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Mammon and his slave, Sascha Schneider, 1896

Mammon (from Aramaic מָמוֹן mamon or מָמוֹנָא mamona, "fortune, possession"[1][2]; according to another, though dubious source from Aramaic אמן ˀmn, aman, "that in which one trusts"[1]; Latinmammona; Greekμαμωνᾶς mamonas) is the god or idol of the power of money and the antagonist of Michael, as whom he has acted since 1879. The name Mammon is taken from the Bible, where it is mentioned four times in the New Testament (Matthew 6:24, Luke 16:9, Luke 16:11, Luke 16:13). From the Greek form it became mam[m]ona in the Latin Vulgate, from which it was adopted into English. Through Martin Luther, who did not translate the word, the term mammon came into German from the 16th century.

„No one can serve two masters: Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be attached to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.“

Mammon and the lower astral world

Mammon is an essential force that hinders the spiritual progress of humanity.

„The restraining forces are called Mammon, and only in a secondary sense has money been given this name; Mammon is the god of the restraint of progress.“ (Lit.:GA 91, p. 105)

According to a statement by Rudolf Steiner, Mammon is a power of the sub-physical astral world:

„Looking over the development of our earth, it has been shown to us that the earth is again spiritualising itself, that men can take part in this development and that they will again be able to return to the sun. The development therefore leads to an ever stronger spiritualisation, to a higher, devachanic state. All those beings who are too much stuck in their materialisation cannot take part in this spiritual earth. At first everything must pass into an astral state. But the gross material elements of humanity and the bad substances in the lower realms enter with the human beings into a kind of lower astral world, which one could call the subphysical astral world. So we have the devachan, the astral world, the physical world and the lower astral world. This lower astral world is also the one that opposes our development today. It is ruled by the spirit Mammon, that is, the spirit of obstacles. It is a power of the lower astral world.

All beings who cannot now come up into the higher world must go down into this lower world, while all higher beings will enter after the period of the seven trumpet notes into the earth state reunited with the sun.“ (Lit.:GA 104a, p. 119)

Mammon and the power of money

Short after the financial crisis of 2007–2008 Peter Tradowsky wrote:

„Through the financial crisis, the god, or rather the idol Mammon, has extended his rule over the states as well. Before that, there was already a far-reaching dependence of state leaders on the banking system due to the enormous national debts. In the crisis, dependence became domination, the power of the banking system became a compulsion that the state leaders had to follow. The power of the states had become powerlessness, the triumph of the idol Mammon.

The rule of the idol Mammon is based on deceptions about money. Its domination will only be overcome through the realisation of what can be valued in money and what in reality cannot be valued in money. In today's monetary system, the idol Mammon has virtually perfected its domination over human labour. Millions of times money is above human beings and the humiliated, degraded human being has to accept this as a fact of life. But labour power is the spiritual in the human being, which is the expression of his individuality, his I. Man is forced to give up the spiritual, the individual living in him, for the sake of money. This process, even if it takes place largely in the unconscious, continually shakes the social organism.

Another deception is the valuation of the ownership of land in money. What is understood by ownership is in reality the right to use the land. This right can be bought, just as a commodity can be bought. The deception consists in the fact that two qualities, right and commodity, are placed in a relationship to each other that is in reality impossible; for the right is something essentially different from the commodity produced by human labour. The right of ownership to a piece of land is acquired through a kind of tribute payment; there is no real exchange of services. The valuation of land in monetary terms is fundamentally problematic, indeed an impossibility in itself. This fact has become clear in the real estate crisis as a part of the financial crisis. However, the existing dogma of the purchasability of land has prevented a realisation of this damage in the social organism. . . . Unbiased observation shows that this social "lie" (R. Steiner) is time and again the cause of immense misery, strife and war. The existence and dignity of human beings are elementarily linked to land in a way that excludes buyability, because the relationship to land is a human right.

A similar, deceptive situation exists with regard to the ownership of the means of production. Shares as ownership interests have separated the financier from the concrete relationship to the production site and the people working in it. The word "investor" expresses this clearly; there is only a purely monetary relationship. But the production site is the instrument of the entrepreneurial person (or group of people) to work for the needs of other people. This is a real I-function, which in the corporation has been replaced by the manager, who has to see to the multiplication of money on behalf of the shareholders. This further enables speculation with the shares, more or less detached from the reality of the production site. Casino capitalism has turned speculation into a kind of betting game, completely forgetting that this game with fictitious values affects real values, goods and services. But the fictitious values, the air numbers, are dominant because of their unimaginable size, they lead to what is rightly called predatory capitalism. The financial crisis was a kind of self-healing attempt of the social organism, in which at least a part of the fictitious values was destroyed, but which must necessarily have a damaging effect on the real economy. Countless people are thereby plunged into misfortune, it is a war with many victims. [...]

