Initiation, Eternity and the Passing Moment
31 August 1912, Munich
We were able to close our considerations yesterday by touching on the attitude of the individual toward what we may call the description of the super-sensible world and all that arises from the researches, observations and experiences of initiation. Attention was drawn to how easily the opinion may be formed that value and significance for the life of the soul can only result from the experiences of initiation in one who has made the first steps on that path and is therefore able, through his own vision, to penetrate into the experience and observation of higher worlds. It has, however, often been emphasised that this is not so. It is true that one can see, observe, discover and explore what takes place in the higher worlds, but only if one has so transformed one's own soul as to be able to look into those worlds. As we said yesterday, they are indeed quite different from the world of sensory existence, though they are connected with it in various respects and are to be regarded essentially as its foundation.
On the other hand, in what concerns the understanding of these other worlds, you would not be judging correctly if you affirmed that, in order to comprehend, grasp and receive what can be given by those who have taken the first or further steps toward initiation, you had necessarily to experience it yourself. On the contrary, it must be emphasised repeatedly that any man who devotes himself without prejudice to what is vouched for by actual spiritual investigators in super-sensible worlds, any man who will accept their descriptions, experiences and communications without prejudice, letting his unbiased judgement and active understanding hold the field, will really be able to grasp all that he is offered. In the life of the senses it is quite different. We are perfectly justified in saying that there is hardly anyone who could glean an idea of the Sistine Madonna, or of an unknown, distant landscape simply from a description. If you have a lively imagination, you may be able to form some sort of picture from a description, but it is still true to say that only he who can see for himself, can grasp things in sensory existence. So that in this existence understanding must come after seeing. That is by no means the case in higher worlds. Those who seek there, can draw out that for which they seek, put it into the forms and concepts of human ideas, and thus give it to the world. Of course, men may be entangled in materialistic or other dogmas, or they may have no will whatever to give themselves open-mindedly to what is being imparted; in that case it will not be understood. Or it may not be a man's own fault that he cannot understand it because his life and education may not hitherto have given him the facility for open-mindedly receiving these things. But anyone who is in a position to devote himself to these things without prejudice and can gather up all that comes to him by way of sound understanding and sound judgement will at length say, “However incredible these things at first appear, it is just this healthy, comprehensive, all-round thinking that leads to the understanding of them, even though one is quite incapable of seeing anything of the higher worlds.”
As I have been able to tell you in the last few days, anyone who attains to visions of the higher worlds bears images within him of his own inner life and is at first guided by what is in those images. It is the same with the understanding of things in the super-sensible world. Understanding precedes seeing, is in no way influenced by it, nor does it exercise any influence over it. Previous understanding need not in the least affect what brings man to a vision of what is completely unprejudiced and in accordance with truth. On the contrary, previous understanding and grasping of these things with all-round powers of judgement (to which, it must be admitted, there is little inclination among people nowadays) prepare the heart and soul to enter in the appropriate way into the power of vision. Thus, we must continually repeat that true occultism, true science of the spirit with sincere and earnest intention, will never draw back before the demand that we should dispassionately grasp and understand what is said, that we should try to penetrate it with sound human understanding and with powers of judgement that flow freely into every sphere. We shall then find it possible.
A good deal about these matters will be found in my book, A Road to Self Knowledge, where much that is complementary to these lectures is contained. But special mention should be made of how something significant can contribute to the purification and cleansing of the soul when the effort is made by those who seek the way of the science of the spirit out of the darkness of life. Above all, mention should be made of how to understand things and to grasp them objectively with what every man, if only he is willing, can have at his disposal in his sound power of judgement. By this way of sound understanding, by this refusal of all authority and all authorised belief, we gain special light when we come to certain refinements in occult observation.
From the whole spirit and meaning of these lectures, it will have appeared that, as the steps are taken toward initiation, it becomes increasingly a matter of each man being independent, as regards his experience, of everything for which his physical body can serve him as an instrument. He must learn to experience in his higher bodies, in his etheric body, in his astral body, and also in what may be called his ego or thought body. The essential thing at every stage of initiation is this making oneself capable of perceiving in the higher bodies. In this connection, however, it is necessary for a man to do something in order to free himself of his physical sensory body. He must consciously divest himself, strip himself of everything that binds him to the world insofar as in this linking, this binding, the physical body lends itself as a tool.
