“The Sons of Fire act upon the etheric body in so far as the independent formation of the human being becomes imprinted upon it. …
“The Sons of Life act on the physical body in such a way that it is able to become the expression of the astral body which has now become independent. They thus make it possible for the physical body to become a physiognomic copy of its astral body. On the other hand, higher spiritual beings, in particular the Lords of Form and of Motion, reach down into the physical and etheric bodies, as far as these are developed during the Sun periods, regardless of the independent astral body. Their intervention comes from the Sun, in the manner described above.
“Under the influence of such facts, the human being gradually matures to a point where it can develop within itself the germ of the Spirit-Self just as during the second half of the Saturn evolution it developed the germ of the Spirit-Man and on the Sun that of the Life-Spirit. Thereby all the Moon conditions are changes.” ~Rudolf Steiner
Sons of Fire and Life as Universal Forces
It is not clear what Steiner means by the Sons of Fire and the Sons of Life. Yet it seems from the rest of the quote that they have something to do with man becoming physical. The physiognomy of a thing is it’s outward appearance. So I think he is saying that these “beings” give us physical form.
I put beings in quotes because I don’t think that these Sons of Fire and Sons of Life are actual beings in the normal sense. I think it is a personification of the universal forces that tend to pull beings further and further into matter.
They can also be the beings we call demons and devils, or simply dark beings. How exactly the Sons of Fire and the Sons of Life differ, I don’t know, but I don’t think it matters. The point is, these two types of forces or beings are encouraging us to become more of matter and less of spirit. If they succeed in making us pure matter, we will be lost forever.
Higher Spiritual Beings
On the other side of the coin, there are spiritual forces and spiritual beings that try to pull us back into the realm of spirit where we belong. The spiritual beings include those called Angels and Beings of Light. They are also universal forces.
Where things are a little confusing is that sometimes beings that are not physical are not easily distinguishable from universal forces. The may be different, or they may be just different views of the same thing. But it really doesn’t matter.
Steiner says the intervention of these spirit beings comes from the Sun. This should not be a surprise to anyone. Most forces and energies that control us here on Earth do come through the sun. Even those that originate with God and spiritual beings come to us through the spiritual sun. The sun is a source of universal forces and beings as well. It may even be considered a living being as well as a universal force.
Steiner says that under their influence, human beings “gradually mature”. This does not mean aging in the physical sense. Nor does it mean mental maturity, although that generally comes along with it. It is a spiritual maturity that Steiner is talking about. But even on that level, it doesn’t mean aging. What it really means is returning to the spiritual state we existed in before the fallen world of matter existed. And we can channel those universal forces through ourselves to benefit others.