Rudolf Steiner Archive 

Calendar of the Soul

Northern Hemisphere
Week 44

In reaching for new sense attractions,
Soul-clarity would fill,
Mindful of spirit-birth attained,
The world's bewildering, sprouting growth
With the creative will of my own thinking.

Southern Hemisphere
Week 18

Can I expand my soul
That it unites itself
With cosmic Word received as seed?
I sense that I must find the strength
To fashion worthily my soul
As fitting raiment for the spirit.

—Translation by Ruth and Hans Pusch

See GA 40 for full calendar and German text.

Foundation Course: Spiritual Discernment, Religious Feeling, Sacramental Action
GA 343

I. The Relationship of Anthroposophy to Religious Life

26 September, 1921, Dornach

My dear friends! I sincerely thank Licentiate Bock for his welcoming words, and I promise you that I want to apply everything in my power to contribute at least partly, towards all you are looking for during your stay here.

Today I would like to discuss some orientation details so that we may understand one another in the right way. It will be our particular task — also during the various hours of discussion we are going to have — to express exactly what lies particularly close to your heart for your future work. I hope that what I have to say to you will be said in the correct way, when during the coming discussion hour your wishes and tasks you ask about, will be heard.

Anthroposophy, my dear friends, must certainly remain on the foundation of which I've often spoken, when I say: Anthroposophy as such can't represent religious education; anthroposophy as such must limit its task as a spiritual science to fructify present culture and civilization and it is not its purpose to represent religious education. Actually, it is quite far from such direct involvement in any way, in the evolutionary process of religious life. Nevertheless, it appears to me to be certainly justified in relation to the tasks you have just set yourselves, that for religious activity something can be extracted out of Anthroposophy. Indirectly it can not only be obtained through Anthroposophy, but it must be extracted, and this must be said; your experience is quite correct that religious life as such needs deepening, which can come out of the source of anthroposophical science.

I presume, my dear friends, that you want to actively position yourself in this religious life and that you have looked for this Anthroposophic course because you have felt that religious activity has lead you increasingly towards a dead end, and that through the religious work today — with our traditions, with the historic development and others, which we will still discuss — elements are missing which actually should be within it. We notice how just today even important personalities are searching for a new foundation for religious activity, because they believe this is needed in order to progress in a certain direction. I would like to indicate it as a start, how even the most conscientious personalities ask themselves how one can reach a certain foundation of religious awareness, and how then these personalities actually search more or less for a kind of — one can also call it something else — a kind of philosophy. I remind you only how a home is sought for a kind of philosophic foundation for religious awareness. Obviously, one has to, through the current awareness, recognise something absolutely necessary and one should not ignore that an extraordinarily amount has been accomplished this way. However, one can't comprehend, with unprejudiced observation, what is strived for, and come face to face with this: such an effort, instead of leading into the religious life, actually leads out of the religious life.

Religious life, you will sense, must be something direct, it must be something elementary, entirely connected to human nature, which lives out of the elementary, most inward foundation of human nature. All philosophic thinking is a reflection and is distanced from this direct, elementary experience. If I might express a personal impression, it would be this: When someone philosophises about the religious life and believes that a philosophical foundation is necessary for a religious life, then it always seems to me to be similar to when one wants to turn to the physiology of nutrition in order to attain nourishment oneself. Isn't it true, one can determine the exact foundations of nutritional science but that means nothing for nutrition itself. Nutritional science elucidates nutrition, but nutrition must surely have a sound foundation, it must grow roots in reality; only then can one philosophise about nutrition. So also, the religious life must have roots in reality. It must come to existence out of reality, only when it is there can one philosophise about it. It is certainly not possible at all to substantiate or justify the religious life with some or other philosophic consideration.

