The Mystery of Death
13. Common Ground Above Us, Christ In Us
15 June 1915, Düsseldorf
We come together today, my dear friends, first and foremost, to commit the celebration of the institution of that branch which has been founded by our dear friend professor Craemer and which will dedicate its forces to the spiritual life of the present and of the future in the way of our spiritual-scientific movement. On such an occasion it is always good to think of the real sense of our union in single branches, to ask us: why do we come together as study groups, and why do we care for the spiritual wealth within such study groups to which we want to dedicate our abilities? If we want to answer this question correctly, we must get clear in our mind that we still separate our work which we perform here in a certain way, even if only in thoughts, from the way preparing our other work.
That human being in our present who generally does not want to familiarise himself with certain more intimate truth of the spiritual progress of humankind could ask: could you not simply care for spiritual science, without uniting in single closed groups, while you find lecturers and freely gather human beings who also do not know themselves and can come together to let their souls get to know the spiritual wealth about which you talk? — Of course, we could also proceed that way. But as long as it is possible for us in any way to produce connections of human beings in the farther and narrower sense who know themselves who are connected in certain respect most friendly and brotherly in these study groups, we want to do this out of full consciousness of our attitude connected with spiritual science. Since it is not without reason that with us human beings meet for the care of the more intimate part of our spiritual wealth who vow to themselves seriously to be together in brotherly love and unity. Not only that it has a certain significance for the way as we associate with each other that we can speak in a quite different way if we know, we speak to related, with us consciously connected souls, not only that this is that way, but it is something different. Indeed, we do something with such a union in the single branches that is connected intimately with the whole view which we must have of our spiritual movement if we understand it in the deepest inside. Our spiritual movement has to penetrate our consciousness that it has not only significance for the sensory and intellectual existence of the human beings. Our spiritual movement has to realise that our souls search for a real and true connection with the spiritual worlds through it. We must say to ourselves as it were with consciousness repeatedly: while we cultivate spiritual science, we transport our souls in certain way to those worlds which not only earthly beings, but which the beings of the higher hierarchies, the beings of the invisible worlds inhabit as their place of existence.
That we are therein as it were, that our work has significance for these invisible worlds that we are in these invisible worlds really — it is this of which we become fully aware at our work. Indeed, it is in a certain way that within the spiritual world the spiritual work, which we do, while we co-operate — knowing each other — in single study groups, has a different significance than if we performed such a work not within such study groups, but without, dispersed in the world. So the working together within our groups in brotherly unity has a different significance for the spiritual worlds than the work which we could otherwise perform. To understand this completely we must remember something significant that faced us at our spiritual-scientific work of the last years in manifold way.
Let us consider that our earth development took place for us human beings so that in the post-Atlantean age this earth development was carried by that cultural community we call the Ancient Indian culture-epoch. This culture-epoch was continued by that which we term with a more or less matching expression — it does not depend on that now — Ancient Persian culture-epoch. Then the Egypt-Chaldean-Babylonian culture-epoch, the Greek-Latin epoch followed, then our fifth post-Atlantean culture-epoch. Any such culture-epoch has to care for that in culture and in spiritual life in particular which is allotted to it at first for the external visible world. But at the same time every such culture-epoch must prepare, must bear in its womb, as it were, what should come there in the next culture-epoch.
The first post-Atlantean culture-epoch, the Ancient Indian one, had to prepare the Ancient Persian one in its womb, the Ancient Persian epoch the Egypt-Chaldean one and so on. Our fifth post-Atlantean culture-epoch must prepare the sixth culture-epoch of the next age. I emphasised repeatedly that it is our spiritual-scientific task not only to learn — that is all right — and gain spiritual wealth for our individual souls; this is allotted to us for the eternal life of our souls. However, it is also our task to prepare what the sixth culture-epoch should have as its contents for its particular external work. It was in each of the single post-Atlantean culture-epochs that way. The sites where that was prepared which was the externally significant for the next culture-epoch were the mystery sites. These were unions of human beings where different matters were cultivated than the external world did.
