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The Universal Human
GA 117

1. Individuality and the Group-Soul

4 December 1909, Munich

Today we will consider a general theme: the question of the meaning and tasks of anthroposophical spiritual science. Tomorrow we will take up a more specific theme: the destiny and nature of the individual human being. We have often emphasized that anthroposophy has a special task and meaning for human beings in the present age. People who think will not be able to avoid the question what the aims of this spiritual movement are and how they relate to other tasks of our time. Such tasks may be explained from diverse points of view, as we have often done. Today we will try to describe the evolutionary stage of contemporary humanity and attempt to look a little into the future. Then we will consider the task of anthroposophy in reference to our present evolutionary stage.

We know that since the great Atlantean catastrophe, which entirely transformed the earth, there have been five great epochs of civilization. We designate these as the ancient Indian, the ancient Persian, the Egypto-Chaldean, the Greco-Latin, and the epoch we presently live in. The latter was prepared in the eighth, ninth, and tenth centuries after Christ; we are now actually in the middle of this epoch. Of course, such divisions are not to be understood as indicating that each evolutionary epoch abruptly came to an end and then a new one began. Rather, one epoch gradually and slowly merged into another. Long before one epoch has run its course, the next one is already being prepared.

In our own cultural epoch, the fifth post-Atlantean epoch, the characteristics of the sixth epoch are already being prepared. Roughly speaking, people in our time can be divided into two groups: those who live blindly for the day, have no idea of, and know nothing about the preparation of the sixth epoch, and those who understand that something new is being prepared. The latter also know that this preparation must basically be accomplished by human beings. We find our place in our time either by passively following the customs of our society and doing what our parents have taught us to do, or by being aware that to be a conscious link in the chain of humanity we must work on ourselves and our environment to contribute, as best we can, to the preparation of what must come, namely, the sixth cultural period.

How it is possible to prepare for the sixth epoch can only be understood when we consider the character of our own period. The best way to do this is to compare it with others. We know these cultural epochs are different from each other, and over the years we have presented their various distinguishing characteristics. We have shown that in the ancient Indian period people had different soul qualities than they did later. At that time, human beings were still endowed with a high degree of clairvoyant consciousness. In later epochs, this clairvoyance was gradually lost, and perception and understanding became limited to the physical world. We have seen that the fourth epoch was slowly prepared; it was in that period that humanity came to live entirely in the physical world. This made it possible for the being whom we call Christ Jesus to incarnate in human form, as a human being on the physical plane. Next we have seen that since that time a certain stream further strengthened human capacities in the physical world. Indeed, the materialistic tendency of our age and the insistence to accept only the physical world as real are connected with humanity's further descent into the physical. However, things must not remain like this. We must ascend again into the spiritual world, bearing with us the attainments and fruits we have acquired in the physical world. It is the task of anthroposophy to offer people the possibility of ascending once again into the spiritual world.

Immediately after the great Atlantean catastrophe, there were many human beings who knew through direct perception that they were surrounded by, and lived in, a spiritual world. Gradually, however, the number of those who knew this decreased as human perception became more limited to the physical senses. In our time, the capacity to perceive the spiritual world has almost disappeared; yet something so significant is being prepared in our time that a great many people will have quite different faculties in their next incarnation. Human faculties have changed during the past five cultural epochs, and they will change again in the sixth. The capacities of a great number of people living today will change considerably in their next incarnation, as will be clear from the whole nature of their soul. Today we will talk about how different many of these human souls will be already in their next incarnation; of course, for other people, this change will not happen until two incarnations from now.

Looking at past epochs of human evolution, we can also see that the closer we come to the ancient clairvoyance, the more the human soul has the character of what we can call “group-soulness.” I have often pointed out that consciousness of this group-soulness existed preeminently among the ancient Hebrews. A person who consciously felt himself to be a member of this people understood, “As an individual human being, I am a transitory phenomenon, but there lives in me something that has an immediate connection with all the soul essence that has streamed down since the days of our progenitor, Abraham.” In esoteric terms, we can describe these feelings of the Hebrew people as a spiritual phenomenon. We will better understand what happened there if we look at the following.

