"Our very `I' consciousness is possible because the mineral earth--the first layer of the interior of the Earth--and the other chthonic regions exist. Our human nature is a reflection of the subearthly and supraearthly realms that comprise the macrocosm and the microcosm. `The true meaning of the microcosm-macrocosm analogy is not that the human being is a little cosmos, but that the cosmos is a big human being.' From this perspective, it makes complete sense that the subterranean realms described by spiritual science live within the deepest realms of our human nature and subconscious life of darker feelings and will. Deep within the human being, they radiate into the shadows of thought. This region is more familiarly known as Hell, Hades, or the Abyss. The subterranean spheres, then, are the Earth's `dark side.'" --Paul V. O'Leary (from his introduction) Throughout human history, ancient wisdom and traditional myths have placed human beings between the heavens and the underworld, describing the heavens as the light-filled realm of the gods and the source of goodness, and characterizing the underworld as a demon-filled realm of darkness and the source of evil. Modern science, however, denies the heavens and knows little of the Earth's interior--even physically--beyond the first few miles, after which it simply resorts to conjecture based on the extrapolation of existing sensory data. In other words, natural science fails to take into account that the Earth is a living, spiritual being and ignores the presence of its soul-spiritual qualities and influences. To remedy this, during the early twentieth century, Rudolf Steiner researched the psychic, spiritual, and cosmic nature of the Earth's interior. He described how the different layers of the inner Earth affect and interact with human beings living on Earth. More theologically and cosmically, he spoke of the layers of "Hell," through which the Jesus Christ traveled in the period between the Crucifixion and the Resurrection, uniting and integrating himself with the Earth and human destiny. The seven authors in The Inner Life of the Earth approach this difficult and little-discussed topic from different directions. They discuss how the forces emanating from the interior of the Earth affect the weather, our atmosphere, human beings, and how human behavior in turn affects them, showing that earthly and human evolution are a unity and should never be thought of as occurring separately. They also discuss the deep significance of Christ's incarnation, by which he united with the Earth to become the Spirit of the Earth. Without Christ's deed, the Mystery of Golgotha, which reunites cosmic and human evolution with the divine, human beings would be unable to work in freedom with Christ or with Sophia, divine feminine Wisdom, in her form as the Soul of the Earth, to overcome evil and help lift all creation toward goodness and greater human, cosmic, and divine fellowship.