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The Evolution of Consciousness
GA 227

2. Inspiration and Intuition

20 August 1923, Penmaenmawr

Let us once more call up before our souls whither modern Initiation leads, after the first steps to Imaginative knowledge have been successfully taken. A man then comes to the point where his previous abstract, purely ideal world of thought is permeated with inner life. The thoughts coming to him are no longer lifeless, passively acquired; they are an inward world of living force which he feels in the same way as he feels the pulsing of his blood or the streaming in and out of the air he breathes. It is therefore a question of the ideal element in thinking being replaced by an inward experience of reality. Then indeed the pictures that previously constituted a man's thoughts are no longer mere abstract, shadowy projections of the outside world, but are teeming with an inward, vivid existence. They are real Imaginations experienced in two dimensions, as indicated yesterday, but it is not as though a man were standing in front of a painting in the physical world, for then he may experience visions, not Imaginations. Rather is it as though, having lost the third dimension, he were himself moving about within the picture. Hence it is not like seeing something in the physical world; anything that has the look of the physical world will be a vision. Genuine Imagination comes to us only when, for example, we no longer see colours as we do in the physical world, but when we experience them. What does this mean?

When you see colours in the physical world, they give you different experiences. You perceive red as something that attacks you, that wants to spring at you. A bull will react violently to this aggressive red; he experiences it far more vividly than does man, in whom the whole experience is toned down.

When you perceive green, it gives you a feeling of balance, an experience neither painful nor particularly pleasant; whereas blue induces a mood of devotion and humility. If we allow these various experiences of colour to penetrate right into us, we can realise how it is that when anything in the spiritual world comes at us in the aggressive way red does in physical life, it is something corresponding to the colour red. When we encounter something which calls up a mood of humility, this has the same effect as the experience of blue or blue-violet in the physical world. We can simplify this by saying: we have experienced red or blue in the spiritual world. Otherwise, for the sake of precision, we should always have to say: we have experienced something there in the way that red, or blue, is experienced in the physical world. To avoid so many words, one says simply that one has seen auric colours which can be distinguished as red, blue, green, and so on.

But we must realise thoroughly that this making our way into the super-sensible, this setting aside of all that comes to us through the senses, is always present as a concrete experience. And in the course of this experience we always have the feeling I described yesterday, as if thinking had become an organ of touch extending throughout the human organism, so that spiritually we feel that a new world is opening out and we are touching it. This is not yet the real spiritual world, but what I might call the etheric or formative-forces world. Anyone who would learn to know the etheric must grasp it in this way. For no speculation, no abstract reflection, about the etheric can lead to true knowledge of it. In this thinking that has become real we live with our own formative-forces or etheric body, but it is a different kind of living from life in the physical body. I should like to describe this other way by means of a comparison.

When you look at one of your fingers, you recognise it as a living member of your organism. Cut it off, and it is no longer what it was; it dies. If this finger of yours had a consciousness, it would say: I am no more than a part of your organism, I have no independent existence. That is what a man has to say directly he enters the etheric world with Imaginative cognition. He no longer feels himself as a separate being, but as a member of the whole etheric world, the whole etheric cosmos. After that he realises that it is only by having a physical body that he becomes a personality, an individuality. It is the physical body that individualises and makes of one a separate being.

We shall indeed see how even in the spiritual world we can be individualised—but I will speak of that later. If we enter the spiritual world in the way described, we are bound at first to feel ourself as just one member of the whole etheric Cosmos; and if our etheric body were to be cut off from the cosmic ether, it would mean for us etheric death. It is very important to grasp this, so that we may understand properly what has to be said later about a man's passage through the gate of death.

As I pointed out yesterday, this Imaginative experience in the etheric, which becomes a tableau of our whole life from birth up to the present moment of our existence on Earth, is accompanied by an extraordinarily intense feeling of happiness. And the flooding of the whole picture-world by this inward, wonderfully pleasurable feeling is a man's first higher experience.

