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Karma of Untruthfulness I
GA 173c

Lecture XIX

14 January 1916, Dornach

The nature of man is complicated, and very much of what actually goes on within the human being remains more or less beneath the threshold of consciousness, merely sending its effects up into consciousness. True self-knowledge cannot be won without first obtaining insight into the working of the sub-consciousness weaving below the surface in the impulses of soul. These, it could be said, move in the depths of the ocean of consciousness and come to the surface only in the wake of the waves they create. Ordinary consciousness can perceive only the waves that rise to the surface, and on the whole one is not capable of understanding their significance, so true self-knowledge is not possible. Merely pondering on what is washed up into consciousness does not lead to self-knowledge; for things in the depths of the soul often differ greatly from what they become in ordinary, everyday consciousness. Today we shall look a little into this nature of man in order to gain, from this point of view, an idea of how the subconscious soul-impulses in the human being really work.

In this field we can, of course, to a greater or lesser extent, speak only in pictures. But if you bring together much of what we have hitherto discussed within our Anthroposophical Movement, you will be able to understand the realities that want to speak through the pictures. We can say: The invisible nature of man, his ego, his astral body, his etheric body, work through his visible nature, so what is not manifest works through what is manifest. However, the manner in which what is evident works through what is not evident is very complicated. But if we work our way bit by bit through the various parts of this complicated process, and place them all together, we shall, in the end, attain an overall view of the being of man. Even this, though, will always remain incomplete, for the being of man is infinitely complex. But at least we can gain a certain basic knowledge of human nature as a valid foundation for self-knowledge.

Today we shall examine how the separate components of man's nature express themselves in a more or less pictorial or formalized manner through physical life. Here is a human being. To illustrate what I want to tell you, I shall start with what we recognize for earthly man as the aspect of which we are conscious: the ego. I must emphasize that pictorial explanations can very easily lead to misunderstandings, because things said earlier seem to contradict other things said later. Follow carefully, and you will soon notice that such contradictions are, in fact, non-existent.

So let us start with the ego-nature of man, with that component we call our ego. This ego-nature is, of course, entirely super-sensible; it is the most super-sensible part we have as yet acquired, but it works through the physical. In the intellectualistic sense the ego works in our physical being chiefly through the nervous system which is called the system of ganglia, the nervous system radiating from the solar plexus. Diagrammatically we can indicate this nervous system, this system of ganglia, this system of the solar plexus, thus (see diagram, dark shading). It is active in a way which, at first glance, does not appear to have much to do with what, in a materialistic sense, we could call the life of the nerves. Yet it is the actual point of contact for real ego-activity. This is not a contradiction of the fact that when we begin to see ourselves spiritually, we have to seek the centre of the ego in the head. Since the ego-component of the human being is super-sensible, the point at which we experience our ego is not the same as the point at which it chiefly works in us.

We must be quite clear what we mean when we say: The ego works through the point of contact of the solar plexus. What it means is this: The ego itself is equipped with only a very dull consciousness. The ego-thought is not the same as the ego. The ego-thought is what is washed up into consciousness, but the ego-thought is not the real ego. The real ego intervenes as a formative force in the whole human organism through the solar plexus.

Certainly you can say that the ego distributes itself over the whole body. But its main point of contact, where it particularly intervenes in the formative element of the human organism, is the solar plexus. A better expression would be the system of ganglia, because all the ramifications are part of this process—the system of ganglia. It is a process that lives in the subconscious and works in this system of ganglia. Since the system of ganglia plays its part in the circulation of blood as well, this does not contradict the fact that the ego expresses itself in the blood. The exact meaning of everything that is said must be considered. It is one thing to say: The ego intervenes through the system of ganglia in the formative forces and in all the life processes of the organism. But something else is meant when we say: The blood with its circulation is an expression of the ego in the human being. The nature of the human being is, as I said, complicated.

To understand the significance of what has been said, it will be useful to answer the following question: What is the relationship of the ego with the system of ganglia and all that is connected with it? How is this ego anchored, as it were, in the abdominal organs of the human being?

