Ahriman: Occult Annihilation of the Soul
“The time of decision is around the end of the Twentieth Century when we will either stand at the grave of civilization in a War of All against All or turn toward a spiritualized culture.”
Rudolf Steiner, GA 240
By Douglas and Tyla Gabriel
We live in grave times. Reading the news headlines on any particular day, one can easily feel overwhelmed with the impending collapse of cultures, countries, financial markets, common decency, law and order, education, and spiritual and moral impulses. One crisis after another, whether real or false flags, are used to chisel away our personal freedoms and liberties, leading us into an Orwellian world of global governance and the complete annihilation of all that is divine in the world. We hold on to threadbare strands of hope, praying for mercy and divine intervention in a global quagmire that seems unsolvable.
Where is the Christ that was to come? Where is the path to Shamballa? Where is the otherworldly exit door to all of this worldly madness?
If you are new to anthroposophy you may not be aware that Rudolf Steiner spoke of these matters at great length. For those that have studied anthroposophy, you will recall that Steiner wrote of the War of All against All, a time in a distant future that is the transition to the future Earth. But what many may not be aware of is that this struggle can take place at any cultural period either in a microcosmic form or in a full-fledged battle between the Moon and Earth.
In order to be victorious in this struggle–whether now or at the end of the Seventh Epoch, whether personally or globally—one must meet evil in its luciferic and ahrimanic forms with courage to see through their terrifying and daunting specters of fear, hatred and doubt, embracing in their place a spirit full of faith, love, and wisdom. To do so is to wield the sword of Michael and slay the fiery dragon. But, first, one must become aware of evil and, like the miller’s daughter in Rumpelstiltskin, call out his name in full recognition of the devil he is.
Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) wrote and lectured extensively on these beings—Lucifer and Ahriman—as well as the Being of Christ, who incarnated in Palestine and is the second person in the Holy Trinity. What may be a surprise for readers new to anthroposophy is that on each side of Christ there are two beings, a left hand and right hand path of evil. Those two beings of evil are Lucifer, the tempter, the left hand path of evil, and Ahriman, the father of lies, the right hand path of evil. Lucifer is the fallen angel we know from the Bible. Ahriman, a name taken from Ancient Persia where he was seen as the polar opposite of the sun god, is also known as Satan.
Another surprise comes from the teachings of Steiner that both Lucifer and Ahriman actually incarnate once as a human being, Lucifer in 2000 BC and Ahriman in 2000 AD, and that Christ balances them by incarnating in the middle. There is another being of evil that directly opposes Christ known as Sorath or Sorat the Sun-Demon who incarnates in the distant future as an assault against the development of the human ego. His incarnation is now being prepared by Ahriman. These four beings and their physical incarnations are part of the plan of spiritual evolution and each being, even though deemed evil, have important functions in the evolution of the free human being who must develop discernment to know the difference between each of these beings. As hopeless as the world may seem at times, we can have comfort in knowing that the spirits of opposition are an important part of the divine plan.
Christ’s incarnation created the turning point of time as all evolution revolves around this central event. Christ incarnated once to defeat the existing effects of Lucifer’s human incarnation in China and prepare for the future incarnation of Ahriman in North America. Christ conquered the temptations of Lucifer as He will conquer the lies of Ahriman, as He will, by donating the form of the human ego (I consciousness) to man at the turning point of time, conquer Sorat’s anti-ego influence in the distant future. Because of the Deed of Christ at the Mystery of Golgotha, Christ’s perfected ego now exists in an etheric form in the realm of the super-etheric and can replicate itself for those who wish to take on this perfected form. Although it will take humanity as a whole quite some time to take on the perfected vehicle of Christ consciousness, there are some advanced souls, and you may be one, who have or will accomplish this wonder and bring teachings that align with the perfected vehicles of Christ.
In order to become conscious of evil so that we can ascend to Christ consciousness, we must know its many faces and manifestations. We must recognize their physical incarnations. The time has passed for recognizing the incarnations of Lucifer and Christ, and Sorat does not come until a distant future. Our task today is to know the incarnation of Ahriman.
