The Cosmic Prehistoric Ages of Mankind
III. Romanism and Freemasonry
22 September 1918, Dornach
If we bring to mind what we have gathered from our recent lectures, including yesterday's lecture, and not from their various details but from their whole trend and meaning, then we can say it is the following: It is demanded of the civilisation that must replace ours towards the future in an energetic way, that it should look deeper into true reality, that above all such high-sounding phrases, or rather, such high-sounding theories as those of Monism, Idealism, Realism, and so on, come to an end, and that men realise that the maya-reality, the reality of the surrounding external phenomena, is actually a confluence of two worlds, of two worlds, in fact, in conflict with one another. To look at reality means something very different from merely following up theoretically all that exists in the world of appearances around us, which is the way of modern natural science.
In order to discuss this theme practically, we will first go into a concrete example. Who would not suppose that the materialistic concept of the world which has spread among civilised nations since the 60's, 70's of last century, and the materialistic mode of living which indeed results from this concept, must necessarily have the effect of making men more materialistic? If one looks at the world merely from appearances one naturally supposes that there arises a sort of external manifestation of the ideas which men have had in their heads; but that is not the case. As soon as one turns one's mind to the conditions that in reality follow one another then that does not accord at all, it is not true that the world is somehow or other organised according to the ideas men set in their heads. One only understands that this cannot be the reality if one realises that the human being is of a double nature, as we have explained, that in him the Ahrimanic and the Luciferic forces are working through each other continually. Only because that is so is the following concrete phenomenon possible. Let us assume that an age would give itself up to materialistic ideas for a sufficiently long time, as our age has done. Misled by these ideas it would also in conscious will develop a kind of materialistic mode of life. The results will not enter the part of human nature that is the bearer of the conscious life. To begin with, the bearer of the conscious life has not that thoroughgoing influence on human life that a superficial observation is inclined to attribute to it; the results enter the unconscious. You can picture this schematically: in man's conscious head-nature lives materialism; in his subconscious nature, which goes through a metamorphosis after we have passed through the gate of death and live over into the next earth-incarnation, but which we carry in us now as an incomplete formation — this, let us say, lower nature of man is the bearer of the unconscious soul-life and in a remarkable way this unconscious soul-life becomes under the influence of materialism more and more spiritual. So that the actual result of materialistic ideas and of the materialistic way of life is that the lower nature of man becomes increasingly spiritual. You must therefore imagine the following. If you are completely immersed in concepts of matter and energy and believe solely in these, and order your life on the lines of “eat and drink and then the nothingness of death” — then, carrying out all your actions on this basis, materialism really enters your mode of living, and the lower nature gets increasingly spiritual.
The lower nature, however, which is becoming more and more spiritual, needs something to work on it; it cannot make its necessary way through evolution alone. Now since in the head, in man's upper nature, there are only materialistic ideas and sympathies, this upper nature is unable to work on man's lower nature, and in consequence of this deprivation, the lower nature is exposed to the working of the Luciferic principle. The Luciferic principle, as I said in the last lecture, does not manifest in sense-perceptible reality: the Luciferic beings are spiritual beings. They enter man's lower nature when it becomes so spiritual under the influence of materialism, and when this very materialism prevents anything from man himself flowing into the lower nature. The paradoxical truth appears before our soul that a materialistic age actually prepares a spiritual culture, but a Luciferic one.