We must then be able—as I also mentioned yesterday—to take all we have striven for through Imagination, through our life-tableau, and make it all disappear at will. It is only when we have thus emptied our consciousness that we understand how matters really are in the spiritual world. For then we know that what we have seen up to now was not the spiritual world, but merely an Imaginative picture of it. It is only at this stage of empty consciousness that—just as the physical world streams into us through our senses—so the spiritual world streams into us through our thinking. Here begins our first real experience, our first real knowledge, of the objective spiritual world. The life-tableau was only of our own inner world. Imaginative cognition reveals only this inner world, which appears to higher knowledge as a picture-world, a world of cosmic pictures. The Cosmos itself, together with our own true being, as it was before birth, before our earthly existence, appear first at the stage of Inspiration, when the spiritual world flows into us from outside. But when we have arrived at being able to empty our consciousness, our whole soul becomes awake; and in this stage of pure wakefulness we must be able to acquire a certain inner stillness and peace. This peace I can describe only in the following way.

Let us imagine we are in a very noisy city and hear the roar of it all around us. This is terrible—we say—when, from all sides, tumult assails our ears. Suppose it to be some great modern city, such as London. But now suppose we leave this city, and gradually, with every step we take as we walk away, it becomes quieter and quieter. Let us imagine vividly this fading away of noise. Stiller and stiller it becomes. Finally we come perhaps to a wood where all is perfectly silent; we have reached the zero-point where nothing can be heard.

Yet we can go even further. To illustrate how this can happen, I will use a quite trivial comparison. Suppose we have in our purse a certain sum of money. As we spend it from day to day, it dwindles, just as the noise dwindles as we leave the town. At length comes the day when there is nothing left—the purse is empty. We can compare this nothingness with the silence. But what do we do next if we are not to grow hungry? We get into debt. I am not recommending this; it is meant only as a comparison. How much have we then in our purse? Less than nothing; and the greater the debt, the more we have less than nothing.

And now let us imagine it to be the same with this silence. There would be not only the absolute peace of the zero-point of silence, but it would go further and come to the negative of hearing, quieter than quiet, more silent than silence. And this must in fact happen when, in the way described yesterday, we are able through enhanced powers to reach this inner peace and silence. When, however, we arrive at this inner negative of audibility, at this peace greater than the zero-point of peace, we are then so deeply in the spiritual world that we not only see it but hear it resounding. The world of pictures becomes a world of resounding life; and then we are in the midst of the true spiritual world. During the moments we spend there we are standing, as it were, on the shore of existence; the ordinary sense-world vanishes, and we know ourselves to be in the spiritual world. Certainly—I will say more of this later—we must be properly prepared so that we are at all times able to return. But there is something else to come—an experience previously unknown. Directly this peace is achieved in the empty consciousness, what I have described as an inwardly experienced, all-embracing, cosmic feeling of happiness gives way to an equally all-embracing pain. We come to feel that the world is built on a foundation of cosmic suffering—of a cosmic element which can be experienced by the human being only as pain. We learn the penetrating truth, so willingly ignored by those who look outside themselves for happiness, that everything in existence has finally to be brought to birth in pain. And when, through Initiation-knowledge, this cosmic experience of pain has made its impression upon us, then out of real inner knowledge we can say the following:

If we study the human eye—the eye that reveals to us the beauty of the physical world, and is so important for us that through it we receive nine-tenths of the impressions that make up our life between birth and death—we find that the eye is embedded in a bodily cavity which originates from a wound. What was done originally to bring about the eye-sockets could be done to-day only by actually cutting out a hollow in the physical body. The ordinary account of evolution gives a much too colourless impression of this. These sockets into which the eyeballs were inserted from outside—as indeed the physical record of evolution shows—were hollowed out at a time when man was still an unconscious being. If he had been conscious of it, it would have involved a painful wounding of the organism.

Indeed, the whole human organism has been brought forth out of an element which for present-day consciousness would be an experience of pain. At this stage of knowledge we have a deep feeling that, just as the coming forth of the plants means pain for the Earth, so all happiness, everything in the world from which we derive pleasure and blessing, has its roots in an element of suffering. If as conscious beings we could suddenly be changed into the substance of the ground beneath our feet, the result would be an endless enhancement of our feeling of pain.

When these facts revealed out of the spiritual world are put before superficially-minded people, they say: “My idea of God is quite different. I have always thought of God in His power as founding everything upon happiness, just as we would wish.” Such people are like that King of Spain to whom someone was showing a model of the universe and the course of the stars. The King had the greatest difficulty in understanding how all these movements occurred, and finally he exclaimed: “If God had left it to me, I would have made a much simpler world.”

Strictly speaking, that is the feeling of many people where knowledge and religion are concerned. Had God left the creation to them, they would have made a simpler world. They have no idea how naive this is!

