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The World of the Senses and the World of the Spirit

Schmidt Number: S-2514

On-line since: 25th June 2004

LECTURE VI.

 

These lectures will perhaps have given you some idea of what a complicated being man is and from how many sides we must consider him if we would come near to his real nature. I want now to point to one more fact of evolution, and it is one that may be classed among the most significant of all the results we can arrive at when, with the help of clairvoyant research, we study the whole course of man's evolution — looking back over the period from very ancient times until to-day, and looking forward to what shall come for the race of man in the future. I have, in the course of these lectures, drawn your attention to a perception that man can acquire when he educates his faculty for knowledge in the way we described; when, that is to say, his soul in its efforts after knowledge enters into the moods we characterised as wonder, reverence, wisdom-filled harmony with the events of the world, and lastly, devotion and surrender to the whole world process. You will remember I explained how if the soul enters upon these moods or conditions, man's faculty of knowledge can gradually rise to a perception of two converse processes that are everywhere around him. Man learns to distinguish in his environment between what is becoming and what is dying away. He says to himself at every turn: Here I have to do with a process of becoming, something that will reach perfection only in the future, and here again, on the other hand, I encounter a gradual dying away, a gradual disappearing. We perceive the things of the world as existing in a region where everything is either coming into being or passing away. And I pointed out in particular how the human larynx is really an organ of the future, how it is called to be in the future something entirely different from what it is to-day. To-day it merely communicates to the outer world by means of the spoken word our inner moods and conditions, whereas in the future it will communicate what we ourselves are in our entirety; that is to say, it will serve for the procreation of the whole human being. It will be the reproductive organ of the future. A time will come when the larynx will not merely help man to express by means of the word what is in his heart and mind, but man will use the larynx to place his own self before the world; that is to say, the propagation of man will be intimately connected with the organ of the larynx.

Now in this complicated microcosm, in this complicated “little world” which we call “man,” for every such organ that is only as yet a seed and will later on in the future attain a higher degree of perfection, there is another corresponding organ which is gradually dwindling, gradually dying away. And the corresponding organ for the larynx is the organ of hearing. In proportion as the hearing apparatus little by little disappears, in proportion as it grows ever less and less, will the larynx grow more and more perfect and become more and more important. We can only estimate the greatness of this fact when we look back, with the help of the Akashic Records, into a far distant past of mankind and then from what our research reveals are in a position to form some conception of what the ear was once like. Great new vistas are opened up for a knowledge of the nature of man when we trace back the human ear to its original form. For in its present state this hearing apparatus of ours is no more than a shadow of what it once was. To-day it hears only tones of the physical plane, or words that express themselves in tones on the physical plane. But that is only a last remnant of what used to flow into man through the hearing; for through this hearing apparatus once flowed into man the mighty movements of the whole universe. And as to-day we hear earthly music with our ear, so in ancient times did world music, the music of the spheres, flow into man. And as to-day we men clothe words in tones, so in times past did the divine Word of the Worlds clothe itself in the music of the spheres — that Word of the Worlds of which the Gospel of St. John tells, the Logos, the divine Word. Into what we may call man's hearing in the old sense of the word, there flowed from the spiritual world a heavenly music, the music of the spheres, just as now into our hearing flows the human word and the earthly music, and within the music of the spheres was what the divine Spirits spoke. And as to-day man compels the air into forms with his word and his singing and his tone, so did the divine words and the divine music bring forth forms.