Ahriman and Lucifer in the Modern World
In the modern world, ahrimanic shadow-thoughts rule the day. Our media devices are so alluring and addictive that children and adults seldom turn away from them for long. Whether those platforms are television, smart phones, game systems, computers, or virtual reality, they are seductive distractions that draw our attention away from the spiritual to the materialism of an electronic sphere where Ahriman ensnares us in his spider web network of gray shadow thoughts. The ego of the unwitting devotee of Ahriman is entangled with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and a plethora of electronic prisons that fabricate a false version of ego – a digital-ego that appears to be connected with other human egos, but is, in fact, a complete mirage of one’s true ego.
Any of us can appear to be clever as we access unlimited information from search engines, but this is hardly having knowledge that is earned by rigorous thinking and actual experience. Ahriman gives us the illusion of having all knowledge at our fingertips, but what we really have is so much information that we are overwhelmed with indigestible digital gobbledygook. It is hard to discern the pearls from the swill. In fact, Ahriman uses the ease of posting information on the digital platform to confuse us even more. An entire world of anti-knowledge and propaganda fills the digital world, drowning us in so much information that it is difficult to discern truth from fiction. Fake websites, false-flag events, photo-shopped images, propaganda, lies and deceit, and distractions continue to pour into the great fathom of the Internet which is as unlimited as our cosmos. Ahriman’s intent of destroying human intelligence and diverting us from pursuit of spiritual consciousness is accomplished when we are so overwhelmed by the digital world that we simply become absorbed in its electronic energy. Sadly, many of us don’t even have the consciousness to know that this has happened and any thought of spiritual beings and a world outside of materialism is not even considered.
An over-reaction to the influence of Ahriman might be to eschew all electronic platforms and anything that smacks of materialism. But Ahriman would not be in the world if he didn’t have something to offer to the initiate for spiritual evolution. Just as Lucifer gave man the capacity of thinking, Ahriman will give man the sacred magic of will power. It behooves the initiate to recognize Ahriman as he manifests in the world today so that his incarnation can be redeemed for a higher purpose in man.
The higher spiritual forces of Christ, the middle-path, are able to discern the good and ill that both Lucifer and Ahriman offer to the human soul in every moment of decision. There is no ultimate evil, just regressive beings who resist the progressive beings. These beings of evil will be redeemed in time but the soul of the individual is in the middle of a pitched battle for its ego. Lucifer would have us ascend into the spiritual world too quickly and Ahriman would have us forget our spiritual natural and be forever imprisoned in materialism.
In general, all regressive spiritual beings are called luciferic beings. There have been regressive beings involved in each of the planetary incarnations of Earth – Saturn, Sun, Moon, and Earth. Each set of regressive beings has a separate name and somewhat different ways of manifesting. The regressive beings of the Moon incarnation of the Earth are called luciferic and are found working in the astral body of human beings. The regressive beings of the Sun incarnation of Earth are called ahrimanic and are found working in the etheric body of the human being. The regressive beings of the Saturn incarnation of Earth are called asuric who work through the physical body of the human being.
In the astral body of the human being, the luciferic beings try to draw mankind away from the normal earth evolution to their own realm of light. In the human soul they inspire pride, egotism, disinterest in others, fiery emotionalism, subjectivity, fantasy, and hallucination. In the human intellect they inspire generalization, unification, hypothesizing, and the building of imaginative, fantastical pictures that are beyond reality. Human speech and thought were given by luciferic beings to humanity which developed into self-consciousness and the capacity for independent thinking.
When Lucifer incarnated in a human body, he brought about a revolution in human consciousness. Before then, humanity could not use the organs of intellect and lived by a kind of instinct. Lucifer was the first to grasp through the human intellect the wisdom of the mysteries. The effects of Lucifer’s incarnation inspired culture from the ancient Chinese through the teachings of the Gnostics, lingering into the early nineteenth century. The great initiates took it upon themselves to enter into the luciferic influence and turn it to the benefit of mankind. Only through the luciferic influence has mankind risen above the status of childishness.
