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Karma of Untruthfulness I
GA 173c

Lecture XX

15 January 1916, Dornach

I pointed out yesterday how the spiritual components of man's being have their points of contact in his physical organism. Awareness of this will have to enter into the consciousness of mankind as a whole, for it is this knowledge that in truth must lead man to the light out of the darkness of today's materialism, which will last for a very, very long time. Never, though, must the thread of spiritual knowledge be lost entirely. At least a small group of human beings must always ensure that this does not happen. I have already shown how the true discoveries of material science—which anthroposophical spiritual science must certainly not fail to recognize—are put in the correct light when things are seen spiritually, especially the human being. The examples I started with yesterday can show you how the physical processes in the human being are fully recognized by spiritual science—only spiritual science recognizes what is spiritual and investigates how the spiritual element is anchored in the physical element, especially, in the first instance, in the human being.

Thus we avoided the pitfall of seeking the spiritual element solely in abstract concepts which are unable to deal with something that has been created by it, namely, the material world. What is spiritual must not live only in a Cloud-cuckoo-land floating above the material world. It must be so strong and intense that it can permeate the material element and show how spiritual it is and how it has been created by the spirit. Thus true spiritual knowledge must come to the possibility of understanding the material world and existence on the physical plane. It is important now, of all times, to pay attention to the interaction of spiritual and material elements in the human being, because now it is necessary properly to understand the intervention of something not material, namely, the folk soul, in the human being.

I said: Those things in everyday life which we think, feel and will—not as members of one group of people or another but as citizens of the earth—are bound to the solid, earthly element. Even though only five per cent of our body is made of this earthly element, I said that that in us which gives us in the world between birth and death our purely personal knowledge, will impulses and degrees of feeling, is bound to the mineral, solid element of the brain; that is where it has its point of contact. As soon as we progress to what leads us into super-personal or sub-personal realms, we can no longer count on conceptions which are brought to us by the solid element, for conceptions here are brought by the fluid element. And conceptions which take us so far into the super-personal or sub-personal realm that we come to the intervention of the archangeloi in our being are brought to us by the airy element. The airy element is the mediator between these archangel beings and their sphere and everything which the human being experiences in that very subconscious way I described yesterday.

Well over ninety per cent of our physical being is a pillar of water, a pillar of liquid, but this liquid element in the human being, of which very little account has so far been taken by natural science, is the main bearer of life in the human being. I have pointed out how the aeriform element works through the liquid element into the solid element which is anchored in the brain. We breathe in; because we breathe in a stream of air and fill our body with it, the organ we call the diaphragm is pushed down. In this sucking-in of the stream of air and everything that goes with it, down to the lowering of the diaphragm, is to be found that sphere in which the impulses emanating from the kingdom of the archangeloi work. Just as all this remains in the subconscious, so does the real manner of the folk soul's working remain in the subconscious. As I said by way of comparison yesterday, it surges up like waves, in a form that differs utterly from the way it lives down there in the depths. When the diaphragm is pushed downwards it, in a way, dams up the blood in the veins of the abdomen. This pushes the stream of cerebral fluid upwards through the spinal cord so that it pours into the brain, or rather round the solidified mass of the brain. So now, as a result of breathing in, the cerebral fluid is in the brain, has been pushed up. In the way these pulsations of the cerebral fluid work lie all the impulses that come into man from the sphere of the archangeloi, everything man can have in the way of conceptions and feelings which lift him into the realm of the super-personal or sub-personal, everything that connects him with the forces that reach beyond birth and death. And in the brain itself the cerebral fluid comes up against the solid element.

Parallel with this runs the process by which all our ideas and conceptions ebb and flow in the liquid element. These ideas and conceptions are spiritual entities which ebb and flow in the liquid element, and they appear as our everyday conceptions relating to the external world because they come up against the solid element and are mirrored back by this solid element into consciousness.

When we breathe out, a damming-up takes place in the blood vessels of the brain, and the cerebral fluid is pushed down through the spinal cord into the abdomen. There is room for it there because breathing out has raised the diaphragm. So thinking and having ideas and so on is not the mere brain process of which the sciences of anatomy and physiology dream today. What takes place in the brain is a mirroring-back by something solid, and this is connected with what is not mirrored but remains in the fluid element whence, via the detour of breathing, it regulates the influence of the aeriform element. This is also the detour via which everything is mediated to us which belongs to a particular climate, the local soil conditions of a particular terrain and all the other influences connected with breathing. That part of breathing which never enters our consciousness but remains lika an ocean swell, is where spiritual realities surge. Via the detour through the cerebral fluid the breathing process is connected with the brain.

Here you have a physical process belonging to the whole human being, described in such a way that you can recognize it as a revelation of the spirit which surrounds us everywhere, just as does air or humidity. This gives you, through a true understanding of physical processes, an insight into how his earthly surroundings, together with the spirit contained in them, work on man, and into how, as a being both spiritual and physical, man is embedded in his earthly environment, which is also spiritual and physical. The air, water and warmth which surround us are nothing other than bodies for the spirit, just as our muscles and nerves are bodies for the spirit.

I am presenting you with these things now because they show how human life is founded on processes which are not at all obvious to present-day science. It will be the task of the fifth post-Atlantean period to raise these processes to the level of true knowledge. During the course of the fifth post-Atlantean period this realization must enter into everything we do—in teaching, in education generally and in the whole of external life. It must, in due course, be recognized that what is seen as science in materialistic circles today will gradually have to disappear from the life of the earth, together with all the consequences it has for life. All the battles still to be won in the fifth post-Atlantean period will be no more than an external expression of a spiritual battle, just as, in the final analysis, the present battle is an external expression of the confrontation between materialism and spiritual life. Hidden though these things are, behind today's infinitely sad events lies the battle of materialism against spiritual life. This battle will have to be fought to the end. It will take various forms, but it must be fought to the end because human beings must learn to bear everything they need to bear in order to achieve the spiritual view necessary for the sixth post-Atlantean period. It may be said that there must be much suffering, but only out of pain and suffering can arise what truly binds knowledge to our self. For the other side of the coin is that connected with the materialistic view of the world, is the materialistic way of life, which is only beginning today but which will take on infinitely more terrible forms.

The materialistic way of life began when science became willing to recognize only what is material. It has already led to a stage at which people are prepared, in life, too, to accept only what is material. This will be taken much, much further and will become far more intense. For the fifth post-Atlantean period must be lived to the end. In all areas it must reach a kind of climax. For spirituality needs its opposite pole if it is to recognize itself with the intensity that will be needed if mankind is to step with maturity into the sixth post-Atlantean period.