Conversely, taking the reverse case, let us suppose that an ecclesiastical truth, not imbued with spirituality, but supported purely by tradition, takes hold of man, or works towards taking hold of him. And related to such an ecclesiastical truth is abstract idealism which believes only in abstract ideals, in morality and has no knowledge of how these abstract ideals arise — however fine and beautiful they may be, they are of no use if one has no feeling for the way in which such forces can come about. Purely religious and purely idealistic ideas have again the consequence that the lower nature of man becomes more material. Whereas materialistic ideas promote spirituality in man's lower nature, purely clerical concepts built on tradition without spiritual influence, as well as abstract idealism, promote an increasing growth of materialism in man's lower nature. Speaking crudely, one might say that the type of this increasing materialism of the lower nature through the traditional abstract churchy element is the corpulent parson; he devotes himself to traditional church conceptions and in this way fattens up his little stomach. This is only a comparison, it is no fact and no law — I merely want to make things clear, yet it corresponds to a fundamental reality. But now again the increasing materialism of mans lower nature has no nourishment if the head harbours none but traditional and abstract traditional ideas. Hence a humanity which founds such a culture is pre-eminently exposed not to their own head-nature but to Ahrimanic influences. And so we must say that the abstractly religious the abstractly idealistic, promotes in fact an Ahrimanic materialism, while, conversely, materialistic thinking promotes a Luciferic spiritualism.
All these things rest fundamentally on the fact that true reality is of a totally different nature from external apparent reality. But it is now required of man that he should get to know true reality according to its law and being. Social science, the science of human community-life and man's historical life must in particular always be permeated by a spiritual science that, as these lectures have shown, can really build the bridge between the nature-order and the spirit-order, real bridges, not those abstract ones built by monism. It will be necessary, however, for certain laws which are held back from the general consciousness of mankind by certain initiation quarters whose thinking is incorrect for the present time — for certain laws concerning true reality to become increasingly known.
One such law can be set before the soul in the following way, If you give real study to my Outline of Occult Science you know the point of time in the earthly sense when present-day humanity actually appeared on earth. We showed in the last lecture how this humanity has also a cosmic pre-history, a Saturn, Sun, Moon history, but Earth history was, to begin with, a recapitulation, and earthly humanity appeared at quite a definite time. And if you consult my Occult Science you will find that this human state appeared at the same time as clearly and distinctly there arose on earth the origin of the mineral kingdom. For we know that what we now call the mineral kingdom did not exist in the same way in the Saturn, Sun, Moon evolutions, There existed then the three elementary kingdoms which preceded the mineral kingdom. The mineral kingdom entered earthly evolution and simultaneously with this macrocosmic fact of the entry of the mineral kingdom into earthly evolution, man entered earthly evolution in his present form, in the form of his present bodily formation. Although this bodily formation has only later in the course of time come to its full completion, yet the rudiments of the present human body appeared in earthly evolution at the same time as the entry of the mineral kingdom. In a certain sense therefore man, has formed a link as earth-man between the fourth member of his being, which then developed to the ego, and the mineral kingdom. One could also say that in the human microcosm the ego corresponds to the macrocosmic mineral kingdom;
Now we know — and even a simple superficial knowledge of nature tells us — that the cosmic mineral kingdom has a crystal-formation. In school our children must learn the different forms in which the various minerals crystalise. They must first learn them according to the laws of geometry, how they can be represented through these laws, and then how they appear in reality, in the mineral kingdom — octahedron, cube, and so on. When we see these forms of the mineral kingdom which may be expressed in geometry we have before us the original form proper to the minerals. These crystalisations, or rather, these crystal-forms, are in a certain sense the inborn, archetypal characteristic of the mineral kingdom. And the earth, when this kingdom was incorporated into its cosmic evolution, received at the same time the tendency to crystalise its mineral substances in the forms in which the mineral kingdom crystalises.
