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The Building at Dornach

The Building at Dornach: Lecture II

Schmidt Number: S-2964

On-line since: 15th February, 2014

Lecture 2

October 18th, 1914
Dornach

Friends should feel the quality of universality in the style of the Dornach Building. This means that endeavours must be made to transform into feeling the results of spiritual-scientific investigations that have come before our souls in the course of the years. Out of inner feeling we. shall then be able to conceive of the forms in our Building as a universal script, full of meaning

When I last spoke here I drew your attention to clues that help us to acquire a really comprehensive view of the evolution of humanity. I pointed out how in Homer's works we find a figure who represents the transition from ancient times — when everything in human evolution and culture was based upon a certain kind of clairvoyance — to the age in which we are living and into which the rays of the Mystery of Golgotha have radiated.

I said that in Agamemnon and Achilles, Homer has created figures in which he has shown how the ancient cultural life of man, permeated as it was with clairvoyance, passes over to a different kind of feeling, thinking, perception, willing, a different way of acting.

Fundamentally speaking, what has come about since the dawn of the Fourth Post-Atlantean epoch (the Greco-Latin age), and also what has developed among the different peoples as the goal of their strivings, can be understood only if it is conceived as resting on the foundation of ancient clairvoyance.

Certainly, much that is new has been achieved in the Fourth Poet-Atlantean epoch of culture and in the part of the Fifth that has already elapsed. Yet in the root-impulses at work in these epochs — as can be clearly felt by one who is willing to feel it — there still live elements that have come over from ancient times.

It is not so very easy to recognise on the surface of history this ancient heritage of human evolution. But if one is willing to penetrate into those forces which hold sway in human nature either more or less unconsciously, and reach into more recent phases of development, one perceives everywhere how the men of the Fourth and Fifth Post-Atlantean epochs bear, so to say, in their nerves and blood, elements that have come over from the First Post-Atlantean epoch (ancient Indian culture), from the Second (ancient Persian culture), from the Third (Egypto-Chaldean-Babylonian culture) and on into our own times from Greco-Latin culture. The achievements of humanity in these periods of culture are less easy to trace in outer history, but in the characters of men, how men inevitably — I say, inevitably — think and feel, it can be perceived and felt. The man of the Fifth epoch in which we are living is so constituted that his nerves, blood and astral body contain what he has received as a heritage from ancient times. It lives within him as feeling, as a fundamental impulse. He has received, in addition, impulses coming from higher worlds.

As we live in the age when the Ego is developing, when culture based on external reason is the vogue and external philosophy is authoritative; what comes from above into the impulses of men in the physical world; from the guidance and leadership of the spiritual world; meets with little understanding. In order to kindle a feeling for the dynamic, let me indicate by a sketch how the men of the Fifth Post-Atlantean epoch are placed in the whole evolutionary process of mankind. To indicate it in a few strokes, we can choose this motif (one of the carved forms in the Building), representing a force that works from below upwards, and illustrates as can be clearly felt — all those impulses which man bears in the blood; in the nerves, in the etheric body, in the astral body, and which originates in the preceding epochs, actually in the First Post-Atlantean epoch of culture. [ Figure 1 (a) ] As an impulse coming down from above we can indicate the force that works downwards from the spiritual world into the intuition of the individual but with less power than what man bears within him from ancient times.

DFigure 1
Figure 1

Spiritual-scientific investigation helps us to understand the conditions in which we ourselves live. This investigation has shown how the different qualities of the soul are distributed among the cultures of the leading peoples of the Fifth Post-Atlantean epoch. The peoples inhabiting the Italian and Spanish peninsulas — as peoples, not as individuals — have absorbed into their culture everything that is connected with the Sentient Soul. Consequently the characteristics of the Sentient Soul predominate in the culture of these two peoples. These peoples represent a particular continuation of the main process indicated in the diagram. In a more concrete, more definite way, they make manifest what lives in the impulses of the blood and the nerves, of the etheric and astral bodies, in the sense referred to everything that came over from ancient times takes exprestion in these peoples and their fundamental impulses in such a way that the forces striving upwards from below take on a more definite configuration. In these peoples there is something inorganic, purely mathematical in the other forces; there is no more than an indication of the impulses of the Fifth Post-Atlantean epoch.