Genuine Initiation-knowledge cannot merely satisfy men's desire for happiness; it has to guide them to a true understanding of their own being and destiny as they come forth from the world in the past, present and future. For this, spiritual facts are necessary, instead of something which gives immediate pleasure. But there is another thing which these lectures should indeed bring out. Precisely by experiencing such facts, if only through knowing them conceptually, people will gain a good deal that satisfies an inward need for their life here on Earth. Yes, they will gain something they need in order to be human beings in the fullest sense, just as for completeness they need their physical limbs.

The world we meet in this way when we go on beyond Imagination into the stillness of existence, out of which the spiritual world reveals itself in colour and in sound—this world differs essentially from the world perceived by the senses. When we are living with it—and we have to live with the spiritual world when it is present for us—we see how all sense-perceptible, physical things and processes really proceed from out of the spiritual world. Hence as earthly men we see only one half of the world; the other half is occult, hidden from us. And through every opening, every happening, in the physical-material world, one might say, this hidden half reveals its spiritual nature first in the pictures of Imagination, and then through its own creative activity in Inspiration. In the world of Inspiration we can feel at home, for here we find the origins of all earthly things, all earthly creations. And here, as I have indicated, we discover our own pre-earthly existence.

Following an old image, I have called this world, lying beyond that of Imagination, the astral world—the name is not important—and what we bring along with us from that world, and have carried into our etheric and physical bodies, we may speak of as our astral body. In a certain sense, it encloses the Ego-organisation. For higher knowledge, accordingly, the human being consists of four members: physical body, etheric or formative-forces body, astral body, and Ego-organisation. Knowledge of the Ego, however, entails a further super-sensible step, which in my book, Knowledge of the Higher Worlds, I have called “Intuition”. The term Intuition may easily be misunderstood because, for example, anyone with imaginative, poetic gifts will often give the name of intuition to his sensitive feeling for the world. This kind of intuition is only a dim feeling; yet it has some relation to the Intuition of which I am speaking. For just as earthly man has his sense-perceptions, so in his feeling and his will he has a reflection of the highest kind of cognition, of Intuition. Otherwise he could not be a moral being. The dim promptings of conscience are a reflection, a kind of shadow-picture, of true Intuition, the highest form of cognition possible for man on Earth.

Earthly man has in him something of what is lowest, and also this shadow-picture of what is highest, accessible only through Intuition. It is the intermediate levels that are lacking in him; hence he has to acquire Imagination and Inspiration. He has also to acquire Intuition in its purity, in its light-filled inner quality. At present it is in his moral feeling, his moral conscience, that he possesses an earthly image of that which arises as Intuition. Hence we can say that when a man with Initiation-knowledge rises to actual Intuitive knowledge of the world, of which previously he has known only the natural laws, the world becomes as intimately connected with him on earth as only the moral world is now. And this is indeed a significant feature of human life on Earth—that out of a dim inner presentiment we connect with the highest realm of all something which, in its true form, is accessible only to enhanced cognition.

The third step in higher knowledge, necessary for rising to Intuition, can be achieved only by developing to its highest point a faculty which, in our materialistic age, is not recognised as a cognitional force. What is revealed through Intuition can be attained only by developing and spiritualising to the highest degree the capacity for love. A man must be able to make this capacity for love into a cognitional force. A good preparation for this is to free ourselves in a certain sense from dependence on external things; for instance, by making it our regular practice to picture our past experiences not in their usual sequence but in reverse order.

In ordinary passive thinking we may be said to accept world events in an altogether slavish way. As I said yesterday: In our very thought-pictures we keep the earlier as the earlier, the later as the later; and when we are watching the course of a play on the stage the first act comes first, then the second, and so on to a possible fifth. But if we can accustom ourselves to picture it all by beginning at the end and going from the fifth act back through the fourth, third, second, to the first, then we break away from the ordinary sequence—we go backwards instead of forwards. But that is not how things happen in the world: we have to strain every nerve to call up from within the force to picture events in reverse. By so doing we free the inner activity of our soul from its customary leading-strings, and we gradually enable the inner experiences of our soul and spirit to reach a point where soul and spirit break loose from the bodily and also from the etheric element. A man can well prepare himself for this breaking away if every evening he makes a backward survey of his experiences during the day, beginning with the last and moving back. When possible even the details should be conceived in a backward direction: if you have gone upstairs, picture yourself first on the top step, then on the step below it, and so on backwards down all the stairs.

