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The Mission of the Individual Folk-Souls

The Mission of Individual Peoples and Cultures in the Past, Present and Future. Solovieff.

Schmidt Number: S-2257

On-line since: 30th September, 2005

LECTURE TEN:

The Mission of individual Peoples and Cultures in the Past, Present and Future.
Solovieff.

Study Guide: Souls of the Nations — Tenth Lecture ]

Before we enlarge upon what will emerge from any further elaboration of the significant image of the Twilight of the Gods, it will be well to establish a firm foundation from which to proceed. For we shall deal with the nature of the Germanic and Scandinavian Folk Soul, and from the results of our investigation describe it in greater detail. We shall discover how the whole spiritual life of Europe works in concert, how the activity of the various Folk Spirits has furthered the development of mankind in the remote past, in the present and will continue to do so in the future. Every single people, even isolated fragments of peoples, have their special contribution to make to this great collective task. You will realize from what has been said that, in certain respects, the task, the mission of educating the ‘I’ through the evolutionary stages of the human being, of shaping it and of gradually developing it, devolved upon the Christian and post Christian cultures of Europe in particular. In primitive times, as we have shown in the case of the Scandinavian and Germanic peoples, the ‘I’ was revealed clairvoyantly to man. According to tradition this ‘I’ was bestowed upon man by an Angelic Being, Donar or Thor, who stands midway between man and the Folk Soul. We have seen that the individual still felt himself to be ego-less, devoid of personality; he looked upon the ‘I’ as a gift from the spiritual world.

In the East, when the ‘I’ really awoke, it was not of course experienced in the same way. There man had already reached subjectively such a high degree of perfection that he did not feel the ‘I’ as something extraneous, but as his own property. At the time when man became ego-conscious in the East, Eastern culture was already so far advanced that it was capable of gradually developing that finely-spun speculation, logic and wisdom which is reflected in Eastern wisdom. The East, therefore, no longer experienced the whole process of receiving the ego as if it were bestowed by a higher spiritual world through the instrumentality of a divine-spiritual Being such as Thor. That was the experience of Europe; hence the European felt this gradual unfolding of the individual ‘I’ as the emergence out of the Group Soul. The Germanic-Scandinavian man still felt himself attached to a Group Soul, to be a member of a closely-knit unit or family, that he belonged to an integrated community. For this reason, nearly a hundred years after Christ, Tacitus could describe the Teutons of Central Europe as apparently belonging to separate tribes and yet as members of an organism, and belonging to the unity of the organism. Thus each individual still felt himself at that time to be a member of the tribal ‘I’. He felt his individual ‘I’ gradually emerging from the tribal ‘I’ and be recognized in the God Thor the bestower of the ‘I’, the God who really endowed him with his individual ‘I’. But at the same time he felt that this God was still united with the collective spirit of the tribe with that which lives in the Group Soul. To this Group Soul was given the name “Sif “. This is the name of the spouse of Thor. Sif is related linguistically to the word Sippe, kinship, although the relationship is veiled or concealed. Occultly, however, Sif signifies the Group Soul of the individual community from which the individual emerges. Sif is the Being who unites herself with the God of the individual ‘I’, with Thor, the bestower of the individual ‘I’. The individual perceives Sif and Thor as the Beings who endowed him with his ‘I’. It was in this way that Nordic man experienced them at a time when the peoples in other regions of Europe had already been given other tasks in preparing man's ego-development.

Each individual people had its appointed task; chief amongst them was that homogeneous group of peoples, that widely distributed folk community whom we know by the name of Celts. It was the responsibility of the ancient Celtic Folk Spirit, who, as we know from earlier lectures, was later given quite different tasks, to educate the still youthful ‘I’ of the peoples of Europe. To this end it was necessary that the Celts themselves should receive an education and instruction which was mediated directly from the higher world. Hence it was entirely appropriate that through their Initiates, the Druid priests, the Celts should transmit to other nations instruction received from higher worlds and which they could not have acquired of themselves.

