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The Rudolf Steiner Archive

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Karma of Untruthfulness I
GA 173c

Lecture XXIV

28 January 1916, Dornach

Today I shall speak more generally, perhaps aphoristically, to prepare the way for Tuesday, when I shall discuss our anthroposophical spiritual science and its significance for the present time and for human evolution. I shall then bring to your notice some things which we should certainly take to heart. On the one hand we will look back on our work, and on the other hand I shall present certain matters which are important for the whole way in which we assess our spiritual scientific movement, as well as the manner in which we relate to it. It seems to me to be appropriate, at this time, to take into our hearts a consideration of this kind.

Let me start today with some remarks on what it is that can give us, as human beings, a sense for our situation in the cosmos. Actually, human beings in this materialistic age feel, you might say, deserted and isolated in the cosmos. If you cut off a person's finger or hand, or amputate his leg, he feels you have taken away something that belongs to his physical, bodily nature; he feels that the missing part belongs to the whole of his bodily nature. In earlier periods of human evolution people felt quite differently about this. Not only did they feel their hand, or arm or leg to be a part of their whole being, but they felt that they were, in turn, a part of a totality. In those days it was possible to speak quite differently about a group-ego. Tribes, families, for generations back, felt themselves to be a totality. We have gone into this frequently. As for their external, physical existence, however, people felt something quite different. They felt in a way as though they stood within the cosmos as a whole, as though they had been formed out of the whole cosmos.

Just as today we feel that our finger, our hand, is one member of our total organism, so in olden times people felt: Up there is the sun; it runs its own course but it is not unrelated to us; we are a part of the region traversed by the sun; we are a part of the universe as it is given certain rhythms by the moon. In short, they felt the universe to be one great organism and that they were within it, just as today our finger might feel that it is part of our body. The fact that this feeling, this perception, is virtually lost to us today has not a little to do with the rise of materialism. Today's science, in particular, disdains to have anything to do with an idea that man might be a part of the cosmos. Science regards a human being as an individual body, of which the separate parts are examined and described anatomically and physiologically. It is no longer customary in science to regard the human being as a member of the total organism of the universe in so far as this is physically visible.

But people's view of things, especially their scientific view, will have to return to the concept of man embedded in the whole cosmos. Human beings will have to sense once again that they stand within the cosmic universe. This will not be possible in the way that was the case in olden times. They will have to achieve it by expanding their science, which today is abstract and directed to the individual, to include certain considerations. They will have to apply certain judgements, of which we shall discuss only one today—which we mentioned several weeks ago. This will show us the direction scientific thinking will have to take—having become far more human than current scientific thinking—if human beings are to find once again an awareness of how they stand within the universe as a whole.

You know that the position of the sun on the ecliptic at the spring equinox moves forward in the Zodiac. You know that this point has always been designated, ever since mankind began to think, according to its position in the Zodiac. So from about the eighth century before the Mystery of Golgotha until about the fifteenth century after the Mystery of Golgotha, the sun at the spring equinox rose in the sign of the Ram, though not always at exactly the same spot. During this period the sun traversed the sign of the Ram. Since then, the sun at the spring equinox has been rising in the sign of the Fishes. Note, please, that astronomy takes no account of the constellations, so you will find that calendars still say that the sun rises in the constellation of the Ram at the beginning of spring, which is in fact not the case. Astronomy has stuck to the earlier cycle. It simply divides the Zodiac into twelve equal parts, each of which is named after one of the signs. You know from our calendar what the situation is.

However, this is immaterial as far as we are concerned. What is important for us is the fact that the position of the sun at the spring equinox moves forward, passing through the whole Zodiac little by little. It traverses the whole Zodiac until it finally returns to the original position, taking approximately 25,920 years. These 25,920 years are termed the Platonic Year, the Cosmic Year. The exact figure varies according to the various methods of calculation. However, we are not concerned with exact figures but with the rhythm this precession entails. You can imagine that a cosmic rhythm must lie in this movement which repeats itself every 25,920 years.

