We are called to live with Ahriman in the right way
If Anthroposophy were brought in a fanatical manner, if Anthroposophy were ascetic and austere, it would naturally result in a whole thunder against electricity. All this would obviously be meaningless, because only a worldview that does not come to terms with reality would express itself in this way.
One could say: oh, this is arimanic! Stay away from it! - but it's actually possible to say it in an abstract way. Since when such a sectarian group of this kind has been organized, and when some protection has been contracted against Ahriman, one would still go down the stairs and then take an electric tram.
So all this ranting against Ahriman, no matter how holy it may seem, will be - pass me this trivial expression - absolute rubbish. So you can't close your eyes to the fact that you have to live with Ahriman. It is only that one must live with him in the right way: one must not allow him to overwhelm us.
- Rudolf Steiner, GA220, Conference XII°, January 28, 1923, Dornach, "Living Knowledge of Nature. Man's intellectual fall into sin and his overcoming through the Spirit".
Consumerism was born on the inspiration of Ahriman and his hosts: their spiritual action consists in the oblivion of man's spiritual homeland. It has strengthened since the Second Industrial Revolution, when we understand how "the progress of the future" lies in the use of electricity and oil, both in a certain sense linked to the coming of Ahriman. From that moment, especially with the industrial use of fossil fuels, and the progressive disappearance of steam technology, technology is preparing to become progressively independent from human evolution and therefore, it is man who becomes part of the industrial system supported by machines. The machines thus produce goods in mass, so that their value falls, and everyone can start buying goods in large quantities at a lower cost. At the same time, "luxury" is born for the wealthier classes who wanted to stand out. This is the age of the external objects, which thus replace the internal human contents.
The cry of the Ahrimanic entities could be characterized as:
God is dead Rudolf Steiner: Ahriman (1922-23)
This is their nefarious interpretation of a spiritual fact necessary for human evolution, as Nietzsche had correctly understood it, albeit with a twilight consciousness. The evolution of the human Self together with Lucifer's "gift" of solitude, which is also freedom, has led to materialism, which is instead a "gift" of Ahriman. Just as Lucifer opened the door to Ahriman, so Ahriman opened the door to the Asura, and with them to nihilism, already implicit in materialism. But solitude, materialism and nihilism are in truth an illusion created by the Obstructors: behind them lies the nature of the Self as a spiritual being embodied in matter, a creator god in power, a god of the future. Lucifer and Ahriman are necessary evils for human evolution, evils that can and must be redeemed. The Obstructors provide human life with those trials to be overcome, by virtue of which an unexpected treasure is obtained: a superior good.
The human being, after the Mystery of Golgotha, definitively acquires the perception of his ego. This marks the turning point of human evolution, according to which what was previously a descent into matter, can now become a conscious ascent into the spirit: but at the same time as the full consciousness of the microcosmic Self, the ancient consciousness of the macrocosm is extinguished as home of the gods and spirits. Self-awareness requires that man experience the world firsthand and then, in complete freedom, return to the original spiritual source. However, if the awareness of the spiritual world does not intervene, the interior world of man so individualized is alienated from its original spiritual source and therefore "feels abandoned".
In fact, in anthroposophy:
Without the action of Lucifer man would have had to gradually develop a double vision: the ability to see both the physical world and the spiritual world behind it. He would have perceived a total reality. Behind every sensitive form he would have seen the link with a spiritual entity. Lucifer extinguished, "removed" a part of the real, presenting to man only the material part. In the middle of the Atlantic era, another influence came from other latecomers. These entities introduced in the etheric human body "darkness", or the mirror of consciousness was "smoked", distorting the perceptions. Human vision became even more blurred. Lucifer "eclipses" the spiritual to the human soul, makes it present, hiding it. Ahriman covers the matter with a veil of darkness, giving it a mineral appearance. Making the spiritual disappear.
Rudolf Steiner: Lucifero (1922-23)
This pair of uncomfortable "gifts", loneliness and materialism, if not correctly interpreted according to the light of the science of the spirit, leads human thinking to precipitate conclusions. Between the two, the Cat and the Fox, today the greatest evil is Ahriman. Lucifer has portrayed himself in the world of art, traditional religion, the New Age, feminism and cult for all that is past. Ahriman instead proliferates everywhere: in bureaucracy, in economy, in shopping malls, in technology, in university classrooms where only materialistic science is taught. The conclusions of his radical materialism that becomes nihilism abound in common thinking: "If God is dead, he is like man. If God is dead, the spiritual world is nothingness. If God is dead, nothing awaits us after death. So each of my actions counts as another, good and evil do not exist. " This arimanic mentality is then ratified in natural science, wholly interpenetrated by the spirit of materialism.