If we are to understand the particular character of the peoples of the Italian and Spanish peninsulas, we must be clear that the impulses working in the blood, the nerves, the etheric and astral bodies, are developed consciously into greater concreteness of form, but with the force of the old. The impulse from below upwards in these peoples can be indicated by elaborating the lower part of the design [ Figure 2a ] and giving it a form that opens upwards like a flower, suggesting at the same time, in what comes down from above as spiritual guidance, the kind of capacity these particular peoples, have for understanding that guidance. All this is connected with the plastic forms on the columns of the Building.

Figure 2
Figure 2

These peoples still have little relation with what is expressed by this central part of the design [ Figure 2b ], but they take over all the qualities and characteristics which the Sentient Soul is able to take over from ancient times, all the secrets of the ancient forms, of the ancient artistic script, if I may put it so. A force that shapes itself into forms enters into the first design, like a renewed gift from above [ Figure 2c ] . The character of these peoplee is expressed by this second design.

Everything we come to know from spiritual science must find verification in the reslities of the outer world — when, as is essential, we really survey the outer world. If we are to absorb spiritual science in the right way, we must first take what it says into our hearts and souls and then put the question to the world whether what spiritual science says is actually realised there. This means that we must be able to find in the external culture of the peoples in question the living elements of the Sentient Soul. And we shall expect to find in the culture of the peoples of the Fifth Post-Atlantean epoch a kind of resurrection of something that already existed in earlier times and to which the so-called Sentient Soul peoples gave expression. We shall expect to find a repetition of what lived in the Egypto-Chaldean age, but born anew, in a form corresponding to our age.

What then, was characteristic of the souls of the Egyptian and Chaldean peoples? Abandonment to the outer world — in keeping with the character of the Sentient Soul — so that in the relation of the fixed stars to the planets men felt something that was connected with human destiny. Men looked out into the universe and found in what the stars expressed, the secret of happenings in the life of the human soul and spirit.

The first stage of Fifth Post-Atlantean culture was to repeat what was contained in the former Sentient Soul culture, but now in the soul itself. If, therefore, spiritual science is a trigs guide, we shall expect to find in the peoples of the Italian peninsula something that on the one side expresses the character of the Sentient Soul in the Egypto-Chaldean epoch, but on the other side indicates the great inwardness brought about by the impulse of the Mystery of Golgotha. We shall expect to find something that is a re-creation of the ancient spiritual astrology, but is now applied to the inner world, to the human soul. (Second design.) We must feel everything that approaches from the stars as a blossom springing from the human soul, indicated here at [ Figure 3a ] in the second design the aspiring impulses in man are met by what comes into them from the stars, that is to say, from the spiritual world [ Figure 3b ]. There must be something within the culture of these Southern peoples which represents an astrology applied to the soul — Egypto-Chaidean astrology applied entirely to the soul.

Figure 3
Figure 3

You are naturally thinking of something that provides complete confirmation of what I have just said. It is what Dante has presented in the “Divine Comedy”. Dante is the spirit who has re-awakened the Egypto-Chaldean element in a new form — applied now to the life of soul.

It will be easy for you to designate everything that relates to the basic impulses of ancient times as “Saturnian”.

The fundamental impulse of all connection between the cultures of the Fifth Post-Atlantean period and the ancient cultures, bears the Saturnian character. The Saturnian element works its way upwards from the fundamental impulses of the human soul and receives from above the impulses that can spring from the culture arising from the Intellectual Soul and the Ego.

It will also be easy for you to perceive the impulse that is Sun-like in character [ Figure 2 ]. I have indicated that this Sun-quality is present in Dante, who represents an important impulse of Latin-Italian culture. It need only be added that Italy is the motherland of all that is formative, of the Sun — qualities that come to man through the Sentient Soul. We might even expect a thinker of a distinct character to arise within this culture, one who out of unconscious impulses remembers this Sun-element. In the light of what we have learnt from spiritual sciences this would seem entirely natural.

