Every spiritual tradition has reverence for the elders who are called many names: ascended masters, descended avatars, bodhisattvas who become buddhas, the Mother Lodge of the Sun, the Masters of Wisdom, saints, prophets, tulkus, arahats, yogis, yoginis, yidams, great initiates, shamans, kahunas, deities, devas, and hierarchical beings, to name but a few. The distinctions between these vastly different ranks of human and spiritual beings are often confused and deserve clear definition so that discernment can follow.

These seemingly magical ethers are the component parts of creation that exist as the foundation of all space and are the eternal mechanisms that create life. The theories concerning the seven ethers are, for the first time, compiled and explained in The Eternal Ethers as a comprehensive Theory of Everything that effects every atom and molecule in the universe. Often, limited scientific theories will only uncover one or a few of the seven ethers, not the complete set of seven and their eternal cycle manifested in everything from the planets to the stages of human growth and development. 

After three decades of being a Waldorf teacher and teacher trainer, Douglas Gabriel discovered a comprehensive and practical scheme of ontogeny recapitulating phylogeny while drawing the standard charts and diagrams that formerly had been used in attempts to explain this foundational concept of Rudolf Steiner’s pedagogy.

This “soul’s own being” is the human ego that must balance the past, present and the future in all considerations by wrestling with the imperfect and carrying it back to its origins in the perfect – the Mothers. This wrestling is a description of the development of thinking that exists in both realms of the perfect and imperfect. Thinking is both the lawfulness of the outer world of nature and the lawfulness found in the human soul and spirit. Thinking is the bridge between the “Mothers” of the past (Saturn, Sun, Moon) and the human being’s astral body, etheric body, and physical body which were donated by the Mothers during ancient Saturn, Sun, and Moon. The ego of the human being was donated by Christ in the Earth incarnation and is represented by the giant Ophioneus wrestling with the serpent. Often, the serpent represents wisdom and self-awareness much like the Tree of Knowledge was the home of the serpent of knowledge of good and evil.

Steiner told us to read the Kalevala, the Finnish national epic, as a guidebook for the challenges of our time. Few Anthroposophists have ever read this book, but if they did they would notice that the challenges presented to the three heroes are the same challenges we meet in our own age. It is recognition of evil and its control over your desires that is displayed in the plot of the Kalevala. They are fighting to win the Sampo, a free-energy device that produces gold, salt, and meal. The owner of this magic machine would be the wealthiest person on the earth.

Ultimately, Lucifer was totally alone. He had suffered so long that he barely knew his name or whether any of what he believed was true. He doubted everything about himself, and there was no one with him to remind him of his past glory. Lucifer now understood what it meant to be human, limited by a mortal body. Something died in his soul and he no longer desired to possess anything or gain any more knowledge. He desired nothing and felt as if all that he had experienced as a human was worth nothing. Total emptiness filled his soul.

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