Donate books to help fund our work. Learn more→

The Rudolf Steiner Archive

a project of Steiner Online Library, a public charity

The Challenge of the Times
GA 186

3. The Mechanistic, Eugenic and Hygienic Aspects of the Future

1 December 1918, Dornach

What I have had in mind in the course of these reflections has been to cast light upon the form that social thinking should take today. I should like now to add something to what we have already discussed that may make it possible for you to lift these things to a higher level. This is really necessary just because of the special demands of the spirit of our epoch. Everything that I have presented to you and will still present, I hope you will consider, if I may repeat this request, not as a criticism of the existing conditions of the times, but simply to provide material suitable for giving direction to our judgment that may provide the foundation for a general survey of conditions characterized by the necessary insight. The spiritual-scientific point of view cannot be that of providing a social critique but solely that of calling attention to these things without pessimism or optimism. Yet this fact compels us, naturally, to use words that will be understood by some persons to be intended as criticism of one or another of the social classes. Such is not the case. When we speak here of the bourgeoisie, it is as if we were speaking of an inevitable historical phenomenon, and not for the purpose of raising any objection to what has simply been unavoidable according to certain spiritual-scientific points of view. I beg you to understand in the same way also what I shall present to you today.

Let us take as our point of departure the comprehensive motive force that underlies in powerful form the present social demands of the proletariat, just as it underlies all or many human movements. This force is more or less clearly expressed, but it is also instinctive, unconscious, confused, and unclear' though nonetheless fundamental in these movements. This consists in the fact that a certain ideal exists for bringing about a social order that will be satisfying in all its aspects. If we wish to describe in a radical way what is thus basic in these things, there is reason to say that an endeavor is made to think out and to realize a social order that will bring about a paradise on earth, or at least that happy state worthy of the human being that is looked upon by the proletariat population at the present time as something to be desired. This is called the “solution of the social problem.” What I have just said is inherent in the instinct behind what is called the solution of the social problem.

Now, in considering the expression “solution of the social problem,” it is necessary that the spiritual scientist, who should not surrender himself to illusions in any field but should fix his attention upon realities, shall in this case also indulge in no illusions. The essential fact in this field is that those who are striving for these things do not proceed from a standpoint free of illusions, but from a point of view confronted by a great number of such illusions, especially the fundamental illusion that it is possible to solve the social problem.

The fact that in our epoch there is no consciousness of the difference between the physical plane and the spiritual world, but the physical plane is looked upon in a certain instinctive way as the only world, is connected with the other fact that it longs to create a paradise on this physical plane. Because of this conception our epoch is compelled to believe that the human being is condemned either never to achieve justice, the harmonizing of his impulses and needs, or else to find these things within the physical earthy existence.

The physical plane, however, manifests itself to one who observes the world imaginatively, and thus takes cognizance of actual reality, in such a way that he must declare there is no perfection in this world but only imperfection. Thus, it is impossible to speak at all of an absolutely complete solution of the social problem. You may endeavor in any way you please, on the basis of all the profoundest knowledge, to solve the social problem, yet it will never be solved in the sense in which many persons expect the solution in our day. But this need not lead anyone to say that if the social problem is simply not to be solved, we should permit the old nonsense to continue on its course. The truth is that the course of things resembles the action of a pendulum: the force for the upward swing is gained in the downward swing. In other words, just as the opposite force is accumulated by the downward swing and is then used in the upward swing, such is the case also in the rhythmical succession characterizing the historic life of humanity. What you may consider for a certain epoch as the most perfect social order, or even as any social order at all, wears out when you have once brought it to realization, and leads after a certain time once more to disorder. The evolutionary life is not such that it steadily ascends, but its course consists in ebb and flow; it progresses with a wave movement. The best that you may be able to establish, when once realized on the physical plane, gives rise to conditions that lead to its own destruction after the necessary length of time. The state of humanity would be entirely different if this irrevocable law in the historic course of events were adequately recognized. It would not then be supposed possible in the absolute sense of the word to establish a paradise on earth, but people would be compelled to give attention to the cyclic law of humanity's evolution. As we exclude from consideration an absolute answer to the question, “What should be the form of social life?” we shall do the right thing by asking ourselves what must be done for our epoch? What are the exact demands of the motive forces of our fifth post-Atlantean epoch? What actually demands to be made a reality? With the consciousness that what is brought to realization will inevitably be destroyed in turn in the course of the cyclic reversals, we are compelled to see clearly that we can think socially also only in this relative way when we recognize the impelling evolutionary forces of a definite epoch. It is imperatively necessary to work in harmony with reality. We are working against reality when we suppose that we shall be able to accomplish anything by means of abstract and absolute ideals.

For the spiritual scientist, therefore, who desires to fix his attention upon reality and not illusion, the question takes the limited form of what bears the impulse within it to be brought to realization within the actual situation of the immediate present?

Our explanations of yesterday also were intended to be considered from this point of view. You interpret me quite wrongly if you suppose that I mean an absolute paradise will be brought about through the fact, let us say, that what is produced by labor will be separated from labor. On the contrary, I consider this, on the basis of the profound laws of the evolution of humanity, only as something that must necessarily occur at the present time. What is anchored in all the instincts of man, toward which the proletariat conception of life especially is striving, even if they sometimes push things to the extreme of such demands as those I enumerated to you yesterday as the demands of bolshevism—behind what people have in their consciousness there lies, of course, what they instinctively will to bring to realization. Anyone who directs his effort toward reality does not pay attention to programs proposed to him, not even that of the Russian Soviet Republic, but he endeavors to see what is still in instinctive form today behind these things that people express outwardly with stammering tongues. This is what really matters. Otherwise, if we do not view the matter thus, we shall never deal with these things in the right way. What men are instinctively striving for is absolutely inherent in the fundamental character of our fifth post-Atlantean epoch, which is essentially different from the fourth epoch, the Greco-Latin, and likewise from the preceding third, the Egypto-Chaldean. Men of today, in their social relationships—not as individuals, but in social group relationships—must will something absolutely definite.

Instinctively they do actually will this. They will today what could not have been willed in the fourth post-Atlantean epoch, or even up to the fifteenth century of our Christian era. They will today an existence worthy of the human being, that is, the fulfillment as a reflection in the social order of what they vaguely sense in this epoch as the ideal for humanity. Men will today instinctively that what the human being is in himself shall be reflected in the social structure.

