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Karma of Untruthfulness I
GA 173c

Lecture XVIII

13 January 1917, Dornach

It seems to me today more then ever necessary that the members of our Movement should be knowledgeable about what is going on in the world. Indeed this purpose has been served to a greater or lesser degree by the discussions we have been having here. To speak of spiritual science in the way we understand it means to fill ourselves with knowledge of how our world, which we observe with our physical understanding and senses, is in fact a revelation of the spirit. As long as the spiritual world is taken in the abstract, as long as the human being is divided up into his constituent parts, as long as all kinds of theories about karma and reincarnation are expounded—something we have really never done here in such a theoretical way—spiritual science cannot become fruitful for life. That is why I have been directing your attention in all kinds of ways to external reality, whereby I never lost sight of all that stands behind this external reality, either by way of direct occult factors, or by way of impulses being used in one way or another by human beings.

Those who understand the true situation today to some extent will find it becoming increasingly obvious in future, when looking back at this time, that the old way of looking at history is no longer sufficient for an understanding of the present. Circumstances will make certain occult teachings necessary for the increasingly mature understanding of human beings, and those who shut out such possibilities will in future have to bear the mark of ignorance, of lack of understanding,

Since the nineteenth century it has been the custom to construct history purely materialistically, on the basis—as people put it—of the available documents. Today it is not yet realized that this does not lead to a true depiction of historical impulses, but merely to a description of materialistic spectres—paradoxical though this may sound: a description of materialistic spectres. Even in the best history books, the description of people and events of the past right up to the present shows nothing but spectres without any real life, however realistic it is meant to be. It can, indeed, only be a description of spectres because all reality is founded on spiritual impulses, and if these are omitted, what remains are spectres. Thus up to today, the recounting of history has been spectral, yet in a certain way it has satisfied human souls; it has worked in a certain way.

In many respects, today's great tragedy is the way in which karma is lived through in such untrue, spectral ideas which people have gradually amassed. But within our Movement, too, we must not allow the process of history to fall into two disconnected halves—though there are some among us who would like this: On the one hand to luxuriate in so-called super-sensible ideas, which remain, however, more or less abstract concepts, and on the other hand to become firmly stuck in habitual opinions, no different from the ordinary vulgar understanding of external reality viewed entirely materialistically. These two aspects, external physical reality and spiritual existence, must unite, that is, we must understand that in place of traditional historical methods something must be developed which I have called symptomatic history, a history of symptoms which will teach us that the historical process expresses itself in some phenomena more strongly than in others.

Recently I have perhaps described things rather too realistically, though only for those whose feeling makes them ask: Why is he telling us things we anyway hear elsewhere? Look more closely, however, and you will find that you do not, actually, hear them elsewhere in the way they are described here. You do not find them juxtaposed as they are here, as symptoms in which various characteristic details unite to form a living concept of reality. The obvious question now is: How do symptoms such as the ones I have quoted come about? Let me go a little further into this.

During the course of these lectures I have mentioned a whole series of facts, some of which people might well consider excessively minute, such as that of the descendant of the Voidarevich family, the voivodes of Herzegovina, or that matter of the Russian-Slav Welfare Committee and so on. Such things could, in one way, be viewed as utterly insignificant. In another way, though, you could say: What is the connection between such things? What is this way of looking at history that collects widely different and separate details and then endeavours to fit them together in a total picture? A more direct way of asking me this question could be: How has it come about that as you have gone through life you have collected and know all about just these particular events, which have to be seen as characteristic of our time? I should like to answer this question in a way which I hope will give you a living idea of how spiritual science can intervene in life.

During the course of life one comes to know about certain things if one's karma leads to them, and if one's karma is allowed to take its course honestly and truthfully. Many people believe they are giving their karma a free reign, or are surrendering themselves to their karma, but this can be a great illusion. No one can follow external events in such a way that the truth is revealed to him, if he fails to surrender himself genuinely to his karma, if he fails to leave much in the subconscious realm, if he fails to let much pass unnoticed before his soul, for every morsel of sympathy or antipathy clouds free vision. Nothing is more likely to cloud free vision than what is today called the historical method. This historical method brings spectres into being because today's historian is unable to surrender himself to his karma. Obviously if he did so from his earliest years, he would fail every exam. He is not allowed to surrender himself to his karma and thus learn to know those things to which his karma leads him; he has to learn to know what the exam regulations and so forth require of him. But they require all kinds of things which of course tear his karma to shreds, and he can never arrive at the actual truth if he follows the stream of those requirements.

