Islam's Role in History

From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Sun Jan 4, 2004 10:46 pm
Subject: Islam's role in history

Below is a very interesting supplement to the previously quoted lectures about Islam, 666, the Beast, and Sorat as recorded in "The Book of Revelation and the Work of the Priest" (GA 346):

What is interesting is that the lectures to CC priests were the very last ones held by Steiner (September 1924) before he became too ill to continue. During and after the Great War, he woke up to the very fierceness of the Opposing Powers, making it incumbent upon him to speak out loud and clear about the secret occult societies in England, about Sorat and the mystery of 666 and its relation to Islam in Europe and other things.

Thirteen years earlier, in 1911, Rudolf Steiner's look to the future was considerably more relaxed and optimistic. The powerful opposotion to his work wielded by enemy occultists and the Spirits behind them did not start until after he had held the lecture cycle "From Jesus to Christ" (GA 131) in October of that year; the headaches with Besant and Leadbeater in the Theosophical Society and Max Heindel's plagiarism exploited by his opponents were only irritating mosquito bites compared to what was to come when the hostility of occult powers had been awoken by "From Jesus to Christ" - a hostility leading to the very outbreak of the Great War in 1914, which disturbed the spiritual atmosphere so severly that Steiner had to discontinue his investigations of the Gospels, the Holy of Holies.

But in March 1911, none of this had happened, and Rudolf Steiner saw no immediate need to warn against Sorat and the 666 Mystery in relation to Islam in Europe. So in this lecture, we see a rather benevolent and progressive and fruitful intersection of spiritual-cultural streams. He does not speak here about what happens every 666 years, but about every sixth century. In other words, the link to the Apocalyptic secret is veiled in this lecture, and what he revealed to the CC priests about this in 1924 was not given to the general public until the 1990's.

Excerpting the lecture at hand is almost like dissecting it; it's not like my other recent quotes that could better stand on their own in a way. But I'll give it a try. There is indeed a connection between Jahve and Allah; what they have in common is the Moon. In Jahve we have the full moon; in Islam the crescent moon. They reflect the Light from the Christ, who is the Sun. And then we move on to the repetition of epochs:

"In post-Atlantean evolution we have distinguished seven epochs: the Old Indian, then in sequence, the Old Persian, the Egypto-Chaldean, the Graeco-Latin - during which the Christ event took place - and our own fifth epoch which will be followed by two others. In the fifth epoch, certain happenings characteristic of the Egypto-Chaldean epoch are repeated in a different form. The Christ Impulse was given in the middle epoch (the fourth) and the third epoch is in a certain sense repeated in the fifth. There is a similar relationship between the sixth and the second epochs and between the seventh and the first. Here we are concerned with overlapping factors of evolution which will reveal themselves in such a way that we can apply to them the Biblical saying: The first shall be tha last. The Old Indian epoch will reappear in the seventh in a different but nevertheless recognizable form."

- "Background to the Gospel of St. Mark" Lecture 9: "The Moon-Religion of Yahve and its Reflection in Arabism - The Penetration of the Buddha-Mercury Stream Into Rosicrucianism" (Berlin, 13th March, 1911, GA 124)

"But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first." - Mt 19:30

The line it is drawn, the curse it is cast
The slow one now will later be fast
As the present now will later be past
The order is rapidly fadin'.
And the first one now will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'

- Bob Dylan, 1963

And the Doctor continues:

There is, however, still another way in which an earlier epoch may have an effect in a later one. Shorter periods may also occur in the course of evolution. Thus conditions present in pre-Christian times during the period of ancient Hebrew culture reappeared later in post-Christian times: something that was prepared within the Jahve- or Jehovah-religion, overlapping the Christ Impulse as it were, appeared again and played into the other factors which had by then developed.


