages, the evolutionary science fiction epics of Olaf Stapledon. [p. 285, n. 8:8 : Last and First Men (1930); Starmaker (1937)]

Existence oscillates between two phases, the days and nights of Brahma, manvantaras being the

p. 65

cosmic days and pralayas the cosmic nights. ...

The primordial essence separates itself into seven rays that shape the created universe. These Rays are in reality intelligent beings, the Dhyan Chohans, and through the use of Fohat -- a kind of universal energy-- they fashion a new cosmos.}

{These must be the 7 Planetary Rays described in the Puran.a-s.}

{/Fo-hat/ may be a dialectal Chinese word (it cannot be Tibetan, for there is no /f/ in that language).}

pp. 65-7 Root-Races




its abode



"pure spirit"

"Imperishable Sacred Land"



"near the North Pole"


[p. 66 "separation of the sexes ... during the latter half of the third Root Race"]




giant Atlanteans

Atlantis & Poseidonis



"Aryans" of "earthquake"




Doctor Steiner, I Praesume?

67 to 70

p. 68 Steiner's 1st book

"Not long after editing Goethe's writings, he wrote his first book, Theory and Knowledge in Light of Goethe's Worldview (1886)."

pp. 68, 70 biography

p. 68

"Rudolf Steiner was born in 1861 in Kraljevec, ... Croatia."

p. 70

"He joined the Theosophical Society in 1902, and soon after became the head of its German branch, as well as editor of an esoteric journal, Lucifer, later called Lucifer-Gnosis."

p. 286, n. 9:4 Edouard Schure'

There was "The Great Initiates by the dramatist and critic Edouard Schure', published in France in 1889. ... Marie von Sivers, whom Steiner met in Berlin in 1900 ..., knew Schure' and was deeply influenced by his book, which she translated. In 1902, ... she had become Steiner's companion (she would eventually become his second wife)".



Goethean Science

71 to 79

pp. 76-8 Philosophy of Freedom

p. 76

"Steiner ... made an early attempt at communicating his belief in the primacy of thought and thinking ... by ... a work of subtle epistemology ... The Philosophy Of Freedom (1894)". ["Also published as The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity and, in a new translation, Intuitive thinking as a Spiritual Path (1995)." (p. 287, n. 10:5)]

"Steiner begins the book with ... questions .. . ... . ... it is only as a "spiritually free being" that we can engage in any kind of true thinking at all. ... But once we seriously engage with a question or intuition by making the gesture of an inner effort, then we are in touch with that part of ourselves that is truly free, because

it is only from that "free" part that such effort can arise. ...

{If "effort" must imply "free will", then to deny "free will" would be to deny the feasibility of making an "effort". (Howbeit, "effort" may be forced upon one's self by extraneous conditions, as .e.g. in the case of a slave who is forced to make efforts. So, Steiner's argument is slightly invalid : there is no such thing as absolute "freedom".)}

p. 77

Steiner demonstrates that the physical world which materialist science argues is the true root of "spirit" is itself a product of spirit. ... Consciousness is there, because {the anthropic principle} it is only through consciousness that any observation can take place : ... "purely" material stuff ... would of necessity be part of our mental world. Matter itself is an idea. And ... the materialists ... rely on arguments -- that is, on thoughts and ideas ... . Even the thought that thinking is be explained ... is, as Steiner would patiently point out, a thought. ...

p. 78

From all of this Steiner arrives at the centrality of the conscious ego, the "I," ... shared by two of Steiner's predecessors, the philosophers Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762-1814) and Max Stirner (1806-1856)."

{The true position of the Theosophical Society (in agreement with Veda-anta) on the principle of Ahankara ('Egotism'), is that Ahankara is a delusion, and a harmful one.}

{Not only is materialism invalid (as Steiner agreed), but also the other principles (which he superfluously accepted), namely the principles of "free will" and "egotism", are likewise invalid. The various mystical movements (as, e.g., the RadhaSwami) reject all such troublesome "principles".}

p. 79 reading the akas`ik record

"what Steiner did when he read the Akashik Record" : "In his book Rudolph Steiner Enters My Life, Friedrich Rittelmeyer remarks that when people came to Steiner for spiritual advice ... he would lower his eyes and make a "certain deliberate adjustment of his being. ... One looked into the superconscious, not into a dark, dreamy subconscious. ...""

