Mysteries of the Sun and of the Threefold Man
25 August 1918, Dornach
Yesterday I showed you threefold man diagrammatically. It is indeed true that in our present life of spirit very little feeling exists for the understanding of man's being as it must be grasped from the standpoint of spiritual science. Nevertheless, we must bestir ourselves to get a clearer understanding of man's being. For it is out of the understanding bound up with threefold man that we are able to master also the most significant conceptions that must be gained concerning the whole of human life, including man's development between death and a new birth.
Today let me just consider in detail this threefold man. Yesterday indeed we saw how first of all we have to point to man's head. In a certain sense this human head is really a kind of independent form of being. You can picture to yourselves the human skeleton and how easily the head can be detached; it can be lifted off like a ball. It is true that in reality the separation between the three members of man's nature is not so simple that we can describe what can thus easily be lifted off like a ball as the head part. Things are not so definitely separated. We have gradually to work ourselves away from the purely diagrammatic away too, from what nature herself suggests, to a living feeling, a living experience And, as you saw, I had yesterday to draw not indeed three circles lying next each other, but one circle for the head, a second circle that overlapped the head, and a third circle that overlapped both the others. So that if we would draw threefold man diagrammatically in accordance with his physical nature, we should have to show him thus: Head part (see circle A in diagram 1; body (oval); and the limb-system; really three balls even if these balls have to be drawn out longwise. With the head part, with what is here shown as the red circle A, is connected the spiritual which is, as you saw yesterday, a young formation (see small yellow circle) This spiritual part of the head is a young spiritual formation whereas the head itself is an old physical formation, a physical form-being. For the head, what is applied to man in general is pre-eminently right; it is not right when applied thus in general but for the head it is right. What with regard to the head, I have shown here as white, spiritual, is outside the head when you are asleep. When you are awake it is united with the head and then for the most part inside the physical head. It is therefore separated most easily from the physical head, going out and coming back inside again.
That is certainly not so as soon as we come to the middle man, the breast man, shall we call him? What is enclosed by the thorax, by the breast cavity, enclosed by the ribs and the backbone, is bound up with the spiritual, and when you sleep the spiritual is not so pronouncedly outside; for this breast man during sleep it remains in close connection with the physical.
And for the third man of the limb-system, to which sex man belongs, there is practically no real separation between the sleeping and waking conditions. One definitely cannot say that the soul-spiritual actually disconnects itself in sleep; it remains more or less united. So that one can well draw this other diagram of waking man saying: when physical man is awake (see a in diagram 1) then the spiritual man would be thus (yellow with circle a) And this would be sleeping man (see b diagram 1); the spiritual remains you see more or less connected with the body, and only this goes outside. From a certain standpoint this would be the actual drawing for the contrast between waking and sleeping man.
Now if you are to understand the important things now to be described, you will only do so by crossing this membering of threefold man with another membering of man that is linked with what I was describing here recently.
And if once more we go over head, breast man, man of the limb system, we can say that in the truest sense man is only breast-man. He it is into whom the Elohim breathed the breath of life. He is the breathing man. The division here is not so simple as in the skeleton; the breathing process through nose and mouth belongs to the breast man. Thus the partition in reality is not so easy, to show diagrammatically as one would wish. However these are the difficulties to be expected in understanding a matter of this kind.
Thus the actual man, man on earth, is in a sense breast-man. And head-man, as physical form, is something that is not man through and through. It cannot be said that it is man all through. It even has in it much that is ahrimanic. In effect, it is organized as it is because certain formative principles are particularly present in it that have remained there since the old Sun — the second stage of earth-evolution. Our head, in all its complicated formation, would not be as it is had it not received its first form in those primeval days of the old Sun-evolution. Thus they are actually old, primeval formative principles today projected into the earth-sphere, and for this reason we must call them ahrimanic. Survivals of old principles are always to be looked upon according to the point of view as either ahrimanic or luciferic. The middle-man, the breast-man is what makes man of the earth, and where the principles of becoming earthly are mainly in play.