Here comes the metamorphosis of the "Gott ist tot!" by Nietzsche in:
The Self is dead!
Since the embodied Self is a void in the spiritual world, such an overwhelmed Self will remain a full one in the spiritual world and rather a void in the physical world. He who believes the Self, the individual spirit, an illusion and acts accordingly, is in fact emptying himself of the Self. He rejects it, leaving a void in the astral body. An emptiness that can be filled by other Arymanic entities that thus carry out a further metamorphosis. The void left by the death of the macrocosmic God becomes the death of the microcosmic God.
It is the Nothing that Michael Ende talks about in "The Infinite History":
Fantasia dies because people have given up hope, and forget their dreams, so The Nothing spreads, because it is the desperation that surrounds us. I made sure to help him, since it is easier to dominate those who believe in nothing.
This is the disturbing sentence that Mork, the black wolf agent of Nothing (the equivalent of the Fenris wolf of the Edda), tells Atreyu. Mork is the agent of Nothing charged of discovering the only hope of Fantasia, Atreyu, and killing her before she saves the Empress Infanta with the Auryn. Mork is a lying being, a being from the physical world that has been forcibly transferred into the imaginary world of Fantasia. When a human being uses the imaginations of Fantasia to make others believe lies, human beings create beings of lies in Fantasia. Mork himself is then devoured by Nothing that doesn't even spare his emissaries. Yet even Atreyu, a being from Fantàsia, is inexplicably infected by Mork's nihilism, which hurts him so much that he almost dies ...
Although we do not hear these thoughts formulated, they are often implicit in the logic followed by people in their daily actions. Tragically. Because this triple factual negation, according to the actions, (of God, man and spirit) has as a consequence a sense of emptiness that remains as the disturbing companion of the human being, in all actions of daily life. The consequence of triple denial is, in fact, the extinction of morality in action, and this to the detriment of man's task: morality is precisely the purpose of the incarnation of the human spirit on Earth. Good and evil cannot be learned in the spiritual world beyond the Threshold.
This is the one unforgivable sin, the sin against the Holy Spirit (Mark 3:28-29):
Truly I say to you: all sins will be forgiven to the children of men and any blasphemy will have uttered; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit has no eternal forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin.
On the left the sacred pentalpha of Adam: the four elements are in their place below the Spirit (the Hebrew letter shin of the Pentagrammaton); on the right the overthrown irreversible pentalpha of Satan: the four elements of matter dominate the Spirit.
To sin against the Holy Spirit is to renounce the highest part of the human being, the Self and therefore the relationship with the numinous spiritual world. Since one has lost the spiritual root, the Self begins to search in the material world for what actually belongs to the spiritual world. The result is that consumerism, son of materialism, is nothing more than a reversed spirituality. The meaning of consumerism is, first of all, consumption of the soul and spirit by the body. This inverse order of worldly things is the manifestation of the occult symbol of the reversed Pentalpha. When the Pentalpha, the sacred symbol of man in which the spirit dominates the four elements, is overthrown, it is the four elements that dominate the spirit so that Ahriman's purpose in creating an anti-man, the necessary empty container of an anti-Christ, whose name is Sorath, is realized.
Ahriman's materialism leads the Self to remain trapped in matter, once this bond has taken place, asuric spirits or Asura, those who have the ability to seize and destroy the human Self, binding it to the matter of "This World" of which Ahriman is Prince. In the occult constitution of man, that which of the astral body ends up in the egoism of the irredent luciferic spirits, that which of the etheric body ends up in the materialism of the Arymanic spirits, that which of the Self becomes food of the asuric spirits will form the Eighth Sphere, which is a spiritual void and therefore a material full. This is the counter-image of the Trinity of Evil.
So once this void has been created, it must somehow be filled. A spiritual consciousness obscured by Ahriman is a consciousness that sees only Nothing, a pneumatic void that, like a black hole, sucks everything around it. The Nothing, the same that devours Fantàsia, is the void in the center of Ahriman. It sucks the soul and replaces it with physical objects, which are therefore outside the inner world, and which to block, at least temporarily, this fatal gravitational attraction, must be filled by purchasing physical objects that "represent" what is missing internally.
This happens because this Nothing has an inexorable force of attraction that no material object, and therefore perishable, can ever fill. This is the black magic of consumerism: if it is not spiritually opposed, it proceeds unstoppable, feeding itself. The Nothingness produces other Nothingness, which recalls further physical objects. Nothing can even corrupt the existing world of the human imagination if it is not well protected by an awakened consciousness! This explains Atreyu's wound. The black magic of consumerism is its inexorable greed.
