23 November 1919, Dornach
The day before yesterday I spoke to you about the fact that we, as members of the human race, live in a sphere which we may designate as the fourth sphere of evolution. We know that the Earth evolution has gradually developed out of the Saturn evolution; the Saturn evolution was followed by the Sun evolution, this in turn by the Moon evolution, out of which, finally came the Earth evolution. If we keep in mind these four sequential formations of the earth planet to which, of course, mankind as such belongs, we must only consider man in so far as he is a head-being. In doing so we must realize that the designation “the head of man” is the symbolic expression of everything that belongs to human sense perception, to human intelligence, of all that in turn flows over into social life through human sense perception, as an intelligent being, must be included in this symbolic expression. Thus, if I say: “man as a head-being,” this is spoken symbolically and refers to everything I have just mentioned.
We speak lightly of the fact that we, as physical human beings, live in the surrounding atmosphere. We must realize that this atmosphere belongs to us. For, is it not true that the air which is now within us was a short time ago outside us? We are not thinkable as human beings outside this atmosphere. But we have become accustomed to believe that men of earlier periods spoke about subjects like the air in the way modern mankind speaks about them. This, however, was not the case. We find it queer if we say that just as we walk in the air so we walk in a sphere which contains the conditions for our existence as sense-beings, intelligent beings, in short, that we possess all that can be symbolically expressed, as has been stated, by virtue of our existence as head-beings. Now, I have told you that this is only one of the spheres in which we exist, for we live in various spheres. Let us now progress in our considerations to a sphere of practical import for mankind and focus our attention upon the fourth sphere in which we now live by virtue of three evolutionary states having preceded our Earth. Let this be characterized by this circular plane (Dr. Steiner makes a drawing on the blackboard) in which we live as in our fourth sphere of evolution. Besides this, we live in yet another sphere of evolution through the fact that this other evolutionary sphere belongs to the spiritual beings that are our creators, just as this fourth sphere belongs to us. If we disregard the human being for a moment and consider those beings which we always have called, in the order of the hierarchies standing above us, the Spirits of Form, the Creative Form Beings, then we shall have to say that we, as human beings, shall only reach the sphere which we ascribe to our Divine Creator Beings when the Earth has passed through three further stages of evolution, which you will find designated in my Occult Science [Rudolf Steiner, Occult Science, an Outline, Anthroposophic Press, New York] as Jupiter stage, Venus stage and Vulcan stage, and shall have reached the eighth stage. Thus these Creative Spirits are at the stage which we human beings shall have reached after the Vulcan evolution. This is their sphere which belongs to them just as the fourth sphere belongs to us. But we must think of these spheres as being inserted into one another, as interpenetrating one another. Thus, is I designate the sphere of which I have just spoken as the eighth sphere, we do not live only in the fourth but also in this eighth sphere through the fact that our Divine Creators live in this sphere together with us.
If we now hold this eighth sphere in view, we find living there not only our Divine Creator Spirits, but also the Ahrimanic beings. Thus by living in the surroundings of the eighth sphere we live together with the Ahrimanic beings. In the fourth sphere, the Luciferic beings live together with us. This is the situation concerning the distribution of these spiritual beings. We are able to go into details regarding these things only if we know how we ourselves are related to the corresponding surroundings of this sphere.
Thus, it is revealed to the perception of initiation science that we are perceiving and intelligent beings by virtue of our living in the fourth sphere of our evolution. But we must never forget that the Luciferic power influenced this intelligence in which we must always include sense perceptions. This Luciferic power is intimately connected with the special kind of intelligence which the human being today considers his very own and which he prefers to employ. Yet, man was endowed with this intelligence only through the fact that the higher being of whom I have spoken to you as the Michael-being has cast the Luciferic beings down into the sphere of men, into the fourth sphere of men. Through this the impulse of intelligence arose in human beings.
You can feel what this impulse of intelligence signifies in mankind if you direct your attention to the impersonal element of present-day human intelligence. You know that we human beings have many personal interests, and we are individualized in regard to them. But his individualization comes to a halt before intelligence. As far as intelligence and logic are concerned, all human beings possess the same; we count upon this common possession. We would not have this common possession if the Luciferic influence, mediated by Michael, had not been exerted upon mankind.
