ORIGIN OF FREEDOM AND EVIL
I have one of these truly unique pearls on my anthro-shelf, a cycle of ten lectures by Rudolf Steiner Ph.D, entitled "The Spiritual Hierarcies, Series VII" published by Anthroposophical Publishing Company (London and New York) in 1929. 10 lectures by Rudolf Steiner, Dusseldorf, April, 1909 [GA 110]. The date of Lecture 10, from which an excerpt is quoted below, is April 18, 1909.
This has to do with the origin of possible evil, the origin of rebellion and anarchism and liberty and freedom - as the greatest experiment ever conducted by the Hierarchies. If our evolution succeeds, we will be the most free - the most liberated and independent creatures ever in existence. It's almost like the Gods are saying: "We want our children to enjoy the freedom we didn't have." Sounds familiar?
Rudolf Steiner tells us:
"In the time between the Jupiter and the Mars development - if I dare express myself in trivial words - a number of Beings from the sphere of the Mights or Spirits of Motion were detached; they were placed in such a manner within the course of evolution that, instead of helping it onwards, they had to put hindrance in its way. Thus the deeds of - if I may coin the word - "adversely commanded" Mights were thrown athwart the course of evolution. For the ruling world-powers of the Hierarchies said to themselves: "Never could that arise which has to arise if the way were always smooth. Greater things must take place." Imagine that you have a car to push. You develop your strength by pushing it. If heavy ballast is put into the car it will be heavier to push, but you would develop greater strength. Suppose the Godhead had let the world's evolution remain as it was, up to the time just after the Jupiter evolution, men would have certainly developed very well; but humanity could have become still stronger if hindrance had been in its way. For the good of humanity, certain "Mights" or Spirits of Motion had to receive adverse commands. These were not evil at first, one need not consider them as evil Powers, one might even say they sacrificed themselves by putting obstacles into the way of development. Therefore, these Mights may be called the gods of hindrance, of impediment, in the widest sense of the word. they are the gods of the impediments and hindrances placed in the way, on the high-road of development. And from that moment, the possibility was given for all that was achieved in the future. These "adversely commanded" Mights were not yet evil in themselves; on the contrary, they were the great promoters of development, promoting it through the storms they produced, but they were the breeders of evil; for, out of the storms they produced, evil gradually arose."
What this means is that "disobedience in heaven," to use a terrible bourgeois church-expression, was not possible without a "command" given by the Godhead. Here is the paradox: "You are hereby ordered to act like rebels, because we are creating a new hierarchy from below that shall know freedom."
There is another paradox with Rudolf Steiner's Christology in relation to the anarchism or anarchosophy that we find in PoF. He talks about an "active surrender." Are we supposed to liberate ourselves from all tyrants, from men and gods and laws and conscience and become totally self-dependent and free - only to *surrender?* This is a paradox, but the "active surrender" must be understood, I think, not as servitude but as a free act of love. Freedom is a riddle, perhaps our very greatest riddle, regardless of how many times we read PoF or any other relevant literature. That is why it is virtually impossible to define freedom. It appears to be a never-ending quest.
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