During the third post-Atlantean epoch, the Egypto-Chaldean, this was different, and different likewise still earlier during the second epoch. In the second epoch, the ancient Persian, the human being was still entirely in his inner nature; man was then still a being of wholly inner nature. He did not then demand instinctively to find duplicated in the external world what he possessed inwardly as his needs. He did not need a social structure that would enable him to recognize in external things what he possessed inwardly as impulse, instincts and needs. Then came the third post-Atlantean epoch, the Egypto-Chaldean, and the human being demanded that the part of his being that was connected with his head should appear to him in the mirror of external social reality. So we observe that, from the third post-Atlantean epoch on, from the Egypto-Chaldean epoch, the endeavor was made to achieve a theocratic social arrangement in which everything pertaining to theocratic social institutions was in some way permeated by religion. The rest remained still instinctive. What was connected with the second man, the breast and breathing man, and what was connected with the metabolic man, remained instinctive. The human being did not yet think at all of seeing these reflected in the mirror of the external order. In the ancient Persian epoch there was also only an instinctive religion, guided by those initiated in Zarathustrianism. But everything that the human being developed was still inward and instinctive. He did not yet feel any need to seek things in external reflection in the social structure. He began during the period that ended approximately with the founding of the ancient Roman kingdom, the actual year was 747 B.C., to demand that what could live as though in his head should be found again in the social order.

Then came the epoch that began in the eighth century, 747 B.C., and ended in the fifteenth century A.D., the Greco-Latin epoch. Man then demanded that two members of his being, the head man and the rhythmic, breathing, breast man should be reflected externally in the social structure. What constituted the ancient theocratic order, but now only in an echo, had to be reflected. As a matter of fact, the real theocratic institutions bear a close resemblance to the third post-Atlantean epoch and this includes even the institutions of the Catholic Church. This continued, and something new was added to it that was derived especially from the Greco-Latin epoch. The external institutions of the res publica, those institutions that have to do with the administration of the external life so far as justice and injustice and such things come into consideration were added. Man now demanded as regards two members of his being that he should not only bear these within himself but should see them reflected externally as in a mirror.

For instance, you do not understand Greek culture if you do not know that the situation was such that the merely metabolic life, which is expressed externally in the economic structure, still remained instinctive, inner and without the need of external reflection. The tendency to demand an external reflection for this appeared first in the fifteenth century of the Christian era. If you study history in its reality, not in the form of legends fabricated within our so-called science of history, you will find confirmed even externally what I have told you on the basis of occult knowledge about the Greek slave class and slavery, without whose existence the Greek culture we so greatly admire would be unthinkable. This can be conceived as existing in the social structure only when we know that this whole fourth post-Atlantean epoch was dominated by the striving for an external system of institutions in the field of law and religion, but not yet for any other than an instinctive economic order.

It is our own epoch, the time that begins in the fifteenth century of the Christian era, in which the demand was first made to see the whole three-membered human being as a picture also in his external social structure.

We must, therefore, study the three-membered human being today since, for the first time, he develops a threefold instinct to have in the external structure, in the community structure, what I have mentioned to you, that is, firstly, a spiritual sphere, which has its own administration and its own structure, secondly, a sphere of administration, of security and order—a political sphere—that is likewise self-sufficing, and, thirdly, an economic sphere, because our epoch demands for the first time this economic sphere in external organization. The demand to see the human being brought to realization and pictured in the social structure arises as an instinct in our epoch. This is the deeper reason why it is no longer a mere economic instinct that is at work. The economic class that has just been created, the proletariat, strives toward the goal of setting up the economic structure externally just as consciously as the fourth post-Atlantean epoch set up the administrative structure of the system of laws, and the third post-Atlantean epoch, the Egypto-Chaldean, the theocratic structure.

This is the inner reason. Only by giving attention to this inner reason can you judge rightly the conditions of the present time, and you will then understand why I had to present to you this threefold social order a week ago. It has certainly not been invented as programs are invented today by innumerable societies, but it is asserted on the basis of those forces that can be observed if we enter into the reality of evolution. We must come to the point, for time is pressing in that direction, when the impelling evolutionary forces within the development of humanity shall really be understood concretely and objectively. Time is pressing in that direction. People still struggle against this. It is really astonishing even if we observe those who make the furthest advance. A short time ago a book was published entitled Letters of a Lady to Walther Rathenau Concerning the Transcendence of Coming Events. All sorts of things are, of course, discussed in this book. For example:

It is the intention of this pamphlet to publish the essential intuitional contents of epistolary writings. Personal communications have been excluded since they have no immediate relationship to this. The result is the elimination of the fragmentary letter form, and thus also the constant repetition of the customary salutations and conclusions. A lady endowed as a seeress communicates here to the author of the book, Of Things To Come, her unusual experience and knowledge in regard to the new soul of the time and the new birth of the world. The powers of the future struggling today for a higher form of life manifest themselves here in an individual human destiny as the experienced reality of the new soul powers.

It is strange that many things are here spoken of, but one observes something curious. The lady discovers that man can develop higher spiritual faculties and that genuine realities can be perceived only by means of these. The book really comes to an end with this. Its last chapter is entitled, Cosmic Conclusions Regarding the World Soul and the Human Soul. But the book proceeds no further than to the insight that a person can possess higher faculties and not to the point of telling what he actually perceives by means of these higher faculties. It is as if one should say to a person, “You have eyes,” but then not bring him to the point of seeing anything of reality with them. A strange attitude is taken by certain persons with reference to spiritual science. They actually shrink back in terror even if we merely begin to speak of what can be seen. One should like to say to an author such as this lady, “You admit that higher faculties may evolve in the human being. Spiritual science exists in order to report what one sees precisely in connection with important matters if these higher faculties are evolved.” But people shrink back from this and do not want to listen.

You see how urgently the time impels us to reach the point where spiritual science wills to arrive, and how meanwhile there are jumbled together in people those things of which I spoke in the latest issue of the magazine, “Das Reich,” edited by Alexander von Bernus, in my article entitled Luciferic and Ahrimanic Elements In Our Contemporary History, in the Life of Man. This is all in such a tangled mass in the human soul that even those who admit that it is possible to see a spiritual reality as a genuine reality that can be beheld regard as a fantastic person anyone who speaks concretely of such a spiritual reality.

