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The Son of God and the Son of Man

The Son of God and the Son of Man

A lecture by
Rudolf Steiner
Munich, February 11, 1911
GA 127

For Members of the Anthroposophical Society. A lecture given by Rudolf Steiner in Munich, 11th February 1911.

Duplicated as manuscript with the kind permission of the Rudolf Steiner-Nachlassverwaltung, Dornach, Switzerland, by whom all rights are reserved.

From the lecture series: The Mission of the New Spiritual Revelation Published in German as: Die Mission der Neuen Geistesoffenbarung. Das Christus-Ereignis als Mittelpunktsgeschehen der Erdenevolution. GA# 127.

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For Members of the Anthroposophical Society.
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Z 357.

THE “SON OF GOD” AND THE “SON OF MAN”

Lecture given by Rudolf Steiner in
Munich, 11th February 1911.

__________________

S-2375

Duplicated as manuscript with the kind permission of the
Rudolf Steiner-Nachlassverwaltung, Dornach, Switzerland,
by whom all rights are reserved.

Munich, 11th February 1911.

From our study of spiritual science we learn of the so-called “members” of man's constitution and we then speak of his physical body, etheric body, astral body, ego and so on. It may seem to many people that once they know of these members they have also, in some measure, understood man's real being; and indeed there are numbers who believe that they know the essentials if they are able to enumerate these different members of man's constitution, or even, possibly, to indicate what happens to one or another of them in the course of his incarnations. Although any study of man must necessarily begin with a knowledge of these members, we must be quite clear that this knowledge is very preliminary. For what is really important is not that the human being consists of these seven or nine members, but how they are related to one another, how each of them is connected with any one of the others. It must also be realised that the connections are by no means the same in all human beings, in every epoch. The connections and relationships change in the course of the ages of human evolution. In an epoch lying four or five thousand years behind us, the connection between the members of man's constitution was not the same as it is today, and in the future it will again be quite different. The way in which the members are interlinked, their relationship to each other — all this changes as time goes on. Indeed the continual re-appearance of the human being in his various incarnations acquires its significance from the fact that while he is passing through his individual evolution from one incarnation to another, this complex, consisting of physical body, etheric body, astral body, itself evolves in respect of the relationships between these members, so that at each new incarnation the human being finds an entirely new combination of them. New experiences come to him ever and again as a result of this.

In order to grasp what this means we need only compare ancient times with our own epoch in one single respect. If we were to look back into the fourth or fifth millennium of ancient Egyptian civilisation and observe the men of that epoch, we should see that the interconnections between the physical body, etheric body and astral body were far looser than they are in men today. In those times the astral body and the etheric body were far less firmly linked with the physical body. The characteristic tendency of our present phase of evolution is precisely that the astral body and etheric body try to be connected more and more firmly with the physical body. This is very significant, for as evolution advances and the astral body and the etheric body of man tend to chain themselves more closely to the physical body, man is no longer able to influence his physical body from his soul to the extent that was possible in ancient times when the astral and etheric bodies were freer and the laws of the physical body did not, therefore, work into them as forcefully as they do today. When, in those times, a feeling arose in a man, or some idea came to him, the force of this feeling or idea spread quickly into the astral and etheric bodies, and from there — because the man had mastery over these members — he was able, from his soul, to be master of his physical body. This possibility of mastering the physical body from the soul is constantly becoming less, because the astral body and the etheric body are entrenching themselves more and more firmly in the physical body. But this has still another consequence, namely, that in the course of the ages, man's natural constitution makes him less and less accessible to those forces and powers which work down upon him from the spiritual world. Hence in the man of olden times we find a kind of natural inspiration and imagination, an ancient clairvoyance, due to the greatest freedom of the etheric body and the astral body; and into these bodies with their greater freedom there streamed the forces of the superhuman Hierarchies. These forces were able to work into man's etheric and astral bodies. But in the course of the evolutionary process the physical body wrests the etheric and astral bodies away from the inmost core of man's being, claims them for itself, with the result that the direct influence from the spiritual worlds becomes constantly weaker, less and less able to penetrate into the etheric and astral bodies.

