Separation of the Sexes

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Adam Kadmon, the cosmic primordial man, is sometimes depicted in androgynous form with both male and female sexual characteristics
The lion man from the Hohlenstein-Stadel. The lion men gave rise to the female gender.
Bull man statue from Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Bull men gave rise to the male sex

After the separation of the sexes, the originally androgynous or hermaphroditic, bisexual, male-female (Hebrewזָכָ֥ר וּנְקֵבָ֖ה zâkâr û -neqevâh) human being could only develop in a one-sided form as a male (Hebrewאִישׁ isch "man, husband") or female (Hebrewאִשָּׁה ischah "woman, wife"; pl. נָשִׁים "naschim"); man became a single-sex being.

Only the two lowest members of man, the etheric body and the physical body, are affected by the separation of the sexes, but each embodies opposite sexes. If the physical body is male, the etheric body is female and vice versa. In the course of the repeated earth lives of the human being, the sex usually changes with each incarnation, although this rule is often broken. However, a maximum of seven earth lives with the same sex follow each other.

Biological background

Whereas in asexual reproduction the offspring is genetically largely identical and thus a kind of biological immortality is ensured, in sexual reproduction the interaction of two partners of the same species but of different gender types, through the associated exchange of genomes, leads to a rapidly progressing differentiation, through which the individual being with its unique genetic particularity is, however, also necessarily subject to biological death. Through the necessity of mate choice, among other things, the development of the senses was decisively promoted and an abundance of completely new behavioural patterns and a stronger social bond could emerge.

Group Souls - Lion Men and Bull Men

Until the middle of the Lemurian period, reproduction was asexual through a kind of self-fertilisation. In the image of Isis being fertilised by the sunbeam of Osiris, the Egyptian mysteries pointed to this asexual reproductive power of the moon.

The four sphinx animals correspond to the four group souls of Lemurian and Atlantean man. The lion race had a male etheric body which had sufficient power to fertilise the physical body itself without external stimulation. It was a direct fertilisation from the spiritual, without the assistance of another being. The Taurus race, on the other hand, had a female etheric body and gradually lost the ability to reproduce on its own, but was gradually able to fertilise the Leo people. After the absorption of the I, the female sex developed from the lion race and the male sex from the bull race (Lit.:GA 107, p. 74ff).

The soul is male and female at the same time. As long as the bodies were still soft and malleable, they could completely follow the impulses of the soul. As the hardening of the body progressed, this was no longer possible to the full extent. This led to the separation of the sexes, with the male body being shaped more by the impulses of the will and the female body more by the faculty of imagination.

„The times to which we are now looking back lie somewhat before the middle of the epoch which has been called the Lemurian in the preceding sections. The human body then still consisted of soft, malleable materials. The other formations of the earth were also still soft and plastic. In contrast to its later solidification, the earth was still in a swelling, more fluid state. As the human soul then embodied itself in matter, it was able to adapt itself to this matter to a much greater degree than later. For the soul's assumption of a male or female body is due to the fact that the development of the outer earthly nature imposes one or the other upon it. As long as the substances were not yet solidified, the soul could force these substances under its own laws. It made the body into an imprint of its own being. But when the substance had become dense, the soul had to submit to the laws which were imposed on this substance by the outer earthly nature. As long as the soul could still rule over the material, it shaped its body neither male nor female, but gave it characteristics that were both at the same time. For the soul is male and female at the same time. It carries these two natures within itself. Its male element is related to what is called will, its female to what is called imagination. - The outer formation of the earth has led to the body taking on a one-sided formation. The male body has taken on a form which is determined by the element of will, the female body, on the other hand, bears more the imprint of the imagination. Thus it comes about that the two-sexed, male-female soul dwells in a single-sexed, male or female body. In the course of its development the body had taken on a form determined by the outer earthly forces, so that it was no longer possible for the soul to pour all its inner strength into this body. It had to keep some of its strength within itself and could only allow a part of it to flow into the body.