This, of course, is not possible for everyone, especially in an age as materialistic as this. It is least of all possible for those who today give their opinion about the riddles and phenomena of the universe, those who by the present, peculiar methods of education, are brought up to the belief that already in earliest youth it is possible to attain — not merely to try to do so — considered judgement about world phenomena. Why is it that so much harm is done in the world nowadays by judgements born purely out of passion and emotion? When we look through what appears in print in the world, we see that the book trade is flooded with the most immature productions arising simply out of sympathies and antipathies. Why is this? It may also be asked, “Were there not in former times, too, men who out of the darkness of life confronted the results of super-sensible investigation with hatred and aversion even as today? Were there not men of darkness such as the materialists of today, who availed themselves of every possible method that hatred, ignorance and darkness could suggest?” The answer is that there were always such men, but they never worked in the way they work today. And why? Sometimes we have to pause and make note of such things in our conscience. There have been men who have hated the world and all unprejudiced penetration into higher worlds because this may sometimes bring to light most uncomfortable facts. But such men in the past could often neither read nor write. Their level of education fell short of reading and writing. Those holding such opinions today are able by means of education to read and write, and the public at large has no power of discriminating between the various things that appear in the press nor do they know how to appreciate them at their proper value. There is not much will to develop discrimination so as to come to the realisation that, in this age, there is need for the sifting and purifying intervention of a movement that combines occultism with the science of the spirit.
Men have many difficult things to learn. Simply from the facts revealed by higher worlds, there is much to be learned. For instance, it will have to be learned that even when, through partial schooling or preparation of the soul organism or other organisms, one does penetrate into higher worlds, even then it may be possible for a good deal to remain in respect of the bond with the external world that arises by way of the physical senses. Once the boundary that is so firmly drawn between the life of the senses and spiritual life is crossed by the spiritual seer, all that still remains of certain justifiable weaknesses in sensory existence when experienced in higher spiritual vision enwraps him in darkness, in maya. Only by incessantly taking ourselves to task during the period when we are seeing into the spiritual world can we, as a being there, completely shut out all that we must necessarily have in sensory existence. Only by making sure that during spiritual vision there will be no interplay of what surrounds us in the sensory world shall we be able to see, unadulterated and free of illusion, the spiritual, super-sensible world.
Without alluding to anything in particular, let us take a definite case. Say that someone wishing to pass through the stages of initiation, or having already done so, has a personal relation to someone else based on immediate personal feeling and emotion. Let us suppose that this relation of a spiritual seer, who is about to be initiated or has already made steps toward initiation, is a definite personal relation between two human beings based on mutual attraction such as is awakened in the life of the senses, possibly out of confiding love, so that — and I mean this in a higher sense there is physical interplay between the two. Let us assume something of the kind to be present, and the one who was a spiritual seer was wishing to make investigations about the person toward whom he felt thus attracted during sensory existence. Let us also suppose him to be unable to rid himself of all this love formed in sensory existence for the person in question. It would then be practically impossible for him to learn the truth about the super-sensible being of such a personality. Oh, it is indeed necessary, however much one may love, however close a personal attachment one may feel in sensory existence, to try perseveringly to cast it all aside when trying to observe the super-sensible. It may be that one feels a personal attraction such as this, and does not free oneself from the kind of fondness for the said personality that one would have in sensory existence. Then, before the eyes of the spiritual seer, pictures of the past and future of this personality will appear, for instance, that must unavoidably be false. Complete illusion may ensue. Therefore, anyone having a serious sense of responsibility in face of what is given from the realm of spiritual wisdom cannot be too careful when revealing to the world anything that happens in his own immediate circle, in the circle of those with whom he is familiar. When there are indications of any occult results relating to what concerns the immediate personal circle of the investigator, it is always a safe rule to regard them as in the highest degree doubtful.
This is not said with reference to any particular fact. It is merely said because for every occultist it is an objective fact. With this are connected, however, things that play throughout into higher spheres, one might say. With this is connected the fact that anyone wishing to make investigations into super-sensible worlds is little adapted to get a basic conception of the right kind in relation to religious questions, if with his prejudices and personal feelings he is attached to any particular religious community, if he is more attached to one religious community than to another, or is indeed a propagandist of any religious community. One who has a leaning toward personally prompted propaganda cannot also be an objective occultist! This is a statement that must indeed be made with all severity. There are conditions that we may be allowed to bring into relation with our karma of Western culture. In a certain sense these make it not too difficult for a westerner, when he has made himself a little familiar with the basic demands of super-sensible life, to form an objective judgement as to how we should place into human evolution the great event we call the Mystery of Golgotha. For how is it that so much of the darkness of life, enters into religious life and into the way in which men understand it? Why does all that only wants to be concerned with the passing moment and has no wish to raise itself to the light of the spirit and to all that is eternal enter religious life? Because everything related to religious life is intimately bound up with all that is human egoism — not merely individual egoism, but the egoism of family, race and people. From this point of view, and because there is need that these things should be observed with complete lack of prejudices let me call your attention to a particular phenomenon.
