Karmic Relationships VI
25 January 1924, Berne
For his present life on Earth man is beholden partly to the external world, including in the wider sense not only the several kingdoms of Nature immediately around him but also the influences coming from the stars and the cosmic expanse. But this is only one part of the world to which he is beholden for his present earthly life. He is beholden above all to his previous lives on Earth, the results and effects of which he brings with him inwardly. As you know from anthroposophical literature, man is a fourfold being. Every time he goes to sleep his astral body and ‘I’ separate from his physical and etheric bodies. Of these members only the physical and etheric bodies owe their character and composition to the external world lying visibly — or also, as etheric world, invisibly — around man. On the other hand, everything that he bears within him in his astral body and Ego in his present earthly existence, he owes entirely to what he experienced in the past, in earlier lives on Earth.
In the outer physical world there are two portals, two gates, through which the life of man, taken in its entirety, reaches out beyond this world. We will begin to-day by considering this cosmic aspect and conclude with a study very directly concerned with human life. For inhabitants of the Earth, these two gates are the Moon and the Sun.
The fact is that modern science knows very little indeed about the heavenly bodies — actually only what can be determined by calculation or observed by means of instruments. Just think what an inhabitant of Mars would know about the Earth if, from Mars or from some other star, he were to acquire his knowledge by employing the same methods as those employed by the inhabitants of the Earth! He would know no more than that the Earth is a luminous body radiating into cosmic space the light it reflects from the Sun. He might form all kinds of hypotheses, just as men do about Mars — as to whether beings do or do not exist on the Earth. But an inhabitant of the Earth knows that beings of his own rank and beings of other kingdoms share his dwelling-place; and those whose knowledge is derived from the inner, spiritual destinies of earthly humanity, will be able to reach a deeper understanding of the significance of the other heavenly bodies, for example, of the Sun and the Moon.
Let us think about what may be said of this physical, psychic and spiritual aspect of Moon existence. I must here remind you of many things to be found in the book Occult Science — an Outline, and in several of the printed lecture-courses. From this literature you know that the Moon was once united with the Earth. It is accepted by orthodox modern science, at any rate by its most important representatives, that the physical Moon once separated from the Earth and, if I may put it so, chose its own position in cosmic space.
But Spiritual Science discloses that not only did the physical Moon separate from the Earth but that certain Beings went with it, Beings who had once inhabited the Earth together with men. They were of a much higher spiritual rank than man in his physical embodiment; but they were in close intercourse with men, although this intercourse was altogether different from the relationships between human beings to-day.
Anyone who devotes even cursory study to the early history of the Earth and its spiritual achievements will feel deep reverence for the different civilisations. Certainly, our forefathers — that is to say, we ourselves in earlier incarnations — were not as ‘clever’ in the modern sense as we imagine ourselves to be to-day, but in point of fact they knew a great deal more. Knowledge, after all, is not acquired through cleverness only. Cleverness comes from intellect, and intellect is only one of the human faculties, although nowadays it is prized, especially by science, more highly than all the others. Yet when we see how the world has developed in a moral and social respect in this enlightened twentieth century, there is really no cause to be so very proud of our intellectual culture — which has come into being only in the course of time. Even if with no other aid than external history we go back and consider, for example, what originates from the ancient East, we cannot but feel great reverence. The same may apply even to certain achievements of so-called ‘uncivilised’ peoples, but we will think now only of ancient India and Persia, of the wonderful wisdom contained in the Vedas, in Vedanta or Yoga philosophy. If we let these things work upon us, not superficially but with all their deep intensity we shall feel an ever-increasing reverence for what past ages created — not through cleverness as we know it, but in a quite different way.
Spiritual Science makes it clear that what has been preserved in documentary records is only the residue of a wonderful, primeval wisdom of mankind. It was expressed in a much more poetic, artistic language than is used for our modern knowledge, but it was nevertheless wonderful wisdom, imparted to men by Beings at a stage of evolution far higher than that of humanity on Earth. Intellectual thinking takes place, after all, through the instrumentality of the physical body, and these Beings had no physical body. This accounts for the fact that they conveyed their primordial wisdom to mankind in an essentially poetic, artistic form.