Neither is the man of the limb-system wholly man, but is permeated by the luciferic; its formative principles are not yet complete in their development, and will not be so until the earth has reached its Venus stage, or till the Jupiter age is passing over into the Venus age. By the time the Venus age has come these formative principles will be working at their full intensity, in their correct form. (He might say that today they are still developing mere shadows of the real being of this third part of man's nature, the extremities-man.) Thus we presuppose what will only be in existence at the time of Venus, and make an incomplete picture of it in seed form, not letting it go beyond the seed form.
This is how the matter stands when considered cosmically. To look cosmically at our formation, in our heats-forces we are repeating the old Sun-period, in our breast we carry the earth evolution, and in so far as we are extremity man we bear in us the seed of the Venus evolution. This is regarded from the cosmic point of view.
Considered humanly — it is rather different. There we must look upon the human individuality as it progresses from incarnation to incarnation. Then we have to say: what in this incarnation we carry as our head, shows itself to be connected with our previous incarnation; what we now bear in us as breast-man is really only related to our present incarnation; what we have in us as as extremity man will become head in our next incarnation, is already related to our next incarnation. I have said previously: there is something revealing in the head especially in its negative. If you were to take an impression of the physiognomy of your head and consider it, you would recognise in this negative much of what had its origin in your previous incarnation. 1See Lecture Z 104. 12.VIII.1916 The Twelve Senses and the Seven Life-Processes.
It is just the other way round with the extremities man. You cannot here take an impression but must proceed differently. Think away in man the head and the breast-system. But imagine all that your hands and legs do now — make a picture of what they do. Here you have to make a kind of map. You see, every time you do anything with your hands this is done at another place. They go around outside, they come into relation with other beings. If you would paint all that your hands and legs do, if you would draw a picture of what your hands and feet, arms and legs do in the course of your life — and this would be a very animated picture! — in this drawing you would discover a complicated map, where you would find revealed what is stored up in you karmically for your next incarnation. In this map you would be able to read a great deal of the karma of your next incarnation. This is of profound significance. As the negative impression of the physiognomy when at rest, reveals in the firm outlines of the drawing, what in the previous incarnation has already happened, so what one can jot down of the movements of arms, hands, legs and feet are extraordinarily instructive about what the man will do in his next incarnation. This is particularly instructive about what he will carry out, where he will go, where his legs will take him. If you simply follow in his track to all the places where his legs will carry him, you could make a map of it. You would get remarkable patterns on which men's secret inclinations are not without their influence. Much of man's secret inclinations are not without their influence. Much of man's secret inclination is expressed in these patterns. These traces that are there are most revealing for what his next incarnation will bring to a man. Now we have been considering this from the human point of view, whereas the other was a cosmic view.
This membering of man that has the present in view signifies, however, a connection with the secrets of the old Mysteries, in which the matter was recognized in a more atavistic way, but where the secrets I have just been disclosing to you were already known. There is a beautiful saga concerning King Solomon about the certainty with which man sets his foot on the place where he is destined to meet his death. The meaning of the saga is that a definite place exists on earth where man will die, and thither man directs his footsteps. 2See Lecture Z 243. A Fragment of the Jewish Haggada This is connected with the old Mystery-Knowledge.
Now when man is living his ordinary life he has actually only his ordinary consciousness; but as we have seen this man is a highly complicated being. When he is awake, when he has his head, his most recent spiritual member, in his physical head, he knows nothing of this head. You will be right in saying: Thank God we do not know anything of our head for knowing of our head means to have a headache. Men only know about their head when it aches; then they are conscious of having a head, otherwise they are unconscious of it — unconscious to a most remarkable degree, far more so than in the case of any other member of the human physical body. Man may count himself lucky when in normal consciousness he knows nothing of his head. But beneath this consciousness of the head that ordinarily takes notice only of the outer world, that only gets as far as knowing what is around it — beneath this consciousness lies another, a kind of dream consciousness, dream-knowing. Your head, my dear friends, is always dreaming. And while you are conscious of the outer world in the way familiar to you, under the threshold of consciousness, in the subconscious, you are actually perpetually dreaming. And what you are dreaming, if you were able to bring this head dreaming into your consciousness and fully grasp it, would give you a picture, a correct comprehensive picture, of your previous incarnation. For in your head unconsciously, you are dreaming of your former incarnation. That is indeed so. There is always a slight consciousness of your previous incarnation going on, a dreaming consciousness, only it is overpowered by the strong light of of ordinary consciousness.