Take an Oriental. What part does his religious life play in regard to the founder of his religion when he considers the connection of his racial or national evolution? Consider whether it is easy for an Oriental, or any other man who is not of the West, to think historically about the course of the history into which he is placed without linking this historical life with men like Krishna, Buddha, Mohammad, or Confucius. Everywhere we see that, quite as a matter of course, what is in religious life is bound up with what takes place in profane external life, and flows into the heart and soul of the people. It is impossible to imagine a Buddhist, for instance, writing a history without making Buddha the central point. This is not said as a criticism but because it is true of the men who belong to such cultural evolutions.
But now let us go to the West and look, not at dogmas, but at facts. I shall pick out a recognised historian of the West, Leopold von Ranke, who is known throughout the world for his objectivity, his calm sense of values, his quite individual way of facing things objectively. Ranke has written many chapters on historical evolution, but one remarkable thing has become known about him. He once, in the presence of a friend, revealed that he had so represented the course of history that he had never taken into account the Christ, nor the facts immediately associated with Him! He went to a good deal of trouble to write a history of the West in accordance with his objective sense without making Christ take part in it. In his old age it caused him many pangs of conscience when he had to ask, “If deeds flow into the actual historical happenings for which there are no documents nor records, can this history be said to be true?” This is not mentioned here to decide whether such a history is true or untrue — I hold it to be supremely justified — but because one of the best histories, by one of the best recognised Western historians, has been so written that Christ has been entirely omitted, that Christ was not included in the course of the history. That is a fundamentally important and significant fact. Wherever has accidental civilisation led us? Western civilisation has brought us to this, that we do not always look up to the Being Who should stand forth as the central figure of all history, had there been the right connection with Him. It is not science that has led us to this. How has it come about? Let us throw light on this matter from another point of view.
Where have the great founders of religion lived, those who were the great initiates and who gave their people what they needed out of their national substance? Is it conceivable, for instance, that Hermes should have worked on his epoch through the substance of any other people, or is it conceivable that Buddha should have worked in any other way than through the particular qualities of the race into which he was placed, or should have sent his forces into them? Now let us turn our eyes to Him Whom we do not call an initiate but know as the Personality through Whom world initiation, cosmic initiation, has worked. Did He belong to any particular nation? He was born in an unknown corner of the world, far removed from great empires, and there the events were played out. Since the Gospels and other records of the New Testament cannot be looked upon as reliable historical records, it may be said that, of all these events, none can be proved by documentary evidence. Those who joined Him as pupils and disciples did so without distinction of family, race or sex. This, then, is the difference, that whereas in former times the people looked to their racial initiates, here they turned to One Who belonged to no people, Who indeed accomplished His greatest deeds of culture among a people with whom He had not lived.
That is the great step forward out of the darkness of life to the light of the spirit that we must not misunderstand if we are in earnest about the evolution of mankind. Those are the things that have really to be considered, things that have to be effectively pointed out by the science that can be drawn from real observation of super-sensible worlds. From much that I have been able to tell you, you will see how essential it is to have some understanding of what was said by the double of Johannes Thomasius in The Guardian of the Threshold, “Thinking has a purifying force.” This purifying force of thinking really works in such a way that it leads us out of our darkness into spirit light. It leads us away from the passing moment into eternity. But it is not willingly admitted that thinking has this purifying force. There is, however, something strange about the occult nature of thinking. A materialistic science imagines that man thinks with his brain; that is simply an error. If you appreciate the whole meaning of what is said in A Road to Self Knowledge, you will also understand that the process and activity of thinking, the combining and working out of ideas, do not take place in the physical body, but in the etheric body.