Let us consider a Hebrew initiate of that time. Although initiation was not so frequent among the ancient Hebrews as among other peoples, we can characterize such a real initiate—that is, one initiated not just into theories and the law, but one who really saw into the spiritual worlds—only by taking into consideration the peculiarity of the Hebrew people as a whole. Nowadays, historians, who are concerned only with documents, check the Old Testament against all kinds of external records and find it unsubstantiated. We will have occasion to point out that the Old Testament gives us facts more faithfully than external historical records. In any case, spiritual science shows that the blood relationship of the Hebrews to Abraham can really be proven, and that their claim on Abraham as their original progenitor is fully justified. It was known particularly in the ancient Hebrew Mystery schools that the individuality or psychic essence of Abraham did not incarnate only in him, but is an eternal being existing in the spiritual world.

In fact, all true initiates among the Hebrews were inspired by the same spirit that inspired Abraham; they could call upon that spirit and were permeated by the same soul nature as Abraham. There was a real connection between every initiate and the tribal ancestor Abraham. This connection was expressed also in the feelings of the individuals belonging to the Hebrew people. They felt that what came to expression in Abraham was the group-soul of the people.

Group-souls were also experienced in the same way by other peoples of that time. Humanity in general goes back to group-souls. The farther back we go in human evolution, the less developed we find the individuality. Instead, a whole group belonged together as a unit, as is the case in the animal kingdom. This “groupness” is more and more pronounced the farther back we go into ancient times. Groups of human beings then belonged together, and the group-soul was considerably stronger than the individual soul.

Even today human group-soulness is still not overcome. Those who claim the opposite merely fail to take into account certain subtler phenomena of life, such as the resemblance of certain people not only in their physiognomies but also in their soul qualities. In a sense, people can be divided into categories, and everyone will fit into one of them. Individuals may differ as to this or that quality but a certain group-soulness still makes itself felt and not only because there are still different peoples. The boundaries between the nations continue to disintegrate, but other groupings are still perceptible. Thus certain basic characteristics are combined in individuals in such a way that the last vestiges of group-soulness can still be perceived today.

We are now living in a period of transition. All group-soulness must gradually be stripped off. Just as the differences between nations are gradually disappearing, and the factions within them come to understand each other better, so also will other group-soul qualities have to be shed. Instead, the individual nature of each person will be pushed to the fore. We have here characterized something essential in evolution. From another point of view, we can also say that in the course of evolution the concept of race, by which group-soulness is chiefly expressed, gradually loses its significance.

If we go back beyond the Atlantean catastrophe, we see how human races were prepared. In the ancient Atlantean age, human beings were grouped according to external bodily characteristics even more so than in our time. The races we distinguish today are merely vestiges of these significant differences between human beings in ancient Atlantis. The concept of race is only fully applicable to Atlantis. Because we are dealing with the real evolution of humanity, we have therefore never used this concept of race in its original meaning. Thus, we do not speak of an Indian race, a Persian race, and so on, because it is no longer true or proper to do so. Instead, we speak of an Indian, a Persian, and other periods of civilization. And it would make no sense at all to say that in our time a sixth “race” is being prepared. Though remnants of ancient Atlantean differences, of ancient Atlantean group-soulness, still exist and the division into races is still in effect, what is being prepared for the sixth epoch is precisely the stripping away of race. That is essentially what is happening.

Therefore, in its fundamental nature, the anthroposophical movement, which is to prepare the sixth period, must cast aside the division into races. It must seek to unite people of all races and nations, and to bridge the divisions and differences between various groups of people. The old point of view of race has a physical character, but what will prevail in the future will have a more spiritual character.

That is why it is absolutely essential to understand that our anthroposophical movement is a spiritual one. It looks to the spirit and overcomes the effects of physical differences through the force of being a spiritual movement. Of course, any movement has its childhood illnesses, so to speak. Consequently, in the beginning of the theosophical movement the earth was divided into seven periods of time, one for each of the seven root races, and each of these root races was divided into seven sub-races. These seven periods were said to repeat in a cycle so that one could always speak of seven races and seven sub-races. However, we must get beyond the illnesses of childhood and understand clearly that the concept of race has ceased to have any meaning in our time.

Humanity is becoming evermore individual, and this has further implications for human individuality. It is important that this individuality develop in the right way. The anthroposophical movement is to help people become individualities, or personalities, in the right sense. How can it accomplish this? Here we must look to the most striking new quality of the human soul that is being prepared. People often ask why we do not remember our former incarnations. I have often answered this question, which is like saying that because a four-year-old child cannot do arithmetic, human beings cannot do arithmetic. When the child reaches ten, he or she will be able to multiply with ease. It is the same with the soul. If it cannot remember our former incarnations today, the time will come when it will be able to do so. Then it will possess the same capacity initiates have.