That's the one thing. The other one is something which I can best indicate — I always like referring to realities — through a book which had already came into existed several decades ago in Basle, with the title: The Christian Nature of our Theology Today. It is a book by Overbeck. In it he refers to evidence that the current theology is a kind of theology but that it is actually not Christian any longer. Now, when one takes Harnack's book The Being of Christianity and in its arguments everywhere simply exchanges the word "God" in every instance where he has "Christ," then one will not really change anything in the inner content of Harnack's book. This is already expressed in what Adolf Harnack says, that in the Gospels actually only the proclamation of the Father is needed and not those of Christ Jesus, while naturally during the earlier centuries the Christian development of the Gospels was above all regarded according to the proclamations of Christ Jesus. However, if the Gospels are really considered as the actual proclamations of Christ Jesus, then one has to, beside the Father-experience, that means beside the experience of the world in general being permeated by the Godhead, have the Christ-experience as something extra special. One must be able to have both of these experiences. A theology like Adolf Harnack's no longer has both of these experiences, but only a God-experience, and as a result it is necessary for him that what he finds in his imagination of God, he baptises it with the name of Christ; purely out of a historical foundation, because as he is even a representative of Christianity, he calls his God-experience by the name of Christ.

These incisive, important things exist already. Certainly, they are not made properly clear but they are felt, and I presume that currently, where nearly everything is shaken up in people's minds, a young theology in particular needs to show itself, in how these things can't really be completed, as is seen to some extent today with theologians, without being permeated by the actual being of Christ. Out of this experience such a book as von Overbeck's was created regarding the current Christianity of theology, where basically the answer is given to why modern theology is no longer Christian because it deals with a general philosophising about a world permeated by God, and not in the real sense of the Christ experience creating the foundation for the entire treatment of religious problems. Religious problems are dealt with based only as Father-problems and not actually the Christ experience.

Today we basically all have an education inculcated in us, derived from modern science, this science which actually only started in the middle of the 15th century but which has entered into all forms of modern people's thinking. One basically can't be different because one has been educated this way from the lowest primary classes, by forming thoughts according to modern science. This has resulted in theology of the 19th century wanting to orientate itself according to the research of modern science. I'd like to say they feel themselves responsible for the judge's chair of modern science and as a result have become what they are today. One can only find a basis of true religiosity today by, at the same time, considering the entire authorisation and also the complete meaning of the scientific element of life.

To some of you I have possibly already referred to a man who needs to be taken seriously in relation to religious life, Gideon Spicker, who for a long time studied philosophy at the Münster university. He proceeded from a strict Christian conception of the world, which he gradually developed into his philosophy which was never considered a philosophy but more an instrument for the understanding of religious problems. Modern thinking didn't offer him the possibility to find a sure foundation. So we find in his booklet, entitled At the Turning Point of the Christian World Period the hopelessness of modern man which characterised him so clearly, because he says: "Today we have metaphysics without transcendental conviction, we have a theory of knowledge without objective meaning, we have psychology without a soul, logic without content, ethics without liability and the result is that we can't find some or other foundation for religious consciousness." — Gideon Spicker stood very close to the actual crux which lies at the basis of all religious dichotomies in modern mankind. One can take it like a symptom, to indicate where the actual crux, I could call it, lies. If modern man is discerning, if he tries to create an image through his imagination of the world, then at the same time he clearly has the feeling that this discernment doesn't penetrate the depths. Gideon Spicker expressed it like this: "We have a theory of knowledge without objective meaning", which means we have our insights without being in the position to find the power within us to create something really objective out of our assembled insights. So, the modern discerning man sickens because he fails to find the possibility of a guarantee for his knowledge of objectivity in the world, for existence as such. He finds it in what he experiences subjectively in the knowledge, not really out of the thing itself.