Now there is a counterpole, a polar opposite, to the form of the mineral kingdom, and I ask you to come to an understanding through the following picture. We will approach an important fact in life through a picture. The dissolving of any kind of substance is a very well-known phenomenon, You know that if you throw a certain amount of salt into a certain amount of water, the water is able to dissolve the salt completely, so that it is no longer there in its solid form. You also know that for certain purposes of practical life the solid salt will not do and it has to be dissolved. Now the tendency in earthly evolution to the crystalisation form of the minerals must not be allowed to remain united with the earth any more than for certain practical purposes the salt may retain its solid form. The cook must be able to change the solid form by dissolving it — she must use methods of dissolving, otherwise the salt will be of no use. So too in the cosmos the earth's tendency to crystalise the mineral must be dissolved. This means that a polar counter-tendency must exist which will bring, it about that when the Earth has reached the goal of its evolution and is ready to pass over to the next form, the Jupiter-form, this crystalising tendency is no longer there — has been dissolved, has disappeared. Jupiter must not possess the inclination to crystalise mineral substances. This particular tendency must be reserved solely for the Earth, and it must cease when the Earth has reached the goal of its earthly evolution.
Now the polar opposite to the tendency of crystalising is that other tendency which is imprinted into the human form — not the animal form. Every corpse which we give over to the earth-planet, whether by burial, fire, or in any other way, every corpse deserted by its spirit and soul and in which still works the human form as purely mineralogical form, works in opposition to the crystalising tendency, precisely as negative electricity, works in opposition to positive electricity, or as darkness to light, And at the end of earthly evolution the totality of human forms given over to the earth in the course of this evolution — I repeat: human forms, for in the form of man lies the force-tendency and it is matter of force not substance — these human forms will have cosmically dissolved the mineralising tendency, the crystalisation-tendency in mineralising.
You see how here again we have a point where a bridge is built between two world-currents which natural science cannot build. For natural science investigates what happens to the human form after death solely on the lines of mineralogy and its laws, it looks out for what lies in the earth's tendency to crystalise and deals with the corpse in that way. It can never arrive therefore at what a significant role in the household of the whole being of the earth is played by men, by the dead bodies, the form, of men. The earth has essentially altered since the middle of the Lemurian alter since mineralisation entered and with it the tendency to crystalise. What is less mineral today in the earth less inclined to the crystalisation-tendency than in the middle of the Lemurian age is due to the dissolving forms of human bodies. And when the Earth has reached its goal there will no longer remain any tendency at all to crystalisation. The totality of human forms given over to the earth will have worked as the solar opposite and dissolved crystalisation.
Here we have the event of human death placed into the whole household of world-order as a purely physical phenomenon. Here we have a bridge thrown between two phenomena which otherwise, as the phenomenon of death, remain quite incomprehensible in the household of the world and the phenomena which modern natural science describes. It is important to develop increasingly such concepts as alone give to the natural science world-conception its true, genuine character. What I have described to you here is just as much a fact of natural science as other facts are that are discovered by the natural science of today. But it is a fact which natural science with its present methods cannot discover. It therefore remains of necessity incomplete and cannot grasp the whole of life's phenomena: it must find its completion through spiritual science. And when such laws as this are known — that through the human forms given to the earth-planet the crystalising tendency of the earth is dissolved, then such laws will also make the human spirit ready to enter more deeply into the reality of spiritual evolution.
Those who think and make research only along the lines of modern natural science cannot build the bridge from natural science to social and political science. Those alone who know the great laws resulting from spiritual science which relate to the greatness of nature in the way I have just explained, are able then to lead across the bridge from natural science to the science of man, above all to the historical and political life of mankind. The natural scientist does not hesitate in the least to speak of polarity in nature. He will distinguish two magnetisms, the North and the South, he will distinguish two electricities, the positive and the negative. And if some day natural science is guided more into the right path of Goethe's world-conception, then natural science too will be still more Goetheanism than it can be today, when it is hardly so at all. Then the law of polarity in the whole of nature will be recognised as the fundamental law, as it has indeed already figured in the ancient Mysteries from atavistic clairvoyance. In the ancient Mysteries everything was founded on the knowledge of polarity in the world. In natural science itself, that is, in the knowledge of natural order the scientist of today is not disturbed by recognising polarity, but he will not approach polarity in the human order and spiritual order. Nevertheless, what we call the Luciferic and the Ahrimanic fully correspond as regards the spirit and its ordering, in which man too is placed, with what is recognised in natural science, for instance, as North and South magnetism or as positive and negative electricity. The creation of real harmony between spirit and nature will never be reached unless men find the reality of the concrete polarity of the Ahrimanic and the luciferic in the spirit-ordering. For true reality cannot be found in the abstract ideas which are simply transferred from nature to the spirit, but solely through being able to deepen oneself in the spirit itself and there find the polarities corresponding to the spirit.
