John Coltrane ~ My Favorite Things (live)

An excerpt from The Forming and Creating of Beings by the Elohim. The Aeons or Time-Spirits by Rudolf Steiner

What then is the meaning of the word yom, which is usually translated as “day”? Only those can form a judgment about this who are able to transport themselves in feeling, in attitude of soul, into ancient methods of naming things. The process of nomenclature in ancient times needed quite a different kind of feeling from what we have today. To avoid too great a shock, let us take it step by step. Let me first draw your attention to a doctrine held by the Gnostics. They spoke of spiritual powers who played a part in our existence, who entered successively into the development of our existence, and these powers, these Beings, they called Aeons. By these Aeons they do not mean periods of time, but Beings. They mean that a first Aeon acts, and, having executed the work of which he is capable, is succeeded by a second Aeon, and after the second has exhausted his capacities, a third takes over, and so on. When the Gnostics spoke of Aeons, they meant Beings guiding development in succession, one taking over from another. It was only very much later that the purely abstract concept of time was associated with the word “Aeon.” Aeon is a Being, a living entity. And just as “Aeon” expresses “living entity,” so too does the Hebrew word yom. It has nothing to do with a merely abstract designation of time, but conveys the quality of being. Yom is a Being. And when one is dealing with seven such yamim following one another, one is dealing with seven consecutive Beings or groups of Beings.

We find the same thing elsewhere concealed in a verbal resemblance. In the Aryan languages there is a connection between deus and dies — god and day. There is an essential inner relationship between this pair of words; in earlier times the connection between “day” and a Being was clearly felt, and when one spoke of weekdays, as we speak of Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and so on, one did not mean simply periods of time, but the groups of Beings working in Sun, Moon, Mars and so on. Let us then understand the word yom, which is usually rendered “day,” to mean a spiritual Being; then you have the hierarchical Beings one stage lower than the Elohim, Beings whom the Elohim used as subordinate spirits. After the Elohim through their higher organising powers had brought light into existence, they then appointed to his post Yom, the first of the Time-Spirits, or the Archai. Thus the spiritual Beings whom we call Spirits of Personality, or Principalities, are the same as those called in Genesis, Time-Intervals, Days, Yamin. They are the servants of the Elohim. They carry out what the Elohim direct from their higher standpoint. Those of you who heard the lectures which I gave recently in Christiania 3 will remember that there too I called the Archai Time-Spirits, and described how they still work as Time-Spirits today. They were the servants of the Elohim. They were appointed by the Elohim to carry out the plans for which they themselves had laid down the main lines. In this way everything fits together into one great system, even for our understanding. But of course it is only when you have followed up what I am saying for years that you will acquire a real grasp of how everything without exception falls into place.

The exalted Beings of the Elohim entered into this interweaving of the several ethers, and of air, water and earth, and appointed Beings below them in rank as their servants. They gave these Beings their orders, so to say. In the moment when the Elohim had poured light into existence, they passed over to these Beings the task of carrying out in detail what had been set going. Thus we may say that after the Elohim had created the light, they appointed the first Time-Spirit to represent them. It is this Spirit who is hidden behind the customary phrase “the first day.” We shall only understand the still deeper meaning of this first day when we also understand what lies behind the verse: And the evening and the morning were the first day. The first of the Time-Spirits entered into activity, and with this activity was associated what can be described as an alternation of ereb (עֶרֶב) and boker (בֹּקֶר). Ereb is not the same thing as evening, and boker is not the same thing as morning. An appropriate translation would be: “There was ereb, confusion; and there followed boker, organisation.” There was a state of disorder, and it was followed by a state of order, of harmony, brought about by the work of the first of the Time-Spirits.