We can say that these 25,920 years are very important for the life of the sun, for during this time the life of the sun passes through one unit, a proper unit. The next 25,920 years are then a repetition. We have a rhythm in which one unit measures 25,920 years.

Having looked at this great Cosmic Year, let us now turn our attention to something small, something intimately connected with life between birth and death, that is, with our life in so far as we are inhabitants of the physical universe. It is indisputable that one of the most important things in this life in the physical body is a single breath, an in-breath and an out-breath, for our very life depends on this breathing in and breathing out. If it were to be interrupted, we should cease to be capable of living. One breath is indeed something very important. A breath brings in the air which enlivens us in a particular way. Within our organism we transform this air into the breath of death, for it would kill us if we were to breathe it in again once we have breathed it out.

On average, a human being takes eighteen breaths a minute. Not all breaths are equal, for those in youth differ from those in old age, but the average is eighteen breaths a minute. Eighteen times a minute we rhythmically renew our life. Multiply this by 60 and you have 1,080 times an hour. Now multiply by 24, and the number of breaths in twenty-four hours comes to 25,920!

You see how a remarkable rhythm underlies the course of our life in one day. Let us take one unit of life to be one breath. This is something very important for us, since the rhythmical repetition of our breathing maintains our life. In one day we are given exactly as many units of life as the years it takes the sun to return to its original position on the ecliptic at the spring equinox. This means that if we imagine one breath to correspond to one microcosmic year, then we complete one microcosmic Platonic Year in one day, an image of the macrocosmic Platonic Year. This is most exceptionally significant, for it shows us that the process of our breathing, something which takes place within us, is based on the same rhythm, on a different time-scale, as the great rhythm of the sun's passage.

It is important for us to consider such a thing in our soul. For if we transform what has been said into a feeling, then this feeling will tell us that we are an image of the macrocosm. To say that the human being is an image of the macrocosm is no mere empty phrase, no idle chatter, for it can be proved down to the last detail. From this you can gain a feeling of the solid foundation on which stand all the laws that come from spiritual science. They are all based on similar intimate knowledge of the inner connections of the cosmos, even though it is not always possible to go into every detail.

Now in considering these things, it must above all be clear to us that the human being is, in some way and to some extent, detached from the cosmos. He stands within the rhythm of the cosmos and yet he is to some extent free. He changes things subtly, so that the rhythms do not exactly match, but it is just this fact of not quite matching which gives him the possibility of freedom. In general, however, he stands within the rhythms of the cosmos.

I had to bring forward these considerations so that what I now want to say might not be misunderstood. Having considered the rhythm of breathing, let us now turn to a larger one, the next in size: the alternation of sleeping and waking. A single breath is the smallest element of life. Now let us look at the alternation between sleeping and waking, which is indeed, to some extent, an analogy to the rhythm of breathing.

As you know, I have often described the taking in of the astral body and ego on waking up, and the letting go of the astral body and ego on going to sleep, as a breathing in and a breathing out in the course of a day and a night. But we can look at this in an even more materialistic sense. When we breathe the air, it goes in and it goes out. We inhale, we exhale. Something material swings back and forth like a pendulum; out, in, out, in. The alternation of sleeping and waking occurs as a very similar rhythm. In the morning, when we wake up and take in our ego and our astral body, our etheric body is displaced, is pushed down from the head and more into the other elements of the organism. And when we go to sleep again, pushing out our astral body and our ego, then our etheric body spreads back into our head and is there just as it is in the whole of the rest of our body. Thus there is an incessant rhythm. When the etheric body is pressed down, we wake up, and it stays down while we remain awake. When we go to sleep it is pushed back up into our head. Up and down it goes in the course of twenty-four hours. The etheric body moves rhythmically during the course of twenty-four hours. Of course there are irregularities, and this is in keeping with the human being's capacity for freedom, his degree of freedom. But, overall, what I have described takes place.

