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The Michael Revelation
GA 194

7 December 1919, Dornach

My dear friends,

I must again in my introduction burden you with a small piece of news, and, since this is perhaps the last of our lectures before my departure, (although my absence will not be very long this time) I have to make this rather distasteful announcement. It is one of the results of those numerous attacks which are now occurring and is distinguished from the others which I have already imparted to you, by being perhaps of an even more vulgar nature than the others. In a publication which I believe comes from not very far away, and calls itself The Suisse-Beizique Outremer, there appears an article concerning the kernel of the social question, and begins with the words:

“What an abyss there is, when we pass from an Emile Waxweiler 1Emile Waxweiler (1867–1916) was a Belgian engineer and sociologist. to a Rudolf Steiner! The first seems, at first obscure in his terminology, but his thought is of great clearness. The other develops his thoughts at a length which may perhaps prove clear to his intimate disciples but his thoughts seem to us eminently obscure. The German writer is a theosophist. It is said that he was the intimate councillor, confidant and inspirer of Wilhelm II. Out of deference we will not repeat the expression used by the ‘Rasputin’ of Wilhelm II, an expression which we have heard quoted of him.”

Now, my dear friends, first the logic, which in this case pretends to morality. Now as I have had in recent times to say many things about morality, this quotation does not fit in badly. First as to the logic which is a piece of morality. A man spreads a very vulgar rumour and says at the same time that he will not contribute to this spreading. He says he will not assert something and yet asserts it! That is the logic of many persons of the present day!

Now I should just like to bring the facts before you. Our friends will remember that, in the course of the decades since the 80’s of the previous century — of course there are some here whose memories do not extend to all these decades, but that does not matter. Some of those sitting here know that I have held many lectures, and you will know that all through that time, my only relationship to Wilhelm II was to ignore him altogether. Anything else would have been impossible. In face of the attitude which indeed not only existed in what was formerly Germany or in other countries, as far as I was concerned, it is obvious that here in this land, the subject was entirely avoided. I may just say here, because I have thought about the matter since yesterday evening, when I got the article. I have considered what my relations to this Wilhelm II really are. I have seen him once when I sat in the second row of a Berlin Theatre and he sat in one of the boxes. I was as far away from him as I am here from those sitting in the last rows. Another time I was walking down Friedrich Strasse and he was riding with his generals, with the Staff-Marshall. And then I saw him once again walking in a procession, behind the coffin of the Grand-Duchess Sophie of Saxe-Weimar. I have never spoken a single word to him, and have never been in his presence.

That is the truth, my dear friends; but today the possibility exists that the truth is not only distorted by card-players at their beer-parties and by gossips at tea-parties. That indeed has been done for a long time, but it is now done by journalists, whose papers are read today without anyone bothering as to their attitude concerning the truth. So we must put forward the question: What chance in the face of such baseless corruption, has a spiritual movement which indeed finds it necessary to say, “Wisdom lies only in the truth”, and this not from any external bragging, but feeling it as the innermost nerve of its existence. In the course of our observations of the last few weeks, my dear friends, we had again and again to point out that, if what I here call spiritual science is really to press forward into the world, it is absolutely necessary that there should be a basis of honourable, upright truthfulness, as regards what it has to say to the world. I have often drawn attention to this — that it is necessary for anyone implicated in such a spiritual scientific movement, to see that even in his most insignificant words and in the most insignificant impartations of everyday facts there prevails an absolute, literal truth. Because the present inexactitude as regards the truth in everyday life, has an inner force of growth. It grows and has a vitality of its own, and it extends to these things which can really no longer be characterised, because they transcend all measure of what is common to man, for in those human beings who in such a way multiply their culminations on paper by means of the art of printing, there is that which makes our civilisation corrupt. It is indeed true that as long as the conflict is not taken up in an earnest and upright way against everything which comes from such holes and corners, humanity will simply involve itself more deeply into those things which can be so clearly perceived today.