By the year 747 before the Mystery of Golgotha, the external consciousness had become so strong that gradually this subconsciousness of the previous incarnation was completely extinguished. Before that year, however, man knew a great deal about this dream consciousness of the head. For this reason you find everywhere at the basis of the ancient cultures repeated lives on earth treated as a fact. This is due simply to the sub-consciousness of the head not then having receded so completely into the background as it did in the course of the fourth, but principally the fifth post-Atlantean age. Even in ordinary consciousness very little is known of what is connected in a soul-spiritual way with the thorax and the middleman. It is in itself of a dream nature. This middle, thorax consciousness sometimes pushes up into man's dream consciousness, but only very chaotically and irregularly. If a man is able to breathe regularly, when his heart beat even is when in fact all the functions of man's thorax, his middle part, are in order, the consciousness of this part is not so clear as that of the head; it too in ordinary life runs its course dream fashion. We dream in our feeling, as I have stated here during past years, in feeling we dream of this middle man. But when we bring to light through consciousness, that becomes more clairvoyant, what lies in the feeling, what man experiences only in his feeling, or to put it differently, when man learns to look at what is going on in his thorax, as otherwise he can only look at what is in his head consciousness, then the consciousness of the thorax, the middle-body splits definitely into two parts. One part dreams itself back into the whole time between the previous death and the most recent birth or conception. Therefore while in your head consciousness in a dream way, in deep dreaming, you have unconsciously what was in your previous incarnation, in the dreams of your thorax you have what has meantime been passing since that incarnation up to your present birth. And in the dreams that belong more to the lower part of the thorax you have a definite consciousness of what there will be between your coming death and next earth life. Thus the consciousness concentrated in the breast, which, however, for modern man remains more or less subconscious, is in reality a dream consciousness of both the time before this birth and the time after the next death. For this subconsciousness in the middle man the riddle is solved of what lies between our last earthly death and the following earthly conception, with the exception of or even including what we are now experiencing between birth and death.
Out of the third man, out of the subconsciousness of the extremities man, the tableau of the next incarnation on earth can be developed in what during the whole of life remains strictly subconscious. This can only be brought to the surface when a man is able to draw it up through ceaseless activity in the study and exercises of spiritual science, so that certain moments of sleep-life that otherwise would pass in unconscious sleep, are lifted to the surface and the man then becomes conscious during sleep. What today man has as waking consciousness is really a kind of collateral impulse of his which rays into the head from outside. Behind this consciousness, however, lies another that stretches itself over the former incarnation, over the life of that incarnation to this one, over the life of this incarnation to the next, and then over the next again. But man sleeps away this consciousness.
In the head it is the consciousness of the previous incarnation. In all the organs that principally serve the out-breathing there works a strong consciousness of the life between the previous incarnation and this one. In all the principle functions that serve the in-breathing works a consciousness of the present incarnation up to the next incarnation on earth. And in the limb-system, in all its most secret processes, works a consciousness of the next human incarnation, which remains pre-eminently subconscious.
These states of consciousness have become more less veiled since the beginning of the fourth post-Atlantean period, 747 years before the Mystery of Golgotha. And the cry of our age is for the definite consciousness of the concrete events of cosmic and human evolution to be brought back out of the general chaos of human consciousness.