You will probably say: “But there are so many hours during the day, full of experiences.” Then first try taking episodes—picturing, for instance, this going up and down stairs in reverse. One thus acquires inner mobility, so that gradually one becomes able to go back in imagination through a whole day in three or four minutes.

But that, after all, is only the negative half of what is needed for enhancing and training spiritually our capacity for loving. This must be brought to the point when, for example, we lovingly follow each stage in the growth of a plant. In ordinary life this growth is seen only from outside—we do not take part in it. We must learn to enter into every detail of plant-growth, to dive right down into the plant, until in our own soul we become the plant, growing, blossoming, bringing forth fruit with it, and the plant becomes as dear to us as we are to ourselves. In the same way we can go above the plants to picture the life of animals, and down to the minerals. We can feel how the mineral forms itself into the crystal, and take inward pleasure in the shaping of its planes, corners, angles, and having a sensation as of pain in our own being when the minerals are split asunder. Then, in our souls, we enter not only with sympathy but with our will into every single event in nature.

All this must be preceded by a capacity for love extending to mankind as a whole. We shall never be able to love nature in the right way until we have first succeeded in loving all our fellow-men. When we have in this way won through to an understanding love for all nature, that which made itself perceptible first in the colours of the aura, and in the resounding of the spheres, rounds itself out and takes on the outlines of actual spiritual Beings.

Experiencing these spiritual Beings, however, is a different matter from experiencing physical things. When a physical object is in front of me, for example this clock, I stand here with the clock there, and can experience it only by looking at it from outside. My relation to it is determined by space. In this way one could never have any real experience of a spiritual Being. We can have it only by entering right into the spiritual Being, with the aid of the faculty for loving which we have cultivated first towards nature. Spiritual Intuition is possible only by applying—in stillness and emptiness of consciousness—the capacity for love we can first learn in the realm of nature. Imagine that you have developed this capacity for loving minerals, plants, animals and also man; you are now in the midst of a completely empty consciousness. All around is the peace which lies beyond its zero-point. You feel the suffering on which the whole existence of the world is founded, and this suffering is at the same time a loneliness. Nothing yet is there. But the capacity for love, flowing up from within in manifold forms, leads you on to enter with your own being into all that now appears visibly, audibly, as Inspiration. Through this capacity for love you enter first into one spiritual Being, then into another.

These Beings described in my book, Occult Science, these Beings of the higher Hierarchies—we now learn to live in our experience of them; they become for us the essential reality of the world. So we experience a concrete spiritual world, just as through eye and ear, through feeling and warmth, we experience a concrete physical world.

If anyone wishes to acquire knowledge particularly important for himself, he must have advanced to this stage. I have already mentioned that through Inspiration pre-earthly spiritual existence rises up in our soul; how in this way we learn what we were before we came down into an earthly body. When through the capacity for love we are able to enter clairvoyantly into spiritual Beings, in the way I have described, there is also revealed that which first makes a man, in his inner experience, a complete being. There is revealed what precedes our life in the spiritual world; we are shown what we were before ascending to the last spiritual life between death and rebirth. The preceding earthly life is revealed, and, one after another, the lives on Earth before that. For the true Ego, present in all the repeated lives on Earth, can manifest only when the faculty for love has been so greatly enhanced that any other being, whether outside in nature or in the spiritual world, has become just as dear to a man as in his self-love he is dear to himself. But the true Ego—the Ego that goes through all repeated births and deaths—is manifest to a man only when he no longer lives egotistically for momentary knowledge, but in a love that can forget self-love and can live in an objective Being in the way that in physical existence he lives in self-love. For this Ego of former lives on Earth has then become as objective for his present life as a stone or a plant is for us when we stand outside it. We must have learnt by then to comprehend in objective love something which, for our present subjective personality, has become quite objective, quite foreign. We must have gained mastery over ourselves during our present earthly existence in order to have any insight into a preceding one.

When we have achieved this knowledge, we see the complete life of a man passing rhythmically through the stages of earthly existence from birth or conception till death, and then through spiritual stages between death and rebirth, and then returning again to Earth, and so on. A complete earthly life reveals itself as a repeated passing through birth and death, with intermediate periods of life in purely spiritual worlds. Only through Intuition can this knowledge be acquired as real knowledge, derived directly from experience.