Friedrich Rittelmeyer : Rudolph Steiner Enters My Life. London : George Roberts, 1929.

pp. 287-8, n. 10:12 hypnagogia

p. 287, n. 10:12

"Steiner associated hypnagogic states with spiritual perception ... in a lecture given in 1918, later published as The Dead Are With Us (London : Rudolph Steiner Press, 1964). "Besides waking life and sleeping life there is a third state even more important for intercourse with the spiritual world. ... I mean the

p. 288, n. 10:12

state connected with the act of waking and the act of going to sleep" (pp. 18-19)."



Cosmic Evolution

80 to 84

p. 80 evolution of the solar system through states of matter, according to Rudolph Steiner


stage of evol.


{emblem of cakra}


Old Saturn

[fire] heat

{in Man.ipura is ram of fire-god AGNi, a name cognate with that <AKaN, who (Yho^s^u<a 7:21) hid gold (the AKaN tribe occupying the Gold Coast) : cf. the Golden Age of Kronos/Saturnus}


Old Sun

air (gas)

{Anahata's crossed-triangles, which form the "shield of Dawid", which is aequivalent to the shield Svalin which (according to the Edda) traveleth before the sun -- Anahata ruled by the black antelope (of the air-god Vayu)}


Old Moon

water (liquid)

{crescent of Svadhis.t.hana, ruled by the makara (water-monster of water-god Varun.a)}




p. 80 luminaries emanate from the Earth : "extrusion of our present Sun and Moon from the Earth"

"The Moon had to be removed, Steiner tells us,

{Some selenologists do hypothesize that the basin of the Pacific Ocean is the region whence the moon was torn off the earth gravitationally by some some passing planet.}

because once the Sun had broken off, the "hardening" forces of the Moon threatened to solidify human beings prematurely."

p. 82 paranormal abilities

"In earlier times, the kind of clairvoyance, spiritual insight, and other paranormal abilities that we find exceptional were commonplace.

{In the era of primitive communism, the communistic sharing among living beings so pleased the world of deities (who are all communistic mutually), that they divinely rewarded [potentially] mortals with clairvoyance, spiritual insight, and other paranormal abilities [though the only mortals who actually received these gifts were ones knowledgeable enough in logic and in sciences].}

This is one of Steiner's arguments against trance-states and mediums ... : they were a "throwback" to an earlier, atavistic state of consciousness."

{Communism may be atavistic, but it is also highly ethical. In an age of capitalistic greed-mongering, public ethics is a rare trait.}

pp. 82-4 the states of consciousness (according to "Steiner ... in a series of lectures given in Mu[:]nich in 1907; now available under the title Rosicrucian Wisdom")

p. 82

"In the [Old] Saturn condition, consciousness was in a very dull, deep state, which Steiner calls "deep trance consciousness." ... those exhibiting it appear to be virtually dead."

{Actually, "deep trance consciousness" is spirit-possession, which is exceedingly lively and active, wherein (as may be witnessed in Siberian and in African spirit-possessions) the deity in possession causeth the body possessed either to dance and leap with more energy than humanly possible, or will lecture rhapsodically on metaphysical subject-matters or the like.}

p. 83

"On Old Sun, consciousness existed in a kind of perpetual sleep, ... deep, dreamless sleep ... . It is still rather dull".

{According to Bodish literature, the worlds to be witnessed during dreamless sleep are transcendent realms of purified awareness illumined by divine light. This witnessing is the result of arduous mind-control through logical reasoning of sacred metaphysics.}

"On Old Moon, consciousness was what Steiner calls "picture consciousness." We can understand it best, he says, by considering our own dreams."

{According to Amerindians quite generally, the dream-world is the divine world, where deities can appear and provide us mortals with blessings and with wisdom.}

"first appeared on our present Earth ... is our familiar clear, rational consciousness. ... .

{in other words, materialistic delusion : a downfall caused by heaven's abandoning us}

p. 84

... most of our waking state is concerned with "dealing" with events of the outside {material} world. That, in fact, is our gauge for determining whether or not someone is sane."

