The Atlantean Cataclysms and the Ages Following
Article by Martha Keltz
It should be stated from the beginning that many sections of this article are freely-rendered narratives based on long and careful study of the works of Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925). These sections include some original contributions and ideas which, however, always remain within the flow of the thoughts and discoveries given by Rudolf Steiner throughout many different lectures and books. Thus the narratives are based on the foundations set down for Spiritual Science.
In accordance with the spiritual science or Anthroposophy founded by Rudolf Steiner, there are in true human evolution on earth seven Great Epochs and within each great epoch, beginning with the time of mid-Lemuria, seven Cultural Ages can be identified. In anthroposophical literature the cultural ages are sometimes referred to as cultural epochs, but for purposes of clarity they will be designated here as ages. Regarding modern chronological time measurement, the living, dynamic nature of the spiritual planets and universe along with the deep differences between the physical world and spiritual perceptions and manifestations, are all factors that resist rigid formulae and exact measurements in time and space. Mathematics cannot describe reality. It can only give an approximation of reality as it limits itself to, and even hypothetically extends beyond, the mechanics of visible, empirical, testable phenomena (see quotation below). Ultimately there can be no conflicts and serious discrepancies between the findings of physical and spiritual sciences because the physical contains and reflects the spiritual, that is, behind and within every physical phenomenon is the sustaining spiritual world. Thus, in the end, spiritual science and physical science (scientific materialism) will prove one another out.
It is essential to understand that there is no time or space in the higher spiritual worlds and that spiritual beings are working simultaneously in past, present and future, in the eternal now.
"It should not, however, be imagined that in that primeval epoch [Hyperborean] the earth's movement around the sun was at all like that of the present. The conditions were then quite different. It is, however, useful to realize here that the movements of the heavenly bodies arise as a result of the relationships the spiritual beings inhabiting them bear to one another. The heavenly bodies are brought into such positions and movements through soul and spirit causes that the spiritual states are enabled to unfold themselves in the physical world." - An Outline of Occult Science.
"It would lead too far if I were to describe to you how these successive periods are directed and regulated by what is called in modern astronomy the precession of the equinoxes. This is connected with the position of the earth's axis in relation to the axis of the ecliptic, with mighty processes in the constellation of neighboring celestial bodies; and there are definite times when, on account of the particular position of the earth's axis in relation to these other bodies of the cosmic system, the distribution of warmth and cold on our earth is radically changed. This position of the earth's axis in relationship to neighboring stars causes the climatic conditions to change. In the course of something over 25,000 years, the axis of the earth describes a kind of conical or spherical movement, so that conditions undergone by the earth at a certain time are undergone again, in a different form and indeed at a higher stage, after 25,000 to 26,000 years [the Platonic year]. But between these great periods of time there are always shorter periods... [The] process does not go forward in absolute, unvarying continuity... In the seventh millennium before Christ there was a very specially important astronomical epoch - important because, on account of the constellation brought about by the relative position of the earth's axis to the neighboring stars, the climatic conditions on earth culminated in the Atlantean cataclysm. This happened six to eight thousand years before our era [AD] and the effects of it continued for long ages... This was the greatest physical transformation of all, the most drastic action of the macrocosm upon the physical earth." - Occult History.
"By 'earth' is to be understood that condition of our planet when it can support men in their form of today." - Cosmic Memory.
"Life is today accelerating. On earth life becomes slower and slower to the point at which self-consciousness develops. Then the speed increases again. Today man has already passed the time of the greatest slowness of his development." - Cosmic Memory.
"The paths of the heavenly bodies must be traced ever anew, varying all the time. There is, in the solar or planetary system, a contrast between the tendency to become rigid and the tendency to be ever variable, ever escaping from its established form... The visible planet is only a specialized part of the whole, like the area of germination in the germinal vesicle of the human embryo... What is visible in the heavens is no more than a fragmentary manifestation of cosmic space, which in reality is ever filled with substance... The true form of movement of the earth in the year's course will be the lemniscate... The earth is following the sun as a lemniscate... If I managed to draw this lemniscatory system in a precise form... it would at most be true at the present time... the coming ice age [on the basis of 2,160 years, during the Scorpio age of the sixth great epoch] would require me to modify the system not a little... We must have a qualitative, not a quantitative mathematics... Mathematics can regulate my approach to reality; it does not constitute reality. Man cannot be excluded from the picture!..." - Astronomy in Relation to Other Sciences.
"It cannot be emphasized enough too strongly that spiritual research is nowhere in contradiction with the facts of natural science." - Cosmic Memory.