These Beings did not remain with the Earth; the majority of them to-day actually inhabit the Moon in the heavens. What modern science can discover has to do only with the external properties of the Moon. The Moon is in truth the home of lofty spiritual Beings whose task once was to inspire earthly humanity with the primeval wisdom. They then withdrew to establish this Moon colony in the Cosmos. It is clear from what I have said about these Beings who now inhabit the Moon that our own human past is connected with them. In earlier lives we were their terrestrial companions. And our connection with them is immediately evident if we look beyond what external knowledge and external life can give to man. When we contemplate all the factors by which our existence is determined, which are not, however, dependent upon our intellect but transcend the intellect and are related to our deeper nature, we realise that these Moon Beings, although they no longer have their habitation on the Earth, are still deeply and inwardly connected with our very existence. For before descending to the Earth and receiving a physical body from our forefathers, we were in the spiritual world, in pre-earthly life; and there, even to-day, we are in close contact with these Beings who were our companions in Earth existence long ages ago. When we come down from the spiritual worlds into earthly existence, we pass through the Moon sphere, through the Moon existence. Once upon a time, when these Moon Beings were on the Earth, they had a profound effect upon mankind, and it is still so to-day, inasmuch as they impress into the descending Ego and astral body what is then carried over into the physical body on Earth.
Nobody can himself decide to be a man of talent, or a genius, or even a good man. Yet there are men of talent and genius and some who are innately good. These are qualities which the intellect cannot produce; they are connected with man's inmost nature, a great part of which comes with him when he passes from pre-earthly existence through birth into earthly life. To impress into his Ego and astral body what then makes its way into his nerves and blood as genius or talent or the will to do good or evil — this is the task of the Moon Beings during the time when in a man's pre-earthly existence he is passing through the Moon sphere. It is not only when, in poetic mood, lovers go walking in the moonlight that the Moon has an effect upon what is living and weaving in the deeper part of man's nature below the level of consciousness; this Moon influence is active in everything that rises from a level below that of the conscious intellect and makes man what he really is in earthly life. And so to-day these Moon Beings are still connected with our past, inasmuch as it is they who after our earlier incarnations give us in pre-earthly existence the stamp of individuality.
If we look back over our life to the point where it runs out beyond the earthly realm into the spiritual, whence our particular faculties, our temperament, our inmost, essential character, are derived, we find in the Moon the one gate which leads from the physical into the spiritual world. It is the gate through which the past makes its way into our life and gives us individuality.
The other gate is the Sun. We do not owe our individuality to the Sun. The Sun shines alike on the good and on the evil, on men of genius and on fools. As far as earthly life is concerned the Sun has no direct connection with our individuality. In one instance only has the Sun established connection with earthly individuality and this was possible because at a certain point of time in the Earth's evolution, a sublime Sun Being, the Christ, did not remain on the Sun but came down from the Sun to the Earth and became a Being of the Earth in the body of a man, thus uniting His own cosmic destiny with the destiny of earthly humanity. The other Sun Beings who remained in the Sun sphere have no access to the single human individuality but only to what is common to all mankind. Something of this remained in the Christ and is an infinite blessing for earthly humanity: what had remained in Him was and is that His power knows no differentiation among men. Christ is not the Christ of this or that nation, of this or that rank or class. He is the Christ for all men, without distinction of class, race or nation. Nor is He the Christ of particular individualities, inasmuch as His help is available alike to the genius and the fool. The Christ Impulse has access to the individuality of man, but to become effective it must take effect in the inmost depths of human nature. It is not the forces of the intellect but the deepest forces of the heart and soul which can receive the Christ Impulse; but once received this Impulse works not for the benefit of the individual-human but of the universal-human. This is because Christ is a Sun Being.