And so it must be too with the other natural facts. One cannot simply study natural facts and then say that one should found a spiritual order, a spiritual world-conception on these natural science facts. That leads nowhere. If the spiritual life is to be studied in its reality, if the phenomena of life into which the spirit plays are also to be grasped, then one must decide to study the spirit-orderings themselves. Moreover what has taken place at some period of time or other through human souls or human organisations cannot be explained by natural science, it can only be understood in reality if it is explained through spiritual science.
If, for instance, we look at certain phenomena of present-day culture we must consider to what degree the Luciferic influence is there and to what degree the Ahrimanic. I made this attempt in 1914 before the outbreak of our present catastrophic war, in the lectures I held in Vienna: The Inner Nature of Man and Life Between Death and Rebirth. And I should therefore like to refer you to the decisive passage in which is set forth the whole essence of what is taking place today. I said then: The reason why spiritual science is now here in the world is because the evolution of humanity requires that this realisation of the spiritual worlds and the conditions of existence in them shall become more and more alive in human souls, instinctively at first, then consciously. Let me draw your attention to a purely external phenomenon, but one of immense significance, showing that a grasp of the laws of spiritual existence will become increasingly essential for any true judgment of life on the physical plane.
When we contemplate nature we observe the remarkable fact that in every case a small number only of seeds, of germinating entities, are used in the production of the same species of life, while myriads of seeds come to nothing. Of the myriads of fish-spawn in the sea, only a few become fish; the rest perish. Looking out over the fields we see vast multitudes of grains of corn, only a few of which become plants; as grains of corn the rest perish, being used as food-stuffs and for other purposes. In nature a great deal more has to be produced than actually comes to fruit and again seed in the on-flowing stream of existence. This is a wise provision; for in nature the rule is that what thus deviates from its own inherent stream of existence and fruiting is used in such a way as to serve the other stream of existence. Beings would not be able to live if all seeds actually became fruit and achieved the development possible to them. Seeds must be there to form the soil, as it were, out of which beings can grow. It is only apparently, only in maya, that anything is lost; in reality nothing is lost in nature's creative work. Spirit holds sway in nature, and the fact that something is apparently lost from the on-flowing stream of evolution is founded in the wisdom of the spirit; it is a spiritual law, and these things must be viewed from the standpoint of the spirit. Then we soon perceive that what seems to be diverted from the straightforward stream of world-processes has its well-justified place in existence. This provision is founded in the spirit; hence it can also take effect on the physical plane, to the extent that we had a spiritual life there.
My dear friends, take a concrete case which concerns us very closely. Public lectures have to be given on spiritual science. They are given to audiences brought together simply through the announcements. There is a similarity here to what happens with the grains of corn, only a part of which are used in the direct stream of existence One must not be put off by the fact that the streams of spiritual life have to be brought, apparently without choice, to many, many people, and that then only a few separate out and really enter into this spiritual life, become anthroposophists and join in the on-flowing stream. In this domain it still happens that these scattered seeds find their way to many who, after a public lecture, for example, go away saying: What crazy nonsense the fellow talked! Seen in direct relation to external life, this is life — shall we say — the spawn of fish that come to nothing in the sea. But from the standpoint of deeper investigation it is not so. The souls who through their karma came to a lecture and who then went away saying: What crazy nonsense the fellow talked! — these souls were not yet ready to receive the truth of the spirit, but it is necessary for their souls in the present incarnation to feel the approach of the force inherent in spiritual science. However much they may protest; this force remains in their souls for their next incarnation, and then the seeds have not been lost; they find their ways. With respect to the spiritual, existence is subject to the same laws, no matter whether we are following the working of the spirit in nature or in the case we could quote as our own.