I have referred to this lady simply because she is not a unique phenomenon. What appears in her appears in many individuals. It is actually a characteristic of the time that even though people feel impelled to look beyond the ordinary external reality, they still withdraw and refrain from doing so. In this book for example, attention is called to a certain relationship between human beings and cosmic forces. But one should not try, let us say, to explain to these people the content of my book, An Outline of Occult Science, in which these relationships are expounded. They then shrink back. But we do not gain an insight into social matters, which must be considered as I have told you, if we simply admit that it is possible to see and do not consider what can be seen. It is of enormous importance to realize this. Otherwise, we shall always make the mistake already pointed out in the first sentences I uttered today of making an absolute principle out of something that is valid concretely for the individual single case—so that the question is asked, for example, in regard to the social problem, “How must human institutions be set up throughout the world?” But this question is really not presented to us. Human beings in various parts of the earth differ from one another, and in the future this differentiation will increase. Utterly unreal thoughts are expressed by one, therefore, who supposes that it is possible to proceed socially in the same way in Russia, China, South America, Germany or France. Such a one expresses absolute thoughts where individual and relative thoughts alone correspond with reality. It is extremely important that this fact be clearly seen.

During recent years, when it was so important that these things should be understood in the appropriate places, it has been a source of great distress to me that they have simply been misunderstood. You will recall that I drew a map here two years ago that is now becoming a reality, and I did not show this map only to you. I presented the map at that time to explain how the impelling forces are moving from a certain side, since it is a law that, if we know these impelling forces, if we take cognizance of them, if we grasp them in our consciousness, they may be corrected in a certain way and given a different direction. It is important that this should be comprehended.

But no one in a responsible position has taken cognizance of these things, or taken them earnestly in the real sense of the word. Present events certainly show that they should have been taken earnestly.

Now the fact that must be taken into consideration in connection with these things is that, in regard to certain fundamental laws of world evolution, nothing is actually known in a comprehensive way such that this knowledge is brought into external application anywhere except within certain secret societies of the English-speaking peoples. This is something that it is important to observe. Secret societies among other peoples are fundamentally only a matter of empty phrases. Secret societies among the English-speaking peoples, on the contrary, are sources from which truths are acquired in certain ways by means of which things can be guided politically. I may speak of them some time, but it would take us too far afield today. Thus we may say that those forces flowing from these secret societies into the politics of the West move actually in accordance with history. They reckon with the laws of historic evolution. It is not necessary that in external matters everything shall be correct even to the dotting of the last “i”. What matters is whether the person proceeds in accordance with historic evolution in an objective sense, or whether he proceeds as a dilettante following his arbitrary notions.

The politics of Central Europe, for example, were predominantly amateur politics, utterly without relation to any historical law. The politics that were not amateurish, that followed the facts—or, if I may use the crass expression, professional politics—were those of the English-speaking peoples, the British Empire and its annex, America. This is the great difference, and this is the significant point that must be clearly seen. Its importance lies in the fact that what was known in those circles is actually flowing into the world of reality. It also flows into the instincts behind those persons who occupy positions as political representatives, even if they act only out of political instincts. Behind these are the forces to which I am now referring. You need not inquire, therefore, whether Northcliff or even Lloyd George is initiated to one degree or another into these forces. This is not what counts. The decisive question is whether or not there is a possibility that they may conduct themselves in accordance with these forces. They need to take up in their instincts alone what runs parallel with these forces. But there is such a possibility; this does happen, and these forces act in the general direction of world history. This is the essential point, and it is possible to act successfully within the interrelationships of world history only when one really takes up into one's knowledge what is going on in this manner in the world. Otherwise, the other person, who is acting knowingly in accordance with world history, or causing such action, always has the power, while the one who knows nothing of it is powerless. It is in this way that power may master powerlessness. This is an external occurrence. But the victory of power over powerlessness in these things depends, in the last analysis, upon the difference' between knowing and not knowing. It is this that must be clearly grasped.

It is important also to see that the chaos now in its initial stages in the East and in Central Europe demonstrates how terrible everything was that pretended to bring political order into this chaos but has now been swept away. But what is happening now in Central and Eastern Europe demonstrates that nothing but dilettantism permeates public life in this region. In the West, among the English-speaking population of the world, there is dominant everywhere by no means dilettantism, but—if I may be permitted to use the crass expression—an expert consideration of these things.

This is what will determine the form of the history of the coming decades. No matter what lofty ideals may be set up in Central and Eastern Europe, no matter how much good will may be manifested in one or another set of programs, nothing will be accomplished in this way if people are not able to take their departure from the motive forces that are derived in the same or even in a better way from the other side of the threshold of consciousness, just as the motive forces of the West, of the English-speaking peoples, are taken in the last analysis from the other side of the threshold of consciousness.

Those friends who have heard these things discussed that I have presented to you for years precisely as I am doing today, have always made a mistake in this connection and it is generally difficult to persuade even our best friends to abandon it. This is the mistake of thinking, “But what good does it do to say to people that one thing or another has its origin in certain secret centers of the West? Surely it is necessary to convince them first that there are such secret societies.” It has often been thought that the most important thing would be to awaken the conviction that such secret societies exist, but this is not what should receive primary consideration. You will meet with little response if you undertake to convince statesmen of the calibre of a Kuhlmann, let us say, that there are secret societies in possession of such impelling forces, but that is by no means the important point. Indeed, it is a blunder when this is considered fundamental. The fact that this is considered fundamental is due to the affectation of mystery brought over from the bad habits of the old Theosophical Society and still to be found even among anthroposophists. If anyone utters the word secret or occult and is able to refer to anything whatsoever that is secret or occult, what an altogether special distinction he thus confers upon himself! But this is not something that can produce favorable results when we are dealing with external realities. What matters is that we shall show how things occur and simply point out what anyone can understand with his sound common sense. Within those societies dealing with such occult truths as have a bearing upon reality, the principle was observed, for example, that after the Empire of the Russian Czar had been overthrown for the benefit of the Russian people, a political course would have to be pursued that would provide an opportunity to undertake socialistic experiments in Russia. People will not undertake them in Western countries because in those regions they are not considered advantageous or desirable.