In the present day, an idolatry reigns worldwide that is unparalleled in world history. The idol Mammon has become the supreme ruler of terror for humanity. Especially at the beginning of the 21st century, it has succeeded in making itself the autocrat of almost all areas of life. Where are the areas in which money does not play a role in some way?! Nothing has shown the overwhelming power of the idol Mammon more than the current financial crisis, in which the states bitterly experienced their dependence on him, in which he ultimately made them his servants. The financial crisis has not weakened the power of this idol, but strengthened it.

The idol Mammon gains dominion over people. As the enemy of man, he creates a dazzle that seduces the I into egoism, especially through the greed for money. This ego addiction has caused the financial crisis on the human side and will produce the next one. The idol Mammon is worshipped globally, his temples and cathedrals dominate the cityscapes in the palaces of the banks many thousands of times over. Its rule is seriously not doubted, it seems insurmountable, its beneficiaries see its rule as absolutely necessary. The unbiased observation of this idol could lead to the realisation that there are beings after all that are not of flesh and blood. For it is the demonic power of this idol that acts on the I and enslaves it. But this is not yet seen through, and it requires an extraordinary I-power to resist the seduction by the idol Mammon. Only there, where idolatry can at least be limited by a different way of dealing with money, does the effectiveness of the I begin.“ (Lit.: Peter Tradowsky, 2010)

Mammon the Lord of Bacilli

„The infectious diseases unknown in earlier times derive from the god Mammon.“ (Lit.:GA 93a, p. 115)

Rudolf Steiner therefore refers to Mammon as the god of "bacilli", i.e. bacteria and viruses (Lit.: Peter Tradowsky, 2008, p. 27).

„The bacillary diseases are traced back to their spiritual origin. This is an esoteric tradition among the Rosicrucians and in other secret schools where these things are taught. There is a basic teaching in small circles of secret schools, which consists of the fact that in the seventies very specific battles took place within the astral world, and that something has changed for the better, even if... (Gap in the text.) These events are called the struggle between the legions of the archangel Michael, taken from Christian esotericism, and the legions of the god Mammon. Mammon is the god of obstacles, who puts destructive, obstructive things in the way of the progressive movement. On the other hand, one sees in this god Mammon the producer of quite specific entities, such entities that have a destructive effect on human life precisely in the infectious diseases. The infectious diseases, unknown in earlier times, stem from the god Mammon.

You will be able to judge that the esoteric schools must produce the progressive spirit in the deepest inner being of man, for one sees as the actual source of these modern diseases nothing other than the regressiveness, the primitive conservatism of the so-called upper classes in relation to the impoverished lower classes, the oppressed masses of the people, who are striving towards a new... (Gap in the text.) They are inhibited, stopped by what the god Mammon brings about. We find two forces opposing each other: the world of feeling of the declining upper classes, who want to preserve ancient times, and the feeling of hatred among the lower classes, an astral life which is hurled by the great masses towards the others. In this opposition esoterism sees again a decaying substance and therein the cause of modern infectious diseases. Those who see through these things will not, of course, oppose the attempts of modern medicine with its external remedies. But a real improvement will never come by this external means.“ (Lit.:GA 93a, p. 233f)

In an esoteric lesson held by Rudolf Steiner in Berlin on 18 October 1907, which has not been recorded verbatim but has only been handed down through notes by participants, he goes into further detail on this subject. Record A states:

„In November 1879 victory was won on the astral plane. Michael has defeated the spirit of obstacles, Mammon. In the physical the battle still has to be fought. For another four hundred years Michael will fight with the spirit of darkness. We students of E. S. are called to spread light and spiritual life during this period. Dr. Steiner has been commissioned by the Master of the White Lodge to proclaim this to us. Mammon, the spirit of obstacles and darkness, has innumerable helpers, much embodied in the bacteria and bacilli. The fear of bacilli and their combating by physicians is something quite justified.“ (Lit.:GA 266a, p. 255)

Similarly in Record C. Here light is also thrown on the Gabriel Age, which lasted from 1510 - 1879 A.D. (see → Archangel regencies) and preceded the present Michael Age. In the Gabriel Age, a new organ was formed in the forebrain through the transformation of the lunar reproductive forces. Since the beginning of the Michael Age, these organ-forming forces have turned away from the physical body and become increasingly freely available for the life of the soul. The basis for a new spiritual thinking is thus created, from which a new reincarnation memory will emerge. Through natural development - i.e. without initiation - the retrospective view of past earthly lives will thus also open up to the human being again.