Here is the sense of Cerberus in the Third Circle of Hell, that of the insatiable gluttonous: he has vermilion eyes because he is greedy, a wide belly for voracity and claws to grab everything he can eat. Everything in Cerberus is made to be swallowed and devoured. The three heads of the infernal dog are the three modes of the capital vice of the Throat (associated with the planet Mercury), quality, quantity and continuity. It is appeased, at least for the moment, when the initiated poet Virgil, Dante's guide in Hell, throws into its mouths the most physical matter, farthest from God, the caput mortuum of the alchemists.
In this distorted inner world, the beings who populate the spiritual world, the world of imagination, thus become reified, become "things", become "lies". It can be anything that can be consumed and that can repeat itself: the abuse of alcohol, drugs but also shopping, collecting, cars, food and so on. So not only harmful things in themselves, but literally anything that, taken in the right doses, could lead to an encounter with the human dimension of life, becomes instead an inhuman mania, an extreme out of balance. Here, then, is born one of the evils of our times, disposophobia, the compulsive accumulation of objects that have no function. Even garbage.
What is the origin of this inner Cerberus? There are different levels of our spiritual constitution to which it is possible to ascend (or rather descend), to find the cause of consumerism. The ego or the reflection of the Self formed within the astral body, with its lunar and automatic nature predisposes man to follow the dictates of advertising, especially through the hammering of television. The television itself, with its images as colourful as death, performs a hypnotic function that reinforces the false identity of the ego to the detriment of the Self. Here we are at the level of compulsive buying. The ego, which is under the aegis of Lucifer, then passes the hand to the Arymanic double, that is that dark part of us (the Shadow) that embodies all the negativity that finds no place in the Self. Ahriman therefore works by activating in us the animal survival instincts at the expense of the others, thus fomenting competition, aggression and the will of power. Here the purchase becomes a way of overwhelming others: I possess more, therefore I am worth more. Finally, when this process reaches the extreme, the double arimanic opens the way to the so-called "center of destruction", a true destroyer of form, the anti-Self. This centre of destruction is both what threatens the Self and what can strengthen it by bringing it to maturity.
Imagine ourselves at the center of destruction in man's inner being. It extends over the entire human organism. If it were to expand out onto the whole world, what would then live in the world out there through man? Evil. Evil is nothing more than the momentum of chaos outside, the chaos that is necessary in the internal world of man. And in this necessary chaos, this necessary center of evil in man, the human ego must be forged.
- Rudolf Steiner, GA 207, "The seeds of the future worlds", first conference, Dornach September 24, 1921
Instead, a healthy spiritual consciousness is essentially capable of moralizing the Nothing that advances. The imaginative capacity is translated into creative capacity and therefore the inner world appears alive to introspective investigation, to looking inside. The inner world is therefore populated by spiritual beings with whom it is possible to have a direct, conscious relationship if only one has "good will". Man himself who is conscious of his cosmic individuality forges his Self in the fiery sea of destructive chaos. Evil is good out of place.
After all, there is nothing in the world that does not bring blessings to man, if only he were in his rightful place! We should be without thought and reason, if we lack this center within us. For this center allows us to experience something in it that we would never experience in the outside world. In the external world we see objects in a material sense, and following the customs of the science of the present time we talk about the preservation of matter, the indestructibility of matter. But in this center of destruction it actually happens that matter is destroyed. Matter is rejected into nothingness, and we have within us the power for this nothingness to bring out the good. We do this, if instead of instincts and impulses, which are destined to foster selfishness, if we pour moral and ethical ideals into this center of destruction. Then, in this very center of destruction, the seeds of the future worlds will arise. So we, as men, take part in the coming into being of the worlds.
- Rudolf Steiner, GA 207, "The Seeds of the Future Worlds", Second Conference, Dornach 24 September 1921.
In Infinite History, Fantàsia is destroyed by nothing, but this destruction is only the beginning of a new cycle. Fantasia is experiencing the last moments of its cosmic day, the manvatara, and is progressively becoming essential in the seed of the cosmic night, the pralaya. On the other hand, Bastiano enters the Book of Infinite History and arrives at Fantàsia from the material world just when it has returned into itself, into the seed of the pralaya. There he made the Auryn his own, and following the inscription "Know thyself and do what thou wilt." he recreates the world of Fantasia, precisely from the same Nothing.
When the human soul meets the spirit world, it can recognize its own spirit, the Self, as the discreet creator of the soul itself. The Self is the door to the spiritual world that dwells within us. We are not humans who live a spiritual experience, but spirits who live a human experience. When soul and spirit enter this resonance, one is not abandoned, one does not suffer from loneliness, and the need for completeness is not projected onto one's neighbor. We have the center within us.
Indeed, according to Rudolf Steiner, the last coming of those whom we might call Prophets of the Ego:
The meaning of life is to give meaning to life.