Evidence of this can be traced even in the external form of the human being. If we were to go far, far back, for example to the humanity of ancient Egypt, we should find that in accordance with a man's constitution of soul, when, let us say, he was stirred by some passion or impulse, this worked on into the astral and etheric bodies which then imprinted the passions and impulses in the physical body itself. Hence we should find that in very early epochs of Egyptian culture, for example — but actually in all such culture-epochs — the external appearance of a man was a kind of imprint of his soul. What was astir in the soul could be read from his very countenance, his physiognomy. In a certain respect there was complete analogy between the physical exterior and the life of soul. Then came the period of Greco-Latin civilisation, the period of that remarkable people who stand, as it were, at the middle point of the Post-Atlantean epoch. These men of Greece stand at the middle point in such a way that the forces of the spiritual world still stream universally to the soul and express themselves in the bodily nature. Hence that wonderful unison in the Greeks between the beauty of the external bodily structure and the beauty of the soul. Because this soul in its beauty was free from the physical body it was able to open itself to a higher world, to the Hierarchies; and the Hierarchies sent their forces into it. This came to expression in the physical body and thereby the whole physical body of the Greek became the expression of the beauty of the soul. And so a superhuman reality, an all-human reality, came to a very high degree of expression in the Greek era.

In the future there will be an altogether different state of things. The important fact to bear in mind is that man's physical body will make still greater demands in the future, will chain the astral and etheric bodies to itself, and only by consciously approaching the spiritual world, by absorbing the ideas, concepts and feelings of the spiritual world as we are now beginning to do in the spiritual Movements, will man be able himself to develop those strong forces which were formerly poured by the Hierarchies into his physical and etheric bodies. And if, as he advances into the future, man wishes to retain mastery over his physical body, he will be able to do so only by consciously drawing forces from the spiritual world wherewith to overcome the opposing force of the etheric body that is tied to the physical body. Thus we may say: In ancient, pre-Christian times, the possibility of working upon the physical body was given to men naturally; in the future, this possibility will be given to them only if they themselves do something towards it. But for this reason a difference will become more and more perceptible in humanity of the future between those who oppose spiritual teaching and knowledge and those who approach this knowledge eagerly and willingly, as if by instinct. We know that the latter are still only a tiny handful today but in the future this distinction will inevitably come about between people who out of hatred and aversion oppose spiritual knowledge with increasing hostility, and those who impelled to begin with by a certain instinct, willingly ally themselves with spiritual Movements. Those human beings who oppose spiritual knowledge will show this more and more distinctly in their very countenances; they will show that they have no power over their behaviour, over their physical nature, that their physical nature is in every respect stronger than themselves. In those who approach the spiritual teachings willingly, it will be apparent that they have the strength and the power to overcome the opposition presented by their physical nature.

This will come to expression inasmuch as traits quite different from those prevailing in ancient times will become perceptible in the external, formative development of human beings. In the men of antiquity, let us say in the Egyptians living four or five thousand years before the Christian era, we should find that in the phase of its development directly following birth, the child did not look completely human but as if an angel had entered into it, as if it had received from the spiritual world those pliable bodily forms in which the spiritual was expressing itself directly in the physical. And the older the child grew, the more human it became, developing downwards, as it were, to manhood.

In the Greeks there was great uniformity between the first and the later years of life. Even in earliest childhood the impress of the all-human was apparent, and it remained so; hence the Greeks were rightly regarded as a people with a childlike nature. In the future it will more and more be the case that as a newly-born child the human being — and precisely one who is outstandingly significant — will be ugly, really ugly according to the Greek ideal of beauty. And the more deeply he acquaints himself with spiritual ideas, the more will his form and figure acquire a certain characteristic: the features that were at first blurred and indistinct, even ugly, in the child, will change in such a way that the facial features themselves will tell us that they are the expression of ideas and concepts from the spiritual world. And this will be the case more and more.