We could say that something breathes in us—though it is not an in-and-out but an up-and-down—something breathes in us during the course of a day which resembles our breathing every eighteenth of a minute. Let us see whether what breathes in this up-and-down of the etheric body also represents a kind of circulation, something which returns to its starting-point. We must fathom the meaning of 25,920 days, for 25,920 such up-and-down movements could be seen as a replication of the Platonic Year. Just as a day corresponds to 25,920 breaths, so 25,920 days ought to correspond to something in human life too. How many years does this come to?

A year has 365¼ days and if we divide 25,920 by 365.25 the answer is: nearly 71. Let us say 71 years, which is the average life-span of the human being. The human being is free, however, and often lives much longer, but you know that the patriarchal life-span is given as 70 years. The span of a human life is 25,920 days, 25,920 great breaths, and so we have another cycle wonderfully depicting the macrocosm in the microcosm. We could say that by living for one day, taking 25,920 breaths, we depict the Platonic Cosmic Year, and by living for 71 years, waking up and going to sleep 25,920 times—a breathing on a larger scale—we once again depict the Platonic Year.

Now let us turn to something which time will not allow us to discuss in detail today, but which I nevertheless want to indicate, something that can be sensed in an occult way. We are surrounded by air. It is the air which gives us the possibility of that closest element of life that takes place in the rhythm of breathing. This rhythm is given to us by the air, which is something belonging to the earth. And what gives us the other rhythm? The earth itself! That rhythm arises because the earth turns on its own axis—speaking in accordance with modern astronomy—and brings about the alternation of day and night. So the air breathes in us when we take a breath. And the earth, by letting us wake up and go to sleep, breathes, pulses in us by turning on its axis and giving us the alternation of day and night. Our life-span can be seen in relation to the earth as one day in the life of an organism which, instead of taking one breath every eighteenth of a minute, takes one breath in one day and night. For such an organism seventy years are one day, and ordinary days and nights are its breaths.

You see how we can feel ourselves to be within a life on a larger scale, a life which takes one breath every twenty-four hours and for which one day takes seventy, seventy-one, years. We can feel ourselves to be within a living being which has much longer rhythms of pulse and breathing. So you see that it is quite correct to speak of the microcosm as being an image of the macrocosm, for every part of the image can be proved mathematically. If we maintain that the air breathes within us, that it breathes itself in us, that the earthly realm breathes in us because we belong to this greater living organism, then we might come to ask: Apart from being related to the air, which is on the earth, and to the whole of the earth with its rhythm of day and night, are we perhaps also related in a certain way to the rising of the sun as a whole, as it progresses during the course of the Platonic Year, returning to the position from which it set out?

These things are of the utmost interest, yet science today takes no more notice of them than of shadows. On one occasion I found myself startlingly confronted by this contrast between today's science and the science which must come in the future. Perhaps I have told you that in the autumn of 1889 I was called by the Goethe and Schiller Archive in Weimar to edit Goethe's natural-scientific works for the extended complete works. I had to examine all the documents left behind by Goethe containing his studies on anatomy, physiology, zoology, botany, mineralogy, geology and also meteorology. He made an enormously thorough study of the weather during the course of a year, recording especially the barometric data, and it is astonishing how many tables he worked out in this connection. Only small parts of this work have been published. A few of the tables are reproduced in my edition, but otherwise little is publicly known. Like temperature charts, he made graphs showing the barometric data at a particular place compared with other places and he recorded his readings every few hours for months on end. In this way he hoped to show how the curves differed in different places.