We comprehend one another in this simple fashion only by virtue of our having this common intelligence which originates in the Luciferic spirituality. This Luciferic spirituality arose through Michael's having permeated and influenced human beings with the being of Lucifer. These Luciferic influences developed further in human historic evolution. Alongside of them, much else has been developed in the human being. But today this Luciferic spirituality which we call our intelligence is still considered by many people the most distinguished faculty of man.
You must, in order to come to greater clarity in this matter, direct your soul gaze upon something else which may bring human beings together over the whole earth once it has spread. This is the Christ impulse. But the Christ impulse is something different from the intelligence impulse. The intelligence impulse is of coercive nature. You cannot make the intelligence of mankind your personal affair. You cannot suddenly resolve to decide in a personal way what has to be decided by intelligence without appearing insane within social life relationships. Yet, on the other hand, you cannot gain any relation to the Christ impulse other than a personal one. Nobody can interfere with another person's way of relating himself to the Christ. This is an entirely personal matter. But through the fact that the Christ has passed through the Mystery of Golgotha and has united Himself with the Earth evolution the situation has become such that, regardless of how many human beings, independently from one another, make the Christ impulse their personal affair: the Christ impulse, through its very nature, will become the same for everyone. That means, human beings are brought together through something which every one of them makes his own affair, not coercively as in the case of intelligence, but through the fact that precisely through the Christ impulse itself the relationship of every human being to the Christ forms itself in such a way — if it forms itself rightly — that it is the same in every human being. This, you see, is the difference between the intelligence impulse and the Christ impulse. The Christ impulse may be the same for all mankind and yet is a personal matter for every individual human being. Intelligence is not a personal affair.
Now, what was the situation into which the Christ impulse entered? We can answer this from indications which I have already given. We know that the evolution of the head is retrogressive. In regard to his head the human being finds himself in a process of dying. We may thus point to the following cosmic fact: Michael has pushed the Luciferic hosts down into the realm of mankind; they took up their abode in the human head, but in the human head in its state of gradual dying.
These Luciferic beings began to fight against this dying of the human head. And here we touch a well-known secret of human nature, a secret known in the most varied forms, but which is almost completely concealed from modern man. In regard to this divine evolution, man carries in his head a continual death process; but paralleling this continual process of dying is a kindling of life on the part of Lucifer. It is Lucifer's constant endeavor to make our head as living as is the rest of our organism. Seen from the organic aspect, Lucifer would turn mankind away from its divine direction, were he to succeed in making the human head as living as is the rest of the organism.
This is precisely what the divine direction of human evolution has to turn against. Man must remain united with Earth evolution so that he may continue on through Jupiter, Venus and Vulcan evolution. If Lucifer were to reach his goal, man would not continue on his destined path; on the contrary, he would be made part of a cosmos which is intelligent through and through.
Physiologically speaking, it is Lucifer's constant endeavor to send the life forces out of the rest of our organism into our head. Psychically speaking, Lucifer is constantly endeavoring to give to the content of our intelligence which merely comprises thoughts and images the character of substance. What I have stated above from the physical point of view I now state from the point of view of the soul when I say that Lucifer has the constant tendency to give a real substantial content to that which we form as an image in our spirit — anything of an artistic form, for instance; that is, he has the tendency to permeate our thought contents with ordinary earthly reality. If he were to succeed he would bring it about that we as human beings would forsake reality and fly over into a thought reality which would be reality and not mere thoughts. This tendency of letting our fantasies become realities is connected with our human nature, and the greatest efforts imaginable are made to turn our human fantasies into realities.
Now, everything that exists in mankind as causes of internal diseases is connected with this Luciferic tendency. To see through the work of Lucifer in regard to the driving of the vital forces into the dying forces of the human head means, in truth, to be able to diagnose all internal diseases. Scientific-medical development must strive to build its knowledge upon this Luciferic element. To give this impulse belongs to the tendencies of the Michael influence entering our human evolution.
The Ahrimanic influence is the reverse of the Luciferic tendency. It makes itself felt from the eighth sphere out of which the rest of our organism, exclusive of the head, is fashioned; this organism is full of vitality through its very nature. Into these forces of vitality the Ahrimanic powers endeavor to send the forces of death which properly, in the divine process of evolution, belong to the head. Thus, out of the eighth sphere the forces of death come to us through Ahriman as intermediary. This, again, is spoken of from the physical aspect.