The whole of European culture is a legacy of the European Mysteries. The progressive Folk Souls are always the leaders of the collective culture of mankind as it unfolds. But at the time when these European Folk Spirits enjoined upon men to act more on their own initiative it was necessary that the Mysteries should gradually withdraw. Hence with the withdrawal of the Celtic element there followed a gradual withdrawal of the Mysteries into more secret places. At the time of the ancient Celts the Mysteries established a much more direct relationship between the spiritual Beings and the people, because the ‘I’ was still attached to the group-soul-life and yet the Celtic element was to bring the gift of the ‘I’ to the other Germanic tribes. Thus in the period preceding the evolution proper of the Northern and Germanic peoples, the Mystery teachings could be given to European civilization only by the ancient Celtic Mysteries. These Mystery teachings allowed just so much to be revealed as was necessary in order to establish a basis for the whole culture of Europe. Now the most diverse Folk Souls and Folk Spirits were able to draw nourishment from this old culture by mingling with the widely diverse racial fragments, national communities and folk elements, and they brought the ‘I’ into ever new situations in order to nurture it, the ‘I’ which was struggling to free itself from its attachment to the group-soul.

After the old Greek culture had to a certain extent reached its high point in the fulfillment of its special mission, we see a totally different aspect of this same mission in the spirit of ancient Rome and its various stages of culture. We have already mentioned that the several post-Atlantean civilizations follow upon one another in strict sequence. If we wish to have an overall picture of the successive stages of post-Atlantean civilization we may summarize them as follows: the old Indian culture worked upon the human etheric body. Hence the remarkable wisdom and clairvoyant insight of the ancient Indian culture, because — after the development of special human capacities — it was a culture reflected in the human etheric body. We may envisage the ancient Indian Culture somewhat as follows:

 Diagram 6
Diagram 6
Click image for large view
 

Between the Atlantean epoch and the later post-Atlantean epoch the Indian Folk Spirit developed to the full his inner soul-forces without developing ego-consciousness. He then returned to his activity in the etheric body. The essential element in the ancient Indian culture is that the ancient Indian was able to return again to the etheric body with his highly developed, highly refined faculties of soul and within that body he developed those marvelously delicate forces the later reflection of which we can still see in the Vedas, and in a still more refined form in the Vedanta philosophy. This was only possible because the Indian Folk Soul had achieved a high degree of development before it was conscious of the ‘I’, and this again at a time when man could perceive by means of the forces of the etheric body.

The Persian Folk Soul had not developed so far; its organ of perception was limited to the sentient body or astral body. The Egypto-Babylonian-Chaldean culture was again different. Here the organ of perception was the Sentient Soul; and the characteristic of the Egypto-Chaldean culture was the ability to work in the Sentient Soul. The Graeco-Latin Folk Spirit was related to the Intellectual or Mind-Soul in which he was active. He himself was only able to work upon this Intellectual Soul because the Intellectual Soul, in its turn, had a kind of psychic counterpart in the etheric body. But the form of cosmogony that now emerged in Greece was, to some extent, less real, less clear-cut; it had less the stamp of reality. Whilst the form of cognition in the ancient Indian culture was directly related to the activity of the etheric body, the Greek culture presented a blurred, pale, lifeless image of reality; as I have already said, it was like the memory of what these people had once experienced, like a memory reflected in their etheric body.

In the other peoples who followed the Greeks we are chiefly concerned with the use of the physical body for the progressive development of the Spiritual Soul (or Consciousness-Soul). Hence the Greek culture was a culture that we can only understand from within, if we realize that in this culture what is important in external experience is that which springs from the inner life of the Greeks. On the other hand, the peoples living more towards the West and the North had, under the guidance of their Folk Souls, to turn increasingly towards the external world, towards the phenomena of the physical plane, and to develop whatsoever has a part to play on that plane. This was the special task of the Northern and Germanic peoples which they alone could fulfil, because they still enjoyed the gift, the supremely important gift of the old clairvoyance which enabled them to see into the spiritual world and to incorporate the primeval spiritual experiences which were still vital in their souls into that which was to be established upon the physical plane.

