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Fifth Epoch of Materialism and Sixth Epoch of Spirit

“The descent into materialism was necessary in order that the fifth epoch might fulfill its mission It was essential that astral and spiritual clairvoyance should grow dim in order that the intellect might develop by  precise, minute and mathematical observation of the physical world. Physical science must be supplemented by spiritual science.
“Our fifth epoch will be followed by another, the sixth. This sixth epoch will see the development of brotherhood among men, clairvoyance and creative power. … To the priest in the mysteries before Christ, there was harmony between science and faith. Science and faith were one and the same. …
“Now that the attention of men is wholly directed to the physical world, faith has need of a refuge, of religion. … In the sixth epoch, the two streams will again unite. Mechanical science will become spiritually creative. This will be Gnosis-spiritual consciousness.” ~Rudolf Steiner

Fifth Epoch

I’m not sure Mr. Steiner is correct in saying that the descent into materialism was necessary. We cannot deny, however, that it has happened.

It is certainly true that there are forces in the material world which act upon us in different ways. Without getting into the details that are reserved for spiritual students, some forces act to lift us and make us grow, while other pull us down deeper into matter and materialism. You might think of these forces as being the two wolves in the old Native American story. The wolf that is fed is the one that grows strong. In the last several centuries, the wolf we have fed is clearly the forces that pull us deeper into matter. We have reached a point where the materialistic scientists have become like priests to some. And to many, the existence of anything other than matter is laughed at. Fortunately, the fantasies of materialism do not change the reality.

As Steiner says, this epoch was one of emphasis on the intellect. This power of the brain-mind is certainly impressive. So impressive, that many feel their can be nothing greater. But the intellect is limited to understanding the physical realm. It can only grasp the spiritual in a superficial way.

Sixth Epoch

We are now at the dawn of this new epoch. It is clear that some are awakening again. While the numbers are still relatively small, it is much greater than it was a century ago. We are again talking of the Essenes and Theraputes as holy people rather than misguided wackos. We are learning again to understand the allegorical tales of the ancients including those found in Christian, Buddhist, and Hindu scripture.

As part of this awakening of a new Age of Enlightenment, we are seeing a return of ancient spiritual schools or mystery schools. Some of these schools are new, but teach the ancient truths that never change. Others are a resurgence of schools that never entirely disappeared.

Sadly, there are also phony schools popping up. Sleazy materialist who see this spiritual growth as a path to some quick money throw together classes and seminars from various sources in a hap-hazard way that teaches very little and are in a few cases dangerous. When searching for a school to study under, we need to trust out intuition rather than falling for elaborate and expensive advertising.

Seventh Epoch

Steiner says this fifth epoch will be followed by another. This will be an even greater epoch of living together in true harmony and spirituality.

More accurately, we can say the fifth epoch was one of descent into matter. The sixth epoch is one of awakening and a return to spirituality. The seventh epoch will happen when the material universe returns to its original state of spirit. Then matter will no longer exist, and death, disease, competition, and the other negative things associated with matter will be done.


So if you’re still trapped in the fifth epoch, now id the time to awaken. Start developing your spiritual self. Awaken your spirit and soul with the light of the spiritual sun. Start learning the truth to achieve what Steiner called “ Gnosis-spiritual consciousness.” The more we awaken, the easier the transition will be.

Cosmic Order

Cosmic Order and the Universe

“But the life in the Cosmos, the life which carries the leading principle of the universe, still needs elucidation; does it operate without calculation, without searching into what ought to be done?
“Yes: for what must be stands shaped before the Cosmos, and is ordered without any setting in order; the ordering things are merely the things that come to be; and the principle that brings them into being is Order itself. …
“The leading principle of the universe is a unity—and one that is sovereign without break, not sometimes dominant and sometimes dominated. … And this governing unity must always desire the one thing; [unity].” ~Plotinus

Cosmos and Universe

It is not clear when Plotinus speaks of the universe and the cosmos if he means them as two different things, or as two words that mean the same thing. A hint is found, however, in the fact that he writes Cosmos with a capital “C,” and universe with a lower-case “u”. This indicates to me that he thinks of them as different, and the Cosmos is the more important of the two. I will assume, therefore, that when he says “Cosmos,” he means the spiritual realms, and when he says “universe,” he means the dimensions of matter. Still, some of what he says about the Cosmos applies more to the universe, and vice-versa.

Cosmic Order

The first few lines of the quote may seem confusing to some. Essentially, Plotinus is asking if the Cosmos had to be put into order by some intelligent force or being after it was created. His own reply is “No,” because the order is built in. In other words, God didn’t create a random, chaotic Cosmos, then try to apply order to it. He created it as ordered creation. He created with Cosmic order. And all that he creates is created with that same Cosmic Order.