You also know that it mattered particularly that the first post-Atlantean culture-epoch, the Ancient Indian culture-epoch, cultivated the human etheric body, the Ancient Persian one the astral body, the Egypto-Chaldean one the sentient soul, the Greek-Latin epoch the intellectual or mind-soul. Our culture-epoch cultivates and develops the consciousness-soul up to its end. That must be prepared which delivers, as it were, the contents, the character of the external culture in the sixth culture-epoch. This sixth culture-epoch will have various characteristics in itself, various characteristics which differ even very much from the characteristics of our time. Above all we can emphasise three characteristics of which we must know that we must already carry them as our ideals for the sixth post-Atlantean culture-epoch in our hearts that we have to prepare them for this sixth culture-epoch.
Something does not yet exist in the human community what will be there in the sixth culture-epoch with those human beings who reached the aim of the sixth culture-epoch who did not lag behind this aim; they are not among those who are maniacs or barbarians in the sixth culture-epoch. In the sixth culture-epoch the culturally leading human beings will have a moral characteristic, as it were, as one of the most important characteristics.
Now only a little of this characteristic is to be noticed within humankind. Today the human being must be organised more sensitive if it should hurt him in his soul that except his own existence he has to look at other human beings in the world who have it worse than he has it. Indeed, already today more sensitive souls also feel grief because of the grief which is poured on many human beings in the world — but these must be more sensitive souls. In the sixth culture-epoch, those human beings who are at the peak of this culture not only feel as pain what we today feel as pain of misery, grief, and poverty which are wide-spread, but then the human being feels any grief of another human being as his own grief. If he sees a starving human being, he feels the hunger so lively in his physical nature that this hunger of the fellowman is intolerable to him. What is indicated here that it is not in the sixth culture-epoch any more as it is still in the fifth epoch, that rather it is a moral characteristic of the sixth culture-epoch that the welfare of the single human being completely depends on the welfare of all the human beings. As well as now only the welfare of a single human member depends on the health of the whole body, and if the whole human being is not healthy, also the single member is not in the mood to do this or that, a common characteristic seizes the civilised humankind of the sixth culture-epoch. The individual human being will share, like a member of the totality, all the suffering, all the need, all the poverty or wealth to a much higher degree. This is the first, mainly moral characteristic of the civilised humankind in the sixth culture-epoch.
The second characteristic will be that everything we call religious goods depends on the individual human being to a much higher degree than this is the case today. Spiritual science expresses that in such a way that in any religious field in the sixth culture-epoch entire freedom of thought and longing for the freedom of thought seize the human beings. Everything is put into the strength of the individuality that a human being wants to believe and wants to be convinced in particular in religious respect. Religious relationship, as it exists even today so often, religious relationship, which prevails among the single human communities most differently, will no longer rule over that part of humankind in the sixth culture-epoch which is then the civilised one. Everybody feels as a necessary characteristic of human beings that in the field of religion entire freedom of thought holds sway.
The third characteristic will be that the human beings of the sixth culture-epoch only suppose to have knowledge generally if they recognise that spirituality is spread out in the world and that the human souls must be united with the spiritual. What one calls science today, and what has a materialistic colouring as a science, is not called science in the sixth culture-epoch at all. One will consider it as an old superstition which can only be characteristic for those human beings who remained on the level of the fifth post-Atlantean culture-epoch. Today we regard it as an old superstition, if the black thinks that no limb of his body may be separated from his body after his death, because he cannot enter the spiritual world as a whole human being. The black connects the idea of immortality with pure materialism, with the conviction that any copy of his complete form must enter the spiritual world. He thinks materialistically, but believes in immortality, whereas we know today from our spiritual science that we have to separate the spiritual element from the body and that only the spiritual element enters the supersensible world. As well as we must today look at that materialistic faith of immortality as a superstition, any materialistic confidence, also that of science, is an old superstition in the sixth post-Atlantean culture-epoch. As science only will be regarded by the human beings what is founded, as spiritual science says, on pneumatology, on spirituality.
You see, our spiritual science is completely intended to prepare the above-mentioned matters for the sixth culture-epoch. We try to cultivate spiritual science to overcome materialism and to prepare that way what must be there in the sixth culture-epoch as science. We found human communities in which nothing of any trust in authority, of recognition of a doctrine may hold sway, only because it is delivered from the one or the other personality. We found human communities in which everything must be built on the free agreement of the soul to the teaching. We prepare what spiritual science calls freedom of thought. While we unite in brotherly unions to care for our spiritual science, we prepare what should penetrate the sixth post-Atlantean culture-epoch.
