Materialism and the Task of Anthroposophy
30 April 1921, Dornach
In the course of these lectures we have seen that the middle of the nineteenth century is an important time in the development of Western humanity. Attention was called to the fact that in a sense the culmination of the materialistic way of thinking and the materialistic world view occurred during this time. Yet it also had to be pointed out that this trend that has emerged in the human being since the fifteenth century was really something spiritual. Thus, it can be said that the characteristic of this developmental phase of recent human evolution was that simultaneously with becoming the most spiritual, the human being could not take hold of this spirituality. Instead, human beings filled themselves only with materialistic thinking, feeling, and even with materialistic will and activity. Our present age is still dominated by the aftereffects of what occurred in so many people without their being aware of it, and then reached its climax in mankind's development. What was the purpose of this climax? It occurred because something decisive was meant to take place in regard to contemporary humanity's attainment of the consciousness soul stage.
In focusing on the evolution of humanity from the third post-Atlantean epoch until approximately the year 747 (see sketch) before the Mystery of Golgotha, we find that a process runs its course that can be called the development of the sentient soul in humanity. Then the age of the rational or mind soul begins and lasts roughly until the year 1413. It reaches its high point in that era of which external history has little to report. It must be taken into consideration, however, if European development is to be comprehended at all. This culmination point occurs approximately in the year 333 after Christ. Since the year 1413, we are faced with the development of the consciousness soul, a development we are still involved in and that saw a decisive event around the year 1850, or better, 1840.
----------747-----------/-------------1413----------1840 Sentient Soul........Rational Soul....Consciousness Soul
For mankind as a whole, matters had reached a point around 1840 where, insofar as the representative personalities of the various nations are concerned, we can say that they were faced with an intellect that had already assumed its most shadowy form. (Following this, we shall have to consider the reaction of the individual nations.) The intellect had assumed its shadowlike character. I tried yesterday to characterize this shadow nature of the intellect. People in the civilized world had evolved to the extent that, from then on it was possible on the basis of the general culture and without initiation to acquire the feeling: We possess intellect. The intellect has matured, but insofar as its own nature is concerned, it no longer has a content. We have concepts but these concepts are empty. We must fill them with something.
This, in a sense, is the call passing through humanity, though dimly and inaudibly. But in the deep, underlying, subconscious longings of human beings lives the call, the wish to receive a content, substance, for the shadow nature of rational thinking. Indeed, it is the call for spiritual science.
This call can also be comprehended concretely. In the middle of the nineteenth century, the human organization, in the physical part of which this shadowy intellect is trained, had simply progressed to the point where it could cultivate this empty shadowy intellect particularly well. Now, something was required for this shadowy intellect; it had to be filled with something. This could only happen if the human being realized: I have to assimilate something of what is not offered to me on the earth itself and does not dwell there, something I cannot learn about in the life between birth and death. I actually have to absorb something into my intellect that, although it was extinguished and became obscured when I descended with the results of my former earth lives out of spiritual soul worlds into a physical corporeality, nevertheless rests in the depths of my soul. From there, I have to bring it up once again, I have to call to mind something that rests within me simply by virtue of the fact that I am a human being of the nineteenth century.
Earlier, it would not have been possible for human beings to have practiced self-awareness in the same manner. This is why they first had to advance in their human condition to the point where the physical body increasingly acquired the maturity to perfect and utilize the shadowy intellect completely. Now, at least among the most advanced human beings, the physical bodies had reached the point where one could have said, or rather, since then it is possible to say: I wish to call to mind what it is that I am seeking to bring up from the depths of my soul life in order to pour a content into this shadowy intellect. This shadowy intellect would have been filled with something and in this way the consciousness soul age would have dawned. Therefore, at this point in time, the occasion arose where the consciousness soul could have unfolded.
Now you will say: Yes, but the whole era prior to that, beginning with the year 1413, was the age of the consciousness soul. Yes, certainly, but at first it has been a preparatory development. You need only consider what basic conditions existed for such a preparation particularly in this period as compared to all earlier times. Into this period falls, for example, the invention of the printing press; the dissemination of the written word. Since the fifteenth century, people by and by have received a great amount of spiritual content by means of the art of printing and through writing. But they absorb this content only outwardly; it is the main feature of this period that an overwhelming sum of spiritual content has been assimilated superficially. The nations of the civilized world have absorbed something outwardly which the great masses of people could receive only by means of audible speech in earlier times. It was true of the period of rational development, and in the age of the sentient soul it was all the more true that, fundamentally speaking, all dissemination of learning was based on oral teaching. Something of the psycho-spiritual element still resounds through speech. Especially in former days, what could be termed “the genius of language” definitely still lived in words. This ceased to be when the content of human learning began to be assimilated in abstract forms, through writing and printed works. Printed and written words have the peculiarity of in a sense extinguishing what the human being brings with him at birth from his pre-earthly, heavenly existence.