There was one people who, at its later stage, no longer possessed this gift, who had not undergone such preliminary evolution and who had incarnated suddenly on the physical plane before the birth of the human ‘I’ and was only able therefore to attend to whatsoever furthered the development of this ‘I’ on the physical plane, to whatsoever was necessary for its well-being there under the guidance of its Folk Soul, its Archangel. This was the Roman people. Everything that the Roman people had to accomplish for the collective mission of Europe under the guidance of its Folk Spirit was directed to winning recognition for the ‘I’ of man. Hence the Roman people was able to develop human and social relationships. They were the founders of civil law and jurisprudence which are built up purely on the ‘I’. The relation of human ‘I’ to human ‘I’ was the great question in the mission of the Roman people. The Western peoples whose civilizations grew out of the Roman civilization already possessed more of that which, coming from the Sentient Soul, Intellectual or Mind-Soul and from the Spiritual or Consciousness-Soul itself, fructifies the ‘I’ in some way and projects it outward into the world. Therefore all the mingling of races which external history records and which is found in the Italian and Iberian peninsulas, in France and Great Britain today, was necessary in order to develop the ‘I’ on the physical plane in accordance with the different nuances of the Sentient Soul, the Intellectual Soul and the Spiritual Soul. Such was the great mission of those peoples who gradually developed in the most diverse ways in Western Europe.

All the individual shades of culture, all the particular missions of the peoples of Western Europe can finally be explained by the fact that in the area of the Italian and Iberian peninsulas was to be developed that which could be formed in the ‘I’ through the impulses of the Sentient Soul. If you study the individual folk characters in their positive and negative aspects you will find that the peoples of the Italian and Iberian peninsulas reflect a peculiar fusion of the ‘I’ with the Sentient Soul. You will be able to understand, however, the peculiar characteristics of those peoples who, until recent times, lived on the soil of France, if you study the growth and fusion of the Intellectual Soul with the ‘I’. The great worldwide achievements of a country such as Great Britain can be attributed to the fact that the impulse of the Spiritual Soul has penetrated into the human ‘I’. With the world mission of the British Empire is also associated parliamentary forms of government and the founding of constitutional rights. The union of the Spiritual Soul with the human ego had not yet been realized inwardly. If you recognize how this union between the Spiritual Soul and the ‘I’ that was oriented outwards originated, you will find that the great historical conquests of the inhabitants of that island proceed from this impulse. You will also find that the establishment of parliamentary forms of government at once becomes comprehensible if one realizes that, in consequence of this, an impulse of the Spiritual Soul was to find expression on the plane of world-history.

Thus cultural diversities were a necessity, for the individual peoples had to be guided through the many stages of ego development. If we had sufficient time to enlarge upon these matters we could find examples from history which show the ramifications of these basic forces and how they manifest in the most diverse ways. Thus the peculiar constitution of soul influenced the Western peoples who had not preserved the direct, original memory of the old clairvoyant insight into the spiritual world of former times. In the Germanic and Northern regions in later times, that which proceeded directly from a gradual, continuous evolution of the original clairvoyance with which the Sentient Soul had already been imbued, had to develop in a wholly different way. This accounts for that characteristic trait of inwardness which is only the after-effect of a clairvoyant insight experienced in a former age. The task of the Southern Germanic peoples lay primarily in the domain of the Spiritual Soul. The Graeco-Latin age had to develop the Intellectual Soul (or Mind-Soul). But not only this; it had also to include a wonderful development still working in from prehistoric times and imbued with clairvoyant insight. All this was then poured into the Spiritual Soul of the Central European and Scandinavian peoples and its after-effects lived on as an inner disposition of soul. It was the task of the Southern Germanic peoples to develop first of all what pertains to the inward preparation of the Spiritual Soul, imbuing it with spiritual substance of the old clairvoyance, transposed now on to the physical plane.