And now let us consider that most wonderful of all the forms created by Divine music. We may approach it in the following way. When to-day you give utterance to a word or even only to a vowel, let us say the sound “A” — then through this sound the possibility arises of creating a form in the air. It was in like manner that form entered into the world out of the cosmic Word, and the most precious of all these forms is man himself; man himself was created in his original state by being spoken out of the divine Word. “The Gods spake!” As to-day the air comes into forms through the word of man, so did our world come into its form through the Word of the Gods. And man is the most excellent of these forms. The organ of hearing was, of course, then infinitely more complicated than it is now. It is to-day quite shrunk and shriveled. To-day it is an external organ, penetrating only a limited distance into the brain, but once it extended inwards over the whole human being. And everywhere throughout man's being moved the paths of sound which spoke man into the world, as the utterance of the Word of God. Thus was man created — spiritually — through the organ of hearing, and in the future, when he has ascended again, he will have an ear that is quite small and rudimentary. The meaning and purpose of the ear will have completely gone. The ear is in a descending evolution; to compensate for this, however, the larynx, which is to-day only like a seed, will have developed to greater and greater beauty and perfection. And in its perfection it will speak out what man can bring forth for the world as the reproduction of his being, even as the Gods have spoken Man into the world as Their creation. So is the world process in a sense reversed. When we consider the whole human being as he stands before us we have to see in him the product of a descending evolution, and when we take an organ like the ear we find it has already reached a densification of the bony matter in the small bones of the ear, it is, as it were, in the last stage of descending evolution. The sense as such is disappearing. Man, however, is developing on into the world of spirituality, and his ascending organs are the bridges that carry him over into spirituality. Such is the relationship between the world of the senses and the world of the spirit. The world of the senses makes itself known to us in descending organs, and the world of the spirit in ascending organs.

And it is the same everywhere. In the whole world as it presents itself to our view we can follow in some way this becoming and dying. And it is important that we should learn to apply the idea to the other things in the world. It will teach us a great deal. Thus in the mineral world, for example, we can also find something that is in an ascending evolution, something that is to-day only at the seed stage. It is quicksilver. Quicksilver is a metal that will undergo transformations in the future but transformations that will lead to greater perfection. Quicksilver as metal has not yet pulverised all the forces that every substance possesses in the spiritual before it becomes substance at all. Powers that belong essentially to the nature of quicksilver still remain in the spiritual, and these it will in the future be able to bring forth and place into the world. It will assume new forms. Thus quicksilver corresponds in the world of the minerals to the human larynx, and also in a sense to the organ that is attached to the larynx — the lung. Other metals — copper, for example — are in a kind of descending evolution. Copper will, in the future, show itself as a metal that has no more inner spiritual forces to place out into the world, and that is consequently more and more obliged merely to split up and crumble to cosmic dust.

I have here set before you a few examples of connections which will in future increasingly become an object of study. Men will study more and more the relationships between the processes of becoming and of passing away in the several kingdoms of nature, and will learn to find — not through experiments and tests but through an Imaginative knowledge — relationships between particular metal substances and particular organs in the human body. And as a result substances whose effects are already partially known from external experience will, through Imagination, be able to be known in all their healing power, in all their reproductive and restorative power over the human body. All kinds of relationships and connections will be discovered between the several things and beings of the world.

Thus, man will come to recognise that the virtues which lie in the seed of a plant are differently connected with man than the virtues contained in the root. All that we find in the root of a plant corresponds in a manner to the human brain and to the nervous system belonging to the brain. [see Summary] It goes so far that in actual fact the eating of what is to be found in plant roots has a certain correspondence with the processes that take place in the brain and nervous system. So that if a man wants his brain and nervous system to be influenced from the physical side in its task as physical instrument for the life of the spirit, he receives with his nourishment the forces that live in the roots of plants. In a sense we may say that he lets think in him what he thus receives in food, he lets it do spiritual work in him, whilst if he is less inclined to eat of the root nature of plants it will be rather he himself who uses his brain and nervous system. You will see from this that if a person consumes a quantity of root food he is liable to become dependent in respect of his experiences as soul and spirit; because something objective and external works through him, his brain and nervous system surrender their own independence. And so if he wants it to be more himself who works in him, then he must diminish his consumption of roots. I am not, my dear friends, giving suggestions for any particular diet, I am merely informing you about facts of nature. And I warn you expressly not to set out to follow what I have said without further knowledge. Not every person is so far advanced as to be able to dispense with receiving the power of thought from something outside himself; and it may very easily happen. that a man who is not ripe to leave it to his own soul-life to provide him with the power of thinking and feeling — it can easily happen that if such a man avoids eating roots he will fall into a sleepy condition, because his soul and spirit are not yet strong enough to evolve in themselves out of the spiritual those forces which are otherwise evolved in man quite objectively, and independently of his soul and spirit. The question of diet is always an individual question and depends entirely upon the whole manner and condition of the development of the person in question.

