Spiritual light

From AnthroWiki

The creative spiritual light is the highest form of light. Rudolf Steiner says about this in a public lecture:

„As the eye distinguishes light and darkness, as the eye distinguishes different colours, so the spiritual, the developed, open eye of the occultist distinguishes the higher, shining light of the spirit, which is not sensual light, which is a brighter shining light in higher worlds, in higher spheres, and this shining light of the spirit, that is reality for the occultist just as our sunlight is reality for our observation. And we see in individual things that the sunlight is reflected back. Thus the occultist distinguishes the radiant self-lighting of the spirit from the peculiar glimmering of light which is reflected back from the world of forms, as a soul flame. Soul means reflecting spiritual light, spirit means radiating creative light. These three realms are spirit-world, soul-world and form-world, for so they appear to the occultist.“ (Lit.:GA 52, p. 348)

Soul light is also called astral light by Steiner and spiritual light very rarely also with the theosophical and also gnostic expression aeon light.

„The mystic lives into what lives and weaves around him and in him. He feels the creative light that works outside and creates inside. He is himself shining and sounding in a shining and sounding world. When he lives in the creative light, lives in the creative sound, then he has mystical life. Then something comes over a person that is different from the light from outside and the sound from outside. Once you have experienced this, you feel it to be the truth. The Gnostics, the Egyptian mystics, the mystics of the Middle Ages speak of the creating light. They call it the aeon light. It is a light which from the mystic awakens the objects around him to living life. This is the pleroma of the Gnostics. Thus the mystic feels blessed in the world-light. He feels blissfully interwoven with this aeon light. There he is not separate from the essence of things; there he is partaker of the immediate creative power. This is what the mystic calls his beatification in the creative light.“ (Lit.:GA 51, p. 214f)

The fact that light in itself is of a supersensible nature and only reveals itself in its effects on matter was already described by Johannes Scotus Eriugena in the middle of the 9th century:

„For the philosophers say that the ray of the sun is incomprehensible to the creaturely senses, because they are unable to feel the subtlety of its nature. However, as soon as it gradually descends from the solar body to the lower elements, it gradually begins to become visible. At first it hardly begins to shine in the purest ether, because the nature of the ether itself is very similar to it. However, as it progresses to the upper parts of the aerial circle, it generally becomes clearer, and the more it penetrates downwards into denser natures, the more clearly it shines and presents itself as tangible to the bodily senses. But from the radiance itself the most glorious radiance fills the whole world and shows itself on the surface of all bodies in a manifold play of colours. It itself would also escape the bodily senses through its natural delicacy if it did not mix with the bodily elements.“

Johannes Scotus Eriugena: On the Classification of Nature[1]

In Kabbalistic mysticism, the undefinable and indeterminate boundless primordial light that emerged from nothing, from which, according to the teachings of Isaac Luria, creation arose, is called Ain Soph Aur (Hebrewאין סוף אוֹר), literally "the non-finite light", from אין ain "nothing", סוֹף soph "finite" and אור or resp. aur "light". In the beginning, everything was filled with the hidden essence of God, the boundless, featureless primordial being. Through God's self-limitation (Hebrewצמצום Zimzum), an empty space came into being into which the primordial light shone as a flash of creation and brought forth the created world.

What is described in physics as a photon or light particle, and which in principle represents a quantised electromagnetic wave packet, is only a Luciferian-Ahrimanic reflection of the supersensible light in the sub-sensible world. Electricity arises, according to Rudolf Steiner, when the forces of the light ether are thrust into the sub-sensible reflection of the astral world, which is the realm of Lucifer. Magnetism appears when the sound ether forces are pushed down into the subphysical lower Devachan, which is ruled by Ahriman. Ahriman, the Spirit of Darkness, forms here, as it were, the dark material mirror coating which throws back the light, and Lucifer produces the light glow of the sensual colours.


References to the work of Rudolf Steiner follow Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works (CW or GA), Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Dornach/Switzerland, unless otherwise stated.
Email: verlag@steinerverlag.com URL: www.steinerverlag.com.
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
steinerbooks.org - 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.


  1. Johannes Scotus Erigena, Ludwig Noack (Übers.): Über die Eintheilung der Natur, Verlag von L. Heimann, Berlin 1870, Erste Abtheilung, S. 230 [1]