The Incarnation of Ahriman
The being of Ahriman will use all aspects of scientific materialism to bring a form of mechanical occultism to his followers. He will appear as a type of anti-Christ who his followers will confuse as another incarnation of Christ. There will be no love in Ahriman and his cold heart will not be able to help freedom and love develop, only fear and hatred.
Christ will antidote this evil by appearing in the etheric realm in what is commonly called the second coming of Christ in the etheric. This etheric clairvoyance will be the opposite of the mechanical occultism clairvoyance which Ahriman will grant his followers. Ahriman’s clairvoyance will lead to dead ends and will not help the follower advance to the astral light vision of Christ in the etheric realm. Ahriman’s followers will have different visions that will not coincide with one another. Instead of connecting humans to one another and to divine beings, Ahriman separates humans from each other. When you see a world divided into countless factions, battling one another with angry words or devastating wars, you see the manifestation of Ahriman. Basically, this is a pre-figuring of the War of All against All that will come in the distant future, or, if we don’t become spiritually vigilant, may come to pass in our time.
Ahriman has been working to steal human intelligence since printing was invented. The printed word, book, or library gives the reader the illusion that the knowledge in print, the book in his hand, is his personal knowledge. This concept explodes infinitely with the invention of the Internet, giving any user information of all time, all cultures, and any subject. It takes spiritual work and effort to embody knowledge, as any ardent student of Steiner will attest. Knowledge is not obtained by surfing, clicking and scanning web pages. Knowledge must ripen with time and grow into wisdom before it is infused by Christ in the free human soul.
Ahriman amplifies information to the point that anything of spiritual value is muted. He then has been effective in keeping humanity from knowing its spiritual origins and future. This conflagration of digital information may provide endless clever knowledge, but without the integration of human warmth, it will not be imbued with wisdom. Ahriman and Lucifer will give us plenty of information and cleverness, but without Christ, knowledge cannot yield wisdom.
Anthroposophically speaking, Ahriman is a retarded or regressive hierarchical spiritual being of the rank of the Spirits of Form from the Sun Incarnation of Earth. He works in the realm of the Archai (Spirits of Time) and can be found active in the etheric body of the human being. Ahriman’s ultimate intent is to foil the goals of human spiritual evolution.
He and his hosts wish to freeze the earth into complete rigidity, so that it will not pass over to the Jupiter, Venus, and Vulcan incarnations of Earth, and to make the human being into an entirely earthly being who is not individualized, a slave to materialism, and divorced from the divine. He wants to materialize, crystallize, darken, silence, and kill the living spirit. Ahriman promotes the illusion, the lie, that matter is primary reality, or the only reality.
The modern scientific revolution, since the fifteenth century, has been inspired largely by Ahriman. He is the inspirer of amoral, atheistic, mechanistic materialism. He wants humanity to live from unconscious instincts as a member of a collective herd. Ahriman teaches that humanity is derived from animals and is little better.
Scientific materialistic thinking is hardly conscious or all-encompassing at all. Each scientific area is a silo of its own, rarely exploring fields afar or integrating whole living processes in its investigations. Ahriman wants humanity to be part of a herd, a general species of pseudo-humans who are clever, earth-bound animals who experience the world through narrow vision and are not conscious of their life beyond the borders of birth and death.
Ahriman believes there is no spirit or soul in the world but that life itself is a mechanical process, a machine of sorts. He is more apt to liken the body to a machine than to an angel. He works through subconscious instincts, inspiring fear, hatred, lust for power, and destructive sex impulses. He inspires rigid, automatic thinking that is hard and literal, not soaring and imaginative.
Ahriman uses hollow words to separate language from meaning and reality. Language becomes dead under his ruler-ship and human warmth is withdrawn from conversation. Eventually ahrimanic thinking leads us to thoughts devoid of spirit. Only by consciously imbuing our thoughts, conversations, and writings with human warmth are we able to counter the death of spirit in our language.