Things that appear in the external life of humanity often present themselves, as if in concentrated form, in art. In actual fact, the material for the humanity that is to advance towards the future is drawn from the European peoples, whereas the material for the humanity which possessed the ancient mastery over the physical body, originated in the south. Thus we find that in art, Greek art, expression is given to the beautiful human being. The Greeks gave the stamp of human beauty even to the figures of his gods; and this same trait continued into the time of the Renaissance in Southern Europe. Compare one of Raphael's Madonnas with a northern Madonna and you will see that art anticipates what actually comes to pass. The echoes of Greek artistic genius gave the impression of beauty achieved without effort. In the immediate future, however, man will be dependent upon inner strength of his own, upon the vigour and activity of his own life of soul. We are approaching this age and we must connect this fact with the other, namely, that in the different epochs of the evolution of humanity, these several members of man's being are differently inter-related. In earlier times the connection between them was much looser, but the lower members are now striving all the time to be knit more and more closely together. Many things that in our time may be very obvious to an attentive observer of life are connected with a fact such as this. For example: It is simply impossible for certain people to form any adequate conceptions even of the most patent facts of the world and of life. There are large numbers of men today whose ideas and concepts have been so firmly drilled into them that it is a sheer impossibility for them to take in a single new idea or concept. Why is this? An etheric body that is less firmly knit to the physical body can always absorb new ideas, because it is elastic; an etheric body that is firmly knit to the physical body absorbs a certain number of concepts, and definite forms have thus been imprinted in the physical body which it, in turn, forces upon the etheric body. And so it comes about that many of those in cultured and learned circles today are no longer capable in later life of changing what they have imprinted into their brains, and their thinking is stiff, rigid, inelastic. Their etheric body cannot get free, can no longer emancipate itself from the physical body. In such circumstances it is only the strength and power and forcefulness of spiritual concepts and ideas that can make it possible for a man to overcome this tendency. For here, by his own efforts, he has to overcome something that is a cosmic tendency.

The mission of man consists precisely in this: through his own strength to be able to overcome a cosmic tendency. The gist of the matter can be made clear by a comparison. — Look at a plant that is permeated with moisture and is therefore fresh and green. Think of the etheric body of man as being the moisture and his physical body as the other part of the plant. I said that this physical body of man becomes powerful by drawing the etheric body and also the astral body to itself. By this means it acquires excessive strength, and the consequence is that the etheric and astral bodies become impotent, just as when the plant is deprived of moisture it dries up and lignifies, becomes woody. The human physical body gradually begins to lignify because the forces of the etheric and astral bodies are impoverished. A brain that lignifies can absorb only few new ideas and concepts, because it wants to remain static with those it has already acquired. The astral body and the etheric body must be revivified through the absorption of spiritual ideas and concepts.

And so in the spiritual Movement appropriate for the present day, it is a matter of dealing with something that is a necessity for the future, a necessity that is part of the mission of man, something that is just as essential as any of the events that have overtaken the human race without co-operation on the part of men themselves. For a long, long time, no doubt, such truths will be vehemently opposed, but none of this opposition will ultimately avail. Men will become aware from the very form and direction taken by culture in the near future that this is how things are; the facts themselves will prove it.