Looking back into the past we feel ourselves connected with the Moon existence and realise that we bear within us something not derived from the present but from the cosmic past — not merely from the earthly past. In our present Earth existence we unite this fragment of the past with the present. We do not, in the ordinary way, pay much attention to what is contained in this fragment of the past; but in point of fact we should not be of much account as human beings if it were not there within us. What we acquire at the time of descending from pre-earthly into earthly existence has something automatic about it — the automatic element in our physical and etheric bodies. What makes us into particular human individuals is inwardly connected with our past and thus with the Moon existence. But just as we are connected with the past through our Moon existence, so are we connected with our future through the Sun existence. We were ready for the Moon forces, especially in relation to the Beings who have withdrawn to the Moon, even in earlier times; for the Sun which works to-day as an impulse in the sphere of the universal-human only, we shall not be ready until a very distant future, when evolution has reached a much more advanced stage. The Sun to-day can reach only to our external being; not until distant future ages will it be able to reach our individuality, the inmost core of our being. When the Earth is no longer Earth, when it has passed into quite another metamorphosis, then and then only shall we be ready for the Sun existence. Man is so proud of his intellect — but the intellect in present humanity is purely a product of the Earth, since it is tied to the brain, and the brain — despite current belief — is the most physical structure in the human organism.
The Sun is perpetually wresting us away from this bondage to the earthly, for the Sun does not in reality work upon our brain ... if it did, we should produce much cleverer thoughts! From the physical aspect the Sun's influence is exerted on the heart, and what streams out from the heart is Sun-activity. Through the brain men are essentially egotistic, through the heart they become free from egoism and rise to the level of the universal-human. Thus through the Sun we are more than we should be if we were left to our own resources in our present Earth existence. Let me put it like this: if we can really find our way to the Christ, He enables us, because He is a Sun Being, to be more than we could otherwise be.
The Sun stands in the heavens personifying the future, whereas the Moon personifies the past. The Sun is the other gate into the spiritual world, the gate leading to the future. Just as we are impelled into earthly existence by the Moon Beings and Moon forces, so, through death, we are impelled out of it by the Sun forces. These Sun forces are connected with that part of our nature of which we are not yet master, which the gods have given us so that we may not wilt in earthly life but reach out beyond our own limitations. And so Moon and Sun are in truth the two gates in the universe into the spiritual life. The Moon is inhabited by Beings with whom we were once connected in the way I have indicated. The Sun is inhabited by Beings with whom — with the exception of the Christ — we shall be united only in our future cosmic existence. The Christ will lead us to those who were once His companions on the Sun. But this, as far as man is concerned, belongs to the future.
We have said that the influences of the Moon work upon us from the spiritual world; the same is true of the influences working from the Sun upon our physical and etheric bodies. Think, for example, of the temperaments. There are forces in the temperaments which play into the physical body, but more particularly into the etheric body. This is regulated by the interplay of Sun and Moon. A man with a strong vein of melancholy in his temperament is strongly influenced by the Moon. Similarly, a man with a markedly sanguine vein in his temperament is strongly influenced by the Sun. A man in whom the quality of Sun and Moon are in balance and neutralised, will be a phlegmatic type. When the physical element as such plays into a man and comes to expression in the life of soul, as in the temperaments, the Sun and Moon forces are in play in the whole of his being. But to begin with, man is aware of these forces only when they confront him in their external, physical manifestation, when the Moon — and similarly the Sun — announces its presence through the orb that is outwardly visible. Yet forces far transcending the physical are taking effect; we must always speak of the Sun and Moon as spiritual realities. And that is easy enough to realise.
Think of a human body. This body to-day no longer has within it the same substances as it had ten years ago. You are perpetually casting off these physical substances and replacing them by new. What endures is the spiritual form of man, the configuration of inner forces. Suppose you had been sitting in this room ten years ago; you do not bring with you now the flesh and blood that were within you then as material substance. The physical is involved in a perpetual stream from within outwards; it is being cast off all the time. Although this is a known fact it is not always remembered. It is a fact in the Cosmos too. People think that the Moon which shines down upon the Earth to-day is the same Moon which shone upon Caesar or Alcibiades or Buddha. Spiritually, yes, it is the same Moon, but not in respect of physical substance. As for the Sun, the physicists and astrophysicists calculate how long it will be before it disintegrates in cosmic space. They know that it will disintegrate but they reckon in terms of millions of years. The same kind of results would be obtained if such calculations were applied to the human being. The calculations are absolutely correct and cannot be faulted — only they are not true! They are dead correct, but just think of this — if you examined a human heart today, then five days later and then again after a further five days, you could calculate from the minute changes what it was like three hundred years ago and what it will be like three hundred years hence. In the same way geology can calculate what the Earth looked like twenty million years ago and what it will look like twenty million years hence. The calculations may be perfectly correct, but the Earth was not in existence twenty million years ago and will not be in existence twenty million years from now. The calculations themselves are correct but they are not true! Not even for the shortest periods does the Cosmos differ from man in this respect. Although mineral substances last essentially longer in that form than the configuration of substance in living bodies, yet even the purely physical part of mineral substances is transient. As I have said, the Moon in the sky to-day is in its physical composition no longer the same Moon which shone upon Caesar or Alcibiades or the Emperor Augustus, for its substance has changed, just as the substance of a man's physical body has changed. What endures out there in the Cosmos is the spiritual element, just as in the case of a human being what endures from birth to death is the spiritual entity, not the physical substance.