We must meet all that I have just been developing with another aspect of what is part of the being of man. You see it is really necessary that we should enter into these difficult details, otherwise we cannot arrive at an exact understanding. I should very much welcome it if such knotty points were met not only by a certain passive acceptance, but — and this is so necessary for present day man — that even for these difficult matters a little enthusiasm were aroused, a little keen participation, which is exactly what is so hard in any society today.
Now, you turn your senses outward. There by means of your senses you find the external world spread out as something perceptible. I will draw diagrammatically what lies around us outside as something spread out for the senses. Allow this (see blue in diagram 2) to be what is lying outside. When you direct your eyes, your ears, your sense of smell, or whichever sense you like, to the external world, the inner side of this outside turns towards you, turns towards your senses Thus this is the inner side of the outside (see left of diagram). Suppose you turn your senses here to what I have drawn (see arrows). These are the senses directed towards the outer world and you see what here inside inclines within. Now follows the difficult conception to which, however, I have to come. Everything you look at there presents itself to you from inside. Imagine it must also have an outside. So I will call it up diagrammatically before your souls saying: When you look out thus you see the permanent as the limit of your vision; that is approximately so, only I have drawn it small. But now imagine you could quickly fly out there, fly beyond there and take a peep through from the other side and from the other side see your sense impressions. You could look out thus (see upper arrows in diagram). No, naturally you do not see this but, could you thus look at it, it would be the other aspect. You would have to go outside yourself, you would have to look from the other side at your whole perceptible world. You would see the reverse side of what meets you as color, what meets you as sound, and so on. You would see the reverse of what comes to you as smell, you would receive the smell in your nose from behind. Thus, imagine your view of the world from the other side; imagine the perceptible things spread out like a carpet, and now the carpet viewed from the other side. You see only a little bit of this reverse side, a very little bit indeed. I can only represent this little bit by doing it like this. Imagine now that I am drawing in red what you would see from the other side, so that I can say, one sees the perceptible diagrammatically thus. To one's ordinary view it appears blue; seen from the other side it appears red (but naturally one does not see it.) In what you would see red, is hidden first that is experienced between death and a new birth; secondly, everything described in Occult Science as the evolutions of Saturn, Sun, Moon, Earth and so forth. Everything hidden from sense perception lies there stored up. There it is, on the other side of the sphere, but you see only a little bit. I can indicate this best by saying: take this small bit of red; this goes over (see below in diagram) and crosses the blue, so that the blue instead of being, as now, in front, is behind. (were I to draw in accordance with reality, I should have to do so in four dimensions, so I can only keep to what is quite diagrammatic.) Thus the senses here are now turned to the blue (left); there they do not turn to the blue but to the red which moreover you do not see. Behind the red, however, there crosses what otherwise would be seen and that is now underneath. And this little bit that crosses the other there, you see continually with your ordinary consciousness. It is indeed your stored up memories. What arises as memory does not arise in accordance with the laws of the outer world of the senses but according to laws suitable to this world that is behind. What is within as your memories is what is suited to the other side (right). As you look within on all your memories you are actually looking at a bit of the world on the other side; the other projects inwards a little and then you see the world from the other side. And if now you could slip through your memories thus received (I spoke of this a week ago,) 3See lecture of 18.VIII.1918; Occult Psychology. if you could get underneath and see below your memories, look at them from the other aide from down there (see right in diagram), you would see them as your aura, There you would see man as a being with a soul-spiritual aura just as ordinarily you look at the external world of sense perceptions. But as I showed you a week ago this would be hardly pleasant because man on this other side is not yet beautiful.
Thus these are the interesting features of what must work across the other knowledge we have of threefold man. This crossing takes place here in the middle man, the breast-man. You remember the drawing I made a week ago where I had the lemniscates with one loop reversed, turned inside out; I must draw those here I must draw here the breast man with the leminscates described. (see below on left of diagram.) That would coincide with the sphere of memory. So that in his middle part the threefold man has this turnabout where the inner becomes outer and the outer inner. Here you now have in your own small microcosmic memory a tableau, what otherwise you would see as the cosmic tableau — as the great cosmic memory. In your ordinary consciousness you see what you have been collecting since about your third year until now; this is an inner record, a little bit of what is of the same kind as the other record for the whole world-evolution and lies on the other side.