Now it is not only in the process of human evolution as a whole that a change takes place in this inter-relation of the several members of man's constitution; the same is also true in the life of the individual. There is by no means the same relationship between etheric body and astral body and ego in early childhood as there is in the later years of a man's life. In considering the development of the individual himself, account must be taken of the fact that the relationship between the members of his constitution changes. A very specially important period in the course of an individual human life is the one that comprises approximately the first three years. In that period, every individual is fundamentally a different being from the being he is later on. We know that these first three years are sharply demarcated from later life by two facts. — One is that it is only after this first period that the human being learns to say “I”, to grasp and understand his egohood. The other is that when, in later years, a man is looking back over his life, he can at most remember only as far back as this point of time — the point at which this three-year period is separated from the later life. In the normal state no human being knows anything of what happened before this point of time. In a certain respect man is then quite a different being. On that subject, too, modern psychologists talk the most incredible nonsense. We, however, must adhere firmly to the knowledge that in actual fact it is not until after that period that the human being becomes conscious of his egohood. There are books on psychology today in which we may read that the human being learns first to think and then to speak. Such rubbish as is written today in popular literature on psychology is only possible in an age when those who pursue psychology in official positions are automatically regarded as serious scientists. One of the most important things of all is that we should bear in mind the division between the first years of life and the later years, and regard man during those early years as a being who is quite different from the one he is later on. It is only later that the ego appears, the ego with which everything else is bound up. But let nobody believe that before this point of time the ego was inactive. Of course it was not inactive! It is not the case that until the third year of life the ego remains unborn. It was already there, but its task was not that of penetrating into the activity of consciousness. What, then, was its task? The ego is the most important spiritual factor in the development of the three sheaths of the child: astral body, etheric body, physical body. The physical sheath of the brain is constantly re-moulded and there the ego is continually at work. It cannot become conscious because it has a quite different task to fulfil: it has first to shape the instrument of consciousness. That of which we later become conscious works, to begin with, upon our physical brain during the first years of life. The task devolving upon the ego changes — that is all. It works first upon us, then within us. The ego is in reality a sculptor and the greatness of what it achieves in the actual forming of the physical brain can never be adequately described. The ego is a supreme artist! But what is the source, the giver of its power? The ego has this power because, during the first three years of life the forces of the angels, of the Hierarchy next above our own, stream into it. In very truth — and this is no figure of speech, no simile, but an actual truth — an angel, that is to say, a being of the nearest higher Hierarchy, works in man through his ego, moulding and shaping him. It is as if the man were borne by the whole current of spiritual life, as if he were floating upwards to the higher Hierarchies whose forces stream into him. And the moment he learns to say “I”, it is as if some of this force were cut off, as if he himself were called upon to do something formerly done by the angel.

In the first years of life there is actually given to us something like a last echo of what prevailed to a certain extent through the whole of human life in the first Post-Atlantean epoch. Immediately after the great Atlantean catastrophe, throughout the whole of his life or at very least through the first half of it, the human being was more or less like he now is during the first years of life only. We can picture this clearly if we think of the early Indian civilisation-epoch. The most truly childlike among the men of that epoch were the great Teachers of the Indian people, the Holy Rishis. I have often spoken of them. If we were to picture the Holy Rishis according to the pattern of a modern savant, we should be very far from the truth. If a man were to encounter them today he would not regard them as of any account at all; they would seem to him to be nothing more than naïve, childlike peasants — but the childlike quality that was manifest in the Rishis is perhaps nowhere to be found today. At certain times an inflowing stream of inspiration became articulate through them and then they gave voice to secrets of the higher worlds, because throughout their whole life the word “I”, in the sense in which modern man uses it, never passed their lips. They never said “I”. They differed from a child today inasmuch as a child possesses the faculty of ideation. But the highest treasures of wisdom flowed into them in the same form of soul-life; it was as if a child today were to give utterance to the most sublime wisdom during the first three years of its life. Actually it is not the child who is speaking — but perhaps this applies now only to a part of mankind. I have so often referred to the saying: The wisest can learn most from a child. And when someone who is himself able to look into the spiritual worlds has a child before him, with the stream that rises up into the spiritual world, it is as if — forgive the homely expression — he has in the child something like a telephone-line into the spiritual worlds. The spiritual world speaks through the child, but men are not aware of it. The wisest can learn most from a child. It is not the child that is speaking, but the angel is speaking out of the child.

