“In order to describe the further course of the Sun evolution, reference must be made to a fact in the formation of worlds which is of the greatest possible significance. It is this, —that by no means every being attains the goal of its evolution in the source of one epoch; there are some that fall short of the goal. …
“As organisms belonging o the evolving planet are left behind, so is it also with certain beings connected with that evolution. Through the process of evolution up to the moon period, different grades of such beings have already risen. There are the Sons of Personality who not even on the Sun have attained their human stage; but there are also others who have caught up with evolving humanity. …
“After a certain time we have a system of cosmic bodies the most advanced of which, as can easily be seen, must be called the New Sun. … It would take us much too far to follow up in detail all the celestial bodies that come into existence. It must suffice to have pointed out the reason why a succession of them arises by degrees from the undivided world-organism which appears as Saturn at the beginning of human evolution.” ~Rudolf Steiner
When Steiner talks about Sun evolution, he means a certain period which he labels the sun period. He labels others the Moon period and the Saturn period. These titles he assigns should not be taken literally. They are allegorical references to the type of evolution that occurred in that period.
But there is another kind of Sun evolution that is more significant. That is the evolution of the sun itself. To empirical science, there is but one sun that has always shined down on planet Earth and the rest of the solar system. It may undergo some changes, much like us aging, but it is still the same sun. Spiritual and Mystical orders say different. They say that there have been several epochs, usually five or six, which each has a different sun. You might think it is impossible for the sun to have been replaced several times. But you are thinking of the material sun. It is the spiritual sun that changes. Of course, when the spiritual sun changes, it affects the physical sun over time.
Exactly when each of these sun epochs began or ended is not important. What does matter is that we are now at the beginning of a new sun epoch. This means major changes. This is the age of the Sun of Righteousness that the prophet Malachi wrote about.
With each new sun, or new epoch, life forms must evolve or be left behind. Left behind in this case meaning they become extinct. Most of these creatures have no choice. They are not sufficiently conscious to realize that they must change or become extinct with a new sun evolution.
Man is different. We are capable of understanding that as the world is changing, we must change with it, or perish. But it gets complicated. The world is changing in two different ways and in two different directions at the same time.
On the level of matter, we are seeing a kind of evolution with advanced technology and greater control over the world we live in. At least that is what many believe. We are protected from cold and heat with our mechanical and electronic devices. In some cities, we can travel through tunnels from place to place and avoid going outside altogether. Some love this. They think it is real evolution. Evolution of the best kind. But it isn’t. It is really devolution. Anything that has us sinking deeper and deeper into matter is devolution, not evolution.
Fortunately, there is another level, a spiritual one. On this level of being, things are changing as they should. They are evolving, not devolving. The sun evolution in this direction is to something more spiritual rather than more material. The new Sun of Righteousness is not only shining more spiritual light on us, but it is also gradually transforming the whole world into spirit again. And our sun is sharing energies with all the other stars in the universe so the entire physical realm is changing. At some point, a tipping point will be reached and everything that is now matter will become spirit. Nobody knows exactly when that will be, but most spiritual masters agree that it is coming soon. That may mean in a year, a decade, or a century. But like Noah getting ready for the flood, we need to be ready for this sun evolution and universal evolution.
Why Not Today?
Some wonder why God doesn’t just change the physical universe back into spirit today. There are several reasons for this. One is that we were given a certain degree of freedom. Because of that, we must make the decision to return to spirit. God may give us an occasional push forward, but He won’t make it happen until we are ready. Another reason is that such rapid change would cause great destruction, and God isn’t the destroyer. Satan is. Transforming everything through sun evolution takes time. But that is fine with God to whom time has little significance. He lives and functions outside the limits of space and time.