We shall therefore only be viewing the world rightly when we say of man that what endures between birth and death is his soul; what endures out yonder in the celestial bodies is a multiplicity of Beings. And when speaking of Moon and Sun we ought to be conscious that if we are to speak truly we must speak of Beings of the Moon and Beings of the Sun. The Beings of the Moon are connected with our past; the Beings of the Sun will be connected with our future, but even now they work into our present existence.
A sound basis for the study of human karma and destiny can be established only when man is given his real place within the Cosmos.
Try as we will, we can never alter the past. For this reason, in the Moon forces as they work into and lay hold of our human nature there is an element of immutable necessity. Everything that comes to us from the Moon has this character. In whatever comes from the Sun and points to the future, there is something in which our will, our freedom, can be a factor. So that we can say: when man again apprehends the Divine in the Cosmos, and instead of vague, sentimental generalisations is able to speak with precision and definition about the Divine as revealed in the several heavenly bodies, a special kind of language will take shape within him when he contemplates the heavenly bodies with heart-knowledge and true human understanding.
Now suppose a human being were standing in front of us and looking at his hands or his arms, his head, his chest, his legs, his feet, we were to ask in each case, ‘what is that?,’ and were told in reply, ‘that is something human.’ When no distinctions are made but everything is labelled with the generalisation ‘human,’ we are without bearings or direction. The same is true if we gaze out into the Cosmos, contemplate the Sun and Moon and the stars and speak of the Divine as a generalisation. We must acquire a definite, concretely real view of the Divine. And this we do when we recognise, for example, the deep connection of the Moon with our own past, indeed with the past of the whole Earth. Then, when we look at the Moon in the heavens, we can say: “Thou cosmic offspring of Necessity, when I contemplate that within me over which my will has no sway, I feel inwardly united with thee.” Our knowledge of the Moon then becomes feeling, for we realise that every experience arising perceptibly out of inner necessity is connected with the Moon.
If in the same way we contemplate the inmost nature of the Sun, not merely making calculations or observing it through instruments, we shall feel its kinship with everything that lives in us as freedom, with everything that we ourselves can achieve for the benefit of the future.
Such experiences would enable us to find a link with the instinctive wisdom of primeval humanity. For we cannot rightly understand what radiates with such poetic beauty from ancient civilisations unless we can still feel, when we gaze at the Moon, that there we are glimpsing the past with its element of necessity and when we gaze at the Sun that there we are glimpsing the freedom belonging to the future.
Necessity and freedom interweave in our destiny. In terms of the terrestrial and human we speak of Necessity and Freedom; in terms of the heavenly and cosmic we speak of Moon existence and Sun existence.