And now the question is: What is there to be said of man's whole constitution in later years, bearing in mind that in the earliest period of his life the ego is not merely the fourth member of his own being but at the same time the lowest member of an angel? — for we can speak of these “members” of an angel in connection with this period and of the child's ego as the lowest member of the angel. The connections between the members are quite different from those prevailing in later life. The question therefore is: What is the nature of the change? What is it that takes place in later life? It is as though the living stream had been cut off; the human being loses the living connection with the spiritual world. Hence it is in the earliest years of life that the forces a human being brings with him from his former incarnations are most perceptible. It is then that the essential, spiritual core of his being works the most strongly and deeply to elaborate the bodily organisation in such a way that it is suitable for the incarnation. How is the later normal consciousness related to this? The answer is that, today, the human being simply no longer has a bodily nature — the etheric body and its relationship to the physical body — such as was present in and at the time of the Holy Rishis. In that epoch there persisted through the whole of life the inherited relationship between etheric body and astral body that made it possible for the ego to mould the outer sheath of the human being. Today, already at birth, we inherit such a dense and demanding physical body that only a small part of the work formerly accomplished by the ego can now be carried out. Our physical body is no longer really suitable for what we ourselves are during the first three years of our life. What we inherit is a physical body that is suitable for the later years of life, and this body is not adapted for directing the eyes upwards into the spiritual worlds. The child himself has no knowledge of what is streaming down into him and those around him most certainly have none; for the physical body has altered, has become denser, drier. We are born with a soul that in the first three years of our life still stretches up into the spiritual worlds; but we are born with a body that is called upon to develop, through the whole of the rest of our life, the consciousness in which the ego lives. If we had not this dense physical body it would be possible for us in the conditions of the present cycle of human existence to remain childlike in the sense indicated; but because we have this dense physical body, communion with the spiritual world during the first three years of life cannot come to full consciousness.

What is it that must now be fulfilled in the course of the evolution of humanity? What is the one end only way in which to achieve it? This can most easily be expressed by the two concepts which in earlier times designated these two beings within us. The one is the concept of the being of spirit-and-soul in the first three years of childhood, the being who is now no longer really adapted to the external nature of man and is, moreover, unable to unfold ego-consciousness: this being of spirit-and-soul was called in olden times the Son of God. And the being whose physical body today is so constituted that ego-consciousness can awaken within it was called the Son of Man. — The Son of God within the Son of Man. — The conditions prevailing today are such that the Son of God can no longer become conscious in the Son of Man, but must first be separated if the ego-consciousness of today is to arise. It is the task of man, through conscious absorption of the realities of the spiritual world, so to transform and make himself master of his external sheaths that the Son of Man is gradually permeated by the Son of God. When the earth has reached the end of its evolution, man must have consciously achieved what he has no longer been able to achieve from childhood onwards: he must have completely permeated what he is as Son of Man with the divine part of his being. What is it that must completely permeate and flow through his human nature? What is it that must pour into every part of the physical, etheric and astral bodies, so that the whole Son of Man is permeated with the Son of God? It is that which lives in the first three years of life, but permeated with the fully conscious ego — this it is that must spread through the whole man.

Let us imagine that a being were to appear before us as an Ideal, a model of what man should be. What would have to be fulfilled in this being? The soul-nature of such a being cannot penetrate the outer sheaths of an ordinary man of present-day development, for he would not be able to realise the human Ideal of earthly evolution, would not be able to make it manifest. We should have, as it were, to tear the soul out of him and put in its place a soul such as is present in the first three years of life, but permeated with full ego-consciousness. In no other way could an Ideal of earth-evolution stand before us. And for how long would such a soul be able to endure a physical human life? The physical body is capable of bearing such a soul for three years only; then, if it is not to be shattered, it is bound to overpower that soul. The whole karma of the earth would have to be so organised that after three years the physical body is shattered. For in man as he is today, the being who lives in him for three years is overpowered; if, however, it were to remain, it would overpower and shatter the physical body. The Ideal of man's mission on the earth can therefore be fulfilled only if, while the physical body, etheric body and astral body remain, the ordinary soul-nature is ejected and the soul-nature of the first three years, plus full ego-consciousness, is inserted in its place. Then this soul would shatter the human body; but during these three years it would present a perfect example of what man can achieve.