My dear friends, we must behold in such symptoms, what is now happening in the world; therefore it is here necessary that in small things as well as in great, all that opposes a sense of truth must be fought again and again. Anyone who has the smallest idea of what is really connected today with the personality of Rasputin, knows from what baseless, vulgar quarter such calumny comes. You see, my dear friends, it is not merely from the clerical side that the attacks become more and more numerous; but also from the side of the laity, many things threaten the spiritual scientific impulse which seeks to make itself felt in civilisation. I should really like to find words that have more power than mine have had hitherto, for this reveals itself at every turn. I really want words which have more carrying-powers than mine have had hitherto, in order to fight that which opposes the spreading today of truth in the world. One would like to find more force, because unfortunately the souls of most men today are really asleep concerning what is here meant by truth, and they forget the infinite earnestness behind these matters as soon as it has been placed before them.

I want to say the following to you today, as the principal thing. I want you to try, during the next few weeks in which I shall not be able to hold lectures here, to meditate on the feeling for truth, on the attitude towards truth, on the carrying-power, momentous sense of truth, and upon the dreadfully corruptive influence of the tendency to untruth which permeates the world so intensely today. Believe me, human thoughts are real powers; and untruths, even if they prevail in tiny things, are deathly for what must be designated as the spirit furthering earthly development. In the long run one cannot help in spreading what is most to further the earth, if one has again and again, to encounter pure untruth. So I had again to say this as introduction, in order that you might be clear that this might result even perhaps in esotericism having gradually to abandon what is passing among our ranks as a spiritual scientific movement. Do not think that these words are without importance. It is necessary that each should take council earnestly with himself, and should meditate on his own attitude to the question of the carrying power of truth, as seen in small things in everyday communications — and to untruth, which may appear as a corrupt, immoral, illogical statement, as in this article. These things differ only in quantity; in quality they are fundamentally the same.

You see, what I have said in these weeks culminates in the fact that we are facing the breaking-in of a spiritual world into our present world, which is the result of that cultural development which began about the middle of the 15th century. About that time everything became different in the civilised world. That which men before that time, had brought into their consciousness, dealt more with the inner being of man’s organism. You can find in old writings, in so far as they are to be had today, expressions which are very similar to our physical, chemical expressions, as I mentioned in the last lecture. But modern chemists and physicists will not really understand the things written in such books, for the simple reason that they believe that these terms refer to external processes. These external processes are not therein described, but inner processes of man’s physical or other bodies only. Only since the time of Galileo or Giordano Bruno has man begin to turn his attention more to the external world, and today we are so far advanced that we have a natural science, which has already influenced popular thinking, and even now popular feeling. We have a natural science which speaks of man, things in the mineral, plant and animal kingdoms, but can in no way give explanations of the being of man himself; not even as regards his physical, bodily nature. Today man must already put this question: “How am I, as a human being, related to what is in the external kingdoms around me, to that which surrounds me in the animal, plant, mineral, in the external physical human kingdom, in the kingdom of air and water, fire, of clouds, sun, moon and stars, how am I, as man related to all that?” Now we cannot rationally answer this, unless we recapitulate some things which we have had to observe concerning man. When we consider man as he stands before us, as a being of sense and intellect we can say: “We perceive through our eyes, through our ears, through the other sense organs which, although scattered over the rest of the body, are really Head-organs; through these senses we perceive the external world. We then elaborate our perceptions of the external world through those ideas and concepts which are united with our brain as an instrument. We retain something of what we thus experience through our senses, and this is necessary to us, to our inner integrity as human beings; we retain something of what we have conceived through our so-called reasoning intelligence, we keep back our Memory-concept.”

That, my dear friends, is in short, what we have taken out of the external world; something which was brought about in us by the external world through our senses; that which we have made out of this external reception through our intelligence we retain as our Memory-concept. What then are we, with reference to the way we as human beings face the world in the manner described?