If we follow the Akasha Chronicle, we see the following. In an ancient time human forms appear before us, soft, pictorial, quite different from the later ones. They still carry the male and female nature equally within them. In the course of time the substances become denser; the human body appears in two forms, one of which becomes similar to the later male, the other to the later female formation. When this difference had not yet appeared, each man could give birth to another. Fertilisation was not an external process, but something that took place inside the human body itself. When the body became male or female, it lost this possibility of self-fertilisation. It had to co-operate with another body in order to bring forth a new human being.“ (Lit.:GA 11, p. 74ff)

Male and female wisdom

„Now let us understand how this came about. It came about in such a way that first of all, before there was a male and female sex, there was a bisexuality in the one individual. We must now ask: What was the fertilised and what was the fertilising in the one individual? In ancient Greek mythology, Zeus is depicted with powerful female breasts. This expresses a truth which was known in the ancient Mysteries and which the documents also teach us, that the sex - if I may call it that - which immediately preceded ours, did not outwardly-physically resemble the male sex, but the female sex. So that before the outer separation we have both sexes in one individual, which outwardly - in physical expression and in the whole feeling and being - was female. At the origin of the human race, therefore, we have to do with a dual-sex individual inclined towards the female side. The male sex only emerged later. Now we must be clear that in this individual, which has both sexes within itself, there was also a fertilising, a male seed. The woman had the man within herself. If we make it clear to ourselves that the woman had the man within her, then we can also imagine, in our ordinary scientific terms, that reproduction was assured. Let us note that this happened at that time through the woman.

Now the time came when things were to diverge. What was the character of that which fertilised the female nature on the physical plane? That which acted upon the feminine as seed was the masculine; and that was the spiritual, the wisdom. The female gave the material, the spirit gave the form. Formation on the physical plane is realised wisdom. Wisdom worked in the woman. Now the two differentiated, in that the two things which had formerly worked together appeared as two separate poles. What had formerly been crowded into a single organ of the human being separated, and thus a duality arose in the formation of the human being. This duality arose in such a way that, first of all, in the one individual, fertility, the possibility of the female egg reproducing, ceased. The female egg lost the possibility of being fertilised from its own body. So we have to do with a female that has become infertile and a spiritual that stands above it. Through the splitting off of the physical organs, the separation of the two sexes took place, and the possibility of fertilisation is now given by the other sex. Two individuals come into being, one with physical femininity and the other with physical masculinity: wisdom has a feminine character in the man and a masculine character in the woman.“ (Lit.:GA 93, p. 217)

The Temple Legend - Cain and Abel

„The Bible itself, the Old Testament, emerged from feminine, intuitive wisdom, it bears its basic character. The Old Testament is female wisdom. The male wisdom did not bring it to intuition. It was limited to building and working; it took stones and made buildings, it took metals and made tools. The temple legend puts it this way:

One of the Elohim impregnated Eve, and there came into being Cain. Afterwards Jehovah - another of the Elohim, also called Adonai - created Adam. And Adam with Eve produced Abel. Now this legend opposes the wisdom of Cain to the biblical wisdom, so that in the rising of the fourth subrace we have two opposing currents: the Bible as the feminine wisdom and the temple wisdom as the masculine opposition to it. What man wanted [male wisdom?] was already opposed to female wisdom in pre-Christian times. The rest is like this, that Cain slays his brother Abel. This is also in the temple legend. Jehovah made quarrel between Cain's lineage and Abel's lineage, and Cain killed Abel. That means nothing else . . . [Here follow some very unclear sentences in the postscript.]

What was the consequence of this wisdom of Cain? The consequence was that the fruitful, which reproduced itself through its own wisdom, was killed. By killing Abel, Cain killed in him male knowledge that which had been produced by the gods: the possibility of procreation from itself. That is to say, by transferring knowledge to the man, the Abel in him is killed.