All of this of course, because it is philosophy, has nothing to do with religious experience. Still, one can say that religious life today is certainly under an influence which heads in a similar direction. The kind of humanity which is not in the position to say about knowledge: "in this realization there exists objective existence for me" — such a type of humanity feels this same insecurity rise up at another point, and that is religious life. The insecurity is situated at the same pivotal point where actual religious life exists today. We will see how other problems will huddle around this pivot point. This pivotal point lies in prayer, in the meaning of prayer. The religious person must feel that prayer has real meaning; some or other reality must be connected to prayer. However, in a time epoch when the discerning person fails to come out of his subjective knowledge and fails to find reality in knowledge, in the same time epoch religious people won't find the possibility, during prayer, of becoming aware that prayer is no mere subjective deed, but that within prayer an objective experience takes place. For a person who is unable to realise that prayer is an objective experience, for him or her it would be impossible to find a real religious hold. Particularly in the nature of current humanity prayer must focus on the religious life. Various other areas must focus on prayer. However, a prayer which only has subjective meaning would make people religiously insecure.

It is the same root which grows out of us on the one side for the insecurity of knowledge, the Ignorabimus, and on the other side in fear; worry, which do not live in prayer in divine objectivity, but which is involved in subjectivity.

You see, the problem of faith and the problem of knowledge, all problems, which involve people from the theological side, are connected to the same characteristics. Everything which depresses people from the side of direct religious experience, which needs confirmation, which must be maintained, this all comes from the same source. You can hardly answer this question if you don't orientate yourself historically where it will quite clearly show how far we have actually become distanced with our sciences from what we can call Christian today, while on the other hand today there is the constant attempt to proceed by pushing anything Christian out with science. Take everything in the Gospels which is Christian tradition. You can't but say: in this, there is another conception of the human being than what modern science claims. In modern science the human being is traced back to some or other primitive archetypal creature — I absolutely don't want to say that mankind had perhaps developed out of an animal origin — we are referred back to a primitive Ur-human, which gradually developed itself and, in whose development, existed a progression, an advance. Modern humanity is satisfied to look back according to scientific foundations, to the primitive archetypal beings, who through some inherent power, it is said, they created an ever greater and bigger cultural accomplishment, and to behold the unexpected future of this perfection.

If one now places within this evolution, the development of the Christ, the Mystery of Golgotha, then one can in an honest way hold on to the Gospels and say nothing other than: into this He doesn't fit, what fits here is a historic conception which goes around the Mystery of Golgotha and leaves it out, but the Christ of the Gospels don't fit into this conception. The Christ of the Gospels can't be considered in any other way than if one somehow believes what happened in the 18th century especially among the most enlightened, the most spiritual people as a matter of course. Take for instance Saint Martin — I now want to look further from religious development and want to point out someone who was in the most imminent sense a scientist of the 18th century — and that was Saint Martin. He had a completely clear awareness that the human being at the start of his earthly development came from a certain height downwards, that he had been in another world milieu earlier, in another environment and through a mighty event, through a crisis was thrown down to a sphere which lay below the level of his previous existence, so that the human being is no longer what he once had been.

While our modern natural science points back to a primitive archetypal being out of which we have developed; this observation of Saint Martin must refer back to the fallen mankind, to those human beings which had once been more elevated. This was something, like I said, which to Saint Martin appeared as a matter of course. Saint Martin experienced this fall of mankind as a feeling of shame. You see, if the Christ is placed in such a conception of human evolution, where the human being, by starting his earth existence through a descent and is now more humble than he was before, then the Christ becomes that Being who would save humanity from its previous fall, then the Christ bears mankind again up into those conditions where it had existed before.

We will see in what modification this imagination must appear to our souls. In any case this involves a disproportion between our modern understanding of mankind's evolution and the understanding of the Gospels; there is always dishonesty when one goes hither and thither and does not confess that one is simultaneously a supporter of modern scientific thinking and also the Christ. This must actually be clear for every honest, particularly religiously honest sensitive person. Here is something where a bridge must be formed if the religious life is to be healthy once again. Without this bridging, religious life will never ever be healthy again. Actually, there are people who come along like David Friedrich Strauss, and to the question "Are we still Christians?" reply with a No, indicating that they are still more honest than some of the modern theologians, whoever and again overlook the radical differences between what the modern human being regards as pure science and the Gospel concept of the Christ. This is the characteristic of modern theology. It is basically the impotent attempt to treat the Christ conception of the Gospels in such a way that it can be validated in front of modern science. Here nothing originates which somehow can be held.