Speaking from the soul aspect, I would have to say: everything that sends its influence into us out of the eighth sphere acts upon the human will, not upon intelligence. Wish, desire underlie human willing; all willing contains a certain amount of desire. It is Ahriman's constant endeavor to insert the personal element into the desire-nature which underlies the willing; and through the fact that the personal element is concealed in our desire-nature, our human soul-will activity bears the imprint of our gradual approaching the moment of death. Instead of permitting ourselves to be permeated by divine ideals and letting them enter our desires and thus our will, the personal element is introduced into our wishing, into our willing.
Thus we are actually in a state of equilibrium between the Luciferic and the Ahrimanic element. The Luciferic-Ahrimanic element delivers us to illness and death in the physical; in the soul sphere it develops deception in so far as we consider something a reality which merely belongs to the world of thought, of fantasy. In regard to the spiritual sphere, the desire of egotism penetrates into our human nature on this path.
Thus we see this duality — Lucifer-Ahriman — connected with human nature, and I have shown you by Milton's Paradise Lost, by Klopstock's Messiah, and by Goethe's Faust how modern civilized mankind deceives itself, can deceive itself, in regard to this duality. Now we have to keep in mind that mankind in its development has passed beyond the middle point of Earth evolution. Mankind's evolution was, in the first place, an ascending one; then it reached its climax and is now on the descending path. For certain reasons which we need not discuss today there was a state of balance in the Greco-Latin period up to the fifteenth century. Since that time, however, earth humanity's evolution is on the descending path. Physical Earth evolution has entered the descending path at a much earlier period; already at the time which preceded our last ice age; that is, prior to the Atlantean catastrophe, Earth evolution began to descend in a physical respect. This is a fact which anthroposophists need not announce to the world; for it is already known to geology, as I have frequently mentioned, that as we walk over the earth in numerous regions we walk already over the earth crust in the state of decline. You need only read the descriptions of Earth evolution in good geology books of our day and you will find that physical science has come to the conclusion that the earth is on the descending stage of its evolution. But we human beings, too, are on the descending stage of evolution. We must not expect that any upward trend will arise in our bodily development. We must take hold of the upward trend by looking upon that which leads the human being beyond the Earth evolution to its subsequent evolutionary forms. We must learn to look upon the human being of the future. This means to think in the sense of Michael, to have Michaelic thoughts.
I will characterize more precisely what it means to think in the sense of Michael, to think Michaelically. You see, my dear friends, if you confront your fellow-man today, you actually confront him with a completely materialistic consciousness. You say to yourselves, even though you do not say it aloud nor even in thought, but you say to yourselves in the more intimate recesses of your consciousness: This is a man of flesh and blood; this is a man of earth substances. You say the same in the case of the animal, the same in the case of the plant. But what you thus say to yourselves when confronting man, animal and plant, you are justified in saying only in regard to the mineral nature. Let us deal at once with the most extreme case, with man. Let us consider man in regard to his external form. That which constitutes his external shape you do not really see, you do not confront it at all with your physical capacity of observation, for it is filled with more than ninety percent of fluid, of water. That which fills the form as mineral substance is what you see with your physical eyes. That which man unites with himself of this outer mineral world is what you see; the human being who does the uniting you do not see. You speak correctly only if you say to yourself: What confronts me here are the particles of matter which the human spirit shape stores up in itself; this makes the invisible being which stands here before me visible. You all as you are sitting here are invisible to physical senses. A certain number of shapes are sitting here; they have, through a certain inner power of attraction collected particles of matter. These particles of matter are what we see; we merely see the mineral. The real human beings that are sitting here are invisible, are super-sensible. To say this to oneself with full consciousness at every moment of waking life constitutes the Michaelic mode of thinking; to cease conceiving of the human being as a conglomerate of mineral particles which he but arranges in a certain way, as is also assumed of animals and plants and from which only the minerals are excepted, and to become conscious of the fact that we walk among invisible human beings — this means to think Michaelically.
We speak of Ahrimanic and Luciferic beings, we speak of the beings of the hierarchy of the Angeloi, Archangeloi, Archai, and so forth. These are invisible beings. We learn to know them by their effects. We have discussed many of these effects, even during the last few days. We learn to know these beings by their deeds. Well, is the matter different with the human being? We learn to know the human being — who is invisible — here in the physical world through the fact that he arranges mineral particles in a human-like shape. But this is only an activity of the human being, an effect of his nature. The fact that we have to become clear about the effects of Ahriman and Lucifer, of the Angeloi, Archangeloi, Archai, and so forth, in another way means simply that we have to learn to know them in a different manner. But in regard to the super-sensible character of these beings there is no difference between them and human beings if we employ reason in our thinking about the being of man.
