Archetypal Condition of Form

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The archetypal Condition of Form is the seventh and highest Condition of Form that each of the seven Conditions of Life passes through during world evolution. It is a higher metamorphosis of the formless Arupa state and, like the latter, corresponds with the qualities of the Higher Devachan. A being who has reached this stage becomes creative. It produces such forms in its environment that are a small replica of what its environment is on a large scale.

„The inner experience of the soul must first be preceded by the creation of this life. For nothing can be experienced that has not first come into existence. If secret science calls the inner experience the soul, it calls the creative the spiritual. The [physical body] perceives through organs; the soul experiences itself inwardly; the spirit creates outwardly. Just as the seven stages of consciousness are preceded by seven experiences of the soul, so these experiences of the soul are preceded by seven kinds of creative activity. The dull experience of the substance corresponds in the realm of the creative to the bringing forth of this substance. The substance flows into the world in an indifferent way. This region is called the region of formlessness. At the next stage the substance is subdivided and its members enter into a relationship with one another. Here we have to do with different substances that combine and separate. This area is called the area of form. On the third level, substance no longer needs to relate to substance itself, but the forces emanate from the substance, the substances attract and repel each other, and so on. We are dealing with the astral realm. On the fourth level a material appears, shaped by the forces of the environment, which on the third level merely regulated the outer relations and which now work into the inner being of the beings. This is the realm of the physical. A being on this level is a mirror of its environment; the forces of the latter work on its structure. - The further progress consists in the fact that the being not only structures itself in such a way as it is in the sense of the forces in the environment, but that it also gives itself an outer physiognomy which bears the imprint of this environment. If a being of the fourth level represents a mirror of its environment, one of the fifth level expresses this environment physiognomically. This level is therefore called the physiognomic level in the secret sciences. On the sixth level, physiognomy becomes an emanation of itself. A being that stands on this level forms the things of its environment in such a way as it has first formed itself. This is the stage of shaping. And on the seventh step, forming passes over into creating. The being that has arrived there creates such forms in its environment that reproduce on a small scale what its environment is on a large scale. This is the stage of the creative.

The development of the spiritual is thus divided into the following series of stages:

  1. Formlessness
  2. the shaping
  3. the incorporation of force
  4. the shaping in the sense of the forces of the environment
  5. physiognomic expressiveness
  6. the formative power
  7. the creative faculty.“ (Lit.:GA 89, p. 38ff)

„The Arupa state and the archetypal state are essentially different from the other five states. Actually, in reality, the form state begins on the rupa plan. On the arupa plan there is no form yet, only the disposition to it, and on the archetypal plan the form gives its form to itself, it is all life there. Therefore, the first and the seventh states of form are actually states of life, in which the seventh is always that of the status nascendi (emergence) of the following first, or in which the seventh (the archetypal) has become that which was in the status nascendi in the first. The archetypal state of form is one in which the form has become life, and the arupic one is one in which the form is still life. Actually, therefore, we have only five prajapatis of form, because two of the seven already belong to the higher prajapatis of consciousness. One could perhaps say that stages of life and states of form are only condensed states of consciousness, or also the passive side of active consciousness, or also the actual negative side of the world picture, while consciousness is the positive side. So the first and the last of the prajapatis of the states of form already belong to the higher hierarchy of the prajapatis of consciousness.“ (Lit.:GA 89, p. 178)


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.