Graphs showing barometric data are something for which today's science has little use as yet. But Goethe wanted to record these curves which for him represented an analogy with the pulse as we record its fluctuations in temperature charts. He wanted to record a kind of pulse of the earth, the regular, day-to-day earth-pulse. Why? He wanted to prove that the fluctuations in the barometric data during the course of the year are not as irregular as ordinary meteorology supposes but are subject to a certain degree of regularity which is only modified by secondary conditions pertaining at certain times. He wanted to prove that the earth's gravity depicts a breathing out and a breathing in during the course of a year; he wanted to point to the very thing that is expressed in the human being's breathing out and breathing in. He wanted to find the same thing in the barometric data. Science will embark on such projects in the future, when once again the microcosm will be examined in its relationship to the macrocosm.

So you see how Goethe was working towards a form of science which will come about at some time in the future. We also gain an idea of the immense diligence he applied in order to reach the results he achieved. He never simply makes an assertion, as is so often the case with others. When others speak of the pulse of the earth, they often intend this simply as a metaphor, an aperçu. But when Goethe says, in three or four lines, for instance, that the earth breathes, he can back this statement with a large pile of tables. Empirical knowledge is behind whatever he says. Yet most people consider empirical knowledge to be stuff and nonsense. We can learn from Goethe that one must have material with which to back one's assertions. In this way we now have material to back our statement that the earth breathes like a great organism.

Let us now see whether we can speak in a similar way about breathing if we place ourselves within the great Platonic Year of the sun, which has a span of 25,920 years. Without more ado let us now regard these 25,920 years as a single year, and let us see how much a single day amounts to. To do this we must divide by 365¼, and the answer will be a single day. We have already done this sum, and the answer was seventy-one years, the span of a human life. This means that a human life takes one day of the whole Platonic Year. So we could look at the whole Platonic Year with regard to the human life-span as follows: As physical beings we are breathed out by the whole process of the Platonic Year, so that if seventy-one years are seen as a single day, this would be one breath of the being who lives in the rhythm of the Platonic Year.

With regard to an eighteenth of a minute we are a limb of the life of the air, and with regard to a day we are a limb of the life of the earth. With regard to our life-span it is as though we were breathed out and breathed in again in one day of that being who lives in the rhythm of 25,920 years. So we could consider our physical body, which lives out its patriarchal span, to be a single breath of that great being which lives so long that 25,920 years are as one year for it. Our patriarchal life-span is then one day. So looking at a being who lives with our earth and experiences day and night in twenty-four hours, this is one breath for our etheric body. And one breath for our astral body is our actual breath of one-eighteenth of a minute.

Herein you have an analogy for an ancient assertion, for something that was called the ‘days and nights of Brahma’. Think of a spiritual being for whom our seventy-one years are as is a single breath for us. We find we are a single breath for that being. When we enter the world as a tiny baby, that being for whom the Platonic Year is one year breathes us out. It breathes us out into the cosmos, and when we die it breathes us in again; we are breathed out and we are breathed in. Now turn to the earth: It breathes us out and in again in one day. Now turn to the air, which is a part of the earth: It breathes us out and in again in an eighteenth of a minute. Whichever way we look at it, the number 25,920 represents the return to the starting point. This is a regular rhythm; it gives us the feeling of being embedded in the cosmos; it teaches us that the span of a human life, and one day in a human life, are indeed, for greater, more all-embracing beings, the same as is one breath for us. If we can transform this knowledge into feeling, then the expression ‘resting in the world-all’ assumes immense significance.

Such things really do belong in the orbit of scientific research, and nothing other than the attitude of mind of spiritual science will lead to such research into these figures, which are to be found, after all, in any encyclopaedia. One day such research will be carried out and then ordinary science will be able to find a link with anthroposophical spiritual science.

As we have seen, everything is ordered according to numbers. But it is also ordered according to measure. Human science will lend great depths to the Biblical words: Everything in the universe is ordered in accordance with measure and number.