This Ideal is the Christ-Ideal; and what took place at the Baptism in Jordan is the reality behind what has here been described. The human Ideal was once actually placed before mankind on the earth. Through the Baptism in Jordan, the soul with which we are connected during the first three years of childhood — but in this case completely permeated by the ego and in unbroken connection with the spiritual world — entered into a human body from which the earlier soul had departed. And then, after three years, this soul from the spiritual worlds shattered the bodily sheaths. Therefore we have before us in the first three years of life a faint image, an utterly inadequate image, of the Christ-Being Who lived for three years on earth in the body of Jesus. And if we try to develop in ourselves a manhood whose nature is that of the soul of childhood but fully permeated with the reality and content of the spiritual world, then we have a picture of that Egohood, that Christhood, of which St. Paul is speaking when he calls upon men to fulfil the “Not I, but Christ in me”. — This is the childlike soul, permeated with full and complete egohood. Thereby the human being is able to permeate his “Son of Man” with his “Son of God” and to fulfil his earthly Ideal, to overcome his external nature and once again to find the connection with the spiritual world.

But how can this be achieved? In sacred records every utterance has more than one meaning. If we are to look into the kingdom of Heaven we must become as children, but with the full maturity of the ego. That is the prospect before us until the earth's mission has been fulfilled. — We may well be moved when we realise on the one hand that our physical body is actually facing a withering process and takes into itself the spiritualising process by overcoming that which is tending to wither. The inner nature must be so strengthened from the spiritual worlds that the opposing outer nature is brought into conformity with it. When this is achieved, we stand, as men, in harmony with the evolutionary process of our earth.

Spiritual science tells us that the earth has evolved far beyond the point when the mineral kingdom which forms the soil still contains any forces of renewal, any upbuilding forces; this applies to granite, gneiss, schist, up to the very soil of our fields. All this is involved in unceasing process of destruction. We do not walk upon soil that has within it new, formative forces, but rather — because the earth has passed the mid-point of its evolution — we walk upon soil that is already breaking up, is already involved in a process of destruction. Our own development is completely in line with that of our planet. We have a physical body that is gradually withering, and this we can overcome. But in the soil we have something that is involved in a process of destruction. The valleys and mountains are formed by the crumbling of the earth's crust. Spiritual science tells us that we are moving about on an earth that is crumbling. When we climb a mountain we must realise that here something has crumbled, has split asunder, and that no process of onward development is in operation. Since the middle of the Atlantean epoch we have passed beyond the middle point of the earth's evolution. Since then we have lived on an earth that is crumbling and will one day fall away from us as a corpse.

In this connection we have one of the finest examples of complete accord between spiritual knowledge and modern science in its true form. It is essential that anthroposophists should learn to distinguish between true science and all that through countless popular channels poses as science, but in reality is nothing but a compendium of preconceived ideas, theories and the like. If we go to the true sources of the several sciences we realise how fully spiritual knowledge accords with science. And here is one of the very best examples. —

There is no more reliable or well-versed geologist than Eduard Suess; and what another geologist says is undoubtedly correct, namely, that Suess's work “The Face of the Earth” is a great geological epic of the earth. It bears all the traces of exceptional thoroughness and careful study. With all caution, and unprejudiced by theories, the author of this really monumental work presents what may be stated today on the foundation of actual geological facts. Suess is not guided in his investigations by ideas previously conceived, as was the case even with such men as Buch or Humboldt. Suess investigates facts, facts alone. What he has to say on the basis of meticulously observed facts about the formation of the earth's soil is particularly interesting. His conception is exactly the same as that of spiritual science, only of course Suess knew nothing of spiritual science. He draws his conclusions from the actual physical facts. He maintains that valleys have formed as the result of the working of certain forces through which rock and stone were hurled down; subsidence took place and heights remained. — All this is the result of processes of segmentation, displacement and “folding”, in which only forces of destruction are working. Let me refer you to one passage in Suess's great work and you will see that here, where we have to do with true science, there is complete accord with spiritual knowledge. The passage is as follows:

