The Christ Impulse as Conqueror of Matter.
14 September 1908, Leipzig
In order to complete the task that we have envisioned, we must now study the character of our own time in the same sense in which we have studied the four post-Atlantean epochs up to the appearance of Christianity. We have seen how, after the Atlantean catastrophe, there evolved the ancient Indian epoch, the ancient Persian epoch, and the Egypto-Chaldean epoch. In the description of the fourth epoch, the Greco-Latin, we have seen that in a certain connection man at that time worked his way into the physical plane and that this working into the physical world then reached its low point. Why is this time, which from one side we call the low point of human evolution, nevertheless so attractive, so sympathetic, for the modern observer'? Because this low point became the point of departure for many significant events of the present cultural epoch. We have seen how, in this Greco-Latin culture, a marriage was achieved between spirit and matter in Greek art. We have seen how the Greek temple was a building where the god could dwell, and that man could say, I have brought matter so far that for me it can be an expression of the spirit, so that in every detail I can feel something of this spirit. Thus it is with all Greek works of art. Thus it is with everything we have to say about the life of the Greeks. This world of artistic creations, into which the spirit was implanted, made matter so terribly attractive that among us in Middle Europe the great Goethe, in his Faust tragedy, sought to portray his own union with this epoch of culture.
If in the succeeding time the progress of culture had continued in the same direction, what would have been the result? We can make this clear through a simple sketch. In the Greco-Latin time man had descended to his lowest point, but in such a way that in no piece of matter was the spirit lost to him. In all the creations of this time, the spirit was incorporated in matter. When we look at the figure of a Greek god, we see everywhere how the Greek creative genius imprinted the spiritual on the external matter. The Greek had conquered matter, but the spirit had not been lost. The normal course of culture would have been that man should descend below this level, plunging down below matter so that the spirit would become the slave of matter. We need only turn an unprejudiced glance on our environment and we shall see that, on one side, this has actually happened. The expression of this descent is materialism. True, in no period has man mastered matter more than in our time, but only for the satisfaction of bodily needs. We need only consider with what primitive means the gigantic pyramids were built, and then compare this with the boldness and loftiness with which the Egyptian spirit moved among the mysteries of world-existence. We need only think of the deep sense in which, for the Egyptians, their pictures of the gods were images of what took place in the cosmos and on earth in the remote past. One who, at that time in Egypt, could look into the spiritual world, lived in something that became invisible in the Atlantean time but was a fact of evolution in the Lemurian time. One who was not an initiate, who belonged to the common people, could still participate in these spiritual worlds with his whole feeling and his whole soul. Yet how primitive were the means with which these men had to work externally on the physical plane. Compare this with our own time. We need only read the innumerable eulogies that our contemporaries write about the enormous strides made in modern times. The science of the spirit makes no objection to this. Human achievements are increasing through the conquest of the elements. But let us look at the thing from another side.
Let us look back to far-distant times when men ground their corn between simple stones, yet could look up into tremendous heights of the spiritual life. The majority of men today have no inkling of the heights that were surveyed at that time. They have no inkling of what a Chaldean initiate experienced when, in his special manner, he saw the stars, animals, plants, and minerals in connection with man, when he recognized the healing forces. The Egyptian priests were men to whom the physicians of today could not hold a candle. The men of today cannot penetrate into these heights of the spiritual world. Only through the science of the spirit can an idea be formed of what the ancient Chaldean-Egyptian initiates saw. For example, what we are offered today by way of interpretation of the inscriptions, in which deep mysteries are contained, is only a caricature of the ancient significance. Thus we find that in ancient times man had little power over the tools and equipment for labor on the physical plane, but he had enormous forces in relation to the spiritual world.
Man is descending ever more deeply into matter, and more and more he devotes his spiritual powers to conquering the physical plane. Can we not say that the human spirit is becoming the slave of the physical plane? In a certain way man descends even below the physical plane. Man has devoted enormous spiritual force to inventing the steamship, the railway, and the telephone, but what does he use these for? What a mass of spirit is thus diverted from life for the higher worlds. The spiritual scientist understands this and does not criticize in our time, because he knows that it was necessary to conquer the physical plane. Yet it is true that the spirit has plunged down into the physical world. Is it important for the spirit that, instead of grinding our own corn in a quern, we should be able to call Hamburg by long-distance telephone and order what we want to be sent from America by steamer? Great spiritual force has been applied to building up such connections with America and many other foreign lands, but we may ask whether the aim of all this is not the satisfaction of the material life, of our bodily needs. Since everything in the world is limited, there is not much spiritual force left over whereby man may ascend to the spiritual world after he has devoted so much to the material. The spirit has become the slave of matter. The Greek incorporated the spirit in his works of art, but today the spirit has descended very far. We have proof of this in the many technical and mechanical arrangements of our industry, which serve only material needs. Now let us ask whether this process is completed and whether man has descended too far.