So do not shy away from following the spiritual guidelines offered as a possibility for comprehending the external facts of the world. For it is the prime task and duty of all those who strive spiritually to comprehend the course of human evolution up to the present and also to understand the likely evolution of the future in spiritual directions. We have often spoken of our inheritance from the fourth post-Atlantean period which ended in the fifteenth century, and of the fact that it is the task of the fifth post-Atlantean period to develop to the full the consciousness soul.

Now it is precisely the consciousness soul which will unite man intimately with all material events and everything belonging to materialism. We have seen how, in the fourth post-Atlantean period, from the eighth century BC right up to the fifteenth century AD, the Greco-Latin element gradually came to dominate the world, first in what is usually called the Roman Empire and later in the Roman Papacy which reached the climax of its dominance during the thirteenth and the beginning of the fourteenth centuries. This is at the same time the beginning of the fifth post-Atlantean period. It coincided with the first breaking of Roman Papal dominance. It is also the beginning of those impulses whose influence has brought about the present sad events. In the end no one can understand what is going on today without taking a wider view. For really all the peoples of Europe have contributed their share to the sad events of today's Europe. Those who want to understand things must necessarily turn their attention to impulses which have been in preparation for a long time and which today are being given a kind of first chance to show themselves.

So today we shall bring together what can be seen far in the future with things that are close at hand. First let us remember the description I gave of how the southern peoples, the Italian and Spanish peoples and the various kingdoms they have brought forth, represent a kind of after-effect of the third post-Atlantean period—of course, with the inclusion of the overall heritage of the fourth period. You need only follow the whole structure of Italian-Spanish development as it took place at the turn of the fourth to the fifth post-Atlantean period, in order to see that it still included what was directly justified in the third, the Egypto-Chaldean period. You can see this especially in the way in which, emanating from Rome and Spain, a religion spread which was borrowed from the cults of Egypt and Chaldea. In this you have the continued existence of what had been left behind in Egypt and Chaldea, and this reached its climax in the thirteenth century.

Papal supremacy emanated from the South and reached its climax in the thirteenth century. In order to describe it in a way which is meaningful today and which fits the facts, we should have to say that this papal supremacy, which covered and dominated the whole of European culture, was essentially the ecclesiastical element of cultus and hierarchy. This ecclesiastical element of cultus and hierarchy, which was a transformation of ancient Rome into the Roman Catholicism which streamed into Europe, is one of the impulses which continue to work like retarded impulses throughout the whole fifth post-Atlantean period, but especially in its first third. You could, I might add, work out how long this is going to last. You know that one post-Atlantean period lasts approximately 2,160 years. One third of this is 720 years. So starting with the year 1415, this takes the main period to the year 2135. Therefore the last waves of hierarchical Romanism will last into the beginning of the third millennium. These are echoes in which the impulses of the fourth post-Atlantean period assert themselves in the forms of the third post-Atlantean period. But many things work side by side at the same time, so there are other impulses working together with these. Roman Catholicism had its actual climax in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.

Let us now see how it continues. We have to distinguish the way it worked up to the thirteenth century—when it was, you might say, justified, because that was still the fourth post-Atlantean period—and what then followed, when it began to assume the character of a retarded impulse. It seeks to spread. But how? For it certainly spreads significantly. We see that the form of the state, which gradually matures in the new age, is more or less saturated with this Roman Catholicism. We see that the English state as it begins to grow at the beginning of the fifth post-Atlantean period is at first entirely in the hands of this Roman Catholicism. We see how France and the rest of Europe are entirely in the grip of this Roman element of hierarchy and cultus in so far as their ideas and cultural life are concerned. To characterize this impetus we would have to say that there is an impulse on the part of Rome to permeate, to saturate the culture of Europe with this hierarchical ecclesiastical element right up to the bulwark it has itself created in eastern Europe. But it is noteworthy that an impulse like this, if it is a retarded impulse, takes on an external character. It no longer has the strength to develop any inner intensity, but becomes external in character. It spreads out widely on the surface but has no strength to go into its own depths. So we see the strange phenomenon of Roman hierarchism spreading further and further afield yet, in the countries at its core, being unable to give any inward strength, thus depriving its own population of inwardness.

See how such things start. Everywhere Romanism spreads in all shapes and forms, whereas in Italy itself, in Spain, the population is hollowed out. Just think what an extraordinary Christianity lived in Italy when the Papacy was at the height of its glory. It was the Christianity against which the thunderous words of Savonarola were directed. For in isolated individuals, such as Savonarola, the Christ impulse was alive; but these individuals felt impelled to grind official Christianity into the dust. A history telling of what happened at the point from which Christianity rayed forth would have to say: The power of the Roman church element rayed forth, but the Christian souls at the point from which this happened were hollowed out. This could be proved in detail. It is an important truth: Something raying out destroys its own inner core. This is how life goes. Like a human being growing old and using up his forces, so do cultural phenomena, when they spread, use up their own being and hollow themselves out.

On earlier occasions I have shown how the French state was in a certain way a recapitulation of the fourth post-Atlantean period in the fifth. Here we now have a second case of raying forth. For the southern element we used the expression ‘ecclesiastical element of cultus and hierarchy’ to describe something that strove to found a universal monarchy of the church, a theocracy of Europe. Now we shall endeavour to find an expression to describe that cultural element which bears the culture of the intellectual- or mind-soul from the fourth post-Atlantean period up into the fifth. An expression encompassing all the historical elements, an expression which fits the facts and describes the reality of what is brought into the fifth post-Atlantean period, if we have the good will to find it, would have to be: the universal diplomatic element. Everything connected with this universal diplomatic element is also connected with what grew out of the French state element. It is not for nothing that the French language is the language of diplomacy, even today. Every historical trend is illuminated in detail when you discover that just as the universal theocratic element rays out from Rome and Spain, so the universal diplomatic element rays out from Paris.

And it is remarkable that just as with the Spanish-Italian element—though to a lesser degree because the element being brought forward is less ancient—so also, in the case of the French element, the raying forth is accompanied at its source by a hollowing out. It is particularly interesting to view history in the light of this. Take the way in which great French statesmen, such as Richelieu or Mazarin, inaugurate and carry on world diplomacy by translating old impulses into the diplomatic, political element. The servants of Louis XIV think on a European, not a French, scale and see themselves as the obvious leaders of Europe as regards the diplomatic, the universal, diplomatic element. One element, one impulse, always absorbs the other. It is not for nothing that cardinals practised in politics and diplomacy surround the King of France when the French state is at its zenith.

Studying that time particularly in the history of France, we find that the very concern which sends diplomacy all over Europe withdraws from its own country infinitely great forces in the realm of economics, finance, and also culture in general, hollowing it out down to the fine details. To see things this way, they must, of course, not be viewed in the light of national prejudices, but in all truth, objectively and impartially. This hollowing out is also the source of that uprising of the people into the element of revolution which leads to the exact opposite of what would be the most suitable for the French state: monarchy. In the Spanish-Italian realm there is no parallel to this Revolution, for the reasons I have already given. Yet it is precisely this Revolution which shows how strangely this contrast works in the French element, this contrast between concern for European diplomacy and the lesser concern for one's own country.

