I-1 Schematic of human being’s creation, descent and reascent per ASJ

The Apocalypse of St. John (ASJ), fold-out following terminal notes (click here to see schematic)

This chart is given primacy. Conceptualizing the creative process is probably the first, most difficult, yet most important, step in anthroposophy. It is not unlike contemplating a chart of the universe. One stretches the mind to comprehend it, yet the moment thinking is relaxed the mind reverts back toward its prior dimension. Constant stretching is required. One should not hesitate to return to this chart again and again. Because it is so critical, different profiles of the same concept are also available in I-2, I-3 and I-4.

The Bible, from beginning to end, is an account of the descent of the human being from the spiritual world and its return thereto, encompassing the entire evolutionary process. It assumes added resplendence when seen in the light of anthroposophy. And humanity itself is then seen as the paradigm of the Prodigal Son. Anthroposophy is nothing but that “knowledge of truth” (Jn 8,32) which is vital if the human being is to “come to himself” (Lk 15,17). These three charts portray that same path, which Rudolf Steiner has lighted for the first time since the age of the human being’s intellectual maturity.

(While more fully treated later, it may be helpful here to refer to the “twenty-four elders” frequently mentioned in Revelation [e.g., Rev 4,4,10, Rev 5,8, Rev 11,16, Rev 19,4 et al.]. These are identified by Steiner [ASJ Lect. 5] as twenty-four members of the spiritual Hierarchies who attained their respective “human” [i.e., consciousness] states in the twenty-four successive Conditions of Life that have preceded our present one, i.e., seven each on Old Saturn, Old Sun and Old Moon plus the first three Elementary Kingdoms of the Earth Condition of Consciousness. All these elders come from the Hierarchies [see I-6], but in considering this, one must realize that there are seven levels within each rank of each Hierarchy, thus seven “elders” would come from a single rank in the list of nine Hierarchies. More is said about the “twenty-four elders” in I-12 and I-15.)

Schematic I-2