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The Necessity for New Ways of Spiritual Knowledge

Schmidt Number: S-3852

On-line since: 15th April, 2013


Lecture I.

Stuttgart, 8th September, 1919

My dear friends,

This evening I want to speak to you once more because I consider it necessary briefly to epitomise a good deal of what is connected with all that has happened here, has originated from here, in regard to our present cultural movement. I should particularly like to speak of all that, as far as its intentions go, can still lie in what has already happened and what may happen in future as a result of our activities here.

It may well be that I shall not have anything particularly out of the common or new to say to you today, but it is essential to give a survey of what our souls should have experienced.

The keynote for what I should like to pay today has of late often been touched upon here. This keynote is meant as an indication that a real, genuine, spiritual deepening is necessary for mankind today — a spiritual deepening through the new methods of spiritual knowledge possible at the present time, and frequently enough described by me.

Recently it has also been said ever and again — we shall never be able to advance even in social matters if the understanding for social matters does not proceed from a corresponding spiritual deepening by the appropriate new means to spiritual knowledge. And it has been pointed out. how completely, profoundly serious should be this striving for man's spiritual deepening with the new means to knowledge, how only those have a real understanding of modern requirements who are able to take in earnest what is lying in this call to spiritual deepening, those who, on the other hall, can convince themselves that this spiritual deepening, at least in its most intimate essentials, can never arrive at any compromise with past ways of entering the spiritual world. All attempted compromise will lead to a wrong path. Can it then be said that in our day men having the temerity to take the lead in any particular sphere — that these men know how really to take seriously what today is meant by striving after the spirit? For in this such men ought to have a feeling not for theorising about the spirit but they should have a feeling for the real, living activity in the spiritual and through the spiritual. When, however, this real activity in and through the spiritual is spoken of today, for many people it is something entirely incomprehensible.

I will illustrate what I mean by an example. Now I recently had a letter. Because I am quoting this letter as an example, I shall just speak about it in that sense without giving names. So, then, I recently received this letter from someone active at present in a spiritual sphere, who to begin with says that my “Appeal to the Cultural World” has come into his hands and that he has caught at the idea of a threefold social order with enthusiasm, The letter goes on to say that the writer has to thank “The Threefold State” for valuable information and inspiration which he has repeatedly acknowledged in public. In addition, however, he informed me that he had been sent by those running the Threefold Commonwealth League a copy of the lecture I gave to the employees of the Daimler works. And now he talks about this lecture — in the following way: he won't venture to criticise what is stated objectively in the lecture. But then over the page he launches into a perfect sermon about it because he considers the tone of the lecture should have been different, for example, he feels aggrieved that the hitherto existing bourgeois culture has been adversely criticised, and so forth. I won't go into details.

Now what does all this mean? Today I shall consider the matter entirely from the point of view of reality.

You see this is a man — and it is just as well there should be people like him — who is theoretically in agreement with what is in the Appeal, who agrees in theory, and indeed has taken in something of what the book “The Threefold State” contains — a man who agrees with the content of the lecture given by me to the employees of the Daimler works but criticises its “tone” — calling it that of a demagogue and so on.

What does this mean? The man is in theoretical agreement with the lecture. But today it does not help to be in theoretical agreement with anything. It means that the man has no feeling for the facts of the case He has no dis8rimination about the way in which the matter is treated. When in Dornach I sit down and write an “Appeal to the Cultural World” having before me, in idea, the men of today who would be able to accept it, not just putting down something thought out theoretically but writing in a living connection with those who would be able or should be able to understand it, then this is something taken from real conditions. In it there is a thorough recognition of the ruling spirit of the age. And as to the writing of “The Threefold State”, this is not done so that the words might appear there on the paper in their little printed letters for theorists to criticise, I write them for the living men of today, I write in the way that one speaks from one's writing desk to present-day men, in a real and positive way. Then I go into a hall where the' principal employees of the Daimler works are sitting. As I am speaking out of the directly living spirit it is a matter of course that the moment I enter I should know how I am to speak to the people, how I am to put what I say. Whoever works today out of the living spirit will not give an academic lecture. Academic lectures are those in which things have been thought out, the lecturer°s own opinions being thrown in the face of his audience. Whoever is within the living spirit speaks, not to the brains of his audience but out of his own heart.