Let us start from the simple phenomenon connected with the susceptibility of our senses, which I have already pointed out a few days ago. First of all you look at a flame, then shut your eyes, and you have an after image of the flame. This after image of the flame which you carry in your eye, disappears gradually. Goethe, who always utters these things imaginatively, says that the after-image re-echoes. It re-instates the original constitution of the eye and the nerves bound up therewith, after they have been changed through the light-impression which has fallen on the eye. What transpires in this way in your sense-organs is only a simplified form of what transpires in your memory when you receive external impressions in general, when you think them over and they remain in you as Memory-concepts. The difference is only this: If you see an impression with your eyes, let us say a flame — then you have an idea, a concept of the flame, and that resounds in you, but does not last very long. But now, if you take up something with the whole man, and think it over, you can always recall it later; and this greater after-image, this memory, lasts much longer; under certain conditions it lasts throughout your whole life. Now what is the cause of that? You see, if you keep that simple after-image which you have in the eye, and which only lasts perhaps a couple of minutes or perhaps even for only part of a minute, and then sinks down into nothingness, that is only because it does not travel through your entire organism, but simply remains in one part of it. That which becomes a memory-concept, goes through a far greater part — I will tell you in a minute what part — of your total organism; it then comes into contact with your etheric body, and passes through the etheric body into the surrounding cosmic ether. When a picture not only remains as a sense image, in a single organ, but goes through a great part of your entire organism, when it inserts itself into the etheric body, going outwards into the cosmic ether, you can retain it as a memory for the entire life. It is only a question of whether the impression goes deep enough, and grasps the etheric body, which does not retain it, but carries it out into the cosmic ether, inscribes it there, engraves it therein. Do not think that when you remember a thing that this is merely a process in your inner being. When you experience something, you cannot simply write it, as it were, in your notebook, although many people do this with their experiences today, and then simply take the notebook and read them off. But that which you remember, that you inscribe in the cosmic ether; and it is the cosmic ether which evokes it again in you, like the impression of a seal on sealing-wax, when you ought to remember it. Recollection is no mere personal affair, my dear friends, it implies an understanding with the cosmos. You cannot be alone when, as an inwardly collected man, you seek to recall your experiences; for remembering or failing to remember one’s experiences creates a disturbance in the being of man.

I have often given you the following example, just think what it signifies. A man whom I knew very well and who held an important position, suddenly got the impulse to go to a railway station without any reason, and buy a ticket to distant places unknown to him, in which he had nothing whatever to do. He did all this in quite a different condition of consciousness. During that time he knew nothing of what he really was, and only came back to himself when he was in Berlin, in a workhouse. The whole intermediate time was blotted out of his consciousness, from the moment he got into the train in Darmstadt, till he found himself in Berlin. It was afterwards discovered, from the accounts of different people, that he had been in Budapest and Lemberg; and from Lemberg had travelled to Berlin, where he came back to consciousness in a workhouse. Remember his mind was in perfect order, nothing was wrong there; he knew perfectly well during the time from his start in Darmstadt to his reception in Berlin, all that has to be done, to buy railway tickets, and how to look after himself in the intervening time, and so on. But, all the time he did these things, he had no recollection of his former life; and afterwards he had no memory of his experience after leaving Darmstadt; and no recollection of the whole journey. What happened during that time could only be ascertained by outside information.

That is one instance; I could give you many such. This is merely to draw your attention to what our life would be if there were not a continuous stream of memory going through all your experiences. Just think, if there were any time, (excluding that spent in sleep which you naturally do not remember) when you as human beings would have to think of your ego as if no memory were there. That which belongs to our sense-receptivity, to our intellect, is our own personal affair; but as soon as a thing becomes memory, it is something which, although a man experiences it in his soul-life, it is also an affair of the universe, it is an arrangement with the cosmos.

Now, present day man does not know, as intensely as he should, what I have just explained as a fact; but it will have to be one of the constituent parts of the future education of man; not to regard as a personal matter thoughts which in the etheric man lead to memory, but as something for which he is responsible to the whole cosmos.

My dear friends, when I began this series of lectures (GA 194), I told you there was once a time, to which we can go back is history when, as for instance with the Greeks, there was a land-consciousness, which did not go very far. This consciousness was then transformed into an Earth-consciousness in modern times; but in the future there must enter into humanity a cosmic and universal consciousness, where man must again realise himself as a citizen of the entire cosmos, as was the case in pre-historic times. The way to this cosmic consciousness, will be to feel quite clearly and distinctly within one, the personal responsibility for the thought which can lead to recollection, to memory. What I have described to you so far belongs, as I have told you to a great part of man’s organism, but not actually to the entire man. Now in order to characterise to you what is here the case, I must indicate it in diagram [see below].

