Secret of the Number

From AnthroWiki

The Secret of the Number is one of the seven secrets of life that Rudolf Steiner occasionally mentioned. Some of it was revealed through the teachings of Pythagoras.

The secret of number governs the second planetary stage of evolution, the Old Sun. On a smaller scale, however, this also affects all smaller cycles of evolution that are on the second stage, the stage of separation or dichotomy. During the Earth evolution, this concerns in particular the Hyperborean time (separation of Sun and Earth) and the ancient Persian culture with the opposing principles of light (Ormuzd) and darkness (Ahriman).

„On the second planet, in deep sleep consciousness (dreamless sleep), man immersed himself in number. The spheres created on the first planet work in a certain regular harmony. What remains of this second state is that the chemical elements are not connected in any arbitrary way; colours and sound vibrations are ordered according to their wave number. Thus on the second planet we find the arrangement according to measure, number and weight.

In the first stage (Saturn) there was only one kingdom; in the second stage (Sun), when man had immersed himself in number, there was the possibility of a separation into two kingdoms. Firstly, a kingdom came into being that remained continuous up to the human being, secondly, a kingdom of all that was not suitable to develop up to the human being; this was separated out as a special second kingdom (annex to the animal and plant kingdom, to the lower living). Law: no higher development can be achieved without something being separated out that is left behind on a lower level. The measure of development is a definite one, and is indicated in this annex of the first planet. From this follows the law of life. This is the law of unequal but full development: no taking without giving. The first duty of the esotericist is: to give back.“ (Lit.:GA 89, p. 144f)

Group souls and individual souls are connected through the secret of the number:

„In this physical world, too, there are higher beings than man. In former times, before he descended to the physical plane, at the time when the "blood-rubicon" had not yet been passed, man had a group soul on the astral plane. The whole tribe lived in this group soul. In the same way, the animal group souls will later descend and individualise themselves. Here we touch upon a high mystery which belongs to the seven secrets called the ineffable ones.

One of these secrets is the secret of number. It is true that whole groups of people had one soul. The secret is: From the One it flows and becomes number: numerous as the grains of corn. When such a group soul descends, the same thing happens as with the seed: a grain is placed in the earth, and from it comes the ear with the many grains. But everything in the world exists in a certain way only once. So this humanity, as it is now, is also only there once. Nothing in the world repeats itself in the same way. In the animal group souls we have to see those which later become individual souls, but under quite different conditions from human beings, in a quite different constitution.“ (Lit.:GA 94, p. 259f)


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.