Again, what lives in the leaves of plants has a similar connection with the lungs of man, with all that belongs to the system of the lungs. Here we may find an indication of how a balance can be created, for example, in a person whose breathing system, owing to inherited tendencies or to some other condition, works too powerfully. It would be well in such a case to recommend the person not to eat much of what comes from the leaves of plants. There may be another person whose breathing system requires strengthening, and then we shall do well to advise him to eat freely of such food as comes from leaves. These things have their close connection also with the healing forces that are in the world in the several kingdoms of nature, for those parts of the individual plants which have a definite relationship to man's organs contain forces of healing for those regions of man's organism. Thus, roots contain great forces of healing for the nervous system, and leaves for the lung system.

The flowers of plants contain many healing forces for the kidney system, and seeds in a particular way for the heart, but only when the heart sets itself too strongly in opposition to the circulation of the blood. If the heart yields too easily to the circulation, then it is rather to the forces that are in the fruits, i.e. in the ripened seeds, that we must turn. These are some of the indications that result when we take into consideration that the moment we pass from man to surrounding nature all that presents itself to our senses in the world of nature is actually only the surface.

Summary:

 

Roots

— Brain.

 

Leaves

— Lungs.

 

Flowers

— Kidneys.

 

Seeds

— Heart.

 

Fruits

— Blood system.

In the plants, what belongs to the world of the senses is only on the surface. Behind what reveals itself to sight and taste and smell are the soul-and-spirit forces of the plant. But these soul-and-spirit forces are not present in such a way that we could speak of each single plant as ensouled, in the same way that each single human being is ensouled. That is not the case. Whoever were to imagine it would be giving himself up to the same delusion as a man who thought that a single hair or the tip of the ear, or, let us say, a nose or a tooth, were ensouled. The whole human being is ensouled in his totality, and we only learn to look into the soul nature of man when we pass from the parts to the whole. And we must do the same in the case of every living thing. We must take care to observe it spiritually and see whether it is a part or in some sense a whole. All the various plants of the earth are by no means a whole for themselves; they are parts, they are members of a whole. And as a matter of fact we are only speaking of a reality when we speak of that to which the several plants belong, as parts belong to a whole. In the case of man we can see at once to what his teeth, his ears, his fingers belong; physically they belong to the whole organism. In the case of the plants we do not see with the eye that to which the single plant belongs, we cannot perceive it with a physical organ at all, for the moment we reach the whole we come into the realm of the spirit. The truth about the soul nature of the plant world is that it has the plants for its individual organs. There are, as a matter of fact, for our whole earth only a few beings who are, so to say, collected together in the earth and have as their single parts the plants, just as man has the hairs on his body.

We can, if we wish, refer to these beings as the group souls of the plants. We can say, when we go beyond what our senses can behold of the plant, that we come to the group souls of the plants, which are related to the single plant as a whole to a part. Altogether there are seven group souls — plant souls — belonging to the earth, and having in a way the centre of their being in the centre of the earth. So that it is not enough to conceive of the earth as this physical ball, but we have to think of it as penetrated by seven spheres varying in size and all having in the earth's centre their own spiritual centre. And then these spiritual beings impel the plants out of the earth. The root grows towards the centre of the earth, because what it really wants is to reach the centre of the earth, and it is only prevented from pushing right through by all the rest of the earth matter which stands in its way. Every plant root strives to penetrate to the centre of the earth, where is the centre of the spiritual being to which the plant belongs.