It goes without saying that this does not mean that you should forthwith cease to read or write. It does mean that today a more powerful force is needed in order to raise up what lies deep within the human being. But it is necessary that this stronger force be acquired. We have to arrive at self-awareness despite the fact that we read and write; we have to develop this stronger faculty, stronger in comparison to what was needed in earlier times. This is the task in the age of the development of the consciousness soul.
Before taking a look at how the influences of the spiritual world have now started to flow down in a certain way into the physical, sensory world, let us pose the question today, How did the nations of modern civilization actually meet this point of time in 1840?
From earlier lectures we know that the representative people for the development of the consciousness soul, hence for what matters particularly in our age, is the Anglo-Saxon nation. The Anglo-Saxon people are those who through their whole organization are predisposed to develop the consciousness soul to a special degree. The prominent position occupied by the Anglo-Saxon nation in our time is indeed due to the fact that this nation is especially suited for the development of the consciousness soul. But now let us ask ourselves from a purely external viewpoint, How did this Anglo-Saxon nation arrive at this point in time that is the most significant one in modern cultural development?
It can be said that the Anglo-Saxon nation in particular has survived for a long time in a condition — naturally with the corresponding variations and metamorphoses — that could perhaps be described best by saying, Those inner impulses, which had already made way for other forms in Greek culture, were preserved in regard to the inner soul condition of the Anglo-Saxon people. The strange thing in the eleventh and tenth centuries B.C. is that the nations experienced what is undergone at different periods, that the various ages move, as it were, one on top of the other. The problem is that such matters are extraordinarily difficult to notice because in the nineteenth century all sorts of things already existed — reading, writing — and because the living conditions prevailing in Scotland and England were different from those in Homeric times.
And yet, if the soul condition of the people as a nation is taken into consideration, the fact is that this soul condition of the Homeric era, which in Greece was outgrown in the tragic age and changed into Sophoclism, has remained. This age, a kind of patriarchal conception of life and existence, was preserved in the Anglo-Saxon world up until the nineteenth century. In particular, this patriarchal life spread out from the soul condition in Scotland. This is the reason why the influence proceeding from the initiation centers in Ireland did not have an effect on the Anglo-Saxon nation. As was mentioned on other occasions, that influence predominantly affected continental Europe. On the British isle itself, the predominant influence originated from initiation truths that came down from the north, from Scotland. These initiation truths then permeated everything else. But there is an element in the whole conception of the human personality that, in a sense, has remained from primordial times. This still has aftereffects; it lingers on even in the way, say, the relationship between Whigs and Tories develops in the British Parliament. The fact is that fundamentally we are not dealing with the difference between liberal and conservative views. Instead, we have to do with two political persuasions for which people today really have no longer any perception at all.
Essentially, the Whigs are the continuation of what could be called a segment of mankind imbued with a general love of humanity and originating in Scotland. According to a fable, which does have a certain historical background, the Tories were originally Catholicizing horse thieves from Ireland. This contrast, which then expressed itself in their particular political strivings, reflects a certain patriarchal existence. This patriarchal existence retained certain primitive forces, which can be observed in the kind of attitude exhibited by the owners of large properties toward those people who had settled on these lands as their vassals.
This relationship of subservience actually lasted until the nineteenth century; nobody was elected to Parliament who did not possess a certain power by virtue of being a landowner. We only have to consider what this implies. Such matters are not weighed in the right manner. Just think what it signifies, for example, that it was not until the year 1820 that English Parliament repealed the law according to which a person was given the death penalty for having stolen a pocket watch or having been a poacher. Until then, the law decreed that such misdeeds were capital offenses. This certainly demonstrates the way in which particular, ancient, and elementary conditions had remained. Today, people observe life in their immediate surroundings and then extend the fundamental aspects of present-day civilization backwards, so to speak. In regard to the most important regions of Europe, they are unaware of how recently these things have developed from quite primitive conditions.