Now this is something that for once has to be said. People who themselves would be able to follow these things in theory have no idea that anyone wanting to work in the spirit has to work out of the spirit in which he is at the time embodied. This can be criticised from the ordinary point of view. I can assure you that the lecture I then. gave to tile Daimler employees was understood by those present Had I spoken in the way that would have pleased the writer, these Daimler people would have laughed me out of court; nothing would have come of it except my being laughed down, It is not the point today to preserve antique — for they are antique today — theoretical customs so as to be in personal agreement with the thing or not. Today what matters is to have a living feeling for the active working and weaving of the spirit — for the existence of the spirit. Hence I have always to say — even if in the course of time our friends bring me things which have been said at some place which superficially had the ring of much that I give out — I have to say: It is not important whether or not the words and sentences sound the same. The point is from what spiritual angle they come. And there is still a great deal for present-day people to understand in that respect. People still think that when they have taken-in the content of a matter that they have taker-in the matter itself. But when they have taken-in the content they have taken-in the words only and can still be a long way from the spirit of the matter.

It is of particular importance, my dear friends, to understand this when what spiritual science has to say about social conditions should flow into our present materialistic age. Otherwise it will not be possible for the connection to be understood between the being; of Anthroposophy and social activity.

In all branches of culture today we are living more than we believe Am a wave of materialism, And what is so often. said now about this materialistic culture being surmounted in certain spheres is pure illusion. It may well he that here or there materialistic culture is fought with words but it is not fought out of the spirit. A very idealistic academic manifesto may be launched or a book written, but it is possible for these things to arise out of a quite materialistic spirit. Above all it is necessary today to fathom the following — the actual reason for our getting into this present materialism. For if we do not understand that, we shall never work our way out of it.

In what then does the harmfulness of the present materialistic impulse consist? It consists in the passions being so quickly aroused today when the spiritual is made valid through the living experience of reality. Now assume that someone is prompted by his experiences to speak about the animal kingdom, assume that in speaking he wants to make the following intelligible — in the animal world, in its development, spiritual forces are working. From knowledge of the spiritual forces working in the world of the animals, he will perhaps have to say things that immediately arouse the passions of one group or other of evangelical or catholic theologians, who criticise him up hill and down dale without going at all into the content of what he asserts, simply because he has the temerity to speak about the spirit out of real knowledge of the animal world. Or one may speak of the necessity of bringing spiritual forces into the social life of man because we can come to a really new social form only by recognising these spiritual forces and by bringing them into the social ordering - up flares the Marxist's love of aggression (shared by many socialists) just as in the other case it was that of protestant or catholic churchmen. And the tone of these objections is certainly not very different. One just has to notice how in the one case — I mean this quite kindly — there is more of a sentimental, theological and religious atmosphere, whereas in the other the atmosphere is more churlish (I won't say that this is any worse than the sentimental one), but the actual tone in certain cases is exactly the same.

Now where such matters are concerned the question has to be asked: Whence comes the present materialistic spirit? Who is responsible for it? The answer is that the religious faiths have fostered it. And its living presence in the social world-outlook is due solely to the social world-outlook being a true disciple of what, strictly speaking, has arisen during the centuries from the religious faiths, It was really more important than people think that, as I have often told you, in 869 the Catholic Church denied the spirit at the World Council at Constantinople. Since then no catholic man of learning dare talk of the spirit being present in man. They may only say that man consists of body and soul. Ant. so it was all through the Middle Ages. Nothing scared the learned ones of medieval Catholicism more than any mention the trichotomy, in other words the threefold division of man's being into body, soul and spirit. For at the Council of Constantinople it was established that man consists of body and soul, the soul having certain spiritual forces and attributes. Something of the spirit is in the soul, but no mention may be made of a separate spirit. Since then the scientists and philosophers have believed that on a basis of science “free of hypotheses” they differentiate only between body and soul, whereas they are acting merely under the influence of Catholic dogma. Such worthy professors as Wilhelm Mundt are simply followers of the Catholic dogma even where their psychology is concerned, though this is not generally recognised.