Another tendency of ahrimanic thinking is nationalism based on ethnicity with dogmatic party politics breeding hatred for others, destroying cultural, political, and economic life. Ahriman promotes mechanization of the world bound by rigid laws everywhere, with little place for free human initiative. Philistinism, tedium, alienation, and lack of interest in one’s work kill human intelligence and imagination.
In medicine we find Ahriman entrenched in materialistic, mechanistic experimentalism and treatment, isolating symptoms of the patient from his whole physical health and environment in order to prescribe federally-approved allopathic drugs that better serve pharmaceutical companies than the patient. The ahrimanic cycle of the medical industry is quite disturbing. First poison the crops with irradiation, pesticides, and genetically modified foods all in the name of growing better harvests, which, in turn, cause disease and illness, which then creates a life-long customer for the medical conglomeration.
Or vaccinate a child with massive inoculations, causing medical conditions immediately or in the future, and create another steady customer base for the medical industry. Process and pasteurize foods so that they are left without enzymes and are indigestible, causing further symptoms that create even more customers. Then create a medical system so that every symptom can be checked off an extensive list which has a corresponding FDA approved drug to treat the symptom. Punish any doctor that goes outside of these parameter as holistic approaches to healing do not bring repeat customers to the medical big business. Make sure alternative remedies are discouraged or outlawed by regulation or legislation.
This is an example of how Ahriman works in the world of money, power, greed, and the severance of man from his spiritual source until a human is nothing more than a cog in a medical industry wheel, our physical bodies used as economic food for others to feed upon. Similar analogies could be given for big business involved in education, war, politics, and organized religion.
For example, ahrimanic materialistic interpretations of the Gospels make Christ into a simple man with little spiritual connection to the modern human. Worship of the physical world leads humans to deny life after death and a struggle to find solace exclusively in the physical world. Once Ahriman closes off the spiritual world to humans, they can easily lose connection to morality, spirituality, and a virtuous life. Instead they begin a descent towards a more animal-like existence, spiraling downward through the seven deadly sins.
In this way Ahriman hardens the etheric body in man so that it becomes a vehicle of automatic, intellectual thinking devoid of will, permanently shackling the human etheric bodies in the region of the earth after death. Man would become clever, animalistic, ghostly, earth-bound creatures. The earth would become so hardened without the vibrancy of human etheric bodies that it would not pass over to the Jupiter incarnation of Earth. Ahriman’s followers seek a kind of “immortality” in the slag-earth that will surround the Earth with Old Moon forces. It will be an immortality with egotistic, earthly consciousness instead of the cosmic consciousness of the individualized spiritual ego.
Despite these ominous descriptions of Ahriman, his incarnation need not be an evil event. His incarnation is necessary in human and earthly evolution, and can be turned toward the good if humanity meets it in the right way. Ahriman wants us to be unconscious; but it is our responsibility to strive to be more and more conscious, and to inculcate consciousness in as many people as we can. We can become more aware of the meaning of our own lives and of the world by studying and filling ourselves with the modern form of cosmic wisdom given by spiritual science. Just as the ancient initiates entered into luciferic wisdom and rescued it for the good of mankind, now must mankind, with the consciousness gained from spiritual science and from the etheric Christ, enter into ahrimanic knowledge and turn it to good purpose.
Ahrimanic knowledge will show what cleverness can, and cannot, produce from earthly forces. If we meet Ahriman consciously, we can acquire through him the realization that the earth is becoming old and must decline physically, eventually to die and enter the spiritual worlds, to be reborn as the Jupiter incarnation of Earth. Ahriman wishes to preserve, condense, and harden the old earth and its etheric body so that it will not evolve into the future Jupiter incarnation of Earth but will become a dwelling place for his beings, a new planet of his own making.
The old earth would be preserved and parts of humanity would become etheric ghosts, imprisoned in an etheric body made of earth substance that does not dissolve. Those humans would not be able to ascend to spiritual heights but would remain chained to Earth as egoless soul beings. He will preserve dead thinking through a condensed etheric body of the Earth. In doing so, he darkens the etheric realm where Christ can be found and instead promises an ahrimanic immortality.