Thus, it is possible to say that these patriarchal conditions survived as the foundation and basis of a society that was subsequently infused with the most modern impulse, unimaginable in the social structure without the development of the consciousness soul. Just consider all the changes in the social structure of the eighteenth century due to the technological metamorphosis in the textile industry and the like. Note how the mechanical, technological element moved into this patriarchal element. Try to form a clear idea of how, owing to the transformation of the textile industry, the nascent modern Proletariat pushes into the social structure that is based on this patriarchal element, this relationship of landowner to subjects. Just think of this chaotic intermingling, think how the cities develop in the ancient countryside and how the patriarchal attitude takes a daring plunge, so to say, into modern, socialistic, proletarian life.
To picture it graphically, we can actually say that this form of life develops in the way it existed in Greece approximately until the year 1000 B.C. (see drawing). Then it makes a daring jump and we suddenly find ourselves in the year A.D. 1820. Inwardly, the life of the year 1000 B.C. has been retained, but outwardly, we are in the eighteenth century, say 1770 (see arrows). Now everything that then existed in modern life, indeed, even in our present time, pours in. But it is not until 1820 that this English life makes the connection, finds it necessary to do so (see drawing); it is not until then that these matters even became issues, such as the abolition of the death penalty for a minor theft. Thus we can say that, here, something very old has definitely flown together with the most modern element. Thus, the further development then continues on to the year 1840.
Now, what had to occur specifically among the Anglo-American people during this time period, the first half of the nineteenth century? We have to recall that only after the year 1820, actually not until after 1830, it became necessary to pass laws in England according to which children under twelve years of age were not allowed to be kept working in factories for more than eight hours a day, no more than twelve hours a day in the case of children between thirteen and eighteen years of age. Please, compare that with today's conditions! Just think what the broad masses of working people demand today as the eight-hour day! As yet, in the year 1820, boys were put to work in mines and factories in England for more than eight hours; only in that year was the eight-hour day established for them. The twelve-hour day still prevailed, however, in regard to children between twelve and eighteen.
These things must certainly be considered in the attempt to figure out the nature of the elements colliding with each other at that time. Basically, it could be said that England eased its way out of the patriarchal conditions only in the second third of the nineteenth century and found it necessary to reckon with what had slowly invaded the old established traditions due to technology and the machine. It was in this way that this nation, which is preeminently called upon to develop the consciousness soul, confronted the year 1840.
Now take other nations of modern civilization. Take what has remained of the Latin-Roman element; take what has carried over the Latin-Roman element from the fourth post-Atlantean cultural period, what has brought over the ancient culture of the intellectual soul as a kind of legacy into the epoch of the consciousness soul. Indeed, what had remained of this life of the intellectual soul reached its highest point, its culmination, in the French Revolution at the end of the eighteenth century. We note that the ideals, freedom, equality, and brotherhood appear all at once in the most extreme abstraction. We see them taken up by skeptics such as Voltaire, 1Francois de Voltaire (actually d'Arouet), 1694–1778, French philosopher of the Enlightenment. by enthusiasts such as Rousseau; 2Jean Jacques Rousseau, 1712–1778, French philosopher and pedagogue. we see them emerge generally in the broad masses of the people. We see how the abstraction, which is fully justified in this sphere, affects the social structure
It is a completely different course of events from the one over in England. In England, the vestiges of the old Germanic patriarchal life are permeated by what the element of modern technology and modern materialistic, scientific life could incorporate into the social structure. In France, we have tradition everywhere. We could say that the French Revolution has been enacted in the same manner in which a Brutus or a Caesar once acted in the most diverse ways in ancient Rome. Thus, here also, freedom, equality and brotherhood surfaced in abstract forms. Unlike in England, the old existing patriarchal element was not destroyed from the outside. Instead, the Roman juridical tradition, the adherence to the ancient concept of property and ownership of land, inheritance laws, and so on, what had been established in the Roman-juristic tradition was corroded by abstraction, driven asunder by abstraction.
We need only consider the tremendous change the French Revolution brought to all of European life. We only need remind ourselves that prior to the French Revolution those who, in a sense, distinguished themselves from the masses of the nation also had legal privileges. Only certain people could aspire to particular positions in government. What the French Revolution demanded based on abstraction and the shadowlike intellect was to make breaches into that system to undermine it. But it did bear the stamp of the shadowy intellect, the abstraction. Therefore, the demands that were being made fundamentally remained a kind of ideology. For this reason, we can say that anything that is of the shadowy intellect immediately turns into its opposite.