But even deeper we have to look at the course of the human development if we completely want to understand what is about our brotherly unions, actually. In the first post-Atlantean culture-epoch one also cultivated what held sway then in the second culture-epoch in the communities which were mysteries in those days. That is, the astral body was nurtured already in the special unions of the first post-Atlantean, the Ancient Indian culture-epoch. It would go too far if one wanted to describe what was nurtured in these special unions of the ancient India, different from the external ancient Indian culture, to prepare the Ancient Persian culture-epoch. But this should be said if these human beings of the Ancient Indian culture-epoch united to prepare the second culture-epoch, then they felt: this is not yet reached; this is not yet with us which will be with us when our souls are reincarnated in the next culture-epoch. This hovers, as it were, still over us.
It is correct that way. In this first culture-epoch was that still hovering over the souls which should descend in the second epoch only, one would like to say, from the heaven onto earth. The work was managed in such a way that the spirits of the higher hierarchies got the forces ascending from the work which the human beings performed on earth in closer unions, in mystery unions, so that they could nurture that which had to descend then as contents of the astral body to the souls of the human beings in the second, the Ancient Persian culture-epoch. One would like to say, they existed as little children who descended as adults down to the souls who were embodied in ancient Persian bodies. Above in the spiritual world they received the forces of the human work which flowed from below, preparing the next culture-epoch, and these forces nurtured the forces which had to flow down then. Thus it must be in any further culture-epoch.
In our culture-epoch, it must be in such a way that we realise: what developed in us by the usual civilisation must be the consciousness-soul. It must be that which since the fourteenth, fifteenth, sixteenth centuries started seizing the human beings as a science, as an external materialistic consciousness that will spread out farther, and is completely developed until the end of the fifth culture-epoch. That, however, which must seize the sixth culture-epoch must be the spirit-self. Then the spirit-self must be developed in the souls like now the consciousness soul is developed. However, this is the characteristic of the spirit-self that it presupposes these three traits of which I have spoken in the human souls as spiritual science says it: brotherly social living together, freedom of thought, and pneumatology. A human community just needs these characteristics within which the spirit-self is developed as the consciousness-soul in our souls of the fifth post-Atlantean culture-epoch by the external culture. Hence, we are allowed to imagine that, because we unite in study groups brotherly, that hovers invisibly over our work. It is like the child of those forces which are the forces of the spirit-self which is cultivated by the beings of the higher hierarchies, so that it can flow down into our souls when they are there again in the sixth culture-epoch. In our brotherly study groups we perform work which flows up to the growing forces preparing the spirit-self.
So you see how we can understand basically only from the wealth of wisdom of our spiritual science what we do, actually, concerning our connection with the higher spiritual worlds if we unite in such study groups. The idea that we do such a work, which we perform in our study groups not only for our egotism, but that we do it that it flows up to the spiritual worlds. The idea of this work in connection with the spiritual worlds gives the right inauguration to a working branch. While we have such an idea, we penetrate ourselves with the idea of inauguration which founds such a study group within our spiritual movement. Hence, it is of a particular significance that we grasp this fact very spiritually. We meet in study groups which dive their work in brotherly co-operation except that they do spiritual science, pneumatological science, except that they want to be founded on freedom of thought and know nothing of any dogma, nothing of any religious coercion. It depends on whether we take up this idea of community correctly in our consciousness that we say to ourselves: except that we as present souls belong to the fifth post-Atlantean culture-epoch and develop individually, get out the individual-personal of the community life, we have to feel a higher community, which we found on free brotherly love, like a magic breath we inhale in our study groups.
This is the deep meaning of the West-European culture: that the consciousness-soul should be searched for within the fifth post-Atlantean culture. It is the task of the West-European and particularly the Central European culture that the human beings develop an individual culture, an individual consciousness more and more in their souls. It depends on that in the present. We can compare our culture-epoch with the Greek one, the Roman one. In the Greek culture-epoch, it is especially remarkable that the group-soul holds sway particularly, a consciousness of a group-soul just among the civilised Greeks. Somebody who lived and was born in Athens felt as an Athenian above all. This community of the city and that which belongs to it had a different significance for the individual human being than a human community has today. Today, the human being wants to grow out of the community, and this is the right task of the fifth post-Atlantean culture-epoch. In Rome, the human being was nothing but a Roman citizen; this was that which he was first and foremost. However, the time has come in the fifth post-Atlantean culture-epoch in which we want to be a human being above all, a human being and nothing but a human being in our innermost nature.