I have had to describe for you—in outline to begin with—the path of Initiation-knowledge that must be followed in our time, at this present stage of human evolution, in order to arrive at true spiritual knowledge of the world and of man. But as long as human beings have existed there has been Initiation-knowledge, although it has had to take various forms in different evolutionary periods. As man is a being who goes through each successive earthly life in a different way, conditions for his inner development in the various epochs of world-evolution have to vary considerably. We shall be learning more about these variations in course of the next few days; to-day I should like to say only that the Initiation-knowledge which had to be given out in early times was very different from what has to be given out to-day. We can go back some thousands of years, to a time long before the Mystery of Golgotha, and we find how greatly men's attitude to both the natural world and the spiritual world differed from that of the present time, and how different, accordingly, was their Initiation-knowledge from what is appropriate today.

We have now a very highly developed natural science; I shall not be speaking of its most advanced side but only of what is imparted to children of six or seven, as general knowledge. At this comparatively early age a child has to accept the laws relating, let us say, to the Copernican world-system, and on this system are built hypotheses as to the origin of the universe. The Kant-Laplace theory is then put forward and, though this theory has been revised, yet in its essentials it still holds good. The theory is based on a primeval nebula, demonstrated in physics by an experiment intended to show the earliest conditions of the world-system. This primeval nebula can be imitated experimentally, and out of it, through the rotation of certain forces, the planets are assumed to have come into being, and the sun left behind. One of the rings split off from the nebula is thought to have condensed into the shape of the Earth, and everything else—minerals, plants, animals, and finally man himself—is supposed to have evolved on this basis. And all this is described in a thoroughly scientific way.

The process is made comprehensible for children by means of a practical demonstration which seems to show it very clearly. A drop of oil is taken, sufficiently fluid to float on a little water; this is placed on a piece of card where the line of the equator is supposed to come; a pin is run through the card and the card is whirled round. It can then be shown how, one after another, drops of oil detach themselves and rotate, and you can get a miniature planetary system out of the oil, with a sun left in the middle. When that has been shown to us in childhood, why should we think it impossible for our planetary system to have arisen out of the primeval nebula? With our own eyes we have seen the process reproduced.

Now in moral life it may be admirable for us to be able to forget ourselves, but in a demonstration of natural phenomena it is not so good! This whole affair of the drop of oil would never have worked if there had been no-one there to twirl the pin. That has to be taken into account. If this hypothesis is to hold good, a giant schoolmaster would have had to be there in the Cosmos, to start the primeval nebula revolving and keep it turning. Otherwise the idea has no reality.

It is characteristic of this materialistic age, however, to conceive only a fraction of the truth, a quarter, an eighth, or even less, and this fraction then lives with terribly suggestive power in the souls of men. Thus we persist to-day in seeing one side only of nature and of nature's laws.

I could give you plenty of examples, from different spheres of life, clearly showing this attitude towards nature: how—because a man absorbs this with the culture of the day—he considers nature to be governed by what is called the law of cause and effect. This colours the whole of human existence to-day. At best, a man can still maintain some connection with the spiritual world through religious tradition, but if he wishes to rise to the actual spiritual world, he must undertake an inner training through Imagination, Inspiration, Intuition—as I have pictured them. He must be led by Initiation-knowledge away from this belief in nature as permeated throughout by law, and towards a real grasp of the spiritual. Initiation-knowledge to-day must aim at leading men from the naturalistic interpretation of the Cosmos, now taken for granted, to a realisation of its spirituality.

In the old Initiation-knowledge, thousands of years ago, the very opposite prevailed. The wise men of the Mysteries, the leaders in those centres which were school, church, and art-school at the same time, had around them people who knew nothing of nature in the Copernican sense, but in their soul and spirit had an instinctive, intimate experience of the Cosmos, expressed in their myths and legends, which in the ordinary civilisation of to-day are no longer understood. About this too we shall have more to say. The experience that men had in those early days was instinctive; an experience of soul and spirit. It filled their waking hours with the dreamlike pictures of imagination; and from these pictures came the legends, the myths, the sayings of the gods, which made up their life. A man looked out into the world, experiencing his dreamy imaginations; and at other times he lived in the being of nature. He saw the rainbows, the clouds, the stars, and the sun making its speedy way across the heavens; he saw the rivers, the hills arising; he saw the minerals, plants, animals.