There might, for example, be a philosopher — perhaps not philsophieally clear about the impulse in his souls but feeling it and allowing it to dominate him — who maintains that the external life of the State must be planned in such a manner that it is irradiated by the Sun-element. — We have no reason to be surprised when we find such a case. Campanella wrote a philosophical treatise on the Sun-State, the solar State. [ Note 1 ] You will become more and more convinced that everything, every details accords with what spiritual science brings down from the spiritual worlds, ad that life can be understood only when it is illuminated by the findings of spiritual science.

We then come to the culture-epoch which, according to the findings of spiritual science, will be designated as that of the Intellectual Soul or Mind Soul. It is the culture that has developed particularly in the region of present-day France.

To find a suitable design for this culture we must realise that it was destined — in a more concrete way than was the case at any point in Italian culture — to lead what comes from above to particular brilliance, to a higher stage of elaboration of the Intellectual Soul. What comes from above [ Figure 3b ] Intellectual Soul culture — brings the earlier culture [ Figure 3a ] to a state of greater concreteness.

If you steep yourselves in the characteristics of this new culture, you will perceive that it is particularly adapted to absorb the culture of the Fourth Greco-Latin culture, permeated with what comes from above trickles into French culture as a liquid might trickle into a chalice [ Figure 3 ] .

Spanish and Italian culture passes over into French culture but in such a way that in the latter, Greek culture undergoes a revival and renewal. I do not think that a better design than this could be found to express the gradual transition from Spanish into French culture. Even the outer quality of finish can be expressed by allowing the central part of the design to be enclosed to right and left by these lines [ Figure 3c ].

Anyone who asks whether the results of spiritual science are also demonstrated in external reality can easily find an answer if he will devote a little study to actual conditions. But it must be emphasised that these things must be judged on the foundation of facts as they are, not on that of pre-conceived ideas.

This has constantly to be stressed at the present time, because everybody wants to pass judgment on everything ignoring, of course, facts which can be understood only by dint of effort. But I advise anyone who wants to gain insight into the very distinctive form in which the Greek element flows into French culture, to study how the Oedipus theme has found its way into French poetry; how Sophocles' Oedipus lives again in the Oedipus of Corneille and also in that of Voltaire. What I have just said can be confirmed down to the very details. It can be clearly discerned in these particular examples, although many could be quoted.

It is, of course, a fact that most editions of Corneille's works no longer include the tragedy of Oedipus and that in those of Voltaire practically no value is attached to this work. But study will show that the new form into which the Oedipus theme has been cast by Corneille and Voltaire is a sign of the revival of the Greek age in French culture.

It will be found that because Greco-Latin culture stands at the dividing line between the age of ancient clairvoyance and the modern age, the element that in Sophocles is received, as it were, out of the spiritual world in the age of ancient Greek heroic culture, has become in Corneille and Voltaire entirely an affair of the human soul itself. Whether Sophocles' Oedipus is more to one's liking than the form given to the story later on must be altogether disregarded; attention must be concentrated upon the trans formation that took place, bearing in mind that this transformation consists in the Oedipus story being reborn entirely out of the personal soul-nature of man.

I said that all antipathy must be put aside. This done, it can be demonstrated quite objectively that what in Sophocles is linked with the figure of Oedipus: is woven into a human-universal deatiny: such as can be indicated only by words as momentous me those with which Goethe describes such a destiny: that it exalts man in that it crushes him.

The breath of magic emanating from Sophocies' Oedipus is due to the fact that in this drama the spiritual worlds which guide the destiny of peoples can be sensed: worlds which play into human destiny in a way that men are unable to fathom; therefore what the gods allow to befall may appear to be the most cruel injustice. One can conceive how every Greek was aware of the inscrutability of the fate in which the actual will of the gods was contained. The Greek felt: Yes: this is how the gods deal with man; their will remains inscrutable; fate can befall everyone as it befell Oedipus, but it remains inscrutable.