To comprehend that we are not different in our essential being from the super-sensible beings means to think in the spirit of Michael. Mankind was able to get along without this insight as long as it still received something from the mineral world. But since the mineral world is in a declining evolution, the human being must gradually acquire a spiritual conception of himself and the world. Since the seventies of the nineteenth century he is able, in growing measure, to find the inner strength to develop the consciousness that man is not a well-ordered conglomeration of particles of matter but that he is a super-sensible being, and that these particles of matter are only a gesture of the external mineral world, indicating: here is a human being. Only because of the Ahrimanic influences which I have characterized in a recent lecture [Lecture of November 15, 1919, Dornach] does the human being fend off this inner consciousness, does he try to avoid it. One thing is connected with another in human life. And just as we labor under the delusion that man is a sensuous and not a super-sensible being, so do we labor under other delusions. We speak of evolution and imagine that one thing proceeds from the other in a continuous progressive development. You know that it was not possible to follow such a thought in depicting evolution artistically in our Building. [See Rudolf Steiner, Der Baugedanke des Goetheanum, with 104 photographs of the first Goetheanum.] When I developed the forms for the capitals, I had to show the first, second, and third capital in an ascending evolution, the fourth stood in the middle, the fifth began the declining evolution, the sixth was still simpler, the seventh the most simple. I had to add to the ascending evolution the declining evolution.
Our head is in this declining evolution, whereas the rest of our organism is still in the ascending evolution. If we believe that evolution signifies a continuous ascent we forsake true reality. We then hold the view of Haeckel who, under the influence of a certain delusion, maintained that there are, first, simple beings, as evolution progresses, more and more complicated beings, more and more perfect beings, and so on and on, ad infinitum. This is nonsense. Every evolution that progresses also turns back and retrogresses. Every ascent is followed by a descent; every ascent bears in itself the germ for the descent. It belongs among the most insidious deceptions of modern mankind that it is unaware of the connection between evolution and devolution, between progressive development and retrogressive development. For from every ascending evolution there must result the disposition for retrogressive evolution. At the moment when progressive evolution begins to become retrogressive, the physical passes over into the spiritual evolution. For as soon as the physical begins to become retrogressive, there is room for spiritual development. In our head there is room for spiritual development because physical development is on the retrogressive path. Only when we are in the position to see these things in the right light, that is, only when we see the connection of our intelligence with the Luciferic development shall we really understand the being of man and thereby the world. For then we shall evaluate these things correctly and shall know that our intelligence needs a new impulse if it is to lead man to his goal. Through the Christ principle Lucifer must be prevented from making the human being desert his predestined divine course.
I said before: One thing is connected with the other. Human beings are today under the influence of the same delusion which attributed to the divine powers certain Luciferic qualities. The same delusion creates today the inclination in human beings to see an ideal in the one-sided representation, of the beautiful, for instance. To be sure, it is possible to represent the beautiful as such. But we must be conscious of the fact that were we as human beings merely to surrender ourselves to the beautiful, we would cultivate those forces in us which lead into Luciferic channels. Just as there is no one-sided progressive evolution in the real world, but evolution is followed by devolution, so likewise there exists no one-sided beauty in the real world. The merely beautiful used by Lucifer in order to fascinate and blind human beings would set human beings free of Earth evolution; it would sever their connection with it. Just as there is an interplay of evolution and devolution, so we have in reality to do with an interplay of beauty and ugliness; in truth, there is a hard battle between beauty and ugliness. And if we wish really to take hold of art we must never forget that the ultimate in art in the world is the interplay of the beautiful and the ugly, the presentation of the battle of the beautiful with the ugly. For only by looking upon the state of equilibrium between the beautiful and the ugly do we stand within reality; then we do not exist within a one-sided Luciferic or Ahrimanic reality not belonging to us, into which, however, Lucifer and Ahriman strive to place us. It is very necessary that such ideas as I have just put forward enter human cultural evolution. You know that I have often spoken to you with great enthusiasm about Greek culture, yet in ancient Greece it was still possible to devote oneself one-sidedly to the cultivation of beauty, for mankind at that time had not yet been taken hold of by the decline of Earth evolution, at least not the Greeks. Since that time, however, man must not any longer indulge in the cultivation of the merely beautiful. This would be a flight from reality. He must, boldly and courageously, confront the real battle between beauty and ugliness. He must be able to feel, and experience the dissonances in their battle with the consonances of the world.
