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The Riddle of Humanity
GA 170

Lecture I

29 July 1916, Dornach

It gives me great pleasure to be here with you once more. And to see the fine progress our building has made during the time we could not meet is a pleasure no less great. In the name of our striving to serve the needs of our time, a hearty thanks is truly due to all our friends who have been devoting themselves to the necessary tasks of this building. Some of these things take months to accomplish, so allow me to say, by way of a greeting, that every step our work progresses has great significance for our spiritual movement. In these difficult times, when the fate of spiritual movements can be said to depend upon an uncertain future, we need above all to maintain a lively awareness of the eternal significance of precisely the kind of work that takes place here. It is important that such work has actually been taken up, that some human hearts and souls have actually been touched by the spiritual implications of the work, and that some human eyes have actually beheld it. For this creates a womb that will always be able to carry the future, and what we are doing thus enters into the developing stream of human aspiration. We may hope that what our dear friends accomplish here in their souls will also be able to bear the most manifold fruits out there in the world. And these fruits will most certainly be beautiful for, from its inception, this work has been done in the spirit of progress and with a desire to build the future—a desire to lead our times forward.

It gave me deep joy, for example, when I walked past the house that has been newly erected in the vicinity of the west portal1The house near the west portal is ‘Haus Duldeck’, the house of Dr Grosheintz. for the first time. It is significant that this house also stands within our precincts. For it is significant that it has been possible to build such a house. It stands there as a living protest against all merely traditional style in building and against an architecture that no longer has anything to contribute to our path of development. So this little house stands there as a preliminary announcement of something new. And the fact that in our circles the need to build something new was understood, is much more significant than one might at first think. For this house to stand here is of very great significance! Whatever objections may still be raised against this style of building and this kind of architecture, it is nevertheless the style and the architecture of the future. And if one tries to acquaint oneself with the artistic longings of the present, one finds everywhere the same: there is an obscure striving, but none of those who strive know where they want to go. By and by it will be seen that those who strive in darkness are striving for the goals that already are being sought here. It will be seen that one needs to become acquainted with these forms that are born out of the womb of spiritual science. However shocking some aspects of our buildings may now seem, it will not be long before they cease to be shocking and appear as the obvious result of the experience and the feelings of the present and of the immediate future. And at present, when there is so much to cause us sorrow, we have this to raise our spirits: that we are permitted, in the midst of these times of uncertain destiny, to establish what mankind needs for its future.

And now, today and tomorrow I would like to talk to you about some things that are evidence of what is rooted in the depths of the human soul, rooted in such a way that a person finds much of it incomprehensible when it emerges from the depths. Moreover, it makes self-knowledge difficult, for it is rooted in the soul in such a way that the inner destiny of a person is connected with what thus emerges from the depths of the soul. The nearer one comes to self-knowledge, the more these life-obscuring clouds arise. It is about human nature, therefore, that we want to speak—about some indefinite and often indefinable aspects of human nature.

I will begin with an example; our times provide us with many examples like it. You are aware that for a long time people have called our times ‘the age of decadence’, and have even been pleased to feel themselves to be true children of such times. One felt something about our times that made it proper and even stylish to be a ‘decadent’. Many adhered to a kind of gospel which proclaimed: In order not to be a philistine you must have a certain degree of nervousness. Anyone who was not nervous was a thick-headed philistine—or was some other kind of person who was bound to fail to achieve the heights of his age. More than a few people really did feel like this during the last few decades. To be distinguished one had to be, at the very least, nervous. Only as a decadent could one really belong to the new spiritual nobility.

Today we will first consider one type of decadent as an example. Later he will provide us with a basis for some more general conclusions about certain world-views. So, as I said, he will only be an example of one type and should only be viewed as such. There are numerous contemporary examples which we could equally well consider.

Today I want to discuss a relatively young man who developed along these lines. He wrote two books that attracted much attention. The first was called Sex and Character (Geschlecht und Charakter). The second book was only published by friends after his death. It bore the title, Concerning the Last Things (über die letzten Dinge).3Otto Weininger: über die letzte Dinge, Vienna and Leipzig, 1904. I am speaking about Otto Weininger,2Otto Weininger, (1880 – 1903): Geschlecht und Charakter, 17th edition, Vienna and Leipzig, 1918. a man whom many saw as a true genius of his time. When he wrote the fat book, Sex and Character, it attracted a great deal of attention, and the various judgments passed on the book differed greatly. There were people who viewed it as a kind of gospel proclaimed by the archetypal spirit of the times. They claimed that this book, Sex and Character, touched—if somewhat one-sidedly and perhaps not entirely explicitly—on the deepest truths of the contemporary era. There were also others—those, for example, who by profession were doctors to the insane—who maintained that the only serious libraries in which the two books, Sex and Character and Concerning the Last Things, belonged were the libraries of asylums for the insane. They did not mean in the patients' library, either, but rather in the doctors' library—so that the doctors could study the two books as typical examples of contemporary lunacy.