The human organism
Plate 13

Suppose this to be the region of the senses [white], in which I include all the senses; this is also the region of the intellect. We should then come to that part of the human organism [red] which reflects — throws back the thoughts we cherish [red arrows], so that they can become memories; that part of man which contacts the objectivity of the cosmos. I have already indicated to you the parts of the human body in which man comes thus into contact with the cosmos. For instance if you follow a nerve which starts from any part of the body and goes to the spinal cord — I will draw this diagrammatically — you will find that for each such nerve there is another also (or approximately so), which again comes back, and leads somewhere else. I have often told you that the idea of there being sensory and motor nerves is nonsense.

corresponding nerves

But the important thing is this: — that, in reality, the course of each nerve springs from the circumference, and goes back to it again. But that nerve-path is somewhere broken, just like an electric wire when a spark bridges the gap. There is a kind of springing-over, a sensitive fluid from the so-called sensory nerve to the so-called motor-nerve. Now there are many such places in our spine, for instance, and other parts of the human body; and they are the places in space where man does not simply belong to himself, but belongs to the cosmos. If you connect all those places together, taking the ganglia of the sympathetic nerve-system as well, you reach the boundary. You can say that if, as it were, you divide man into halves — (this is more than the half, but let us suppose it to be) — you can halve man and observe him as a great sense-organ; regarding the taking in through the senses as a sense-receptivity, and the working-over through the intellect as a further, finer sense-activity. Further, you may consider the arising of Memory-Pictures as after-images which, however, remain permanently during the life between birth and death because memory is created by contact with the cosmic ether. Our own ether comes in contact with the cosmic ether and so there occurs transactions between us and the cosmic ether. (That is the one half of man).

The other half of man, is that which, in a sense, has the limbs as its end-organs; everything which comprises the limb-system. And as the one half ends in the sphere of the senses [plate 13, white], so the other half ends in the limbs, to which of course the feet, hands, and arms are attached. This is naturally a very rough sketch.

Now, just as I have drawn as belonging to the senses, everything which is of the nature of intelligence, so I have now to add the inner aspect of the limb-system, and that is of the nature of Will. This Will-nature is the other pole of man’s being [orange]; and between those two lie the inner boundaries which you get if you unite all the nerve-endings, and all the ganglia as I have described. Now you go somewhat beyond this boundary on the one side, regarding it as a sieve through the holes of which on the one side presses the Will, on the other the intelligence [yellow], then in the middle you get the sphere of feeling; because everything which belongs to feeling is, in reality, half Will and half intelligence. The Will wells up from below, the intelligence descends from above, and the result is feeling. In feeling there is always existing dreamily, on the one side intelligence and sleeping on the other side Will.

After we have prepared ourselves in this way, when we have seen on the one side the pole of intelligence and on the other the pole of Will, after we have seen that the physical organs above are the expression of intelligence, we can now ask: “With what in the external world does that which is now man agree?” We have learnt to know two poles, two aspects of the human being — what is there in the external world with which that harmonises; which is there in man? The answer is — nothing, nothing at all in reality. We have in the outer world a mineral, plant and animal kingdom. With none of these kingdoms does that which we find in man inwardly, and which also pertains to the body harmonise.

Now, my dear friends, you will be able here to raise a mighty objection, which is naturally very pertinent to the matter, you will say: We must consist of the same substance as this external world, for we eat these substances and thus unite ourselves with the substances of the mineral kingdom, while we salt our food, and take to ourselves other substances, in eating plants. There are also meat eaters, as you know; and they unite themselves with the substances of animals, and so on. You see, my dear friends, the belief that we really have something to do with the substances of the external world in our own body, is a terrible error. That which our body, our corporeality really does is this. It has continually to arm itself against those influences from the outer world, even against those which come through the food we eat. Of course it is terribly difficult to make this fact comprehensible to our fellowmen, for the important part of our body does not lie in our consuming nourishing foods, but in excreting them. Many things we excrete quickly, but others only in the course of seven, eight years. But nothing of what you have eaten today will be within you in eight years time. By that time everything will have been transmuted; the activity of your body consists in throwing off and not in taking in.