For we must not forget that the fifth post-Atlantean period was accompanied by the spread of civilization and culture across the whole earth, which went with the discovery of hitherto unknown regions. We see how, as a matter of course, those states which border the ocean build up their navies. French diplomacy spreads its concern over the whole earth, and at the same time—you can follow this in the various trends of history—the French navy begins to blossom; but this has its opposite in what rages uncared-for within and then comes to expression in the Revolution. It is notable that the more the Revolution proceeds, the more the French navy is neglected. You can observe how, during the build-up to the French Revolution, France's sea power grows ever smaller as her navy is totally neglected.

This has a significant consequence. When the French element withdraws once again from the revolutionary age and returns to what is more suited to it—the emperorship of Napoleon—there develops in the person of Napoleon that significant opposition to the third element, that element which is now suitable for the fifth post-Atlantean period, the opposition of France against England. This had been in preparation for a long time but in the person of Napoleon it took on quite a new character that differed greatly from the character it had had before.

What is most remarkable in all the waves created by Napoleonism? If you investigate what lived in Europe with regard to Napoleon, you find the important opposition between Napoleon and England. But Napoleon lacked something which was missing in the heritage of the Revolution, something which had to be lacking—I speak of a historical necessity—but which he would have needed so that the second element could have asserted itself against the third, the French against the English, namely: a navy! Hypotheses are only justified in connection with history as tools for understanding, but they can indeed make a great contribution. So let us make a hypothesis: If Napoleon had had a navy which he could have joined to those of other countries with which he was allied, he would not have been defeated at sea by England and the whole of history would have taken a different course. But the Revolution had not given him a navy. Here we see the mutual limitation of the two elements, those of the third and the fourth post-Atlantean periods, as they rise up into the fifth.

Now we come to the third element, the one which corresponds to the fifth post-Atlantean period and has the task of bringing into being the culture of the consciousness soul: the English, the British element. The sentient soul element, brought into culture by the Italian-Spanish sphere, expresses itself in the theocratic element of the cultus—the sentient soul does not live in consciousness. Similarly the political and diplomatic element corresponds to the French sphere. And now in the British sphere we have the commercial and industrial element, in which the human soul lives fully and entirely in the material world of the physical plane. But we must make clear an important difference. The Papacy could only pretend to world dominance for one particular reason.

Here [the lecturer drew] is the fourth post-Atlantean period. Now comes the first element, A, of the fifth post-Atlantean period, the papal, hierarchical element. It strives for a kind of universal monarchy because in a certain way it is the continuation of the universal Roman Empire.

Here, B, is the culture of the intellectual or mind soul. It also strives for something universal, but it is something universal that is very much in the realm of ideas. The most important consequence of the spread of the French element are not the conquests, which are merely side-effects, but the saturation of the world with the political spirit, with political, diplomatic thinking and feeling—that diplomatic, political thinking found not only in French diplomacy and politics, but also in literature and even the other aspects of French artistic life. A universal monarchy in connection with this could only be described as a kind of universal dream. And the way in which France marched in the forefront of civilization is a very exact expression of this dream.

In contrast, we now come to the third element, C. This, in harmony with the whole of the fifth post-Atlantean period, which has the task of bringing to expression the consciousness soul, is what corresponds to the British element, the special bearer of the consciousness soul in the age which is to develop especially the consciousness soul. Hence the pretension of the British element to universal commercial and industrial world dominance.

My dear friends, things which have their foundation in the spiritual world will run their course. They will, with all certainty, run their course. Do not imagine that you can moralize or theorize about this. They will run their course and become fact. Nobody need believe, therefore, that the mission of the British people will not—out of inner necessity—become fact: namely, the mission to found a universal commercial and industrial monarchy over the whole earth. The pretensions emerge as realities. These things have to be recognized as lying in world karma. And what people express and what they think is only a revelation of spiritual forces behind the scenes. So nobody should believe that British politics will ever be morally reformed and withdraw, out of consideration for the world, from the pretension to dominate the world industrially and commercially. Therefore we need not be surprised either that those who understand these things have founded societies whose sole aim is to realize such aims by the use of means which are also spiritual means.

This is where the forbidden interplay begins. For obviously occult principles, occult means and occult impulses are not permissible as promoters, as driving forces, especially in the fifth post-Atlantean period, which ought to be a purely materialistic civilization. The moment occult impulses work behind the spread of this purely materialistic culture, things become questionable. Yet, as I have shown you, this is what is happening. There are those who want to foster world dominance not only with the forces available on the physical plane, but also with the impulses of occultism, the impulses which lie in the world of the invisible. But these occult means are not used to work for the good of mankind in general but only for the good of a group. If you see the connection between such encompassing viewpoints, given to you from deeper knowledge, and everyday events, you will thoroughly understand a great deal.

There are still plenty of praiseworthy idealists—this is not meant as any kind of mockery, for idealism is always praiseworthy, even when it errs—who believe that the network of commercial and industrial measures, which has been spread by the British Empire over various countries, can only last as long as the war, and that after that people will once more be free to go about their own commercial business. Apart from a few illusions which will be raised by creating some interregnum or other, or by some other means to prevent people from becoming suspicious, all the measures that have been set up during this war to control commercial traffic throughout the world are not intended as something that will disappear once the war is over, but as something which is only beginning with the help of the war and will then continue. The war merely provides the opportunity for noses to be poked into business records. But do not imagine that this poking of noses into business records will cease after the war. I am speaking symbolically to describe something that will take place on the widest scale. What I mean is that commercial world dominance will become more and more thorough.

I am not saying all this in order to be inflammatory, but simply in order to show you what, out of the impulses of world history, really is the case. Only by recognizing what is really the case can people learn to conduct themselves appropriately. That is no doubt why that map of the European world turned out in the way I showed you on the blackboard yesterday. Let me repeat: I have traced this map back to the eighties of the nineteenth century. How far back it goes beyond that I do not know. I state only what I know, only what I can assert with certainty. That is why I have said nothing about the Scandinavian countries, since I do not know whether any plans have been made for them too. I limit myself strictly to what I know, and wish to stress this particularly on this occasion, though it is a principle which I follow on every occasion.

Further, this map—that is, this rearrangement of European affairs—has the tendency to serve the formation of a universal commercial monarchy. Europe is to be arranged in such a way that a universal commercial monarchy can be founded. I am not saying that this is to happen by tomorrow. But you can see that part payments are already being demanded. Only compare the most recent note to Wilson with the map of Europe, and there you have it. Nothing is said as yet about Switzerland. This payment on account will be demanded later. But as the demands appear one by one they will correspond to the map I drew yesterday.