The philosophies of Central Europe represented by Fichte, Schelling and Hegel in the nineteenth century seem far removed from the sphere of mythology. Nevertheless they are simply the products of the highest sublimation of the old clairvoyant insight, of the cooperation of the divine-spiritual Beings within the heart of man. Otherwise it would not have been possible for a Hegel to have looked upon his ideas as realities; it would have been impossible for him to make the strange remark, so characteristic of the man, when, in answer to the question, “What is the abstract?” he replied: “The abstract is for instance an individual who fulfils his daily duties — the carpenter, for example.” What is concrete to the purely abstract theorist was therefore abstract to Hegel. What to the purely abstract theorist are mere thoughts, were to him great, mighty architects of the world. Hegel's philosophy is the final, the most highly sublimated expression of the Spiritual Soul and embodies in the form of pure concepts that which Nordic man still saw as sensible-super-sensible, divine spiritual powers associated with the ‘I’. The ‘I’ of Fichte's philosophy was simply the precipitation of what the God Thor had given to the human soul, only viewed from the standpoint of the Spiritual Soul and clothed seemingly in the barest of thoughts, the thought of “I am”, which is the starting-point of Fichte's philosophy. From the gift of the ‘I’ by the God Thor or Donar to the ancient Nordic peoples from the spiritual world, down to this philosophy, evolution follows a straight line. Thor had to prepare this development for the Spiritual Soul in order that this Soul might have the content appropriate for its task which is to turn towards the external world and to work within that world. But this philosophy is aware not only of the external world of crude empiric experience, but finds in the external world the content of the Spiritual Soul itself and regards nature simply as the idea in its other aspect. The mission of the Nordic Germanic peoples in Central Europe is to ensure that this impulse lives on.

Now since all evolution is a continuous process we must ask ourselves what form it takes. When we look back into ancient times we observe a remarkable phenomenon. We have already said that the first manifestations of ancient Indian culture were expressed through the etheric body after the spiritual forces of soul had been adequately developed. There are however other civilizations which have also preserved the old Atlantean culture and carried it over into the post-Atlantean epoch. Whilst, on the one hand, the ancient Indian was able to return to the etheric body with highly developed faculties of soul and out of the forces of this body created his great civilization and lofty spiritual life, we have, on the other hand, a culture which originated in Atlantis and continued to work on in the post-Atlantean epoch, a culture which owes its origin and development to its emphasis upon the other aspect of the consciousness of the etheric body. This is the Chinese culture. If you bear this connection in mind and remember that the Atlantean culture was directly related to what in our earlier lectures we called the “Great Spirit”; you will understand the peculiarities of Chinese culture. This culture was directly connected with the highest stages of world-evolution. But it still works into the bodies of men today and from an entirely different angle. It seems very likely, therefore, that these two civilizations, the two great polarities of the post-Atlantean epoch, will clash at some future time — the Indian which, within certain limits, is capable of development, and the Chinese that isolates itself and remains static, repeating what existed in the old Atlantean epoch. One literally receives an occult, scientific, poetic impression if one follows the evolution of the Chinese Empire, if one thinks of the Great Wall of China which sought to exclude completely everything which originated in primeval times and had been developed in the post-Atlantean epoch. Something like an occult, poetic feeling steals over one if one compares the Wall of China with what had once existed in former times. I can give only the barest indications about these matters. If you compare them with the existing findings of science you will find how extraordinary illuminating they are. Let us consider clairvoyantly the old continent of Atlantis which will be found where the Atlantic Ocean now lies, between Africa and Europe on the one side and America on the other. This continent was encircled by a warm stream which, strange as it may seem, was seen clairvoyantly to flow from the South through Baffin Bay towards the North of Greenland, encircling it. Then, turning eastward, it gradually cooled down. Long before the continents of Russia and Siberia had emerged, it flowed past the Ural mountains, changed course, skirted the Eastern Carpathians, debauched into the region now occupied by the Sahara and finally reached the Atlantic Ocean in the neighbourhood of the Bay of Biscay. Thus it followed a strictly delimited course. Only the last remaining traces of this stream are still extant. This stream is the Gulf Stream which at that time encircled the Atlantean continent. Now you will recall that in their psychic life the Greeks experienced a memory of the spiritual worlds. The picture of Oceanus which is a memory of that Atlantean epoch arose within them. Their picture of the world, their cosmogony, was very near the truth because it was derived from the old Atlantean epoch. The stream that flowed southward via Spitzbergen as a warm current and gradually cooled, etc. followed a strictly delimited course. This circumscribed course was unmistakably echoed in the Chinese culture, a culture circumscribed by the Great Wall and which had been brought over from Atlantis. The Atlantean civilization had as yet no history; hence the Chinese civilization also has preserved an element of the unhistorical. It preserves something of the pre Indian culture, something surviving from old Atlantis.

