The principle of evil in Persian mythology. As Angra Mainya, â€˜the destructive spiritâ€™, who first introduced death into the world, he led the forces of evil against the host of Spenta Mainya, â€˜the holy spiritâ€™, who assisted Ahura Mazdah, â€˜the wise lordâ€™ â€“ the final victor of the cosmic struggle. â€˜In the beginning,â€™ said Zoroaster, â€˜the twin spirits were known as the one good and the other evil, in thought, word, and deed. Between them the wise chose rightly, not so the fools. And when these spirits met they established life and death so that in the end the followers of deceit should meet with the worst existence, but the followers of truth with the wise lord.â€™ answers.com
Angra Mainyu (alt: AÅ‹ra Mainiuu) is the Avestan-language name of Zoroastrianism's hypostasis of the "destructive spirit" - the "Angry Man". The Middle Persian equivalent is Ahriman. (wikipedia)
"Here the fulcrum; on the one side the scale pan with the Luciferic element, pulling upward; on the other side the scale pan with the Ahrimanic element, pulling downward. To keep the scales in perfect balance signifies the essential being of man. â€¦ We have to deal with three main factors in cosmic existence, namely: the Luciferic element, representing the one scale of the balance, the Ahrimanic element, representing the other scale of the balance, and the state of equilibrium which represents the Christ impulse." Rudolf Steiner, The Mission of the Archangel Michael, lectures in 1918-1919, Anthroposophic Press 1961, pp. 8-9
"If while in a railway carriage or steamer someone who has taken the first steps towards initiation wants to find his way into the spiritual world in meditation, he naturally makes efforts to develop the power of vision and seership which will bear him thither; but he perceives how the Ahrimanic world fills him with everything that opposes this striving to reach the spiritual world, and the battle then waged is intensely fierce. It is an inner battle, producing in the etheric body an experience of being crushed, hacked to pieces. Naturally, those who have taken no steps on the way to initiation are also involved in this battle, the only difference being that those who have taken these steps are consciously aware of what is happening. Everybody is obliged to undergo the battle; in its effects it is experienced by everybody. There would be no greater fallacy than to say: We must rebel against what technical science has brought to us in modern life, we must protect ourselves from Ahriman, we must withdraw from this modern life.
"In a certain respect such an attitude would be an indication of spiritual cowardice. The real remedy lies, not in allowing the forces of the soul to weaken and to withdraw from modern life, but in so strengthening these forces that its pandemonium can be endured." [Rudolf Steiner, Technology and Art: Their Bearing on Modern Culture, lecture in 1914]
Steiner - The Ahrimanic Deception