The fact that you have to take in food has in reality no more significance for your body, than the ground for your walking; if you had no ground under your feet you could not walk, but you, as human beings have nothing to do with the ground; it is only there to support you. Your bodily activity must encounter resistance, it must constantly push against something, and so you must continually eat, so that your bodily activity should meet resistance. Just as we would sink into the soil if the ground did not support us, so would the body’s activity sink into nothingness unless it were met by that basis which is prepared and which permeates the whole body. You do not eat in order to unite yourself with the food, but in order to be able to mediate that activity which is necessary in the excretion of the food. For our human life consists in this activity, of excreting the nourishment; and just as little as you may reckon the soil as belonging to the sole of your foot, so little should you reckon as belonging to your human nature what exists in your food, in so far as it exists in the external world — that is, if you want to think the truth. Man in his entirety is nothing but a reaction against his environment, because fundamentally he is activity through and through.

Of course, what I have now explained takes place in an altogether different way for the organs of the Senses and the Intellect, to what it does for the organs of the Will-sphere. To this extent man is a polaric being; but what exists in the outer world has not much to do with what transpires in these two poles of man’s polaric being.

We have in the outer world the plant and mineral kingdoms. Well, this mineral and plant kingdom is not in strong relationship with our own being. If we want to investigate with what this Mineral and Plant kingdom is allied, we must look into that world which we pass through before birth, before conception; that spiritual world through which we descend into the physical. If we let our gaze roam over the Plants and Minerals, we must really say: “Before my birth I was in the spiritual world. I cannot see this spiritual world through my senses; I cannot think it through my physical intellect; but this spiritual world which conceals itself from me through a kind of veil as long as I am a sense-being, reveals itself externally to me in the Plant-world and in the basis of the latter, the mineral world.” That Mineral and Plant world have far more to do with our life in the spiritual world than with our life between birth and death. Of course, not those Plants we see in our environment through our senses, which reveal themselves to us; they are the effects of those forces with which we are connected between death and rebirth. The Animal world, too, has not much to do with what we are as human beings, but has more to do with the time immediately following death, of which it manifests as external polar-opposite.

So we can say: We do not know what exists in man if we only learn the environment of man in natural science. That Science which our present-day possesses, and which it especially values, is a Science which contains nothing of man’s nature in reality. You may thoroughly know everything which is investigated according to scientific methods, yet thereby learn nothing about the being of man, because in natural science today there is contained nothing of the being of man.

Since the last four centuries popular ideas have sprung up from the popularising of the methods of natural science. Even the peasant on the land thinks along the lines of natural science, although he may clothe his thoughts in his own words. Catholicism with its dogmatic materialism today thinks in the sense of natural science; natural scientific thought dominates everything. But we have now reached the point when it has become necessary to build up the social order. Over a great part of the civilised world today — which part will grow gradually until finally it embraces the whole world — there forces its way up the desire for the construction of a new social order. Men think of a new social reconstruction.

Where do the social demands that live today in civilised humanity spring from? From the absolutely subconscious impulses of human nature. What is there to satisfy them? The results of Natural scientific thought! Today in the widest circles, this is called “social thinking”, because these results are applied to the social life of man.

So it has come about that in the East of Europe, from the result of a purely scientific materialistic thinking, a new social order is to be erected by the state. Those men whom Dr. Helphand, who calls himself Parvus,2Alexander Helphand (1867-1924), who called himself Parvus-Helphand, was a Russian socialist and Marxist theoretician, publicist, and controversial activist in the Social Democratic Party of Germany. After World War I he played an important part in the Bolshevik revolution and in bringing about the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (1918). has — following the instructions of Ludendorf and Hindenburg 3Erich Friedrich Wilhelm Ludendorff (1865-1937) was a German general, politician and military theorist. Paul von Hindenburg (1847-1934) was a German field marshal and statesman who led the Imperial German Army during World War I. He later became President of Germany from 1925 until his death. — imported into Russia, so that they could form Bolshevism there, are the incarnation of these scientific methods. We may even say that the practical proof of what these natural scientific methods will become if put into the heads of certain social revolutionaries through the services of Helphand — for it was he who conducted that sealed wagon through Germany, under the protection of Ludendorf and Hindenburg to take these men to Bolshevism in Russia — is the incarnated method of natural science which is at home today in Russia.