The breath of magic emanating from Sophocles' tragedy of Oedipus has been drawn right into the sphere of the personal by Corneille and Voltaire: quite as a matter of course. The transition is made in Corneille; in Voltaire the situation has become quite distinct. In Voltaire's Oedipus there is a figure who would be quite unthinkable in ancient drama. This is Philoctetus, the family friend who makes the conjugal alliance into a triangle. Jocaste was already acquainted with Philoctetus before her first marriage; the situation continues until she is widowed and then she marries Oedipus, her own son. These are personal relationships of soul which would be unthinkable in an ancient drama.

But we can go farther; we can try to understand what streamed through the souls of the great French poets, and then we shall find how the Greek element was absorbed. This is clearly expressed, not only in French poetry itself, but also in the theory of poetry. Do we not know how Lessing studied the way in which, as part of its theory, French poetry had taken over from Aristotle, the great Greek philosopher, the principle of the unity of Time, Place and Action, which is a feature in the works of Corneille, Racine and Voltaire?

French classic poetry can be understood only by those who perceive how the spirit of ancient Greece shines into it. And if we want to find concrete evidence in French culture of the indications given by spiritual science, we can do so by asking: Where does the essence of this French culture appear in its most brilliant form? Where is it unparalleled? Where does it reach its highest peak?

To answer this question rightly calls for great objectivity, and objectivity does not come easily to modern man, especially in our days. Nevertheless, for those who look at thinge objectively, the higheet peak of French culture is to be found in the works of Molière. However strongly any culture may believe that what Molière achieved could be equalled among a people of a different character — leaving aside what has been achieved by Corneille and Racine, or also by more modern French culture — it would be foolish to assert that the particular perfection to be found in Molière has ever again been reached. In a different sphere there has been equal perfection, admittedly — perhaps even greater perfection — but not in this particular sphere. It would be a fallacy to maintain that Molière's essential quality. — born as it was from the Intellectual Soul or Mind Soul could be achieved again or even an echo of it. Molière represents the highest peak of the culture that is born out of the Intellectual Soul.

Molière's comedy is comedy per se, comedy in its very essence. It cannot be understood inwardly, spiritually, unless one realises that the Intellectual Soul is dominant in it, in a way in which this uniqueness could never be repeated. For everything that arises in the evolution of humanity emerges at a characteristic point once and once only. Just as in one life the age of 18 or 25 is never reached twice, it is equally impossible for mankind to produce twice over that which reached the degree of finish it did in the personality of Molière. All this is indicated and can be felt in this design [ Figure 4 ].

Figure 4
Figure 4

If at this point we make a break and refer to what was said in my lecture-course on the Folk Souls about the European Folk Souls, of the Fifth Post-Atlantean epoch, we can ask other questions of the same kind on the subject of Middle-European culture being the culture of the Ego.

If this Middle-European culture is the Ego culture, its relation to the other cultures of which we have spoken will be similar to the relation of the Ego to the Sentient Soul, the Intellectual Soul and the Consciousness Soul (Spiritual Soul).

Here, too, the outer reality must provide adequate confirmation of the indications given by spiritual science, If Italian culture represents what is received through the Sentient Soul, it must have a particular relationship to the Ego culture, to Middle-European culture: that is to say, Middle-European culture, which works essentially out of the Ego, would have to submerge itself in the Sentient Soul, to be fructified by it, in the way that happens with the Ego and the Sentient Soul in an individual man.

Let us think of the relationship of the Ego to the Sentient Soul in man. The Ego, in which the impulses of its own inmost being are contained, must dive down into the Sentient Soul, otherwise it remains unfructified by what can work upon it from the outer world through the forms of that world. Man must ever and again dive down into his sentient experiences, his feeling. A relationship must be in operation between the impulses of the life of feeling and the Ego. Accordingly we may expect that those who belong to the Ego culture of Middle Europe will try to establish a living link with the Sentient Soul culture in the South; they will seek for a channel of expansion, not only in political but also in higher, spiritual connections.

Look up the history of the Staufer dynasty, look up the events originating in the impulses of the Hohenstaufen and the Guelphs, or the accounts of the constant campaigns of the Saxon and Staufen rulers to Italy. Study all these relations of Middle Europe with Italy, and you have an exact picture of the life of the Sentient Soul in relation to the Ego.

