The Life, Nature, and Cultivation of Anthroposophy
X. On how to present Anthroposophical Truths
23 March 1924
There will be the more life in the imparting of anthroposophical truths the more they are presented from the most varied points of view, in the most manifold descriptions. For this reason, active members in the Society should not be afraid of treating the same subject again and again in their Group meetings. Only they should always approach it from different directions. We shall be led to this quite naturally if our attitude to the questions of others is as I described in my last letter. Along this line we first gain a real insight into the livingness of anthroposophical knowledge. We feel how every thought or picture in which we clothe it must needs be incomplete. We feel that what we bear in our soul is infinitely richer than what we can express in thought; and as we grow aware of this more clearly, the reverence for the spiritual life increases in us. Now this reverence must be present in all anthroposophical descriptions. It must be one of the fundamental notes. Where such reverence is absent, there is no power in the discussion of anthroposophical truths.
As to this element of power — we should never try to bring it by external means into our talk on Anthroposophy. We should just let it evolve out of the living feeling which we have towards the truths of Anthroposophy, realising that as we grasp them in our soul we approach the reality of the spiritual world. This will give a certain mood to our soul; for certain moments, our soul will feel itself absolutely given up to the thought about the spiritual world. In such moments the reverence for the Spiritual is born in a perfectly natural and unconstrained way.
The beginning of all true meditation lies in the development of such a mood. Whoever is unable to love it will in vain apply the rules for attaining knowledge of the spiritual world. For it is in this mood that the Spiritual, which lies in the depths of the human soul, is called into consciousness; Man thereby unites himself with his own spiritual being, and it is in this union alone that he can find the Spiritual in the World. It is only the Spirit in Man that can approach the Spirit in the Universe.
If the active members in the Society can gain these deep moments of feeling then when others come to them for advice they will find in themselves an increased power to perceive what their fellow-man is really wanting. Often it is hard for a man to explain clearly what it is that deeply moves his soul. All too easily he who is asked will miss the real need of his questioner; and the latter will rightly feel that after all he has not received a proper answer. But if he is in the condition of soul that comes from such inner feelings as above described, he will have the power to loosen the tongue of his questioner. The latter will gain that true and deep confidence which gives life to the communication of anthroposophical truths. Something will then enter in, enabling the questioner to take the answer he receives as a starting-point from which he can proceed independently in the quest of his spiritual needs. He will perhaps have the feeling that though the answer may not contain all he was looking for, he will now be in a position to help himself along the way. An inner feeling of strength will come into his soul in place of the powerless or helpless feeling which was there before. And this feeling of strength was what he really wanted when he came to ask his questions.
We should not imagine that the answers to burning questions of the soul can be found in mere feelings or without clear thought. But a thought evolved in cold seclusion and indifference to feeling can find no path into the human soul. On the other hand we should not be afraid that our feeling might mar the objective nature of our thought. For it would only do so if it had failed to enter, through the above-described mood of the soul, into the deep spiritual being that lies hidden in each one.