But let us suppose that we wanted to refer this principle also to external, material life, and were to say: Well, people are doing the same thing in external life. Yes, my dear friends, that is just it. What I am now going to describe is happening, and we are living towards a future when it will happen to an ever-increasing extent. Production steadily increases, factories are built without asking: How much is needed? — as used to be the case when the village tailor made a suit only when it was ordered. There it was consumption which indicated how much should be produced, but now production is for the market; the goods are piled up in as large quantities as possible. Production goes on entirely in line with nature's principle. Nature is carried over into the social order. This tendency will, to begin with, more and more gain the upper hand. But here we are in the realm of the material. The spiritual law has no application to external life, precisely because it is valid for the spiritual world; — and something very remarkable results from this. As we are speaking among ourselves, these things can be said; the world today would certainly not understand us.
Goods are now produced for the market without regard to consumption, not according to the principle indicated in my essays on anthroposophy and the Social Questions. What is produced is piled up in warehouses, priced according to the money market, and then the producers wait to see how much is bought. This tendency will steadily increase until — and you will discover why I say the following — until its own nature it destroys itself.
(In this sentence is contained the most important of the present so-called causes of the War; but it is to be derived from spiritual life.)
One who observes social life with spiritual vision sees terrible tendencies to social ulcers springing up everywhere. That is the great anxiety for civilisation which arises in those who see to the roots of existence; that is the terrible fact which weighs so heavily and which — even if one could suppress all other enthusiasm for spiritual science and the impulse which makes one long to proclaim it — makes one long to cry out to the world the remedy for what is already so strongly under way and will gain increasing momentum. In the spreading of spiritual truths there is an element which of its own ground must work as nature works, but this way of working becomes a cancer when it enters into civilisation in the way described.
It was put before you previously in that lecture all that throws light on the Ahrimanic and Luciferic tendencies. But you can clearly see from it that one only arrives at real knowledge of the social cancer or carcinoma-formation if one can find the Ahrimanic and Luciferic tendencies at work in the modern social order, find on the path of reality, not by simply comparing the social life with natural facts. What occurs in the social order must be sought on the spiritual path. And if it is sought on the materialistic path it can amount to no more than at most a comparison, an analogy of social occurrences with abstract facts of nature.
My dear friends, the fact that a number of cancerous tumours exist in modern society was expressed at that time in those lectures of 9th to 14th April 1914 But the expression was in fact a gathering together of what I had stated in various forms throughout our whole anthroposophical development, in order to prepare men for the point of time when the social cancer would reach its special crisis — 1914!
There now appears a book which in itself is fairly worthless and stupid. It is by a C. H. Meray, entitled World Mutation, and published by Max Rasoher in Zurich in 1918. I will read you a few paragraphs of this book, the author of which has a merely intellectual grasp of industrial facts. And so just as the lectures on the inner nature of man are able to further reality the author by means of this book furthers the deviation from true reality, the misleading to false thinking. But I will let you hear a few of the sentences. There is an attempt to grasp the development of European and American civilisation merely through analogies, comparisons with facts in nature. Whereas in my lectures of 1914 you have reality, here you have abstract monistic comparisons, analogies which actually say nothing, because when one merely talks of natural facts and then points out that something similar exists in the social order these mere analogies rather darken understanding than shed light But what does this amount to? It is shown how seeds of disintegration have gradually entered western civilisation ever since ancient times aid how civilisation has been eaten into inwardly. Such an apercu is then summarised in words like:
“These unhealthy changes began in the fresh and flourishing early Renaissance cities, in the still purely production City-Republics of the striving citizens, as they had to nourish their giant cancer cells, prepared themselves for it and had to change themselves into an instrument for nourishing a cancerous growth.”