“The breaking up of the terrestrial globe, this it is we witness. It doubtless began a long time ago, and the brevity of human life enables us to contemplate it without dismay. It is not only in the great mountain ranges that the traces of this process are found. Great segments of the earth's crust have sunk hundreds, in some cases even thousands of feet deep, and not the slightest inequality of the surface remains to indicate the fracture; the different nature of the rocks and the discoveries made in mining alone reveal its presence. Time has leveled all. In Bohemia, in the Palatinate, in Belgium, in Pennsylvania in many other places as well, the plough quietly traces its furrows over the mightiest fractures .....” [This passage is the penultimate paragraph in Vol. I of Suess's book. The work consists of four volumes and was published in English in 1904 by the Clarendon Press. The translation is by H. Sollas.]

I refer to this merely to show you that our earth-planet displays the same process of withering, shriveling and destruction as the physical body of man. Those who come forward with views of the world today do not base themselves upon science in its true form. Even to read intelligently through this tremendous work, “The Face of the Earth”, entails strenuous effort. But even that would be of no avail unless one were acquainted with the whole of modern geological science; for this alone teaches one how such a book should be read. When a man turns to the true sources of knowledge he finds the absolute facts.

Spiritual science tells us — for example about the progress of our earth's evolution — that at one time, before organisms existed, the earth was not in that fantastic condition when granite is alleged to have been liquid fire, but when the whole earth was pervaded by an activity similar, for example, to the activity taking place in a man when he is thinking. The process of destruction was once introduced and as a result of it we are able to say: The chemical substances which today are no longer contained in the earth's organism — for example, the substances of which granite is composed — fell away from this organism like rain. They trickled down, as it were, and in essentials it was these processes of destruction which in alliance with the chemistry of the earth made it possible for granite to come into existence as the mother-soil of the earth. But by that time a process of destruction had already set in, and what is present today is the necessary consequence of that process of destruction which continues in a straightforward line.

What does true natural science show us? That those processes which must be there are there. And in true natural science this is shown us everywhere. True natural science nowhere contradicts spiritual science; everywhere there is corroboration.

Such corroboration will also be found in connection with reincarnation and karma. Only it will be necessary some day for mankind to rise above all previously conceived theories, prejudices and the like. Facts can always be made use of whenever they are facts and not confused hypotheses such as the once generally accepted assumptions and theories of geologists about the condition of the earth in the granite-epoch — quite apart from all the philosophical theories of the present time which are practically devoid of spirituality. We must not allow ourselves to be impressed by such talk as the following, — “The evolution of the individual human being” (which we ourselves base upon reincarnation and karma) “derives from the infinities of spiritual evolution ...” It is possible for a man to become world-famous and yet say this. It is sheer rubbish, even though it is proclaimed as authentic philosophy and linked with the name of Wundt. In very truth we stand here at the dividing-line between two spheres of spiritual life, and we must be fully conscious of it. The one is that of natural science which, whenever it is based on facts, actually corroborates spiritual science. The other consists of the different philosophical theories, hypotheses and all the other high-sounding twaddle about what is supposed to underlie external processes and happenings. From all this, spiritual science should sternly dissociate itself. And then it will assuredly become more and more possible to realise that what we acquire through spiritual knowledge, namely, an understanding of man and of how his various members are related to the different epochs of the evolution of humanity, leads us deeply into the secrets of the universe. We shall also realise that true observation of the first three years of childhood is the first stage towards a recognition of the Mystery of Golgotha in all its truth and to a real understanding of the words:

“Except ye ........ become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”





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