When the human being is in a normal state of health, the ego is chained to the solar plexus and all that is connected with it. It is bound by the solar plexus. What does this mean? This human ego, given to man during the course of earthly evolution as a gift from the Spirits of Form, has been, as we know, subjected to the temptation of Lucifer. The ego, as it now exists in man, and because it has been infected by luciferic forces, would be a bearer of evil forces. The truth of this fact must definitely be recognized. The ego is not a bearer of evil forces because of its own nature, but because it has become infected with luciferic forces through the temptation by Lucifer; it is in fact the bearer of truly evil forces, forces which, because of the luciferic infection, tend to distort the thought life of the ego towards evil. Since the moment when the ego was given to him, man has been able to think. If there had been no luciferic temptation, man would think only good thoughts about everythiug. But as the luciferic temptation did, in fact, take place, the ego does not think good thoughts, but thoughts infected by Lucifer. This is a fact of earthly evolution: the ego is malicious and dastardly. It thinks only of showing itself in a good light and consigning everything else to the shadow. It is infected with all kinds of egoisms. This is how it is, because it is infected by Lucifer.

Now the system of ganglia, the solar plexus, is something in man that has come over from the Moon incarnation of the earth. It is a kind of house for the ego; the ego fits into it in a certain way. In fact, it can be held a prisoner there. So we have the following state of affairs: Because of its luciferic infection, the ego tends all the time to behave in a dastardly, lying manner and place itself in the light, while consigning everything else to the shade. But it is held prisoner by the nervous system of the abdomen. There it has to behave itself. By means of the nervous system of the abdomen the properly progressing forces, which have come to us from ancient Saturn, Sun and Moon, compel the ego not to be a demon in the bad sense of the word. So the manner in which we bear our ego within us is to have it bound by the organs of the abdomen.

Assume now that these abdominal organs are unhealthy in some way, or not in a normal state. Not to be in a normal state means not to want to take in fully what fits into them spiritually, what spiritually belongs to them. The ego can be somewhat freer in its activity if the abdominal organs are not quite healthy. If this freeing is brought about by some physical hyperactivity, this can express itself in the human being in that the ego is let loose on the external world, instead of remaining bound. When the ego behaves freely in this way, we have a case of psychological illness: the human being displays the characteristics of the ego infected by Lucifer. The characteristics of the ego of which I have spoken then make their appearance. There is certainly no need to be a materialist in order to understand fully the manner in which the spiritual—in this case the ego—can be bound to physical organs in life between birth and death, though in a way that differs from what is perceived by a materialist. There is no need to be a materialist to see how, in a manner of speaking, the devil can throw off his chains and break loose. This is one instance of psychological illness.

The freeing of the ego, however, is not necessarily a question of psychological illness, because another state of affairs is also possible. In such an instance it is not a question of illness in the abdomen but rather a ‘switching off’ of its normal activity. This is what happens in the great majority of cases of hypnotic consciousness. The functioning of the system of ganglia in the abdomen is put into a state—either by natural causes or by all kinds of mesmeric effects—in which it is unable properly to keep the ego under control. Thus in this way, too, the ego has an opportunity to become more involved with its environment. It is not embedded in the system of ganglia and is therefore free to make use of channels to the outside world which enable it to perceive from a distance all kinds of processes in space and time which, when it is embedded in the system of ganglia, are processes which it cannot normally perceive.

So it is important to know that a certain relationship exists between the hypnotized state, which in a mild way switches off the normal activity of the processes bound to the system of ganglia in ordinary consciousness, and certain forms of madness, where the switching-off is caused by deformation or illness in certain abdominal organs. If the ego is freed, if it feels, you might say, free of its chains and is linked, not with its body but with the spiritual forces in its environment, this is always, in a way, a pathological state, just as is also the case in madness. That is why some forms of madness are characterized by the appearance of spite, mendacity, cunning and craftiness—everything that comes from luciferic infection; the urge to place oneself in the light and consign others to the shadow, and so on.

Now you will understand why a person's constitution of soul depends on the very way the shell which binds his ego is fashioned. In order not to focus too closely on the human being and perhaps offend some human souls, let us instead look for a moment at a lion, a savage carnivore, and how it compares with a bull or an ox. You can see the difference. Even though the lion has a group ego while the human being is endowed with an individual ego, we can still use this comparison. What is the difference between the lion's nature and the ox's nature? The lion is definitely a carnivore while the ox is for the most part a vegetarian. The difference is this: What in the lion corresponds to his group ego is less bound; the forceful activity suitable for his abdominal organs makes the ego freer, lets it loose more on its environment, whereas in the vegetarian ox the group ego is more bound to the abdominal organs. The ox lives more bound up in itself.

