Now here’s an interesting little story that erupted in the occult world in the final years of the nineteenth century. In 1893, a series of lectures were given to a group of individuals who were known as the Berean Society. These lectures were given by C.G. Harrison, a deeply learned initiate, as well as a committed Christian.[i] It turned out that Harrison had been elected to expound upon a body of information in the public realm that had hitherto remained highly secretive. Secretive, that is, until a particular breach had occurred regarding the dissemination of information kept within the guardianship of certain secret societies. These series of public lectures were the first to discuss openly the nature of the internal conflicts that had arisen between some of the Mystery Schools in nineteenth century Europe and America. As Harrison explained in his opening lectures, this breach concerned the Theosophy Society, which is associated largely with the colourful and controversial character of Madame Blavatsky. Harrison referred to this breach as a conflict ‘behind the veil.’ The reason for such secrecy around certain forms of knowledge is that the knowledge in question, says Harrison, is ‘the key to a power which would be highly dangerous to society (as at present constituted) if it were to become public property.’1 That is, there are reasons for keeping some information away from the hands of the ignorant (for their sake as well as for others). For once a breach is made, it is harder to undo and easier to be widened.

As Harrison went on to explain, the breach, or exposure of incorrect information, was due to a publication from the high-ranking Theosophist, A.P. Sinnett, in his work Esoteric Buddhism (1883). Part of the information that Sinnett made public referenced the ‘Eighth Sphere’ and its relationship with the evolution of humanity upon the Earth. Harrison noted that Sinnett made an incorrect judgement regarding the association of the Eighth Sphere to the earth’s satellite, the moon. This was either an error of judgement or an error of ignorance. Either way, it was considered, from certain quarters, that this now publicly made error could not go uncontested. The consequences, it had been decided, were too significant to let be. In regard to the Eighth Sphere, Harrison stated that the mystery surrounding its very nature ‘is a key to the problem of evil in the Uni­verse.’2 He went on to say, in relation to this, that there can be a considerable danger when the lower nature of humanity is attracted to certain forces beyond the physical realm, as a harmful relationship can be brought into manifestation. It is, stated Harrison, the lower nature of the human being that is constantly being sought out, for alliance and unhealthy bonding. Whether we, as individuals, are consciously aware of this or not, there are certain energetic forces that seek to attract and form ‘bonds of influence’ with human beings between realms. Other sources have referred to these elements as ‘hostile forces,’ whereas I have used the term ‘entropic forces.’ And such forces exist in a realm not far, energetically speaking, from where we stand right now. Also, through certain amateur rituals and practices, many of which are brought into being through ignorance, these forces can gain a stronger influence over aspects of earthly existence. One twentieth century occultist (writing under the name of Mark Hedsel) referred to the Eighth Sphere as a ‘shadow Sphere’ that was controlled by shadow beings. This realm seeks to capture and pull away what may be termed ‘materialized spiritual energy’ from the Earth sphere into the Eighth Sphere. This realm, the Eighth Sphere, is like a vacuum, claims Hedsel.3 It is a realm that sucks things into its own existence, a shadowy realm. It is vibrationally and developmentally lower than the earth sphere. It is, according to Hedsel, a shadow sphere controlled by shadow beings – yet they can be more cunning and intelligent than humankind for they lack our conscience and compassion. These shadow beings wish to fill their realm with human souls, so they have placed portals upon the earth that act as conduits for sucking up lower forms of spiritual energy from the Earth plane. These portals can be opened by certain rituals, as in black magic, or through naïve seances and ‘spiritualist’ style meetings and channelling. They wish to trap human soul-energy into their shadow realm – like a realm of the damned. These beings are similar to demons, and they counteract the evolutionary impulse within humankind. In Steiner terminology, these can be referred to as Ahrimanic beings, and the Eighth Sphere as an abode of Ahriman.

In fact, shortly after the above ‘breach’ by A.P. Sinnett, Steiner himself felt forced to address the highly mysterious topic of the Eighth Sphere and to bring it out more into the open:

It is very difficult indeed to speak about the so-called “Eighth Sphere” which was referred to openly for the first time by Mr. Sinnett…what is called the Eighth Sphere can have nothing directly to do with anything within the material world — that is to say, what can be perceived by man’s senses and thought out on the basis of sensory perception has no part in the Eighth Sphere. So it will be useless to look for the Eighth Sphere anywhere in the material world.4

Of course, the realm of the Eighth Sphere is not in the physical-material domain but operating upon a different vibration. However, it can be perceived by way of ‘visionary-imaginative clairvoyance,’ says Steiner. Steiner discusses the existence of the Eighth Sphere in a similar way to Hedsel, yet within a more complex and cosmological framework. Whereas Hedsel refers to the Eighth Sphere as a ‘shadow Sphere’ that is controlled by shadow beings trapping, or sucking, human soul-energy, Steiner brings it into the operations of Luciferic and Ahrimanic forces. The Eighth Sphere is a realm that counteracts the evolutionary, cosmological path of humankind. And how it works is that Luciferic and Ahrimanic forces attempt to strip from humanity certain energies – or ‘mineralisations’ – that then are used to energize the formation and existence of this entropic realm. As Steiner quoted in one of his lectures:

Lucifer and Ahriman strive unceasingly to draw from the Earth’s substances whatever they can snatch, in order to form their Eighth Sphere which then, when it is sufficiently advanced, will be detached from the Earth and go its own way in the Cosmos together with Lucifer and Ahriman.5

Here, Steiner is depicting these forces in the way of thieves; awaiting and attempting to take from humanity certain elements or, most likely, energies.

