Lailah (also Laj'lah, Hebrew: לילה "night") are Primordial Angels (Spirits of Personality) who, according to the Genesis account, served the Elohim as Spirits of Darkness or Spirits of the Night in their work of creation. They have retained certain characteristics from the Old Saturnian existence, where there was no light and the whole world was immersed in darkness. The Lailah are still active today in the vital formative forces that work on the physical and etheric body during sleep and thereby repair the damage done by our daytime consciousness. However, when the Lailah misuse their beneficial, life-giving powers that work down to the deepest grounds of the physical body, they become Asuras - one of the most dangerous adversaries we know. In Genesis, they are opposed by the Spirits of Light called Jom (Hebrew: יום "day"), which are the properly developed Spirits of Time.
„Only a certain number of beings reach their goal. I have often described this with the banal, drastic comparison that I said: Not only in our schools do the pupils remain seated to the concern of the parents, but in fact also in cosmic development certain beings remain at an earlier stage, do not reach the corresponding goal, so to speak. - Thus we may say that during the Old Saturnian evolution certain beings did not reach their actual goal of evolution, that they remained behind, that when the old solar existence was already there, they still stood in a certain respect on the Saturnian standpoint.
How will such beings, who were actually still Saturn beings, have announced themselves during the Old Solar Existence? By the fact that they had not attained the nature of light, the essence of the Old Solar Existence. But because they once existed, this Old Solar Existence, which I have described to you as an interweaving of light, warmth and air, had darkness interwoven with it, as it were, alongside the light. And this darkness was just as much the expression of the beings who had remained on the Saturn stage as the weaving light was the expression of those beings who had reached the Old Solar stage in a regular way. Thus, outwardly seen, Saturn beings who had remained behind and Sun beings who had advanced correctly interwove in the outer solar existence. Seen inwardly, then, these beings interweaved, and outwardly they manifested themselves as light and darkness, as the interplay of light and darkness. If we look at the light, we may say that this is the revelation of the beings that have advanced to the existence of the Sun. If we look at the darkness, it presents itself to us as the outer revelation of the entities that have remained on the old Saturnian level.
If we recognise this, then we can also expect for the repetition of the Old Saturnian and Solar existence during the evolution of the Earth that these relationships between advanced and retarded beings will appear again. And because the beings which have remained behind in the Old Saturn state represent, so to speak, an earlier stage of evolution, they will also be able to appear earlier in the repetition than the Light. Therefore we see quite correctly that in the very first verses of Genesis we are told how darkness reigns over the elementary masses. This is the repetition of Saturnian existence, but retarded Saturnian existence. The other, the Solar existence, must wait. It will appear later, at the time indicated by the words "Let there be light". So we see in Genesis, in a completely accurate way, that the right thing has been done, even with these repetitions.
If we want to understand existence at all, we must be clear about the fact that what appears at an earlier stage is not there once and then passes away. The truth is rather that a new thing always appears, but that the old remains beside the new and works within the new. And so we also have today in our earthly existence the two stages of development which we can describe as the relationship of light and darkness. Light and darkness is really something that permeates our existence. Here, however, we come to a chapter that is, one might say, quite fatal for the present.
I do not know whether some of you know that for thirty years now I have been trying to show again and again what deep significance and intrinsic value Goethe's theory of colours has. However, whoever advocates Goethe's Theory of Colours today must be quite clear that he cannot have the ear of his contemporaries. For those who, through physical knowledge, would be able to understand what is actually being said when one speaks of Goethe's theory of colours, are today completely immature to understand the essence of Goethe's theory of colours. The physical fantasies with their ether vibrations and so on are absolutely incapable of understanding the essence of Goethe's colour theory. One simply has to wait a few more decades. Those who talk about these things know that. And the others on the other hand - forgive me if I make this statement - who perhaps from occultism or otherwise anthroposophically would already be mature enough to see the 'essence' of Goethe's theory of colours, they know far too little about physics for one to be able to speak properly about these things. So today there is no proper ground for this matter. What Goethe's theory of colours contains is based on the secret of the interaction of light and darkness as two polar entities in the world. And that which today is fantastically called the concept of matter, which does not exist at all as it is imagined, but is an illusion, is something that hides itself as a spiritual being wherever the polar opposite of light, darkness, appears. In truth, what is called the physical concept of matter is a phantasm. In the regions of space where, as physics says, one has to look for what haunts as matter, there is in truth nothing but a certain degree of darkness. And this dark space is filled with soul-spiritual essence, which is related to what is already stated in Genesis, where the total mass of this soul-spirit is characterised by darkness and where it is said that this darkness surges over elementary existence. All these things lie much deeper than present-day natural science can dream of. So when we speak of darkness in Genesis, we have to do with the revelation of the retarded Saturnian beings, and when we speak of light, we have to do with the revelation of the advanced beings. They work and weave into each other.