As you see, a greater divergence of opinion could not be imagined. On the one hand there was an almost prayerful reverence for a great work of genius; on the other, this work was viewed as a product of lunacy. And some of what is to be found in the book, Sex and Character, is indeed curious. But it could only have surprised those who had not concerned themselves intensively with certain thoughts that had been coming to the surface during the last few decades.

To begin with, Weininger said (not in precisely these words, for with so fat a book it is necessary to abbreviate): Up to now the views of mankind have been the views of philistines and pedants. The philistines and pedants have always believed that there are two kinds of human being in the world-men and women. But only a true philistine could believe that there are just men and women in the world. To really understand the world, one must rise above the philistine view that there are just men and women in the world, for Weininger believes it is not true that there are only the two sexual identities, masculine and feminine. With great correctness and diplomacy he calls the masculine and feminine characters respectively M and W. But, according to Weininger, there is no one in the world who is exclusively M or W. And it would be unfortunate if there were someone who would have to be designated as entirely M or entirely W. For, asks Weininger, what is a proper woman? A proper woman is not even a something, but is the negation of a something—is nothingness. Now there are some individuals walking about who are not properly here in this world. They are only here as a kind of maya. But those we designate as W would not be here at all—not if they are exclusively W. The truth of the matter is that every human individual consists of M + W. Every human being has both masculine and feminine characteristics. If there is a preponderance of M, the person gives the impression of being a man; if there is a preponderance of W, the impression of being a woman. And because a woman does not have so very much M in her, she is both a Something and a Nothing. The fundamental character of a person depends on how much M they possess and how much W, and on the way these are combined.

This is how Weininger observes humanity. He says that everything depends on our giving up the old prejudice that there are men and women. He believes that very much indeed depends on our finally seeing that every human individual is a Something in so far as there are M characteristics present in him, and a Nothing in so far as there are W characteristics, feminine characteristics, present. Thus every human being fundamentally consists of a combination of the Something and the Nothing.

Now, this is the point of view on which the whole fat book is based. Everything from the life of the individual to the course of history is observed, with mathematical rigour, from this point of view. Naturally, Weininger finds, for example, that the basic character of an individual depends very heavily on the quantity, the quantum, of W, contained in that individual—on how much of the Nothing they contain. A different type of person arises depending on whether more or less W is mixed into their character.

You must excuse me for confronting you with some of Weininger's train of thought. You might be of the opinion that it is not quite proper to talk openly about such things. But if we want to know what is going on, we cannot stick our heads in the sand like ostriches. So I am simply describing this one type of person. At present there are actually many people who think like this, only many of them do not know it. Therefore you must excuse me, for I am not expressing my own judgements; they are Weininger's.

Let us assume that much W were mixed into the character of a particular individual, a maximum quantity, so that the person appeared to us in the maya form of a woman. If less were mixed in, then the person would be of a different type and would only have the outward appearance of being exclusively feminine. If there is much W in the mixture, we have the type of the mother; if less, then we have the type of the hetaera. Thus, two basic types of individual have been distinguished: the mother and the courtesan. The mother is the most retrograde type of human being. She floats on the lowest plane of human existence and can only be a friend of men who are philistines, for, possessing the highest degree of W, she comes closest to the Nothing and has nothing to contribute to cultural progress. If there is less W mixed in, we have the type of woman who can be the friend of a genial man: the type of woman, whom Weininger calls the hetaera, who can participate in the cultural progress of humanity and who lives on a higher plane of being.