The actual truth can only be reached if these things about which spiritual science speaks are taken as seriously as life—if they are not taken as mere theories but as seriously as life. Another way of not taking them as seriously as life is to allow one's view to be clouded by all kinds of sympathies and antipathies. You have to approach things objectively, and then the stream of the world will bring you what you need in order to reach an understanding.

Now one aspect of surrendering to one's karma with regard to present events may be found in the fact that you, my dear friends, have been brought into the Anthroposophical Society by your karma. So it really should be possible in the Anthroposophical Society to speak about the facts without being hampered by sympathies and antipathies. If not, it would mean that, even within this Society, karma was not being taken as seriously as life.

I wanted to give you this introduction to what we still have to discuss because I wish to show you certain important spiritual facts which cannot, however, he understood unless we can link them to life, and unless we can penetrate the really tangled undergrowth of untruths which today buzz about in the world. The world today is filled with untruthfulness, and the sense for truth must be cultivated in the Anthroposophical Society for as long as it exists—and regardless of how long it is likely to exist under present circumstances—if it is to have a real meaning, a real sense for life.

I have—you could say—burdened you with a great variety of things recently, not simply to throw light on them in one way or another, but because I am filled with the conviction that it is important to correct certain concepts. Those who believe that I say these things from any kind of nationalistic feeling, simply do not understand me.

Terrible accusations are being continuously hurled at the centre from what is today the periphery, all of which end, in some form or other, in the phrase: Never mind, the German will be burnt. Of course, people are ashamed to quote this directly. Among these insults is the fact that in the widest circles certain personalities, whose works are of course not known or understood, are pilloried as being the despoilers, the corrupters of the German people. One of those brought to the forefront in this way is the German historian Heinrich Treitschke.

Now, as I have said, I should like to view such a personality not from a national, but from a purely human standpoint. I told you that I never had much to do with Treitschke but that I did meet him once. I said that he was a somewhat blustering character. Today let me add that at that meeting I did form a picture of his being and his character, for we covered much more than just those first few words which I have already quoted to you. We spoke about historical interpretation, about publications on history which were causing rather a sensation then, in the nineties, and there was time—banquets usually last for several hours—to go into many questions of principle with regard to scientific history. I was well able to form a picture of this man at the end of his life—he died soon afterwards—quite apart from the fact that his work as a historian is very well known to me.

The main thing I want to say is that Treitschke is a personality who gives us cause to approach him to some extent from an occult standpoint. Socrates spoke, in a good sense, of a kind of daimon. In the case of Treitschke you could say that he was indwelt by a form of daimon; not an evil demon, a kind of daimon. You could sense that he was not merely driven by considerations of the materialistic intellect but that his driving force came from within, from what Socrates called the daimonic forces. I could even say that this is what led him throughout the course of his life. This man from Saxony was an enthusiastic champion of the nascent German state; for he worked in a most significant way even before this state was founded. His German History, though, was written after its founding. In a manner characteristic of Central Europe, there lived in him something that is not known in the periphery, not only not wanted but also not known, something which people do not wish to understand. This was a sense for reality, for what is concrete. There lived in him a certain aversion to abstract theories and to everything expressed in empty phrases. This aversion was present with daimonic force to such an extent that you could look, you might say, through the personality to the spiritual forces speaking out of it.

In addition to this, Treitschke went profoundly deaf very early in life, so that he heard neither his own voice nor that of others, but associated only with his own inner being. Such a destiny turns a person in upon himself. The complete absence of a sense of hearing, far more than the absence of one of the other senses, brings a person who is so inclined into contact with occult powers which are at work and which usually remain unnoticed because people are distracted by their sense-perceptions from what speaks to them over and above their senses. So there is definitely a significance in a karma which makes a person totally deaf early on in life, and it is connected in this case with what I have called a daimonic nature.

This nature, this human being, in contrast to many—indeed most—people today, was formed and shaped as a whole. His intellect never worked in isolation; his whole soul was always involved. There are plenty of plain truths in the world, truths which can easily be confirmed by ‘logical proof’. But special note should be taken, whether one agrees with them or not, of truths with which human blood accords, truths filled with warm human feeling. For the human being is the channel linking the physical world with the spiritual world, and we approach the spiritual world not only by studying the theories of spiritual science, but also by acquiring a sense of how each individual represents a channel between the physical world and the spiritual world.