Yet, theology still exists. The modern pastor is given very little support for his line of work in the kind of theology presented at his schooling currently, from the foundation which has been indicated already and about which we will still come to in the course of our observations. The modern pastor must of course be a theologian even though theology is not religion. However, in order to work, a theological education is needed, and this educational background suffers from all the defects which I've briefly indicated in our introduction today.

You see, the Catholic Church knows quite well what it is doing, because it doesn't allow modern science to come into theology. Not as if the Catholic Church doesn't care for modern science, it takes care of it. The greatest scholars can certainly be found within the Catholic ecclesiastics. I'm reminded of Father Secchi, a great astrophysicist, I remember people such as Wasmann, a significant zoologist, and many others, above all one can remind oneself of the extraordinarily important scientific accomplishments, worldly scientific accomplishments of the Benedictine order and so on. But what role did modern science play in the Catholic Church? The Catholic Church wants to care for modern science, that there are real luminaries in it. However, people want this modern scientific way to be applied in connection with the outer sensory world, it wants to distance itself strongly from the conceptions of anything pertaining to spirituality, no statements should be made about this spirituality. Hence it is therefore forbidden to express something about the spiritual, because scientists must not enter into this mix when something is being said about the legitimacy of the spiritual life. So, Catholicism relegates science to its boundaries, it rejects science from all that is theology. That it, for instance in modernism, gradually came into it, has caused Catholicism to experience it as dispensable; hence the war against modernism. The Catholic Church knows precisely that in that moment when science penetrates theology, extraordinary dangers lie ahead, and it is impossible to cope with scientific research in theology.

It is basically quite hopeless if it is expressed in abstract terms: theology we must have but it will be scorched, burnt by modern science. — Where does this come from? That is the next big burning question. Where does this come from?

Yes, my dear friends, theology as we have it now, is rooted in quite different conditions than those of modern mankind. Ultimately the foundation of theology — if it wants to be correctly understood — is precisely the same foundations as that of the Gospels themselves. I have just expressed a sentence and naturally in its being said, it is not immediately understood, but it has extraordinary importance for our discussions here. Theology as inherited tradition doesn't appear in the form in which modern science appears. Theology is mostly in a form of something handed down, as such it goes back to the earlier ways of understanding. Certainly, logic was later applied to modern theology, which changed the form of theology somewhat; theology no longer appeared as it had been once upon a time. On the other hand, it is Catholicism which actually has something in this relationship which works in an extraordinarily enchanting manner on the more intelligent people and which is firmly adhered to in many Catholic clerics upon studying theology, through what has been handed down as knowledge of the so-called Primordial Revelation (Uroffenbahrung).

Primordial Revelation! You have to be aware that Catholicism does not merely have the revelation which we usually call the revelation of the New Testament, nor this being only the revelation spoken about in the Old Testament, but that Catholicism — as far as it is theology — speaks about a Primordial Revelation. This Primordial Revelation is usually characterised by saying: that which was revealed by the Christ had been experienced once before by mankind, at that time humanity acquired the revelation through another, a cosmic world milieu. This revelation was lost through the Fall, but an inheritance of this great revelation was still available through the Old Testament and through pagan teachings. — That is Catholic thinking. Once upon a time, before people became sinners, a revelation was made to them; had mankind not fallen into sin, so the entire act of salvation of Christ Jesus would not have become necessary. However, the primordial revelation had been tarnished through humanity falling into the sinful world and in the course of time up to the Mystery of Golgotha the human being increasingly forgot what the primordial revelation had been. To a certain extent in the beginning there still remained glimpses of this primordial revelation, then however, as the generation went further and further away, this primordial revelation darkened, and it had become totally dark in the time of the Mystery of Golgotha which came as a new revelation.

