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Logos (Greekλόγος "word, speech, sense"; Latinverbum) means word, spoken (Greekλόγος προφορικός logos prophorikos) or unspoken, purely inwardly conceived thought (Greekλόγος ἐνδιάθετος logos endiathetos)[1][2], concept, definition, reason, divine, creative thought, world thought, world reason, world spirit (Latinmens mundi[3]), world word. The Stoics speak of the logos spermatikos (Greekλόγος σπερματικός "germ of reason"), which is inherent in every rational being. In contrast to today, the Greeks hardly distinguished between word and concept, and thinking was an inner, silent speech, an intellectual soliloquy, as it were, which not only takes place in man, but also in nature as the actual creative power, a principle that finds its highest expression in the prologue of John's Gospel ("In the beginning was the Word" John 1:1). But even the Old Testament, in the work of the six days, allows creation to emerge from the Word of the Elohim. The meaning of logos thus ranges from the human word and human reason to the creating world word, the word of God, which is identical with the Christ.

The Three Logoi

See also: Trinity

Three logoi comprise the Logos in the extended sense, the Trinity according to Christian terminology, which is divided into Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This corresponds to the Ain Soph in the Jewish Kabbalah, which is often represented in three parts, as Ain (Hebrewאין), Ain Soph (אין סוף) and Ain Soph Aur (אין סוף אוֹר). In this threefold structure, the Ain is understood as nothingness, the Ain Soph as the limitless, and the Ain Soph Aur (literally the non-finite light) as the limitless light.

„The First, from which all else came forth, is the unmanifest Deity. From this then came forth the second, the life or also the unmanifested creative substance. This life then passes through the most manifold forms and is named in the forms Akasha or Mahat. This Akasha or Mahat contains all the forms of life that exist in the world. The whole hierarchy of Thrones, Cherubim, Seraphim, Powers, Primordial Forces, Archangels and Angels came forth through life and form the forms under which this one life appears.

The first power, the unmanifested Godhead, is also called the Father; the second power is the Son, who is both life and creative substance, and the third power is the Spirit. Together, then, these three primordial forces appear as Father, Son and Spirit, as consciousness, life and form. The power of life is under the direction of Michael, who belongs to the Sun, the power of form is under the direction of Samael, who belongs to the volcano, where all life will be transformed into living forms. The power of consciousness is under the direction of Anael, who embraces all that is there.“ (Lit.:GA 89, p. 256)

„At all times, occultism has represented these three logoi through the following signs:

First Logos

Second Logos

Third Logos

They have been summarised in the number: 7-7-7, the esoteric Number of the three Logoi. The exoteric number is the multiplication of these three sevens lying in the plan of development, namely 343.” (Lit.:GA 94, p. 92)

The Relationship of the Three Logoi to Each Other

Father, Son and Holy Spirit

„Theologians have established and handed down the creeds so that we may believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths that the divine goodness consists in three components of a single entity. And this was not done without taking into account supersensible knowledge and rational research. For by envisaging the One ineffable All-Cause and the One simple and indivisible Starting Point, enlightened by the divine Spirit, they have called this Unity. Furthermore, by looking at the unity itself not in empty isolation but in wonderfully fruitful multiplicity, they conceived of three constituents of unity: one ungenerated, one generated and one emerging. The behaviour of the ungenerated entity to the generated entity they called Father; the behaviour of the generated entity to the ungenerated entity they called Son; the behaviour of the generated entity to the ungenerated and generated entity they called Holy Spirit.“

Johannes Scotus Eriugena: On the Division of Nature[4]

The First Logos, the Father, is the limitless source of all creative activity; consciousness, life and form are still undivided in him. By creating his mirror image - and thus his consciousness - and offering his life to it of his own free will, the Second Logos comes into being.

The Second Logos, the Son, is exactly the same as the first Logos, except that he has received his own independent existence through a sacrifice, and that he reflects back to the first Logos his own being. Thus in him lives a double: his own being and the reflection of the first Logos. But this alone could not give rise to a world system in external form outside the two logos. A further reflection must take place, which now also reflects the relationship of the two logoi to each other.

The Third Logos, the Holy Spirit, arises as a reflection of the two other logoi and their relationship to each other. Whether the third Logos, the Holy Spirit, emerges only from the Father, as the Eastern Churches believe, or together from Father and Son, as the Western Church holds, led to the so-called filioque dispute after the Third Council of Toledo in 589, which still divides the Christian churches today. In any case, a triple Logos lives in the third Logos: the mirror image of the first Logos, the mirror image of what the first Logos brought about in the second Logos, namely his life, and the mirror image of what the second Logos reflects back to the first. In Hindu doctrine they are called Gunas and, according to Indian Samkhya philosophy, they are the forces of which the primordial matter, Prakriti, is composed. From this trinity, however, an even greater diversity can arise through combinations, at first as a sevenness.

Seven creative spirits, which Jakob Böhme calls the seven source spirits in his Aurora, arise from the Third Logos, for all three activities of the Third Logos can work together, or in pairs of two or each for itself; this gives seven possible combinations, which appear essentially and of which the one that encompasses all three activities is the Third Logos itself. Thus the next level of world-creating beings is reached.


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. Adam Kamesar: The Logos Endiathetos and the Logos Prophorikos in Allegorical Interpretation: Philo and the D-Scholia to the Iliad, in: Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 44 (2004) pp. 163–181 pdf
  2. Max Pohlenz: Die Begründung der abendländischen Sprachlehre durch die Stoa. In: Nachrichten von der Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen. Philologisch-historische Klasse, Fachgruppe 1. Neue Folge, Band 3, Nr. 6, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1939, S. 151–198.
  3. Cicero: De natura deorum II, 22, 57f
  4. Johannes Scotus Eriugena, Ludwig Noack (Translator): Über die Eintheilung der Natur, Verlag von L. Heimann, Berlin 1870, Erste Abtheilung, S. 23f pdf