So God doesn’t have to spend much of his time keeping the spiritual Cosmos in order. It runs on its own build in order. Just as we don’t have to remember to breath or make our heart beat, God doesn’t have to remember to continuously guide the Cosmos as if driving a car. It’s like a self-driving car that never runs down, never breaks. Continue reading “Cosmic Order and the Universe”

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Incomprehensible Good and Being Drawn Up to It

“If it be an intellectual truth, or a ghostly image, through which God reveals Himself in His unfathomableness, this is received in the understanding; and the man can clothe it in words insofar as it can be expressed in words. Sometimes a man may also be drawn above himself and above the spirit (but not altogether outside himself) into an incomprehensible Good, which he shall never be able either to utter or to explain in the way in which he heard and saw; for in this simple act, and this simple vision, to hear and to see are one. And none can work this in man, without intermediary and without the cooperation of any creature, save God alone.

“It is called Raptus; which means rapt away, or uplifted, or carried away. At times, God grants to such men a sudden spiritual glimpse like the lightning in the sky. It comes like a sudden glimpse of strange brightness, shining forth from the Simple Nudity. And therefore for an instant the spirit is raised above itself.” ~John of Ruysbroeck

God Reveals Himself

God may reveal Himself to worthy individuals in many ways. One way, which John calls an intellectual truth, is by a sudden revelation of a truth. It need not be a spiritual truth, just a sudden revelation. It may come as a sudden burst of insight into a problem one has been working on. It may also come through images suddenly seen in a dream or vision. That is what John means by a ghostly image. Ghostly because it is in your mind only and has no physical existence.

Clothed in Words

It is our nature, or at least how we have been taught since we were infants, to express everything in words. People will, therefore, try to express to others what has appeared to them in these visions or dreams using words. In most cases, the words are not adequate to tell the tale completely because language was developed to express what is happening in the physical world, not the spiritual. The incomprehensible good cannot accurately be put into words. We can only help others to experience it and learn for themselves.

Drawn Above

Don’t take this “Drawn Above” expression literally. It is not like Sigourney Weaver floating above the bed in “Ghost Busters”. Above, in this case,

Sigourney Weaver Rising

means a higher level of being, or a higher frequency of reality. In other words, drawn up from the third dimension of matter to the fifth dimension of spirit and spiritual beings such as Angels. Continue reading “Incomprehensible Good and Being Drawn Up to It”

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Sacred Music and Light of the Spiritual Spheres

“How often have you seen your brother in a state of ecstasy, which he cannot describe? It is a state beginning in quiet bliss, flowing outward in bright radiance from an inner light, which can even illuminate the material darkness about him. He hears the music of the sacred spheres and sees the throbbing pulsations of life heaving about him, like waves upon the great sea. He becomes aware of an inflowing of unspoken knowledge from a surrounding power. It does not come from any one point, but appears to flow out of all things and to penetrate all things. … The spirit becomes lost in adoration and wonder in the beauty revealed in everything. The soul is aware of something glorious within all this and knows it from the spirit outflowing from its source.” ~The Kolbrin Bible (SOF:2:25)

Indescribable Ecstasy

This state of ecstasy or enlightenment has been described by many, but not accurately. First, the person experiencing this state will color it to some degree with his own experiences and beliefs. That is why spiritual teachers tell us we must rid ourselves of all preconceptions in order to achieve true and complete enlightenment. Second, no worldly language is capable of describing this state accurately. Our languages do a good job of describing the world of matter, but they do not have words to properly describe the spiritual.

Flowing Outward in Bright Radiance

There are two important concepts expressed in that brief phrase. First is the “flowing outward” part. Many schools will have you believe that it is all about turning within ourselves to find enlightenment. While that is certainly part of the process, the more important part is that opening up to the greater universe in all its dimensions and flowing outward (or expanding) into it. We learn the reality of it by becoming one with it.

Illuminate the Darkness

The light of one who has become “enlightened” may not literally cause a darkened room to light up, yet is does bring light to the darkness. It isn’t visible light, but it works in the same way. It’s really a matter of frequencies. The Light person is operating at a higher frequency than the dark people. When around them, the light of the enlightened one may increase the frequency of the others, at least temporarily.

It is also possible for the opposite to happen. When the person of light is around dark people too often, or in great numbers, their lower frequencies can reduce his. That is why students in reputable spiritual schools are often warned to stay away from such people as much as they can. When they do have to be around dark ones, they need to take precautions to avoid being affected. This is why you won’t find truly enlightened spiritual leaders giving talks or services in prisons. Instead, they will send light and well wished to those people from a distance. Continue reading “Sacred Music and Light of the Spiritual Spheres”