The division of Europe shown there is suited to the founding of commercial world dominance. Study the details of this map and you will see that it is well conceived as a basis for founding what I have just said. I said: commercial world dominance. There is no need actually to possess all the territories, for it is quite sufficient to arrange them in such a way that they fall into one's sphere of influence. It is also very cleverly arranged so that at first those very regions will be drawn into the sphere of influence which I yesterday coloured yellow, as being the ones to be claimed as British: the peripheral territories. Indeed, in order to leave the others a little longer in the warm glow of a certain idealism, it is possible to arrange things in such a way that one practises the commercial domination oneself while leaving the others to play about with territories for a little longer. But the spheres of influence will be established as the drawing shows. It is quite irrelevant whether in the year 1950 there will be a Belgium, or a France extending right up to the border. The important thing is what power Belgians have in Belgium, or the French in France, and what power the British have in Belgium or France. In order to found commercial world dominance it is not necessary to actually possess the territories. What we must be clear about is that this world dominance is to be commercial and industrial. This is the basis for something extremely important.

I should, though, have to give a whole series of lectures if I needed to prove these things to you in detail. This would be perfectly possible, for the things I am saying can be proved very profoundly. Today, however, I can only draw an outline. In order to found a commercial and industrial world dominance, the first thing to do is to divide the main region into two parts. This has to do with the nature of commercial and industrial affairs. I can only explain this by using an analogy: Whatever takes place on the physical plane always requires a splitting into two parts.

Imagine a teacher without any pupils; there is no such thing. In the same way there cannot be a commercial empire without another region which is its counterpart. Therefore if a British commercial empire is founded, then a Russian opposite pole must be founded too. So that a differentiation can arise between buying and selling, so that the necessary circulation can come about, two regions are needed. If the whole world were to be made into a unified realm, it would be impossible to found a universal commercial realm. It is not quite the same, but similar to saying that if you produce something you need a buyer, otherwise you cannot produce. So this twofold split is necessary. And the fact that this has been initiated as a major trend is a great—indeed, a gigantic—conception on the part of those secret brotherhoods of which I have spoken. To create this contrast is a conception of universal proportions, against which everything else pales into insignificance: this contrast, between the British commercial empire on the one hand and, on the other, all that emanates from the Russian sphere involving, through their spiritual capacities, preparations for the sixth post-Atlantean period, together with everything I have described to you. It is a great, gigantic, admirable conception of these secret brotherhoods about whom we have spoken. Put simply, it is hardly possible to imagine a better opposite pole for what has developed in the West—namely, the supreme flowering of commercial and industrial thought—than the future Russian Slav who in times to come is sure to be even less inclined than he is today to occupy himself professionally with commercial matters, and who, just because of this, will be an excellent polar opposite.

A commercial empire of this kind will, of course, have to state its own terms. Profound thought on the part of Spencer, and even his predecessor, led them to stress repeatedly: The industrial and commercial element which suffuses a nation does not want to have anything to do with war; it is for peace, it needs peace and loves peace. It is absolutely true: There will indeed be a deep love between the element striving towards commerce and industry and the element striving towards peace in the world. Only this love for peace can sometimes adopt bizarre forms, as witness the present note to Wilson, which certainly contains something peculiar.

Look at what happens to Austria in this map, which is drawn exactly in accordance with the note. Yet this note dares to express something else as well: The common political unity living in the nations of Central Europe is not to be touched in any way. Well, this too is ‘gigantic’, a gigantically frivolous game with the truth. Usually untruths are not actually put down on paper, but here we have one note which says two different things: We shall dismember the middle realm, but we shall, of course, do it no harm. There is an accompanying chorus from the newspapers too. They write: Let us see whether the Central Powers will agree to these acceptable terms. Everywhere we read: The Entente Powers have stated their terms; now we shall see whether these terms, which ought to be eminently acceptable to the Central Powers, are bluntly rejected or not. Things have come a long way, have they not! For such things are there for all to read.

Now let us see where the thought leads us. We are dealing here with a splitting of the world into two parts, and those concerned are interested in achieving this in such a way that they can say to the world: We want peace, we stand only for peace. The recipe they are following is one which is behind much that is written today. It is like saying: I shall not touch you, I shall not harm a hair of your head, but I shall lock you in a deep dungeon and not give you anything to eat! Have I done anything to you? Could anyone maintain that I have harmed even a single hair of your head?

Many things are shaped in accordance with this recipe. Even the love for peace, despite the fact that it is a reality, is shaped in accordance with it. But if this love for peace is paired with a pretension to commercial world dominance it becomes unacceptable for the other side and it is utterly impossible to apply it. And so the peace-loving commercial empire is sure to find itself in future somewhat disturbed in its love for peace. This is, of course, known to those who divide the world into two parts, and so they need a rampart in between. This rampart is to take the form of the great southern European confederation which also comprises Hungary and everything else I mentioned yesterday. This is supposed to make for peace. Through the sphere of influence I have hinted at, the manner in which the British Empire is behaving towards the Mediterranean shows that it can quite easily give the southern European confederation Constantinople, as well as all kinds of other things. For they cannot go further than the Mediterranean, since the West, if it so wishes, can blockade the Mediterranean at any time.

In short, you can follow in every detail the gigantic, splendid thought on which this map is based. We have not enough time today to go through everything in detail. But it is a gigantic, splendid thought to leave only the southern ports which lead to the Mediterranean open for France, whilst keeping the others under one's own sphere of influence. This means, basically, that the French Empire, which France was anyway only able to found under the protection of the others, becomes an illusion, and can also be included in one's sphere of influence. If you follow all this, you will see in how gigantic a manner is to be realized—out of what belongs to the culture of the consciousness soul—what these occult schools are striving to achieve.

Those things which correspond to certain impulses do come to pass. For necessity governs world history and world evolution. These things do come to pass. But they come to pass in such a way that forces really do mutually affect one another. Just as there can never be positive without negative electricity; where opposites work on one another with varying intentions—so is it also in the events of human history. Therefore we must be careful, when we turn our attention to such things, to apply judgement that is free of moralizing. This also saves us from asking: Why must such a thing happen? For in the mission of one element or another is included the fact that things develop which must develop. And the adversary, the opposite pole must also exist: namely, something that resists whatever it is that wants to come about. This also must exist. So if we now once again take a wide view of all these things, we shall see something working in from the periphery which we have characterized as these three elements.

First let us return to the centre. Our concern here is that the adversary, the opposite pole should be there, so that a kind of brake can always be applied. This brake is just as necessary as the other element. And I blame one as little as I praise the other. I am simply describing the impulses and the facts. I have not the least inclination to pronounce a morally disparaging judgement on something I am describing as a necessity arising out of the whole character of the fifth post-Atlantean period. There is nothing bad about giving the world a materialistic, industrial, commercial culture, for this is a necessity. But the opposite pole must exist, too, for human evolution cannot proceed in a straight line. Opposing forces must clash with one another, and in this clash reality evolves. In Central Europe a collection of impulses has always of necessity existed, some of which worked with those streaming to the periphery in the way I have already described, while others had what was in many ways the tragic destiny of working in opposition to these.

