Following the teaching
Barfield uses Ahriman to mean that Spirit Being
within man's consciousness which seeks to trap the mind within a "cockney
wakefulness that forgets it has ever dreamed at all" (UV 71). Ahriman
endeavors to utterly obliterate mankind's sense of the past;
snobbery is his handiwork.
The work of Ahriman
is directly opposite to that of Lucifer. Each
serves a pivotal role in the evolution
of consciousness as a whole.
Detected and understood,
they [Ahriman and Lucifer] may be balanced against each other in such a
way that both of them will work in the psyche as rightful energy. Undetected
they co-operate, all the more intricately, all the more subtly, because
of the opposite directions from which their impulses come. It is this that
enables them to play so skillfully into one another's hands in their joint
exploitation of humanity. (UV 57)
Ahriman's real purpose,
as Burgeon learns from
the Meggid in Unancestral
Voice, is "to destroy everything in human thinking which depends on
a certain warmth, to replace wonder by sophistication, courtesy by vulgarity,
understanding by calculation, imagination by statistics" (59). When C.
S. Lewis describes an individual (in That Hideous Strength)
serves as well as both "the peculiar opponent and the peculiar underling
of Michael. He is in truth the dragon underneath
the archangel's feet" (UV 59).
had had the curious effect of making things that he read and wrote more
real to him than things he saw. Statistics about agricultural laborers
were the substance; any real ditcher, ploughman, or farmer's boy, was the
shadow. Though he had never noticed it himself, he had a great reluctance,
in his work, ever to use such words as "man" or "woman." He preferred to
write about "vocational groups," "elements," "classes," and "populations"
. . .
he has noticed, Barfield
would say, the effects of Ahriman at work.
"The aim of Ahriman,"
can be summarized as follows:
to anticipate the
future, precociously; to bring about, long before their appointed time,
conditions which, if all goes well, will rightly obtain in the future,
but which can only appear in the present as a wicked caricature. In pursuit
of this aim he will persuade you, if he can, to eradicate the past instead
of transforming it. He abhors tradition. History is his bane. He operates
in the present age, principally in the field of mind, leaving the feelings
free for Lucifer to exploit. (UV 59)
|See in particular
Lucifer and Ahriman (London: Steiner Press, 1954).