Then we observe Napoleonism; we watch the experimentation in the public and social realm during the course of the nineteenth century. The first half of the nineteenth century was certainly experimentation without a goal in France. What is the nature of the events through which somebody like Louis-Philippe, for example, becomes king of France, and so on — what sort of experimenting is carried out? It is done in such a way that one can recognize that the shadowy intellect is incapable of truly intervening in the actual conditions. Everything basically remains undone and incomplete; it all remains as legacy of ancient Romanism. We are justified in saying that even today the relationship to, say, the Catholic Church, which the French Revolution had quite clearly defined in abstraction, has not been clarified in France in external, concrete reality. And how unclear was it time and again in the course of the nineteenth century! Abstract reasoning had struggled up to a certain level during the Revolution; then came experimentation and the inability to cope with external conditions. In this way, this nation encountered the year 1840.
We can also consider other nations. Let us look at Italy, for instance, which, in a manner of speaking, still retained a bit of the sentient soul in its passage through the culture of the intellect. It brought this bit of the sentient soul into modern times and therefore did not advance as far as the abstract concepts of freedom, equality, and brotherhood attained in the French Revolution. It did, however, seek the transition from a certain ancient group consciousness to individual consciousness in the human being. Italy faced the year 1840 in a manner that allows us to say, The individual human consciousness trying to struggle to the fore in Italy was in fact constantly held down by what the rest of Europe now represented. We can observe how the tyranny of Habsburg weighed terribly on the individual human consciousness that tried to develop in Italy. We see in the 1820's the strange Congress of Verona 3Congress of Verona: Congress of the “Holy Alliance” (1822) to which all the European powers belonged with the exception of England and the Vatican. Under Metternich, it pursued a clearly reactionary course. that tried to determine how one could rise up against the whole substance of modern civilization. We note that there proceeded from Russia and Austria a sort of conspiracy against what the modern consciousness in humanity was meant to bring. There is hardly anything as interesting as the Congress of Verona, which basically wished to answer the question: How does one go about exterminating everything that is trying to emerge as modern consciousness in mankind?
Then we see how the people in the rest of Europe struggled in certain ways. Particularly in Central Europe, only a small percentage of the population was able to attain to a certain consciousness, experiencing in a certain manner that the ego is now supposed to enter into the consciousness soul. We notice attempts to achieve this at a certain high mental level. We can see it in the peculiar high cultural level of Goethe's age in which a man like Fichte was active; 4Johann Gottlieb Fichte, 1762–1814, German philosopher. we see how the ego tried to push forward into the consciousness soul. Yet we also realize that the whole era of Goethe actually was something that lived only in few individuals. I believe people study far too little what even the most recent past was like. They simply think, for example the Goethe lived from 1749 until 1832; he wrote Faust and a number of other works. That is what is known of Goethe and that knowledge has existed ever since.
Until the year 1862, until thirty years after Goethe's death, with few exceptions, it was impossible for people to acquire a copy of Goethe's works. They were restricted; only a handful of people somehow owned a copy of his writings. Hence, Goetheanism had become familiar only to a select few. It was not until the 1860's that a larger number of people could even find out about the particular element that lived in Goethe. By that time, the faculty of comprehension for it had disappeared again. An actual understanding of Goethe never really came about, and the last third of the nineteenth century was not suited at all for such comprehension.
I have often mentioned that in the 1870's Hermann Grimm gave his “Lectures on Goethe” at the University of Berlin. 5Hermann Grimm, 1828–1901, German art historian and literary critic. That was a special event and the book that exists as Hermann Grimm's Goethe is a significant publication in the context of central European literature. Yet, if you now take a look at this book, what is its substance? Well, all the figures who had any connection with Goethe are listed in it but they are like shadow images having only two dimensions. All these portrayals are shadow figures, even Goethe is a two-dimensional being in Hermann Grimm's depiction. It is not Goethe himself. I won't even mention the Goethe whom people at the afternoon coffee parties of Weimar called “the fat Privy Councillor with the double chin.” In Hermann Grimm's Goethe, Goethe has no weight at all. He is merely a two-dimensional being, a shadow cast on the wall. It is the same with all the others who appear in the book; Herder — a shadow painted on a wall. We encounter something a little more tangible in Hermann Grimm's description of those persons coming from among the ordinary people who are close to Goethe, for example, Friederike von Sesenheim who is portrayed there so beautifully, or Lilli Schoenemann from Frankfurt — hence those who emerge from a mental atmosphere other than the one in which Goethe lived. Those are described with a certain “substance.” But figures like Jacobi and Lavater are but shadow images on a wall. The reader does not penetrate into the actual substance of things; here, we can observe in an almost tangible way the effects of abstraction. Such abstraction can certainly be charming, as is definitely the case with Hermann Grimm's book, but the whole thing is shadowy. Silhouettes, two-dimensional beings, confront us in it.