„November 1879, on the astral plane, the god Mammon has been overcome by Michael. In the physical this battle still has to be fought. Mammon is partly embodied in the bacilli. He has innumerable helpers, all perversities and vices are from him. It is a sin against the Holy Spirit to resist spiritual wisdom. It wants to flow into humanity. The organ for its working in the forehead was formed in Gabriel's time, it is there now and wants to be used. This higher knowledge is to come into the world under Michael's reign (during 400 years). If Gabriel's reign were to last longer, then this organ would not be able to receive any content, and it would continue to proliferate, would work itself out into arabesques, and finally brain softening would occur in humanity. But if no spiritual content comes into it now, then this organ will wither and be a source of disease, even of epidemics.“ (Lit.:GA 266a, p. 257f)

„November 1879, on the astral plane, the god Mammon has been overcome by Michael. In the physical this battle still has to be fought. Mammon is partly embodied in the bacilli. He has innumerable helpers, all perversities and vices are from him. It is a sin against the Holy Spirit to resist spiritual wisdom. It wants to flow into humanity. The organ for its working in the forehead was formed in Gabriel's time, it is there now and wants to be used. This higher knowledge is to come into the world under Michael's reign (during 400 years). If Gabriel's reign were to last longer, then this organ would not be able to receive any content, and it would continue to proliferate, would work itself out into arabesques, and finally brain softening would occur in humanity. But if no spiritual content comes into it now, then this organ will wither and be a source of disease, even of epidemics.“ (Lit.:GA 266a, p. 257f)

„Michael's luminous reign will again be replaced by a dark, terrible age which will begin around the year 2400. Already today, at the same time as Michael, a dark god has taken up his reign: the god Mammon. For occultism, Mammon is not only the god of money. Rather, he is the leader of all low, black forces. And his legions attack not only the souls of men, but also the physical bodies of men, in order to devour and corrupt them. People talk so much about bacilli today not because they know more about them, but because they have really taken on a very special form today. And in the future they will become frighteningly rampant. When that black age approaches, fratricidal strife and fratricidal warfare will rage in a dreadful manner, and the poor human bodies will languish in a dreadful manner afflicted by disease and pestilence. The brand of sin will be impressed on the bodies of men for all to see. Then another archangel will have dominion: Oriphiel. He must come to awaken people, to awaken them to their true destiny through cruel torments. And so that this can happen in the right way, a small group of people must be prepared today, so that in four to six hundred years in the black age they can spread esoteric life and guide humanity.

Whoever today, under Michael's rule, feels the urge to participate in spiritual life, is called to serve the archangel Michael and to learn under him, so that one day he will be mature enough to serve the terrible Oriphiel in the right way. A sacrifice is required of those who wish to consecrate themselves to a higher life. Only under the condition that one wants to receive the spiritual life and experience the awakening, if one later wants to use oneself, one's will, everything only in the service of humanity.

In four to six hundred years, the small group of people who are being prepared today will serve God Oriphiel, so that humanity may be saved. If in that age such people were to take over the spiritual leadership who have not been prepared to withstand all storms and to defy the multitudes of Mammon, they would not be able to serve the Archangel Oriphiel in the right way, and humanity would not be lifted out of its misery. But in order for this to happen, we must work with all seriousness today, so that we can then fulfil our tasks in the right way.

But when the dark forces are at their most terrible, even the brightest light shines. Oriphiel has already reigned once. That was at the time when the Christ appeared on earth. At that time, terrible powers of decay and decadence ruled everywhere on earth. And only by cruel means could the human race be shaken up. Oriphiel is called the angel of wrath who purifies mankind with a strong hand.

There is a deep meaning in the Bible's account of Christ wielding the scourge to cleanse the temple of the changers. At that time, when it was darkest on earth, the Christ appeared as the Redeemer of mankind. 109 years after Christ's appearance, the reign of Oriphiel came to an end and was replaced by Anael. Then followed Zachariel, then Raphael. At the time of the Renaissance Samael ruled, from the 16th century until November 1879 Gabriel. Then Michael took over, and around the year 2400 Oriphiel, the terrible angel of wrath, will again take over. And then, as once, the spiritual light will shine brightly and radiantly into the darkness: the Christ will again appear on earth, albeit in a different form than then. To receive Him, to serve Him, to this we are called.“ (Lit.:GA 266a, p. 283ff)


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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Index to the Complete Works of Rudolf Steiner - Aelzina Books
A complete list by Volume Number and a full list of known English translations you may also find at Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works
Rudolf Steiner Archive - The largest online collection of Rudolf Steiner's books, lectures and articles in English.
Rudolf Steiner Audio - Recorded and Read by Dale Brunsvold - Anthroposophic Press Inc. (USA)
Rudolf Steiner Handbook - Christian Karl's proven standard work for orientation in Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works for free download as PDF.