Let us continue. There is something connected with our breathing, a kind of dependant of our breathing, and that is our speech. Organically, speech is connected with breathing. Not only does it emerge from the same organ but it is also connected with the rhythm of breathing, the rhythm of an eighteenth of a minute. Thus we speak, and thus speak those who are with us on the earth. Just as the air surrounds us on the earth, so are we surrounded by human beings whose speaking bears a relationship to the rhythm of breathing. It should follow that the other breathing, the breathing connected with day and night, also has a kind of speaking linked with it. This would be a speaking by beings who belong to the organism of the earth, just as human beings belong to the air.

In olden times, the wisdom imparted to human beings by higher beings came, not via the breathing rhythm of an eighteenth of a minute, but via the rhythm of breathing which has one day as its unit. In those ancient days they could not learn as quickly as we can today; they had to tarry longer for words which were linked to a breathing rhythm of twenty-four hours. In this way ancient knowledge came to man, knowledge which is at the foundation of everything and which can be discovered in various traditions. It was brought by higher beings who are linked to the earth in the way man is linked to the air, and who approach man. Those who today work towards an initiation still notice something of this. For knowledge which comes from the spiritual world comes to us far, far more slowly than does that which is imparted to us on the wings of our ordinary air processes.

That is why it is so important for one striving for initiation to learn to sense within himself the great significance of the transitions of going to sleep and waking up. In going to sleep and in waking up, in this transition, we are most likely to sense how spiritual beings mysteriously speak with us. Later we can then gain some control over this. If you seek entry into the world inhabited by the dead, it is good to be aware that the dead are most likely to speak at the moment of going to sleep and the moment of waking up. The moment of going to sleep is more difficult, because here we usually become immediately unconscious and fail to perceive what the dead have said. But in waking up, if we succeed in becoming fully aware of the moment of waking up, that is when the dead are most likely to communicate with us. But we must seek to gain a firm hold of the moment of waking up. This means that we must endeavour to wake up without immediately entering into the light of day. You know that there is a—shall we say—superstitious rule, that if we want to hold on to a dream we must not look at the window or the light because if we do, we will forget easily. This applies just as much to the delicate observations which flow to us from the spiritual world. We must endeavour to wake up in the dark, in darkness which we wilfully create by not listening to noises, by not opening our eyes, by waking up consciously while not yet going out to meet the day. That is when we best notice the approach of communications from the spiritual world.

You could say that if this is the case we shall receive precious few communications during the course of our lifetime! For just think how difficult it would be if this situation meant that in the course of our lifetime we could only receive as many communications as could come to us during the course of one day. This would be sufficient, no doubt, but we should have no chance of making use of any of them, for think of the time taken up by our childhood, and so on. However, the earth takes part in all this—please bear this in mind—the earth receives these communications into its etheric body. And because they are inscribed on the earth's etheric body, the communications remain available for study. We can also study, in the sun-ether which fills the whole world, the more comprehensive communications given to us by the being whose life element is the Platonic Year. This is described in Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and other books.

You see how a thread can be spun to link ordinary science with spiritual science, although those who are strangers to spiritual science will hardly find themselves in a position to evaluate what ordinary science gives them in a suitable way. But those who have the attitude of mind of spiritual science will not doubt, when they approach these matters, that a time will come one day when external science and spiritual science will join forces fully.

As I said, I have only spoken to you about a part of all this, namely, the rhythmical process which is built into breathing. There are many other things which, if studied in relation to numbers, show how the microcosm is in harmony with the macrocosm, and human beings can gain a comprehensive sense for this harmony. Such a comprehensive sense for this harmony was given to the pupils of the ancient Mysteries, right up to the fifteenth century. Before any knowledge was imparted to them, their teachers endeavoured to imbue them with a feeling for the way man stands within the cosmos. It is another sign of these materialistic times that knowledge today can be absorbed without any preparation in the feeling life. I pointed this out in the opening words of the first chapter in Christianity as Mystical Fact.