"Spiritual science leads us back to an earth which, indeed, at its starting point, was not only full of life, but also spiritualized, impregnated by spirit, so that we have to trace back earth evolution to an originally spiritualized earth being... The whole earth matter was, so to say, a living but still unformed substance, and spiritual science must imagine, aside from this unshaped substance, that which we call the formative principle, the transcendent formative principle as something purely spiritual at the starting point of earth evolution... This reciprocal effect between spirit and matter - natural science of the future will prove this." - The Origin of the Animal World in the Light of Spiritual Science.
Great Epochs and Their Cultural Ages
The length of each of the seven cultural ages is approximately 2,160 years, this length, as cited above, measured by the precessions of the equinoxes. 2,160 years is the time that the sun takes to pass through each of the 12 constellations of the classic Zodiac, which would make the age of at least our post-Atlantean great epoch 7 x 2,160 or approximately 15,120 years in length. Similar time passage to our day, while slower, may have begun after the middle point of the Lemurian epoch. "Twelve ages ago the sun was in the same position, so that towards the end of the Lemurian epoch there were conditions similar to ours." - Ancient Myths. Rudolf Steiner is here referring to the changes from Aries to Pisces. The change from astronomical "head," Ram, to "feet," Fish, is described by him as an extreme changeover. This occurred in our post-Atlantean epoch between the Greco-Roman and our present cultural age, the fifth.
The great epochs are as follows:
Sixth Great Epoch
Seventh Great Epoch
Rudolf Steiner stated that the final event of the Atlantean cataclysm occurred in the "later ice age," and modern science dates the last ice age to approximately 10,000 years ago. "[The] Atlantean catastrophe occurred in the time commonly known as the later ice age... the last act in the downfall of the Atlantean continent... which continent forms today the floor of the Atlantic Ocean... These happenings lie much less far behind us than is generally believed. The cataclysms completely changed the face of the earth... Of the two earliest following cultural ages [see below] we have no trace in historical tradition. The Vedas are but an echo from those ancient times... During the 2160 years that followed the Atlantean catastrophe [the Indian age] mankind can be said to have been capable of development in a way quite different from what was possible later." - World History.
Therefore the final Atlantean cataclysm can be stated to have occurred sometime between 9387 and 7227 BC, when the sun was rising at the spring equinox in the constellation of Leo, which preceded Cancer. For a certain number of years - approximately 773 years until the beginning of the Indian age and to a lesser degree within the first two cultural ages - geologic upheavals would have gradually settled and the preceding periods of time would have been recapitulated. This recapitulation is in accordance with a law of evolution: preceding stages of development must be reviewed or recapitulated before forward progress or further development can begin. - see Occult Science.
The seven post-Atlantean cultural ages:
Indian Age - Crab, Cancer
7227 - 5067 BC
Persian Age - Twins, Gemini
5067 - 2907 BC
Egypto-Chaldean-Babylonian Age - Bull, Taurus
2907 - 747 BC
Greco-Latin Age - Ram, Aries
747 BC - 1413 AD
Anglo-Saxon and Germanic Age - Fish, Pisces
1413 AD - 3573 AD
Russian/Slavic Age - Water, Aquarius
3573 AD - 5733 AD
American Age - Sea-Goat, Capricorn
5733 AD - 7893 AD
It should be noted here again that future ages may proceed at a faster rate of time than is the case today, just as epochs and ages in the primeval past proceeded at a slower rate. In the evolution of humanity, the Indian age is related to the American age, the Persian to the Russian/Slavic age, the Egypto-Chaldean to the Germanic age (our time), while the Greco-Latin age, during which occurred the Mystery of Golgotha, is unique and incomparable.
There were three prior planetary embodiments of Earth, called Saturn, Sun and Moon, and after Earth, in the future, there will be three further embodiments, called Jupiter, Venus and Vulcan. - see Occult Science.
The Polarean, Hyperborean and early Lemurian epochs were closer to a purely spiritual existence and thus cannot be measured by physical science. The Polarean epoch recapitulated the prior Saturn embodiment of Earth; the Hyperborean the Sun embodiment and the Lemurian the Moon embodiment. Generally, the Polarean epoch developed the mineral kingdom, the Hyperborean the plant kingdom, the Lemurian the reptile and lower animal kingdoms, and the Atlantean the higher animals, mammals, and the stabilization of the present-day human form. The nature of life will surely point to many variations, exceptions and paradoxes in these developments, as is true for later periods of time.