The other kind of human being is also divided into two kinds—those who have much M and those who have less M. These are the men, although we can only call them men if we lapse into the old, traditional way of speaking. Those who have much M have the great honour of being able to burden themselves with much guilt and are capable of doing great evil. Those with less M tend to exist on a lesser plane of existence and are less capable of doing evil and creating guilt in the world. And what is the greatest guilt that those with much M in their nature can load upon themselves? What, indeed, is the greatest possible guilt there is within the limits of our physical, historical existence? Now, you must remember what I have told you—that according to Weininger's theory, W is really the Nothing. But how can this Nothing exist in the world? Why is the Nothing in the world at all? What is this Nothing when one examines it more closely? It is nothing but the guilt of the men. Thus W has no existence at all in its own right. It exists only through the guilt of M. If men had not laden themselves with guilt by creating woman out of their longing, woman would not even exist. That is the Fall Of Man.

Yes, according to Weininger's theory, those of you who have the outer appearance of women are to believe that fundamentally, in some unknown, occult way, you have been summoned into existence by the guilt of men! And one must concede that there is genius in the way the book's argument is presented—precisely the kind of genius that has been used frequently in recent decades. In viewing Weininger's literary accomplishments one critic even said that the presence of such spirits as Weininger proves that one still can take sonic joy in present-day life, in spite of all its philistinism and pedantry!

The book is not intended frivolously, nor is it merely an item of belles-lettres. The man who wrote it received his doctorate from a university for the first part of it—not the whole book, but the first two or three sections of it. Thus, the first part of it was accepted by a university as a doctoral dissertation. Later he changed it somewhat. If one wants to write a doctoral dissertation, naturally one has to translate what has been written in a genial vein into something a little more pedantic. He was able to do this, of course. And so the book was received in all seriousness and it furnished a basis for subsequent theories. The book caused a great sensation and, not only that, it has had great influence.

Let us look a little more closely at this man. From the very beginning, Weininger was the kind of child one calls ‘gifted’. Even in his early years he was full of the kind of clever ideas which make so many parents happy. He was a serious child who was interested in intellectual matters. Once he had entered school, it is impossible to discover one instance in which his teachers made a mistake—which is as is to be expected, is it not? But for him, the teachers could not do things satisfactorily. Weininger was always wanting to do something different from what his teachers expected of him, especially once he had entered grammar school. While the teachers were talking about things that bored him, he read all kinds of things for himself. Of course others do that, too: one ignores the teacher who is going on about things that are, in any case, in the books, and can be read up at home in less time-meanwhile, under the desk ...!

When he had compositions to write, the teachers who corrected them were sometimes astonished, sometimes repelled, by what they read. Nor did he care to please the schoolmasters. When he entered university he showed himself to be a gifted person, with many ideas about what was presented to him there. He came under the most diverse literary influences. The various cultural streams of the end of the nineties of the last century had a marked influence on him. And the society around him naturally had a great influence on him, too. He lived in the Vienna of the end of the nineteenth century, a member of circles of which it was said—correctly—that there were many geniuses among them, but decadent geniuses. At the turn of the last century Weininger was a member of circles whose most gifted members were said to have dismissed Raphael as an idiot by the time they were twenty. Of course, at the age of twenty it is to be assumed that one is a genius. One reforms the whole world daily. This applies to Weininger, too, but as a genial, gifted man with ideas. For, to draw what I have been telling you to a conclusion, he does have ideas. However mistaken one may hold them to be, they are ideas. Moreover, they are new ideas.

Weininger was influenced by certain racial theories that are deeply rooted in our times. He was Jewish, and early on he acquainted himself with the development of humanity and with how it moves towards the Mystery of Golgotha. He was much concerned with the Christ. And he constructed a very unique theory for himself. On the one hand, he saw Christ as a Jew. But, precisely because Christ was a Jew, it was possible for him to overcome Judaism in the most thoroughgoing way. Weininger believed that the result was a total reversal in the development of mankind, and this observation made a deep impression on him. Whereas previously he had raised a kind of pessimistic defence of his Judaism, he now took heart in the thought of converting, of imitating Christ, by changing and becoming a Christian. At this stage there entered into his thinking the idea of a kind of modern Christ, but a Christ who had freed humanity from evil and from original sin. What Weininger does not say at this point, although one sees that it is the idea that rules his soul, is that the feminine is the thing from which Christ, out of his deeper knowledge, is to free modern humanity. Our redemption lies in being totally freed from W. Only then can mankind develop further. Not only must we be redeemed from sin, we must also be redeemed from W. Then W will no longer exist and the sin of man will also cease to exist, because the sin of man is what W is. Weininger saw this as the fulfilment of Christianity which he, as a Jew, could introduce: the redemption from F. He saw this as his mission.