Why is it that when knowledge of the world is in question one should not be allowed even to speak of the spirit? In part it is due to this dogma. But neither may one speak of the soul. Of the real soul it is not permitted to talk because the religious faiths claim it as their prerogative to speak of the soul and — so far as their dogma allows — also of the spirit. It is their monopoly. It does not the long to the ordinary man's province to speak of soul and spirit; belongs to those who speak to people from the standpoint of some religious denomination. What then remains for science — the unfortunate zoology, physiology, chemistry, physics — but to speak of material processes? If in any place something flares up and spirit is mentioned they are interfering in the affairs of religion. Nothing remains for this poor science of the world but to become material, materialistic, since the religious denominations deprive it of the possibility to touch on anything spiritual.

There is something very important in this, my dear friends. It is most important to realise that the very powers responsible for materialism are the powers of the Western Churches. It is the Churches we have to thank for materialism. And materialism will go on increasing in strength if the Churches do not lose their administrative powers in the various religions and confessions. If we take our civilisation seriously it will be impossible for us to entertain any illusions in these matters. Today it concerns us all to take these matters seriously. Today we may not out of human weakness venture on any compromise. If in our ordinary activities we are forced into making a compromise, this must be done consciously and not lightly dismissed with a few words. It must be quietly admitted that it is necessary to yield to superior power. We must not make a compromise with what we know; we must not believe a thing to be right that we do at the dictates of coercion.

Thus it is necessary to create for our knowledge a foundation that is once and for all a sure foundation. Today things have to be given pointed, very pointed emphasis. Here in this sphere are the things that have to be given such emphasis. For we are now at a point of time where knowledge concerning the spiritual world must be treated with seriousness. The scientific knowledge that has arisen in the fifth post-Atlantean period, knowledge that began with Galileo, Giordano Bruno, Kepler, Copernicus, the period of natural science having in the nineteenth century Julius Robert Mayer as one of its most outstanding exponents, all this knowledge followed methods and proceeded from views of natural science which were quite new in comparison with the methods and views among the various religions handed down from olden times. Between the methods of natural science belonging to the scientific outlook, and the methods of the religious faiths, there is no possible agreement. Spiritual science, that spiritual science that has grown out of actual modern culture, must, however, take stand on the same ground as natural science. It must deal in all seriousness with what I wrote in my book “Mysticism and Modern Thought”. Such things have to be taken with the utmost seriousness. But they will not be taken seriously if it is not made clear that spirit is working in all we now observe in the world. Matter never exists purely as matter, Wherever there is concrete matter there is at the same time concrete spirit. And when man today says that he stands in the world as man with the three kingdoms — animal, vegetable and mineral — below him, he is stating merely a half-truth if, at the same time, he does not recognise that just as below his body there are animal kingdom, plant kingdom and mineral kingdom, so above there are the three spiritual kingdoms of the hierarchies of the Angels, Archangels and Archai. No one has the right to speak of animal kingdom, plant kingdom and mineral kingdom as being below physical man if he does not realise that three other kingdoms, spiritual kingdoms, are above him. For man as a being of the physical world stands in bodily connection with the three kingdoms of animal, plant, mineral; through his soul-spiritual being he stands in connection with the three kingdoms above, which, for the developed human perception are just as real spiritually as the three kingdoms below are real physically for the physical senses. And before it is admitted that we come to recognition of the spirit through developed observation, not allowing ourselves to be held back by any traditional religious faith — just as little as maintaining there are walruses would hinder us from asserting something about the spiritual world — before we come to this, we can never grasp what has to work as impulse into the present time. These things today must have our earnest consideration.