So long as I simply assert that this has been stated in secret societies, it may be doubted. But, if it is pointed out that the whole direction of politics is such that this principle evidently underlies it, people are then within reality with their ordinary sound common sense. The important matter is that a feeling for reality should be awakened.

What has been developed in Russia is, fundamentally, only a realization of what has been purposed in the West. The fact that up to the present time only unskillful socialistic experiments are carried out by non-Englishmen, that things come to realization by all sorts of roundabout paths, is so well-known by these societies that they suffer no serious headaches because of them. They know that the important thing is to bring these countries to the point where socialistic experiments become unavoidable. If these are then conducted in connection with ignorance of the nature of a social order, one then actually forms the social order related to these lands and makes oneself the director of the socialistic experiment.

You see, the holding back of a certain kind of occult knowledge that is carefully practiced in these centers gives rise to enormous power. The opposite side cannot save itself in any way from this power except by acquiring this knowledge and confronting this power with it.

In this field there can be no discussion of guilt or innocence. Here we must speak simply of the inevitable, of things that must come to pass because they already exist under the surface, because they are at work in the realm of forces that are not yet phenomena. They are already forces, however, and will become phenomena.

Surely I need scarcely emphasize that I hold fast to what I have always asserted. The real being of the German people cannot perish. This real being of the German people must search for its path but it is important that it shall be able to find its path, that it shall not follow false roads in its search, and shall not search in ways where there is no knowledge. Do not interpret, therefore, what I shall now say in such a sense as to make it in the least contradictory of what I have asserted over a period of years. Things always have two sides and what I have indicated to you is, in large measure, a matter of the will. It is possible for this to be paralyzed if forces are brought into play also from the opposite side but these forces must rest upon knowledge, not upon an amateurish lack of it.

You see the essence of the thing is that if no resistance is raised from the East, and by the East I mean the whole region lying from the Rhine eastward even into Asia, British world domination will develop after the destruction of the Roman-Latin French element in the way intended by those forces that I have indicated once more today, as I have frequently done already, as lying behind the instincts. For this reason it is important that, in dealing with what Woodrow Wilson says, we shall not employ merely that kind of thinking generally developed in people today. Rather, what appears only in the instincts even in such a person as Woodrow Wilson should be grasped by means of a deeper knowledge. When formulated into all kinds of maxims, this infatuates people, and when it comes from Wilson's mind, infatuates for the sole reason that his mind is possessed in a certain way by subconscious forces.

The really important fact is that in groups in the West who keep their knowledge secret the greatest pains are taken to see that things shall develop in such a way as to insure under all circumstances the mastery of the West over the East. Whatever people may say today on the basis of their consciousness, the goal striven for is to establish a caste of masters in the West and a caste of economic slaves in the East, beginning with the Rhine and extending eastward all the way into Asia. This does not mean a caste of slaves in the ancient Greek sense, but a caste of economic slaves organized in a socialistic way to take up all sorts of impossibilities in the social structure that then shall not be applied among the English-speaking peoples. The essence of the matter is to make the English-speaking peoples into a population of masters of the world.

Now this is rightly thought out from that side in the most comprehensive sense. I now reach the proper place for the explanation of something that I beg you really to receive in full awareness of the fact that if such assertions are made today, they are made under the pressure and urgency of contemporary events and must really not be received except in an earnest sense. What I am here asserting is most carefully kept secret by the centers in the West to which I have often referred. It is considered obvious in the West that the people of the East shall not be permitted to know anything of these matters that these Western persons possess in the form of knowledge, as I have already said, through methods I may later discuss. They possess these things as knowledge in such a way that, since the others are not to know of them, world mastery shall be established through their help. This is the only possible method for attaining their ends.

Beginning with this fifth post-Atlantean epoch, definite forces will become prominent in the evolution of humanity. Human evolution is, of course, moving forward. Within the limits of the brief span of time that comes under the survey of anthropology or history in the field of external materialistic science, it is never possible to form a judgment regarding the forces manifest in the evolution of humanity. Little in the external process of development has undergone any change within this limited span of time. On the basis of this knowledge no one knows, for example, how utterly different things looked, even in the second epoch, not to mention the first or others still farther back. This can be known only through spiritual science. Only through spiritual science, likewise, is it possible to indicate the forces that will develop in future in a wholly elemental manner out of the nature of man. The fact that such forces, which will transform life on earth, will develop out of the human being is known in those secret centers. It is this that is concealed from the East by people in the West who intend to retain it themselves. It is known, moreover, that these capacities, possessed by man today only in their very first beginning, will be threefold in their nature. They will evolve out of the nature of man in the same way in which other capacities have come into existence in the course of humanity's evolution.

This threefold capacity, of which every knowing person within these secret circles speaks—these three capacities that will evolve in human nature, I must make intelligible to you in the following way. First, there are the capacities having to do with so-called material occultism. By means of this capacity—and this is precisely the ideal of British secret societies—certain social forms at present basic within the industrial system shall be set up on an entirely different foundation. Every knowing member of these secret circles is aware that, solely by means of certain capacities that are still latent but evolving in man, and with the help of the law of harmonious oscillations, machines and mechanical constructions and other things can be set in motion. A small indication is to be found in what I connected with the person of Strader in my Mystery Dramas.

These things are at present in process of development. They are guarded as secrets within those secret circles in the field of material occultism. Motors can be set in motion, into activity, by an insignificant human influence through a knowledge of the corresponding curve of oscillation. By means of this principle it will be possible to substitute merely mechanical forces for human forces in many things. The number of human beings on the earth today in actual fact is 1,400,000,000. Labor is performed however, not only by these 1,400,000,000 persons—as I once explained here—but so much labor is performed in a merely mechanical way that we say the earth is really inhabited by 2,000,000,000 persons. The others are simply machines. That is, if the work that is done by machines had to be done by people without machines, it would be necessary to have 600,000,000 more persons on the earth. If what I am now discussing with you under the name of mechanistic occultism enters into the field of practical action, which is the ideal of those secret centers, it will be possible to accomplish the work not only of 500,000,000 or 600,000,000 but of 1,080,000,000 persons. The possibility will thus come about of rendering unnecessary nine-tenths of the work of individuals within the regions of the English-speaking peoples. Mechanistic occultism will not only render it possible to do without nine-tenths of the labor still performed at present by human hands, but will give the possibility also of paralyzing every uprising attempted by the then dissatisfied masses of humanity.