Above all else, Heinrich Treitschke was a personality who strove to form his knowledge and his thoughts on the basis of a broad understanding, an understanding always founded on judgements of the soul and not of the intellect. His judgements were always warm because they were formed by the critical faculty of his soul. They may have had a blustery quality, but they were always warm through having been formed by his critical faculty of soul. From this angle Treitschke always placed at the centre of his considerations the question of human freedom, which—since he was a historian and prepared himself early on to become the historian of his people—for him was always linked with the question of political freedom, freedom from the state.

There is among German literature a work which deeply penetrates the question of the relationship between the overall power of the state and the freedom of the individual, not only the freedom living in the individual soul, but freedom as it can be realized in social life. I know of no other work in world literature which penetrates so deeply into this question. It is entitled The Sphere and Duties of Government and is by Wilhelm von Humboldt, the friend of Schiller and brother of the writer Alexander von Humboldt. This work, written at the turn of the eighteenth to the nineteenth century, defends most beautifully the human personality in its full, free unfolding, against every aspect of state omnipotence. It is said that the state may only intervene in the realm of the human individual to the extent that such intervention leads to the removal of obstacles standing in the way of the personality's free unfolding.

This work stems from the same source as Schiller's wonderful Letters on the Aesthetic Education of Man. I could say that Wilhelm von Humboldt's work on the limitations of the state is the brother of Schiller's Letters on the Aesthetic Education of Man. It stems from an age when people were endeavouring to assemble every thought from cultural life capable of placing the human being firmly on the soil of freedom. For various reasons it was not much used during the nineteenth century, yet it was often enough consulted by those who, during the course of the nineteenth century, were endeavouring to reach an understanding of the more external aspects of the concept of freedom. Of course the nineteenth century was in one way the time when in many respects the concept of freedom was laid in its grave. But people were still keen to come to an understanding of the concept of freedom, and in this connection Wilhelm von Humboldt's work The Sphere and Duties of Government gained a degree of international importance in Europe.

Both the Frenchman Laboulaye and the Englishman John Stuart Mill took it as their point of departure. This work was an important point of departure for both these thinkers. Both, in their turn, and each in his own field, endeavoured to come to grips with the concept of freedom. Laboulaye considered that the institutions of his country, in so far as they concerned the relationship between state and individual, were suited only to the smothering of any true freedom, any free unfolding of the personality, by the state. John Stuart Mill, once he had discovered Wilhelm von Humboldt's work, took his departure from it and argued forcefully, in his own work on freedom, that English society could only undermine a true experience of freedom. With Laboulaye it is the state, with John Stuart Mill society. John Stuart Mill's work poses the question: How can an unfolding of the personality be achieved in the atmosphere of unfreedom generated by society?

Then Treitschke, with the critical faculty of soul I mentioned just now, and linking his work to that of Laboulaye and Mill, himself wrote about freedom at the beginning of the eighteen-sixties. Treitschke's paper on freedom is of particular and special interest because as a historian and as a politician he is immersed in that schism which invades the human soul when, on the one hand it recognizes the necessity of a social structure called the state and, on the other, is filled with enthusiasm for what we call human freedom. In this way, in the sixties of the nineteenth century, Treitschke set himself to discuss the concept of freedom on the basis of Laboulaye and John Stuart Mill.

In this paper Freedom he endeavoured to work out a concept of the state which, on the one hand, does not deny the necessity of a state structure, yet, on the other hand, does make of the state something that is not the gravedigger of freedom; but its cultivator and guardian. A state structure that could achieve this was what he had in mind: This was the time, remember, when a German, asked to name his fatherland, might easily have replied: Schwarzburg-Sondershausen, or Reuss-Schleiz, or something similar. At the beginning of the sixties what we now call the German Reich did not yet exist. At a time when a great many people were thinking about bringing together in some way all the individual groups in which Germans lived, Treitschke, too, was thinking about the necessity of a state structure. But for him it was axiomatic that no state should be allowed to come about which did not guarantee, to the human personality, conditions in which it could unfold as freely as possible. Even if it cannot be maintained that Treitschke achieved any rounded-off philosophical concepts, nevertheless his paper on freedom does contain many points worth considering very deeply.