How does geology, through radiometric age determination and radiocarbon dating, arrive at the figure of, i.e., 65.5 million years ago (mya) for the Cenozoic era (development of mammals)? This era is believed by Guenther Wachsmuth to equate to the Atlantean epoch, yet Rudolf Steiner places Atlantis much more recently in time, with the final cataclysm occurring approximately 10,000 years ago. Answers begin with: 1. the correct understanding of the relationship of the spiritual ethereal or etheric world - the world of formative forces - with the denser physical world. Can radial effects of spiritual etherisation be measured? Densification of matter is a process of contraction, but this is balanced with radiating or expanding force in equal measure. 2. Suspensions of time or small pralayas, during which the solar system may go into something like a suspended animation, thus enabling the macrocosm to make necessary adjustments; these pralayas are connected with the ice ages, smaller and larger, 3. the fact that there is no past, present and future in the higher spiritual worlds; all are contained within the eternal now. See the section below on Radiocarbon Dating.
At the beginning of the solar system all of the planets, including the Sun and Moon, were united for the coming evolution of Earth and humanity. To assist various Beings, all at different stages of their evolutions, as well as differing kinds of human beings, Saturn, Jupiter and Mars and other planetary bodies broke away from this union of spheres. The Sun departed between the middle and the end of the Hyperborean epoch, followed by Venus and Mercury. These later cosmic processes would have brought the Hyperborean epoch to a close. The causes for these later departures were the same as for the outer planets, as well as the fact that the Moon was bringing increasing solidification. "All human souls would have left Earth, had it not been for the severance of the Moon." However, some Beings remained within the sphere of the Moon for their purposes, including certain highly advanced Beings. - see Occult Science. From the early to the middle period of the Lemurian epoch the Moon was gradually extruded from Earth, from the area that is known today as the world's largest body of water, the Pacific Ocean. - see Cosmic Memory.
Lemuria was located in what is today the Indian Ocean, between the Islands of Madagascar, in southeast Africa, and Sri Lanka, in southeast India. While this continent was turbulent, with dense air, thin crust and many volcanic fires, humanity could survive in certain areas that were free of volcanic activity. Highly developed spiritual leaders directed progress and isolated a small group of Lemurians to be the ancestors of the coming Atlantean race. Prior to the destruction of this continent in fiery volcanic eruptions, this chosen group was led northwestward to Atlantis. Other peoples may have survived on other parts of the globe, and also through additional migrations, such as to Africa and India. The advancements in human evolution which were worked into the Atlantean group would have been gradually transferred to other surviving peoples through their newborn.
The Atlantean Cataclysms
What is called the Fall of humanity, which means the descent into matter and the loss of direct guidance from the spiritual world, from God, should have occurred around the mid-point of the Atlantean epoch. However, on account of the interference of Lucifer, who brings freedom to humanity - as is the intent of the Father God - the fall occurred much earlier in time, at the mid-point of the Lemurian epoch. Humanity divided into two sexes and acquired knowledge of good and evil prematurely, ultimately leading to terrible errors during the Lemurian and Atlantean epochs and in certain dark periods of the ages following. The division of the sexes and the fall into materialism, however, was inevitable for the evolution of consciousness and could not be avoided. The Mystery of Golgotha, the death of the Savior God, Christ, on the cross, should have occurred at the mid-point of the Atlantean epoch, but of necessity occurred much later in time, during the Greco-Roman age. - see The Christ Impulse and the Development of the Ego-Consciousness.
During the time of Atlantis humanity was guided principally by leaders or Initiates functioning out of certain mystery centers that were named after the planetary spheres from which the leaders originated. These mystery centers were called Oracles (Latin oraculum, "a place where the intentions of spiritual Beings are perceived."- RS), i.e., there were the Venus and Mercury Oracles. The leaders were led by higher Beings who dwelt purely in the spiritual worlds. There was also an important Oracle called the Vulcan Oracle, led by a higher Being who still lives in the surrounding sphere of the Earth; thus the visions of this Oracle were directed towards the Earth. Sphere means that an invisible, planetary spiritual sphere of living Beings is co-mingling with the sphere of Earth, yet is also distinctly separate from the Earth. The physical planet that can be seen, such as Mars, is only a fragment of the planetary sphere itself. As quoted above, "The visible planet is only a specialized part of the whole, like the area of germination in the germinal vesicle of the human embryo..." Could "aliens" from other planets be the normally invisible lower spiritual beings from, i.e., the warring sphere of Mars, managing to do a great deal of mischief, even malice, in the sphere of Earth?
There was an important mystery center of the Atlantean or Sun Mysteries that was central to all of the other mystery schools, as the Sun is central in the solar system. These mysteries were led by the Christ Initiates.