You can see why it can be good sense for human beings to become vegetarian—of course, only if they so wish. For what does a vegetarian diet bring about? It makes the abdominal organs even more capable of binding the ego, which, if this does not sound like a paradox, leads to the human being becoming more gentle. His evil demon is more internalized and lives less in the environment. Nobody, however, should persuade himself that he does not possess this demon, for he does, but it is more imprisoned within him. It would be easy to set up an experiment to compare the behaviour of hungry carnivores and hungry vegetarians. When hungry, one is apt to be less inhibited. So it would be likely that the hungry vegetarians, who are in the habit of containing themselves as a result of their vegetarian diet, would be the more savage. For hunger brings about changes in the functions of the abdominal organs, which are then less able to fetter the ego than they are when satiated. I do not mean to be absolute in what I say, because the carnivore in any case binds the ego less strongly than the vegetarian. But I said that, in comparison, the hungry vegetarian, in contrast to his state when satiated, is likely to be far more savage than the hungry carnivore, in contrast to his state when satiated.

Human nature is indeed exceedingly complicated. One very good way of attaining some knowledge as a basis for true, genuine self-knowledge in life is to pay attention to the connection between the spiritual and bodily parts. I should add, though, that vegetarians should take care not allow themselves to become too undernourished. If they are undernourished they are in danger of damaging themselves, and then their chains—the prison for their devil, who shows himself in wiliness, lies and so on—are weakened. They then let their devil out into the environment, and the environment is troubled by their problems. Either that, or else they themselves have the trouble. They fail to cope with themselves, for they either constantly have a mania for manifesting the various bad qualities of the ego, or—if they are well brought-up—they have the urge to keep all this to themselves, in which case, too, it can happen that they fail to cope with themselves. All kinds of dissatisfactions arise in their soul. It is important to see this.

Just as the ego has its point of contact in the system of ganglia, so does the astral body have its point of contact in all those processes which are linked with the nervous system of the spinal cord. Naturally, the nerves run through the whole body; but in the nervous system of the spinal cord we have a second point of contact. Included in this, of course, are once again all the processes connected with this spinal nervous system. I am not speaking of the cerebral nervous system. I mean the nervous system of the spinal cord which has to do, for instance, with our reflex actions and is a regulator for much that goes on in the human body. In the present context we must include all the processes regulated by this nervous system. Again we have to see that the astral body is either bound to everything connected with this spinal system or that it can become free of it, through illness or through partial somnolence brought about by mesmerism or something similar. The entity which is bound here received its luciferic attributes, which are mingled a little with ahrimanic attributes, as long ago as the time of ancient Moon. Therefore these are weaker than the luciferic attributes of the ego, but they are present in the astral body, too. If you want to turn your soul to a contemplation of the process by which this luciferic infection crept into the astral body, you will have to study what I said in my book Occult Science about the separation of the moon from evolution as a whole. This infection made its appearance during the time of ancient Moon. Here you will discover another reason for certain characteristics in the human being, characteristics of a hypnotic nature—higher hypnotic characteristics which are bound, in the main, to the organs of the chest and which bring in higher experiences than do the organs of the abdomen. At the same time you will see that if something is not in order, so that the astral body cannot be bound as it should be, something can again come about which is a psychological illness, a psychological disorder. Just as the ego can be released, causing signs of madness, so also can the astral body be released, which again leads to signs of madness.

When the ego is released, this leads, as I have said, to characteristics such as spite, cunning, wiliness, fraudulence, giving prominence to oneself and putting everyone else in the shade, and so on. When the astral body is released, this leads to volatility of ideas and lack of cohesive thought, manic states on the one hand or, on the other, to withdrawal, depression, hypochondria. Again, these conditions could be brought about by hypnotic or mesmeric intervention; but in this case the organs are not ill, but have had their normal physical function suppressed by the intervention of a hypnotist or mesmerist.