This new development is happening today. There are numerous souls nowadays who are so far advanced that they are close to the moment of remembering their former incarnations, or at least the last one. A number of people are at the threshold of comprehensive memory, embracing life between birth and death as well as previous incarnations. Many people will remember their present incarnation when they are reborn in their next life. It is simply a question of how they remember. The anthroposophical movement is to help and guide people to remember in the right way.

In light of this, we can describe this anthroposophical movement as leading a person to grasp correctly what is called the I, the innermost member of the human being. I have often pointed out that Fichte rightly said most people would sooner regard themselves as a piece of lava on the moon than as an I.1Johann Gottlieb Fichte, 1762-1814, German philosopher. The statement Steiner refers to here can be found in Fichte's Grundlage der gesamten Wissenschaft (Foundation of Science”), 1794, note to Paragraph 4. To think how many people in our time have any idea at all of the I—that is, of what they are—leads to a dismal conclusion.

In this connection I am always reminded of a friend I had more than thirty years ago and who, as a young student, was completely steeped in the materialistic outlook. Today it is more modern to call it the “monistic” outlook. He always laughed when he heard someone say that within each human being there was something that could be called a spiritual being. My friend thought that what lives as thought in us is produced by mechanical or chemical processes in the brain. I often said to him, “Look, if you seriously believe this, why are you lying all the time?” For, in fact, he really was lying continually because he never said, “My brain feels, my brain thinks,” but, “I think, I feel, I know this or that.” Thus, he contradicted his own theory with his every word—as everyone does, for it is impossible to adhere fully to a materialistic theory one has imagined. It is impossible to remain truthful if one thinks materialistically. If one wanted to say, “My brain loves you,” then one should not say “you,” but “My brain loves your brain.” People are not aware of the consequences of their theories. This may be humorous, but it also shows the deep foundation of unconscious untruthfulness that underlies our present spiritual condition.

Now, most people really would sooner regard themselves as a piece of lava on the moon, that is as a piece of matter, than as an I. The I can be understood least of all through science with its materialistic methods and way of thinking. How can we understand the I? How can we arrive at an idea or concept of what we feel instinctively when we say, “I think”? We can do so only through knowing on the basis of the anthroposophical world view how the human being is constituted and structured—that the physical body is related to Saturn, the etheric body to the sun, the astral body to the moon, and the I to the earth. When we keep in mind the ideas we can gather from the cosmos, we understand that the I, as the real master, works on the other members. Then we gradually come to understand what we mean by the word “I.”

As we learn to understand this word, we slowly approach the highest concept of this I. We begin to feel ourselves as spiritual beings not only when we feel ourselves to be within an I, but also when we can say that something lives in our individuality that was already there before Abraham. Then we can say not only, “I and father Abraham are one,” but also “I and the Father, that is, the spiritual element weaving through and living in the world, are one.” What lives in the I is the same spiritual substance that lives and weaves in the world as spirit. Thus we gradually come to understand the I, the bearer of human individuality that goes from incarnation to incarnation.

How do we understand the I and the world in general through the anthroposophical world view? The anthroposophical view of the world develops in the most individual way, but at the same time it is the most un-individual thing you can imagine. It arises in the most individual way when the secrets of the cosmos are revealed in a human soul, when the great spiritual beings of the world stream into this soul. The content of the world must be experienced in the human individuality in the most individual way, but at the same time it must also be experienced completely impersonally. Concerning the true character of cosmic mysteries, we have to say that as long as we still value our personal opinion, we cannot arrive at the truth.

Indeed, it is the peculiar nature of anthroposophical truth that the observer must not hold any opinion of his or her own about it and must not have any preference for this or that theory. The observer must not like this or that view more than any other because of his or her individual peculiarities. As long as we have our own opinions, it is impossible for the true secrets of the world to be revealed to us. We must pursue knowledge quite individually, but our individuality must be so developed that it no longer retains anything personal; it must be free of sympathies and antipathies. This must be taken very seriously. Those who still prefer personal ideas and views and are inclined to this or that because of their education and temperament will never know objective truth.