Now let us try to discover how the forces of the Sun and Moon work in the web of our destiny. We meet some human being. As a rule the fact that we have met him is enough in itself; we accept life as it comes without being very observant or giving it much thought. But deeper scrutiny of individual human life reveals that when two persons meet, their paths have been guided in a remarkable way. Think of two individuals, one aged twenty-five and the other aged twenty, who meet; they can look back over the course of their lives hitherto and it will be evident to each of them that every single happening in the life of the one, say the twenty-year-old, had impelled him from quite a different part of the world to this meeting, at this particular place, with the other. The same will be true of the twenty-five-year-old. In the forming of destiny very much depends upon the fact that human beings, starting from different parts of the world, meet as though guided by an iron necessity directly to the meeting-point. No thought is given to the wonders that can be revealed by studies of this kind but human life is infinitely enriched by insight into such situations and impoverished without it. If we begin to think about our relationship to some human being whom we seem to have met quite by accident, we shall have to say to ourselves that we had been looking for him, seeking for him, ever since we were born into this earthly existence ... and as a matter of fact, even before then. But I do not want to go into that at the moment. We need only remind ourselves that we should not have come across this individual if at some earlier point in earthly life we had taken only a slightly different direction to the left or to the right and had not gone the way we did. As I said, people do not give any thought to these matters. But it is sheer arrogance to believe that something to which one pays no attention is non-existent. It is a fact and will eventually reveal itself to observation. There is, however, a significant difference between what takes place before the actual meeting of two individuals and what takes place from that moment onwards. Before they met in earthly life, they had influenced each other without having any knowledge of the other's existence. After the meeting the mutual influence continues, but now they know each other. And this again is the beginning of something extremely significant.
Naturally, we also meet many individuals in life for whom we have not been seeking. I will not say that we meet a great many people of whom we might think that it would have been better not to have done so! I am not suggesting any such thing ... but at all events we do meet many individuals of whom we cannot say that we have deliberately set out to find them.
If what I have now been saying is viewed in the light of Spiritual Science, it becomes clear that what has been in operation between two human beings before they actually meet in earthly life is determined by the Moon, whereas everything that takes place between them after their meeting is determined by the Sun. Hence what occurs between two human beings before they become acquainted can only be regarded as the outcome of iron necessity and what happens afterwards as the expression of freedom, of mutually free relationship and behaviour. It is indeed true that when we get to know a human being our soul subconsciously looks back and forward: back to the spiritual Moon, forward to the spiritual Sun. And with this is connected the weaving of our karma, our destiny.
Very few people today have faculties for perceiving these things. But it is precisely because these faculties are beginning to develop that so much in our age is in a state of ferment. The faculties are already present in numbers of human beings, only they are unaware of it and ascribe the effects to all kinds of other causes. In reality these faculties of perception are striving to function so that when human beings become acquainted with one another they may realise how much is due to iron necessity, to the forces of the Moon, and how their relationship will go forward in the light of the Sun, in the light of freedom. To experience destiny in this way is itself part of the cosmic destiny of humanity today and on into the future. When we meet a human being in the world we can distinguish quite clearly between two kinds of relationship. In the case of one individual the relationship proceeds from the will, in the case of another, it proceeds more or less from the intellect, or even from the aesthetic sense.
Think of the subtle differences in the relationships between human beings even in childhood or youth. We may love an individual or perhaps we hate him. If our feelings do not reach this intensity, we shall feel sympathy or antipathy; our feelings in this case do not go very deep — we just pass him by or let him pass us by. It cannot be denied that this was how we felt about most of our teachers at school; and we should count ourselves fortunate if it was not so.
But a quite different kind of relationship is possible, even in childhood. It is when we are so inwardly affected by what we see a person do, that we say: we must do it too! The relationship between us makes us choose him as a hero, as one we must follow on the path to Olympus. In short, some human beings have an effect upon our intellect, or at best upon our aesthetic sympathy or antipathy; and others have a direct effect upon our will.
Or think of the other side of life. External circumstances may bring us into very close contact with certain individuals — yet we simply cannot dream about them. We may meet others only once, yet we never seem to be free of them, we are always dreaming about them. If a more intimate association is not vouchsafed to us in this present earthly life, this will have to be reserved for other incarnations. However that may be, our relationship to a human being is deeper if, as soon as we meet him, we begin to dream about him.
There is also a sort of waking dreaming, which in the case of most people to-day lacks clear definition. But as you know, there are also initiated human beings who experience life very differently. If we meet an individual who makes an impression upon our will, he will also have an effect upon our ‘inner speech:’ he will not only speak when he is face to face with us; he will also speak out of us. If we are initiated into the secret of cosmic existence we shall know that there is a double relationship between individuals when they meet: we may meet one person to whom we shall listen, and then go on our way; we need never listen to him any more. Others we may meet to whom we shall listen, but when we go away from them they still seem to be speaking — but out of our own inner being: they are there and they really do seem to speak in this way.