This is a process in man himself. Through the male knowledge, the producing power, Abel, is killed. Now the descendants of Cain and the generation of those who are put in the place of Abel, the descendants of Seth, are hostile to each other. The descendants of Cain are those who use their male wisdom to build the outer world; the passive wisdom is used to build the outer world. Divine wisdom does not flow down to them. Out of the open she has to build the walls of the world. She has no divine intuition. Through trial and error, through experience, the purely mineral products of the earth are put together. Thus Tubal-Cain is born of this race of Cain, and thus later Hiram-Abiff or Adon-Hiram is born of this race.“ (Lit.:GA 93, p. 219f)

The untrue figure of the two earthly sexes

„Only the head and the limbs are recognised by the spiritual researcher as the true image of the spiritual, everything else is obscured. This is due to the fact that the separation into male and female can be traced back to Lemurian times, when a single form united in itself all that which we now see separated before us. This separation took place in order to make it possible to connect an ever more material becoming with the further development. Thus man has materialised his form more and more from a spiritual primordial form. For in the form of the neutral sex he was still a form closer to the spirit. In the further development that then occurred in the direction of the female, the latter retained, as it were, an earlier form in which man was still more spiritual. The female form retained this more spiritual form, but did not descend so deeply into the material as would have corresponded to normal development. Thus the woman has retained a more spiritual form from an earlier stage of development. She has thus preserved something that is actually untrue. She is also supposed to be the image of the spiritual, but is materially obscured. It is just the opposite with the man. He has skipped the normal point of development, has thus gone beyond it, and forms an outer shape which is more material than the shadowy shape behind him, which corresponds to the normal means.

The woman stands before this true middle, the man has gone beyond it. Neither of them reflects the true man. It is therefore not the highest, most perfect thing that we find in the human form. Therefore, attempts were made to add to it that which is formed in the old priestly vestments, in order to make the human form, especially the male form, appear truer than it is by nature. One had a feeling for the fact that nature can also obscure something. The female form leads us back to an earlier stage of earthly existence, to the old lunar time. The male figure leads us beyond earth-time into Jupiter existence, but in a form not yet viable for it.“ (Lit.:GA 118, p. 135f)

Original Sin and Individualisation

The separation of the sexes occurred as a result of the Fall in the Lemurian period, when the moon had detached itself from the earth and now acted upon it from outside. Humans did not have a solid body at that time; their bodies were still soft and malleable, but gradually began to harden. The formation of bones developed parallel to the separation of the sexes, and at the same time the mineral kingdom was only now forming in the outer earth nature. With this hardening, however, death also entered the world as a drastic experience for man. As long as man in the paradisiacal state still had the dual sex, i.e. was male-female, birth and death did not yet exist as special phenomena. The still barely material body of man withered and renewed itself again in rhythmic change.

Before the separation of the sexes, people were very uniformly formed and there was not yet an individual I-consciousness, but people lived in the continuous consciousness of the common group soul, which did not break off even when the material body was discarded. Individualisation began when the male and female sexes interacted with each other (Lit.:GA 11).

Closely connected with this is the concept of original sin: previously, human beings had absorbed pure wholesome divine forces through the act of fertilisation; now they inherited everything they had absorbed from the outer sensual sphere and the consequences of the associated desires and passions to their offspring. On the one hand, this created the possibility of passing on the qualities that the human being had acquired individually in earthly life, but on the other hand, this carried the illness into the generational line.

„Original sin is brought about by man's being able to transplant his individual experiences in the physical world to his descendants. Every time the sexes flare up in passions, the ingredients of both sexes are mixed into the human being coming down from the astral world. When a human being incarnates, he comes down from the devachanic world and forms his astral sphere according to the peculiarity of his individuality. This astral sphere is mixed with something from the astral bodies, the drives, passions and desires of the parents, so that the human being receives what his ancestors have experienced. What passes through the generations in this way, what is really humanly acquired within the generations and as such is inherited, that is what is to be understood by the concept of original sin. And now we come to something else: a completely new moment entered humanity through the individualisation of the human being.