This summer, we have tried to understand eastern wisdom from the standpoint of western teaching.2Rudolf Steiner, The East in the Light of the West, vol. 113 in the Collected Works, and Edouard Schuré, Children of Lucifer, both in one volume, (Blauvelt, NY: Spiritual Science Library, 1986). We have tried to do justice to eastern wisdom and to present it truly. It must be emphasized that if we have independent spiritual knowledge in our time, it is impossible to decide for either the oriental or the occidental views of the world on the basis of personal preference. Those who say that because of their temperament they prefer the oriental or the occidental world view and its laws do not understand what is essential here. We should not decide that Christ, let us say, is more significant than what is to be found in eastern teaching because we happen to incline toward him through our western education or temperament. We cannot answer the question how Christ is related to the orient until, from a personal standpoint, we can accept Christian and oriental teachings equally. As long as we have a preference, we are unable to make a decision. We begin to be objective only when we let the facts speak for themselves and disregard our personal opinions.

The anthroposophical world view in its true form is closely interwoven with human individuality, for this world view must spring from the I-force of the individuality and yet be independent of it. The individuality as such does not matter. The person in whom anthroposophical wisdom appears must be completely unimportant compared to this wisdom; the person as such does not matter at all. It is only essential that this person has developed so far that his or her personal likes, dislikes, and opinions do not taint the anthroposophical wisdom. Then this wisdom will indeed be individual, because the spiritual cannot appear in the light of the moon or the stars but only in the individuality, in the human soul. This individuality, however, must be developed to the point of being able to disengage from the development of the wisdom of the world.

What is entering humanity through the anthroposophical movement concerns every human being regardless of race or nationality. This movement speaks only to the new humanity, the new human being—not to an abstract concept “human being,” but to every individual. This is the essential point. Anthroposophy proceeds from the individuality, the innermost core of the human being, and it speaks to and touches this core of a person's being. We usually speak to each other only as one surface to another and mostly about things not connected to our innermost being. Full understanding between individuals is hardly possible today, except when what is to be communicated comes from the center of one individual's being and speaks to and is understood rightly by the center of another. Thus, in a certain way, anthroposophy speaks a new language. Even if we are still obliged to speak in the various national languages, the content of what is said forms a new language.

What is said in the outer world is really only valid for a very limited sphere. In the past, when people still looked into the spiritual world through ancient, dreamy clairvoyance, words indicated something that existed in the spiritual world. Even in ancient Greece such things were different from what they are today. The word “idea” as used by Plato signified something different from “idea” as used by our modern philosophers, who no longer understand Plato. They have no perception of what he called “Idea,” mistaking it for an abstract concept. Plato still meant something spiritual that he could perceive. Even if already rarefied, it was nevertheless something quite real. Words still contained, if I may say so, the juice of the spiritual.

The spiritual can still be traced in words. When people today use the word “wind” or “air,” they mean something external, physical. However, the ancient Hebrew word for this, “Ruach,” did not only refer to something physical but also to something spiritual permeating the universe. Modern materialistic science tells us that when we inhale, we simply breathe in physical air. In ancient times, however, people did not believe they inhaled only physical air; they were aware that they inhaled something spiritual, or at least something psychic.

In fact, in ancient times, words designated something spiritual and psychic. That is no longer true today; language has become limited to the external world at least people who want to be fully up to date culturally are busy finding materialistic meanings behind terms that are obviously derived from the realm of soul and spirit. Physicists, for example, speak of an “impact” of bodies. They have forgotten that “impact” is derived from what a living being performs in its inner nature when it pushes another being. The original meaning of words is forgotten in these simple things. Thus, our language, particularly our scientific language, can no longer express anything but the material. What is in our soul while we speak can therefore be understood only by those soul faculties that are bound to the physical brain as their instrument. As a result, when the soul is disembodied, it understands nothing of all that has been said with these words. When the soul has gone through the gate of death and can no longer use the brain, all scientific discussions are quite incomprehensible to it. It does not hear or perceive what one expresses in contemporary language, which has no meaning for a disembodied soul. Our language has meaning only in the physical world.

We must consider this in relation to our way of thinking and outlook on the world because this fact is much more important than a theory. After all, what matters is life, not theory. Characteristically, one can see in the theosophical movement how materialism has crept in. Materialism sneaked even into theosophy and prevails even there, for example, in the descriptions of the etheric or life body. Rather than making an effort to understand the spiritual, people often describe the etheric body as if it were a kind of finer matter, and they do the same with the astral body. They usually begin with the physical body, proceed to the etheric or life body and say it is constructed on the same pattern as the physical body, only finer. And they continue this way until they reach nirvana. Such descriptions take their images only from the physical world.