This will bring strength into mankind's evolution, and from this strength will spring the possibility of attaining that inner condition of consciousness which lifts us above the delusion that the human being consists in his true essence of heaped-up matter, of mineral particles of substance which he has drawn together into himself. Even from the physical aspect it can be said today that man does not bear in his being the signature of mineral nature, of external physical nature. The outer mineral is heavy. But that which gives us, for instance, the possibility of developing the soul element — I do not refer here to intelligence — that which makes us capable of developing soul qualities is not bound to gravity but to its opposite, to what is called the levity of fluids. I have on other occasions described to you how our brain swims in the cerebral fluid. If this were not so, the blood corpuscles contained in it would be crushed. You know from your lessons in physics that Archimedes, sitting in his bath, discovered that he became lighter, and he was so pleased about this that he called out his famous “Eureka!” In regard to our soul, we do not live by being pulled downward, but by being pulled upward. Not by our brain being heavy, but by our brain being lighter through its swimming in the cerebral fluid do we live physically. We live by means of what draws us away from the earth. This may be stated today even from the physical aspect.
However, what I wanted to point out to you in the present lectures was and is that, confronting modern life, we need a condition of soul which really, at every moment of day-waking life, is conscious of the super-sensible in the immediate surroundings, and which does not surrender to the delusion that the human being is real because he can be seen, and the spirits are not real because they cannot be seen. For the truth is that we do not see the human beings either. This is precisely the delusion that we believe we see the human beings. We do not differ at all from the beings of the higher hierarchies. To learn to grasp the similarity between the beings of the higher hierarchies and ourselves, and even the animals and plants, is the task put to modern mankind.
We say that through the Mystery of Golgotha the Christ impulse has entered Earth evolution, has entered mankind's evolution, to begin with, and is henceforth united with it. People say: We do not see it. Indeed, they will not see it as long as they deceive themselves about man himself, as long as they consider man to be something quite different from what he really is. The moment this is no longer a theory but a vividly felt reality of the soul which enables us to see in man a super-sensible being, we cultivate within us the faculty of perceiving the Christ impulse in our midst, everywhere, and of being able to say with full conviction: do not seek for Him in external manifestation; He is among you everywhere. But mankind would have to develop the belief, modestly and humbly, that it takes a great effort to cultivate the consciousness which, right from the outset, sees in man a super-sensible being. For if we do this only in theory it is of no avail. Only if we really do not believe that what confronts us physically is the real human being, only if we feel this to be an absurdity, have we acquired the state of soul I am referring to.
My dear friends, if you were to go to our building lot outside and collect all kinds of scrap that is lying about there and through clever handling of it were able to hold it in front of you in such a way that a person who met you could not see you but only the scraps of wood or brick — you would not maintain that these scraps of brick and wood are the human being. But the matter is in no way different in regard to the mineral substances with which you confront your fellow-men, arranged in a certain way. Yet you say: these mineral substances — since your physical eyes see them — are the human being! In truth they are only the gesture which points to the real human being.
If we look back into pre-Christian times we shall find that God's Messenger came down to earth, visibly, as it were, revealing and making himself understood to the human being. The greatest Messenger of God Who came down to the earth, the Christ, was at the same time the One Who was able to reveal Himself in the greatest earth event as the last one of those who could reveal themselves without the human beings' assistance. Now we live in the age of the Michael Revelation. It exists like the other revelations. But it does not force itself upon the human being because man has entered his evolution of freedom. We must go out to meet the revelation of Michael, we must prepare ourselves so that he sends into us the strongest forces and we become conscious of the super-sensible in the immediate surroundings of the earth. Do not fail to recognize what this Michael revelation would signify for men of the present and the future if men were to approach it in freedom. Do not fail to recognize that men of today strive for a solution of the social question out of the remnants of ancient states of consciousness.