This is what Christianity looks like today — under theological instruction — in Old Testament teaching and above all in the pagan teaching it is seen as a corrupted Primordial Revelation. Catholicism has an insight into what I've often spoken about in Anthroposophy, namely the old Mysteries. In my book Christianity as Mystical Fact I pointed these things out, but, not quite, but only as far as possible because these things are as much unknown as possible in today's world and most people are not prepared for these things. Only, here we can speak about it, and about one point.

Everywhere in the pagan-religious mysteries there are certain experiences which allowed people to learn more than those communicated outwardly, exoterically, to a large crowd. These experiences didn't happen under supervision but through asceticism, through practice, they happened by the person going through certain experiences; a kind of drama was experienced leading to a culmination, with a catharsis, until the person came to sense the lightening of the divine laws of the world. This is simply a fact and within esoteric Catholicism it engendered an awareness of what existed in the Mysteries. It is even said that modern times are filled with worldly science and that this worldly science must not enter theology with arguments; as a result, we'd rather protect our knowledge of the Mysteries so that worldly science doesn't come in to explain it, because explaining the Mysteries would be a great danger under any circumstances. Catholicism was afraid that scientific involvement would reveal what one could possibly know about such things.

Now we come to the question: what did the Mysteries actually impart during these olden times? The Mysteries didn't produce a mere theoretical knowledge, it produced an evolution of consciousness, a real transformation of consciousness. A person who had gone through the Mysteries learnt to experience life differently to those people who hadn't gone through them. A person who stands fully awake in the world, experiences outside the sleep state, the outer sense world; he experiences memories, he can through these memories relive his life within himself when after various interruptions he comes to a certain point in his life which lies a couple of years after his birth. With an individual who has gone through hard exercises in the Mysteries, something quite different rises up in his awareness than what he usually can find in his consciousness. In the old Mysteries one expressed this experience as a "rebirth." Why does one call it a rebirth? Because in fact a person goes through a kind of embryonic experience in his consciousness; an awareness comes to the fore in the manner and way the person had lived through during his time as an embryo. During the time of being an embryo, our inner experience is namely of the same kind as are the experiences during thinking, because what is experienced in our senses is only done so through our mother's body. An embryonic experience is woken up, that's why we call it a "rebirth." A person goes back in his embryonic life up to the time of his birth, and so, just like memories rise up, so that what is being experienced also rises up. In this way a person feels himself coming out of a spiritual world, being partially connected to a spiritual world. These were the mysteries of birth, under which time one understood the blossoming of the Mysteries as something which human beings could go through during such an initiation. What he went through during such an initiation was considered a shadowed knowledge of such a state he was in, before he descended into the world of the senses. Thus, through the "rebirth" the human being re-places himself again to a certain extend back into a human form of existence free of sin.

In earlier times, knowledge which was not of this world was called "theology," and this knowledge could be acquired through the return to the wisdom that human beings had had before entering into this world, a wisdom which had been corrupted because people had dragged it into this world.

I'm sketching these things for you and later we will naturally bring today's considerations to our awareness. Theology in olden times was a gift from the gods, which could only be achieved through such exercises which could lift people out of their senses and bring them at least back to the experience of motherly love, enabling them to take up this wisdom again, this uncorrupted wisdom. This cannot be taken up in the form or modern logical concepts. Within the Mysteries people could not be given logical concepts in the modern sense, they received images. All knowledge which is gained in this way is gained in pictures, images. The more a person actually entered into the real world of existence — not only associated himself with existence — the more he lives into this existence, like when he lives within the existence of motherly love, so much more will consciousness stop living in abstract concepts, so much more will he live in images. Thus, what was designated as "theology" in olden times, in pre-Christian times, visual science, was science living in images. For this reason, I could say: this theology certainly had a similar form of expression as the one living in the Gospels, because in the Gospels we find images, and the further we go back, the more we find that the Gospels are still being expressed in the attitude of the old theology; there is certainly no differentiation between religion and theology. Here theology itself is something which has been received from God, here in theology one looks upon a God, and sees how the theology is given through a communication with God. Here is something which is alive, in theology. Then it came about that theology was experienced differently, somewhat like the conditions in which one lives when you grow older. At that time therefore, in olden times, theology was nourished through the religious life. This particular way of living though-oneself in the world of religious experience, this actually was getting lost to humanity at the same time as the Mystery of Golgotha was occurring.