But it can be further ecpected that the Ego-nature will produce forms of art in keeping with the character of man; from the Ego-nature, gnarled, knotty forms must be expected, forms shaped by the characteristics of the Ego. Such forms are to be found in the creations of Holbein and Dürer.

But they are found in Dürer only after he had gone to Italy and had been enriched by the culture born of the Sentient Soul. In more modern times we find the same phenomenon everywhere. From Goethe's journey to Italy, down to Cornelius and Overbeck, and on into our own time, we find evidence of the exchange between the Ego culture and the Sentient Soul culture.

What goes on between Middle Europe and Italy is an image of the relation between the Ego and the Sentient Soul of man. In every detail the outer course of evolution provides confirmation when we study it in the light of the indications resulting from spiritual-scientific research.

Now let us consider the relation between the Ego-nature in the soul and the Intellectual Soul. There too we must expect that what shows itself inwardly in human nature between the Ego and the Intellectual Soul will also make its appearance in external life. The nature of the relation between the Ego and the Sentient Soul is such that the Ego dives down uncritically, as it were into the Sentient Soul, lets itself be fructified by the Sentient Soul culture. Intellectual Soul culture quite naturally assumes a character that is more like an intellectual exchange, a “head” exchange, so to speak. The Intellectual Soul, or Mind Soul, is the middle member of the soul. It is at the same time that out of which the Ego arises and with which the Ego, for its own sake, must come to terms. (Try to form an idea of the nature of the Intellectual Soul from the book Theosophy.) We must expect an inner relationship to exist between Intellectual Soul culture and Ego culture.

One can think of no more graphic illustration of this than the relation to French culture of the philosopher Leibnitz, who was through and through a Middle European in his way of thinking. Leibnitz transposes into the idiom of Middle Europe everything he absorbs from outside — for example, from Giordano Bruno in whom the Italian Sentient Soul is so alive — and also the Monad theory. Leibnitz wrote in French; he formulated a great deal in his philosophy in accordance with the demands of the French language.

A process of exchange between the Ego culture and the Intellectual Soul culture is clearly to be seen when we follow the arguments in Lessing's Hamburgische Dramaturgie We see there the tension between what Lessing was striving for and the elements in French culture originating from Hellenism, from which he wants to free himself. Leseing engages in polemics, in intellectual controversy. This is an exact image of the exchange between the Ego and the Intellectual Soul. Lessing's “Hamburgische Dramaturgie” will be understood only when it is seen in this light.

And there is something else that is apt to be overlooked today. The shape which external conditions have assumed in Middle Europe is in many respects connected with, the rise of the Prussian State, And who would not connect the emergence of the Prussian State with Frederick the Great? Of him it must be said, however, that he clung with every fibre of his being to French culture, and took over a great deal from it into his own. He said that he regarded Voltaire ae a far greater personality than Homer. He considered German culture to be still semi-barbarous He who laid the foundation of modern Prussia strove to promote culture by means of the French element. Frederick the Great must be understood in the light of his relation to the French element, for this still lives in modern Prussia today, just as everything originating from the Intellectual Soul lives in the Ego.

All these things are important for an understanding of the Ego culture, just as an understanding of the Intellectual Soul is important for an understanding of the Ego — This is indicated in the book Theosophy.

It would be extremely desirable if today, particularly, heed were paid to the real foundations of world-events before judgments are passed, so that the remarkable way of judging which has come to a head at the present time could be recognised at least by a few people as unreliable, hollow and superficial, and full of the shallow cynicism of the newspapers and the journalists.

When we follow the course of evolution in the Fifth Post-Atlentean epoch we necessarily come to a further stage of elaboration in the forms of the columns. This advance can be expressed by indicating a powerful development of what comes from above as Intellectual Soul culture, accompanied by a certain shutting off from the Spiritual. This shutting off can be indicated by a dividing motif [ Figure 4c ]above the upper portions of the design.

The element that comes from above flows in with greater definition and bears the stamp of the Fifth Post-Atlantean epoch more distimetly; but it shuts itself off in a certain way. Here we come to the culture of the Consciousness Soul that is in preparation, and is to be especially characteristic of the Fifth Post-Atlantean epoch, Whereas Italian culture has taken over qualities and traits of the Egypto-Chaldean age, and French culture those of the Greco-Latin age, we now come to what expresses the essential character of the Fifth epoch of Post-Atlantean nature which stands entirely and solely upon its own base.