 Diagram 10
Diagram 10
Click image for large view
 

You see how extraordinarily important is the principle we laid down — to go always to the whole in the case of every being or creature, to see first whether it is a part or a whole. There are scientists in our days who look upon the plants as ensouled, but they look upon the individual plant in this way. That is no cleverer than if we were to call a tooth a man; both stand at the same mental level. Many people are ready to think, when they hear views like this put forward, that they are quite theosophical, just because the plants are regarded as having soul; but really all such talk on the part of science has no value at all for the future, the books are so much waste paper. To look for individual souls in the separate plants is to say: I will extract a tooth from a human being and look in it for a human soul. The plant soul is not to be found in the single plant but has its most important point in the centre of the earth, whither the root tends, for the root is that force in the plant which strives ever towards the most spiritual part of plant existence.

When we are considering a theme such as this we shall find, my dear friends, that we come across statements made from the standpoint of the present-day view of nature which can bring us near to the gateway of truth, but only to the same degree as Mephistopheles can bring Faust into the realm of the Mothers — namely, just to the outermost door and no further. For as little as Mephistopheles can go down with Faust into the realm of the Mothers, so little can present-day natural science enter into the spiritual. But as in a certain sense Mephistopheles gives the key, so does natural science. Natural science gives the key, but it does not want to enter itself, even as Mephistopheles does not want to enter himself into the realm of the Mothers. It is true in a sense that natural science gives us clues which, if we have acquired the mode of knowledge described in these lectures, can often bring our knowledge to the gateway of truth.

Natural science to-day, following the impulse of Darwin, has drawn — from observation of the world of the senses alone — an important conclusion; natural science speaks of the principle of the so-called “struggle for existence.” Who is not ready to see this struggle for existence all around him as long as he takes cognizance only of what the external world of the senses affords? Why, we meet with it at every turn. Think of the innumerable eggs laid by the creatures of the sea, how many are destroyed and perish, and how few actually grow up and become new creatures. There you have, apparently, a fearful struggle for existence. One could well begin to lament over it if one listened only to the world of the senses, and say: of the millions and billions of eggs so many, so very many, go under in the struggle for existence and so few survive. But this is only one side of a thought, my dear friends. Take hold now of the same thought at another end! In order to bring your thinking on in a certain direction, let me ask you to grasp the same thought at another point. You can also lament in a similar way over the struggle for existence in another connection. You can cast your eyes over a field of corn where so-and-so many ears are standing, each holding so-and-so many grains of corn, and you can ask the question: How many of these grains of corn are lost in some way or other and never fulfil their true purpose; and how few of them are planted again in the earth that they may become new plants of the same kind as the old ones? We can thus look over a field of corn that is promising a rich and plenteous harvest and say to ourselves: How much of all that sprouting life will perish without having attained its goal! Only a very few grains will be buried in the earth for new plants of the same kind to arise. Here again we have an instance, only in a rather different sphere from that of the sea-creatures, where also only a very few come to fulfilment.