My dear friends, one should not overlook the scope of these methods, I have already pointed out certain facts. There are two philosophers – very common, ordinary philosophers. The one, Avenarius,4Richard Avenarius (1843-1896) was a German-Swiss philosopher. He formulated the radical positivist doctrine of ‘empirical criticism’. taught at the University of Zurich, a man who certainly developed an extraordinarily narrow-minded thought. The other is Ernest Mach 5Ernst Mach (1838 -1916) was an Austrian physicist and philosopher, who contributed to the physics of shock waves. As a philosopher of science, he was a major influence on logical positivism and American pragmatism. who taught in Prague and Vienna. I myself heard him lecture at Vienna in 1882 in the Academy of Science. He always appeared to me as the very incarnation of narrow-mindedness and rectitude. If you ask today concerning the “state philosophy” of Bolshevism, it is not an accident but an inner necessity that it should be that of Avenarius and Mach, for these things belong together; the most extreme consequences of Natural scientific methods transformed into social thinking. Therefore one must take the matter earnestly. The scientific thought first blossomed as a social flower in the East, and it will blossom further, unless the root of the matter is attacked, in the scientific materialistic life itself.

The question is this, my dear friends. A certain wave of Thinking and feeling goes through the world; this wave is stimulated by the social scientific materialistic Thinking. While this wave spreads today, it lays hold of the necessary social thinking, but there it becomes a destructive power for humanity, an absolutely destructive force in humanity. The guiding, leading circles have not had the force and power to push into human thinking a real productive spiritual wave; and therefore the materialistic wave has arisen in the social thinking of the great masses of the proletariat. And Marxism which has expressed itself so grotesquely in the last four to five years, is the social blossom and fruit of a materialistic, scientific method in social Thought. We must not fail to recognise that this is the configuration of the present civilised world, otherwise we shall sleep through the most important phenomena and symptoms of life. One is not a full human being at the present time, if one sleeps through this phenomenon.

Certain humans beings, here and there, transcend the general judgment; they already feel today to a certain extent that, if we go Thinking and feeling as we have done we cannot progress, but shall only come more and more into Chaos. Therefore cries of the following kind though they are indeed rare today, do exist. Permit me to read to you one of these appeals.

In the 31st number of the socialistic weekly paper: The New Earth in Vienna there appears an interesting article under the title Crisis in World Views by Karl Polanyi.6Karl Paul Polanyi (1886-1964), was an Austro-Hungarian economic anthropologist, economic sociologist, and politician, best known for his book The Great Transformation, which questions the conceptual validity of self-regulating markets. Therein it is said that a general opposition has arisen against the capitalist economic order, together with a deviation from Marxian socialism. There still prevails today an amalgamation of socialism, and Marxism which is the vexation of all modern thinking, each step in the intellectual solution of the most burning social problems of the times is shipwrecked in the swamp of this spiritual decay. The outbreak of the World-War was the turning point for all capitalistic and therewith Marxian thought.

“The leaders of men felt clearly and the masses felt dimly, that no longer do the so-called life-interests dominate the world, but forces of quite a different kind. The general economic interests, which the imperialists followed and against which the socialists fought wind-mill battles, really showed themselves not merely as unreal, and abstract and even to empty phraseology, but also as mere economic superstition, and empty brain-spinning. It appeared clearly that it was not the actual situation itself, but the mere idea of the situation which is the real power — no matter how false an idea is — it is that and not the situation which dominates the masses. Even the concepts of material interests, however concrete and real, will only become historically effective, when raised into a belief, when the sacrifices made are not counted, and in all the irrational things done in its name the personal value alone serves as a standard for reward and justification. Our time of incredible paradoxes believes in egoism. This is to longer denied, nor whitewashed in an idealistic way. On the contrary, humanity is entering on its death in the holy name of economic life interests, which it surrounds with a halo of glory, and of a sacred egoism which it has elevated to Heaven itself. The material is elevated to the rank of the sole ideal, and therewith the materialistic world has ended its course. The capitalists have already called this idealism of the material — as the sole reality and essential — the fatherland; and the Marxists have openly called it: Socialism!”

“Utilitarian ethics, materialistic understanding of history, positivistic theory of knowledge, deterministic philosophy, in our modern atmosphere are no longer capable of life. And Marxism, as a view of life, is built upon these pillars; but its time is past!”