Indeed, it could not be otherwise. For it is a fact that a German could not call himself a German in Germany at the time when Hermann Grimm, for example was young. The way one spoke of Germans during the first half of the nineteenth century is misunderstood, particularly at present. How “creepy” it seems to people in the West, those of the Entente, when they start reading Fichte's Addresses to the German Nation today and find him saying: “I speak simply to Germans, to Germans as such.” In the same way, the harmless song “Germany, Germany above all else” T1“Deutschland, Deutschland über alles,” the German national anthem. is interpreted foolishly, for this song means nothing more than the desire to be a German, not a Swabian, a Bavarian, an Austrian, a Franconian, or Thuringian. Just as this song referred only to Germans as such, so Fichte wished simply to address himself to Germans, not to Austrians, Bavarians, those from the province of Baden, Wuerttemberg, Franconia, or Prussia; he wanted to speak “to Germans.” This is naturally impossible to understand, for instance, in a country where it has long since become a matter of course to call oneself a Frenchman. However, in certain periods in Germany, you were imprisoned if you called yourself German. You could call yourself an Austrian, a Swabian, a Bavarian, but it amounted to high treason to call yourself a German. Those who called themselves Germans in Bavaria expressed the sentiment that they did not wish to look up merely to the Bavarian throne and its reign within Bavaria's clearly defined borders, but implied that they also wished to look beyond the borders of Bavaria. But that was high treason! People were not permitted to call themselves Germans.
It is not understood at all today that these things that are said about Germans and Germany, refer to this unification of everything German. Instead, the absurd nonsense is spread that, for example, Hoffmann's song refers to the notion that Germany should rule over all the nations of the world although it means nothing else but: Not Swabia, not Austria, not Bavaria above all else in the world, but Germany above all else in the world, just as the Frenchman says: France above all else in the world. It was, however, the peculiar nature of Central Europe that basically a tribal civilization existed there. Even today, you can see this tribal culture everywhere in Germany. A Wuerttembergian is different from a Franconian. He differs from him even in the formulation of concepts and words, indeed, even in the thought forms disseminated in literature. There really is a marked difference, if you compare, say, a Franconian, such as cloddy Michael Conrad — using modern literature as an example — with something that has been written at the same time by a Wuerttembergian, hence in the neighboring province.
Something like this plays into the whole configuration of thoughts right into the present time. But everything that persists in this way and lives in the tribal peculiarities remains untouched by what is now achieved by the representatives of the nations. After all, in the realm commonly called Germany something has been attained such as Goetheanism with all that belongs to it. But it has been attained by only a few intellectuals; the great masses of people remain untouched by it. The majority of the population has more or less maintained the level of central Europe around the year A.D. 300 or 400. Just as the Anglo-Saxon people have stayed on the level of around the year 1000 B.C., people in Central Europe have remained on the level of the year A.D. 400. Please do not take this in the sense that a terrible arrogance might arise with the thought that the Anglo-Saxons have remained behind in the Homeric age, and we were already in the year A.D. 400. This is not the way to evaluate these matters. I am only indicating certain peculiarities.
In turn, the geographic conditions reveal that this level of general soul development in Germany lasted much longer than in England. England's old patriarchal life had to be permeated quickly with what formed the social structure out of the modern materialistic, scientific, and technological life first in the area of the textile industry, and later also in the area of other technologies. The German realm and Central Europe in general opposed this development initially, retaining the ancient peculiarities much longer. I might say, they retained them until a point in time when the results of modern technology already prevailed fully all over the world. To a certain extent, England caught up in the transformation of the social structure in the first half of the nineteenth century. Everything that was achieved there definitely bypassed central Europe.
