Atlantean mysteries

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The Atlantean mysteries, of which there is no external tradition, had their centres in the seven great Atlantean oracle sites, which were located in spiritually and geographically excellent places under the influence of the seven planetary forces. They were at the same time initiation and oracle sites. The greatest and most sublime mystery site, which guided all others, was the ancient sun oracle. The spiritual teachers of these great Atlantean initiation sites were not yet human beings, but higher spiritual beings. At that time, most people still had a dim clairvoyance through which they could receive the gifts of these teachers, but they had a still barely developed capacity for judgement of their own. The people in whom this faculty of judgement had already awakened most strongly were selected at the sinking of Atlantis under the guidance of Manu, who led the solar oracle, and led first to the vicinity of present-day Ireland and then on to Asia in the region of the Tarim Basin, in order to establish the post-Atlantean culture from here.

„Just as today the outer knowledge and the fields of acquisition and occupation of outer life are differentiated into individual branches of knowledge and departments, so it was in ancient Atlantis in the spiritual life of the Atlantean oracles and their places of wisdom. There were different branches of oracle research, of occult knowledge in ancient Atlantis. Unlike today, it was then also dependent on other conditions. The ancient oracle wisdom was different in the individual oracle sites, depending on the ability of the people of that time. It was based on what surrounded the person externally. There were connections between certain human abilities and certain planets; and so certain mystical-occult abilities were linked to certain planets. We have therefore to distinguish in ancient Atlantis a Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn oracle.“ (Lit.:GA 109, p. 142f)

„The teachers of the old Atlantean school of adepts were not yet human beings, but beings higher than human beings. They had completed their evolution on earlier planets. And they, who were there from old planetary evolutions, taught the mysteries of the spirit to a select little crowd. In the Mysteries of the Son, the Christ Himself appeared in person as a teacher on special occasions: thus also a teacher who was not human, but God. Only those who become teachers in the Mysteries of the Father will be human beings. Such people, who have developed faster than the rest of humanity, will then be the true masters of wisdom and harmony. They are called the Fathers. In the Father Mysteries, the leadership of humanity passes from beings who have descended from other worlds into the hands of human beings themselves. That is the significant thing.“ (Lit.:GA 97, p. 131)

„During the heyday of the Atlantean culture, we find today's perceptive faculty present in man only in an initial disposition. The ancient Atlantean did not see external objects with sharp contours as we do today, but as if surrounded by an aura. When he fell asleep in the evening, the outer image disappeared for him, but he was consciously in the spiritual world. He had a twilight clairvoyance. But he did not yet have everything that is now called arithmetic and counting, power of judgement and logical thinking. He did not yet have all the mental abilities that have built up today's culture; for example, he did not yet know the power resting in coal. But he did have magical powers through which he could awaken the powers dormant in the seeds and put them at his service. Thus he had psychic and magical powers. Those were the best technicians in Atlantis who could best use their magical powers. What our present-day scholars and natural scientists are can be compared with the most clairvoyantly gifted people of that time.

At that time there were great mystery places. Our mystery and secret schools of today work much more secretly than those. Those of that time were generally known as something that was both a school and a church. Piety and wisdom were cultivated there at the same time. Those who were leaders in those times can be called the great teachers of the Mysteries. They taught in these Atlantean oracular places. There were seven of them. There the mature students were initiated into the mastery of the magical powers and into conscious clairvoyance in the spiritual world. The Atlantean wisdom definitely extended beyond the physical earth to the spiritual facts, not only to the three lower realms as in our culture. Today's science sets itself a limit in these which does not go beyond the earth. Through clairvoyant development, however, the Atlantean initiate also attained to the vision and experience of the high spiritual beings who work beyond the circle of the earth up to the stars and their circles.

Thus, there were mystery places at that time that were particularly concerned with the various stars of our planetary system and the spiritual powers behind them. Therefore, there were Mars, Venus, Sun, Jupiter, Mercury, Saturn and Moon oracles. The greatest and most sublime, however, was the ancient sun oracle. The initiates of this solar oracle could overlook and watch over all the other oracle sites. At the top was the great sun initiate of the sun oracle; he foresaw the water catastrophe in Atlantis. Therefore he had to see to it that the culture was guided over the catastrophe.

Now, those people who were most predisposed to clairvoyance were not at all suitable for the post-Atlantean culture. For this new culture those had to be selected who had nothing left of the old magic, but who, like a dawn of the great post-Atlantean culture, developed in the first primitive forms the individual spiritual, thinking and judging. The simplest were just the most suitable for the future. They were now brought together by the great Sun Initiate in a colony near what is now Ireland; from there they were later led to the centre of Asia. These, then, were those who were then already nearest to our present states of consciousness.“ (Lit.:GA 104a, p. 70ff)

„Yes, we can only understand what happened later in Europe if we know that the most excellent parts of humanity at that time had just moved on to Asia, and that those people who remained in Europe as a great mass of the population were those who provided the possibility for very special incarnations. If we wish to understand what very special embodiments of souls there were among the great mass of the population in the most ancient times of Europe, we must remember a peculiar event of the Atlantean period. At a certain period of the ancient Atlantean development it happened that great secrets of existence, great truths of existence, truths which are far more significant than all those to which the post-Atlantean population has yet risen, were not kept secret in narrow circles, in narrow schools, as would have been necessary at that time, but were betrayed to great masses of the Atlantean population. These great masses of the Atlantean population thus received a knowledge of mysteries and occult truths for which they were not ripe. Their souls were then driven to a great extent into a state of moral decline, so that only those remained on the path of the good, on the path of the moral, who later moved over to Asia.

But even this we must not imagine as if the whole European population had consisted only of such people in whose souls were such individuals who had suffered a moral defeat under the seduction of the Atlantean time, but there were others scattered everywhere in this European population who had remained behind in the great migration to Asia, but who had a leading, a guiding role. So the thing was that far, far across Europe, the Near East and Africa we have people who simply belonged, so to speak, to such castes or races that allowed seduced souls to live in their bodies. But then there were others left behind who did not go with them to Asia, but who could take over the leadership and who were better, more highly developed souls.“ (Lit.:GA 155, p. 89f)



References to the work of Rudolf Steiner follow Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works (CW or GA), Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Dornach/Switzerland, unless otherwise stated.
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