We experience so painfully today that the human beings quarrel on earth. That is only a reaction to the incessant striving of the fifth culture-epoch for free development of general humanness. While the single countries and peoples shut off themselves today, the forces should be developed in this opposition all the more which allow the human beings to be completely human beings and to grow out of any kind of community. That is why they must again prepare the communities, which are founded on full consciousness, which they will freely join in the sixth culture-epoch, which they impose on themselves only. We have this community in mind like a lofty ideal which comprises the sixth culture-epoch, so that it will be a matter of course that the civilised human beings stand facing each other sincerely like brothers and sisters.
We know from the numerous talks which were held during the past years that in the East of Europe people live that have a vocation in particular to develop that which is as elementary forces in them only in the sixth culture-epoch. We know that the Russian people are ripe only in the sixth culture-epoch to develop the forces which exist in them elementarily today. Western Europe and Central Europe have the vocation to develop that in the human souls which can be brought in by the consciousness-soul. The East does not have this vocation. The East of Europe has to wait, until the spirit-self descends on earth and can penetrate the human souls. This has often been mentioned; we have to understand it rightly. If it is understood wrongly, it can lead very easily to arrogance just in the East.
The summit of the post-Atlantean culture is already reached in the fifth post-Atlantean culture-epoch. A downward development follows in the sixth and seventh culture-epochs. However, it will take place in such a way that this downward cultural development in the sixth culture-epoch is inspired, is penetrated by the spirit-self. Today, the human being of the East who is called by the spirits of the East “the Russian human being” feels instinctively, but one would like to say, often rather wrongly instinctively, that it is certain way; he mostly has an extremely unclear consciousness of it. It is typical that this expression “the Russian human being” could arise so often. A genius holds sway in language if such a matter is got out of the language and one does not say like in the West: the Briton, the French, the Italian, the German, but “the Russian human being.” Many Russian intellectuals attach a certain value to the fact that one always says “the Russian human being.” This is deeply founded in the genius of the corresponding culture. One means that which spreads out as humanness, as it were, as brotherliness over a common characteristic. One wants to indicate it using the term human. But one shows at the same time that one is not yet on the summit which one has to reach in distant future, while one adds something that is basically contradictory to the noun. The “Russian” human being: one takes back, as it were, in the adjective what is expressed in the noun. Since if humanness is to be reached, it must not have any such adjective which again makes this humanness something excluding.
But presently something is founded much deeper just in the members of the Russian intelligence that a certain idea of community has to hold sway, an idea of brotherliness. In this regard the Russian soul already feels: the spirit-self descends once, however, it can descend only to a human community which is filled with brotherliness. It can never spread out in a human community which is not filled with brotherliness. That is why the Russian intellectuals, as they are called, accuse the West of Europe and also Central Europe. They say: you do not pay attention at all to that which is a real community life, you only care for individualism. Everybody wants to be an individual; everybody wants to be individuality. You take the personal, through which any single human being feels as a self, as an individuality, to extremes.
This is that which sounds in a lot of reproaches concerning barbarity et cetera to Central Europe and Western Europe from the East. Those who want to realise what is there, actually, say: Western Europe and Central Europe have already lost any sensitivity of human connections. While one confuses present with future, one says: the real human connections where everybody feels as the brother of his fellowman where somebody who stands above the other feels as his “daddy” and “mummy,” real human community life is only in Russia. — The Russian intelligence states that. That is why it says, the West-European Christianity did not manage to care for the real human community life. The Russian still knows, they say, the community. Such an excellent Russian intellectual like Aleksander Herzen, 1Aleksander Ivanovich Herzen (1812–1870) living in the nineteenth century, said as the last consequence: in Western Europe, happiness can never come into being. Whatever may be attempted in the West-European culture and civilisation, happiness will never come into being there. Humankind is never able to be contented. There only chaos can prevail. The only blessing lies in the Russian nature where the human beings have not yet separated from the community life where they have something else like a group-soul in their villages to which they stick.