There is much in our human nature which must be held in check, for in a way we do belong to the devil. We are at least partially decent human beings solely because the devils in us are held in check by the divine spiritual forces which have developed in the proper way through the periods of ancient Saturn, Sun and Moon. Because of the various temptations, we do not possess all-that-great an aptitude for decency. A good many bad dispositions and moods of soul life are the result of meeting with the demon in us. The appearance of the demonic element comes about because what is bound can become unbound.

We shall speak on another occasion about what it is in the life between death and a new birth that binds those aspects that are bound by our physical body now, during life between birth and death. You will agree that we owe a great debt of gratitude to the cosmic order that here, between birth and death, we possess our physical organism, for without it we would have no prison for our higher components. When these higher components are set free, after we have laid aside our physical body, different conditions come into operation, which we will discuss another time. Suffice it to say that the higher components still retain some fetters, even then.

Now, just as the astral body is bound in this way by the system of the spinal cord and all the processes of organic life connected with it, so is the etheric body bound by the cerebral system and everything that belongs to it. Therefore, the etheric body has its point of contact by means of the cerebral system. Similar things could be said here, too. In our head there is a prison for our etheric body. Madness or hypnotic conditions come into operation if the body is not quite well and the etheric body is let loose. Left to itself, i.e., not enclosed in the prison of the head, the etheric body has the tendency to reproduce itself, thus becoming a stranger to itself and spilling over into the world, carrying its life into other things. This is a description of the conditions that come about if the prison warder releases the etheric body.

So we have three possibilities for psychological illness, and also three possibilities of escaping from the physical body. These three possibilities must definitely be taken into consideration—but of course in quite a different way—when a person is to become free of his physical body through Initiation. What we have been speaking about is a freeing brought about by illness, when the organs of the physical body do not remain healthy and are then incapable of containing the higher components. Somnolence of the brain would result if brain activity were damped down. The etheric body would be freed and a somnolent condition would take over. But when the brain is defective, the prison can no longer hold the prisoner—that is, the etheric body—which then embarks on its own adventures, endeavouring to live and create its own disordered, muddled life by opening out into the world. So you see clearly that psychological illnesses are, in the main, caused by a kind of freeing from the physical basis to which the various higher components of man belong during life between birth and death.

The etheric body, when it is freed, has mainly ahrimanic characteristics. Envy, jealousy, avarice and similar states will be pathologically exaggerated, always in connection with a kind af spreading into the environment, a kind of letting oneself go. Try to understand it like this: The only point of attraction for the ego is, more or less, the system of ganglia and whatever is connected with it; the astral body's point of contact is with the spinal system, but together with the system of ganglia; and the etheric body is linked with the cerebral system, but jointly, with both the spinal system and the system of ganglia. So, from this point of view, the system of ganglia also has to do with the brain, for instance, in so far as it serves all subconscious organic processes. If the system of ganglia brings about a process of illness which runs its course in the brain, then it could be the etheric body which is freed, even though the root cause lies in the system of ganglia. You see how very complicated things are.

Psychiatry today has, as yet, no means of distinguishing between these three forms of soul sickness. Psychiatry will only achieve some degree of perfection when distinction is made between psychological abnormalities brought about by the freeing from bondage of the etheric body, or the astral body, or the ego. Then there will be a really significant way of distinguishing between, and assessing, the various symptoms of psychological abnormality—and it will be important to assess them in this way.

You see from all this how self-knowledge can only be built up on a penetrating view of the complicated nature of the human being. Knowledge can certainly have disagreeable sides to it. But knowledge is not supposed to be a toy, for it is the most serious matter in the whole of human life. Someone who knows everything there is to know about human nature—if he is even only somewhat inclined to understand it in a way which is not egoistic, if he is inclined to think and feel about it in an objective way—can have in this knowledge an important healing factor at his disposal. One might be too weak to use this healing factor; but this knowledge is an important healing factor. It cannot be gained by remaining in one's subjective nature; it cannot be gained by failing to extricte oneself from this.