These forces certainly stream outwards from Central Europe and make themselves felt elsewhere in many ways. But if you look closely you will find also in Central Europe the forces that oppose those I have described. Consider, for instance, that the first opposition to the theocratic, cultic element of the Spanish and Italian South came from Central Europe. It reached a certain climax in Luther and its greatest profundity in the mysticism of Central Europe. Not only German elements worked here, for mingled in the Central European stream were also Slav elements. Here there was a desire not for the Christianity of the Papal hierarchy, but for precisely that inwardness that had been hollowed out in the South. Savonarola was, after all, simply executed. This inwardness lived in the Czech, John Huss, and in Wyclif who stemmed from the Germanic element in England, and in Zwingli, and in Luther. Its more profound element is to be found in the mysticism of Central Europe, which, by the way, is very close to the Slav element. Precisely these relationships show how things fulfil themselves in a remarkable way. For Central Europe backed up by the Slav element is, in this, certainly an opponent of the periphery. So although they are in many aspects still disunited politically, Central European influences and Slav influences work together. In an occult sense, too, they work together fundamentally in a wonderful way.

We see how a certain materialistic element develops more and more in the South, reaching a peak in such people as Lombroso. We see this materialistic element setting the tone elsewhere in the periphery, as well. Right up to Oliver Lodge, about whom we spoke recently, we see materialism projecting itself into spiritual life. But on the other hand we also see how this is opposed by something which emancipates itself—to start with, from the Roman, hierarchical element. In this, Copernicus, the Pole, stands behind Kepler, the archetypal German; in this, Slav spirits, in particular, stand behind those who are German spirits. Indeed I could say: On the physical plane we see links between what is Central European and what is Slav; Huss, the Czech, Copernicus, the Pole—others might just as easily be named—these form a link stretching across the physical plane. We see, too, how in Central Europe the Slav element joins with the German element—we see the eastern European Slav element growing together with Europe. This, though, we only see when we consider the occult situation.

Let me give only one example: The soul of Galileo lives again in the Russian Lomonosov, and the Russian Lomonosov is in many ways the founder of Slav culture in the East. In between these two lies the spiritual world, so that we might say: The Central European Slavs are still linked with the people of the West on the physical plane; what lies behind this is linked with the people of the West via the higher plane.

This fits entirely with the fact that the Russian element follows the Slav element; but it also fits with the situation in which the western Slav element must be thought of as having a relationship to Western Europe differing from that of the eastern Slav element. Therefore, only those who do not think in accordance with human evolution as a whole, but solely in accordance with the English-speaking Empire, will want to assimilate Poland in the Russian Empire.

This point in particular gives an example of the difference between the kind of thinking which is concerned only with a particular group and that other kind of thinking which is concerned with the good of mankind as a whole. The thinking which is concerned with the good of mankind as a whole could never include the territory of Poland in the Russian Empire. For in a remarkable way it is precisely the western Slavs with their profoundest characteristics who belong to Central Europe. I cannot speak today about the checkered destiny of the Polish people. But I just want to say that the spiritual culture of the Polish people found one of its culminations in the Polish messianic movement—let everybody think what they like about this reality—which, out of the substance of the Polish people contains spiritual feelings and spiritual ideas belonging to mankind as a whole. We are speaking here, in a way, about that Gnostic element which corresponds to one of the three soul components which are to flow from the western Slavs to Central Europe.

The second element lies in the Czech people to whom—not for nothing—John Huss belongs. Here is the second soul component inserted into Central Europe out of the Slav element. And the third component is from the southern Slavs. These three soul components push westwards like three cultural peninsulas and most certainly do not belong to the eastern European Slav element. Externally, on the physical plane, by means of political marriages, but inwardly by means of what I have just been explaining, this Austria has come about whose purpose it is to amalgamate German and western Slav peoples precisely so that the western Slavs can unfold in accordance with their own impulses. This has nothing to do with any principle of dominance! Anyone who has known Austria in the second half of the nineteenth century will regard as utterly ridiculous what is said in the present note to Wilson about Austria and a certain principle of dominance. Of course the situation is difficult. But anyone familiar with the history of Austria in the nineteenth century knows how possibilities were sought which would enable any Slav people, indeed any nationality whatever, to develop absolutely freely in Austria.

However, all kinds of things are contained in this note. You need only glance at an elementary history textbook to see that the territories Italy is now demanding from Austria have never been under Italian rule. Yet the note says: The Italians are demanding the return of territories which once belonged to them.

But truth is not the concern of this note, for its aim is to say what it wants to say while counting on it that the magical power of modern journalism has persuaded people to believe everything. And you can certainly often count on this. The power of journalism is indeed one of the means on which certain societies count. Just because Austria has been preparing—as it were, beneath the surface—for the mission about which I have spoken, she has always been an opponent, an opposite pole, to any Freemasonry of the kind which has developed in the West in the way I have been describing over the last few weeks. Freemasonry has never been allowed to enter Austria. Its presence begins to be felt to some extent—but merely in the way I have described—only beyond the river Leitha.

Of course there are also other impulses which, as you have seen, are the cause for some degree of leniency, so that the peoples of Central Europe will not be utterly destroyed politically. The war aims, and also the peace initiatives which are at present being made, are in accord with this. But the fact that Austria herself is being attacked so viciously is in part explained by the enmity that has always existed between Austria and western European Freemasonry, right from the days of Maximilan I. It is disguised in various ways, of course, and what I am now saying is easily proved wrong, just because on the physical plane things are disguised, are masked.

So we see how Central Europe has to put up a fight on behalf of mankind, for it is the pole which opposes the impulses coming from the West. This brings it about that the evolution of Central Europe does not proceed in a straight line. It fluctuates, for Central Europe always has to take up and bring to a certain climax, a certain intensity, whatever there is by way of opposition to any of the impulses coming from the West. Take the hierarchical, theocratic impulse. While a kind of Christianity is carried into Europe on the waves of the hierarchical, theocratic impulse, opposition begins to build up as early as the twelfth century. Read Walther von der Vogelweide, that great Central European poet, and you will find he opposes the Roman Papacy and indeed everything Roman. What later reaches a climax in Huss, in Luther, in Zwingli and so on, is already hinted at by Walther von der Vogelweide. Then you also find what is developing as a more inward Christianity, parallel with that of the periphery but inwardly intimate, in Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival epic.

There, at the very beginning of the fifth post-Atlantean period, you have opposition against the theocratic, hierarchical, Roman element emanating from Spain and Italy. This opposing pole works in such an extraordinary way that intimate inwardness is never denied. It remains. It is confiscated from the principle of power and fashioned into the opposing pole.