It was not without reason that I once told you that man actually has twelve senses. Most of you know this quite well and I have mentioned it also in the notes at the end of my last book Riddles of the Soul. We must think of the senses in this way: that a number of them are turned towards what is sense-perceptible, whereas others are directed backwards. Below they are directed towards what is turned back. Those directed towards what is perceptible to the senses are: the ego sense, and the senses of thinking, speech, hearing, seeing, taste and smell; they go towards what is sense perceptible. The other senses do not come into man's consciousness because they are first of all directed toward what is within him and then to what in the world is reversed. These are the senses of warmth, life, balance, movement and touch. We can therefore say that for the ordinary consciousness seven senses lie in the light (above in diagram 3) and five in the dark (below). And the five senses lying in the dark are turned to the other side of the cosmos, turned also to the reverse side in man (see diagram 2).
You therefore have a complete parallel between the senses and something else of which we are going to speak. (see diagram 3) Let us suppose we have to note down as senses: hearing, speaking, thinking, the ego-sense, and the senses of warmth, balance, movement, touch, smell, taste, sight; then you will have essentially all of them from ego-sense to sense of smell lying in the light, in what is accessible to the ordinary consciousness (see shading in diagram 3). And all that is turned away from ordinary consciousness, as night turns away from day, belongs to the other senses.
Naturally the boundary is also diagrammatic, there is an overlapping — reality is not always accommodating. But this membering of man according to his senses is so that, even in the diagram, you only need draw in place of the senses the signs of the Zodiac, and you have Ram, Bull, Twins, Cancer, Lion, Virgin, Scales, seven signs for the light side and five for the dark: Scorpion, Archer, Goat, Waterman, Fishes; day, night: night,day, Here you have a perfect parallel between microcosmic man — what is turned towards his senses and what is turned away but really turned towards the senses — and what in the cosmos signifies the change from day to night. In a way the same thing happens to man, as in the cosmic edifice. In the cosmic edifice there is an interchange between day and night, in man there is also the interchange of day and night in his waking and sleeping, even though both may have emancipated themselves from each other for the present cycle of man's consciousness. During the day man is turned towards his day-senses, or we might say to Ram, Bull, Twins, Cancer, Lion, Virgin, Scales, as we might say ego-sense, sense of thinking, speech and so on. Every ego can see that of another man, you can understand the thoughts of another man, you can hear, see, taste, smell — those are day-senses. In the night it is the same with man as when the earth is turned towards the other side; man is turned in the night to his other senses, only these are not yet fully developed. Not until the Venus age will they be so fully developed that they can perceive what is on the other side. They are not yet sufficiently developed to perceive what is towards the other side. This is shrouded by night just as the earth is shrouded when passing by night through the other heavenly bodies, the other pictures of the zodiac. The passage of man through his senses is a perfect parallel with the course — whether you say the course of the sun round the earth or the earth round the sun is immaterial for our purpose; but those things are connected. And with these connections, the wise men of the Old Mysteries were very well acquainted.
In the fourth post-Atlantean period this gradually vanished from consciousness but it must be brought back in spite of the resistance put up against this; it must be reinstated in the cultural life of mankind. For in these concepts that man makes his own there lies what lets us see quite clearly all that is happening now in the social, historical life. So long as you separate the life of nature from that of the spirit, as modern man loves to do, you do not arrive at concepts that can play a part in historical evolution; you are overpowered by the concepts that are working in historical life. Overpowered: There are indeed many instances of this.