This is how matters stand. We have entered an age of human evolution in which man is a different being from what he was in earlier periods of the evolution of the Earth. Man has always been in a state of evolving. When the Great Flood of Atlantis had subsided and out of a much older culture the first blossoming of post-Atlantean culture arose in the Old Indian period, human beings where their physical bodies were concerned made a great step forward. It was the same in the second culture-period — the old Persian. Still the same in the third period, the Egypto-Chaldean; to a certain degree on into the Greco-Latin period up to the middle of the fifteenth century of our era. Since then the evolution of man as a physical being has slowly been losing ground. His bodily evolution has come to stop. We do not face the future so that we can say: as the development of the first four post-Atlantean periods was a rising one, so the future will also be on the upgrade for the evolution of the human body — No, it will not be so. For the rest of earthly evolution there will be no upward trend for the human body. The human body has gone beyond its zenith in upward evolution, and as body, filled with physical forces, is approaching not an upward but a downward development. If out of the spiritual knowledge gleaned from our literature we ask why this is so, the answer must be: As we as men have entered into a different relation with the animal world — for example, during the Egypto-Chaldean period man had a great deal more of the animal in him than he has today, life being more in accord with animal-instinct — so now he is developing another relation to the three higher kingdoms. Up to our own time these three higher kingdoms had indeed a particular interest in concerning themselves with man. People of the present day will have to begin to understand that in speaking of these things we are speaking of realities. The spirits of the hierarchies of the Angels, Archangels and Archai had a living interest in occupying themselves with human beings, but now this interest is ceasing. It began to do so in the middle of the fifteenth century, the beginning of the fifth post-Atlantean epoch. These beings of the higher hierarchies looked upon it as their ideal to arrive at a picture of man as a complete human being. This they could not do up to the present time, for the human being had not reached the peak of his completion. They had to wait. Today when there is so confused a representation of God that it easily becomes atheism, this necessary waiting of the spiritual beings above man cannot be understood. They have had to wait until they had brought men to the stage of presenting a picture of completion. Hence in former times there arose, in man's subconscious, knowledge, feelings, will impulses, which were the deeds of these beings. Man could not produce them of his own free will, he did so instinctively but they were deeds brought about by these spiritual beings. These beings were interested in the progress of mankind, for only when they had succeeded in bringing him to the stage that he reached in the middle of the fifteenth century did they have the picture they were obliged to have for the benefit of their own evolution. Now they have man at this stage. Now they are no longer interested in him from this point of view. This is why human beings now are so forsaken by the spirit — the spirit has in this respect lost interest in him. He therefore easily becomes an enemy of spiritual knowledge today because the spirits no longer work upon him. Among the beings immediately above us in the hierarchical order this particular interest is wiped out. Man has now out of his free will to re-awaken this interest. As formerly he was caused by his body to develop instinctively towards the spirit, he now, and into the future, develops towards the spirit through his own powers of recognition. He has to give the higher beings new materiel to engage upon, by seeking their support, seeking concepts that are their concepts, and reach out beyond what is planted into us though our instincts. We have therefore to seek the means of finding a quite different attitude to the spirit. Naturally this must be explained to man today in a wise way — I sought yesterday to put this into wise words. (At the opening of the Waldorf School) But just because these things must be said wisely on the one hand, on the other hand they must be indicated in clear and precise outline. For were there no human beings today able in this sphere to stand the truth, matters would go badly with modern spiritual culture.

What then has come to an end, for example, in the evolving human being? In former times it was justifiable to speak of certain people as being gifted, as having a touch of genius. And quite rightly the predisposition to this tendency was looked for in the bodily constitution. Teachers could turn their attention to the bodily constitution and by developing it correctly could bring out the genius. All the dispositions of the human being were thus brought out. From now onwards there is no longer any bodily development. If in any science of education there is a desire merely to develop the physical body nothing comes of it. Today attention must be focused on the soul. Today account must be taken not merely of what comes from physical evolution through heredity, for nothing more can come from that; we have to turn to what in this life on earth man bears within him as fruits of past earthly lives. We must approach the developing human being today in the living consciousness of confronting a soul. Gifts of the body have come to an end, so that it would be nonsense to speak of them in connection with mankind of the future. It will no longer be possible to speak of man being gifted for any particular thing through the body, but rather that he is so gifted by reason of his soul. This is something of tremendous importance in the life of modern man. Much of what was formerly said about man is false if said today. If today we do not study pedagogic permeated by spiritual science we shall be studying those founded on the old belief in a physiologically-gifted man — right for that time but today no longer so. Today there is sense only in talking of man being gifted through his soul.