This would have been the case were it not for the occurrence that we discussed in the preceding lectures. At the low point of human evolution something was infused into mankind, through the Christ-impulse, that gave the stimulus to a new ascent. The entry of the Christ-impulse into human evolution forms the other side of culture thereafter. It showed the way to the overcoming of matter. It brought the force through which death can be overcome. Thereby it offered to humanity the possibility of again raising itself above the level of the physical plane. This mightiest impulse had to be given, this impulse which became so efficacious that matter could be overcome in the magnificent way that is described in the Gospel of John, in the Baptism in Jordan and the Mystery of Golgotha.
Christ Jesus, who was foretold by the prophets, gave the most powerful impulse of all human evolution. Man had to separate himself from the spiritual worlds in order to attach himself to them again with the Christ-being. But we cannot yet understand this if we do not penetrate still more deeply into the connections of human evolution as a whole.
We must point out that what we call the advent of the Christ on earth is an event that could occur only at the low point, when man had sunk so far. The Greco-Latin period stands in the middle of the seven post-Atlantean epochs. No other period would have been the right one. When man became a personality, God also had to become a personality in order to save him, to give him the possibility of rising again. We have seen that in his Roman citizenship the Roman first became conscious of his personality. Earlier, man still lived in the heights of the spiritual world; now he had descended entirely to the physical plane, and now he had to be led upward again through God himself. We must go more deeply into the third, the fifth, and the intermediate period. We shall not study Egyptian mythology in an academic way, but we must pick out the characteristic points in order to get deeper into the feeling-life of the ancient Egyptians. Then we may ask how this illuminates our own time. There is one thing here that must be weighed carefully.
We have seen how, in the Egyptian myths and mysteries, all the mighty pictures of the Sphinx, of Isis, of Osiris, were memories of ancient human conditions. All this was like a reflection of ancient events on earth. Man looked back into his primeval past and saw his origin. The initiate could experience again the spiritual existence of his forebears. We have seen how man grew out of an original group-soul condition. We could point out how these group-souls were preserved in the forms of the four apocalyptic beasts. Man grew out of this condition in such a way that he gradually refined his body and achieved the development of individuality. We can follow this historically. Let us read the Germania of Tacitus. 1he passage referred to is probably the following (pages 293 and 295 in the Loeb Classical Library Edition): Sisters' children mean as much to their uncle as to their father; some tribes regard this blood-tie as even closer and more sacred than that between son and father . . . The more relations a man has and the larger the number of his connections by marriage, the more influence has he in his age; it does not pay to have no ties. It is incumbant to take up a father's feuds or a kinsman's not less than his friendship. In the times described there, in the conditions of the Germanic regions in the first century after Christ as there portrayed, we see how the consciousness of the individual is still bound up with the community, how the clan spirit rules, how the Cherusker, for example, still feels himself as a member of his clan. This consciousness is still so strong that the individual seeks vengeance for another of the same group. It finds expression in the custom of the blood-feud. Thus a sort of group-soul condition prevailed. This condition was preserved into late post-Atlantean times, but only as an echo. In the last period of Atlantis the group-consciousness generally died out. It is only stragglers whom we have just described. In reality the men of that time no longer knew anything of the group-soul. In the Atlantean time, however, man did know of it. Then he did not yet say I of himself. This group-soul feeling changed into something else in the following generations.