Let us now describe the further progress of the Germanic and Nordic Folk Spirit. What consequences will ensue when a Folk Spirit so directs his people that the Spirit Self in particular can develop? Let us remember that the etheric body was developed in the ancient Indian epoch, the sentient body in the Persian, the Sentient Soul in the Egypto-Chaldean, the Intellectual Soul (or Mind-Soul) in the Graeco-Latin, the Spiritual Soul (or Consciousness-Soul) in our present epoch which is not yet concluded. The next epoch will see the invasion of the Spiritual Soul by the Spirit Self, so that the Spirit Self shall irradiate the Spiritual Soul. This is the task of the sixth post-Atlantean civilization and must be prepared for gradually. This civilization which must be preeminently a receptive one, for it must reverently await the influx of the Spirit Self into the Spiritual Soul, is being prepared by the peoples of Western Asia and their outposts in Eastern Europe, the Slavonic peoples. The latter with their Folk Souls were the outposts of the coming sixth post-Atlantean epoch for the very good reason that future contingencies must to a certain extent be prepared beforehand, must already be anticipated in order to prepare the ground for future development. It is extremely interesting to study these outposts of a Folk Soul who is preparing himself for future epochs. This accounts for the peculiar character of the Slavonic peoples who are our immediate Eastern neighbours. In the eyes of the Western European their whole culture gives the impression of being in a preparatory stage and in a curious way, through the medium of their outposts, they present that which in spirit is wholly different from any other mythology. We should give a false impression of these Eastern outposts as a future’ civilization if we were to compare them with the culture of the Western European peoples who enjoy a continuous, unbroken tradition which is still rooted in, and has its source in the old clairvoyance. The peculiarity attaching to the souls of these Eastern European peoples is reflected in the whole attitude they have always shown when the question of their relations to the higher worlds arose. In comparison with our ‘mythology’ in Western Europe with its individual deities, their (i.e. the Slavonic peoples) relation to the higher worlds is totally different. What this Slavonic ‘mythology’ presents to us as the direct outpouring of the inner being of the people may be compared to the anthroposophical conception of successive planes or worlds through which we prepare ourselves to understand a higher spiritual culture. We find in the East, for example, the following conception: the West has been moulded by the influence of successive and related cultures. In the East we find, in the first place, a distinct consciousness of a world of the Cosmic Father. Everything that is creatively active in air and fire, in all the elements in and above the Earth, is embodied in the concept of the Heavenly Father, in one seemingly great, all-embracing idea which is at the same time an all-embracing feeling. Just as we think of the Devachanic world as fructifying our Earth, so this Divine world, the world of the Father, draws nigh from the East, fructifying that which is experienced as the Mother, the Spirit of the Earth. We have no other expression and can think of no other way of picturing the whole Spirit of the Earth than in the fertilization of Mother Earth. Instead of individual deities we have then two contrasting worlds. And confronting these two worlds as a third world is that which we feel to be the Blessed Child of these two worlds. This Blessed Child is not an individual being, not an emotional feeling, but something that is the creation of the Heavenly Father and the Earth Mother. The relation of Devachan to the Earth is perceived in this way from the spiritual world. The birth of new life, the coming of springtime, and that which grows and multiplies in the material body is felt as something wholly spiritual; and that which grows and multiplies in the soul is perceived as the world which at the same time is felt to be the Blessed Child of the Heavenly Father and the Earth Mother. Universal as these conceptions are, we find them among the outposts of the Slavonic peoples who have advanced westwards. In no Western European mythology is this conception so universal. In the West we find clearly defined deities; but they are not the same as those which we depict in our spiritual cosmogony; these are more nearly represented by the Heavenly Father, the Earth Mother and the Blessed Child of the East. In the conception of the Blessed Child there is again a world which permeates another world. It is a world that is envisaged as a separate world because it is associated with the physical sun and its light. The Slavonic element also recognizes this Being — though different, of course, in conception and feeling — which we have so often met with in Persian mythology; it recognizes the Sun Being who sheds his blessings upon the other three worlds, so that the destiny of man is woven into creation, into the Earth, through the fertilization of the Earth Mother by the Heavenly Father and through that which the Sun Spirit weaves into both these worlds. A fifth world is that which embraces everything spiritual. The Eastern European feels the spiritual world underlying all the forces of nature and all animate beings. We must think of this as a wholly different sentient response, as associated more perhaps with the phenomena, creations and beings of nature.