This is a great problem for a movement such as ours. On the one hand it is necessary to strive earnestly for the highest knowledge, but on the other hand not everybody who decides to join such a movement is inclined to accept such knowledge with total objectivity and with full earnestness. Such knowledge brings health to personal life only if one is not constantly busy reflecting upon one's own personality, if one is not constantly wondering: How do I feel, what is going on in me, how am I getting on in the world, what is living in my soul, and so on. It brings healing only if we free ourselves from all that and concern ourselves instead with the affairs of mankind as a whole, matters which concern every human being. Difficulty arises only if one wants to concentrate on oneself, if one cannot get away from oneself. The more one is capable of turning away from oneself and towards all that concerns people and the world in general, the more can knowledge become a healing factor.

How glad I would be if only you would believe this! A movement like ours gives plenty of opportunity for observing the very opposite of what I have been saying. It is, of course, natural and justified that people who cannot easily get away from themselves should turn to our Movement for comfort and hope and confidence. But if they do not honestly strive to get away from themselves, if they continue to concern themselves with their own head and their own heart—not to mention whatever else very many people in our Movement are concerned with—then knowledge cannot become for them what, in truth, it is. It is possible to be interested in knowledge in such a way that it becomes not only a personal, but also a general human affair. The more personal considerations are involved, the more one is distracted from what is healing in all the knowledge about the deeper aspects of the world.

From the points of view we have now reached we must endeavour to gain clarity about how certain impulses in human nature are connected with the freeing of the soul and spiritual element, either in states brought about by hypnosis or mesmerism, or in madness. A process of freeing is always connected with a merging into the spiritual element. But this is in turn bound up with a certain feeling of voluptuousness, with real voluptuousness, both direct and indirect. For whatever has become free—be it the etheric or astral body, or the ego—in a way pours itself into the spiritual world. And this pouring forth is defnitely connected with inner feelings of bliss.

Somebody with a psychological abnormality gains a certain satisfaction from his abnormal soul activity and is therefore loath to depart from it. In every age, those who have concerned themselves with the healing of psychological abnormalities have reported the following experience: When doctors have found a way of healing their patients, it happens that as the moment of health approaches, the patient senses that he can no longer freely merge with his spiritual environment and that he has lost a certain feeling of voluptuous bliss, so he begins to hate the doctor who has taken this from him. Usually those who are not psychologically ill are grateful to their doctor when he heals them, but efforts expended on the psychologically ill are met with the opposite. You will find this documented in the appropriate literature. Doctors have frequently found that when a cure is effected, or even only an attempt is made to overcome the sickness, the patient begins to find his doctor abhorrent because he is taking away what the patient really wants, especially in his subconscious, even if he would consciously deny this.

Such things lead us deep into the mystery of the human being's soul nature. We then also understand that the ego, or the etheric or the astral body, after endeavouring to work with the help of their physical tools, if they then become free, yet are still strong and imbued with the forms they had within their physical tools, can more easily unfold certain forces than was possible for them within the diseased organs. That is why people with periodic illnesses—for there are cyclic, periodic abnormalities of the soul—when they once again leave their organism, often feel that they have capacities which they do not otherwise possess. This gives them great satisfaction, and when they then return to their physical body a certain awareness of what they have experienced remains with them; they can sometimes be very clear about themselves and what has happened.

During the first half of the nineteenth century a well-known physician, Willis, cured someone suffering from madness; that is, he brought him to a point at which he was once more capable of thinking sensibly about himself. And this person, who was intelligent, wrote a kind of review of his madness. If you take into account what I have just said, you will well understand what this intelligent individual wrote. His illness involved the freeing of all three higher components. He wrote ‘I expected my fits of insanity with impatience ... with bliss’. Remember, he awaited the moment of leaving his body with impatience because he knew he would then enjoy a kind of bliss.

‘Everything appeared easy to me. No obstacles presented themselves either in theory or practice. My memory acquired, all of a sudden, a singular degree of perfection ...’

Someone who understands these things can tell from this that the patient must otherwise have suffered from severe constipation, i.e. an abdominal condition, which led to a dulling of his memory. As soon as his ego tore itself free, his memory was again intact.

‘Long passages of Latin authors occurred to my mind. In general, I have great difficulty in finding rhythmical terminations, but then I could write verses with as great facility as prose.’

You see how exactly the patient described himself, and it is understandable that in a certain way he endeavoured to induce the abnormal state. This cannot actually be done, of course, but he was glad when it came, for it brought him voluptuous enjoyment.