I have even heard people say that there are fine vibrations in a room when they wanted to describe the good feeling present in the room. They do not notice that they are reducing something spiritual to matter when they think of a room as filled with vibrations as with a thin fog.

This is the most materialistic thinking possible. Materialism has taken hold even of those who want to think spiritually. This is typical of our times, and it is important that we are conscious of it. We must be especially aware that language is always a kind of tyrant over our thinking and has implanted in our souls a tendency to materialism. Many people today who claim to be idealists express themselves in an entirely materialistic way because they have been seduced, as it were, by the tyranny of language. This materialistic language cannot be understood by the soul when it is no longer bound to the brain.

There is yet more to it than this. The method of presentation often employed in scientific-theosophical writings causes real pain to those who know occult contemplation, true spiritual perception. For this way of presentation does not make sense to people who have begun to think not with their brain but with their soul, now freed from the brain—people who really live in the spiritual world. It is all well and good to describe the world materialistically as long as we still think with the physical brain, but as soon as we begin to develop spiritual perception, speaking in this way ceases to have any meaning. Indeed, then it even causes pain to hear people say that “there are good vibrations in this room,” rather than “a good feeling prevails.” Because thoughts are realities, such utterances cause pain in those who can really see things spiritually. For them the room becomes filled with a dark fog when somebody expresses the thought “there are good vibrations in this room.”

It is the task of our anthroposophical way of thinking, which is decidedly more important than all theories, to learn to speak a language that is understood by the soul not only while it is still in a physical body but also when it is no longer bound to the physical brain. In other words, this language must be understood by a soul still in the body and able to perceive spiritually as well as by a soul that has gone through the gate of death. That is what is important. When we use anthroposophical concepts that explain the world and the human being, we are speaking a language that can be understood here in the physical world and also by those who are no longer incarnated in physical bodies but are living between death and a new birth. Yes, what is spoken in anthroposophy is heard and understood by the so-called dead. They are fully at one with us when we speak the same language. With this language we speak to all human beings. After all, in a sense, it is mere chance whether a soul is in a body or in the condition between death and a new birth. Through anthroposophy we learn a language that is comprehensible to all human beings, living or dead. Thus, in anthroposophy we speak a language that is also spoken for the dead.

We really touch the innermost core of a person through what we cultivate in anthroposophical discussions, even if what we say appears to be abstract. We penetrate right into the human soul, and because of that, we can free people from group-soulness. Because we penetrate into their souls, they become increasingly able to really understand themselves as an I.

Interestingly, the difference between those who come to anthroposophy and really embrace it and those who do not is that the I of the former is as if crystallized into a spiritual being through anthroposophical thinking, a spiritual being that is then carried along through the gate of death. The others, who do not practice anthroposophical thinking, have a hollow space, a nothingness in the place where the I is now in physical life and after death. Any other concepts we can take in nowadays will gradually become more and more immaterial for the true core of the human soul. The central essence of the human being will be touched and understood only by the anthroposophical thoughts we take in. These crystallize a spiritual substance in us that we can take with us after death and that enables us to perceive in the spiritual world, to see and hear, and to penetrate the darkness that would otherwise exist there for us. Thus, it becomes possible that we can take the I we have developed through the anthroposophical outlook and concepts—the I that is connected to all the wisdom in the world we can receive—with us into the next incarnation. Then we will be reborn in the next incarnation with this developed I, and we will be able to remember it.

It is the deeper task of the anthroposophical movement to enable a number of human beings to enter their next incarnation with an I each remembers as his or her own, individual I. These people will then form the nucleus of the next period of civilization. Then these individuals who have been well prepared through the anthroposophical spiritual movement to remember their individual I will be spread over the earth. For the essential characteristic of the next period of civilization is that it will not be limited to particular localities, but will be spread over the whole earth. These individuals will be scattered over the earth, and thus everywhere on earth there will be a core group of people who will be crucial for the sixth epoch of civilization. These people will recognize each other as those who in their previous incarnation strove together to develop the individual I. That is the proper cultivation of that soul faculty we have spoken of

This soul faculty will be so developed that more and more people who have not developed their I will also be able to remember their former incarnations. However, they will not remember an individual I, but only the group-I in which they had remained. In summary, people who are working in this incarnation to develop their individual I will be able to remember themselves as this or that independent individuality; they will be able to look back at the individuality they were. People who have not developed their individuality will be unable to remember any individuality.