Thus we have to make a start with a new kind of education. This will help to advance mankind's present evolution. If we talk in old concepts we are talking of something not applicable to the present time. It is certainly very fine today to speak as a historian to people of how right it was to perceive the Christ in the way He was perceived by Luther. But modern man cannot have this perception, for it no longer has any reality and if upheld only leads to what is untrue. Present-day man wanting to find the Christ must do so by direct perception. As we find Nature by perceiving her directly, so we find the Christ through inner perception. What for many years spiritual science has been showing us to be of worth should have made possible a basic understanding of a new social impulse at this juncture, when a social impulse of the kind has become necessary through the development of modern civilised man.

Things must be considered in their right connection. Outer conditions sufficiently point to how necessary it is today to remind men that they should take the most primitive impulses of their religious faith seriously. Even for Christians the commandment holds good not to take the Name of God in vain. But if anyone comes along and speaks about social affairs people immediately say: He is not speaking of Christ at all, what he says is not Christian! — Certainly nothing becomes Christian because in every third line Christ's name is mentioned. It needs to be given out so that people may be convinced of its being spoken out of the mood in which Christ wills it to be spoken at the present time. But when it is said out of the very spirit of the present and one is at pains to speak in this way, people come and say: Oh, but he is not talking of the Christ. He should be speaking with more depth. Then the so-called depth is put forward in the most external way possible. You remember the attack that arose from a certain pernickety tendency implying that it was actually expected of one to talk continually of inner depths. Naturally I should find it easier to ignore this pernickety tendency. But today it is necessary to deal with such things for they may do great harm to what actually has to come about. I might ask whether this tendency ia really trying actively to penetrate what today must prevail as spiritual in the true sense. We ought to have the courage to say: What we do individually, for example in teaching, must be done out of the knowledge that man bears within him different impulses from those he had a comparatively short time ago; that actually till a short time ago leading spirits of the super-sensible world were interested in man's development up to a certain point. But the picture of a physical man is complete and out of his own powers he has now to seek union with the spiritual, so that what he produces in excess to what arises from his bodily disposition may re-awaken the interest of the spirits above him. Otherwise our culture will dry up, sink into oblivion and stagnate. Nothing can save us which in any sense is warmed-up ancient knowledge. We can be saved only by beginning to work on the spiritual with the same courage that in the fifteenth century where the old faiths were concerned a beginning was made on a new natural science. This is what I have wished chiefly to develop for you today, that we look up rightly to certain spirits above us when we admit that our old relation to them ended with the end of the nineteenth century, that since the last third of the nineteenth century it has been necessary for mankind to enter into a new relation to the spiritual world. Let us realise this. It is well to realise the following — one need not immediately become lacking in human feeling if this is realised, but let it be realised. Where outward things are concerned man cannot all at once go through all the stages of his metamorphosis. He is formed by what goes on working out of old impulses. What still remains of the old impulses educated the men who from the pulpit today preach the old beliefs. And why shouldn't we be kindly disposed towards what comes from that direction? There is no reason why we should not. But for goodness' sake let us not take it seriously as the basis for what is truth today, We should just say: These people were brought up to this, it is true, they cannot change their calling later in life, so let them talk. But we should not think it necessary to agree with all they say except in a conventional way and without discussion.

As I said, it would be easier not to talk about these things. But we are approaching such difficult and serious times that it is quite impossible not to refer to them. There is far too much of the human weakness of not taking things seriously. Certainly anyone may say: I cannot change myself nor my profession, and so on, but he cannot justify himself, he just owns up to compromising. What is important today is the upholding of truth even if this truth is considered necessary only from the point of view of external conditions. When we take note of how present-day human beings have been rushed into the fearful catastrophe of these last years, the only reason we can see for this is that they have so entirely given up always looking from things to words and from words to things. So often today people value the words and then believe they know something of the things. This tendency to develop the meaningless beyond reason is the prevailing tendency of our age and, then, not to see that even if the words are there the matter is not.