What happens in the case of an Initiate is as I have just described: he actually carries within him, in the very quality of his voice, those who have made this impression on him. In those who are not initiated this also takes place, but only in the realm of feeling; it is there all the same, but subconsciously. Let us suppose that we meet an individual and then come across other people who know him as well and will remark what a splendid fellow he is. This means that they have thought about the man and have formed a judgement based on the intellect. But we do not call everyone we meet a splendid fellow or a cad, as the case may be; there are individuals who have an effect upon our will — which as I have said, leads a kind of sleeping existence within us during our waking life. The effect is that we feel we simply must follow or oppose them. In one who is not initiated, these individuals, even if they do not speak within him, live in his will. What then exactly is the difference between these two kinds of relationship?
When we meet other human beings who have no effect upon our will, but of whom we do no more than form a judgement, then there is no strong karmic connection between us; we have had little to do with them in earlier earthly lives. Individuals who affect our very will, so that they seem to be always with us, whose form is so strongly impressed upon us that they are always in our thoughts, so that we dream of them even in our waking life — these are the individuals with whom we have had a great deal to do in our past earthly lives, with whom we are as it were cosmically connected through the gate of the Moon; whereas in our present life we are connected through the Sun with everything that lives in us without any element of the necessity belonging to Moon existence.
Thus is destiny woven. On the one side man has his isolated ‘head-existence’ which has considerable independence. Even physically this head-existence raises itself all the time above the general conditions of man's cosmic existence, and in the following way — the brain weighs on average 1,500 grammes, and with this weight it would crush all the underlying blood vessels. Just think of it — a weight of 1,500 grammes pressing on those delicate blood vessels! But this does not happen. Why not? Simply because the brain is embedded in the cerebral fluid. If you have learnt any physics, you will know that a body in water loses as much of its weight as the weight of the volume of water it displaces — this is the so-called principle of Archimedes. The actual weight of the brain is therefore about 20 grammes, because the brain floats in the cerebral fluid. Hence the brain in the body presses with a weight of only 20 grammes — certainly not with its actual weight of 1,500 grammes. The brain is isolated and has its own existence.
As we go about the world, the brain is like a man sitting in his motor-car. The man himself does not move; the car moves and he sits still. And our brain as the bearer of intellect has an isolated existence. That is why the intellect is so independent of our individuality. If each of us had our own separate and distinct intellect this would augur badly for any mutual understanding! We are able to understand one another only because we all possess the same principle of intellect, although naturally there are differences of degree. But intellect is a universal principle. Human beings can understand one another through the intellect which is independent of their individual qualities. Whatever appears in human destiny as something belonging to the immediate Present — such as the meeting of two people — works upon the intellect and impulses of feeling associated with the intellect. In these cases we speak of someone as a ‘splendid fellow’ in whom we have no further interest than that he has had an effect upon our intellect. Everything that is not part of our karma has an effect upon the intellect; everything that is part of our karma and links us with other human beings as a result of experiences once shared with the individuals we now meet — all this works through those depths of human nature which lie in the will. And so it is true that the will is working even before we actually meet a human being with whom we are karmically connected. The will is not always illumined by the intellect. Just think how much in the working of the will is shrouded in darkness! The karma which leads two human beings together is shrouded in the deepest obscurity of all; they become dimly aware that karma is working from the way in which their wills are involved. The moment they come face to face the intellect begins to work; and what is then woven by the intellect can become the basis for future karma. But in essentials — not wholly, but in essentials — it would be true to say that for two human beings who are karmically connected, their karma has worked itself out when the meeting has taken place. Only what they may do after that as a continuation of what lives in the unconscious — that and that alone becomes part of the stream of future karma. But a great deal is then woven into their destiny which has an effect only on the intellect and its sympathies and antipathies. Past and Future, Moon existence and Sun existence are here intermingled. The thread of karma that reaches into the past is interwoven with the thread that reaches into the future.