The capacity to set motors in motion according to the laws of reciprocal oscillations will develop on a great scale among the English-speaking peoples. This is known in their secret circles, and is counted upon as the means whereby the mastery over the rest of the population of the earth shall be achieved even in the course of the fifth post-Atlantean epoch. Something else is known also in those circles. It is known that there are two other capacities that will likewise develop. One, which I shall venture to call the eugenic capacity, will evolve primarily among people of the East, of Russia and the Asiatic hinterland. It is also known in those secret circles of the West that this eugenic occultism will not evolve out of the inborn potentialities of the English-speaking peoples, but only of the inborn potentialities belonging precisely to the Asiatic and the Russian populations. These facts are known in the secret circles of the West. They are taken into account and are looked upon as constituting certain motive forces that must become active in future evolution.

By the eugenic capacity I mean the removal of the reproduction of human beings from the sphere of mere arbitrary impulse and accident. Among the peoples of the East there will gradually develop a brilliantly clear knowledge as to how the laws of population, the laws of peopling the earth, must run parallel with certain cosmic phenomena. From this information they will know that, if conception is brought about in accord with certain constellations of the stars, opportunities will thus be given for souls that are either good or evil in their natures to obtain access for earthly incarnation. This capacity will be acquired only by those individuals who constitute the continuation of races, the continuation in the blood stream, of the Asiatic population. They will be able simply to see in detail how what works today chaotically and arbitrarily in conception and birth can be brought into harmony with the great laws of the cosmos in individual concrete cases. Here abstract laws are of no avail. What will be acquired is a concrete single capacity in which it will be known in individual cases whether or not a conception should occur at a particular time.

This knowledge, which will make it possible to bring down from the heavens the impelling forces for the moralizing or demoralizing of the earth through the nature of man himself, this special capacity evolves as a continuation of the blood capacity in the races of the East. What evolves as a capacity there I call eugenic occultism. This is the second capacity—the capacity that will prevent the evolution of humanity as regards conception and birth from taking its course according to arbitrary impulses, and more or less accidentally. I beg you to consider the enormous social consequences, the enormous social motive forces that enter here! These capacities are latent. It is well known in those secret circles of the English-speaking peoples that these capacities will evolve among the peoples of the East. They know that they themselves will not possess these capacities within their own potentialities bestowed upon them through birth. They know that the earth could not reach its goal, could not pass over from earth to Jupiter—indeed, they know that the earth would within a relatively short time diverge from the path leading to its goal if only the forces belonging to the West should be employed. It would gradually come about that only a soulless population could evolve in the West, a population that would be as soulless as possible. This is known. For this reason these people endeavor to develop within their own circles, through their capacities, mechanistic occultism. The endeavor is also made to establish a mastery over those peoples who will develop eugenic occultism. Every instructed person in the circles of the West says, for example, “It is necessary that we rule over India for the reason that only through the continuation of what comes out of Indian bodies—when this unites with what tends in the West in a wholly different direction, in the direction of mechanistic occultism—can bodies come into existence in which souls will be able to incarnate in future who will carry the earth over to its future evolutionary stages.” The English-speaking occultists know that they cannot depend upon the bodies that come out of the fundamental character of their own people, and so they strive to possess the mastery over a people who will provide bodies with the help of which the evolution of the earth may be carried forward in the future.

The American occultists know that they can never carry over into the future what they will to carry over unless they nurture what will develop in the form of bodies for the future within the Russian population through its eugenic occult potentialities, unless they gain the mastery of this, so that a social union can gradually come into existence between their own decadent race characteristics and the germinating psychic race characteristics of European Russia.

I must speak to you also regarding a third capacity, which is latent today but which will evolve. This is what I venture to call the hygienic occult capacity. Now we have all three: the materialistic occult capacity, the eugenic occult capacity, and the hygienic occult capacity. This hygienic occult capacity is well on its way and will not be long, relatively speaking, in arriving. This capacity will come to maturity simply through the insight that human life, in its course from birth to death, progresses in a manner identical with the process of an illness. Processes of illnesses are, in other words, only special and radical transmutations of the quite ordinary, normal life process taking its course between birth and death, except that we bear within ourselves not only the forces that create illness but also those that heal. These healing forces, as every occultist knows, are precisely the same as those that are applied when a person acquires occult capacities, in which case these forces are transmuted into the forces of knowledge. The healing power innate in the human organism, when transmuted into knowledge, gives occult forms of knowledge.

Now, every knowing person in the Western circles is aware that materialistic medicine will have no basis in the future. As soon as the hygienic occult capacities evolve, a person will need no external material medicine, but the possibility will exist of treating prophylactically in a psychic way to prevent those illnesses that do not arise through karmic causes because karmic illnesses cannot be influenced. Everything in this respect will change. This seems at present like a mere fantasy, but it is actually something that will soon come about. Now, the situation is such that these three faculties will not come into existence equally among all the peoples of the earth. Indeed, you have already seen the differentiation. This differentiation has to do, naturally, only with the bodies and not with the souls, which always pass, of course, from race to race, from people to people. But with the bodies this differentiation has much to do. From the bodies of the English-speaking peoples the possibility of developing eugenic occult capacities in the future through birth can never arise. It is precisely in the West that these will be applied, but the manner in which they will be applied will be that a mastery will be established over the Eastern lands, and marriages will be brought about between people of the West and people of the East. Thus use will be made of what can be learned only from the people of the East.