This is the main difficulty in the case of psychological abnormalities for, subjectively, the patients have to be led from a happy to an unhappy state of mind, and so they are truly downcast about it. In their ordinary consciousness this is different, of course, but in their subconscious they are downcast if they are cured. Of course they go to the doctor and say they want to be cured; but subconsciously they do not, in reality, want to be cured. This is the difficulty. The freed component or components resist with all their might being torn away from the bliss they enter when they are freed. You see how, by looking at things in this way, we do justice to the material foundation of our physical existence, and yet we do not become materialists.

Take a person who is stupid to a greater degree than is apparent in external life. There are such people. Well, stupidity is only one stage on the way to a certain abnormality of soul: namely, imbecility. The cause is possibly that the otherwise bound etheric body is free because the brain is too compact and cannot achieve sufficient fluidity in the way it works. Perhaps this person shoots himself in the head without killing himself. Someone who knows what to look for might find that this is not a bad thing, as long as he had not done himself any other harm. For the resulting loosening of his compact brain might lead to his becoming clever. There are certainly known cases in which head wounds have led to people becoming more wide awake than they were before.

There is truly nothing in the physically-perceptible world as complicated as the nature of the human being. It is more complicated than anything else in the world. To understand man in his totality you have to view him in the way I have been describing. We have seen, for instance, that in the human being as he stands before us with his head, the activity of this head depends in some degree on the etheric body connecting up in the right way to it. Abnormal activity comes about if the etheric body is freed, if it is unbound. Because of the way the human being is normally organized with regard to his sense organs and the nerves of his brain, the etheric body can have a normal relationship with the ordinary environment. What man is as a result of the special connection between his etheric body and his head makes him into a human being like all others in his existence between birth and death in the physical world. If we had nothing else about us except the normal connection of our etheric body with our head, all human beings would be the same, and there would also be no way of feeling connected with that part of our being that is immortal. For our head brings to us the experiences we have in life between birth and death through our senses, through the nerves of the brain.

Consider this in connection with what I have said about the loss of the head during the course of reincarnation: What is now our head was in our previous incarnation our body, and what is now our body will become our head in our next incarnation. We know about this connection with our immortal part which runs through all births and deaths, even though without the wisdom of spiritual science this knowledge can only take the form of a belief. Through our head we can understand this connection, but we can only have this knowledge because we have the system of the spinal cord as an organ of our astral body. This is where those ideas and feelings are wrought which bring us into a mutual relationship with our immortal, our super-personal, part.

Everything we possess only for this life between birth and death is given to us through the earthly, solid element in our organism. On other occasions I have pointed out that there is indeed very little of the solid element in our make-up, of which ninety-five per cent consists, in fact, of fluid, of a pillar of fluid. The human being is a pillar of water containing only five per cent of solid ingredients. Yet only this solid element can be the bearer of our ordinary thoughts in physical life; and only in so far as we are permeated by the fluid element with its pulsation can we know about our super-personal part. And this fluid element with its pulsation is linked with the spinal system, which for the most part regulates this fluid element and its pulsation.

How all this is related to certain things I have described on other occasions, to the pulsating rise and fall of fluid between the abdomen and the brain, I shall discuss tomorrow, for at the moment it would take us too far from today's theme. Now, because the human being bears the fluid element within him he is linked with his super-personal part. But this fluid element also establishes his specific personality. If we had only heads, we would all think the same, feel the same. But because we also have hearts, the fluid element, blood and other juices in us, we are specific in some degree; for through this element the hierarchy of the angeloi can have a part in our being. The hierarchy of the angeloi can intervene in us via the fluid element.

A third possibility for intervening in our being is given because even with the normal working together of the higher components with the system of ganglia, it is possible for the airy element and everything connected with it to have an effect on us. This happens in the process of breathing. It is very complicated, and it varies depending on where we breathe, on how much oxygen, how much humidity, how much sun warmth is in the air and so on. It is the hierarchy of the archangeloi, the archangels, who work on us via the airy element. And everything that works in us from the hierarchy of the archangeloi—both those who have progressed normally and those who are retarded—works via the system of ganglia. Also this is the route by which the folk spirits work, for they belong to the hierarchy of the archangeloi. The work done by the folk spirits in the human being takes its effect through the organs which are connected with the system of ganglia. This is why nationality is something so far removed from consciousness, something that works in such a demonic way. And for the reasons I have pointed out it is linked so strongly with everything to do with locality. For the locality, the local climate, is far more closely connected with the working of the hierarchy of the archangeloi than one might imagine. Climate is nothing other than what works on the human being via the air.