We can actually gaze into cosmic existence. For if we watch the Sun rising in the morning and look at the Moon at night, we can glimpse in their mutual relationships a picture of how Necessity and Freedom are interwoven in our own destiny. And if, with a concrete idea of the mingling of Necessity and Freedom in human destiny, we again contemplate the Sun and the Moon, they will begin to unveil their spirituality to us. Then we shall not speak like the unwitting physicists who when they look at the Moon merely say that it reflects the light of the Sun ... but when we see this light of the Moon which is the same as the light of the Sun, we shall rather speak of the weaving of cosmic destiny.
Thus contemplation of our own human destiny leads to a conception of cosmic destiny. Then and only then are we able in the real sense to knit our human existence with cosmic existence. Man must learn to feel himself a living member of the Cosmos. Just as a finger is a finger only while it is actually part of a human body — if it is amputated it is no longer really a finger — so man himself has real being only inasmuch as he is part of the Cosmos. But man is arrogant, and the finger would probably be humbler if it had the same kind of consciousness. ... Yet perhaps it would no longer be humble if it could at any moment tear itself free and move around the body... although it would have to remain in the sphere of a human being in order to remain a finger at all! And man, as earthly man, must remain in the Earth-sphere if he is to be man. He is a quite different being, he is a being of eternity when he is outside the Earth-sphere, either in pre-earthly or post-earthly existence. But again, we can gain knowledge of these spheres of existence only when we recognise that we ourselves are members of the Universe. This recognition will never be achieved by fanciful speculation about our connection with the Universe, but only when, as we have tried to do to-day, we learn gradually to feel its concrete reality. Then we feel that our destiny is in very truth an image of the world of stars, of the Sun-nature and the Moon-nature. We learn to look out into the Universe and read the scroll of our human life from the life of the great Universe. Again, we learn to look into our own soul and to understand the world through it. For nobody understands the Moon who does not understand the element of Necessity in human destiny; nobody understands the Sun who does not understand the element of Freedom in human nature. Such are the interconnections of Necessity and Freedom.
At the Christmas Foundation Meeting at the Goetheanum we tried to give the impulses which would help us to make these facts of true esoteric perception still more effective in the years to come. And I hope that our Members will become more and more conscious of what took place at Christmas. I would like particularly to draw your attention to the fact that every Member can now receive the News Sheet. Through this News Sheet and many other developments in the Anthroposophical Society, the whole Society should in future be able to share in that quickening life which can flow from Anthroposophy. The isolation which has hitherto existed between the Groups must as far as possible come to an end. The Anthroposophical Society can become a real whole only when those who are members of a Group in New Zealand know what is going on in a Group in Berne, and members of a Berne Group know what is going on in New Zealand or New York or Vienna. This should now be possible. And one of the many things we are doing, or at least that we want to do in connection with the Christmas Meeting is to make this News Sheet a medium for all anthroposophical work in the world. It will be necessary to pay some attention to the News Sheet, and then everyone will realise what he can do to promote its aims.
While I am speaking here the third number of the News Sheet is being issued in Dornach; in it I have shown how every Member can co-operate in making it a genuine reflection of anthroposophical achievements. Only because I believe that to this end it is necessary for Anthroposophy to be cultivated more intensively within the Society — I do not mean in the sense of more content, but with greater intensity, greater enthusiasm, greater love — only for these reasons, although in the ordinary way I should have every right at my age, to retire, I have decided, after having given up the personal leadership of the Society in 1912, to begin again and to imagine that I have regained my youth and am capable of the work. I want this to be understood as a desire to stimulate interest for a more active life in the Anthroposophical Society. My hope — and anyone who was not at Dornach can read about it in the Goetheanum Weekly and the News Sheet — is that whatever of spiritual value was achieved at the Christmas Meeting shall in some way reach every individual Member. Thereby the aim of bringing true esoteric life into the Society will be achieved. The High School for Spiritual Science was founded at Christmas with the aim that esoteric life shall again flow into the Anthroposophical Society.
I hope that the words I have spoken to you to-day will have expressed the desire that this esoteric life may again unfold among us in the way that will be made clearer and clearer to you. This aim can become reality through what can go out in future from Dornach as the centre where the General Anthroposophical Society was founded at Christmas. May the Members of this Berne Group be able to contribute effectively to what we should like to achieve in Dornach for the whole Movement, to the extent that our forces permit.