Do not think that mere visionary clairvoyance will enable you to remember your previous I. Humanity was once clairvoyant, and if that in itself sufficed, then everyone would have remembered because all were clairvoyant. Thus, what matters is not clairvoyance; people will indeed be clairvoyant in the future. Rather, what matters is whether we have cultivated our I in this incarnation or not. If we have not cultivated it, the I will not be there as the innermost human essence, and we will remember only a group-I, only what we had in common with others. In that case we will have to look back and admit that we did not free ourselves from the group-I in this incarnation. People to whom this happens will experience it as though it were a new Fall, a second Fall of humanity, a falling back into a conscious connection with the group-soul. Not to remember oneself as an individuality and to be hemmed in by one's inability to transcend group-soulness will be something terrible in the sixth epoch. To put it bluntly, we can say that the earth and all it can yield will belong to those who now cultivate their individualities. Those, however, who do not develop their individual I will be dependent on joining a group that will instruct them in what they should think, feel, will, and do. In the future development of humanity this will be felt as a regression, a second Fall. Therefore, we should not regard the anthroposophical movement and spiritual life as mere theory but rather as something that is given to us now to prepare what is necessary for the future of humanity.

When we understand our present condition correctly—understand where we have come from and where we are going—then we must realize that humanity is now beginning to develop the ability to remember beyond the limits of the present incarnation. What matters now is that we develop it in the right way, that is, by developing our individual I. For we can remember only what we have created in our soul. If we have not created it, we are left only with the fettering memory of a group I, and we will feel this as a falling back into a group-soul of higher animality, as it were. Even if human group-souls are more refined than those of the animals, they are still group-souls. People of an earlier age would not have considered this a regression because they were just in the process of developing from group-soulness to the individual soul. However, if group-soulness is retained today, people will consciously experience this falling back into group-soulness. In the future, this will create an oppressive feeling in those who cannot catch up with the development of the individual I either in the present incarnation or a later one; they will feel their falling back into group-soulness.

Anthroposophy must help people keep pace with this development of the I; that is how we have to see anthroposophy and its place in human life. When we keep in mind that the sixth period is that of the first complete overcoming of the concept of race, we have to realize that it would be sheer fantasy to think that a sixth “race” will also start in a particular place on earth and develop like the earlier races. After all, that is what progress is all about: ever new ways of evolution appear, and concepts that were valid for earlier times will no longer apply in the future. If we do not realize this, the idea of progress will remain unclear for us. And we will again and again fall back into the error of speaking about so and so many cycles, worlds, races of evolution, and so on. It is unclear why this wheel of cycles, worlds, and races should keep turning. We must realize that the word “race” is a term that was valid only for a particular time. As we approach the sixth epoch, this term loses its meaning.

In future, what speaks to the depths of the human soul will be expressed increasingly in people's outer appearance. What people have acquired as individuals and yet experienced non-individually will be expressed in their countenance. Thus, the individuality of a person—not the group-soulness—will be inscribed on his or her countenance, and that is what will account for human diversity. Everything will be acquired individually, although it will only be gained through overcoming the individuality. Those who are in the process of developing the I will not form groups, but their individuality will be expressed in their external appearance. That is what will create differences between human beings.

There will be people who have acquired I-hood; they will be scattered over the earth, and their countenances will be very diverse. Yet, in this diversity the individual I is expressing itself even in the person's gestures. However, those who have not developed their individuality will bear the imprint of group-soulness in their countenances; that is, they can be grouped in categories that will resemble each other. That will be the outer physiognomy of our earth: the possibility will be prepared to bear one's individuality as an outer sign or to bear the outer sign of group-soulness. It is the meaning of earthly evolution for human beings to develop more and more the ability to express their inner being in their outer appearance. That is why the highest ideal of the evolution of the I, Christ Jesus, is described as follows in an ancient document: “When two become one, when the outer becomes like the inner, then human beings have attained Christ nature in themselves.” That is the meaning of a certain passage in the so-called Egyptian Gospel.3The so-called Egyptian Gospel is an apocryphal gospel of which only fragments have survived. One can understand such passages on the basis of anthroposophical wisdom.

Today we have attempted to understand the task of anthroposophy out of the depth of our insight. Next time we will consider a spiritual problem that is of special concern to the individual and that can lead us to understand our destiny and our true nature.