In appreciating Treitschke and taking into account those aspects which are important for an occult understanding of him, we must not forget that he was a fearless person willing to serve no god other than truth. Many things that are said today without any objectivity about Treitschke are the height of stupidity. Such judgements buzzing about in the world today cannot be given even the flimsiest of foundations, for the simple reason that something is missing. I mentioned it the other day when I said that if people were willing to investigate what spiritual science has to say about the differences between the folk spirits, then fewer stupid statements would be made. I said this apropos of various stupid remarks made both by and about Romain Rolland. I had to say it because a really penetrating view of what is called a folk spirit can only be undertaken through spiritual science. Those who do not want to become involved in this can only reach subjective and therefore stupid judgements such as those of Romain Rolland.

Those who are willing to take into account what arises out of a spiritual scientific view of the folk spirits must be clear above all about one thing: that a person who is typical of his people will bear certain traits characteristic of that people. What made Treitschke typical was his daimonic nature. And it is true to say that to understand Treitschke is to understand much—not all, but much—of what was characteristic of the German people in the second half of the nineteenth century. Those for whom it is possible to gain a point of view from spiritual knowledge must investigate—not through cosmopolitan, but through national individuals—the fundamental difference that exists between western European and Central European judgements.

This cannot be taken into account for matters which are general and human, but they are relevant in so far as the daimon of a people lives in the folk spirit. With this reservation I shall say what I now have to bring forward. When the characteristics of a people are seen working through individuals it is possible to say what a certain American said. It is better if I tell you what this American said, because if I use my own words they might be taken amiss. He said: A French judgement, if it comes out of the nature of the people—not an individual, whose judgement might indeed be cosmopolitan—a judgement that comes out of the very substance of the French people lives in the word; an English judgement lives in practical political concepts; and a German judgement lives in an a-national, a non-national, search for knowledge.

This was said by an American travelling in Europe. It means that certain judgements formed in the West turn into something different when they are taken into the substance of the German people. In the West they are abstract in character. But a German belonging to the German people tends to translate judgements into their concrete components. He thus calls many things by their true name which are never touched upon by their true name in the West. Let us take a concept we have been discussing: the concept of the state.

In his lectures on politics, which were later published, Treitschke spoke about the state. Of course very many people speak about the state; but let us for the moment consider only what it means when someone speaks about the state by drawing on the very substance of the people to whom he belongs. In the West people tend to speak about it by using the state as a hook from which to suspend all sorts of concepts which, for one reason or another, they want to link with the concept of the state. Thus they attach to it such concepts as freedom, justice and many others, and they might even come up with the peculiar statement: The state must be divested of any concepts to do with power; the state must be a Rechtsstaat, a state subject to the law. You can say this only so long as you are not obliged to look squarely at the concept of the state.

But if you approach the concept of the state in the way Treitschke did, you discover the mystery of the state. Instead of demanding that the state must be based on the principle that power is above the law—an assertion slanderously attributed to Treitschke—you come to realize that the concept of the state is unthinkable without the concept of power. Power is simply a truth in this situation because it is impossible to found a state except by basing it on power. If you refuse to admit this, you are quite simply not representing the truth. So Treitschke could not avoid speaking about the state in connection with power. This is then distorted by those who claim Treitschke to mean that in the German concept of the state, power is above the law. Yet there is no question that Treitschke ever thought like this. His soul was far too strongly imbued with the meaning of what Humboldt said in his Sphere and Duties of Government. Just because the state cannot avoid unfolding a certain power, it must not be allowed to become omnipotent. A Rechtsstaat, a state subject to the law, is a contradiction in terms, like saying—perhaps not iron made of wood, but certainly iron made of copper. The two concepts are disparate, to use a term from the sphere of logic; they have nothing to do with one another. But this conclusion can only be reached by one who takes things really seriously.

From the same viewpoint Nietzsche arrived at his concept of ‘the will to power’. Again, it is nothing but a monstrous defamation to impute that Nietzsche defended the ‘principle of power’. The only thing he defended was the need to consider how far power is indeed one of the basic drives of human beings. It is quite in character that Nietzsche should postulate the following. He says: There are people who from certain principles of asceticism defend the thesis that power should be opposed. Why do they do this? Because by their very nature they can achieve quite a degree of power by means of opposing power! To oppose power is their particular will to power! To stress powerlessness is merely their particular will to power! To stress powerlessness in an ascetic way gives them in their own way a particular power! What lay at the foundation of what Nietzsche said, and also what pervades Treitschke's considerations is: not to try and convince oneself that black is white; to see things as they are in very truth and not to turn out empty phrases.