What must necessarily be the attitude of this culture to the outside world? The man who stands on his own base becomes a spectator, an onlooker, and as such he will be in a position to gaze deeply into the configuration of the beings of the world, into their organic structure and mechanism, in order to be able to re-create them from within outwards, so that they stand there as if created by Nature herself. We find there a culture of keen observation, penetration into the nature of beings and things which are then described from the standpoint of the spectator or onlooker. What does this culture produce when it is really great?

One need mention one name only — that of Shakespeare. He is great and unsurpassable as a spectator, an observer of the world. Shakespeare's creations would be unthinkable in any earlier or subeequent culture. When I was describing the characteristic English philosophers in the first edition of my book Welt- und Lebensanschauungen fifteen years ago, I did not take into consideration the aspect we have in mind today But I tried to find an expressive word, which I used in the second volume of the book “Riddlee of Philosophy”. I tried to find a telling word to describe the fundamental character of John Stuart Mill's philosophy. I chose the word “spectator”, a “spectator” of the world. All the indications given by spiritual science are indeed confirmed in outer reality.

The further questien regarding the exchange between the Ego and the Consciousness Soul discloses something very distinctive. We can expect that because the Consciousness Soul itself must tend and foster the Ego, what the Ego wishes to achieve comes to it in many ways from the Consciousness Soul. We can expect that much from the Consciousness Soul will flow into the Ego. But because the Ego wants to preserve and protect its independence, there is a great deal that it must ward off.

It is a wonderful experience to watch the process of how modern physics receives its stamp from Newton, but how, in Goethe, the Ego culture of Europe rebels against the Consciousness Soul culture. Read Goethes “Theory of Colour” — it is wonderful to see how he rises up in opposition against Newton. It is wonderful to see how two discoverers of the infinitesimal calculus appear contemporaneously in Leibnitz and Newton, entirely in conformity with the relation between the Ego and the Consciousness Soul. The conflict of the Ego with the Consciousness Soul is mirrored here.

Much that is rooted in the nature of the Ego appears in a characteristic form in the spirituality of Jacob Boenme in the 16th century. A great deal is rooted in the Ego for which the Ego cannot immediately find the adequate words. The Consciousness Soul then finds the words, finds the elements that can be outwardly effective. Think of Goethe's efforts to understand the precess of natural development, in the sense of the Ego culture of Middle Europe. He discovers the principle of the natural development of living beings, from the simplest to the most complex. But the world does not understand the profound theory of this natural development because it is a product of the Ego culture. In Goethe's time the theory was not understood. Then a representative of the Consciousness Soul appears on the scene. Darwin produces, out of the Consciousness Soul, the same that Goethe had produced out of the Ego, and all the world understands it; even the Ego culture understands it! It is not possible to understand the drama of the evolution of mankind unless one is able to recognise the actual connections through the guiding lines given by spiritual science. The living forces in the evolution of humanity progrees from culture to culture as if they were based upon the eternal pillars of the primal laws of mankind.

We can divine the progress when in these designs we feel the Saturnian quality in the fundamental character of the Fifth Post-Atlantean culture, the Sun quality in the character of Italian and Spanish cultures, the Moon quality in that of French culture, and then a Mars quality in the culture that develops in the British Isles. It is not possible to understand what really ought to be understood — the symphony of the Post-Atlantean cultures as if in chorus — unless one can feel the distinctive characteristic of those Post-Atlantean cultures.

Those who live with lots of spiritual science should be able to field the course of human evolution is one great whole. Consequently a dome is to arch overhead, rising over the forms which help us to feel how the evolution of mankind goes forward. The dome or cupola is to show how human beings, how peoples, work together; it is a picture, too, of the interworking of the soul-forces in man himself. It will work upon the soul when we go into our Building with inner, sensitive understanding. For in our Building the endeavor has been made to put aside everything of a personal nature, and in every line, in every form, to represent what is spiritual worlds reveal whether we try to express world-happenings in forms, in order that men may be able to feel the meaning and significance of these happenings.

