This lecture is part of the collection "The Influences of Lucifer and Ahriman" by Rudolf Steiner. Steiner (1861-1925) was an Austrian philosopher, social reformer, architect, and esotericist. He gained initial recognition as a literary critic and cultural philosopher. At the beginning of the 20th century, he founded a spiritual movement, Anthroposophy. He is considered the father of Waldorf education, biodynamic agriculture, anthroposophical medicine and spiritual science. In these lectures, Steiner focuses on the vital task of developing the proper orientation toward a free spiritual life. With great compassion and understanding, he offers telling examples of how humanity must walk a conscious middle way between the two tempting powers of Lucifer and Ahriman. He describes the incarnation of Lucifer in the third millennium before the Christ event, out of which flowed not just the wisdom of paganism, but also the conscious intellect we enjoy today. Ahriman, on the other hand, is shown approaching human beings through such phenomena as materialism, nationalism, and literalism, all in preparation for his incarnation in the third millennium. Keep in mind, however, that these two powers do not work separately; rather, they are working increasingly together. Our task as human beings is to hold them in balance, continually permeating one with the other. Steiner tells us that "Lucifer and Ahriman must be regarded as two scales of a balance, and it is we who must hold the beam in equipoise. How can we train ourselves to do this? By permeating what takes ahrimanic form within us with a strongly luciferic element." To accomplish this task we need a new, more conscious inner life. The entire Collected Works of Rudolf Steiner are available from SteinerBooks.
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