Quite unlike today, the physical bodies of human beings in early and mid-Atlantean times were malleable or changeable and translucent. The air was very dense, the water thin. The watery or misty atmosphere allowed for the malleability of the bodies; inner thoughts and feelings could change the outer appearance. This is true of many marine animals today, whose physical forms can change continuously and rapidly depending on their intention or what they are experiencing. For example, the bodies of certain squid, Cephalopoda, can be greyish and opaque in appearance or change to become fiery-warm in color and translucent. This changeability can occur in a watery environment but is far less possible in the earthly environment of today, and not possible at all for higher animals and human beings, who essentially hardened or densified into their present forms near the end of the Atlantean epoch. Prior to this time of densification or solidification there can be found no physical traces whatsoever of Atlantis or Atlantean humanity. However there is abundant evidence from what has survived or been handed down, generation to generation, from very early cultures who were still influenced by the Atlantean heritage. It is a matter of listening to and understanding what the stones "speak."
"Toward the middle of the Atlantean period of evolution, a great calamity began gradually to overwhelm mankind. The secrets of the Initiates, laws whereby the higher Beings guided the forces of nature, were enlisted in the service of... mistaken needs and passions... Even Initiates succumbed. A widespread corruption of humanity ensued and the evil grew to greater and greater dimensions... Mighty and ominous powers of nature were let loose, catastrophes of air and water." - Occult Science. Most detrimental of all was the betrayal of the Vulcan secrets, which concentrated upon the things of the Earth. The Vulcan betrayal opened the gates to lower beings who managed to attain great influence and deprived man more and more of feelings for anything spiritual. Since the middle of the Atlantean epoch Ahriman and these ahrimanic beings have been invisibly active as opponents of the middle path, the Christ stream, the path between the extremes of Lucifer and Ahriman. During that time, fear was instilled into humanity by Ahriman (Satan). "Fear is a direct consequence of error." - see Atlantis, The Fate of a Lost Land.
As countermeasure to the enormous evil influences was the sanctuary of the Christ Oracle.
While humanity stood upright by the time of mid-Lemuria, after the extrusion of the Moon, Atlanteans were not strongly united with the physical body, but dwelled outside of the body or within the etheric or formative forces body. Thus they could control the life forces and the forces of reproduction; they could put the germinal energy of plants, living organisms and animals into the service of their technology and their warfare - but especially the forces of the plant (etheric) kingdom. Rudolf Steiner writes that they could not split a log in half with physical strength but could do so through the use of magical powers, powers over nature. The widespread selfish use of these powers resulted in the Atlantean cataclysms, which began with warnings enough, as vast numbers of survivors of storms, floods and earthquakes began migrating eastward to Europe, Africa and Asia and westward to the American continents. Some of these migrants had coarser physical bodies that had densified too early in Atlantean times and these distinct races of peoples did not survive, while the souls that occupied these bodies were able to reincarnate into other surviving races. Science has produced evidence of these extinct peoples, i.e., Neanderthal man. In these primeval times distinctions of race and racial qualities were important, and in the post-Atlantean Indian age these distinctions were reflected in the caste system. Nowadays race distinction, like the caste system, is grossly outdated, and such distinctions have meaning today only for the evil, and hence to evil or wrong purposes. In the distant future humanity will divide into two races, the good and the evil races. The horrendous acts against certain races and peoples in our time, including endless controversies surrounding issues of race, could be stemming from the stark fear and dread harbored, consciously or subconsciously, by the already-cast members of this future evil race, in regard to their being marked physically as evil, in regard to the inevitable fact that in future embodiments they will carry the "mark of the beast." To use terminology from the science of psychology, racism is a projection and a reaction-formation as conscious or subconscious response to this inevitability. However, while certain individuals are already markedly evil, most people today still have a choice.
"It was during the Atlantean epoch that, very slowly and gradually, the Earth began to wear an appearance more or less similar to that which we see around us today." - The East in Light of the West.