Now you will agree that men believe that, shall we say, for two hundred years they have been thinking a tremendous deal. We can gather up what they have been thinking for two hundred years, what they have developed as ideals, what they have talked of still talk of, as great ideals. We can do this from the time of the ideals of the age of enlightenment to that of the great would-be Caesar, Woodrow Wilson. All that is talked of about the various ideals, men have been thinking during these centuries, these last two centuries; this has formed men's thoughts. World history, however, is very little affected by these thoughts, world history has been affected by something quite different, by the thoughts that have been working and weaving in things. And in reality never were the thoughts filling men's heads farther removed from the great cosmic thoughts living in things than at the present time. What for the last hundred and fifty years, shall we say, has prompted man to work for a definite fashioning of the world is not thoughts of freedom, equality, brotherhood, justice, and so on and so forth, it is the thoughts interwoven with the coming of the machine loom. That the machine loom arose in modern development in the second half of the eighteenth century; that this significant invention took the place in mankind's evolution of the old hand-weaving; that from the machine loom came the whole machine civilisation of modern times; in all this there weave the objective thoughts the real thoughts, that have given the world its present form, out of which has arisen the present chaotic catastrophe. Should we wish to write a history of this catastrophe, we have not to turn to the thoughts teeming in human consciousness; we must turn to the objective thoughts of the founding, the invention, of the machine loom up to the development of big industry with its shadow, socialism. for even if these two things, big industry and socialism, appear as opposites they are polaric opposites belonging to one another, and as such inseparable.
We must put our questions to these objective thoughts and observe history in its becoming. Then we find that during the eighteenth century, all through the nineteenth, and especially so far as we have gone in this our twentieth century, men have given themselves up to many illusions. They are given over to illusion in their thoughts; but the objective, historic-cosmic thoughts have completely overwhelmed them. These are weaving in things. And an interest — though terribly one-sided — for these objectively weaving thoughts has really been gradually developed only by those who have built up socialism as a world-conception. That is something tremendously characteristic. If you follow the course of the nineteenth century you will see that the bourgeoisie increasingly loses interest in the great questions of world outlook. These great questions are indeed becoming most distasteful to the bourgeoisie; where possible they relegate them to aesthetics. A perfectly average bourgeois will listen in the theatre to all kinds of discussions about whether there are spiritual beings or not, when there is no need to believe in them, and when it is not a question of the truth of anything. Then the most varied matters can be put forward by Björnsen and people of that ilk. And what concerns the conception of the world is today for the bourgeoisie transferred into the realm of aesthetics, into all manner of dabbling with so-called art. In recent years people have been breaking each others heads over questions concerning conceptions of the world in the sphere of socialism. (I don't look on this as an ideal in a physical sense but in a spiritual sense in a certain way it is so. You know how I have hinted emphatically that I like a little warmth even in the treatment of anthroposophical truths.) The other people have not troubled themselves about this head-breaking but have left those alone who have looked at the world from what is really a very narrow point of view, those who have only seen the world from the aspect of the factory, from the inside of factories, from the inside of printing works, and so on. And it is extremely interesting what kind of world outlook has been produced out of the point of view of the factory — for that is socialism, my dear friends. It is the factory aspect, the aspect of men who know nothing beyond the inside of their factories. And in all that has developed in this sphere, little interest has been really shown by the bourgeoisie with their abstract ideas; the bourgeoisie who even concern themselves with aesthetics in an abstract way to avoid the breaking of heads. Thus in a curious way the bourgeoisie have found themselves between the old completely moribund world-conception bereft of the spiritual that would prefer to relegate all great questions to the realm of aesthetics, and what has newly arisen as socialism. This socialism has so far no concepts at all; it is a system founded entirely on words. This is because as yet it has no view of the world whatever and can only see the factory, and even so only the most external part of the mechanism. Just imagine what it really means when a man has no inner knowledge of the kingdoms of the minerals, the plants, the animals, and only knows of the way in which a certain cock is moved mechanically up or down in a machine, this or that filed or planed, and things of that kind: Socialism is a world-outlook founded on the perception of a purely mechanical world. It is the bit of the world cut out by the socialist — the bit that is mechanical, and on this he builds his concepts.