What we call group-soul of which humankind has struggled out gradually and in which still completely the animal nature lives inside, just the Russian intellectuals revere this with their people as something particularly great and significant. They cannot rise to the thought that they should have in mind the future community life as a lofty ideal, an ideal which only has to be asserted. They stick to the thought: we look at that which has remained to us as the last in Europe. The others have already lifted themselves out of the group-soul, we have still kept it; we must keep it.
In future, it is not allowed to live in the group-soul in reality, because this is the old way of living in the group-soul. It would get a luciferic colouring remaining on a former level, while the true life in the group-soul which is to be striven for is that which we search for within our spiritual science. But you can recognise just by the desire and the longing of the Russian human beings, in particular of the intellectuals, that one needs the community spirit to the descent of the spirit-self. As it is searched for there only on wrong ways, it must be searched for in our spiritual-scientific current correctly. We would like to call to the East: we must just overcome what you try to preserve externally: the old luciferic-ahrimanic community.
The community life of luciferic and ahrimanic type will have such a firm religious coercion as the Orthodox remaining Catholic Church in Russia had to found it. This community life does not understand the freedom of thought, and it cannot rise to the complete individuality and, nevertheless, to the social brotherly living together least of all. Hence, it would like to preserve what has stuck to blood brotherhood, to mere unity by blood. Spiritual science has to strive for a community which is based not on the blood, but on the spirit, on the community of the souls. It is that which we strive for, while we say to ourselves: we must strive for communities in which the blood does not speak any more. The blood will survive, of course, it will enjoy life in family connections — what must remain is not extirpated, but something new must come into being. What is significant in the child will be preserved in the forces of the old aged human being, but the human being has to do something new in his later age.
The role of the blood must not be reinterpreted in such a way, as if it encompasses the big human communities of the future. This is the big mistake, which the East contributed in these bloody events that one unleashed a war under the title of a community of the Slavic peoples based on the blood. There everything is a contributory factor in our destiny-burdened time that I have now explained and that again contains the right core in itself, namely the instinctive feeling: the spirit-self can appear only in a brotherly community. However, it must not be a community of the blood, but it must be a community of the souls. What arises then as a community of the souls we care for this in its infancy in our study groups, in our branches. As the East of Europe sticks to the group-soul, calling, for example, the Slavic group soul something that it does not want to leave that on the contrary it wants to consider as the encompassing principle of forming states, this is something that must be overcome.
It is a great and very important symbol that the two states from which the war originated call on the one side blood brotherhood as the reason of the war — Russia with all the Slavs — and the other state, which stands facing it, has thirteen official peoples and thirteen languages. The mobilisation in Austria had to be issued in thirteen languages, because thirteen peoples are united in Austria: Germans, Czechs, Poles, Ruthenians (Ukrainians), Rumanians, Hungarians, Slovaks, Serbians, Croatians, Slovenes — and an additional particular Slovenish dialect, — Bosnians, Dalmatians and Italians. Thirteen different peoples are united in Austria that way, apart from any small differentiations. Whether one sees this or not, it shows that this Austria consists of a interrelation of human beings where the common characteristic can never be founded upon blood brotherhood, because from thirteen different origins comes that into being which prevails within this peculiar region. One would like to say, the most composed state of Europe faces that state which mostly strives for something like a group-soul or for conformity.
But this striving for something like a group-soul has something different as consequence. Now we still find something that we may remember today as significant. Yesterday in the public lecture, I have already mentioned the great philosopher Solovyov as one of the most significant spirits of Russia. Solovyov is actually an excellent spirit, but a quite Russian spirit. He is a spirit who is exceptionally hard to understand from the West-European point of view. But anthroposophists should get to know him. Those who stand on the ground of spiritual science should get to know him; they should be able to bring themselves to understand Solovyov to a certain degree. Now I want to put, I would like to say, a prime and central idea of Solovyov once before your souls from our intimate point of view. Solovyov is too much a philosopher, as that he could really accept the group-soul for himself so easily. The matter makes trouble for him, and he comes into various contradictions. But he is not completely controlled with an idea, so that one has to say: if this Solovyov is clairvoyant that he may behold in advance what his soul only can see on earth when it is incarnated in the sixth culture-epoch.