Such were the thoughts that occupied him at the age of twenty or twenty-one. In a relatively short time he was able to write this gigantic book, a book in which a very great deal of contemporary learning and science is dealt with, and which is saturated with the kind of ideas I have been sketching for you. Then came a period when he was preoccupied with thoughts about how his kind of genius could not be understood in the present day. He believed that it was a foregone conclusion that he would not be understood by any people in whom the F plays a significant role—those with the outer appearance of women and others who possess a large amount of W, even though they do not outwardly appear to be women. All of these people he must do without. That, of course, is far, far more than the half of humanity. ‘Women will never understand me’, Weininger told his father. So they must all be put to one side.

Then, when his book appeared, he developed a kind of wanderlust. He wanted to travel, so he took a journey to Italy. At this point in his life, extraordinary things begin to emerge. On a journey to Sicily he wrote down the ideas which then were published in the book, Concerning the Last Things, which was published posthumously by his friend Rappaport.

This second book contains extraordinary ideas, ideas much more radical than those to be found in Sex and Character. But there is something curious about these ideas: they are reminiscent of what we call imaginative knowledge. There are ideas, aphoristically expressed, covering just about the whole range of human life. Mind you, what is said there about illness alone would be enough to convince any doctor that Weininger was completely insane. Yet all the ideas collected in Concerning the Last Things actually contain imaginative knowledge. They are paradoxically expressed, but they contain imaginative knowledge. They are constructed in the manner of imaginative knowledge. Consider one of them: Weininger points out that both evil and neurasthenia are present in mankind. He believes, furthermore, that if we observe neurasthenia, we will discover it growing everywhere in the external world, for the whole world of the plants is an embodiment of neurasthenia! It is comparable to neurasthenia. If that which rightly lives in the plant world gains the upper hand in a person, that person becomes neurasthenic; for a human being is also in a certain sense a plant, and he is neurasthenic to the extent that his plant nature gains the upper hand. Paradoxical! But by no means a mad idea—just one that has been paradoxically expressed! Or one could say, rather, that something that must be kept within the limits of imaginative knowledge has been dragged into the sphere of intellectual knowledge and has thereby been turned into a caricature.

He says similar things about the way evil lives in man. Just look about you, he says. Evil is to be found living wherever there are dogs. The dog is the symbol of evil. Just as a person is neurasthenic in so far as he resembles a plant, he becomes evil in so far as he resembles a dog. All the rest of nature, you see, is condensed in the human being.

Everything that is spread out before us in nature is contained in man—it can all be found in man. In this fashion, deeply felt aperys emerge from Weininger's soul. For example, he is standing on a mountain. It is spewing forth fire. What he compares that to I will not even mention. But then he sees the setting sun and says, more or less, ‘At this place and on this soil, such a setting sun is only endurable if the crater is at one's feet; otherwise it would be disturbing.’

So you see in what an extraordinary fashion this soul experiences the world: another soul would experience the beauty and grandeur, of a sunset, but a sunset is only endurable to him if there is something with which to contrast it. And there is much in which this soul differs from the souls of other men. It is interesting how he describes what happens when one meets a person and looks them in the eyes—how one being gazes out of one eye, another being out of the other. He observes the thing exactly. He possesses imaginative vision, but presents it in a confused manner.

Then he returns home, having recently felt much distress at the world's lack of understanding and asking himself how long it will be before the world will be able to understand the kind of things he writes. Weininger's father is still thoroughly convinced that his son is just a genial young man, even though he has had to move house because he cannot live with his family. Although he naturally does not agree with all his son's ideas, he does not notice anything abnormal about him. After all, what state would we be in if all the parents in the world thought that their children were insane just because they disagreed with their ideas!

Then Weininger took a room in the house in which Beethoven died. After living there for some days, he shot himself, exactly in accordance with a programme he had formulated. Beforehand, he had announced to a company of his younger friends that he was going to shoot himself because this corresponded so well to his personality. He was twenty-three years old. He shot himself in the house in which Beethoven died.

