A Great Corruption of Human Nature
“Toward the middle of the Atlantean evolution a calamity gradually befell humanity. The Mysteries of the Initiates had to be carefully kept secret from those who had not purified their astral bodies from sin. Had they gained insight into that hidden knowledge, into the laws by means of which higher beings directed the forces of nature, they would have employed those forces thus placed at their disposal for their own perverted needs and passions. The danger was all the greater because mankind was coming, as has been described, into the sphere of lower spiritual beings, who could not take part in the regular evolution of the earth and were therefore working against it. These persistently influenced humanity in such a way as to instill into it interests which were actually directed against human welfare. But mankind still had the power to employ the forces of growth and reproduction belonging to animal and human nature in their own service.
“Not only humanity in general, but even some of the initiates yielded to temptation from low spiritual beings. They were induced to employ the supersensible forces mentioned above for a purpose which ran counter to human evolution. And for this purpose they sought out associates who were not initiated, and who made use of the secrets of the supersensible forces of nature for low ends. The result was a great corruption of human nature.” ~Rudolf Steiner
Mysteries Had to Be Secret
I have written on this before. The great mysteries of spiritual development, or Mysticism, if you prefer, have always been kept secret from the general public. This is not because the Initiates are greedy of stingy, but to protect humanity from the kind of thing Steiner is writing about. Hitler and Nero are examples of people who learned some of the esoteric knowledge that was to be kept secret and look at how harmful they were. If they were not protected, it could—and did—lead to great corruption.
Directing Forces of Nature
According to Steiner, part of these mysteries was the ability to direct forces of nature. There is evidence in records of some mystery schools of individuals who could do this. It is said that they could turn a tornado or hurricane away from their location when it was heading directly for them. Or they could bring rain to an area suffering a drought. But such power was not found in the average initiate of the mystery schools, but only the most advanced members. It is true, though, that even junior initiates could accomplish such things when a group of them worked together. That is why the history of mystics almost always has them clustered together in schools or communities. Even today, in what many think is a rather enlightened age, few realize the effects our thoughts and emotions have on the weather and the environment in general. Part of the great corruption of humanity is that we live in ignorance of the effects of our choices.
The demonic beings and dark forces can be a persistent influence. They live a long time and have nothing better to do than to try to turn us away from the path of truth and enlightenment. Sadly, they succeed far more often than fail. That is partly because the realm of matter is their playground, even though they are spirits, and partly because they live off of the life energy they can suck out of us. They feed off of our negative emotions such as fear, so they do what they can to keep us living in such states. The great corruption is not something in the distant past, but an ongoing occurrence.
The good news is that a Great Awakening has come to counter the great corruption of humanity. It may not seem great yet, but people are waking up in the spiritual sense at much larger numbers than at any time in the past two or thousand years. The power of the Sun of Righteousness now shines down on us and counters the great corruption. As it continues to grow more powerful, more will awaken and the great corruption will end. Then we will be in a New Golden Age of Humanity.