In connection with this lecture that Rudolf Steiner gave on November 5, 1922, in The Hague, he addressed the members of the Anthroposophical Society in the following words:
“And now, my dear friends, after these explanations permit me to add some remarks to today's lecture which are, to a certain degree, connected with the lecture itself. Pardon me for speaking of my own anxieties. These anxieties of my own, to be brief, have to do with the possibility of being able to go on with the building of the Goetheanum, in Dornach.
My dear friends, the fact is that since the building of the Goetheanum has been begun, and it is in large part completed, it must be continued to completion. What if this could not be done? This is bound up with the very fact that this Goetheanum is a symbol today for that spiritual movement which is to be born into the world through Anthroposophy. If there had never been a circle of friends through whom the beginning of the building of the Goetheanum could be brought to realization, then Anthroposophy would have had to find some other avenue of expression. Today the building of the Goetheanum cannot simply be discontinued without damage. And it is this, my dear friends, that weighs heavily on my soul; for, if the results of what I have said in this regard remain the same as they have thus far, it will not be months, but only weeks for the moment to arrive when we shall come to a complete stoppage in Dornach.
Naturally, I cannot make such a statement without remembering with heartfelt gratitude that in this very country individual friends have made sacrifices in a most devoted manner for what has been accomplished thus far in building the Goetheanum. My thanks for this are profound and heartfelt, and I know that many of our friends have done their utmost in this matter. This I must, naturally, presuppose. But, on the other hand, I cannot do otherwise than to emphasize the fact — without wishing to criticize anything — that the worry weighs heavily on my soul over the fact that we shall not be able to continue with the building of the Goetheanum unless we receive abundant help on the part of a greater number of our friends, and that this Anthroposophical Movement, which has been active these last years at all possible points of the periphery, will tie without a center.
Therefore, my dear friends, I cannot but tell you what is at stake. Anthroposophy as such has spread very much in the world; and I assure you that, even here in Holland, the dear friends present today are only a very small part of the people who are in touch with Anthroposophy. We can judge this by the sale of our literature and we can see how, in many ways, Anthroposophy has become important to many persons.
On the other hand, something different can be observed — we can voice this without malice, even though we may create an impression of malice — we know that, on the other hand, the enemies of truth have made their appearance. And these, my dear friends, are well organized. Among them exist strong international ties. The enemies of Anthroposophical work are as well organized as our Anthroposophical Movement — pardon me for saying this — is badly organized! This is something we have yet to realize.
How is it that we have to say today that, in a few weeks, the Goetheanum may be without any means for its progress toward completion? You may have everything possible on the periphery — Waldorf Schools, etc. — all this is naturally void of power if there is no center. But for this center the right heart is lacking among the membership!
Let it be understood that I am not saying that this or that person is not giving all he has or, perhaps, does not have; it is not in the least my intention to go into such details. But, if our souls possessed the same enthusiasm for Anthroposophy which our opponents of all shades have today for anti-Anthroposophy, we should be very differently established. Then it would not be so difficult to collect the pennies, trivial in comparison with the wealth of the world — in spite of the impoverished world of today — to finish the Goetheanum. But the right heart for this is really lacking, my dear friends; yet we cannot do otherwise than to save this symbol in Dornach from failure. It can be saved from ruin if we can combine a strong enthusiasm with all our longing for Anthroposophical knowledge.
In these remarks I am not referring to any individuals. But, on the whole, the prevalent spirit within our circles is to start things with great apparent enthusiasm. The building of the Goetheanum was begun with enthusiasm. This enthusiasm has vanished, particularly in those who in the beginning displayed great enthusiasm. And these very persons have left this problem of going on to me alone. It has in many instances become characteristic, my dear friends, that people cannot remain enthusiastic; that something flares up — and those who shared in this sudden blaze leave the fire and do not keep feeding it. The warmth of heart dies out. And then come those worries. And, in view of the seriousness of the matter, my dear friends — why should I not call attention in this intimate circle to such a thing? The seriousness of the cause demands it. On the other hand there really exists the necessity to extend spiritual science as such. Be assured, a heavy responsibility rests on the one who is able to state at all that it depends on the conditions of the cosmos, in one way or another, whether a human being becomes a man or a woman, whether he has blue eyes and blond hair or brown eyes and black hair. I mention this only as an example. A statement like this cannot he made carelessly. It requires years of research before one arrives at the point of making such a statement, for one who does this without being conscious of his responsibility will usher disaster into the world. But it is necessary today, on the one hand, to extend this spiritual science; on the other hand, my dear friends, new cares spring up because of the developments in the periphery, when the enthusiasm does not persist, through the very fact that these things are there. New establishments are founded, and they have to be cared for. The worries have to be borne. These two things do not coincide unless the Society, as bearer of the Anthroposophical Movement, is a reality built on firm inner ground. Societies, that are realities built on firm ground, can surely accomplish great things! But it is imperative to observe that along with the need to deepen spiritual science more and more, there moved along, at the same time, an increasingly badly organized Society, a will displaying less and less enthusiasm for making the Society itself an instrument.
And the first thing for which I repeatedly beg our friends, since we are confronted by urgent necessity, is that they shall make the Society into a living, active being in the world.
This is highly essential, my dear friends. It is greatly to be desired that the center in Dornach shall not crumble, but that friends shall be found who will give us help.
There is, for instance, the wonderful possibility of gradually achieving significant results in the field of medicine, of therapeutics through the discoveries of remedies, based on spiritual science. But all this depends on the existence of the center in Dornach. The moment the Dornach center breaks down everything breaks down, and it is this that I want our friends to be conscious of, for it has in many instances disappeared from their consciousness. And I must say, it has really become an extremely heavy burden for me, a crushing burden.
I am saying this for the reason, my dear friends, that you may find the opportunity to think with me about these things in your good heart; for these things have to be thought out.”