Strange as it may seem, in ancient times memory had an entirely different meaning and power. What is memory today? Reflect on whether you can still recall the events of your earliest childhood. Probably you can remember very little, and beyond your childhood you cannot go at all. You will remember nothing of what lies before your birth. It was not like this in Atlantean times. Even in the first post-Atlantean time man could remember what his father, grandfather, and ancestors had experienced. There was no sense in saying that between birth and death there was an ego. The ego reached back for centuries in the memory. The ego reached as far as the blood flowed down, from the remotest ancestors to the descendants. At that time the group-ego was not to be thought of as extended in space over the contemporaries, but as proceeding upward in the generations. Therefore, the modern man will never understand what appears as an echo of this in the tales of the patriarchs: that Adam, Noah, and others grew to be so old. They counted their ancestors through several generations upward to their ego. The modern man no longer can form any conception of this. In those days there would have been no sense in giving a single man a name between birth and death. In the whole series of ancestors the memory continued upwards for centuries. As far as man could remember through the centuries, so far was he given his name. Adam was, so to say, the ego that flowed with the blood through the generations. Only when we are acquainted with these actual facts do we know how things really were. Man felt sheltered in this series of generations. This is what the Bible means when it says, I and Father Abraham are one. When the adherent of the Old Testament said this, only then did he rightly feel himself as man within the line of ancestry. Among the first post-Atlanteans, even among the Egyptians, this consciousness was still present. Men felt the community of the blood, and this caused something special for the spiritual life.
When a man dies today he has a life in kamaloka, after which comes a relatively long life in Devachan. But this is already a result of the Christ-impulse. This was not the case in pre-Christian times; then a man felt himself connected with the times of his forefathers. Today a man must wean himself in kamaloka from the wishes and desires to which he has accustomed himself in the physical world; the duration of this condition depends upon this. We cling to our life between birth and death; in ancient times man clung to much more than this. Man was connected with the physical plane in such a way that he felt himself as a member of the whole physical series of generations. Thus, in kamaloka, one did not merely have to work out the clinging to an individual physical existence, but one really had to traverse all that was connected with the generations, up to the remotest ancestor. One experienced this backwards. One result of this was the deep truth underlying the expression: To feel oneself sheltered in Abraham's bosom. One felt that after death he went upward through the whole row of ancestors, and the road that one had to travel was called the way to the fathers. Only when one had traversed this path could he ascend into the spiritual worlds and travel the way of the gods. At that time the soul traveled first the path of the fathers and then the path of the gods.
Now the various cultures did not come to abrupt ends. The essence of the Indian culture remained, although it underwent a change. It was preserved alongside the following cultures. In the continuation of the Indian culture that was contemporaneous with the Egyptian, something similar arose. Today we easily confuse what was later with what was earlier. Therefore it was emphasized that I was giving indications only out of the remotest periods. Among other things, the Indians now took up the view of the path of the fathers and the path of the gods.
As a man became more initiated, freed himself more from dependence on home and the fathers, became more homeless, the path of the gods became longer and the path of the fathers became shorter. One who clung closely to the fathers had a long father-path and a short god-path. In the terminology of the Orient, the way of the fathers was called Pitriyana and the way of the gods was called Devayana. When we speak of Devachan, we should understand that this is only a distorted form of the word Devayana, the path of the gods. An old Vedantist would simply laugh at us if we came to him with descriptions such as we give of Devachan. It is not so easy to find one's way into the oriental methods of thinking and contemplating. As to those who pretend to give out oriental truths, these truths often must be protected from just such people. Many a person today who accepts something as Indian teaching has no idea that he is receiving a confused doctrine. The modern science of the spirit does not claim to be an oriental-Indian teaching. In certain circles people love what comes from far away, perhaps from America, but the truth is at home everywhere. Antiquarian research belongs to scholars, but the science of the spirit is life. Its truth can be checked everywhere at any time. We must keep this before our minds.
What we have just mentioned was practice as well as theory among the ancient Egyptians. What was taught in the great mysteries was also practical., Something special was connected with this, as we shall learn as we penetrate further. The mysteries of the ancient Egyptians strove for something special. Today we may smile when we are told how the Pharaoh was at a certain time a kind of initiate, and how the Egyptian stood in relation to the Pharaoh and to his state institutions. For the modern European scholar it is particularly comical when the Pharaoh gives himself the name, Son of Horus, or even Horus. It seems singular to us that a man should be venerated as a god; nothing more abstruse could be thought of. But the man of today does not understand the Pharaoh and his mission. He does not know what the Pharaoh-initiation really was. Today we see in a people, only a group of persons who can be counted. To the man of today a people 2The German word Volk has no convenient English equivalent. We shall translate it as people or folk in different contexts. is a meaningless abstraction. The reality is simply a certain number of persons filling a certain area. But this is not a people for one who accepts the standpoint of occultism. 3Rudolf Steiner's fullest discussion of this subject appears in the cycle of lectures, Mission of the Folk-Souls, delivered at Oslo in 1910. As a single member such as the finger belongs to the whole body, so do the single persons within the people belong to the folk-soul. They are as it were embedded in it, but the folk-soul is not physical; it is real only as an etheric form. It is an absolute reality; the initiate can commune with this soul. It is even much more real for him than are single individualities among the people, far more so than a single person. For the occultist spiritual experiences are entirely valid, and there the folk-soul is something thoroughly real. Let us examine briefly the connection between the folk-soul and the individuals.