“The formation of this organisation out of which the structure of the modern State emerged, advanced side by side with the metamorphosis of the productive tissue which is definitely not to be regarded as belonging to its own life.”
(He calls regulated civilisation a productive tissue, that is, he picks up only a tissue of natural facts, not the real facts of the spirit.)
“For foreign elements in the body cannot normally come in contact with each other without producing inflammation — as in fact in the beginning such inflammations were produced when the soldiers of the Count of the city came in contact with the citizens (let us remember the bell, signalling the latter to form into bands!). Normally only the complete excision of the poisonous growth would have happened, such an effort was made to begin with and was also followed up later. The moment however the two elements, the cancerous growth and the working tissue, could carry on without inflammation, there arose an abnormality which could only preserve itself under pathological conditions
“Such abnormalities are everywhere to be found in organisms where tumours, ulcers, discharges, in short, foreign elements, are surrounded with a web that no more inflammation arises. The web or tissue which is formed there is a deformity and after the cure can be used for nothing further for the organism. Yet during the illness it serves as a protection for the organism; it forms a structure that renders the poison of the disease harmless to the body, although this formation meanwhile develops immeasurably and can itself become a serious phenomenon of disease.
“Thus the modern State also arose as a deformity of the completely uprooted working life; as it arose , however, the whole tissue had to co-operate for its own protection in order to paralyse the evil in it and remove the disintegrating poison-effects. Accordingly the State arose as a separate structure, interwoven it is true by the productive life, though it never became itself an apparatus of productivity. The whole system of modern political economy developed separately side by side with the State.”
“The wealthiest have the most direct connections with the poisonous growths, as they need an extensive protection for the sale of their goods. Hence they are more eager, and as being rich, also more capable of giving to the Governor a higher nourishment; he needs money, they as the ones who procure it for him; if he wants to accomplish something within the city he turns to the patricians. It lies in the interest of these patricians to strengthen the City-Prince, whereas those whose material business-circle does not extend beyond the walls feel a perpetual natural grudge against the Governor. (Physiologically: a negative chemico-tactic effect). They put up with him really only on account of the protecting of the wall-ring. The toxic effect, however, no longer changes the individuality of the patricians — or only seldom, they seldom become themselves warlike nobles — they belong already far too much to the antitoxic, working tissue. Their wealth has arisen from it and is bound up with it; a toxic effect is certainly shown – not on the individual but on the protoplasm, in the wealth.” (And protoplasm is now the wealth!)
“Whereas formerly wealth was not employed as yet to function as capital, but merely formed the reserves of life and well-being, its rôle now alters: wealth begins to annex to itself processes of work."
In connection with this passage I beg you to remember how in my lectures at Nuremberg in 1908 (on The Apocalypse) I pointed out that direct personal influence had withdrawn from modern industry and that money, that is, capital as such was beginning to work. I spoke of how the modern social order uses such exertion under Ahrimanic influence that someone is now below, now above. Personality no longer counts; it is a matter of the money itself doing business, now throwing someone up, now down again. Funds, accumulation of capital, and its counterpole, credit, this a-personal and anti-personal element is what is to evolve as the Ahrimanic counter-image of Spirit-Self for the future of the social order.
All of this is expressed here in this book in a purely Ahrimanic manner. But, my dear friends, there is a danger that something of this sort gains immense respect, since on every page it makes extensive quotations from natural science. Years after the reality has been pointed out through the researches of spiritual science, this Ahrimanic caricature of spiritual science appears, even with the same words for the same phenomena. This will impress people in spite of misleading and alluring them, because they will never understand reality unless they build the bridge between the purely external facts of natural science which are employed in this book and the purely spiritual-scientific processes which indeed can only be discovered through spiritual science. But it will certainly be accepted as genuine science — just as other similar things which have appeared and which I have spoken about in the course of our lectures — whereas in the near future the scientific nature of spiritual science will most certainly be attacked in a terrible way, in a way which you are not at all willing today to picture in its intensity!