"There were giants in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown." - Genesis 6:4. Two different kinds of giants can be identified at this point: the Atlantean giant whose huge size was inversely proportional to his mental capacities, and the giants or titans that resulted from the union of fallen angels and the daughters of men. The former did not survive beyond Atlantis; the latter seem to have survived well beyond Atlantis, and were both good and evil. But even today (while no reflection on mental capacities) there are human beings who are giants, 7' 4" and even taller in height. If one could journey back physically to the time of Atlantis and not long after its destruction, and could wander about the many different lands of earth, all sorts of human and semi-human creatures, appealing or grotesque - even monstrous - would be seen. What a stupendous travelogue could be written of such a journey. As well as giants, there would be very small human beings; there would be offspring of humans and animals; there would be satyrs, centaurs and other fantastic creatures as depicted in archaic sculpture, illustration and literature. Demons, such as are seen on gargoyles, would be visible, and there would still be Cyclops. Men would be engaged in battles against the evil giants, i.e., David and Goliath - Samuel 1:17, and good giants would be seen constructing the massive walls of certain ancient cities, walls that have survived to this day, such as at Sacsahuaman, Peru.
In The Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh is described as being two-thirds god and one-third man and was certainly one of the mighty men of old. However, this is the time of the third millennium BC and Gilgamesh is attractive in appearance and fully human. "When the gods created Gilgamesh they gave him a perfect body. Shamash the glorious sun endowed him with beauty, Adad the god of the storm endowed him with courage, the great gods made his beauty perfect, surpassing all others, terrifying like a great wild bull. Two thirds they made him god and one third man." Taurus or the bull is the astronomical sign of the Egypto-Chaldean-Babylonian cultural age, the third cultural age. Rudolf Steiner stated that spiritual perception of Gilgamesh in the Akasha record revealed that he was a centaur in the lower half of his body, while this was not visible in his physical form. A most critical point in the completion of the creation of man in the "image of God" is the Mystery of Golgotha.
See the article, The Epic of Gilgamesh, on this site.
The most important of the migrations occurred prior to the final cataclysms of Atlantis that led to universal flooding, when the great Atlantean Christ Initiate led a chosen group of people eastward to the area known today as Central Asia. These were the people of the "fifth root race" or of the fifth great epoch. The human leader of these people is also known as the biblical "Noah," but he in turn would have been guided by a superhuman Being in the spiritual world known as "Manu." Such cooperative working may be traced to the archetype of the great twins, Gemini, Akashagarbha and Ksitigharba, the heavenly divine and his human counterpart or twin, i.e., Manu and Mani. "Leaders who direct the evolution of mankind are called Manus. There was a Manu of our Fifth Great Epoch. He is not a man among men, but of superhuman beings who have attained to a very lofty stage. These superhuman beings are of two kinds: they are called 'Holy Spirits' and 'Sons of God.' " - Apocalyptic Writings.
Thus the divine leader who lead the migrations eastward from Atlantis was the Manu of our Fifth Great Epoch, working with the below-embodied Noah or Mani. During this time, in addition to a select group of human beings, animals representing the seven principal animal group souls were likewise saved, for there was to be continued work within the animal kingdom. It goes without saying that in various other areas of the world, isolated groups of human beings, plants and animals, would have survived the final cataclysms, but Manu's work was directed toward the appropriate forms for the future, toward the new epoch and the true evolution of earth and humanity.
Studying a map of Central Asia on Wikipedia today, from the Caucasus in the northwest to Mongolia in the northeast, the range of the Himalayan Mountains are seen southward, with Pakistan and India just below. Central Asia is within the scope of the wider Eurasian Continent. "[It] has historically been tied to its nomadic peoples and the Silk Road. As a result, it has acted as a crossroads for the movement of people, goods, and ideas between Europe, Western Asia, South Asia and East Asia... Central Asia is an extremely large region of varied geography, including high passes and mountains, vast deserts and especially treeless, grassy steppes... Since Central Asia is not buffered by a large body of water, temperature fluctuations are more severe." Central Asia also has the geographic extreme of "the world's shortest distance between non-frozen desert and permafrost."
Since the time of the migrations occurred during the last ice age, it seems likely from a description of the land features of Central Asia today that there would have been safe areas in this region. Either at this time or in later periods there was a withdrawal of the leaders into isolated regions of the Himalayas. However, what we know of Himalayan heritage today is only the faintest echo of those earliest spiritual heights. "In those days, five, six, seven millennia ago, the culture in Asia was the same as it was on the Atlantean continent. Over there in Asia they had a culture that has survived in the clefts and underground caves of Tibet... However, this culture was really only appropriate to those ancient times when people lived under very different conditions than they do today." Gradually this culture, to the time of the Dalai Lama, deteriorated morally. "[One can] discover great scientific secrets which people knew in the early days. These are engraved on the rocks, but Europeans have only been granted access on the rarest occasions. [It is necessary] to develop this knowledge in a new form... It can be deciphered using the science of the spirit, but there one discovers things for oneself, so the old things are not needed." - From Beetroot to Buddhism. By the time of the first century BC, the lofty guiding forces of the post-Atlantean epoch were concentrated within the Judeo-Christian stream, preparing for the Mystery of Golgotha. "At the same time in which the Jewish prophet [Jeschu ben Pandira] lived, in the century before Christ, we find here a reference to the great ancient Atlantean initiation of Wod-Wodha-Odin... In Asia, the W is a B, Wodha=Bodha=Buddha. Buddhism at that time in Asia appeared as a throwback to the Atlantean time... And where great things, great pillars appeared in Tibet, we have a modern, monumental expression of old Atlantean culture." - from Nachlass-Verwaltung.