If we think of the single individuals, the single egos, as little circles, for external physical observation they will be separate beings. But one who observes these single individualities spiritually sees them as though embedded in an etheric cloud, and this is the incorporation of the folk-soul. If the single person thinks, feels, and wills something, he radiates his feelings and thoughts into the common folk-soul. This is colored by his radiations, and the folk-soul becomes permeated by the thoughts and feelings of the single persons. When we look away from the physical man and observe only his etheric and astral bodies, and then observe the astral body of an entire people, we see that the astral body of the entire people receives its color-shadings from the single persons.
The Egyptian initiate knew this, but he also knew something further. When he observed this folk-substance, the ancient Egyptian asked himself what really lived in the folk-soul. What did he see therein? He saw in his folk-soul the re-embodiment of Isis. He saw how she had once wandered among men. Isis worked in the folk-soul. He saw in her the same influences as those that proceeded from the moon; these forces worked in the folk-soul. What the Egyptian saw as Osiris worked in the individual spiritual radiations; therein he recognized the Osiris-influence. But Isis he saw in the folk-soul.
Thus Osiris was not visible on the physical plane. He had died for the physical plane. Only when a man had died was Osiris again placed before his eyes. Therefore we read in the Book of the Dead how the Egyptian felt that he was united with Osiris in death, that he himself became an Osiris. Osiris and Isis worked together in the state and in the single person, as his members.
Now let us again consider the Pharaoh, remembering that this was a reality for him. Each Pharaoh received certain instructions before his initiation, to the end that he should not grasp this with his intellect only, but that it should become truth and reality for him. He had to be brought to the point where he could say to himself, If I am to rule this people, I must sacrifice a portion of my spirituality, I must extinguish a part of my astral and etheric bodies. The Osiris and Isis principles must work in me. I must will nothing personally; if I say something, Osiris must speak; if I do something, Osiris must do it; if I move my hand, Osiris and Isis must be active. I must represent Horus, the son of Isis and Osiris.
Initiation is not erudition. But to be able to do something like this, to be able to make such a sacrifice, pertains to initiation. What the Pharaoh sacrificed of himself could be filled up with portions of the folk-soul. The part of himself that the Pharaoh relinquished was just what gave him power. For justified power does not arise through a man's raising his own personality; it arises through his taking into himself something that transcends the boundaries of personality, a higher spiritual power. The Pharaoh took such a power into himself, and this was externally portrayed through the Uraeus-serpent.
Again we have peered into a mystery. We have seen something much higher than the explanations that are given today when the Pharaohs are discussed.
If the Egyptian cherished such feelings, what would have to be his particular concern? It would be his particular concern that the folk-soul should become as strong as possible, rich in good forces, and that it should not be diminished. The Egyptian initiates could not reckon with, what man possessed through blood-relationship. But what the forefathers had accumulated as spiritual riches, was to become the property of the individual soul. This is indicated for us in the judging of the dead, where the man is brought before the forty-two assessors of the dead. There his deeds are weighed. Who are the forty-two judges of the dead? They are the ancestors. 4A full description of these 42 gods is to be found in Budge, Osiris and the Egyptian Resurrection, Volume I, pp. 316-317. For a fairly good picture, see pages 344-45 of the same work. It was believed that each man's life was interwoven with the lives of forty-two ancestors. Therefore he had to answer to them as to whether he actually had taken up what they had offered to him spiritually. In this way, what was contained in the Egyptian mystery-teachings was something that was to become practical for life, but which could also be turned to good account for the time beyond death, for the life between death and a new birth. In the Egyptian epoch man was already entangled in the physical world. But at the same time he had to look up to his ancestors in the other world, and cultivate in the physical world what he had inherited from them. Through this interest he was fettered to the physical plane, since he had to continue working on what his fathers had created.