We must think of this Slavonic soul as being able to see entities in natural phenomena, to see not only the physical and sensory aspects, but also the astral and spiritual. Hence the Slavonic soul conceived of a vast number of Beings in this strange spiritual world which we can at best compare with the world of the Elves of Light. The spiritual world which is looked upon in Spiritual Science as the fifth world is approximately the world which dawns in the hearts and minds of the peoples of Eastern Europe. Whatever name we attach to it is of no importance; what is of importance are the subtle shades and gradations of feelings of the Slavonic peoples and that the concepts which characterize this fifth plane or spiritual world are to be found in Eastern Europe. In this frame of mind this world of Eastern Europe was preparing for that Spirit which is to pour the Spirit Self into man in anticipation of the epoch when the Spiritual Soul shall be uplifted to receive the Spirit Self in the sixth post Atlantean age which is to succeed our own. We meet with this in a unique manner not only in the creations of the Folk Souls who are as I have just described them, but we find it remarkably anticipated in the diverse manifestations of Eastern Europe and its culture.

It is most interesting to observe bow the Eastern European expresses his natural receptivity to pure Spirit by assimilating Western European culture with great devotion, thus looking forward prophetically to the time when he will be able to unite something even greater with his being. Hence also his limited interest in isolated aspects of this Western European culture. He absorbs what is offered him more in broad outlines, ignoring the details, because he is preparing himself to assimilate that which is to enter mankind as the Spirit Self. It is particularly interesting to see how, under this influence, it has been possible for Eastern Europe to develop a much more advanced conception of the Christ than Western Europe, except in those areas of the West where the conception of the Christ has been introduced by Spiritual Science. Amongst those who do not accept the teachings of Spiritual Science the most advanced conception of Christ is that of the Russian philosopher, Solovieff. His conception of Christ is such that it can only be understood by students of Spiritual Science because he lifts it to ever higher planes and reveals its infinite potentialities, showing that our understanding of Christ today is only a beginning, because the Christ Impulse has only been able to reveal to mankind a fraction of what it holds in store. But if we look at the conception of Christ as presented by Hegel, for example, we find that Hegel understood Him as only the most refined, the most sublimated Spiritual Soul could understand Him. But Solovieff's conception of Christ is very different. He fully recognizes the dual nature of this conception. He rejects the endless theological polemics which in reality rest upon deep misunderstandings, because ordinary conceptions are inadequate for an understanding of the dual nature of Christ, and because they fail to develop in us any realization that the two aspects, the Human and the Divine, must be clearly distinguished. The concept of Christ rests upon a clear realization of what took place when the Christ Spirit entered into the man Jesus of Nazareth who had already developed all the necessary attributes. We must first of all understand the two natures of Christ and the union of both at a higher stage. As long as we have not grasped this duality, we have not understood the Christ in all His fullness. Only that philosophical understanding can achieve this which foresees that man himself will participate in a culture in which his Spiritual Soul will be able to receive the Spirit Self, so that in the sixth epoch of civilization man will feel himself to be a duality in whom the higher nature will curb the lower.

