The last time I was able to speak to at least a few of you, the first Goetheanum in Dornach was still in existence. It was a great pleasure for me then to address a number of friends from France and this pleasure is repeated now, when I have been invited to speak here too about matters of fundamental interest to Anthroposophy. I thank those friends, especially Mademoiselle Sauerwein, for their kind invitation, and I am also grateful to Dr. Jules Sauerwein who translated the lectures in Dornach so very ably, for undertaking to do this in Paris too.
Certain changes have come about in the Anthroposophical Movement, through the fact that comparatively soon after the misfortune of the fire, we were able to hold the Christmas Meeting which has, I believe, given a new impulse to the Anthroposophical Movement — above all to the content of Anthroposophical activity. The new feature in the Movement is that I myself have been obliged to take over the Presidency, whereas hitherto I merely regarded myself as a teacher. The decision I had to make was a very critical one, even in relation to the spiritual world. It was a venture, because my assumption of the external leadership of the Society might have meant fewer revelations from spiritual Beings — and such revelations are obviously essential to the spread of Anthroposophy.
But to-day I am able to recognise the extremely significant fact that since the Christmas Meeting the impulse which must come down from the spiritual worlds if the Anthroposophical Movement is to make real progress, has grown even stronger. Consequently, since the Christmas Meeting our Movement has become, and will continue to become, more and more esoteric in the true sense of the word. Connected with this, however, it must be realised that very strong hostile powers, demonic powers, are battling against the Movement. It is to be hoped, nevertheless, that the forces behind the alliance we were able to establish at the Christmas Meeting with the good spiritual Powers will be able in future times to quell all those hostile Powers in spiritual realms which make use of human beings on Earth to attain their ends.