So you see that by discussing the system of ganglia one is indicating how the impulses of all that belongs to the folk soul work in man's unconscious. You will now also understand why, more than one might ordinarily think, belonging to a particular nation is connected with certain characteristics which are linked to the system of ganglia. More than one might think, the problem of nationality has to be seen in relation to the problem of sexuality. Belonging to a nation has the same organic foundation—the system of ganglia—as the sexual element. Quite externally you can understand this when you remember that you belong to a nation by birth, that is, your body develops inside that of a mother who belongs to a particular nation. This of itself creates a link. So you see what subterranean soul foundations connect the problem of nationality with the problem of sexuality. That is why these two impulses in life manifest in such related ways. If your eyes are open to life you will see a tremendous amount of similarity between the way people behave in an erotic sense and the way they show their connection to their nationality. I am not speaking either for or against either of these things, but the facts are as I have described them. Arousal of a nationalistic kind, which works particularly strongly in the unconscious if it is not brought up into ego-consciousness by making it a question of karma as I described the other day, is very similar to sexual arousal. It is no good glossing over these things by making out that the emotional illusions and longings of national feeling are noble, while sexual feelings are rather less so. For the facts are as I have described them to you.

From all this you will see that a good amount of agreement can be reached amongst people in matters of the head, for in the head everyone is the same. If we consisted of heads only, we would understand one another famously. It is peculiar to say: If we consisted of heads only. But when life has brought one together with all kinds of people one grows accustomed to speaking in paradoxes such as this. In parenthesis, let me tell you that I once met quite an important Austrian poet who also entertained philosophical thoughts and was terribly worried about the way human beings were growing ever more and more intellectual. He said: People are growing more and more intellectual, so in the end the rest of their body will waste away and there will be nothing left but walking heads. He was quite serious.

If, as I said, we were heads, it would be easy for us to reach an understanding about all kinds of things. It is less easy to reach an understanding about matters which have to be comprehended via the tool of the spinal system. That is why people are embattled with regard to their view of the world, their religion and everything else they connect with what is super-personal. And there is no doubt at all that today they are embattled also with regard to everything for which the system of ganglia is the organ. By this I do not mean the external war; I mean the war that speaks in the language of hate against hate, for the external war need not necessarily have anything to do with all that is unfolding in such a terrible way in the form of hate against hate.

It is essential for people to become conscious of these things. Only if people can come to understand the nature of the human being will it be possible to find a way out of that chaos into which mankind has entered. Tomorrow we shall speak more about this chaos. But we must be clear about one thing: The knowledge and understanding we gain about the complicated nature of the human being must be filled with a mood that I described just now as an impersonal mood.

So far I have only described harmless, personal moods such as those in people who cannot cope with themselves, who go on and on about their heart, or one thing and another. But in the world at large we meet with less harmless moods, either personal or belonging to the egoism of a whole group. Occult knowledge is not always applied in a selfless manner, as you saw during our considerations over the past few weeks. We can certainly look more deeply into the impulses at work in human history if we have an understanding of the complexity of human nature. For what we can come to know with regard to the individual is connected in turn with all that happens between people, both on a one to one basis and also between the different groupings that come about during human evolution.

Now I told you that occult knowledge was used by certain secret brotherhoods in order to give a turn to events which would serve not general human aims but the egoistic aims of a particular group. I told you that certain secret brotherhoods entertained views about how Europe ought to be structured and how they could influence that structuring. Today I want to add to what has already been made plain something that has not yet been mentioned. I do this because it seems to me to be a good thing that once at least, in however small a circle, something is said which will certainly be made known in the future, just as the division of Austria has been made known in the note from the Entente to President Wilson. Those who knew about these things could have sketched the division of Austria as long ago as the nineties—I do not want to go back any further—on the basis of the maps I have already mentioned.