The idea which is hard to understand to the West- European from its starting point, of course, also to the Central European, became a prime and central idea with Solovyov. This is the following. We in Western Europe look just for that which we care for as the preparation of the sixth culture-epoch, among a lot of other things, to understand death in its significance for life. We try to understand how death is the appearance of a way of life, how the soul is transformed in death to another way of life. We describe how the human being lives in his body, and what he experiences between death and new birth. We try to understand death. We try to overcome death, while we understand it, while we show that it is only an appearance that the soul lives in truth, while it goes through death. But this is the main thing to us that we try to overcome death through understanding.
However, there we have, for example, one of the points, one of the most principal points, which distinguishes our spiritual-scientific striving completely from the idea of Solovyov, the great Russian spirit: there is evil in the world, there is the bad in the world. The bad, the evil is there in the world. If we look with our senses at the evil, the bad, then we cannot deny that the world is full of the bad. This contradicts the belief, Solovyov says, that the world is divine. Why can you believe in a divine world if you look at the world with your senses, because a divine world cannot explain the bad. But the senses see the bad everywhere and the worst is death. Because death is in the world, the world appears in its entire badness, in its entire evil. The primal evil is death.
This is Solovyov's characteristic of the world. He says — I quote almost literally: look at the world with your bare senses. Try to understand the world with your bare reason. There you can never deny the evil in the world. It would be absurd to strive for an understanding of death. Death is there. It appears. A sensory knowledge can never recognise death. Hence, the sensory knowledge shows a bad world, a world of the evil. Can we believe now — Solovyov says — that this world is divine if it shows us that it is full of evil? If it shows us death wherever we go? We can never believe that this world, which shows us death, is a divine one. Since the evil cannot be in God, cannot be the primal evil at all. Death cannot be in God. If God came to the world — I repeat almost literally what Solovyov says — if God came to the world if He appeared in the world, could we believe Him easily that He is God? No, we could not believe God easily that He is God. He would only have to prove His identity. If a being came and stated, he were God, then we would not believe him. Then he would only have to prove his identity. It would have to show only something — Solovyov speaks that way — as a world document, something through which we can recognise: this is God.
We cannot find such a thing in the world. God cannot prove His identity through that which is in the world, because everything that is in the world is contradictory to the divine. How can He prove His identity? He only can prove His identity that He shows when He came into the world that He defeated death that death can do no harm to Him. Never would we believe that Christ is God if He did not prove His identity. He did it, while He rose again, while He showed that the primal evil, death, is not in Him. — So we have a consciousness of God which is only based on a real, historical Resurrection of Christ, which legitimised God as God. Nothing in the world but the Resurrection reveals to us that there is God. If Christ did not rise — this saying of St. Paul is principal, Solovyov quotes it repeatedly, — all our faith would be null and void. Everything would be null and void that we can say about something divine in the world.
Hence, the sentence of Solovyov: if we look at the world, we only see evil and bad, decay and futility everywhere in the world. If Christ did not rise again, the world would be pointless. So Christ rose again. — Notice this sentence well. For this sentence is a cardinal sentence of one of the greatest spirits of the East. If Christ did not rise again, the world would be pointless. So Christ rose again! — Solovyov said: there may be people who believe, it would not be logical if I say: if Christ did not rise again, the world would be pointless; so He rose again! — However, this is a much better logic — Solovyov means, — than all logic which you can hold out towards me.
I have shown you definitely, just in this peculiar demanding of a document for the divinity of God by Solovyov, how peculiar the thoughts are in the East; how peculiarly the thoughts ascend to seize once that by which God shows directly that He is God. How different it is in the West, how different in Central Europe. What do we use our spiritual-scientific striving for? Try to compare and to take an overview of everything that we do in spiritual science. What does it have as an objective at which we get then? We want to realise, out of the knowledge, that the world has a sense that the world has significance that evil and decay are not only in it. Using immediate knowledge we want to understand that the world has a sense. We just want to prepare ourselves for experiencing Christ while we understand that the world has a sense. We want to grasp the living Christ. Indeed, as a gift, as a mercy of Christ we want to accept all this. We know that it can be given us according to the saying: I will be with you always, to the end of time. 2Matthew 28:20 We want to accept everything that Christ promises to us perpetually. Since He speaks not only by means of the Gospels but also in our souls. He means this with the saying: I will be with you always, to the end of time. He can always be found as living Christ. We want to live in Him, take up Him in us: not I, but Christ in me. 3“not I, but Christ in me or the life I now live is not my life, but the life which Christ lives in me:” Galatians 2:20 This is our most principal Pauline saying: the life I now live is not my life, but the life which Christ lives in me. So that we see by Him: everywhere we get, there is sense. Faust already wanted to say this, while he expressed his whole world view in the words:
Spirit sublime, all that for which I prayed,
all that you now have granted me. In fire
you showed your face to me, but not in vain.