I am neither praising the one nor blaming the other, for I am simply quoting facts. After the hierarchical, theocratic principle came the diplomatic, political principle. It is carried over in all its forms and in all its side manifestations. Here, some historical details are interesting. Something that is often said in historical textbooks is not actually correct: namely, that the invention of gunpowder was the origin of modern military forces, in contrast to the armies of the age of chivalry in the Middle Ages. A much more important factor came into play when, at the beginning of modern times in Europe, the barter economy of the Middle Ages was replaced by a currency economy, so that those in power came to be administrators of money, which had formerly not been the case. Until then, barter had been much more to the fore, with money playing only a minor role. The currency economy led to the development of mercenary armies that were no longer compatible with the armies of the age of chivalry which had been adapted to the barter economy of the Middle Ages.

This modern military organization started in Switzerland. The Swiss were the first soldiers in the modern sense of the fifth post-Atlantean period. You can follow this in history: It was just because the Swiss became such efficient soldiers that they were able to win all those battles they had to win in order to create a Switzerland which would later be able to withstand the assaults of chivalry. I am speaking to the Swiss amongst us. Basically the Swiss with their armies are the primary, the real, conquerors of chivalry. Chivalry was overcome in Switzerland. It was from Switzerland alone that the rest of Europe learnt how to use their armies of infantry to overcome the armies of chivalry. Study history, and you will find that this is true.

Now let us proceed in history to Napoleon. Why were Napoleon's soldiers and armies superior to those of Central Europe? It was because Central Europe was still working, at the time of Napoleon, not with Swiss soldiers of course, but with the Swiss military principle, whereas Napoleon had under his command a real national army born out of the French nation itself. You will appreciate this if you follow the battles between the Central Europeans and Napoleon in the right way. How the generals of the Central European armies had to keep a hold on their mercenaries—for that is what they really were—even inside their barracks! Thus they never had the possibility of a strategy of long battle lines. Napoleon is the first to be able to use long battle lines because the French army at his disposal is a national army born of the people. When strategy necessitated a wide distribution of his forces, he did not need to worry that the men might desert. The Prussian general, on the other hand—for instance during the famous campaigns of Frederick the Great—was constantly concerned that a troop dispatched to a distant spot would desert, for his was not a national army but a crowd collected and sometimes coerced from all quarters; they came from all over the place, including quite foreign parts. The national army was invented in France, and this meant that Central Europe, starting with Prussia, also established national armies modelled on that of France. The Central European national armies came into their own when they assumed a French character.

So we see how even in this field things work parallel with the periphery. When it is a matter of armies, obviously the opposition takes the form of waging war. This is not the point I want to make, however, for I want to lead on to a similar contrast in another field.

So far we have seen that the hierarchical, theocratic, Roman character met its opposition in Central Europe in everything that culminated in the Reformation. The diplomatic, French character made its way into Central Europe up to the time of Frederick the Great, right into the eighteenth century. Lessing was still in a position to debate whether he might, indeed, write Laokoon in French. Read the published correspondence of the eighteenth century. In Central Europe people wrote excellent French and poor German. The French element flooded the whole of Central Europe. We can say that what the Reformation had done to what came up from the South, Lessing, Herder, Goethe and those who came after them did in relation to the French, diplomatic element. Here, in Central European literature, Goethe, Schiller, Herder and Lessing emancipate themselves from the West, just as, in the Reformation, Central European Christianity emancipated itself from the South. But this process of separation goes hand in hand with one of combination. In his youth, Lessing still wrote a great deal in French. Leibniz wrote the whole of his philosophy, apart from what he wrote in Latin, in French, not German. In both these fields there was at the same time a working together and a standing in opposition. It is quite correct to summarize as follows: The South and Central Europe—opposition; the West and Central Europe—opposition.

With the third element, the British, it is the same. At first there is some kind of a parallel course. This is expressed especially in the fact that, from the eighteenth century and during the course of the nineteenth century, the great Shakespeare becomes a thoroughly German poet, for he is totally absorbed into German culture. He is not merely translated, he is totally assimilated and lives in the spiritual life of the German nation. For obvious reasons, I do not want to say that he still lives more in the spiritual life of the German nation than in that of the British nation. But look at the whole development, starting with Elias Schlegel, who first translated Shakespeare into German, and on to Lessing's subtly spiritual penetration into the spirit of Shakespeare; the enthusiasm for Shakespeare felt by the German Naturalists of the eighteenth century, and also by Goethe; the absolutely outstanding—not translations—assimilations into German of Shakespeare by Schlegel and Tieck, and so on, right up to the present. Shakespeare lives in the German nation. When I went to Vienna and sat in on the literary history lectures in addition to my scientific studies, the first I heard were by Schröer, who announced he would be speaking about the three greatest German poets, Schiller, Goethe and Shakespeare! Of course Shakespeare has not been captured in the sense that it is claimed that he is actually German. But this one example shows how standing in opposition can at the same time take the form of an absolute working together.

Thus it was with regard to the diplomatic, political, French element. And so it happened also with regard to the British element. At the same time the opposite pole must be present as well. The third element has not yet found a form in Central Europe. The first was all that led to the Reformation; this was in opposition to the southern, hierarchical element. The West is opposed by what culminated in Goethe's Faust. And what we now hope for in Central Europe is the development of the element of spiritual science. In consequence there will arise the sharpest opposition between Central Europe and the British realm, an opposition even sharper than that of Lessing, Goethe and their successors, with regard to the diplomatic, French element. Thus, what took place between us and the followers of Mrs Besant and so on, was no more than a prelude. These things must be seen from wide points of view.

I hope you know me well enough not to think that I speak out of any petty vanity when I say certain things. But I do believe that the great opposition is to be found between what works with experiments on the physical plane—even to proving the existence of the spirit—on the one hand, and on the other hand what in the human soul longs to rise up to the spiritual world. There is no need for anything as coarse as the declaration of an Alcyone as the actual physical Christ, for the more subtle descriptions by Sir Oliver Lodge would be quite sufficient. One senses what is intended. Well, I suppose there is no harm in saying these things. There is indeed a kind of opposition between two things that came into being more or less simultaneously when, on the one hand, Sir Oliver Lodge pointed to the spiritual world in a materialistic way, while at the same time I was writing my book Vom Menschenrätsel, in which I endeavour, in a totally Central European manner, to point to the paths which are being taken in Central Europe by the human soul to the world of the spirit. There is no greater contrast than that between the book by Oliver Lodge and the book Vom Menschenrätsel. They are absolute opposites; it is impossible to conceive of any greater contrast.