In truth, in ordinary life, also, man thinks with his etheric body, but the fact that he is in ordinary life precludes his having any knowledge of the activity that takes place within him when he thinks with his etheric body. Fundamentally, man is always thinking; his etheric body is always in motion, and it is this motion that constitutes thinking. But, of all this activity in the etheric body, it is only the reflection that comes into consciousness. You must conceive of a certain relation of the etheric body to the physical body somewhat in the following way. Assume that you were walking down this hall beneath this row of windows, and that mirrors were hanging on the walls between each window. As you pass the first mirror you see your face; where there is no mirror you do not see your face, but, as you go on you again see it for there is another mirror that throws its image back to you. Your face is there all the way along, but you only see it when it is reflected. The etheric body is in a perpetual flow of thought, but it only becomes perception when the brain in the physical body reflects what is going on in the etheric body. This etheric body is there all the time, but a man ordinarily knows nothing of it. It is reflected by the brain, which is to be regarded as an instrument of reflection, and whenever life is reflected it becomes conscious. That is why the physical body must be there, so that the etheric body, which actually does the thinking, may know something of this thinking. The brain itself, however, does not think, nor does the physical body. This thinking has its seat in the etheric body, and what a man perceives in his brain is just as little his thinking as what appears in the mirror is you. When a man wishes to take the first steps toward initiation, it is in truth as if you passed before all the mirrors trying all the time to be inside yourself, and then became capable of experiencing what your form was like, so that you would perceive yourself outwardly actually from within.
Such is the ascent from life in the senses to spiritual life. Whereas man can ordinarily only perceive what is going on in his instrument of reflection — what as a reflection he sees in his brain — by means of initiation he comes to direct experience and perception in his etheric body. Then, on reaching this inner experience and perception, he comes into touch with quite another world, that of essential being. His own being, his experience, his perception, widen out beyond the objective world. What he then experiences is a world of spiritual being that he may also experience in sensory existence, as far as the periphery of what is experienced is concerned. But only then can he rise to grasping something in spiritual existence that is here only present for us as physical image. Then he can understand that the impulses of initiates did not merely flow from earthly wisdom, but that great initiates have come to their greatest impulses, moral impulses, and so forth, and work with such mighty power because all they have is not merely taken from the earth; it is received by them from what is far beyond the earth. For as soon as man gets beyond the earth, he there comes to what is bound up with earthly existence.
If through initiation he passes from earthly existence to cosmic existence, then he comes to experiences — if he is studying an initiate such as Buddha, for instance — when he can say, “He has lived on earth as Bodhisattva through many incarnations.” Whoever has learned to understand Buddhism in this connection, must of necessity become as believing as a Buddhist; he will know that in the personality of Gautama Buddha this individuality lived for the last time in a physical body. In this incarnation, however, he became Buddha and has now ascended for spiritual work in spiritual worlds, so that the spiritual vision can be directed to the passing of the Buddha individuality from earthly life to spiritual life, to association in spiritual existence. If you then trace this individuality back, you will see how, as a Bodhisattva, he passed through many incarnations. At length, however, you come to an earlier time when you can no longer say, “We are here dealing with an individuality living on the earth, “ because then you have to follow him to an earlier abode, and the change in this outstanding individuality is so represented that he grows right out beyond earthly existence. Then, at a certain time, we see the Buddha descending from another planet of our solar system, wherein he previously worked; we see him at work there, preparing himself for his earthly course. We follow him on through this course on earth as Bodhisattva, and at length as Buddha, to the point when, from being a Bodhisattva, he becomes a Buddha. We find that, whereas during his earthly incarnations his activity had indeed grown together with the earth, yet at the same time he was growing into a great cosmic whole. We see him ascend to yet another planet of our planetary system, to Mars, there to undertake a new mission closely united with his mission on earth. It is wonderful to follow how a totality appears in this way. First we see Buddha active on another planet; then he comes down to earth, and we must say, “This individuality of the initiate, Gautama Buddha, worked for a while on earth; after that, however, if we would follow him further, we must ascend to another planet.” In this way we get an unbroken line. It is thus possible to say of Buddha that he came down from another planet and, after working on earth, again ascended to a different planet, inhabited by a people who have little understanding of earthly mankind. There he continues to work, because this further work is of great significance.
Thus, in the case of many initiates, we should find how they carry into the earth from the cosmos what in the earth itself is connected with the cosmos; by means of this we should keep in view how the initiates go through cosmic wanderings. So when we try to get to the root of things everywhere, at the same time we see what irradiates our darkness, and we see how, by looking at things in an occult way, the darkness becomes filled with light.