Odin or Wotan was originally a god of the northern continental region of Atlantis, a region later known as Niflheim, meaning eternal ice, mist and darkness. This northern part of Atlantis was located west of Ireland and according to theosophy was the last region of Atlantis to sink beneath the ocean, while the inhabitants migrated to Ireland and the countries of Northern Europe. Odin had one eye, as did the Celtic god Lugus, and was a god of war. Myths and accounts have come down through the ages regarding a deadly war between the northern and southern continental regions of Atlantis. This war was especially instrumental in the downfall of Atlantis as there was immoral use of etheric forces as weapons of war. - see Wellesley Tudor Pole. The southern regions were west of Africa. The quote above suggests that migrations of these peoples likewise extended down from the north as far as Mongolia and the Himalayas and that their pagan beliefs may have gradually been altered through the good influences of Buddhism. The horse was especially important to the Asian peoples and this animal was developed in this area into its present form. A 2008 program about dogs on Nova, PBS, traced the origin of the dog to Central Asia. These histories tend to affirm that Central Asia, including Mongolia, was a safe area.
Odin was the god who established the nine regions of the underworld - which are also known as Niflheim - probably during the downfall of Atlantis and after the time of its submergence. Ice, mist and darkness are associated with Ahriman. Odin banished the giant and the goddess Hel to this underworld, and she became its ruler. Hel is associated with the opposite of ice: fire and Lucifer.
The Book of Enoch
The best ancient account of Manu/Noah may be The Book of Enoch. The book, in three Ethiopic copies, was brought out of Abyssinia by James Bruce in 1773. It was translated into German in 1835, and translated into English by R.H. Charles in 1896. It was written in the second century BC, but exactly describes and foretells the emergence of the Messiah in the section The Book of Parables. The anthroposophist will recognize this source of inspiration as similar to that of Revelation. The book is also validated from references to it in the Old Testament, such as Jude 14:15.
The book details the causes of the downfall of Atlantis and humanity, the Fall of the Angels, Sheol or the Underworld, the Tree of Life, the heavenly city, and much else. It was thrown out by the Council of Laodicea, a gathering of church clerics in 363-364 AD, who also wanted to omit Revelation from Christian teachings. Perhaps the words of John in Revelation 22:18 had their effect: "I warn every one who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if any one adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if any one takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book."
From Fragment of the Book of Noah: Enoch writes that his son Methuselah chose a wife for his son, Lamech, and that Lamech's wife "...bore a son and his body was white as snow and red as the blooming of a rose, and the hair of his head and his long locks were white as wool, and his eyes beautiful. And when he opened his eyes, he lighted up the whole house like a sun, and the whole house was very bright. And thereupon his arose in the hands of the midwife, opened his mouth, and conversed with the Lord of Righteousness." Lamech was afraid of him and went to his father, Methuselah, who went to Enoch, and Enoch said: "And this son who has been born unto you shall be left on earth [after the great destruction] and his three children shall be saved with him... call his name Noah."
According to the teachings of the Esoteric School, Lamech is a manifestation of Cain: Cain, Lamech, Hiram Abiff, Lazarus-John.
When the submergence of Atlantis and the flooding had passed by, and a lengthy amount of time for re-adjustment and re-settlement had also passed, the first post-Atlantean cultural age - the Indian age - arose, approximately 7227 BC. This age was led by seven men who had been chosen by Manu/Mani; they were known as the Seven Holy Rishis. They were sent from the Mystery Center of the Christ Oracle, in Central Asia, southward into India. As leaders of humanity, and in preparation for the later ages, Initiates and men were also directed by the Christ Oracle into Egypt, Africa, Mesopotamia and parts of Europe, including Ireland. Rather than detail the early cultural ages here, the lecture series by Rudolf Steiner, Ancient Myths: Their Meaning and Connection with Evolution, especially Lecture IV, is recommended for further study. This lecture also discusses the astronomical signs in relation to the development of parts of the human body, i.e., the Indian age and the sign of Cancer, signifying the thorax. These lectures are fully available online through the Rudolf Steiner Archives; see the Links and Resources section. Also, see Occult Science for many further details regarding the cultural ages.