Further, Steiner’s depiction of this situation is that humankind is targeted where it is most vulnerable – at its head. That is, through the intellect. Again, we come back here to the question of materialism, which is a rational, intellectual domain. This, we are told, is going on all the time around us, only that we are not aware of its happenings. The activity for the Eighth Sphere is taking place ‘behind the scenes of our existence,’ says Steiner. We can see much of this ‘behind the scenes’ activity now manifesting in our modern lives as rapidly advancing material technologies – especially artificial intelligence programs, automated algorithms, and data-infrastructures. This new material-digital ecosystem is head-based: the notion of ‘programming’ is itself an intellectual skill (perhaps the alternative programming community is more creative here). Steiner was very explicit in his description of this situation:

Care had to be taken that not everything in man proceeding from the head can become the prey of Lucifer and Ahriman; that not everything shall depend upon head-activity and the activity of the outward-turned senses, for then Lucifer and Ahriman would have been victors. It was necessary that a counterweight should be created in the domain of earthly life, that there should be in the human being something entirely independent of the head. And this was achieved through the work of the good Spirits of Form, who implanted the principle of Love into the principle of heredity on Earth. That is to say, there is now operative in the human race something that is independent of the head, that passes from generation to generation and has its deepest foundations in the physical nature of man.6

The counterweight to the intellect was implanted into earthly life – the principle of Love. This is a highly significant remark, for it shows that evolutionary forces, working through the ‘Spirits of Form,’ are counteracting the entropic impulses. Further, that the love principle is both worldly as well as being beyond the material world. That is, it is a principle beyond that of only physical love. The love impulse is a transcendental force that acts through materiality and yet is also much more besides. It is necessary for it to be operative amongst humankind, for it aligns with another significant force that the human being must acquire – freedom of the will. And this freedom of will can be acquired only during incarnation in the physical realm. Why is this?

When the human spirit is in the pre-incarnation and post-incarnation state, it regains full knowledge of its existence among the spirit realms. In this state of Spirit-Consciousness, all is known. However, during physical incarnation the human spirit accepts forgetfulness so that it can make its choices from a place of freedom. That is, without knowing the relationships to its existence beyond physicality. It is through these choices that life incarnations gain experiences. The freedom of will to make these life choices, and the acceptance of their consequences, are fundamental to the development of the human being. This is precisely why the entropic forces attempt to curtail free will amongst humans – a non-developmental path can then more easily be aligned with the domain of the Eighth Sphere. Because of this, influences upon the earth are continually trying to wrestle humanity’s free will away from itself. We only have to view current life conditions around the world to see how this pattern is operative and is increasing rapidly. Steiner was very clear on this matter: ‘Lucifer and Ahriman are engaged perpetually in shackling man’s free will and in conjuring all sorts of things before him in order to tear away what he makes out of these things and let it disappear in the Eighth Sphere.’7 This wrestling of free will away from the individual has entered popular mythology in the symbolism of the devil tempting, or bargaining for, the human soul (such as in Goethe’s Faust).

The temptations on offer to the individual from these evolutionary counterforces are varied. Another subterfuge, according to Steiner, is that these forces pretend that the Eighth Sphere is the realm of the dead – of loved ones who have passed over the veil. Through seances and mediums, people are fooled into communicating with spectres of the Eighth Sphere rather than with genuine human souls in the spirit realms. This spiritualist trap, or fallacy, reached its peak during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century as mediums, seances, and the world of Spiritism (Allan Kardec) became the fashion. The domain of the dead may very well be the realm of the shadows, and the seances are their portals – exactly as described earlier by occultist Mark Hedsel. Here we have a perfect example of how the Inversion operates; it reverses the actuality and from this conjures up a substitute reality. Steiner, amongst others, warns us that everything capable of bringing the human being/soul into connection with the Eighth Sphere must be rejected. Today we see that announcements of visionary clairvoyants are often greeted with wonder and awe and raised to social media celebrity status. We should be wary, and use discretion, when it comes to pseudo-spiritual announcements about channellings, New Age marketing, and other elements that claim to be from ‘visionary clairvoyance.’ It could very well be that these are aspects coming from the shadowy world of the Eighth Sphere.

Likewise, whenever people, both individually and collectively, have their freedoms curtailed, their free will bent by persuasion, propaganda, or force, and their sovereign rights suppressed, then they are being steered towards the de-evolutionary realm of the Eighth Sphere. Any society that does not protect the freedom and free will of the human individual is fostering a society of enslavement. And enslavement, whether through force or willing compliance, is an environment ideally suited to the domination of entropic, counter-evolutionary forces. In our times, this may be emerging through the machinic impulse and the rise of hyper-materialism, as I have endeavoured to show through these essays. These are the forces, influences, and impulses of the Inversion – and not of Greater Reality. However, the transcendental impulses of the Greater Reality are continually permeating the lesser reality of our inverted realm – and to this I shall now turn…

… to be continued



1 Harrison, C.G. (1893/2021) The Transcendental Universe. Azafran Books, 2021, p21

2 Harrison, C.G. (1893/2021) The Transcendental Universe. Azafran Books, 2021, p88

3 Hedsel, Mark (1998) The Zelator. London: Century.

4 Steiner, Rudolf, The Occult Movement in the Nineteenth Century’ –

5 ibid

6 ibid

7 ibid


[i] These lectures were subsequently published under the title of The Transcendental Universe (Temple Lodge, 1998; Azafran Books, 2021)

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