So you see, neither Treitschke nor Nietzsche intended to introduce into social life any kind of principle of power. Their concern was simply to show that power lives wherever the state manifests, and that it would be untruthful to maintain anything different. One could say that the karma under which Treitschke worked was: to come upon the idea that it is a monstrosity to live with the illusion of abstract, empty concepts which one trumpets forth into the world. He wanted to take a straightforward hold on reality and this is what is so attractive about his writings. From the same standpoint he could say of the concept of freedom: The question as to whether the state exists in order to promote, or not to promote, freedom, is no question at all. In other words, his object was to seek things where they live in their reality. I do not want to defend this, but simply to describe it.

Surely a fearless human being who only wanted to state things as he saw them with his sense for truth cannot be weeded out by means of inciting opinion against him. And yet everywhere these days people are weeded out by means of incitements against them. Treitschke is a fearless spirit whose aim, no matter what he is discussing, is truly never to mince his words. It would be far more to the point—I really must repeat this again—to indicate how Treitschke was in reality a kind of teacher for those who wanted to listen to him. There were not nearly as many who listened as is claimed nowadays. When Treitschke speaks about freedom he does this far less as a critic of other nations than as an educator of his own. I should now like to read you a passage from his article Freedom, which ought to be at least as well known as so much that is quoted out of context and which cannot possibly be understood without proper context. Having first discussed what aspects of society promote freedom, Treitschke writes:

‘It is still most timely’—he is speaking in the eighteen-sixties—‘to speak of class prejudices. How truly discouraging to discover that this great civilized nation’—he means the Germans—‘continues to acknowledge the legal concept of misalliance in marriage, a concept thrown overboard by the ancients at the beginning of their rise to civilization. We do not, of course, refer to that crude titled gentry who hold a career in the stable to be more respectable than a scientific calling, and the rule of the fist more noble than the free citizen's respect for the law. That caricature of aristocracy has had its comeuppance. But even the motley crowd of the so-called educated, well-to-do classes cherishes a multitude of unfree, intolerant class conceptions. How hard are the loveless judgements passed on the shamefully misnamed dangerous classes! How heartless the deprecation of “luxury” for the lower orders, when a free and noble individual ought to be overjoyed to see the poor beginning to take some pride in themselves and the decency of their appearance! What abject fear at every sign of defiance and of self-respect among the lower classes! German goodness of heart has perhaps preserved our educated classes from developing this attitude in a form as crude as that held among blunter Britons; but so long as aristocradc interests, of which the cleverer among us have never been entirely free, take these forms, there is not much hope for our inner freedom.

We enter a field in which unfreedom and intolerance flourish in abundance when we enquire after the class concepts of that most mighty and exclusive of all “classes”—or whatever else you would like to call this natural aristocracy—the male sex. Unbelievably widespread amongst us, lords of creation, are the ramifications of a silent consipiracy, thoroughly to defraud women of a portion of harmonious human culture. For women gain a part of their culture only through us. Yet we take it for granted amongst ourselves that religious enlightenment is a duty of the educated man but a bringer of corruption to the populace and to women. Indeed, how many of us find a woman most particularly winsome the moment she displays some glaring superstition. And as for “politically-minded females”, they are an abomination we prefer not to mention. Is this indeed our manly faith in the divine nature of freedom? Is religious enlightenment really only a matter of sober understanding and not to a far greater degree a need of the soul? Yet we imagine a woman's warmth of heart might suffer if we let her take her own delight in the great spiritual works of the last hundred years. Do we truly understand German women so little as to imagine that they could ever become “political” and start to worry their heads over ground rents and commercial agreements? Yet the political poverty of our people has to it a human side which might be more deeply, more delicately, more intimately understood by women than by ourselves. Of this abundance of enthusiasm and love, which we so often confront with coldness, inner poverty and heartlessness, could not a small fraction be reserved for our fatherland? Must the shame of the French occupation return once more if our women are to feel themselves, as do their neighbours in East and West, daughters of a great nation? With our unfree lack of magnanimity we have maintained silence towards them for far too long about what stirs in our breast; we felt that they were great enough to be told no more than the most trifling of trifles; and because we were too small-minded not to begrudge them the freedom of culture and education, there is now only a minority of German women capable of understanding the earnest gravity of this momentous era.’