Now during the last weeks we have had to get busy with the course for teachers at the Waldorf School. It has been our intention to change what is a dead science of education into a living art of education. There has appeared livingly before our eyes truth that is often overlooked because words are left as just words. In the course of our necessary explanations we have indeed seen, for example, fat printed tomes with “Official Gazette” outside; then there are extracts from the Official Gazette. Or there is a label “Curriculum” on some thick volume. Curriculum — and you not only find inside: some particular class of some particular school this or that shall be taught or what might be less rigid: a certain subject should be learnt for a certain purpose. No, there is actually to be found, though it is hardly credible: how one should teach, how the subject should be treated. That today is actually the content of a regulation, the content of “State regulations”.

What does all this mean when grasped in the light of reality? Let us put it into these words: In an official gazette it is ordered, with all good-will and fatherly care, how instruction should be given — and if you don't think about it you can let it pass. But when you do think of it — and what an uncomfortable business this is for most people today — the idea comes into one's head: Today in our higher schools people are not taught pedagogics nor didactics so that they may understand them but pedagogics are decreed by law. As laws are enacted that people should not steal, they are commanded by law through official gazettes, through official decrees, how they should teach. And what underlies this is not even felt. And, actually having a feeling for this modern innovation is the only thing able to promote a cure for the conditions. Fifty men standing at a place where their words were heard in the way words spoken by the members of the Weimar National Assembly were heard fifty — men able to feel the anomaly of this pedagogic law-giving, would mean more for the healing of the world than all the insipid chatter spoken these last months at that place.

Feeling must be there for this, and this feeling will come only by the forces of spiritual knowledge coming back livingly into men's souls, into men's hearts. Not mere theories allowing us to agree to things theoretically, which teach us nothing about taking the spirit in earnest. Taking the spirit in earnest means if we enter a hall whether we are one in soul and spirit with those who are in it. Today theoretical confessions of faith are nothing, the only thing to heal man is feeling, experiencing himself in the spirit.

You see, this was in view when a beginning was made here to work socially, to work out of the living spirit. Up to now men have only arrived at the stage of saying: I agree with this or that, agree as far as the words, the sentences go. That men today are clever enough to be able easily to come to terms with the content of a sentence is certainly not denied by one who ventures from inner knowledge of the spirit to assert that the spiritual beings, who till now have been working in evolution, have brought man so far that he has attained their ideal of completion. It is not denied that men today are clever, that they can criticise that they have advanced a long way intellectually, that in a certain way they are indeed complete creations from the earthly point of view. Just because they are all this, however, they have to tap a new source in themselves, an entirely new source.

It is true that those who know spiritual life hold modern men to be a finished product. But just because the are so, because they have reached completion through other beings, they have to start now on making something of themselves.

It was this that decades ago caused me to place the science of morals on a new basis and to speak of “moral intuition” in my “Philosophy of Spiritual Activity”, in other words, to speak of man's creative power in the sphere of morals. This was because it was clear to me that there was no future for what man develops instinctively out of himself, what has always been called Ethics.

At the end of my lectures here I have often voiced how glad I should be, in spite of the imperfect way in which all this has necessarily to be given out, to succeed in finding an echo in the hearts of friends, to find a really responsible echo. For the important point for me is never to make any particular thing plausible merely in theory but to interpret what the signs of the times are wanting at present to imprint into man. It is not my concern whether any assertion I make is astonishing or not, I am interested only in what is really necessary for the present time.

You see it is a fact, isn't it, that these principles lie at the basis of Anthroposophy as I represent it? With any other principle it would perhaps be better to abstain from working for Anthroposophy; to refrain for the simple reason that, naturally, granted,what lives in mankind today, the individual who upholds spiritual science will. be a target for all manner of unpleasantness. That goes without saying. It cannot be otherwise, for so it is,today,in period of transition. The point in question is to uphold spiritual science, to herald spiritual science because one sees the pressing necessity just at this time of bringing man what is heralded through spiritual science. One may not speak simply of gradual evolution, we have to speak of sudden changes in evolution. Plants develop successively but the transition from green leaf to the coloured petal of the flower is abrupt. Thus man has developed gradually, successively, but the transition from the time when divine-spiritual beings led his development, bringing him to a state of completion, to the time when he himself takes the initiative — this transition is abrupt and it has to be achieved. Unless he acknowledges this abrupt transition no one will cross the Rubicon of the modern cultural impasse. Whoever always wants things because it is easy to swim in familiar waters will never reach the spheres out of which the impulses of future culture can evolve.