Yesterday we pointed out that the main lines, as it were the greater features of the evolution, are indicated by those beings whom we have placed on the level of the Exusiai, on the level of the Spirits of Form, so that these also indicate the great lines in the efficacies of light. We have further seen that they appoint as their servants the Spirits of Personality, and that behind the expression jom, day, there is to be seen something like a being appointed by the Elohim, of the rank of Archai, below the Elohim. We may therefore also assume that, just as on the one side, as it were, these servants of the Elohim, these Spirits of Personality, who are called jom, day, are active on the positive side, so that in relation to them the retarded spiritual beings, who work through the darkness, also play a certain part. Yes, we may say: The darkness is something which the Elohim find, the light they devise. When they pondered out of what remained of the old existence, the two complexes, it emerged that the darkness was interwoven in them as an expression of the beings that had remained. They give the light. - But just as out of the light, as it were, the Elohim present those beings who are called jom, day, so also out of the darkness arises the same level of beings, only retarded on an earlier level of existence. So we can say: On the one hand, the Elohim are opposed by everything that reveals itself as darkness.
- And we must now ask: What stands opposite the immediate servants in the light, the Archai, those who are called jom, day, what stands opposite them as the corresponding retarded?
So that we do not misunderstand each other, it is good if we first answer another question, that of whether we always have to see something evil, something wrong in the world context among these retarded entities. The abstract man, who holds only to concepts, can easily become angry, so to speak, with the retarded entities, or he can also fall into the other mood, that he feels pity for the poor retarded entities. All these would be feelings and concepts which we should not cherish towards these great beings of the universe. We would go quite wrong. We must rather call to mind that everything that happens in this way - whether the beings reach their goal or whether they, as it were, hold back on an earlier stage of evolution - happens out of cosmic wisdom and that it makes sense for beings to remain behind on a certain level; that it is just as significant for the whole when beings remain behind as when beings reach their goal, in other words, that certain functions could not be carried out at all by the advanced beings, that for this such beings are necessary who remain behind on an earlier level. In their retardation they are in the right place. One would like to say: What would actually become of the human world if all those who are to be teachers for the little ones became university professors? - Those who do not become university professors are much better in their place than the more advanced ones would be. Probably the university professors would be quite unsuitable educators for seven-, eight-, nine-, ten-year-old children! It is the same in the cosmic context. Those who reach their goal would be quite unsuitable for certain tasks in the cosmos. For such tasks the others, who, we may as well say, have remained behind through renunciation, must fill their place. And just as the advanced spirits of the personality, jom, are put in their place by the Elohim, so, in order to bring about the whole order, the whole lawfulness of our becoming Earth, the Archai who have remained behind, those spirits of the personality who do not reveal themselves through the Light, who reveal themselves through darkness, are also used. They are placed in the right place so that they can make their contribution to the lawful becoming of our existence.
The importance of this can be seen from a reflection that we take from our ordinary existence today. The light spoken of in Genesis is not the light that can be seen with the outer physical eyes. This is a later expression of the light spoken of in Genesis. Likewise, what we call physical darkness, what is around us at night when the Sun is not shining, is a later physical expression of what is called the darkness in Genesis. If we now ask ourselves: Does this physical daylight, as we see it today, have some significance for man? None of you will doubt the significance of this light for the human being as for other beings. Take the plants, for example! If you take them out of the light, they wither away. For everything that lives on earth, light is an element of life. Light is therefore necessary, also for the human being, in relation to the outer bodily existence.
But not only the light, something else is necessary. And in order to get to know this other thing, we must consider the alternating states of waking and sleeping in relation to our physical and etheric bodies. What does waking actually mean in a deeper sense? What do we do as human beings when we are awake? Basically, all our soul activity, all that we unfold in our world of imagination, in our world of sensation and feeling, in the passions that rise and fall, in short, all that takes place in this surging and forcing of our astral body and our I, is a continual consuming of our physical body during our daily life. This is an ancient occult truth, a truth to which even common physiology has come today, if it only interprets its results somewhat correctly. That which the soul unfolds as our inner life, while awake, continually consumes the forces of the outer physical body, which received its first developmental equipment during the Old Saturnian state.