So you see, when we look towards the East as it is connected historically to the source of our religious life, we have, we can say, the Indian religious life. What nourishes the Indian religious life? It is nourished through the observation of nature, but the observation of nature was something quite different then to what it is for modern humanity. Nature observation was for all Indians such that one can say: an Indian observed spiritually when looking at nature, but he only observed the spirit which lay beneath the actual being of humanity. The Indian observed the mineral world spiritually, likewise the plant world, animal world; he was aware of the divine spiritual foundation of these worlds; but when he wanted to attain the human world as well, it didn't reveal itself to him. By wanting to access the actual being of the human being in the world, which he had himself, there he found nothing: Nirvana, the entry in nothingness towards what could be perceived in relation to the human being. Thus, the fervour of the Indian's religious life, which certainly was still present at that time, where theology, religion and science were one, was Nirvana. We have an escape from what is perceived from the natural basis of the image-rich consciousness, an escape into Nirvana, where everything that is given to the senses is obliterated. This self-abandonment to Nirvana must be experienced religiously in order to find a possible form for the religious stream of experience for individuals.

Now, when we consider this religious observation of the world further, with the Persians and later with the Chaldeans, we see how they turn their gaze outward, they don't experience the world like us, they live through a world permeated with spirit, everywhere the spiritual foundation permeates everything, but immobilises it. There is a different disposition with these peoples compared to the Indians. The Indian strived towards mankind and found nothing. The other peoples who lived to the north and west of the Indians didn't strive towards mankind but towards the world, towards the spiritual in the world. They couldn't understand the spiritual world in any other way than to avoid with all their might, what later human evolution could no longer avoid.

It is unbelievably meaningful, my dear friends, to observe how, on the one hand the old Indian striving came from what he saw, while he, when he strived towards human beings, I might call it, fell into unconsciousness, into Nirvana, while the Old Persian remained in what he was looking at. The divine which is the basis of the mineral, the plant and animal worlds, was understood by the Old Persian and from this came his religious striving; but now he was overcome by fear that he might be urged to seek man, and this turned into abstract thoughts which turned into imagery. This is actually the basic feeling of the near-Asian peoples all the way to Africa. They saw the foundation of nature as being a spiritual world; they didn't see people, but they were afraid to search in people because then they would enter an abstract region, a region into which later, the Romans entered with their religion. Before the Roman time, in the second, third Century there was the aspiration everywhere to avoid entering into abstractions, hence the aspiration to capture what is presented in images. There was even the endeavour to express in images, what one understood, in image form. There was an effort to, in relation to the divine, which one perceives, not to search for it through abstract concepts but in actions made visible; this is the origin of ritual, sacramental action. In this religious area which I'm referring to, is the origin of ritual in worship.

Now place yourself into this entire development of the old Hebraic peoples; the Judaism which strongly feels the urge for its people's development to enter into what one possesses in one's consciousness. Today I only want to make indications in my presentation in order for us to orientate ourselves. The members of the Hebrew people wanted above all to feel the God on which human nature is based. The Old Indian only sensed God, or the gods, who lay at the basis of sub human nature, and as he tried to penetrate with his consciousness into the human being, there he wanted to rise up into Nirvana. The other, the Persian, Chaldean and Egyptian peoples searched for the connection to the Divine in images and applied these according to their character dispositions, to get up to the human being. So we can see how this urge, as in Judaism, to draw the divine and the human together, to bring the divine in a relationship with the human being, lead to the divine appearing at the same time the foundation of humanity. There was not predisposition to that in the Indian when they sailed into Nirvana; there was no longer a conception that the human consciousness wanted to be reached. For the Indian this personal route to the human soul was to be avoided. This personal route of the human soul had even lead to gradually slipping out of existence into nonexistence, so to speak. The other, the Prussian route, came to a standstill with imagery, remaining in ritual only.