For primeval man, everything he saw through his senses was a great riddle. For at the time of which I am speaking, some thousands of years before the Mystery of Golgotha—there were both earlier and later times when civilisation was different—a man had an inward feeling of being blessed when dreamlike imaginations came to him. The external world of the senses, where all that he perceived of rainbow, clouds, the moving sun, and the minerals, plants, animals, was what the eye could see, while in the starry world he saw only what the pre-Copernican, Ptolemaic system recorded. This external world presented itself to people generally in a way that led them to say: “With my soul I am living in a divine-spiritual world, but there outside is a nature forsaken by the gods. When with my senses I look at a spring of water, I see nothing spiritual there; I see nothing spiritual in the rainbow, in the minerals, plants, animals, or in the physical bodies of men.” Nature appeared to these people as a whole world that had fallen away from divine spirituality.

This was how people felt in that time when the whole visible Cosmos had for them the appearance of having fallen away from the divine. To connect these two experiences, the inward experience of God and the outer one of a fallen sense-world, it was not merely abstract knowledge they needed, but a knowledge that could console them for belonging to this fallen sense-world with their physical bodies and their etheric bodies. They needed a consolation which would assure them that this fallen sense-world was related to all they experienced through their instinctive imaginings, through an experience of the spiritual which, though dim and dreamlike, was adequate for the conditions of those times. Knowledge had to be consoling.

It was consolation, too, that was sought by those who turned eagerly to the Mysteries, either to receive only what could be given out externally, or to become pupils of the men of wisdom who could initiate them into the secrets of existence and the riddles that confronted them.

These wise men of the old Mysteries, who were at the same time priests, teachers, and artists, made clear to their pupils through everything contained in their Mysteries—yet to be described—that even in this fallen world, in its rising springs, in the blossoming trees and flowers, in the crystal-forming minerals, in rainbow and drifting clouds and journeying sun there live those divine-spiritual powers which were experienced instinctively in the dreamlike imaginations of men. They showed these people how to reconcile the godforsaken world with the divine world perceived in their imaginations. Through the Mysteries they gave them a consoling knowledge which enabled them once more to look on nature as filled with the divine.

Hence we learn from what is told of those past ages—told even of the Grecian age—that knowledge now taught to the youngest children in our schools, that the sun stands still and the earth circles around it, for instance, is the kind of knowledge which in the old Mysteries was preserved as occult. What with us is knowledge for everyone was for that age occult knowledge; and explanations of nature were an occult science. As anyone can see who follows the course of human development during our civilisation, nature and nature's laws are the chief concern of men today; and this has led the spiritual world to withdraw. The old dreamlike imaginations have ceased. A man feels nature to be neutral, not entirely satisfying, belonging not to a fallen, sinful Universe, but to a Cosmos that by reason of inner necessity has to be as it is. He then feels more sharply conscious of himself; he learns to find spirituality in that one point only, and he discovers an inner urge to unite this inner self with God. All he now needs—in addition to his knowledge of nature and in conformity with it—is that a new Initiation-knowledge shall lead him into the spiritual world. The old Initiation-knowledge could start from the spirit, which was then experienced by people instinctively, and, embodied in the myths, could lead them on to nature. The new Initiation-knowledge must begin with a man's immediate experience to-day, with his perception of the laws of nature in which he believes, and from there it must point the way back to the spiritual world through Imagination, Inspiration, Intuition.

Thus, in human evolution, a few thousand years before the Mystery of Golgotha, we see the significant moment of time when men, starting out from an instinctive experience of the spirit, found their way to concepts and ideas which, as the most external form of occult science, included the laws of nature. To-day these laws of nature are known to us from childhood. In face of this indifferent, prosaic attitude to life, this naturalism, the spiritual world has withdrawn from the inner life of man. Today, Initiation-knowledge must point back from nature to the spirit. For the men of old, nature was in darkness, but the spirit was bright and clear. The old Initiation-knowledge had to carry the light of this brightness of the spirit into the darkness of nature, so that nature too might be illumined. Initiation-knowledge to-day has to start from the light thrown upon nature, in an external, naturalistic way, by Copernicus, Giordano Bruno, Galileo, Kepler, Newton and others. This light has then to be rescued, given fresh life, in order to open the way for it to the spirit, which in its own light must be sought on the opposite path to that of the old Initiation.