The life of this physical body is quite different during the state of sleep, when the astral body is outside with the balancing and weighing of the inner life. Just as the day-waking life is a continual consuming, one could say destroying of the powers of the physical body, so the sleeping life is a continual restoring, a regenerating, a building up. So that in our physical body and our etheric body we must distinguish between destructive processes and constructive processes: destructive processes which take place during the day-waking life, and constructive processes which take place during the sleep life. But everything that happens somewhere in space does not stand alone in the world, but is connected with the whole of existence. And when we consider the processes of destruction that take place in our physical body from the time we wake up to the time we fall asleep, we must not regard them as if they were taking place in isolation within the boundary of our skin. They are intimately connected with the cosmic processes. It is only what flows into us from outside that continues, so that during our daytime life we are in touch, as it were, with the degrading forces of the universe, and during our night sleep with the constructing forces of the universe.
This breaking down of our physical body, which we have today during the day awakening, was not allowed to be present during the Old Saturnian existence. If this had already been present in the Old Saturnian existence, then the first structure of our physical body would never have been able to form. For, of course, one cannot form anything if one begins to destroy. Saturn's activity on our body had to be a constructive one. This was ensured during Saturn's existence. The processes of destruction in our body take place precisely during the day, during the influence of the light; but the light was not yet present during the Old Saturnian existence. So Saturn's activity for our physical body was a constructive one. But this constructive activity had to be maintained at least for a certain time, even when the light came later, during the Old Sun's existence. This was only possible because Saturnian beings remained behind to take care of the building up. So you see that in the cosmic evolution it was necessary for the Saturnian beings to be held back during our sleeping time, so that when there was no light they could take care of the building up of the destroyed physical body. Thus the Saturn beings who have remained must be interwoven into our existence. Without them we would only be destroyed. We must have a state of alternation, an interaction of solar beings and Saturnian beings, of light beings and darkness beings. If, therefore, the activity of the light beings was to be directed in the right way by the Elohim, then they had to weave into their work the work of the dark beings, the eclipse beings. In cosmic activity there is no possibility of existence if darkness is not everywhere woven into the power of light. And in the interweaving, as it were in the net-weaving of light-power and dark-power lies one of the secrets of cosmic existence, of cosmic alchemy. This secret is touched upon where in the Rosicrucian drama Johannes Thomasius comes up into the Devachan and where one of Maria's comrades, Astrid, is given the task of weaving the dark power into the luminous power, just as in these sentences in Maria's conversation with the three comrades you have innumerable cosmic secrets that can be studied for a long, long time in order to bring them out.
We must therefore hold that, when we consider our present existence, we must regard this interplay, so to speak, of solar light-power and saturnine dark-power as a necessity of our existence. When, therefore, the Elohim, through the weaving of the light-power, through that work which is done on us human beings or on the beings of the Earth in general during the influence of the light, appointed the spirits of personality as their sub-beings, they had to add to them as comrades the saturnine beings who had remained behind. They had to weave together the whole work of the Universe from the correctly advanced and the retarded Archai. The retarded Archai work in darkness. Therefore the Elohim, trivially speaking, do not merely employ the entities designated by jom, but they oppose them with those who work in the darkness. And it is said, therefore, with wonderfully realistic description of the facts: And the Elohim, they called that which waved as spirits in the light, jom, day; but that which waved in the darkness they called laj`lah. - And this is not our abstract night, these are the saturnine Archai, which at that time had not penetrated as far as the solar level, and these are also those who are still active in us today during night sleep, working on our physical and etheric bodies as constructive forces. This mysterious expression, laj`lah, which has given rise to all kinds of mythological images, is neither our abstract "night", nor is it anything that could give rise to thoughts of mythology. It is nothing but the name for the retarded Archai, for those who combine their work with that of the advanced Archai.“ (Lit.:GA 122, p. 94ff)
- Rudolf Steiner: Die Geheimnisse der biblischen Schöpfungsgeschichte, GA 122 (1984) English: rsarchive.org German: pdf pdf(2) html mobi epub archive.org
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