All the problems that could be solved out of the ancient states of human consciousness have been solved. The earth is on the descending stage of its evolution. The demands which arise today cannot be solved with the thinking of the past. They can only be solved by a mankind with a new soul constitution. It is our task so to direct our activity that it may assist the rise of this new soul constitution in mankind. The fact that human beings cannot free themselves from the concepts which have been fostered for millennia oppresses our souls like a terrible nightmare. We see today how the results of these age-old concepts which are divested of all content and are nothing more than mere word hulls run their course almost automatically. Everywhere there is talk about human ideals. But these ideals have not real content, they are merely sounding words, for mankind needs a new soul constitution. Once upon a time the call resounded to mankind which, translated into our language, says: “Change your thinking, for the time is at hand!” At that time, however, human beings were still able to change their thinking out of their old soul constitution. Now this possibility has ceased; if what at that time was begun will have to be fulfilled today, it must be fulfilled out of a new soul constitution. Michael transmitted to human beings the Yahve-tradition, the Yahve-influence. Since the end of the seventies of last century he is engaged — if we but go to meet him — in transmitting the comprehension of the Christ-Impulse in the true sense of the word. But we must go to meet him. And we do come to meet him if we fulfill two conditions.
In regard to our own soul constitution we can say to ourselves: We have to overcome a certain error. I do not wish to burden you unduly with narrow abstractions and philosophical world conceptions, but I have to draw your attention to such a symptom of modern human evolution as the philosopher Cartesius (Descartes) who lived at the dawn of the modern age. He still knew something of the spiritual which plays through the dying nervous system of man. But he made at the same time the statement: “I think, therefore I am.” That is the opposite of the truth. When we think we are not; for in thinking we have merely the image of reality. Thinking would be of no consequence for us if we would exist within reality with our thinking, if thinking were not merely an image. We must become conscious of the mirror-character of our world of mental images, of our world of thoughts. The moment we become conscious of this mirror character we shall appeal to a different source of reality within us. Of this, Michael wills to speak to us. That means, we must try to recognize our thought world in the mirror-character; then we shall work against the Luciferic evolution. For the latter is greatly interested in pouring substance into our thinking, in trying to delude us with the erroneous belief that thinking is permeated by substance. Thinking contains no substance, but merely image. We shall take substance out of other and deeper levels of our consciousness. That is the one condition. We only need to be conscious that our thoughts make us weak, then we shall appeal to the strength of Michael; for he is to be the spirit who points us to that which is stronger in us than thought, whereas we have learned through modern civilization chiefly to look upon thought, and by doing so have become weak human beings because we have considered thought itself to be something real. We may imagine that we are turning ever so far away from mere abstract intelligence, but this is an illusion; for as modern human beings we are in the bondage of intelligence and do not send out of the deeper levels of our being into thoughts themselves that which ought to be in them.
The second condition is that we introduce into our wishes, and thus into our will, that which results from a reality which we must recognize as super-sensible. The fact that the Mystery of Golgotha in its super-sensible character has not been taken absolutely seriously has had dire consequences. I have often mentioned it here. I have, for instance, drawn your attention to the views of the liberal theologian, Adolf Harnack. There are many such liberal theologians who openly confess: through historical documents there cannot be found any proof of the reality of the Mystery of Golgotha. Indeed, my dear friends, it is impossible to prove historically the existence of the Christ Jesus in the same way it is possible to prove the existence of Caesar or that of Napoleon. Why? Because in the Mystery of Golgotha an event was to be placed before mankind to which it should have only super-sensible access. It was not to have access to it through the senses. In order that mankind might learn, precisely through the Mystery of Golgotha, to raise itself to the super-sensible, there was not to be any external, sensible, historical proof.
We have thus indicated two things toward which we must strive. First, to recognize the super-sensible in the immediate sense world, that is, in the world of man, animal, and plant: this is the Michael path. And its continuation is to find in the world which we ourselves recognize as super-sensible, the Christ impulse.
In describing this to you, I am describing to you at the same time the deepest impulses of the social question. For the abstract League of Nations will not solve the international problem. Such abstractions do not bring the people together all over the earth. But the spirits who lead the human beings into the super-sensible, and of whom we have spoken during these days, will bring people together.
Externally, mankind approaches today serious battles. In regard to these serious battles which are only at their beginning — I have often mentioned it here — and which will lead the old impulses of Earth evolution ad absurdum, there are no political, economical, or spiritual remedies to be taken from the pharmacy of past historical evolution. For from these past times come the elements of fermentation which first, have brought Europe to the brink of the abyss, which will array Asia and America against each other, and which are preparing a battle over the whole earth. This leading ad absurdum of human evolution can be counteracted alone by that which leads men on the path toward the spiritual: the Michael path which finds its continuation in the Christ Path.