Truly, things to be undertaken today if they are to contain promise are not of the kind we can observe around us, they should be of the kind that, for example, the Waldorf School is. In the Waldorf School something has been embarked upon about which it cannot but be said that whoever taken it seriously has a heavy task for life. For example, I candidly own that when I consider how the present time is constituted spiritually and see the necessity of cooperating in the founding of this school, I can only describe what is in my heart by saying that, manifold as are cares I have had up to now, this Waldorf School belongs to the very greatest of them all.But that does not hold one back from such an undertaking. Not because I believe it will be a failure — for it will be a success — but because we shall have always to concern ourselves about the right thing being done to promote this existence of these cares. Perhaps, however, we have done something towards this special task by taking pains, even when discussing this matter, to be truthful, unreservedly truthful. I have wanted to speak to you in this way so that things are not taken one-sidedly. Naturally I could not strike the same note in the opening address yesterday. I could not talk to the people assembled there of the interest of the higher hierarchies, nor of man's image being perfected so that something else must arise, and so forth. But if one side of a tree is photographed then to give a complete picture the other side must be photographed too. For this reason I have had to add what I have said to you today. What is true today must be expressed in accordance with the truth. For this maxim must be learnt today — we have not only to present the truth, we have also to present the truth in a true way. For today we have come to an epoch in human evolution when truth can be spoken untruthfully. Man must learn to speak the truth truthfully. In many spheres today are as cheap as blackberries, they are there for the picking. Where this is concerned, human culture is at its peak. Those alone fulfil the task for the future, however, who do not do only what is easy; to link together just any kinds of concepts into a new world-conception is easy. Those who do it are not creating anything to work on into the future; those alone bring about what is fruitful who speak of what is true out of the truth of their own souls. Words are not enough today, what is important is the spiritual essence permeating the words. Hence we must call up in us today a certain feeling, and people are very far from such a feeling. Today pages can be read without any realisation that the writer is a lying rascal. And to remedy this men must cultivate the faculty of being sensitive not only to what is logical but also to the well-spring of truth. More deeply inward than those believe who speak of inwardness — more deeply inward will be what is able to qualify men really to work for the future, really to do something, if only to the most modest extent, to carry mankind on into the future.

Hence throughout the years it has been necessary, my dear friends, that the matters discussed among us should be discussed from the most various points of view. It is only by this that we have the possibility of experiencing them with strength and completeness. We must equip ourselves with this inner longing to enter into cosmic secrets and we must have a strong and true feeling for them. In saying this today I am merely wanting you to learn to feel within you the necessity for this longing and to realise all the untruth so prevailing in our time between man and man. Let truth prevail! One would so like to proclaim this craving over and over again to men out of the solicitude of one's deepest heart.

Much, very much, will be learnt from the kind of thing I made my point of departure, namely, that because a matter comes from the spirit anyone may completely agree with it without being able to follow the actual words. Try to understand this way of learning and you will further the task the present time imposes upon you. You will find many things different from what you have up to now found them, and much still rests in the womb of time that has to be found if mankind is to arrive at a state of health. All that has been said has not yet been found. Whoever sees into how things work today knows only too well that it has not been found by mankind through what has been said. If you help towards right understanding of what is said you will not again fail to help the truth to be spread in a true way among men and not simply in an external logical form. Then only will you be members of the order we need — the order the motto of which is to uphold truth truthfully. The secret of this is that truth can be spread abroad in a way that is not true, which often does more harm than the spreading of actual lies. This, my dear friends, is worthy of your consideration — what it means to bring about harm by making truth prevail in a way that is untrue.

Last Modified: 15-Nov-2017
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