The potentiality of hygienic occult capacities is present in special measure among the people of the Central countries. English-speaking people cannot acquire the hygienic occult capacities through their inborn potentialities, but they can acquire these capacities in their development in the course of time between birth and death. These can become acquired characteristics during that time. In the case of the population occupying the area approximately eastward from the Rhine and all the way into Asia, these capacities will be present on the basis of birth. The population of the Central countries cannot acquire the eugenic occult potentialities through birth, but may acquire them in the course of their lives if they become apprentices of the people of the East. It is in this way that these capacities will be distributed. The people of the East will have not the least capacity for material occultism; they will be able to receive this only when it is given to them, when it is not kept secret from them. It will always be possible to keep it secret, especially when the others are so stupid as not to believe in things that are asserted by a person who is in a position to see into them. In other words the people of the East and those of the Central countries will have to receive material occultism from the West. They will receive its benefits, its products. Hygienic occultism will develop primarily in the Central countries, and eugenic occultism in the Eastern lands. It will be necessary, however, for intercommunication to exist between people. This is something that must be taken up into the impelling forces of the social order of the future. It makes it imperative for people to see that they will be able to live in future throughout the world only as total human beings. If an American should wish to live only as an American, although he would be able to achieve the loftiest material results, he would condemn himself to the fate of never progressing beyond earthly evolution. If he should not seek social relationships with the East, he would condemn himself to being bound within the earthly sphere after a certain incarnation, haunting the sphere of the earth like a ghost. The earth would be drawn away from its cosmic connections, and all these souls would have to be like ghosts. Correspondingly, if the people of the East should not take up the materialism of the West with their eugenic occult capacities that pull down the earth, the Eastern man would lose the earth. He would be drawn into some sort of mere psychic-spiritual evolution, and he would lose the earthly evolution. The earth would sink away under him as it were, and he would not be able to possess the fruit of the earthly evolution.

Mutual confidence among men in a profound inner sense is what must come about. This is manifest through their remarkable future evolution.

Within the intelligent minds of those centers of the West, a purpose exists to foster things only in the way in which they can foster them. It is not the business of Westerners to pay particular attention to what is evolving in the East from the viewpoint of the Eastern person; what evolves among others must simply be left to those others.

This is something that must be inscribed deeply upon our souls, that we arrive at a point here where guilt or innocence or similar concepts lose their significance, where the fact to bear in mind is that we must take these things in with the utmost earnestness, in the profoundest sense of the word, for the reason that these things embody a knowledge that alone is capable of passing over into the guidance of humanity in the future.

These things are of great importance, and it is important that we should view them in a certain way. Just consider that I have told you that three kinds of occult capacities will evolve and will intertwine over the entire earth, differentiated according to different peoples, in harmony with those of the West, of the Central countries, and of the East. I have said, indeed, that they will so intertwine that the people of the West will possess the potentialities of material occultism from birth, but will be able to acquire hygienic occultism; that those of the Middle countries will possess through birth primarily the potentiality for hygienic occultism, but will be able to acquire for themselves—if it is given to them—a material occultism from the West and a eugenic from the East; that those of the East will possess from birth the potentiality for eugenic occultism, but will be able to acquire for themselves from the Middle countries hygienic occultism.

These capacities appear differentiated, distributed among the humanity of the world, but at the same time in such a way that they intertwine. Through this intertwining will the future social bond of community life be determined throughout the world. But there are hindrances against the development of these capacities. These hindrances are manifold in character, and their action is really complicated.

For example, in the case of the people of the Central countries and the Eastern lands it is an important hindrance to the evolution of these capacities, especially their evolution in a knowing way, when strong antipathies against the people of the Western countries are active within them. Then these things cannot be viewed objectively. This is a hindrance in the evolution of these capacities.

But the potentiality of developing another occult capacity is also even strengthened in a certain way if it is developed out of a certain instinct of hatred. This is a strange phenomenon. We often ask ourselves, and we are dealing here with something that must be considered quite objectively, why such senseless abuse has been practiced in the Western countries. This also comes out of the instinct tending toward these capacities. For what constitutes the profoundest impelling forces in Western occultism is fostered by nothing more powerfully than by the development of feelings that are untrue but are sensed as in some way holy, and that can represent the people of the East and especially those of the Central countries as barbarians. The potentialities of material occultism, for example, are fostered by the attitude of mind constituting the so-called crusading temperament in America. This consists in the feeling that America is called to spread over the whole earth freedom and justice and I know not what other beautiful things. Of course, the people there believe that. What I am saying here has nothing to do with fault finding. The people believe that they are engaged in a crusade, but this belief in something false constitutes a support working in a certain direction. If a person should consciously make an untrue statement, he would not have this support. For this reason, what is now happening is tremendously helpful on the one side and a hindrance on the other in the development of those capacities that we must assert to be still latent at the present time in the case of most individuals who bear within themselves the will toward evolution in the future and are destined to influence profoundly the social structure of humanity.

Just think how everything that is happening at the present time is rendered luminous and transparent with understanding and insight when you fix your attention upon those backgrounds, and realize clearly that the subconscious instincts dealt with in our reflections lie back of everything that is constantly uttered today in a conscious way.

The most important fact in this connection, however, is that it is precisely the English-speaking peoples who, by reason of quite special evolutionary processes, possess occult centers where these things are known.

It is also known what capacities they will possess in future as members of the English-speaking population, and what capacities they will lack. They know how they must arrange the social structure in order that they may be able to subject to their purposes what is deficient in them.

It is the instincts that work in the direction of such things, and these instincts have already exerted their influence. They have exerted an enormous influence, a highly significant influence.

One especially useful means that can be set in motion by Western occultism when things are to be directed into the wrong channels consists in so influencing the East that it shall continue to hold fast in future to its ancient inclination toward the development of religion alone without science. The leaders of Western secret circles will take pains to see that nothing shall exist in their own regions constituting mere religion or mere science, but that there shall be a synthesis of both, the reciprocal influence of knowledge and faith. They will also take pains to see that this science shall work only in secret, that it shall permeate, for example, only the more important affairs of humanity and the political guidance of the world through the achievement of world dominion by the British. Contrariwise, if the East refrains as completely as possible from permeating religious conceptions with science, this will be enormously helpful in the spread of this world dominion.

Now just consider how everything Russian favors precisely this Western effort. The aspiration to be pious still continues in Russia, but not an aspiration to permeate the content of this piety with a science of the spirit. The aspiration remains in a certain way within an unclear mysticism, which would constitute an excellent means for supporting the dominion over the East that is willed by the West.