This very clear differentiation only began more or less at the commencement of the fifth post-Atlantean period. Before that, things were still rather different. At first the universal Roman realm exercised its power, even as far as England, and the sharp differentiation between England and France only really came to the fore with the appearance of the Maid of Orleans. But then everything began, everything which was to happen within the context of these differentiations. The remarkable thing is that, even within this context, the impulse appears which says that a link ought to be created with the opposite pole. Thus, as I have often shown, we see the utterly British philosopher Francis Bacon of Verulam, the founder of modern materialistic thinking, inspired from the same source as Shakespeare, working across so strongly into Central Europe, in the way I have described. Jakob Böhme, too, was inspired from the same source. He transforms the whole inspiration into the soul substance of Central Europe. And again from the same source comes the southern German Jesuit Jakobus Baldus.

You see, beneath the surface of what takes place on the physical plane there works what is to bring about harmony. But one must see things as clearly differentiated and not let it all disappear into a nebulous jumble. One of the greatest, most gigantic spirits of the British realm stands quite close to the opposition against what is merely commercial within the British commercial empire, and that is James I. James I brings in a new element by continuously inoculating into the substance of the British people something that they will have forever, something that they must not lose if they are not to fall utterly into materialism. What it is that he inoculates into them is something that is linked by underground channels to the whole of the rest of European culture. Here we are confronted by a significant mystery.

You will agree—neither one thing nor the other can be called either justified or unjustified; things simply have to be comprehended as necessary facts. But we must be clear that we surely ought to understand these things properly. It is easy to ask the question: What can I myself do in these painful times? The first thing one can do is to endeavour to understand things, to really see through things. This brings up thoughts which are real forces and these will have an effect. What about the question: Have the good forces no power against the evil forces we see all around us? To answer this we have to remember how difficult human freedom makes it for the spiritual world to assert itself amid the surging waves of materialistic life. This is what it is all about. Is it to be made so very easy for human beings to enter fully into the life of the spirit?

Future ages will look back to today and say: How careless these people were with regard to adopting the life of spirit! The spiritual world is sending it down to us, but human beings resist it with all their might. Apart from all the sadness and suffering holding sway at present, the very fact that all this does hold sway is in itself a destiny signifying a trial. Above all it should be accepted and recognized as a trial. Later it will become apparent to what extent it is necessary for those who—so it is said—are guilty, to suffer together with those who are blameless. For after all, during the course of karma all these things are balanced out. You cannot say: Are not the good spirits going to intervene? They do intervene to the extent that we open ourselves to them, if we have the courage to do so. But first of all we must be serious about understanding things; we must be deeply serious about trying to understand.

As a contribution to this understanding it is necessary that a number of people muster the strength to oppose the surging waves of materialism with their deepest personal being. For something else is going to unite with the materialism that works in the industrial, commercial impulse; something coming from other, retarded impulses from the Chinese and Japanese element, particularly the Japanese element, will become increasingly caught up in materialism.

Yesterday somebody asked whether the societies working from the West for a particular group did not take into account that the Japanese might follow suit from the East. Indeed, the people who belong to these societies do not regard this as something terrible, for they see it as a support for materialism. For what follows suit from Asia will simply be a particular form of materialism. What we must be clear about, at all costs, is that we have to oppose the waves of materialism with all our strength. Every human being is capable of doing this. And the fruits of such efforts will be sure to follow. There is no need to give a name to whatever it is that must work against materialism. Don't call it ‘Central European’, don't call it ‘German’; that is not necessary. But do consider how a counteraction of forces can come about and how this can be objectively proved.

You can summarize in two sentences what is needed to work against materialism—which, after all, has some justification. In the fifth post-Atlantean period the world will become even more pervaded by the industrial and commercial element; but the opposite pole must also exist: There must be people who work on the opposite side because of their understanding of the situation. For what is the aim of these secret brotherhoods? They do not work out of any particular British patriotism, but out of the desire to bring the whole world under the yoke of pure materialism. And because, in accordance with the laws of the fifth post-Atlantean period, certain elements of the British people as the bearer of the consciousness soul are most suitable for this, they want, by means of grey magic, to use these elements as promoters of this materialism.

This is the important point. Those who know what impulses are at work in world events can also steer them. No other national ele¬ment, no other people, has ever before been so usable as material for transforming the whole world into a materialistic realm. Therefore, those who know want to set their foot on the neck of this national element and strip it of all spiritual endeavour—which, of course, lives equally in all human beings. Just because karma has ordained that the consciousness soul should work here particularly strongly, the secret brotherhoods have sought out elements in the British national character. Their aim is to send a wave of materialism over the earth and make the physical plane the only valid one. A spiritual world is only to be recognized in terms of what the physical plane has to offer.

This must be opposed by the endeavours of those who understand the necessity of a spiritual life on earth. Looked at from this point of view, you can express this counter-force in two sentences. One of these is well-known to you, but it does not yet come fully out of the hearts and souls of human beings: ‘My kingdom is not of this world.’ The sentence ‘My kingdom is not of this world’ must sound forth against that kingdom which is to be spread over the physical plane, that kingdom which is only of this world, that kingdom of commercial and industrial materialism.

There is not enough time today to explain to you how the words ‘My kingdom is not of this world’ link up with the cultivation of what belongs to mankind as a whole—not to what is German, but to what belongs to mankind as a whole. In ancient India there were four castes, in ancient Greece four estates. They came into being one after the other during the course of the second, third and fourth post-Atlantean periods. In the fifth post-Atlantean period the fourth estate, social life, that which belongs to mankind as a whole, must come into being. Not everyone can be a priest, but the priestly element can strive to become the powerful, the dominant estate. We see it doing this in the third post-Atlantean period; there we see it coming to life again in the hierarchical, theocratic, Roman force. And we can see the second caste, the kingly estate in ancient Greece and Rome, coming to life again in the second post-Atlantean element, where the diplomatic, political element is particularly active; for the republican element in France is only the opposite pole of this, just as everything generates its own counterpart. The actual character of the French state corresponds solely to the monarchic principle, so that even now France is a Republic in name only. In reality she is ruled by a king, who happens to be a lawyer who used to conduct cases in Romania. It is not a question of terminology but of facts. What is so terrible today is the way people allow themselves to be so easily intoxicated by words. If somebody is called a president it does not necessarily mean that he is a president, for what matters is the actual situation.

The third estate, as we know, is the industrial element, what was commerce in ancient Egypt and Greece. This is striving to come to the fore again in the British Empire and for the moment must still be dominant over the fourth element, which will eventually be the general, human element. It is interesting to observe this in one particular phenomenon. You do have to gain some insight into what is really going on if you want to understand the world. Ask the question: Where has the theory of Socialism been worked out with the greatest discernment? You will receive a curious answer: Among German Socialists. For in accordance with the principle I explained to you, the Germans always have the mission to work concepts out in their purest form. So even for Socialism the Germans have worked out pure concepts, but the German concept of Socialism does not fit in at all with the state of affairs in Germany.