These things, my dear friends, must be thoroughly realised, They must be seen through all the more as they touch upon facts which lie under the semblance of external reality. To possess insight into these facts requires the goodwill to pursue seriously and intelligently with sound human understanding the researches of spiritual science.
Opposite currents, polarities, must be held in balance, That can only be done if continually new influxes come directly from the spiritual world into what happens on earth, that is, if new facts which concern the world are continually revealed out of the spirit.
When once in Rome someone brought a Jesuit up to me, I had a conversation with him about just such things, I knew that it availed nothing and was actually a labour of love quite lost, but there were other reasons for it: there too it is necessary to lock at the true reality and not the outer semblance, I sought to make it clear to the Jesuit that, first, he must himself admit a revelation out of the supersensible in the course of the Mystery of Golgotha and what is written about it through the inspired Evangelists; that, moreover, the Catholic Church in which as a Jesuit he would believe accepts a continued evolution of the spiritual life through its saints. He replied, as was only to be expected: “Yes, that is all true, but that's done with; one must not bring that about of oneself. To work oneself through to spiritual life today is to begin to deal with the devil. One may study the Mystery of Golgotha, study the Gospels, the life of the saints, but unless one wants to fall a prey to demonic powers. one may not try in any way to come into direct relation with the spiritual world.” It is obvious that that would be said from such a quarter, and I could give you many similar examples.
There is the strongest opposition from certain quarters to the flowing in of new and ever newer spiritual truths. The Roman Catholic Church, for instance, is even terribly afraid of spiritism, which of course is not sympathetic to us, because they live in the dread of something coming through a medium from the spiritual world which the Church, living solely in its old traditions, cannot accept. And it fears spiritism because it has materialist foundations and because — so it has believed for decades — it can easily gain followers through the fact that one could find something trickling in on a bypath out of the spiritual world into the world which the Roman Catholic Church wishes to rule.
Now you know, my dear friends, in the 1870s, in 1879, the possibility arose of a powerful, deeply-penetrating flowing-in from the spiritual world. I have often spoken of it, how a conflict that had taken place earlier in the spiritual worlds flowed into the earthly order, in the Michael-order. Since that time special opportunities have been given for men who so wish it to receive spiritual knowledge. Please do not imagine that the initiates of the Roman Catholic Church are not aware of such things! They are of course aware of them, but they construct their protective dams. And precisely in connection with the fact that spiritual life was particularly furthered by the spiritual worlds from the year 1879 on the Roman Catholic Church in a far-seeing way established the Infallibility-dogma in order through this to build a dam against any influx of any sort of new spiritual truths. It is obvious that if people are only allowed to frame their views in accordance with what is announced ex cathedra from Rome in the light of the dogma of Infallibility, then a powerful dam is erected against the inflow of spiritual truths from the spiritual world itself. That is the one thing, the Romish element, which had its natural stipulations in earlier times and brought over from these the rigidity in tradition, the rigidity in excluding the spiritual substance which could flow into the human soul out of the spiritual worlds.