{It is, in fact, our gauge for determining whether or not a person is mundane/worldly and lacking in piety/holiness.}

{To aequate sanity with impiety/unholiness is absurd (though that aequation is commonly made in the hypocritical world of materialistic capitalism); just as it is unreasonable to condemn communism (which is able to induce spirit-mediumship amd other transcendent psychic powers) as "atavistic" just because it is different from the maddened-with-greed capitalism which hath been in vogue through recent millennia.}

{What may be actual about "evolution of consciousness" is in the life-cycle of a living person :

"dull, deep state" when first starting a [new] life as a newly-conceived embryo;

"deep, dreamless sleep" within a few weeks;

"dreams" concurrent perhaps with so-called "quickening" (kicking by the foetus);

"clear, rational consciousness" developing within a few years after being born.}

p. 83 Steiner's suppositions about the consciousnesses of minerals, of plants, of "dreams", and of waking mundaneity

"a kind of dull "universal awareness." The mineral world, Steiner says, experiences such a state".

{The keen awareness which the elemental spirits (including gnomes, who are the guardian-angels of minerals) display in interacting with psychic-sensitive humans could hardly be termed "dull".}

"deep, dreamless sleep ... the plant world shares".

{Those who (such as Ingo Swann) telepathically communicate with plants indicate that plants have a keen awareness of whatever humans they are telepathizing with. [And likewise for plant-spirits.]}

"dream consciousness is ..., instead of seeing another human being's physical body, we would perceive a kind of aura". [Is this supposedly experienced by animals?!]

{Because auras constitute the aitheric body, therefore this would be an aitheric dream.}

"physical world" : "This external world appears to us to be completely independent of our consciousness."

{Because the other (non-physical) worlds are controlled by categories of deities, they are actually quite independent of us. The physical world, however, can be easily manipulated by humans (using their consciousness through their physical bodies to do so), and is therefore not at all "independent of our consciousness".

p. 83 hovering forms

"On Old Moon, images were not "fixed" to objects as they are for us -- Steiner speaks of colors and forms hovering freely in space. This Old Moon consciousness ... we will return to ... shortly [on p. 87 infra]."

p. 84 futurality of states of consciousness, according to Steiner

level of consciousness

planetary incarnation

basic consciousness

combined with __ consciousness



"Old Moon"




"Old Sun"

"waking" + "picture"



"Old Saturn"

3 [waking + picture + dreamless sleep]

"Intuition ... this universal consciousness will be perceived in a clear, waking state, and so may be much more like the "cosmic consciousness" ... ." {Cosmic-consciousness is even now attained by mystics, so that Steiner's assignment of it to the "future" is slightly superfluous.}

"the most interesting is the one Steiner calls Imagination. ... . ... it strikes me that we do already experience it ... in ... "hypnagogic" states."

{Not only do we already experience imagination, but also inspiration and intuition, in any and/or all states of consciousness.}




85 to 94

p. 85 Mavromatis's book; the two states of consciousness involved

"1987, ... Professor Andreas Mavromatis of Brunel University published the first full-scale account of this strange state of consciousness. In Hypnagogia : The Unique State of Consciousness Between Wakefulness and Sleep, Mavromatis maps out the philosophical, psychological, paranormal ... implications of this weirdly suggestive state of mind."

"hypnagogic hallucinations -- visual, audial, even sometimes olfactory -- occur at the onset of sleep.

When they occur as we are waking, they are called hypnopompic."

pp. 85, 289 paranormality; bibliography of hypnagogia

p. 85

"in hypnagogia we can "see" sometimes utterly bizarre images and visions with unsettling clarity, while remaining perfectly aware of the "outside world."

Mavromatis also relates hypnagogia to paranormal experiences such as precognition, synchronicities, and claivoyance ... . He also discusses the interest in them shown by other esoteric thinkers, such as Ouspensky and the Scandinavian philosopher Emmanuel Swedenborg."

p. 289, n. 10:1

"Ouspensky wrote of his remarkable experiences with both hypnagogia and "lucid dreams," ... in the chapter "On the Study of Dreams and on Hypnotism" in A New Model of the Universe.

The best account of Swedenborg's familiarity with hypnagogic states can be found in Wilson Van Deusen's books The Natural Depth in Man and The Presence of Other Worlds.

Hypnagogia is also intimately related to the practice of "active imagination" developed by C. G. Jung."

p. 86 "auto-symbolic"

"the images and pictures that appear in states of hypnogogia are almost always "auto-symbolic" -- they represent either the physical or psychological states of the persons experiencing them, or their thoughts as they drifted out of consciousness."