From another point of view, what is undertaken is to render science, which belongs to the earth, as theistic as possible. Just here the future of the English-speaking peoples has been most fruitful in recent times. They have achieved something tremendous by spreading throughout the world, in a fundamental sense, their scientific trend, that is, science void of religion, atheistic science. This has become the ruling power over the whole earth. Goetheanism, which is the opposite of this, quite consciously its opposite, could not develop even in the country of Goethe himself. It is an almost unknown affair in Goethe's own land! The dominating intellect in science today is kept completely harmonious with what is intended to become publicly manifest as the external expression of that science practiced by those circles in secret. They are, however, practiced there as a synthesis between science and religion. Thus there is atheistic science for the external world, but for the inner circles that are to guide the course of world events there is a science that also constitutes religion, and a religion constituting science.

The East can be kept in hand best of all if a religion without science can be maintained there. The Central countries can be kept in hand best if there can be grafted upon them a science void of religion, since religion cannot be grafted upon them. These things are aided in full consciousness by those who constitute the knowing ones within the circles we have mentioned, and instinctively by the others. Since the ruling powers of the Central countries, surviving from ancient times, have been swept away, there is nothing at present in the Central countries that can be put in their place. This makes it extraordinarily difficult, too, to form a correct judgment of the whole state of things at present in its world-historical setting. The whole world has been occupied with the question of guilt and of causes in connection with this war catastrophe. But all things will be illuminated only when we consider them against the background of the effective forces that do not come to manifestation in the external phenomena. Precisely for the reasons that have been set forth today, it is not possible to form opinions in regard to these things according to the categories, the thought categories, within which judgments are generally formed when the question of guilt or innocence is raised.

I am fully aware that at the present time, when Wilson has actually been called the Pope of the twentieth century, not in a disparaging but in an approving sense on the ground that he is justifiably the lay Pope of the twentieth century—I am well aware that even in the Central countries a confused judgment will gradually develop in regard to the course of this “war,” as it is called, for the reason that the correct statements of the questions are overlooked. Every document will confirm what I am saying, but they must be viewed in the light of what underlies them. It is most of all necessary to be able to form a judgment, which cannot be reached in this case by anyone except the person who can throw some light upon these things from beyond the threshold. I fear that the events now occurring day by day, we might say, will cause increasingly false methods of judgment to become prevalent, that an increasingly small number of persons will be inclined to deal with the questions in such a way as to produce fruitful results. I suppose that people will have curious ideas when they are informed now, for example, by the press—this might or might not be true—that the abdicated German Kaiser says, “I was really not even present when the war began; I was really not present at all. This was done by Bethman and Jagow! They did this.” (You have probably read this in the most recent papers.)

It is, naturally, unheard of that such a statement has been made by this mouth, obviously unheard of! But secretly influenced judgments, which are pushed into false ways by such things, are present everywhere. You see, what it-is necessary to bear in mind in this connection is that we must really give thorough consideration to the facts in order to be able to state the right questions. If we realize this, we shall then see that we should not view so superficially as is generally done the profound, tragic necessity lying at the bottom of this catastrophe. Even the superficial events must not be viewed superficially.

I will call your attention to an instance and you will see immediately why I select such an individual detail. Some time ago I undertook to make it clear to you that many sequences of events, sequences of facts, took place in Germany that beyond doubt might really have led to the war but were then broken off and did not lead to the war, whereas what actually led to the war did not have any real connection with these other things. I will not repeat today what I have already said to you in this connection. I should like, however, to have you consider one thing in order that you may see how in the course of world history, things that serve as external symptoms coincide, we might say, whereas the great affairs of which I have spoken to you today are behind these.

The question might be raised whether the whole war catastrophe, as it has come about since July or August 1914, might under certain circumstances have taken a different course. I shall not enter at present into the question whether or not this catastrophe as such could have been avoided—we shall have to turn to another page for that—but I will raise the question whether this catastrophe might have taken a different course.

Now, it might have taken a different course. This is entirely conceivable although there is nothing more than a methodological value in such statements after the event. It is entirely conceivable, both on the basis of the events and also on the basis of the occult backgrounds, that the whole catastrophe might have taken a different course. We have to form judgments according to a series of strata. What I am saying is valid only as regards a certain stratum of the facts. Within this stratum of the facts, something like the following might be arrived at in our judgment. We might say that it is conceivable that the war might have begun in 1914 in such a way that the German army would have marched toward the East and there would have been a time of waiting to see whether a beginning of war in the East would have led likewise to war in the West. It is conceivable that the main body of the German army might have been led against Russia and a mere defensive position taken up in the West, and that the Germans would then have waited to see whether or not the French, who were not bound in such a case by any treaty, would have attacked. The French would have had no obligation imposed upon them by a treaty at that moment if there had been no declaration of war in the East but the Germans had simply waited for the Russian armies actually to attack. They would certainly have attacked; there can be no doubt that they would have attacked. I do not deny that a different hypothesis might have been valid five years earlier, pointing in a different direction, but this was no longer possible in 1914. Within this stratum of the facts it is possible to conceive that the war might have taken its main direction toward the East. This might have been possible.

Yet, as things were, it was impossible. In spite of everything, it was still actually impossible for the reason that there was no plan of campaign with reference to the East. The idea had never been conceived that the event, the casus belli, could take place in any other way than that Germany would be provoked into an attack against Russia, and that the condition attaching to the treaty between Russia and France would thus apply to France, so that Germany would have to wage a war on two fronts. Under the influence of the axiom that had taken form in the German system of strategy from the beginning of the twentieth century, every consideration began with the idea that this war on two fronts could not be conducted in any other way than offensively. The only plan of campaign existing was to force France into a separate peace by means of a sudden invasion toward the West through Belgium—this was certainly an illusion, but such illusions existed—and then to hurl the masses of the army toward the East.

Now, I beg you to consider the nature of such a plan of strategy. Every detail for every day is calculated. There is an exact calculation as to how long it is permissible to wait from the day when the Russian general mobilization occurs until the first command is given for German mobilization, which cannot then be delayed but must continue further, because the Russian general mobilization constitutes the first impetus. On the day. thereafter, the second day thereafter, and the third day thereafter, this must take place. If there is a delay for a single day after the Russian general mobilization, the entire plan is thrown into confusion and can no longer be carried out. It is this that I beg you to consider. Such a thing as this therewith took its course, which was actually decisive at a moment when there was absolutely no Central European policy. This is naturally the essential point: there was no Central European policy. For von Bethman still continues today to talk nonsense. People were in despair when Bethman uttered his most unbelievable and impossible statements in the German Reichstag, and he continues still to utter them. There was absolutely no policy, but only strategy, but a strategy developed on the basis of one perfectly definite contingent event. Here it was not possible to change anything. Here nothing could be changed even with respect to the hour.