Now we must reflect that the souls of today are reincarnations of the ancient Egyptian souls. For the souls of today, who experienced it in their Egyptian incarnation, what is the significance of what happened at that time? All that the soul experienced at that time between death and a new birth has been woven into the soul, weaves within it, and has arisen again in our fifth period, which brings the fruits of the third period. These fruits appear in the inclinations and ideas of modern times, which have their causes in the ancient Egyptian world. Nowadays all the ideas emerge which at that time were laid down in the soul as germs. Therefore it is easy to see that man's modern conquests on the physical plane are nothing more than a coarser version of the transfer of interest to the physical plane that was present in ancient Egypt, only people are now even more deeply ensnared in matter. In the mummifying of the dead we have already seen a cause of the materialistic views that we now experience on the physical plane.
Let us imagine a soul of that time. Let us imagine a soul that then lived as a pupil of one of the ancient initiates. Such a pupil's spiritual gaze had been directed to the cosmos through actual perception. The way Osiris and Isis lived in the moon had become spiritual perception for him. Everything was permeated by divine-spiritual beings. He had taken this into his soul. He is again incarnated in the fourth and fifth periods. In the fifth period such a person experiences all this again. It comes back to him as a memory. What happens to it now? The pupil had gazed up at all that lived in the world of the stars. This sight comes to life again in a certain person of the fifth period. He remembers what he saw and heard at that time. He cannot recognize it again, because it has taken on a material coloring. It is no longer the spiritual that he sees, but the material-mechanical relationships emerge again and he recreates the thoughts in materialistic form as memory. Where he had previously seen divine beings, Isis and Osiris, now he sees only abstract forces without any spiritual bond. The spiritual relationships appear to him in thought-form. Everything arises again, but in material form.
Let us apply this to a particular soul which at that time acquired insight into the great cosmic connections, and let us imagine that there arises again before this soul what it had seen spiritually in ancient Egypt. This appears again in this soul in the fifth post-Atlantean period, and we have the soul of Copernicus. Thus did the Copernican system arise, as a memory-tableau of spiritual experiences in ancient Egypt. The case is the same with Kepler's system. These men gave birth to their great laws out of Their memories, out of what they had experienced in the Egyptian time. Now let us think how such a thing arises in the soul as a faint memory, and let us think also how what such a spirit truly thinks was, in ancient Egypt, experienced by him in spiritual form. What can such a spirit say to us? That it seems to him as though he looked back into ancient Egypt. It is as though he stated all this in a new form when such a spirit says, But now, a year and a half after the first dawning, a few months after the first full daylight, a few weeks after the pure sun had risen over these most wonderful contemplations, nothing holds me back any longer. I shall revel in holy fire. I shall scorn the sons of men with the simple confession that I am stealing the sacred vessels of the Egyptians to build with them an habitation for my God, far removed from the borders of Egypt. Is this not like an actual memory, which corresponds to the truth? This is Kepler's saying, and in his works we also find the following: The ancient memory is knocking at my heart. Wonderful are the connections of things in human evolution. Many such enigmatic sayings take on light and meaning when one senses the spiritual connections. Life becomes great and powerful, and we feel our way into a mighty whole when we understand that the single person is only an individual form of the spiritual that permeates the world.
I have already pointed out that what has arisen in our time as Darwinism is a coarser materialistic version of what the Egyptians portrayed as their gods in animal form. I was also able to show that if one understands Paracelsus correctly, his medical lore is a recrudescence of what was taught in the temples of ancient Egypt. Let us contemplate such a spirit as Paracelsus. We find a remarkable statement by him. One who has steeped himself in Paracelsus knows what a lofty spirit lived in him. He made a remarkable statement, saying that he had learned much in many ways; least of all in the academies, but much from old traditions and from the common people during his journeys through many lands. It is impossible here to give examples of the deep truths that are still present among the common people but are no longer understood, although Paracelsus could still turn them to account. He said that he had found one book containing deep medical truths. What book was it? The Bible! Thereby he meant not only the Old Testament, but also the New. One need only be able to read the Bible to find therein what Paracelsus found. What became of the medicine of Paracelsus? It is true that it is a memory of the ancient Egyptian methods of healing. But through the fact that he absorbed the mysteries of Christianity, the upward impulse, his works are saturated with spiritual wisdom, they are filled with Christ. This is the path into the future. This is what everyone must do who, in modern times, will pave the way back out of the fall into matter. We must not under-value the great material progress, but there is also the possibility of letting the spiritual flow into it.