It is curious how sometimes some people ask, “Isn't it unjust that such an Individuality as the Christ should have brought something special into the world? If that is the case, those who have lived after Christ have had some special advantage over their predecessors.” Even anthroposophists have sometimes asked this! But the souls living after Christ's appearance on earth are the same as those who were there before, so that there can be no question of injustice. We can only point to one exception in this respect, and this seems to be Buddha. He went through an incarnation in pre-Christian times, and therefore took no share in any way in what came to earth through the event of Golgotha. If we now turn our attention to where we only find darkness, to the difficulty of understanding how a soul takes leave of the earth at a certain point of time (whoever has heard my earlier lectures will know that this soul had experience in other worlds, and that it is here a question of experience on earth), if we keep all this before our mind's eye and follow it up, then it becomes apparent that Buddha was sent to the planet where he carried on his pre-earthly planetary activity by the central Individuality of the whole planetary system, by the Spirit of its central point, by Him Whom we call the Cosmic Christ. In primeval times Buddha had been sent to work on another planet, and then, as a consequence of this work, he was sent to work on earth. Whereas the earth is the planet that became the scene of the Mystery of Golgotha, Mars is the planet on which, after his work on earth, Buddha had to accomplish a similar event.
These things lie far afield and may appear inconsistent with the statement that all that is derived from initiation can be grasped with sound human understanding. We ought, however, to take what history offers, look at it together with all its connections, and it will be seen that the external course of history can here corroborate everything. If anyone denies this, it is because he has not made sufficient use of his sound judgement. This applies today to many people. By all that has been said in this course of lectures, I have wanted to call up in a picture, and also to show through the Plays, how different, powerful and mighty are the worlds we enter when we pass through the gates into super-sensible worlds. I wanted to evoke a more comprehensive picture than is possible by means of mere theories and dogmas. I wanted to represent and describe many things, not merely in words but by calling forth feeling for what is behind the Threshold where the Guardian stands.
When we survey present-day spiritual life, perhaps what sinks most deeply into the soul is all that may be said about the Guardian of the Threshold. He stands there because the human soul in ordinary existence is not sufficiently mature to live through and experience all that takes place in super-sensible worlds. He stands there for our protection. That is just as true as that the human soul, living on into the future, will have to experience more and more about super-sensible worlds. The reason why the Guardian stands there is because, were the human soul to pass into super-sensible worlds before it was ready, which can never happen on an authentic occult path, this soul would feel that it had fallen into what was infinitely fearful, infinitely terrible. This is because in their pettiness and immaturity, in their love of sensory existence and dependence on it, men could never bear all that is connected with the entrance into super-sensible worlds. Why, one cannot even approach those who want to be progressive, with all that our modern life demands! From the place from which, up to now, we have been allowed to reveal super-sensible truths, we have been obliged to point out how, in the course of the twentieth century, a super-sensible event will come to pass in the human super-sensible body when man, as if through a natural occurrence, will find the risen Christ. So much we were able to point out. But this reappearing Christ will not sail the sea in ships, nor travel in trains, nor airships. He will go into the individual being of man, into what passes from human soul to human soul. There, according to how these souls are constituted, He will be recognised by the means given in the etheric. What thus we are allowed to tell of the manner in which the risen Christ will be revealed seems feeble as compared with what will actually come to the soul of man, straight from the super-sensible world because men would like to see with physical eyes the Mighty Being Who is to come. They would like to picture Him going by airplane or travelling by sea. They would like to be able physically to touch and glorify Him Who should come. The reason is that they dread coming into actual contact, with the super-sensible.
When these things occur, they present themselves to the occultist as disguised fear and dread of truth. This is said quite dispassionately, merely as an objective statement. The occultist who recognises the Guardian standing at the boundary between physical existence and spiritual life, can see how those outside in ordinary life cannot even grasp the necessity of making a start on the path into super-sensible worlds. In truth, such personalities are all in a state of fear. They are not aware of their fear because it is disguised as a particular kind of sense of truth, as a materialistic sense of truth. But, by those confronted by the knowledge of the super-sensible world and of its super-sensible beings, it appears as a certain hatred, a state of anger, a kindling of pettiness toward that other, super-sensible world. So it may happen that, on the one side, stand those who want to have knowledge of the super-sensible worlds and, on the other, those who would know nothing of them, or who would say that objective science tells nothing about such worlds because they cannot be proved. It is the popular followers of science who deter others from approaching the Guardian of the Threshold when they say they reject super-sensible worlds by reason of their own sense of truth, their personal scientific conviction. In reality, however, it is their fear that does not let them come to the Guardian of the Threshold. The whole strength of this fear is masked behind the fight that would like to break out today in opposition to all that should come as spiritual light out of spiritual worlds into the darkness of life.