In former times the divine-spiritual beings, and they were quite healthy, formed man in their image. But now man, as an independent being, separated himself from the overall harmony of the divine-spiritual health. In a certain respect, he contradicted in his peculiarity this whole spiritual-divine environment. Think, you have a being that only forms itself under the influences of the environment. There it shows what this environment is. But if you think of a being that seals itself off with a skin, then it has its own qualities in addition to the qualities of its environment. When people became individual with the division into the sexes, they developed their own characteristics within themselves. As a result, there was a contradiction between the great, intrinsically healthy divine-spiritual harmony and that which was individual in the human being. And because this individuality continues to have an effect, becomes a real factor, the possibility of an inner illness is incorporated into the development of humanity. Now we have grasped the moment when the possibility of disease arises in the development of humanity, for it is bound up with the individualisation of man. Before, when man was still connected with the spiritual-divine world, this possibility of illness did not exist. It occurred with individualisation, and that is the same time as the separation into the sexes. This is true of the evolution of mankind, and you must not apply it in the same way to the animal world.

Disease is indeed an effect of the processes just described to you, and you can see that it is basically the astral body which is originally influenced in this way. The astral body, which man first incorporates into himself when he comes down from the devachanic world, receives that which flows into it through the effect of the two sexes. The astral body is therefore the part which most sharply expresses the ungodly.

More divine is the etheric body, for man has no such great influence on it, and most divine is the physical body, this temple of God, for it has at the same time been thoroughly withdrawn from the influence of man. While man seeks all kinds of pleasures in his astral body and can have all kinds of desires which have a harmful effect on the physical body, he still has his physical body today as such a wonderful instrument that it can resist for decades the heart poisons and the other disturbing influences of the astral body. And so we must say that the human astral body has become the worst thing in man through all these processes. Whoever goes deeper into human nature will find the deepest causes of disease in the astral body and in the bad influences of the astral body on the etheric body, and then only on the diversions through the etheric body in the physical body. Now we shall understand many things that cannot otherwise be understood.“ (Lit.:GA 107, p. 142ff)

Gender and lunar phases

Which sex a human being assumes at incarnation is decided only near the lunar sphere.

„If we look from the earth in any region after the full moon, then we have that time which beings choose to descend to the earth who want to become women. Only then is that decided. And the time of the new moon is the time chosen by the beings who want to become men. So that man enters earthly existence through the moon gate. But the strength which the man needs to enter earthly life is then poured out into the universe; one goes to meet it by coming in from the universe, and it is radiated from the moon when it is new moon for the earth. The power which woman needs is emitted by the moon when it is full moon; then its lighted side is directed towards the earth, its unlighted side goes out into the universe, and this power which the moon can send out into the universe on its unlighted side is what the human being needs if she wants to become a woman.“ (Lit.:GA 218, p. 119)

The moon also has an influence on hair colour:

„But man, in this descent, is more often exposed to the full moon or the new moon, and so it may be that man first exposes himself, as it were, to a decisive new moon in order to become a man, or to a decisive full moon in order to become a woman. But then - the descent does not happen so quickly, he remains exposed for a longer time - then he can somehow still decide, when he descends through the new moon as a man, still to expose himself to the coming full moon. So that he has made the decision to descend as a man: he has used the new moon forces for this; but during his descent he still has the further course of the moon at his disposal, the full moon course. Then he fills himself with the lunar forces in such a way that they do not act on his relationship as man or woman, but preferably on his main organisation and on that which is connected with the main organisation from outside, from the cosmos, when just the constellation occurs of which I have now spoken. So when man has made the decision: I shall become a man through a new moon period - and then still lives on in the universe, so that he has not yet entirely passed through the lunar influence, but is still exposed to the next full moon period, then he gets, for example, brown eyes and black hair through the influence of the lunar forces in this state. So that we can say: By the manner in which man passes the moon, not only is his sex determined, but his hair colour and his eye colour. For example, if a man has passed the full moon as a woman and still exposes himself to the new moon afterwards, he may get blue eyes and blond hair as a woman.“ (Lit.:GA 218, p. 120f)


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