Recorded history began in the third cultural age. The Epic of Gilgamesh is considered the oldest surviving epic poem in world literature.
In Occult History Rudolf Steiner states that there is a connection between the Atlantean cataclysms and the year 1250 AD. Modern science has determined that there was a "little ice age" starting in the 13th century, and consider that 1250 was the year when pack ice began advancing southwards. From Wikipedia, "There was a little ice age... Starting in the 13th century North Atlantic pack ice began advancing southwards, as did glaciers in Greenland. The three years of torrential rains beginning in 1315 ushered in an era of unpredictable weather in Northern Europe which did not lift until the 19th century." "During the Atlantean cataclysm the Spirits of Form [of the hierarchy Exusiai or Elohim] worked so little into the souls of men... and that is not so readily noticed as the upheavals of the continents. The younger hierarchies held the field at that time... In the year 1250 there was an impetus and then an ebbing away." - World History. The impetus occurred in medieval scholasticism and in the rise of materialism, which was "dark," but these were contrasted with the rise of genuine Rosicrucianism. Kali Yuga or the great dark age lasted from approximately 3103 BC to 1899 AD.
How Old is Humanity?
According to spiritual science, the present-day physical body, in appearance, is not anywhere near as old as some scientists are asserting, whereas the age of humanity, in progressive non-physical evolutionary phases - "spiritualized earth beings" - dates to the beginning of the earth itself. From another perspective, the physical body, in development, dates from beyond the time of Earth; its development began during the Saturn evolution of earth. There are few physical remains of human bodies that can be dated prior to the end of Atlantean times and the beginning of the Indian cultural age in approximately 7227 BC. A mummy was discovered in 1940 in Nevada (U.S.) and is called the Spirit Cave Man. Radiocarbon dating reveals the mummy to be 9,400 years old, dating back to the year 7400 BC. "The mummy was wearing moccasins and shrouds of woven marsh plants. The weave of the shrouds indicates that it was made on a loom." This age estimation is probably accurate, as the mummy's clothing was available for the radiocarbon dating. "If we look into early post-Atlantean times, we would find that men built their dwelling places by methods very different from those used in modern life. In those days they made use of all kinds of growing things. Even when building palaces they summoned nature to their aid by utilizing plants with branches of trees and so on, whereas today men must build with broken fragments." - The Etherisation of the Blood. The crania of two adults and a child found in Ethiopia, considered to be modern humans, are believed by science to be from 160,000 to 195,000 years old. This age estimation is probably false because the skulls were dated based upon volcanic ash found with the fossils. Volcanos and glaciation are factors that seriously interfere with accurate radiocarbon dating.
Concerning the Cro-Magnon man, found in caves in southwest France and believed to be the earliest modern man, the figure of 10,000 years old given for the age of these remains would seem to be accurate according to spiritual science. The range of 35,000 years in the estimated age, from 45,000 to 10,000 years, is too wide a range and indicates a problem in radiocarbon dating.
"And God prepareth the man in His image; in the image of God He prepared him..." - Genesis 1:27, Young's Literal Translation.
God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh. - see Genesis 1:1-2:3. According to Rudolf Steiner, each "day" can be said to measure billions of years using modern time calculations. To this can be added the idea that God's rest on the seventh day is referring to the concept of pralaya.
Even a quick search on the subject of radiocarbon dating reveals serious problems, serious questions about accuracy raised by scientists themselves. Conclusions would appear to be that radiocarbon dating best measures younger objects, with myriad difficulties encountered beyond 24,000 years ago. The following articles have appeared in scientific magazines and journals: de Vries, H.L., "Variation in Concentration of Radiocarbon Dating with Time and Location on Earth," 1958; Kovar, Anton J., "Problems in Radiocarbon Dating at Teotihuacan," 1966; J.Warren Beck, et al: "Extremely Large Variations of Atmospheric 14-C Concentration During the Last Glacial Period," Science Magazine, June, 2001. In the last cited article J. Warren Beck writes that both volcanos and glaciation interfere with accurate radiocarbon dating, in addition to - simply stated - the countless, variable factors of life, or the living Earth. "[Scientists] believe that the ratio of stable and radioactive carbon in the atmosphere may have changed over the last 50 thousand years. This raises questions about the accuracy of dating for very old objects."