But now let me ask you what would become of the human beings, who must eat something, if every single grain of corn were buried again in the earth? Let us suppose that it were possible — theoretically we can suppose anything — for such an abundant growth to take place that every single grain of corn could come up again; but we must also think of what would happen to the beings who have to find their nourishment from corn. Here we come to a strange pass; a belief that might appear justified when we look at the world of the senses is shaken. When we look at a field of corn in respect of its own physical existence we might seem quite justified in concluding that every single grain should grow into a whole plant. And yet the standpoint is perhaps false. Perhaps in the whole connection of things in the world we are not thinking correctly when we ascribe to each single grain of corn this aim and object, namely to grow into a whole plant. Perhaps there is nothing to justify us in saying that the grains of corn which serve other beings for food have somehow failed in their cosmic aim. Perhaps there is nothing that compels us to say that the eggs of the creatures of the sea have failed in their aim when they have not grown into fishes. It is in reality no more than human prejudice to suppose that every single seed ought to become again the same being. For we can only measure the tasks of the individual beings when we turn our eyes to the whole. And all the eggs that perish by the million in the sea every year, and do not grow into fish, provide food for other beings who are only not yet accessible to man's vision. And in very truth those spiritual substances which struggle their way through to existence and become the countless eggs of the sea that are apparently lost — they do not lament that they have missed their goal; for their goal is to be nourishment for other beings, to be received up into the very being of these other beings. Man stands outside with his intellect and imagines that only that has meaning which strives towards the goal which he, through his senses, is bound to see as the ultimate goal. But if we look at nature without prejudice and with an open mind we shall see in every single stage of every single being a certain perfection and fulfilment, and such perfection does not rest only in that which the being will eventually become, but is contained already in what it is.

These are some of the thoughts, acquired in occultism, which must take root in your heart and minds. And if you now turn away from the external world and look into your own soul you will observe that you have there in your soul a rich store of thoughts. Thoughts are perpetually streaming into your soul, perpetually lighting up within it; and only a very few of these thoughts are clearly grasped, only a very few become a conscious part of the human soul. When you go for a walk in the town, reflect how much enters your soul by way of your senses, and yet how little you observe in such a way that it becomes a permanent part of your soul-life. You are continually receiving impressions, and the sum of all the impressions you receive is related to the portion of them which becomes a permanent conscious possession of your soul as the great mass of fish spawn in the sea that is brought into being year by year is related to the proportion of it that actually grows into fish. You, as well, have to be forever going through this same process in your own soul, the process of bringing, over a vast region, only a very small quantity to fulfilment. And when man begins to lift the veil a little and gain some vision of the great flood of pictures of fantasy and of thought out of which he emerges when he emerges from sleep — the dream affords for many persons a last trace of the immeasurably rich life man leads in sleep — then he can come to realise that there is meaning in the fact that he receives so many impressions that do not come to clear consciousness. For the impressions that actually come to clear consciousness are lost to the inner work of man, they cannot work upon the system of the sense organs, nor the system of the glandular organs, nor the system of digestion, neither can they work upon the systems of nerves, muscles and bones. That which becomes conscious in the soul, and which present-day man carries in him as his conscious inner soul-content, has no more power to work upon the organism; its characteristic is that it is torn loose from the mother earth of the whole human being and thus comes into his consciousness. All the rest of the soul-content — which bears the same relation to these conscious thoughts and ideas as the many eggs do to the few that become fish — all the countless impressions that come into our soul from without and do not come into consciousness, work upon the whole human being.

Everything in his environment works continually upon man in his totality. The dream can sometimes teach you how far what lives on in your soul as conscious idea, how very far that is from being all that enters your soul; many other impressions are entering your soul all the time. You have only to give attention to such things and you will find they occur constantly in life. You dream of some situation. Perhaps you dream you are standing opposite a man who is talking with another man. You are standing there and making a third. In your dream you have a clear and exact picture of the countenance of the man opposite you. You say to yourself: “How do I come to have such a dream? It gives the impression of being concerned with people I know in physical life, it seems to relate itself to physical life. But where does it come from? I have never heard or seen this person.” And now you pursue it further; and when you examine carefully you find that a few days ago you were opposite this person in a railway carriage, only the whole experience passed by you without your consciousness being awakened. In spite of that, however, it entered deeply into your life. It is only owing to inexactitude of observation that people as a rule know nothing about these things.