One who studies what material science can offer today, who plunges into material science and is not too lazy to steep himself in it, such a man acts wisely also in relation to the science of the spirit. Much can be learned from the purely materialistic investigators. What is found there we can permeate with the pure spirit, which the science of the spirit offers. If thus we permeate everything with the spiritual, then this is properly understood Christianity. It is a slander of the science of the spirit when men say that it is a fantastic view of the world. It can stand firmly on the ground of reality, and it would be only a most elementary beginning in the science of the spirit if one were to concentrate on a schematic representation of the higher worlds. It is not important that the student should simply know the things, learning the concepts by heart. This is not all that counts. The important thing is that the teachings about the higher worlds should become fruitful in men, that the true spiritual-scientific teachings should be introduced into everything, into the everyday life.
It is not so important that one should preach about universal brotherly love. It is best to speak of that as little as possible. Speaking in such phrases is like saying to the stove, Dear stove, it is your duty to warm this room. Fulfill your duty! So it is with teachings that are given through such phrases. The important thing is the means. The stove remains cold if I simply tell it that it should be warm. It gets warm when it has fuel. People also remain cold when they are admonished. But what is fuel for the modern man? The specific facts of spiritual teaching are fuel for man. 5This thought is more fully expounded in Rudolf Steiner's booklet, Anthroposophical Ethics, comprising three lectures delivered in 1912 in Norrköping. One should not be so lazy as to remain content with Universal brotherhood. People must be given fuel. Then brotherhood will arise of itself. As the plants stretch out their blossoms to the sun, so must we all look up to the sun of the spiritual life.
The important thing is that the matters we have examined here should not be accepted merely as theoretical doctrines, but that they should become a force in our souls. For every man, in every position in practical life, they can give impulses for what he must create. People who look today at the science of the spirit with a certain scorn feel themselves superior to its fantastic teachings. They find unprovable assertions therein and say that one should cleave to the facts. If the spiritual scientist were made pusillanimous rather than bold through his life in the science of the spirit, it would be easy for him to lose his sureness and energy when he sees how just those persons who should understand the science of the spirit are the ones who utterly fail to grasp it.
Our times easily look down on what the Egyptians recognized as their gods. The latter are said to be meaningless abstractions. But modern man is far more superstitious. He clings to entirely different gods, who are authorities for him. Because he does not actually bend the knee before them, he does not notice what superstitions he cherishes.
My dear friends, when we have thus been together again we should always be mindful that when we disperse we should not take with us only a number of truths, but we should take away a collective impression, a feeling, that can properly take the form of an impulse of will, an impulse to carry the science of the spirit into life and to allow nothing to disturb our confidence in it.
Let us place a picture before our soul. One often hears it said, Oh, these seekers for the spirit! They assemble in their lodges and pursue all kinds of fantastic rubbish. A man of really modern views can have no part in that. The adherents of the science of the spirit sometimes seem to be a sort of pariah class, regarded as uneducated and untrained. Should we be discouraged because of this? No. We shall place a picture before our souls and arouse the feelings that are connected with it. We can recall something similar in past times; how something similar occurred in ancient Rome. We can see how, in ancient Rome, primitive Christianity spread among a despised class of people. We look with legitimate delight today on such things as the Coliseum constructed by imperial Rome. But we can also look at the people who then regarded themselves as the choicest of their time; we can see how they sat in the Circus and watched while the Christians were burned in the arena and incense was kindled to quench the stink of the burning bodies.
Now let us look at those despised ones. They lived in the catacombs, in underground passages. There the spreading Christianity had to hide. There they erected the first Christian altars on the graves of their dead. There below they had their wonderful symbols and shrines. A strange feeling seizes us today when we walk through the catacombs, through that despised underground Rome. The Christians knew what awaited them. That first germ of the Christ-impulse on earth, confined to the catacombs, was despised. But what remains of imperial Rome? It has disappeared from the earth, while what then lived in the catacombs has been exalted.
Let us hope that those who today wish to make themselves the bearers of a spiritual world-view may preserve the confidence of the first Christians. The representatives of the science of the spirit may be despised by contemporary academic learning, but they know they are working for what will bloom and thrive in the future. Let them learn to endure all the vexations of the present day. We are working into the future. This we may feel confidently and without arrogance, firm against the misunderstandings of our time.
With such feelings let us try to give permanence to what has passed before our souls. Let us take it away with us as a force, and let us continue to work together fraternally in the right direction.