You see how it is possible to quote from Treitschke passages which refer to matters of general humanity, even though on his part he wrote them out of a national spirit for his own nation. If any of the nations who today abuse Treitschke had among them a spirit who meant to them what he means to Germans, you would see that they would place him on the highest pedestal. Imagine an Italian Treitschke. What would the Italians say if the Germans were to speak of their Italian Treitschke in the way they and many others speak of the German Treitschke. The infinite tragedy of our age is that it is stamped with ignorance and with all that counts on ignorance. It would be utterly impossible for such untruths to buzz about in the world today if it were not at every moment feasible to count on people's ignorance. By ignorance I do not, of course, mean the fact that not everybody has time to inform himself about everything. What I do mean is that a little self-knowledge is what is needed.

Of course certain situations cannot be judged if certain things are not known, and judgements born of ignorance, made about whole nations, work in the most terrible way. Today so very much is born out of ignorance. This is, as a matter of fact, caused by that black magic—I have described it like this on other occasions too—known today as journalism. It is a kind of black magic, and there was a certain truth in the way folk legend felt the inventors of the art of printing—with all the perspectives this opens up—to be black magicians.

You might now exclaim: As if there were not enough follies and oddities in anthroposophical spiritual science—now the art of printing is described as black magic! But I did only say ‘a kind’ of black magic. I have often stressed that it is wrong always to say: I must not let Ahriman anywhere near me; away with him! I must not let Lucifer anywhere near me; I only want to have dealings with the good gods! If this is what you want, you can have no dealings with the world, for whether you like it or not, the world hangs in the balance between Ahriman and Lucifer. It is impossible to have dealings with the world if you have this attitude of mind, an attitude which appears particularly frequently in our circles. One must achieve truthfulness even in the smallest matters. This must be the practical outcome of our efforts in spiritual science—the practical outcome. You can feel this in yourselves: If you cannot develop the urge for truthfulness in yourselves, you will always be open to the danger of being infected, influenced, by the untruthfulness that lives in the world.

That is why I said the other day: In future all the efforts that have been made towards peace will be forgotten, and in the periphery the only thing to be remembered will be the shouting-down of peace; but it will not be remembered as a shouting-down but as something that was justified; everything else will be forgotten. This is sure to be what will happen. So at least our discussions here should be a contribution to making it possible to sense the truth of the situation. For today one of the foremost demands made of those who are truly concerned with the welfare of mankind and the progress of mankind is that they should not allow themselves to be taken in by untruthfulness.

Let us look at one of the facts of today totally sine ira but not sine studio; without sympathy and antipathy but with a basis of facts. You have, I am sure, all read the note from the Entente to President Wilson. From a certain standpoint this note, in contrast to all the earlier ones, ceuld be regarded as a favourable symptom for the future. For if things are taken too far, if the bowstring threatens to snap, then there is once again hope, the hope that if spiritual powers are challenged, then the blow will also be returned by the spiritual side. This note certainly outdid all the earlier ones.

Let us now look at the facts. Here, roughly, is Austria-Hungary as it is today. [The lecturer drew.] Here is the Danube and this is where Vienna would be. Now assume that the demands of the note from the Entente are met. It says that the Italians—that is the Austrian Italians—want to be liberated. The worst thing about this note from the Entente is that it suffers from that inner untruthfulness which arises out of total ignorance. That is why it is difficult to make the drawing I now want to make. There will be difficulties, as you will see. Assume that the Italian Austrians are liberated. Now the southern Slavs are also to be liberated. This is rather difficult. If the southern Slavs were liberated, the map would look like this, for they live everywhere over here.

Further it is said, funnily enough: The Czecho-Slovaks are to be liberated. We know the Czechs and also the Slovaks. It goes without saying that only the Entente has heard of Czecho-Slovaks. Let us presume that it is the Czechs and the Slovaks who are meant. If we go by what the Czechs themselves think, the result would be like this. Then on to the liberation of the Romanians. This is what it would look like. Also to be liberated, as the note says ‘... in accordance with the will of His Majesty the Tsar’, are the Poles inhabiting Galicia; but this is to be done by Austria herself. In the end, Hungary would look something like this, and Austria something like this.

This map is the result of carrying out what is said about Austria in the note from the Entente. And at the same time it is said that there is no intention of doing anything to the peoples of Central Europe!

The whole note demonstrates, for instance, a total lack of awareness of the difficulties of managing all this here, where the Slavs are in the majority, compared with there, where they are a tiny minority. The whole note lays bare the most arrogant, unscrupulous ignorance of the situation! With this ignorance, historical notes are written. And to add insult to injury it is further said that the only intention is ... I really don't know, for it is almost too repulsive to repeat these empty phrases.

