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which was particularly significant in the Greco-Latin age, while the other is significant in
our own time, when it is beginning, gradually, to take shape. Whereas the first experience
reached a kind of culmination in the Greco-Latin epoch, we are slowly moving towards
the second.
Experiences deriving from the influences of Lucifer and Ahriman are all the time playing
into human life. In this basic experience of man during the Fourth Post-Atlantean or
Greco-Roman epoch, Lucifer's influence was the greater; in our own epoch, Ahriman is
the predominant influence. Lucifer is connected with all those experiences which, lacking
the definition imparted by the senses, remain undifferentiated and obscure.
Lucifer is connected with the experience of breathing, of the in-breathing and the out-
breathing. The relationship between a man's breathing and the functioning of his
organism as a whole must be absolutely regular and normal. The moment the breathing
process is in any way disturbed, instead of remaining the unconscious operation to which
no attention need be paid, it becomes a conscious process, of which we are more or less
dreamily aware. And when, to put it briefly, the breathing process becomes too forceful,
when it makes greater claims on the organism than the organism can meet, then it is
possible for Lucifer (not he himself but the hosts belonging to him) to enter with the
breath into the organism.
I am speaking here of a familiar experience of dream-life. It may arise in many forms and
with growing intensity. A nightmare in which the disturbed breathing process makes a
man conscious in dream, so that experiences of the spiritual world intermingle with the
dream and give rise to the anxiety and fear which often accompany a nightmare - all such
experiences have their origin in the Luciferic element. When, instead of the regular
breathing, there is a feeling of being choked or strangled, this is connected with the
possibility that Lucifer may be mingling with the breathing.
This is the cruder form of the process, where, as the result of a diminution of
consciousness, Lucifer intermingles with the breathing and, in the dream, takes the form
of a strangler. That is the crude form of the experience. But there is an experience more
delicate and more intangible than that of being physically strangled. It does not, as a rule,
occur to people that a certain familiar experience is really a less crude form of that of
strangulation. Yet whenever anything becomes a problem in the soul or gives rise to
doubt concerning one thing or another in the world, this is a subtler form of the
experience of being strangled. It can truly be said that when we feel obliged to question,
when a riddle, either great or trifling, confronts us, then something seems to be strangling
us, but in such a way that we do not heed it. Nevertheless, every doubt, every problem is
a subtle form of nightmare.
And so experiences which often take a crude form, become much more subtle and
intangible when they arise in the life of soul itself. It is to be presumed that science will
be led some day to study how the breathing process is connected with the urge to
question, or with the feeling of being assailed by doubt; but whether this happens or not,
everything that is associated with questioning and doubt, with feelings of dissatisfaction
caused when something in the world demands an answer and we are thrown back entirely
upon our own resources - all this is connected with the Luciferic powers.
In the light of Spiritual Science it can be said that whenever we feel a sensation of
strangulation in a nightmare, or whenever some doubt or question inwardly oppresses or
makes us uneasy, the breathing process becomes stronger, more forceful. There is
something in the breathing which must be harmonized, toned down and modified if
human nature is to function in the right and normal way.
What happens when the breathing process becomes excessively vigorous and forceful?
The ether-body expands, becomes too diffuse; and as this takes effect in the physical
body, it tends to break up the physical body. An over-exuberant, too widely extended [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]