A feeling for the correspondence between microcosm and macrocosm will be especially important when the endeavour is made to reach concrete concepts for what at the moment only exists in abstractions. For instance what is ‘a people, a nation’ in today's abstract materialism? Nothing but so and so many people who speak the same language! For our materialistic age has, of course, no conception of a folk being as a separate individuality, such as we have often described. We speak of a folk being as a separate individuality, a real single individuality. But in the materialists' view a folk being is merely a collection of people who speak the same language. This is an abstraction, for the concept does not refer to a concrete being. So what does it mean to you when discussing a people or a nation to speak, not of an abstraction but of a concrete being?

Well, in Anthroposophy we have the possibility of studying the human being, who is also a concrete being, and who possesses a physical body, an etheric body, an astral body and an ego. So can we assume that a folk being is also a concrete being with differentiated parts?

Indeed we can. In addition to man, true occultism studies all the beings who exist, and who are as concrete as man. However, in the case of a folk soul we have to look for different elements, for if they were the same as in man, then a folk soul would be a human being, but it is not; it is a different kind of being. In fact, in the case of folk beings we have to study each folk soul individually in order to arrive at concepts which are real. Generalization would lead us back to abstraction, so each has to be considered individually.

Let us do so. Take the folk soul which today rules the Italian people to the extent that the individual members of a people can be ruled by a folk soul. What can we say about it? In the case of a human being we say that he has a physical body consisting of various salts, various other minerals, five per-cent solids, so much that is liquid, so much that is gaseous, and so on. That is his physical body. A folk soul such as that of the Italian people does not possess a human body, but it does possess something which can be seen as analogous to the physical body. The Italian folk soul does not have a physical body made up of salts or solids or liquids, though this does not mean that other folk souls have no liquid components. However, the Italian folk soul has none; it begins with components which are aeriform. There are no liquid or other components, for the most densely material part of the Italian folk soul is woven out of air. All its other components are even less dense. The human being has earthly substance, whereas the Italian folk soul has, to start with, aeriform substance. And where the human being has liquid substance, the Italian folk soul has warmth. The human being has aeriform substance which he breathes in and out, and the Italian folk soul has light which corresponds to air in the human being. The human being has warmth, and the Italian folk soul has sounds instead, the sounds of the spheres.

This is approximately what corresponds to the physical body, but the ingredients are different. Instead of solid, liquid, gaseous and warmth elements, as in the human being, the Italian folk soul has something similar—though not a physical body in the same sense—consisting of air, warmth, light, sound. From this you can see that if the Italian folk soul wants to ensoul the human beings who belong to it, this can take place via their breathing, since its lowest, densest component is air. And indeed it is so that the communication between the individuals and the Italian folk soul takes place through the breathing process. In the breathing the folk soul spreads down into the human beings. This is an actual, real process. Of course breathing is done through something quite different, but in the actual breathing process the folk soul steals in and influences its people.

In a similar way we could consider what corresponds to our etheric body. This would start with the life ether, and then in place of the light ether there would be what I called in my Theosophy ‘burning desire’; then, corresponding to the sound ether, would be what is there described as ‘mobile sensitivity’, and so on. You can find all the ingredients in Theosophy, but you have to know how to apply them. If you were to take further this study of the correspondence, the communication, between the folk soul and the individual human being; if you were to continue on the basis of what we have said so far, you would find that all the qualities in the character of the Italian people are connected with these things. This can be studied concretely in every detail.

Only examples can be given here. Suppose we wanted to study the Russian folk soul. We would find that the lowest component has nothing material in it, nothing solid, liquid, gaseous, aeriform, not even warmth. The lowest component, what in the Russian folk soul corresponds to the salt, the solid element in the human being, would be found to be the light ether. The sound ether would be what corresponds to the liquid element in the human being; the life ether would correspond to the air in the human being; the ‘burning desire’ to warmth in the human being. Then we could ask how the Russian folk soul communicates with the individual Russian human being. This takes place in that light, streaming down, is reflected in a certain way by the earth. Light exercises certain influences on the earth. It is reflected not only physically, but also out of the vegetation, out of whatever is in the soil. The light does not work directly on the individual Russian. First it works into the earth, not the coarse, physical earth, but the plants and everything that grows and flourishes on the earth. And this light is reflected. In what is reflected back lies the medium through which the Russian folk soul communicates with the individual Russian. That is why the Russians' relationship to their soil, to everything brought forth by the earth, is so much stronger than is the case with other nations. It is because of this extraordinary bearing of the folk soul. And ‘mobile sensitivity’—this is immensely significant—is the first etheric ingredient of the Russian folk soul, corresponding to light in the human being.