Ahriman is the false prince of the world who makes the claim that he is the one who guides and leads humanity. He is the mighty teacher of materialistic Darwinism and technology. His goal is to slay human awareness of spirituality in us and harden the ego. Ahriman wants to create a humanity that is a group soul of animals who think without using the vehicle of an ego, or human I consciousness. He tries to numb us to the fact that humans have the capacity to think angelic thoughts, spiritual thoughts.
Whereas Christ wishes to create a new spiritual Earth from the old one through love and human freedom, Ahriman wants to destroy the cosmic plan and be the god of his own world.
As Steiner wrote in The Incarnations of Lucifer, Christ, Ahriman, October 27, 1919, GA 193:
Ahriman stirs up all the emotions that split men up into small groups – groups that mutually attack one another. Ahriman also makes use of what develops from the old conditions of heredity which man has really outgrown in the fifth post-Atlantean epoch. The ahrimanic powers use all that is derived from old circumstances of heredity in order to set men against each other in conflicting groups. All that comes from old differences of family, race, tribe, peoples, is used by Ahriman to create confusion.
Ahriman skillfully prepares his goal beforehand; ever since the Reformation and the Renaissance, the economist has been emerging in modern civilization as the representative governing type. Since that time the economist has been in command. Rulers are in fact merely the handymen, the understrappers of the economists.
We know very well that we have no occasion either to hate Ahriman or to fear Lucifer, since their powers are inimical only when they are working outside the realm where they belong. Luciferic activity has the result of making the will young. When the activity of our soul is streamed through by luciferic activity the result is will. When the luciferic influence predominates, when Lucifer makes his forces felt in the soul, then will is active in us. Lucifer has a rejuvenating influence on the whole stream of our soul-activity.
When Ahriman brings his influence to bear on our soul-activity, he hardens it, it becomes old, and thinking is the result. The etheric body has actually this appearance; one can perceive in it luciferic light and ahrimanic hardness. But there are places where the etheric body seems to be quite nontransparent, as if it had ice tracings in it. This freezing of the etheric body at certain places is due to Ahriman; his forces have found entry there by means of thought. There are also places which seem to be full of light. Here the etheric body is transparent and gleams and glows with light. It is Lucifer who sends his rays into the etheric body of man and makes there centers of will. Then there are regions in between, where the etheric body is in perpetual movement and activity. Here you see at one moment hardness – and then suddenly the hardness is caught by a ray of light and melts right away. Hardening and dissolving, in perpetual alternation – such is the expression of the activity of feeling in the etheric body.
When the ahrimanic forces gain the upper hand, we have an expression of thinking; when the luciferic forces are in ascendance, we have an expression of willing; and when they are in mutual conflict one with the other, we have an expression of feeling.
Ahriman has great power over our waking consciousness. In sleep consciousness, Lucifer has the upper hand. They are in equilibrium only when we dream; there they pull with equal force, they strike a balance between them. The ideas which are called forth by Ahriman in day consciousness and which he causes to harden and crystallize, are dissolved and made to disappear under the influence of Lucifer.
Thus we are truly, in a certain connection, redeemers of Lucifer. When we begin to be able to love our duty, then the moment has come when we can help towards the redemption and release of the luciferic powers; we set free the Lucifer forces which are held in us as by a charm, and lead them forth to fight with Ahriman. We release the imprisoned Lucifer (imprisoned in self-love) when we learn to love our duty.
Calm and peace of mind have the coldness of Ahriman; in the quiet understanding of what is in the world, we unite our warmth and our understanding love with the coldness that is in the world outside. And then we release Ahriman, when we meet what has come about with understanding, when we do not merely demand our rights out of self-love but understand what has come about in the world. In the revolutionary stream lives Lucifer, in the conservative stream Ahriman, and man in his life of right lives in the midst between these two poles. This is the eternal battle that is waged between Lucifer and Ahriman.