{Ordinary dreams are likewise auto-symbolic : the dreamer dreameth what he or she hath just read, said, heard, or witnessed over the interval of time (usually the last few hours) immediately past in waking life.}

p. 86 while awake; while telepathizing

"Mavromatis conducted experiments in controlled hypnagogia and discovered that ... subjects were able to focus on the hypnagogic imagery while at the same time maintaining a clear awareness of the external world, even to the point of carrying on a conversation.

{This would apparently be Steiner's "Inspiration" (involving "waking" + "picture") level-of-consciousness (p. 84 supra). [All of Steiner's so-called "future" consciousnesses can be observed in the here-and-now.]}

Mavromatis also discovered that ... hypnagogia could be telepathic, and that it even could be shared among several subjects."

p. 87 hovering colored forms {Rudolph Steiner may be implying here that his own dreams were often of this ilk.}

According to Steiner, in picture-consciousness color ""was not resting upon objects ... . The form of beings with a colored surface could not have been perceived at that time." Instead an inhabitant of Old Moon would have seen "a freely hovering picture of form and color."" (RW, p. 83)

{The colored form would hover above the ground; while the object which this repraesented would be standing on the ground, itself invisible to the observor. [A hovering aedifice was seen over its true (and then-invisible) location, in an episode in Autobiography of a Yogi.]}

RW = Rudolph Steiner : Rosicrucian Wisdom. transl revised by Johanna Colis. (praevious edn. published in English as :- Theosophy of the Rosicrucian. transl by Cotterell & Osmond. 1966.)

p. 290, n. 12:5 synaisthetic : composer, novelist, poie:ts

"The composer Olivier Messiaen ... saw colors while hearing, and even reading, music.

The novelist Vladimir Nabokov was a synestheist, as were the poets Baudelaire and Rimbaud."

p. 88 Steiner's flowing colors & resounding tones

"In a series of lectures on music given in Berlin in 1906, Steiner remarks that as the initiate proceeds in developing "supersensible perception" one of the signs of success is that his or her dream life changes. [In dreams,] the initiate enters a world of "flowing colors and radiant light beings." (INM, p. 14) This, Steiner says, is the "astral world." Curiously, he remarks that the astral world is always present and surrounds us continuously".

"After sufficient training, resulting in a transformation of the state of deep, dreamless sleep, the initiate enters a second, higher world. In this world, which Steiner calls Devachan {/deva-can.a/ 'renowned for deities'}, a world of "resounding tones" permeates the color world of the astral.

{This then is why in the RadhaSwami it is denied that the Caran.a-s (musician-deities) abide in the dream-worlds; for (if they produce these "resounding tones" of the Anthroposophical Society) they evidently abide instead in the dreamless-sleep-worlds.}

At a deeper level of the Devachan, these tones begin to be heard as words."

{Such "words" may be those specified in the RadhaSwami as particular the 5 specific levels of heavens.}

INM = Rudolph Steiner (transl. by Alice Wulsin) : The Inner Nature of Music. Spring Valley (NY) : Anthroposophic Pr, 1983.

pp. 88-9 sleepworlds-phainomena related to hypnagogia

p. 88

"Mavrotis records that colors, tones, and words are all experienced during hypnagogic states, often times in startling combinations.

{Because such colors, tones, and words all originate the world of "deep, dreamless sleep", therefore in order to witness them the hypnagogist must be viewing the dreamless-sleep-world through the doorway of the hypnagogic-world.}

Similarly, Steiner remarks in How to Know

{Because the dreamer is always conscious in all dreams, Steiner must have intended to mean, by "conscious", 'aware while dreaming of being in the dream-world' (i.e., lucidly dreaming).}

p. 89

the Higher Worlds that one of the first signs of advance on the path of initiation is that one begins to be conscious in one's dreams. ...

One of Mavrotis's descriptions of the hypnagogic state is that it can be characterized as either being awake while dreaming or dreaming while awake."

{The expression "awake while dreaming" is more usually employed to describe lucid-dreaming instead.}


Gary Lachman : A Secret History of Consciousness. Lindisfarne Bks, Great Barrington (MA), 2003.