In other words, I beg you to reflect that it was not necessary according to the external causative circumstances for anyone in Germany to wish for a war; it had to occur in any case. It was not at all necessary to wish for it. I beg you to give attention to this fact. It had to begin for the simple reason that, the moment Russia issued the order for general mobilization, the thought arose in the mind of the German Commander-in-Chief, quite automatically and inevitably, “Now I must mobilize.” From that point on, everything proceeded automatically. This by no means occurred for the reason that it had been willed. It occurred for the reason that it had been prepared years before.

The attack through Belgium against France was to follow quite automatically upon the Russian general mobilization because this was considered the only rational thing to do. The Kaiser could not be told this for the reason, as I have already related to you, that people knew he was so indiscreet that, if this were said to him today, the whole world would know it tomorrow. The fact that the attack was to be through Belgium he learned first at the actual time of mobilization. Such things as this have happened many times. I beg you to give consideration to these things, and you will then say to yourselves that it was certainly not at all necessary for anyone inside Germany to will it. The war had to occur. I say this, however, on the condition that we shall remain within this stratum of facts. You may naturally pass over to a different stratum of the facts, but there you become involved in complicated questions.

The facts are such that something great that becomes a catastrophe for humanity, reminds us of the story of the good Rector Kaltenbrunner that I related to you in connection with Hamerling. Recall how I related this to you. I said to you that, if we let our minds rest upon the poetic personality of Robert Hamerling and understand him, we shall say to ourselves that what is effective in this personality is due in great measure to the fact that he went to Trieste at a certain definite time as a teacher in a German secondary school and that he was able to go from there on vacations to Venice. In other words, that he came to the shore of the Adriatic. The whole inner structure of soul of this Hamerling is due to the fact that he was able to live in Trieste on the Adriatic, as a teacher in a secondary school. This was the only thing he could do according to the preceding course of his development. How did he happen to go there? I told you that while he was a substitute teacher in Graz, he wrote an application for a position that had become vacant in Budapest. Now, just consider this. He sent an application there. If the official had received this and approved it, Hamerling would have spent the whole ten years in Budapest. His entire poetic personality would have been eliminated; it would not have existed. Anyone who knows this personality knows that this is true. How did it come about that he did not go to Budapest, but to Trieste? The good Rector Kaltenbrunner to whom the application had first to be delivered forgot all about the matter and left the application in his desk drawer so long that the position in Budapest was filled. After the position was filled and Hamerling said, “Good Heavens! I should have been so happy to get that position in Budapest!” the good Rector Kaltenbrunner blushed and said, “Bless my soul! I completely forgot your application. It is still lying in my desk drawer.” So Hamerling was saved from going to Budapest. The next time that Hamerling applied for a position in Trieste, the good Rector Kaltenbrunner, in the light of the preceding occurrence, did not forget to pass on the application. Hamerling came to Trieste and thereby became the Hamerling. Now I ask you whether the good Rector Kaltenbrunner gave Hamerling his place in the world as a poet. Yet there is no other primary cause among the external phenomena to explain this except that Hamerling became the real Hamerling through the fact that the good Kaltenbrunner, Rector in Graz in Steiermark, blundered. The simple fact is that it is possible to get under the surface of things only when we practice symptomatology. This guides us to the correct estimate of the external phenomena and to seeing what stands behind the symptoms. This is the really important point. This is what I should like to arrive at more and more.

When we survey the catastrophe of the present time, it is by no means a simple matter to find our way out of all the confusion. Just consider the great difficulty we face. Suppose that Lord Grey should undertake to prove, on the basis of the external documents alone, that he was entirely free of blame in connection with the outbreak of the war. Of course, this is the easiest thing in the world to prove. On the basis of the external documents it is possible to present the most convincing evidence that the British Government was not in any way to blame for the outbreak of this war. But what matters in all cases is the question as to how much weight attaches to this evidence. You can get under the surface of these things only if you state the question as I have stated it here before you for a number of years. “Would it have been possible, for example, for the British Government to prevent the invasion of Belgium?” Then you must say, “Yes, it would have been able to do so.” That is just what I demanded in my Memorandum, that unadorned facts should be presented to the world. These would naturally have brought it about that the gentleman who has now deserted and gone to Holland would even then have been obliged in some way to vanish. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that my Memorandum has received so little favorable response even in the case of those who could have formed a judgment of it. But I demanded that the events should be narrated from minute to minute—unadorned, without any coloring—the events that occurred at the same time in Berlin and in London between 4:30 Saturday afternoon—Saturday afternoon, you know, mobilization was ordered in Berlin at about 4:30, between 4:30 on Saturday afternoon and 10:30 that night. These decisive events, into which nothing enters of all those things about which the world has talked, afford the proof if they are simply narrated, that it would have been possible for the British Government to prevent the invasion of Belgium. It was not prevented. For that reason at 10:30 Saturday night, the only command to which His Majesty had aroused himself, contrary to the will of German strategy, this only command, that the army should be halted, that it should not be made to march toward the West but should be made to take a defensive position in the West—this sole order was countermanded at about 10:30 Saturday night, and the old strategy was adhered to. But the events must, then, be truly related from minute to minute, the facts merely narrated, which occurred between Saturday afternoon at 4:30 and Saturday night at approximately 10:30. From this there will then naturally result an entirely different picture. Most important of all it will lead to the correct formulation of questions.

It is to be feared that the public in all parts of the world will permit itself to be influenced by what is discovered in the archives, but the particular decisive facts that occurred between 4:30 on Saturday afternoon and 10:30 Saturday night, will probably never find their way out of the archives to the world. They have apparently never even been written down; that is, they have actually been written down but in such a way that the writings will never be found in the archives.

You see it is discretion in forming judgments that must also be attained. If this discretion in forming judgments can be gained it will be a great help toward the development of those latent capacities of which I have spoken to you today, which must develop in the future of humanity, differentiated in a threefold way in the various parts of the world. You will then discover that what I described to you a week ago as the only justifiable solution of the social problem so far as we can speak today in the sense indicated of such a solution, was by no means developed from mere intellectual ideas as an abstract program.