Social conditions in Germany do not correspond in any way to the German theory of Socialism! For instance, it is quite comprehensible that, after teaching in a Socialist school for a while, I should have been banned from teaching there, after I said that it ought to be in keeping with Socialism to develop a theory of freedom. On behalf of the leader of the Social Democrats I was told: It is not freedom that matters, but reasoned persuasion! Socialist theory does not fit in with social conditions. In other words, social theory ought to be developed on the basis of the evolution of mankind. On this basis its three great principles are developed: Firstly the principle of the materialistic view of history, secondly the principle of added value, and thirdly the principle of class war.

The three principles are minutely worked out, but they do not fit in with social conditions in Germany. However, they correspond exactly to social conditions in England. That, after all, is where they were worked out. That is where Marx worked on them first of all, and then also Engels, and Bernstein. This is their source. Here they fit in because—to take the third principle—they are founded on the class war. And this class war is waged, basically, in the British soul. Think of Cromwell. If you study all the impulses that have reigned in the British soul since Cromwell, you will wind up with material for the third principle, the principle of class war. Furthermore, since the invention of the spinning-jenny and the commencement of the social life which came into being as a result, everything that has flowed into the theory of added value has been uppermost in the British Empire. And the materialistic view of history is, when you look at it, nothing but Buckle's view of history translated into a pedantic German way of thinking. Look at Buckle's History of Civilisation. It is written in accordance with the way such things are written within the framework of British culture: namely, according to the principle of never entering into consequences. Darwin, too, did not enter into the consequences. He limited himself in a certain way. But in Karl Marx's materialistic view of history the matter is transformed with severity—regardless of consequences—in, if you like, a pedantic, German way.

It is interesting that no theory has been worked out for the general human element, the fourth caste or class. In this element there can be no question of dominance, for there is nothing below it over which dominance might be exercised; it is solely a matter of laying the foundation for human beings to relate with one another. A theory for this will only come about when the general human element given in anthroposophical spiritual science is made the foundation.

This, if it is not misunderstood, will lead to that other, second sentence which is to be added to the first: ‘My kingdom is not of this world.’ The second sentence is: ‘Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and unto God what is God's.’ This means that a proper attitude to life, a real cultivation of life, can only come about when one realizes that the spiritual element must be cultivated, because the spiritual world must penetrate down into the physical world. But there is no point in making any statements at all unless they can be comprehended wholeheartedly in the soul. These statements must be comprehended: ‘Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and unto God what is God's’ and ‘My kingdom is not of this world.’ Then the atmosphere of the spiritual world will come, an atmosphere that has nothing to do with those materialistic things which have especially to develop in the fifth post-Atlantean period. But for this to happen, things must be seen in their true guise.

To summarize what we have been considering, let me say: May your hearts strive to see things in their true guise. Only if hearts exist which see things in their true guise and penetrate that terrible fog of untruth which shrouds everything in the world today, can we progress in an appropriate way. As I said: Since the bow-string is stretched to its limit, it will break. In this sense this document that people have had the temerity to present to the world at this late stage, and whatever is said in response to this document, does in the first instance hold out a prospect of improvement. Whatever horrors still lie ahead of us, this document represents a challenge to the Spirit of Truth himself, and he will certainly intervene in these matters in an appropriate manner! You need only remember—let me say this in conclusion—the exemplary, or should I say non-exemplary, manner in which we ourselves have been treated.

We have endeavoured to be as cosmopolitan as possible over the years. We have tried in the most conscientious way to preserve this archetypal German trait of cosmopolitanism. And what is the consequence? Read the slanderous things said about us in Britain; the theosophists there have slanted everything to make it appear that we have some kind of Germanic aspirations. We have no such aspirations; they have been foisted on us by others.

Edouard Schuré,—one on whom we relied so heavily in France, and towards whom we have never been tempted to display any kind of Germanic quality, since he is fundamentally himself the bearer of German cultural life to France—even he has interpreted things containing no trace of nationalism as being ‘pan-Germanic’. How curious that only the other day we should have found under ‘Edouard Schuré’ in an encyclopaedia: ‘The mediator of German culture to France.’ This is entirely apt, for truly the only French thing about Schuré is the language he speaks. Of course, if language is taken to be paramount, then naturally the whole man can be considered French. So one is a pan-Germanist if one does not speak about the Germans in the manner preferred by the French chauvinist Schuré . And one is a German agent if one does not speak about the Germans in the way required by Mrs Besant. Similar things are beginning to appear in Italy, too, among our former friends.

So it became necessary to defend ourselves. And the present time is proving most opportune for those who want to point fingers at us and say: See what attacks they are making; that shows who is the aggressor! There is the Vollrath method, and there is the Gösch method. We see it everywhere and we know it from within our own circles. First you force the other fellow to defend himself and then you treat him as the aggressor. It is a very effective method and one that plays an enormously strong role in the world today. The attacker hides behind the clamour he raises after he has forced the other to defend himself by labelling him the aggressor.

Yet we have no other purpose than to serve the mission of furthering spiritual life and gaining recognition for spiritual life. This is linked on the one hand with the principle: ‘My kingdom is not of this world’, and on the other with the principle: ‘Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and unto God what is God's.’ Both are also, as you know, good Christianity. But it will be a long time before such things are understood in every detail.

Nowadays strange things are once again being said. Let me just mention this as my very last point. It is said: The Entente has stated its aims with regard to the war; now let the Central Powers state their aims, so that like can be compared with like. Indeed, this clamour for the war aims of the Central Powers has been heard for some time. Well, we have discussed some of the war aims of the Entente. But why should Central Europe name its war aims? It never had any! It has none! So quite naturally it took the stand: We will gladly negotiate, for then it will become clear what it is you want and then we shall have something on which to base our talks; but as far as we are concerned, we have nothing in particular to say; we merely want to live. Of course this does make it possible for the others to say: They are not willing to tell us what their war aims are; that means there must be something suspicious going on. There is nothing suspicious going on. Central Europe wants nothing now that it did not want in 1913 and 1912. It had no war aims then and it has none now.

It is not what is said that is important but whether what is said conforms with reality. On every side we now hear the loud cry that a particularly cunning, wily trick lies at the bottom of the Central Powers' Christmas call for peace. So this Christmas call for peace is supposed to contain some trick, some wish to dupe everybody else. On many sides it is said that the Central Powers never wanted peace but were only seeking for some clever way of carrying on the war. The answer to that is: If only they had reacted to this call for peace! All they needed to do was accept it and they would soon have known whether it was some kind of trick. Along this path lies genuine thinking rather than an inclination to believe in empty phrases. We must, my dear friends, overcome the empty phrase with all the forces of our soul. This is the most intimate task we have to accomplish in our own soul.