You gave me for my realm all Nature's splendor,
with power to feel and to enjoy it. You grant
not only awed, aloof acquaintanceship,
you let me look deep down into her heart
as if it were the bosom of a friend.
You lead the ranks of living beings past me,
and teach me thus to know my fellow creatures
in air and water and in silent wood.
And when the storm-swept forest creaks and groans,
when, as it falls, the giant fir strips down
and crushes neighbouring boughs and trunks, and when
the hill echoes its fall as muffled thunder,
you guide me to the safety of a cave,
reveal my self to me, and then my heart's
profound and secret wonders are unveiled.
Faust I, verses 3217–3234
We have to comprehend the external and internal things, to grasp sense everywhere, to comprehend death as something significant that it is the passage from one life form to the other life form. While we search for the living Christ, then we also follow Him through death and resurrection. We do not start from the resurrection like the East European human being. We follow Christ Who inspires us, Whom we take up in our Imaginations. We follow Christ up to death. We follow Him not only, while we say: ex deo nascimur, — but while we say: in Christo morimur. — We observe the world and know that the world is the document by which God expresses His divinity. We cannot say in the West, while we want to experience and grasp the spiritual weaving and prevailing: we require a document if God comes into the world and has to identify Himself, — but we search for God everywhere. In nature and in the human souls we search for God.
That is why this fifth post-Atlantean culture-epoch also needs what we cultivate in our brotherly branches. It needs the conscious care, as it were, of that spiritual aura which still hovers over us which is nurtured by the spirits of the higher hierarchies and flows into the human souls when they live in the sixth culture-epoch. We do not want to turn to anything dead, like the East to something like a group-soul, to the rest of a community life. We want to care for the living from its infancy on, and this is the community spirit of our branches. We do not want to look at that which rumbles there below in the blood to call together only those with whom something common rumbles in the blood and care for that in any community. We want to call together the human beings who resolve to be brothers and sisters and feel the good genius of brotherliness hovering over them, while they care for spiritual science.
We take up this as an inauguration thought at the first meeting of one of our branches. We open a branch that way when we found it. Community life and liveliness. We search for community life above ourselves, the living Christ in ourselves, Who needs no document that authenticates Him only because of His Resurrection. He is authenticated, because we experience Him in ourselves. Community life above us, Christ in us: we make this our motto, our inauguration motto, while we found a branch. We know: if two or three or seven or many are united in this sense in the name of Christ, in those Christ is alive. All the human beings who acknowledge Christ as their brother in this sense are sisters and brothers. Christ will accept this human being as his brother who accepts the other human being as his brother.
If we are able to take up such an inauguration motto in ourselves, to do our work with such an attitude, then the right spirit of our spiritual-scientific movement prevails in this work. Also in this difficult time, our spiritual-scientific friends from out of town have united with those who have here founded their branch. This is always a nice custom. Since thereby the others who work in other branches carry the inauguration thoughts, the inauguration motto outwards. They vow to each other to think always of those who have vowed in a branch to work with each other for the purposes of our movement. Thus this grows and grows which we want to found as our invisible community by the kind of our work. However, when such an attitude, connecting with our work, spreads out more and more, we do justice to the demands of spiritual science for the progress of humankind. Then we are allowed to believe that those who guide there as the Great Masters of Wisdom the human progress and the human knowledge are at our work among us. And in this respect you work here in this spiritual-scientific attitude of ours, in the same sense I know that the lofty masters, who guide our movement really from the spiritual worlds, are also in the middle of your work.
From this point of view, I call the strength and the mercy and the love of these Masters of Wisdom who direct and guide what we do as a work in brotherly unions in our branches. I call the mercy, I call the strength, and I call the love of these Masters of Wisdom, who are in immediate connection with the forces of the higher hierarchies, for the work of this branch, too. The good genius of you, Great Masters, and the good genius of our spiritual-scientific movement may be with this branch. May they prevail and work in it.