Whatever is made publicly known is only a fragment. It flows into external, exoteric affairs at a time when it is considered to be useful; but the rest, meanwhile, is held back. Truly, I say what I am now going to tell you not from the slightest political or inflammatory motive, but solely in order to let you have the facts. They do exist in the world. I am truly very far from wanting to worry anyone, or persuade anyone to believe anything in particular or be anxious about anything; for I am concerned only with knowledge. So let me sketch approximately part of the future map of Europe as it was worked out in those secret brotherhoods. So as not to take too long, my sketch will only be approximate. As I said, this is the form which such secret societies thought Europe should take at some point in the future. [The lecturer drew.]

First they turned their attention to the southern European Balkan confederation. This was to be a kind of bulwark against Russianism. Obviously, in the West, Russianism was considered to be the opposite pole, definitely not something with which to remain linked for ever, but something against which there would always be a need to fight. Since the intention was to weld together the present Kingdom of Italy with the Balkan Slavs and the southern Slavs at present belonging to Austria, this confederation would comprise a large part of the Apennine peninsula, the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, the southern part of Austria, Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia. To this the northern part of Greece would be added. The confederation would also include Hungary and the Danube estuary. This would be the Balkan confederation. Next to this, eastwards, would be everything belonging to Russia in the wider sense. In the programme shown in these maps it was always—I mention this expressly—sharply stressed that however Poland might behave, it was a necessity of world history that the whole of this country should, whatever the circumstances, be returned to the Russian Empire. From the start the programme said that Poland, including the parts now belonging to Prussia, must once again be included in the Russian Empire. So according to the programme, the Russian Empire would include today's Poland, and also Galicia reaching beyond the Slovaks. The part that I am shading here would dip in like a peninsula. This would be Bukovina. [Drawing was continued].

Then would come France which, starting at the Rhine estuary, would cover the territory over as far as the Rhine and the French-speaking part of Switzerland and would be bounded here by the Pyrenees, and here something like this. Nothing much was said about the Scandinavian peoples. No doubt they have been granted a good long respite.

The rest would be: German-speaking Switzerland with Germany and the German parts of Austria. They would cover this area. And these coloured parts would fall more or less into the sphere of influence, however that may appear, of the British Empire: Holland, Belgiurn, the coast, Portugal, Spain, the lower part of Italy—we can speak about the islands another time—and the southern part of Greece.

So here we have a map for which the one we tried to draw on the board yesterday is clearly a kind of payment on account. The Central European part looks quite similar to that implied by the note from the Entente to Wilson. This is what was seen to be an ideal structure for Europe. I repeat yet again: This is not something remotely intended to influence anybody. All I want to show is that this structure for Europe, clearly traceable by me to the nineties, or even the eighties, was taught in certain secret societies.

The reasons for wanting to shape Europe like this were also always given. The ways and means—of course the reasons were eminently sensible—for achieving this structure for Europe were more or less described. We shall talk about this tomorrow. Just let me say that I am not making this up. It is something that lived as a powerful impulse in many heads, something that had to be brought about, something that would have to be brought about by every effort.

I know very well how ill will could easily maintain that it is improper, in consideration of a particular point, to say such things precisely here, of all places. But I do not want to be inflammatory, nor do I want to set up a picture of the future, either for those nations now at war or for those who are neutral. I have nothing to do with these things. I speak about them merely to show you the impulses which existed in those circles. What we have here is a picture of the future arising from endeavours to use certain impulses in the egoistic interests of a group. Those who are shocked to see what would disappear, might remind themselves that we are concerned with the tasks of mankind in general. Things which emanate from the egoistic interests of a group are obvious, and there is no need to regard them as fateful, as pending fate. What I do regard as fatal, however, is the attitude of hiding one's head in the sand, of simpfy refusing to recognize such facts because they are uncomfortable, with the excuse that such things ought not even to be thought because they might cause disquiet. Of course I know that it could be said: We should not speak about such things because they might upset people who are honestly striving to be neutral. But the foundations on which we stand ought to have enabled us to transcend this kind of upset by now. We should be capable of looking at what is really happening in the world. And when I say these things it is on the assumption that you are sensible enough to take them in the right way.