Thus we come to the concrete folk being; thus we can study how one spirit speaks to another, when one is a human being and the other a folk soul. This takes place in the subconscious realm. When an Italian breathes, when he maintains his life by breathing—when what he consciously wants is to maintain his life by breathing—then, in his unconscious, the folk soul speaks and whispers to him. He does not hear it, but his astral body perceives it and lives in the exchange that goes on beneath the threshold of consciousness between the folk soul and the individual human being.

And in what streams back out of the Russian soil, fructified by sunlight, are contained the mysterious runes, the whispering runes by which the Russian folk soul speaks to the individual Russian while he paces across the face of his land or senses the life which rays forth from the light. Do not imagine that these things must be taken in a material way. Of course a Russian might live in Switzerland, but in Switzerland, too, there is light which is reflected by the earth. If you are an Italian you will hear your folk soul whispering in your breathing when you are in Switzerland. If you are a Russian you will feel rising up from the soil of Switzerland whatever it is you can hear as a Russian. You must not take these things in a material way. Such things are not tied to locations—though, of course, because the human being is to some extent material, one's own location yields more. The air of Italy, together with the whole climate there, naturally facilitates and promotes the kind of speaking I have described. And the soil of Russia facilitates and promotes that other kind of speaking. But you must not take these things materialistically, for of course a Russian can be a Russian not only in Russia—although it is Russian soil which especially promotes Russian-ness. You see, on the one hand materialism is given its due, but on the other hand we have here something relative, not absolute. For light above the soil of Russia is not only part of the body of the Russian folk soul, but it is also light, as elsewhere. On the other hand the Russian folk soul—I have described all this before—has the rank of an archangel. And archangels are not fettered to one location, they are supra-spatial.

Concrete concepts such as these are what ought to underlie any talk of the relationship of the individual to his people. Yet consider how far mankind is today from even the faintest notion of what is contained in the name of a people. Notwithstanding such considerations, world programmes are scattered abroad and the names of nations cast in every direction. When you take proper account of the fact that a folk-being is a concrete being and that every folk-being differs from every other, you will be able to realize fully just how much of what is flying around in the world today is nothing but empty phrases. What is air for the Italian folk-being is light for the Russian folk-being, and these things lead to quite different kinds of communication between the folk-being and the individual human being. Anthropology is the materialistic, external view; Anthroposophy will have to reveal the true conditions, the actual realities. Since, in their materialism, people today are such a long way from any reality, it is no wonder that things which are included in world programmes are spoken about in such an arbitrary and mendacious manner.

On Tuesday we shall continue to speak about the nature of our anthroposophical spiritual science. In connection with this I also want to refer to a number of things at the present time which can really only be properly understood from the standpoint of spiritual science. The suffering mankind is having to bear today is connected in large measure with the fact that people do not want to find clarity with reference to the things they discuss. Instead they send into the world furious messages which bear no relation to reality. This is once again brought home to us when we come across something like the pamphlet which has been published in Switzerland, Conditions de Paix de l'Allemagne by someone who calls himself ‘Hungaricus’. For those of us whose attitude of mind is that of spiritual science, we need only read this through in order to discover every single defect in present-day materialistic thinking with all its awkward complications. So on Tuesday I shall say a few words about this pamphlet and its method and the kind of thinking it reveals, for it really is so very characteristic of today's awkward and complicated materialistic thinking.