The scientist Willard Libby (1908-1980) and his colleagues at the University of Chicago, 1949, are credited with the discovery and development of radiocarbon dating. He accurately measured the age of wood from an ancient Egyptian royal barge whose age was known from historical documents; thus the barge was not very old. Willard Libby also worked on the Manhattan Project at Columbia University and was instrumental in the development of the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima. Not to discredit the value of radiocarbon dating, Libby may nevertheless be another of the 20th century scientists of death, most active during the dreadful 1940's and 1950's. These generally are the scientists who deny the spiritual basis of all creation; disregard the Bible and other sacred texts; teach youth that man evolved from apes, rather than the truth, which is that apes devolved from man; and believe only what can be seen with the eyes and/or is consistent or repeatable in scientific experiment, etc. If one-third or one-half of humanity is continuously, vehemently arguing against the scientific theory of evolution - pointing to accounts from sacred texts; denying that modern man is millions of years old; teaching that man is created in the image of God - then the scientists should admit that something is seriously wrong with their theories. It is a similar case with the unending abortion issue, on which humanity is divided. If something was not terribly, morally wrong about abortion, one-half or two-thirds of humanity would not be protesting against it. Such divisions mean that something is seriously wrong.
On an All About Archaeology internet site, a scientist wrote: "We must assume to know that the rate at which carbon-14 decays into nitrogen-14 hasn't somehow changed throughout the unobservable past. We must also assume to know what the ratio of carbon-12 to carbon-14 was in the environment in which our specimen lived during its lifetime. And finally, we must assume that there hasn't been any contamination in the specimen we are attempting to date. Scientific research has called the first two assumptions into question... the use of dendrochronology [tree ring dating] to calibrate carbon dating is itself fraught with uncertainties."
From Physics World: "Carbon Clock Could Show the Wrong Time: Carbon dating is a mainstay of geology and archaeology - but an enormous peak discovered in the amount of carbon-14 in the atmosphere between 45,000 and 11,000 years ago casts doubt on the biological carbon cycle that underpins the technique."
Recently there was a program on Nova, PBS: Mystery of the Megaflood. From a Nova internet site: "About 15,000 years ago, in the waning millennia of the Ice Age, a vast lake known as Glacial Lake Missoula suddenly burst through the ice dam that plugged it at one end. In the space of just 48 hours, geologists believe, the collapse sent 500 cubic miles of water cascading across the Pacific Northwest, creating overnight such unusual landscapes as the scablands of eastern Washington."
Spiritual science and physical science will ultimately prove one another out; open minds, great tolerance, are needed on both sides. "...we shall have a rugged time of it, all of us, in keeping these gardens in our villages, in keeping open the manifold, intricate, casual paths, to keep these flourishing in a great, open, windy world; but this, as I see it, is the condition of man; and in this condition we can help, because we can love, one another." - J. Robert Oppenheimer.
Paintings and Illustration by Martha Keltz, Studio Editions.
All books and lectures are by Rudolf Steiner unless otherwise noted.
- An Outline of Occult Science, 1910.
- Occult History, Lectures, 1910.
- Cosmic Memory: Prehistory of Earth and Man, 1904.
- Astronomy in Relation to Other Sciences, Lectures, 1921.
- The Christ Impulse and the Development of the Ego-Consciousness, Lectures, 1909.
- The Origin of the Animal World in the Light of Spiritual Science, Lectures, 1912
- Ancient Myths: Their Meaning and Connection with Evolution, Lectures, 1918.
- World History and the Mysteries in the Light of Anthroposophy, Lectures, 1910.
- The Evolution of Mankind, by Guenther Wachsmuth, Philosophisch-Anthroposophischer Verlag, 1961.
- Atlantis: The Fate of a Lost Land and Its Secret Knowledge, Rudolf Steiner Press, 2007.
- The East in Light of the West, Lectures, 1909.
- The Book of Enoch, R.H. Charles Translation, Skylark Books, 2003.
- The First Esoteric School, 1904 - 1914, Etheric Dimensions Press, 2005.
- The Epic of Gilgamesh, translated by N.K. Sandars, Penguin Epics, 1972.
- Apocalyptic Writings, Lectures, 1904.
- From Beetroot to Buddhism, Answers to Questions, Rudolf Steiner Press, 1999.
- Fragment from Nachlass-Verwaltung, Book 93a, page 261, translated by Martha Keltz.
- Writing on the Ground, by Wellesley Tudor Pole, Neville Spearman Limited, 1968.
- The Etherisation of the Blood, Lecture, 1911.
- Science Magazine, June, 2001.
- The Open Mind, by J. Robert Oppenheimer, 1955.