So you see that we are dealing with an extraordinary individual. And yet his personality is typical. This is an especially pronounced example, with certain ideas developed in a unique way, but there are many people about who possess similar natures. Contemporary humanity includes many individuals with natures similar to Weininger's. It is quite understandable that a doctor who treats the insane should see nothing but crazy nonsense in either Sex and Character or in Concerning the Last Things. A psychiatrist would compare Weininger's biography with the ideas he developed and would find numerous, obvious symptoms of abnormality. But some such signs are to be found in almost anyone. It more or less depends on the subjective viewpoint, but the psychiatrist does not know this. As I said, however, it is easy to point to a pre-existing abnormality in someone who set himself against his teachers as Weininger did and who read books under the desk while his teacher lectured about something entirely different. And it is a dubious trait to see oneself as a prophet, and dubious to rent a room in the house in which Beethoven died in order to shoot oneself there! Weininger exhibited many such traits, and one must acknowledge that it is quite appropriate to make him the subject of psychiatric studies, even though one could write in this same vein about many people. Nevertheless, it would be appropriate. But what most stands out as genuinely serious and significant in the distorted and caricature-like ideas of Sex and Character and Concerning the Last Things is the particular direction and fundamental character they express. One can concede that the whole of it is crazy nonsense, and yet it is interesting because of the manner in which the ideas are shaped.

If one were to express his fundamental insights in terms of a more strict, spiritualised, healthy science, one would have to put it thus: We can see how everything that fills the external world, the macrocosm, corresponds to something in the human being, the microcosm, for man carries within himself everything that is out there. Thus I am saying that Weininger is following the pattern of imaginative knowledge when he produces the idea, albeit in a distorted, caricature-like form, that the plant is the embodiment of neurasthenia, and that the dog is the embodiment of evil. It is as though someone had twisted genuine imaginative knowledge into a caricature, but it nevertheless follows the pattern of imaginative knowledge. And yet this man Weininger is wholly unsuited for life; he is a man who can be totally ignored as far as life goes! For, fundamentally speaking, no one can learn anything from these two books. It is characteristic of the literati of our time that they are much more interested in such tests of endurance than in confronting imaginative knowledge which has been expressed as it should be expressed. That holds no interest for them. It becomes interesting, however, when it comes expressed in insane ideas.

We are really talking about imaginative knowledge, therefore, but in a distorted form. What, then, is actually going on here? One needs to get to the bottom of things to understand why an individual of Weininger's calibre should still be unfit for life. Why did Weininger develop into such an extraordinary person? Now, suppose that one could have observed Weininger at times when he was sleeping normally. (Although I am convinced that what I am about to say must have been so, it is hypothetical, for I did not personally observe Weininger's case.) If he had been observed when he was sleeping a healthy sleep—something that must have been a rare occurrence—one would have seen that truly grandiose intuitions and imaginations of the spiritual world were present in his ego and his astral body. So, if we could have observed his ego and astral body when they were separated from his physical and etheric bodies, we would have perceived a grandiose, genial soul, a soul filled with wonderful intuitions and inspirations that were absolutely accurate. This soul, rightly understood, would actually have become one of the great teachers of our times. But it was only permitted to work as a teacher while separated from the sleeping physical and etheric bodies. Only in the state of sleep were the students permitted to behold what the I and the astral body of their teacher had to say to them. But Weininger himself was not far enough advanced to be aware of this. He was not awake enough to perceive it; he had not undergone what in these days would be called initiation. In other words, he himself was not aware of what happened in his I and astral body while he was separated from his physical and etheric bodies. In our times, what would Weininger have had to become in order for him to have been able to work for the spiritual benefit of his fellow men? Through initiation he would have had to acquire the ability to behold the great gifts he possessed while outside his own physical and etheric bodies, for these can only manifest themselves outside the physical and etheric bodies. Then he would have been able to submerge again in his physical and etheric bodies in order to use the spiritual faculties and powers they contain for looking at the things he had experienced while outside his physical and etheric bodies. Then he would not have believed that he needed to present these truths by deriving them from the physical body, in the way one would demonstrate a mathematical truth.

But instead of this, something else happened. What happened instead is the following. Imagine that this is Weininger's physical body, and that these are his etheric and astral bodies. (They were drawn on the blackboard.) If one were to observe this astral body and its I, one would see the most beautiful and significant things ... But now this astral body and I submerge in the physical body and are inside it.

Instead of the person being able to separate himself from the astral in order to behold the astral realm, this astrality is pressed into the physical body. There it acquires the vitality which otherwise would only be possessed by the astrality of a normal man. That is to say, the giant imaginations which are contained in the astral body, and which should remain there, are pressed into the physical body. The brain does not function in the way it has been formed to function, the way appropriate to our present cycle of development. What should simply remain in the astral body as imaginations is pressed into the brain as though it were a lump of soft wax. Think of the brain as being like butter, or wax. A properly formed human brain allows the astral body to submerge in it like in air, filling it but leaving it unaltered. But this brain has not retained the form proper to a human brain; instead, things that should remain in the astral body have been pressed into it. This now expresses itself in the brain, leading that to come to expression in the physical man which would receive its rightful expression only in the spiritual man.