This has been allowed to arise through men adopting the principle of only troubling themselves about things aesthetically. When the Theosophical Society was first formed it had as its basis principle the mutual love of all mankind. How this was breached: But I have said enough on that point; its easiness equals its fruitlessness. But this also arises from the desire whenever possible to push what has actual content into the realm of what has none. So there could be no genuine interest in the real course of things. Individual people however have found pleasure in the peculiar — we should say conventional — way of considering history.
Now let us take an example of this; let me take whatever example you like from the time of the Caesars; try to learn about this time from the text books, or any books written by the great historical authorities. I fancy you will gain very little knowledge in this way about a certain personality who in the reign of Nero played an important political part (so even under Nero you could have political aspirations!) This personality aroused quite special notice and gained considerable influence on Roman politics under Vespasian and Titus, so much so that it may be said that he was the soul of the Government under these two emperors. Then this personality went over to the other side in the reign of Domitian considering him as a disaster for the Roman Empire. He turned to the other side and a lawsuit was brought against him, a lawsuit that made a great deal of stir in Rome and was of much interest. During this case Domitian changed suddenly from the tyrant into one who did not know how to proceed in the lawsuit and was therefore unable to pass sentence on the man. Then again, as Nero succeeded Domitian, we see this personality actively connected with the Emperor, the Caesar. We watch him creating out of the whole world-conception of that day what was great in politics, and at the same time see how he once more sought to implant for the last time during the Roman Empire into the political events really vast concepts brought down from the cosmos. Strangely enough in no current history book do you find any accurate account of this personality, not even in Seutonius or Tacitus, only in Philostratus. And Philostratus describes him in such a way that one does not know whether he is giving a picture of any Roman or of a real man — he paints the life of Apollonius of Tyana. For it is Apollonius of Tyana of whom I have been speaking as having had so great an influence on politics from the time of Nero to that of Nerva, and especially under Vespasian and Titus; and Philostratus describes him. Bauer the theologian and historian of Tübingen was absolutely astounded that one should thus find nothing about such a personality as Apollonius who played a part of the utmost importance in what is historically represented. Naturally Bauer did not see into the real reason for this; for it is a question of our having in Apollonius a historical personality wielding indeed this great influence but drawing down his principles straight from the cosmos above. That was in the highest degree fatal for the Christianity then arising in Rome. And now I shall ask you to take notice that everything in history is there by grace of the Church. There is nothing in history except what the Church has allowed man to have. Not without justification has an old and by no means foolish man maintained that there was never a Plato nor a Sophocles, but that monks in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries wrote their plays — for there is no proof, no strict proof of their existence. Even though the assertion is untenable, is indeed nonsense, nevertheless, as we have often emphasised, all that is conventional history is most uncertain. And we should be quite clear about it. We must indeed bring the present into connection with the past, for we are now coming to a great and pregnant question.
We have once more this time from the modern point of view, referred to threefold man, his connection with cosmic truths and the necessity for all this again to be disclosed. Now, my dear friends, in what has consisted the main activity of the Church, especially since the eighth Ecumenical Council in Constantinople in 869? What has been its chief activity? Its chief activity has been to wipe out, to blot out from man's consciousness, what in those ancient times even Christianity still understood as the connection of man with the cosmos, with the great spiritual world. Everything betraying this connection has been suppressed in real alarm. And only because not everything can be suppressed, because Karma is working against this suppression, have such works remained as those of Philostratus. Therefore you can understand when now you bring the present into connection with the past that certain churchman are made terribly uneasy by the growing tendency to foster the connection between what makes roan a cosmic being, this man himself, and his task.
It is important that we do not merely pursue half-asleep what should be the will of the Anthroposophical Movement. We must pursue it as indeed is necessary with our consciousness full of life and force.
With this I have indicated what is to be continued and enlarged upon tomorrow.