What could be better proof than this note from the Entente of the fact that Austria was forced to defend herself? What could give better proof? In short, this note can only be seen as something pathological. It is a challenge to truth and reality. It is taking things too far. So let us hope, since it is a challenge to the spiritual world, that this spiritual world will find it necessary to put things right, even though, of course, human beings will have to be the tools with which the spiritual world will work.

It really is time for an illustration such as the one I have sketched here to be shown all over the world in order to demonstrate this utter historical ignorance and lack of understanding about Central Europe. Obviously, where power rules, reason cannot have much effect. But a start must be made by understanding that, when rights and freedoms are mentioned, power is meant, actual power. Things must be called by their true names. This is what our time is suffering from: That people cannot bring themselves to call things by their right names, that people cannot make the resolve to call things by their right names. Many people fail to understand a great deal. When you come up against something like this absolutely idiotic division of the Austrian nations, it becomes perfectly obvious that this note stems from people who know nothing of what exists in Central Europe, yet who possess the arrogance to judge things about which they know nothing and who want nothing other than to extend their power over these territories. They could not care less what the real situation is.

But you do have to ask how such things could come about in the first place. For instance in some versions it says: Liberation of the Slavs, the Czechs and the Slovaks. But the Swiss newspapers, whose translation is probably more accurate, speak about Czecho-Slovaks. You will agree, if someone makes a correct statement, you are not curious about the source of his information; but when someone speaks absolute balderdash, such as the description of the nations in the note from the Entente, you do begin to wonder about its source. It is indeed not uninteresting to take note when situations seem to run, in a way, parallel, though of course without basing any hypothesis on this, or drawing any conclusions. I naturally asked myself: What is the source of these nonsensical terms? I repeat: Without forming any kind of hypothesis or conclusions, let me give you an aperçu.

In the last few days—I am not judging the fact, but simply telling you this—a sentence passed in Austria on the Czech leader, Kramar, has been made public. He was for a long time one of the most influential people in Austria. He was sentenced to death, and this sentence was then commuted to fifteen years hard labour. The wording of the sentence also includes the statement that certain articles that had appeared in The Times—in English, of course—had been found in the possession of Kramar in his own language. Now Dr Kramar has a friend, the university professor Masaryk, who has fled from Austria and now lives in London and Paris. So let us consider certain sentences from Kramar's programme which were the basis on which he was sentenced. If you understand nothing about the situation in Austria and you read these sentences in The Times, or wherever else—they also appeared in Paris in Revue tchèque—and play about a little with the wording, not forgetting that Kramar of course uses the proper terms, you arrive, curiously enough, at the sentences about the peoples of Austria as they appear in the note from the Entente. And if the term ‘Czecho-Slovaks’ is indeed used, you gain the strange impression that Kramar was hoping to found a state consisting of Czechs and Slovaks, which would be meaningful. But those in western Europe who know nothing about the actual situation would make of this: ‘Czecho-Slovaks’.

It is indeed necessary today, when so many underground channels play their part, to clarify certain questions about interconnections. I do not want to build any hypotheses, nor draw any conclusions in connection with what I have said, but the fact remains that a curious conformity exists between the sentence that was passed and the text of the note from the Entente. Obviously you can have different opinions about this sentence, depending on your point of view. Kramar could be seen either as a martyr or a criminal. But I do not want to pass judgement. The important thing is to be in a position to observe this curious conformity. As I said, I simply noticed this when I was puzzling about the origin, apart from everything else, of the stupendous ignorance on which the note is based.

We must certainly speak about this stupendous ignorance. For it is significant, and is one of the characteristics of our time, that on a basis of this kind of reality an opinion is expressed by those who dominate one half of the habitable earth. It is a challenge indeed to the spirit of truth.

[The next few sentences in this lecture refer to a quotation from an ‘article’ dated 25 July 1914 mentioning Rasputin, which the stenographer unfortunately did not record. Since they are meaningless without the quotation, they have been omitted. Ed.]

It will always be possible, if one has the power, to give the facts an impudent slap in the face—and the periphery does have this power. But you cannot slap truth in the face. Truth speaks and will—let us hope—also be an impulse which, when things are at their worst, can lead mankind to some kind of salvation.

We shall continue tomorrow.