This is, you see, the cry of a soul, who can only see the negative side, of what is leading our time into chaos. And now comes the question, the terrible fateful question: “What is to appear in its place?” That question is put but the author quoted, and he goes on to say: “The answer to this question is not clear as regards the fate of Marxism. To upright spirits striving towards clearness, this is a disorganised Thinking. If the Sun is extinguished, one would rather find oneself in darkness than regard a will-of-the-wisp as the Sun.

“Now what is darkening the Sun for our race is a new Sun, a more radiant Sun, rising on the horizon. Freed from the nightmare of the theory of evolution, in the treadmill of which we were condemned to eternal compulsory labour, without rest or home, to pass our senseless existence in the hallucination of a distorted apprehension of history which sees in world-events not even the echo of a town-crier grown out of the idea of a clown-like determination which regards our free-will as the chance-play of force, working behind the scenes; until finally reborn from the belief in a dead mass to a belief in ourselves, we will at last find the force in ourselves to found a socialism according to ‘Justice, Freedom and Love’, and to make this a reality for mankind”.

Indeed, my dear friends, a yearning soul who realises:”We are steering towards chaos”, who even puts that fateful question: “What is to appear in its place?” and who then continues with the answer by dishing up the old phrases Justice, Freedom, Love that have become word-husks. Long enough indeed have these been preached; but the concrete path is not contained in these phrases.

“The Marxian socialism merely darkens that question of fate before which humanity stands today. It binds down the free forces of a radical solution, holds thought in the half-darkness of an out-lived world of Dogma, confuses one’s actions with dim prophecies, obscure authorities and mystic symbols. It takes away from man his free outlook.”

Agreed, “It does take away from man his free outlook,” but this is not made free through phrases. The author proceeds:

“The Church has outlived its calling by a thousand years. Marxism might outlive us, but the new spirit which is to be born to humanity out of the sorrows of this World-War, will outlive Marxism”.

“But where is this new spirit?” asks the author, who, it seems has a feeling for the nullity of our time, for that which leads to chaos. Only one of our friends, one of those who has been in our world-view for years, adds to what I have just read, a few lines. What I have just read to you comes from one who sees something new must come, but concludes by remaining with the old phrases. But our friend adds: “Herewith we see a view of the world which perceives that Marxism, as it appears today in its most logical form as Bolshevism, belongs to an old Thinking. It is only the reflection of the old Capitalistic world; it suffers just as much in its spiritual life. If it is an opponent to the latter in economic life, yet in its spiritual basis it is one with it. But in its place and in place of the modern natural scientific view, there must appear a new concept of the world, which proceeds from an Anthroposophical view of a Philosophy of Freedom.”

These are, of course, a few lines which a friend of our movement has added but it is clear to one who looks with the affairs of modern man that because things are as they are, this Anthroposophical spiritual science will seek its way, and unless one admits that the process of the disease which is going though our present life can only be healed by anthroposophical spiritual investigation, nothing can come out of the chaos. In all humility we must therefore say:”If only a few persons could be found who, to the question: What must appear in its place?” would give the answer Dr. Kolisko gave in Vienna to this Karl Polany. As long as people believe the health of our movement is to be sought in any sectarianism, they will never realise the meaning of our movement. They must first see we have to do with something which concerns the World, a cosmic affair, then they will understand the sense of our movement. Only he can be a real bearer of this World-View, who in this way not only realises its meaning but can make it the innermost impulse of his own will.

I do not want to adorn with many words what I have said in these lectures. We have not long to wait before we can continue similar discussions, but I must just say that it would satisfy a deep need of my heart, if only many of you would take those words which I said at the beginning of this lecture, in which I wanted to indicate one of the most important things of our present world-position, and during the next few weeks would lay them to heart.

We have spoken of many of the evil influences coming from the elementary world at the present time. You know that an old true perception which we can only understand aright through anthroposophy, says that at the end of the ordinary year, when Christmas time draws near, these days come in which the spiritual influences which work on man within the earthly sphere are most intense in their working. Let us seek, just at this time — a time which for centuries was so important and essential to human beings, but which in our age is only a time for bestowing suitable gifts — let us seek something corresponding to the old psychic custom. Let us seek refuge in those good spiritual powers, who still seek to gain influence on our human destiny, but can only do so if we allow the full earnestness to work in our souls, which consists of the relationship of the spiritual world with the world of man.