That is the representation that can be appreciated by anyone who knows the Guardian at the Threshold of spiritual existence, anyone who knows what significance super-sensible knowledge has for the whole of present-day spiritual life. The reason why you are now sitting here is that a ray of spiritual light has found its way into your souls, telling you that in all human souls super-sensible knowledge must take its hold. Because the message of this ray of spiritual light becomes ever more living, the spectators and audiences at our plays and lectures become increasingly numerous. If free play be given for the light of the spirit to speak naturally to human souls, it will then be able to stream its rays into them. But if the victory be outside with the opponents of super-sensible knowledge, then, perhaps, the light of the spirit may have for a time to be darkened; it may be obliged to withdraw; that is to say, it must be withdrawn, if I am to use such a foolish expression. Then, for awhile the world will have to go without any connection between the darkness of life and spiritual light. It is certainly necessary for those who should know something of spiritual light to learn something else again, which is to learn to observe with sincerity what is offered here in the external world by the spiritual world. Those today who still let themselves be blinded by all that is said for and against super-sensible knowledge, those who do not seek in their own souls the sure impulse that can only come from super-sensible worlds, will never be able to find this impulse.
As I have often said, what we have at present in the way of literature, what has been permitted to be given in a number of literary works by the grace of the Masters of Wisdom and of the Harmony of Feeling, contains basically what we may say has been allowed to be imparted to men by act of grace. If from this moment I could no longer either speak or write, were men only to build further upon what they already have — I myself being no longer present — if men looked for the meaning in all they have been given, they would find all that is needed.
If now at the close of these lectures, I may be permitted to speak of the connection of personal karma with the karma of this spiritual movement, we have here the possibility that, in a certain respect, all that has come into the world as objective occultism — not as the “Steiner way of thought,” for there is no such thing, but as objective occultism — can never be extinguished. No matter how much opposition may arise, it cannot mean the extinction of occultism for the future; what is here will remain. I can see proof of this in the need of our age for a spiritual movement, and in the fact that a short space of time has been granted for this spiritual treasure to be brought down into the physical world through the grace of our spiritual Guardian. So let opponents come! What is necessary may be done through their very opposition! Many people who today willingly receive the spiritual treasure of anthroposophy and are made happy by it, in face of what they should be seeing at the present time, are quite oblivious of it; in fact, they have their night-caps on! Many do not feel themselves bound to the truth, to distinguishing what should be the sole truth. Perhaps by a little harmless persecution, some of those who have their night-caps down, not only over their heads but right over their eyes and ears, will be induced to take them off. Perhaps even that may be necessary.
Yet, however things may go, now that we have reached the end of these lectures from which so much that is in truth vexatious has come to us and has been forced on us out of necessity, let us now, as usual, remember that once again we have received something from the spiritual life.
Now we are going on our several ways, one here, one there, but the light of the spirit for which we are striving and seeking in our darkness, will enable us to be together no matter where we are nor how far we may be separated in space. May the souls present here feel this communion when afterwards they meditate upon what they have heard or when they live over again the mutual love that has been shown. We have been together physically, but this will not always be so. We are together super-sensibly. Let us learn so to be together super-sensibly, that we may bear forcible witness to the existence of the super-sensible, of the super-physical world! If after having been so long together we can take such feelings away with us, our souls will then be taking with them the best that anthroposophy can give to man the love that proceeds from spiritual truth itself. If between now and the occasion when we hope to be together again, something may happen to prevent it, nevertheless one thing is always possible, that through this separation in space our being together physically may be transformed into true spiritual communion, so that in us the spiritual treasure may work and live and prosper. We have had among us men of the most varied shades of thought, but men of whose presence we are always glad even when they bring contrary opinions into our midst. It is not a matter of opinion or of contrary opinion, but rather of an honest and sincere sense of truth, and of, I would say, pledging ourselves here in sensory existence to truthfulness and honesty. Do not regard my saying this as something that must necessarily follow from the subject of these lectures. But the essential is that we should have been able in many spheres to experience the search for truth in our time.
In whatever way we may be assembled next year, and however things may turn out, let us grasp the reunion of this year as the seed of something of which, no matter what may perhaps be ahead of us, we can never be deprived. At this time I would appeal to all that your souls can feel out of spontaneous inner experience, as an echo, when you look back to these days in Munich. In farewell, I heartily greet the individual soul of each friend, looking forward to a further meeting in the sense in which those who have learned to know and therefore to love each other will always find themselves together in due season, and will always meet again.