The conceptions that dreams bring before us in this way are by no means the most important of the impressions that work upon the soul. The most important are quite other impressions. Think for a moment, my dear friends, how the process I described to you yesterday has been continually happening all the time in the evolution of humanity. By means of his bony system man has been continually producing Imaginations, by means of his muscular system he has been sending into the world Inspirations, and by means of his nervous system Intuitions. All these are now there in the world. The outstreamings that are evil, each man must himself receive back again and carry away through his destiny. But the rest builds up and takes form and is perpetually there in man's environment. In very deed all the Imaginations and Inspirations and Intuitions that man has given out into the earth world, even only since the Atlantean catastrophe, are present and are part of our environment. The good things man has given out — these the individual men do not need to take back again in the course of their Karma; but what they have sent out into the spiritual atmosphere of the earth all through the centuries of the successive epochs is actually present for the men who are now living on earth, just as much as the air is present for physical man. As man breathes physical air, as the air from his environment enters right inside him, so do the Imaginations, Inspirations and Intuitions that have been developed penetrate into man, and man partakes of them with his soul and spirit. And now it is important that man should develop a real relation to all this in his environment, that he should not meet what he has himself imparted to the earth in earlier epochs of its existence as if it were strange to him, as if he were unconnected with it. He can, however, only become connected with this spiritual content he has given to the earth when he gradually acquires the power to receive it into his soul.

How can this come about? When we come to make a deep study of the spiritual meaning of earth evolution we discover that in the time when post-Atlantean man had still something left of ancient clairvoyance, Imaginations, Inspirations and Intuitions were communicated in great abundance to the spiritual atmosphere of the earth. That was a time when spiritual substance was given forth in large measure. Since the fourth post-Atlantean epoch, and especially from the present day onwards, we gradually send out less and less; what falls rather to us is to receive the old substance, for it is something with which we are intimately connected; we have the task to take up again into ourselves what has been sent out. That means it is required of man to replace an earlier spiritual outbreathing by a spiritual inbreathing. Man must grow ever more sensitive and receptive to the spiritual that is in the world. In ancient times that was not so necessary, for men of those olden times were able to put forth from them spiritual substance, they had, so to speak, a reserve store. But this reserve of spiritual substance has been so deeply drawn upon since the fourth post-Atlantean epoch that in future man will, in a sense, only be able to send out what he has first absorbed, what he has first inbreathed. In order that man may be able to take his place with full understanding in this new task in earth existence — to this end is Anthroposophy or Spiritual Science there in the world. When a man feels drawn to Anthroposophy it is not just that it takes his fancy as one among many other things in the world that take his fancy. He is drawn to Anthroposophy because it is intimately and deeply bound up with the whole of earth evolution, intimately bound up with the task that lies immediately before man to-day in evolution, namely to develop understanding for the spiritual all around him. For from the present time onwards it will be the case that those who do not develop understanding for the spirit behind the senses, for the world of the spirit behind the world of the senses, will be like men whose breathing system is so injured that they cannot take in air and they suffer from difficulty in breathing. To-day we still have left in our ideas a certain inheritance from primeval human wisdom, and we feed upon these old ideas. If, however, we are able to observe the evolution of mankind in modern times with the eye of the spirit we shall perceive that while discoveries abound in the field of the material and external, in the spiritual a kind of exhaustion shows itself, a strange poverty of spiritual content. New ideas, new concepts, arise less and less among mankind. It is only those who do not know of ancient concepts and who are always rediscovering the old for themselves — that is to say, their whole life long remain in a sense immature — who can imagine that it is possible for ideas to develop and mature in these days. No, the world of abstract ideas, the world of intellectual ideas is exhausted. There are no more new ideas springing up. The time of Thales marks the rise of intellectual ideas for Western thought. And now we stand at a kind of end; and philosophy as such, philosophy as a science of ideas, is at an end. Ideas and thoughts belong only to the physical plane, and man must learn to lift himself up to what lies beyond ideas and thought, that is, beyond the world of the physical plane. To begin with he will lift himself up to Imaginations. Imaginations will again become for him something real and actual. That will bring about a new fructification of the spiritual in mankind. That is why, my dear friends, Anthroposophy or Spiritual Science gives Imaginations of great and mighty world processes. Note how different from everything else of its kind is the description given of Saturn, Sun and Moon. Compare it with the abstract concepts of natural science. Everything in Spiritual Science has to be given in pictures, it has to be presented in such a way that it is not directly realisable in the external world of the senses. We say of Old Saturn that it had a condition of warmth, of warmth alone. That is sheer nonsense for the present-day world of the senses; for the world of the senses knows nothing of warmth substance as such. But what is nonsense for the world of the senses is truth for the world of the spirit, and the next step required of man in the near future is to live his way into the world of the spirit. Those who will not resolve to breathe the air of the spirit — and Spiritual Science has come into the world to make the soul of man susceptible to the air of the spirit — those who do not want to make themselves responsive to Spiritual Science will actually approach a condition of spiritual shortness of breath and spiritual exhaustion. One can already see many persons approaching this condition, and it leads on to a spiritual wasting and decline, to an actual “consumption” of the spirit.