Now, Central Europe did absorb something of abstract revolutionary ideas. They came to expression through various movements and stirrings in the 1840's in the middle of the nineteenth century. But this region sat back and waited, as it were, until technology had infused the whole world. Then, a strange thing happened. An individual — we could also take other representatives — who in Germany had acquired his thinking from Hegelianism, namely, Karl Marx, went over to England, studied the social structure there and then formulated his socialist doctrines. At the end of the nineteenth century, Central Europe was then ready for these social doctrines, and they were accepted there. Thus, if we tried to outline in a similar manner what developed in this region, we would have to say: The development progressed in a more elementary way even though a great variety of ideas were absorbed from outside through books and printed matter.
The conditions of A.D. 400 in central Europe continued on, then made a jump and basically found the connection only in the last third of the nineteenth century, around the year 1875. Whereas the Anglo-Saxon nation met already the year 1840 with a transformation of conditions, with the necessity of receiving the consciousness soul, the German people continued to dream. They still experienced the year 1840 as though in a dream. Then they slept through the grace period when a bridge could have been built between leading personalities and what arose out of the masses of the people in the form of the proletariat. The latter then took hold of the socialist doctrine and thereby, beginning about the year 1875, exerted forcible, radical pressure in the direction of the consciousness soul. Yet even this was in fact not noticed; in any case it was not channeled in any direction, and even today it is basically still evaluated in the most distorted way.
In order to arrive at the anomalies at the bottom of this, we need only call to mind that Oswald Spengler, who wrote the significant book The Decline of the West, also wrote a booklet concerning socialism of which, I believe, 60,000 copies or perhaps more have been printed. Roughly, it is Spengler's view that this European, this Western civilization, is digging its own grave. According to Spengler, by the year 2200, we will be living on the level of barbarism. We have to agree with Spengler concerning certain aspects of his observations; for if the European world maintains the course of development it is pursuing now, then everything will be barbarized by the time the third millennium arrives. In this respect Spengler is absolutely correct. The only thing Spengler does not see and does not want to see is that the shadowy intellect can be raised to Imaginations out of man's inner being and that hence the whole of Western humanity can be elevated to a new civilization.
This enlivening of culture through the intentions of anthroposophical spiritual science is something a person like Oswald Spengler does not see. Rather, he believes that socialism — the real socialism, as he thinks, a socialism that truly brings about social living — has to come into being prior to this decline. The people of the Occident, according to him, have the mission of realizing socialism. But, says Oswald Spengler, the only people called upon to realize socialism are the Prussians. This is why he wrote the booklet Prussianism and Socialism. Any other form of socialism is wrong, according to Spengler. Only the form that revealed its first rosy dawn in the Wilhelminian age, only this form of socialism is to capture the world. Then the world will experience true, proper socialism.
Thus speaks a person today whom I must count among the most brilliant people of our time. The point is not to judge people by the content of what they say but by their mental capacities. This Oswald Spengler, who is master of fifteen different scientific disciplines, is naturally “more intelligent than all the writers, doctors, teachers, and ministers” and so on. We can truly say that with his book about the decline of the West he has presented something that deserves consideration, and that, by the way, is making a most profound impression on the young people in Central Europe. But next to it stands this other idea that I have referred to above, and you see precisely how the most brilliant people can arrive today at the strangest notions. People take hold of the intellect prevalent today and this intellect is shadowy. The shadows flit to and fro, one is caught up in one shadow, then one tries to catch up with another — nothing is alive. After all, in a silhouette, in a woman's shadow image cast on the wall, her beauty is not at all recognizable. So it is also with all other matters when they are viewed as shadow images. The shadow image of Prussianism can certainly be confused with socialism. If a woman turns her back to the wall and her shadow falls on it, even the ugliest woman might be considered beautiful. Likewise, Prussianism can be mistaken for socialism if the shadowlike intellect inwardly pervades the mind of a genius.
This is how we must look at things today. We must not look at the contents, we must aim for the capacities; that is what counts. Thus, it has to be acknowledged that Spengler is a brilliant human being, even though a great number of his ideas have to be considered nonsense. We live in an age when original, elementary judgments and reasons must surface. For it is out of certain elementary depths that one has to arrive at a comprehension of the present age and thus at impulses for the realities of the future.
Naturally, the European East has completely slept through the results of the year 1840. Just think of the handful of intellectuals as opposed to the great masses of the Russian people who, because of the Orthodox religion, particularly the Orthodox ritual, are still deeply immersed in Orientalism. Then think of the somnolent effect of men like Alexander I, Nicholas I, and all the other “I's” who followed them! What has come about today was therefore the element that aimed for this point in which the consciousness soul was to have its impact on European life.
We shall say more tomorrow.