Another stream is to be sought in that Centre which in a high degree — approximately at the time when Rome prepared the Infallibility-dogma — must be assigned to the English and American, the English-speaking peoples. We have already referred here to this occult Centre, in many connections. Just as the traditional element and false idealism in the head brings about the Ahrimanic element in the lower man, so, as you have seen, does materialism bring about the development of the spiritual in the lower man. And when this is not nourished from the head by new spiritual truths which are revealed to the world from time to time it will naturally be seized upon by Luciferic forces, the Luciferic principle. The Centre that has great influence on the English-American peoples (that is the best expression) prefers to reckon with the other pole. The occult Masonry which is anchored in that Centre and from there strongly influences the course of the outer culture of the whole civilised world, just as much promotes materialism — realising things of course — as Rome has promoted it through the papal Infallibility. Through the Infallibility-dogma Rome has intended to erect a dam against the influx of spiritual truths from the spiritual worlds; this Centre consciously promotes the spread of materialism in the modern civilised world, the spread of materialistic ideas in a more or less materialistic mode of life. And the strange thing is that when the Anglo-American initiates speak about Rome as a rule what they say is correct, and however much they inveigh against Rome they say what is right. They too, however, know that there is a spiritual life and that a continuous influx is possible, but they keep that secret and let it flow into civilisation only through unknown channels. And the non-English-speaking peoples in the civilised world have in the last decades, or last half-century, accepted an immense amount of what has flowed in there through this Centre; For these other civilisations in their present structure are in no way individualised, they are largely nourished by the materialistic tendency originating in his Centre.
And again, when Rome speaks about that occult Freemasonry, the Orders, it speaks correctly. One can therefore say that what Rome says is right, what the Freemasons of the West say is also right. That in fact is just the difficulty; these things in the most outstanding sense can be thrusting human nature towards the Luciferic or the Ahrimanic, and yet in what they say they cannot possibly be seized upon because what they say is right; when they speak of each other it is correct.
That is a factor that must be borne in mind very fundamentally in the present cultural tendencies. People nowadays are not inclined to consider what grows out of some affair or other, but merely look at what is expressed verbally in propaganda. But it is not at all a matter of the sounds and words of a propaganda, it is really a matter of making thane lower nature materialistic through materialism in the world of ideas — it becomes, however, spiritualised. And it is supposed to be a matter of making man more moral through an abstract idealism and discussion of every kind of fine ideal — yet one makes him — I speak figuratively of course — obese, materialistic in his lower nature, one makes him heavy and sleepy. And whereas on the one hand a strong tendency exists to scleroticise man Ahrimanically, which is particularly a Jesuit-tendency, there exists on the other hand a definite tendency to place the Luciferic beings in the service of the materialistic world-order, whereby precisely through materialism a spirituality may arise which is however a Luciferic spirituality. It is indeed not enough merely to look in its literal sense at what plays on the surface; one must go into the actual reality, which as is shown precisely by our instances today — however paradoxical they appear, often have an exactly opposite purpose to what one is led to believe through a superficial maya-observation. Things are being done in the world today from many different quarters on the principles of the occult Orders, though they are kept secret. Rome works just as much in accord with occult precepts as that other Centre does. Power lies just in the fact that men are kept in the dark and are not told what is actually going on. Hence arise the hatred and enmity against those who make their appearance and say what is taking place. — Naiveté moreover is especially harmful, the sort of naiveté which men show when they persist in believing that one attains something with these two streams if one tells them that spiritual science can give a beautiful understanding of Christ-Jesus, or something like that, or tells them how the deeper truths of spiritual science are to be found in true Christianity. It is a naiveté to suppose one can win over certain circles by showing them one has a truth which they really must recognise according to their whole hypotheses. That simply calls out hostility. The more we show in certain circles that we have the truth, the greater the hostility, and the more this truth proves effective all the more intense will the enmity appear. In recent times one has only waited to see if the moment would come when anthroposophical books would need larger editions, when thousands and thousands would listen to anthroposophy, in order from certain quarters not because they think anthroposophy says untruth, but because they fear it will say the true — in order to lay hold of this anthroposophy. That is what should be borne in mind. No naiveté should prevail among us, but penetrating knowledge, unbiased, unprejudiced observation of what happens.
It would please me much if you took away a feeling of this from this lecture; for once again let it be recapitulated what I said at the beginning of today's lecture: It is not so much a matter of the details, but of our receiving a firm impression of what lies in the whole spirit of these lectures. And then we must make ourselves more and more capable of taking such a place in the cultural life of today as befits a man of the present who is thoroughly awake and not sleeping.