Taking the Moon, contrasted with the Sun, as the symbol representing the Jahve-religion, we may expect that a similar form of belief, by-passing as it were the Christ Impulse, would emerge later on as a kind of Moon-religion. And this is what actually happened. The old Jahve-religion emerged again after the Christ Event, in the religion of the Crescent, carrying earlier impulses into post-Christian times. If you do not take things superficially, the use of the Moon and Crescent as symbols for these two faiths will not be something to smile at, for it is an actual fact that a religion or creed and its symbol are intimately connected. So in a later time we have the repetition of an earlier phase which has skipped the intervening years. This takes place in the last third of the Graeco-Latin epoch which in the occult sense we reckon as lasting up to the twelfth and into the thirteenth century. Leaving out a period of six hundred years, this means that beginning in the sixth century A.D. and exercising a very rigorous influence upon all aspects of development, we have the religion brought by the Arabians from Africa over into Spain: this represents a re-emergence, in a different form, of the Jahve-Moon-religion. The intervening Christ Impulse has been ignored. It is not possible to enumerate all the characteristics brought over with the religion of Mohammed; but it is important to realize that the Christ Impulse is disregarded in the religion of Islam which was actually a kind of revival of Mosaic monotheism. This idea of the One God, however, included a good deal derived from other sources, for instance from Egypto-Chaldean religion, which had yielded very exact knowledge of the connection of happenings in the starry heavens with earthly events. Thus the thoughts and ideas current among the Egyptians, chaldeans, Babylonians and Assyrians appear again in the religion of Mohammed but pervaded by the One God, Jahve. Speaking scientifically, what we have in Arabism is a kind of gathering-together, a synthesis, of the wisdom-teachings of the priests of Egypt and Chaldea and the Jahve-religion of the ancient Hebrews.

In such a process there is not only compression but also rejection and elimination. In this case everything connected with clairvoyant perception had to be discarded and men were to depend entirely upon reason and intellectual thinking. Hence the concepts belonging to the Egyptian art of healing and to Chaldean astronomy - which in both these peoples were the outcome of clairvoyance - are to be found in the Arabism of Mohammed in an intellectualized and individualized form. Something that had passed as it were through a filter was thus brought into Europe by the Arabians. Old concepts that had been current among the Egyptians and Chaldeans were denuded of their visionary, pictorial content and re-cast into abstract forms. They reappear in the wonderful scientific knowledge possessed by the Arabians who made their way into Europe via Africa and Spain. Whereas Christianity brought an impulse connected essentially with man's life of soul, the greatest impulse given to the human intellect was brought by the Arabians. Without thorough knowledge of the course taken by the evolution of humanity it is impossible to form any idea of how much the world-conception which arose in a new form under the symbol of the Moon, has given to mankind. There could have been no Kepler, no Galileo, without the impulses brought by Arabism into Eurpoe. For the old mode of thinking appears again, but now denuded of its ancient clairvoyance, when the third culture-epoch celebrated its resurrection in our own fifth epoch, in our modern astronomy, in our modern science.

Thus the course of evolution is such that on the one hand the Christ Impulse penetrates into the European peoples directly, through Greece and italy, and on the other hand a more southerly stream by-passes Greece and Italy and unites with the influences brought indirectly by the Arabians.

Only through the union of christianity and Mohammedanism during the important period wioth which we are dealing, was it possible for our modern culture to come into being. For reasons which I cannot go into today we have to reckon with periods of six to six-and-a-half centuries for such impulses as I have been describing. Thus actually six centuries after the Christ Event the renewed Moon-cult of the Arabians appears, expanding and spreading into Europe, and until the thirteenth century enriching the Christian culture which had received its direct impulses by other paths. There was an unbroken interchange of thought. If you are conversant merely with the outer course of events, if you know how in the monasteries of Western Europe - in spite of apparent opposition to Arabism - the Arabian concepts made their way into science, you will also be aware that until the middle of the thirteenth century - again a particularly significant point of time - the Arabian impulse and the direct Christ Impulse were interwoven."

- ibid



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