Such would be the lot of men on earth if they wanted to stop short at the world of the senses. They would go into a spiritual decline. In the future development of civilisation there will be men full of sensitiveness for the spiritual, full of heart for all that Spiritual Science will give, and for the world of Imagination, Inspiration and Intuition as it springs up spontaneously in the souls of men. So will it be for a part of humanity: they will have understanding and devotion for this world of the spirit. And it will be these men who will fulfil the task that is set before the earth in the near future. Others perhaps will be content with the world of the senses, not wanting to go beyond it, not wanting to go beyond that shadow picture which the conceptions of philosophy and of natural science afford. Such people are moving in the direction of spiritual shortness of breath, spiritual consumption, spiritual sickness and disease. They will become dried up in earth existence and not attain the goal that has been set for earth evolution. Evolution goes on, however, in such a way that each one is compelled to ask himself the question: Which way will you choose? In the future men will stand, as it were, on two paths, to the right and to the left. On one path will be those for whom the world of the senses alone is true, and on the other will be those for whom the world of the spiritual is the truth.

And since the senses, such as the ear, for example, will disappear, since at the end of the earth all the senses that belong to the earth will have completely disappeared, we can form some idea of what that consumption and wasting away will be like. If we abandon ourselves to the world of the senses we abandon ourselves to something which abandons man in the future of earth evolution. If we press through to the world of the spirit we develop ourselves in the direction of something that wills to come nearer and nearer to man in the future of earth evolution. If we want to express it in a symbol we may say that it is possible for man to stand there at the end of the earth evolution and to speak as Faust did when he had been blinded physically — (for man will be not only blinded to the world around him but deaf to it in addition, he will stand there blind and deaf and deprived of taste and smell) — he will be able to say with Faust: “But in my inmost spirit all is light — yes, and all is glorious ringing tones and words of men!” Thus will the man be able to speak who has turned to the world of the spirit. But the other, the man who wanted to remain at the world of the senses would be like a Faust who, after he was blinded, would be compelled to say: “Blind hast thou become without, and within shines no light of the spirit, darkness alone receives thee.”

Man has to choose between these two Faust natures in his relation to the future of the earth. For the first Faust would be one who had turned to the world of the spirit, whilst the second would be one who had turned to the world of the senses and had thereby become closely united with something of which man must feel that it is unsubstantial and unreal, and moreover that it robs him of his own reality and being. Thus does that appear which we set out to discover and bring from occult heights — thus does it appear, my dear friends, in its relation to the immediate daily life of man. I think I need not spend words in pointing out what moral principles and will impulses for present-day humanity can proceed from a real understanding of occult science. For out of a rightly understood wisdom will a rightly understood goodness and virtue be born in the human heart. Let us strive after a real understanding of world evolution, let us seek after wisdom — and we shall find without fail that the child of wisdom will be love.



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