It must be admitted that the world today is nowhere near the stage of transforming into feeling those things that have now again been spoken of. This requires an ever-increasing spread of spiritual science, a greater and greater understanding of a new style of building that is connected with the secrets of the World-Order, as has been attempted in our Building. Naturally this Building can be a people beginning only — it cannot be more than that. But among individuals there does live, more or less unconsciously, something that can provide the basis for an understanding of the symphony created by the several cultures existing in the Fifth Post-Atlantean epoch.

And so even in our own grievous times certain things may be welcomed with a feeling of elation, because in what is now coming to light we must watch for signs that give some promise of a peaceful culture — culture that will not be inactive, but full of vigour, and can be understood only when efforts are made to promote mutual understanding of the essential qualities of the various peoples.

Although any egoistic relationship to one culture or another falls far short of the ideal of spiritual science, it is nevertheless to be welcomed when some measure of insight is developed into the element that makes for a bond of union — for there lies the force that is truly creative.

And so by the side of much that is so deeply grievous, we may be mindful of other voices which gladden us because they show that the principles of spiritual science can be appreciated also by one who stands outside our circle. Those who are willing to listen to spiritual science are still only few. But I have said that in Herman Grimm there was a longing for spiritual science, and I can also give another example from our own unhappy times.

Among many voices I will quote only one — When some of the young men at a university in Middle Europe were to leave for the Front and some to remain at home, one of the tutors spoke words which cheer the heart and deserve to be known, because, although they were spoken without any knowledge of spiritual science, they reveal impulses of hope and longing for the mutual intercourse among the peoples that must one day result from spiritual science. This tutor said to his students:

“You will come to know that nothing attunes the cultivated soul to Beauty more deeply than efforts to perform heroic deeds. You will come to know that nothing calls to the soul and steels it more effectively for renewed efforts, and that there is no purer bond from soul to soul, than that which resides in the hallowed realm of Beauty. Then, even if, as the most terrible consequence of this war there should remain a hatred among peoples such as was never known before, amid all the enmity you will not forget to love the higher soul of the enemy. You are fighting a good fight for the truth. There is no need for you to engage in the calumny and slander emanating from confused minds. You will receive Shakeapeare as a guest among the good spirits of German culture and know that, in the sense in which he is ours, just so much of English thought belongs your reputedly to our own spiritual life. you will remind yourselves of the noble struggles of the French mind for aesthetic culture in its great refinement. You remember how in Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, Russia in our time had both her Homer and her Shakespeare. Certainly, the Russian State meted out to these two greatest of her sons nothing but sorrow and sometimes inhuman persecution. What would they think of present developments! Yet through them speaks, unforgettable in its inwardness and sincerity, the eternal evangel of the people of God, of the realm where love is a sustaining, helping power. The meaning of the war lies in the peace to which it leads. As warriors, bear the lofty meeting of the coming peace within you, in order that the hatred among the peoples may ultimately end in a new kingdom of love. The deepest German quality is to love everything that bears the countenance of man, to love every kind of people as a portion of humanity, as a revelation of God. Realm of human love, filled with understanding, is the realm of the German spirit.”

These words were spoken by Eugen Kühnemann, any university tutor, on the 18 August 1914, to his students who were going to war. They are words to rejoice over in these momentous times when one experiences so much that is grievous. These words show great understanding of Shakespeare, who is ours to, in as much as through him English thought becomes part of our spiritual culture; they also show great understanding of French spiritual culture. They emphasize the significance of Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky for the new spiritual culture — and to emphasize that it is a great deal better than what is so often to be heard today from another side.

May such an attitude of mind and heart not disappear in our days! Perhaps our friends may be able to do something to point to the fact that such an attitude does the deed exist and furthermore that it is by no means rare in Middle Europe.

I will now close this lecture, and tomorrow at 7 o'clock I will speak about how the further stage of evolution — represented by Middle European culture and the Russian spirit — is indicated in the forms of the columns in our Building.



Last Modified: 12-Apr-2018
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