Solovieff carries this duality into his conception of Christ and emphasizes that this conception can be meaningful only if one accepts the existence of a divine and human nature which can only be understood if one recognizes that their cooperation is a reality, that they form not an abstract, but an organic unity. Solovieff already recognizes that we must think of this Being as possessing two centres of will. If you accept the teachings of Spiritual Science concerning the true significance of the Christ Being in their original form which stemmed, not from an imaginary, but from a spiritually real Indian influence, you will then have to think of Christ as having developed in His three bodies the capacities of feeling, thinking and willing. It is a human feeling, thinking and willing into which the Divine feeling, thinking and willing descends. The European man will only assimilate this completely when he has risen to the sixth stage of civilization. This had been prophetically expressed in Solovieff's anticipatory conception of Christ which announces the dawn of a later civilization. This philosophy of Eastern Europe therefore reaches far beyond that of Hegel and Kant, and in the presence of this philosophy one suddenly senses the first stirrings of a later development. It is far in advance because this conception of Christ is felt to be a prophetic anticipation, the dawn of the sixth post-Atlantean civilization. Consequently the whole Christ Being, the whole significance of Christ occupies a central place in philosophy and thus becomes totally different from the Western European conceptions of it. The conception of Christ, in so far as it has been developed outside Spiritual Science and is conceived as a living substance, as a living spiritual entity which shall permeate all social life and social institutions — which is felt as a Personality in whose service man finds himself as ‘man endowed with Spirit Self’ — this Christ-Personality is portrayed in a wonderfully concrete manner in Solovieff's various expositions of St. John's Gospel and its opening words. Only if we stand upon the ground of Spiritual Science can we comprehend Solovieff's profound interpretation of the sentence, “In the Beginning was the Word or Logos”, and how differently St. John's Gospel is understood by a philosophy which in a remarkable way anticipates the future.

If, on the one hand, Hegel's philosophy marks a high point, something that is born out of the Spiritual Soul as the highest philosophical achievement, this philosophy of Solovieff, on the other hand, provides the seed in the Spiritual Soul for the philosophy of the Spirit Self which will be incorporated in the sixth cultural epoch. There is perhaps no greater contrast than that eminently Christian conception of the State which hovers as a great ideal before Solovieff as a dream of the future, that Christian conception of the social State which takes everything implicit in that conception in order to present it as an offering to the in-streaming Spirit Self, in order to hold it up as an ideal of the future to be Christianized by the powers of the future — there is indeed no greater contrast than this idea of Solovieff's of a Christian community in which the Christ conception lies wholly in the future and the Divine State of St. Augustine who accepts, it is true, the Christ idea, but whose Divine State is simply the Roman State with Christ incorporated in the Roman idea of the State. What provides the knowledge for the emergent Christianity of the future is the decisive question. In Solovieff's State Christ is the blood which circulates in the body social, and the essential point is that the State is envisaged as a concrete personality so that it will act as a living spiritual entity, but at the same time will fulfil its mission with all the idiosyncrasies of a personality. No other philosophy is so deeply permeated by the Christ idea — the Christ idea which is anticipated in Spiritual Science at a higher level — and yet at the same time has remained so long in the germinal stage. Everything that we find in the East, from the make-up of the people to its philosophy, appears to us as something which contains only the germinal beginning of a future evolution and which, therefore, had also to submit to the special education of the Time Spirit of ancient Greece, the guiding Spirit of exoteric Christianity who was entrusted with the mission of becoming later on the Time Spirit for Europe. The make-up of this people whose task will be to develop the seed of the sixth culture-epoch had from the very beginning to be not only educated, but nursed and nurtured by that Time Spirit. And so we can literally say — and here Father concept and Mother concept lose their dual aspect — that the make-up of the Russian people which is destined to evolve gradually into the Folk Soul, was not only educated, but was nursed and nurtured by that which as we have seen, had been developed out of the old Greek Time Spirit and had then assumed externally another rank.

Thus the various missions are distributed between Western, Central, Northern and Eastern Europe. I wished to give you an indication of these various missions. On the basis of these indications I propose to add further observations and show what the Europe of the future will be like, a future that will ensure that we must form our ideals on the basis of such knowledge. I propose to show how, through this influence, the Germanic and Nordic Folk Spirit is gradually transformed into a Time Spirit.




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