Why does this happen? What leads the astral body to thrust itself into the physical body in a manner for which it is not intended? What enables this to happen?

Well, my dear friends, there is a good reason why this happened, for those intuitions and imaginations that were being expressed, in our day, through Weininger, are ideas that really belong to the future? Please do not let what I am saying upset you; do not think that all the ideas about masculinity and femininity that we have been following are really ideas of the future. Those are not ideas of the future, but the caricature-like results of ideas that already have been pressed into the brain. But there is more to them than just this business about M + W. If they are separated-out and observed from within, they become something grandiose, something that people of today cannot yet understand. In the future something will be poured out over humanity; people will no longer be so aware of one another in terms of gender, but will meet more as human beings. Once one isolates this idea and clarifies it as regards the way it has been pressed into the physical body, it really does contain something of the future. All ideas, however, must be said to contain something of the future, for although the ideas you develop as you live in the twentieth century belong to the twentieth century, the ideas you need for your next incarnation are already there beneath the surface. They are there in your astral body and I, and you will need to take them with you as fruits of this incarnation. Everyone already carries a little bit of the future, but normally it does not come to expression in this life. The ideas for the next incarnation are already there, at work in the brain, just as the seed is within the plant. What happened to Weininger, however, should not happen. The independent astral body and I should not have influenced his physical and etheric bodies as they did. That is something that should only have occurred during the time between death and a new birth, when the body for his next incarnation was being formed. Then it would have been right for the ideas to press into the body—the body that was to come.

So you can see what is involved: the present and the subsequent incarnation are out of tune with one another. They are creating disturbances in one another instead of remaining properly distinct. The future incarnation is erupting into the present incarnation. What would be significant and right for the next incarnation is forcing its way into the body of the present incarnation, where it causes disturbances and where it appears in caricature.

I have often told you that we live in a time of transition, and that there will come a time when the people living today will again incarnate. When that time comes, these people will have a different relation to their previous incarnations. Unlike today, when everyone is aware only of his present incarnation, they will have to look back to their previous incarnation. This change is being prepared, and sometimes aberrations occur. Aberrations of this process can be observed in precisely such individuals as Weininger. The aberrations can be followed all the way to their ultimate consequences. Why, then, do we die? In order to be able to live the next incarnation! Of the many things that make death magnificent—and I am speaking now about a life that has run its full course—one is the way in which we are able to carry the fruits of this incarnation with us through the gates of death and then use them to shape the next incarnation. Death is as much a part of life as birth and growth. A plant is killed by the seed it carries within itself; the seed is what leads it to wilt. First the leaves come, then the flower and fruit, then it wilts—and this is more or less how we are killed by our next incarnation. If our next incarnation is somehow off its tracks or turned around, then some of the things it needs to accomplish can happen in a distorted fashion instead of happening in the way they should. The next incarnation is the rightful bringer of death in the present incarnation. If the next incarnation erupts into the life of this incarnation, as Weininger's did, it brings a caricature of death, suicide. The next incarnation should rest, quietly embedded in this one. But if it is not attuned to it, the next incarnation can erupt into the present one, bringing about the caricature of death, suicide. So you can follow the results of a dissonance between this individuality's physical and etheric bodies on the one hand, his astral body and I on the other, all the way to these consequences.

I would like to point out how this particular example illustrates what is living in many people of today. The important thing is to notice it when it occurs in the present, and to understand it. The literati, who do not understand him, see Weininger as the genius of the age; the psychiatrists see him as insane. But for those who want to respond to events with a loving understanding, he is an example of the transitional nature of our times, an interesting example. It is important to take hold of life by way of such interesting examples. This is how spiritual science becomes practical, for we live in times in which life will become more and more difficult, in which men will become more and more involved with themselves, times when self-knowledge is becoming more and more difficult. The upward thrust of what is living and stirring within us will grow and will make us seem to be afflicted with confusion and depression. The knowledge of spiritual science must help us win through to an understanding of mankind.

Tomorrow we will speak further about this and begin the approach to a greater theme.