We see how the Jewish peoples developed, within these strivings, their own special character and this resulted in the impossibility to reach God out of one's own life. One had to wait and see what God himself gave, and it was there that the actual concept of revelation came into being. One had to wait and see what God would give and on the other hand one had to be careful not to search through the route of imagery or symbolism (Bilderweg), which was to be feared. If the route of symbolism was sought, then one arrived at a subhuman God, not at a God who carries humanity. In Judaism the symbolic route was not to be followed, it would not be through ritual an also not through the content of knowledge that one would speak to God. The olden time Jew wanted to meet their god by Him revealing himself, and human beings would communicate in a human way, while from their side, not make outwardly fulfilled sacrifices, but what arises subjectively: the promise — revelation, promise and the contract between both; a judicial relationship one could call it, between the people and their God.

So the Jewish religion positioned itself and thus the Jewish religion stood in the entire evolution of humanity. therefore, one can say: here already a relationship is the example which is performed in our modern time, where science wants to be beside religion but where science has nothing to say about religion, just like the olden time Jew removed everything which appeared as imagery. This is already performed in Judaism, and precisely in the modern differentiation between knowledge and faith, lies unbelievably much Judaism. In Harnack's The Being of Christianity everything is again based on Judaism. You have to see through this that we get sick with these things.

Human evolution is penetrated by more and more things. Something is continuously developing which belongs to the Jews in particular: the awareness of personality, which is urged by ego development. With the Greeks there developed a mighty inner world beside the outer world of observed nature but this inner world could raise doubts, because it was observed merely as a world of mythology. Sensing the religious element rising in Hellenism, which lives in Greek mythology, through mythological fantasy, which people are searching for — because it was not to be found in nature — is what rises up in man. The Greek however didn't grasp the actual important point within the human inner life, resulting from mythological fantasy, which the Romans evolved into abstract thinking, which certainly already started with Aristotle, but which was developed particularly in Rome. This abstract way of thinking which is so powerful as to being people to the point of their I, bringing them to self-consciousness, to I-consciousness, this is something which we today still carry in us today and we carry it heavily in us, in the form of modern agnosticism.

My dear friends, basically there is no spiritual teaching other than modern materialism. This sounds like an extraordinary paradox and yet it is so. What the modern materialistic thinker carries in his head is quite spiritualized, so spiritualised that it is quite abstract and has no connection to reality any more. That's Romanism in full swing. We actually have become unbelievably spiritual in the course of the 19th century, but we deny this spirituality because we maintain that through this spirituality, we can understand matter. In reality our souls are in a spiritualised content, right into our ideas are we spiritualised, but we maintain that through all of this we can only understand a material world. Thus, human beings have grasped their ego through this spiritualisation, but as a result they have become separated from the world. Today humanity must again look for its connection to the world, the search need to be for inner knowledge, there needs to be the possibility to not only have "knowledge without objective meaning" but knowledge with objective meaning, in order for knowledge to reveal the being of the world, and on the other hand to authenticate what is hidden within the human being as objective.

You see, the Greeks had a great advantage compared to the oriental world, they could to draw together their innermost nature so to speak. From within themselves they could draw a content, but this content could first only attach as filled with fantasy, imagination. However, there was something the Greeks didn't know. They had brought the development of humanity to internalisation but didn't attach it to the inner life. The internalisation and the hardening continued in the Roman times and beyond, and man had to learn — today still we need to learn to understand — how one can attach what is within, what permeates this inner being. The Greeks could think about their gods in grandiose fantasy images but what the Greek could not do, was to pray. The prayer only cam about later and for prayer the possibility had to be found of connecting the one praying, to reality. To this we must connect those times in which prayer was not merely spoken, not merely thought or not merely felt, but in which prayer became one with the sacramental ritual. Then again Catholicism knows quite well why they don't separate themselves from ritual, from the sacrificial act, from the central sacrifice of the mass.

We'll talk more about these things.

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