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Man in the Past, Present, and Future; The Evolution of Consciousness

Schmidt Number: S-5428

On-line since: 19th April, 2004

LECTURE 3

MAN IN THE PAST, THE PRESENT AND THE FUTURE

Stuttgart, 16th September 1923 

You will have been able to realize from the lecture yesterday that a certain state of consciousness, which was an actual experience to men of earlier times, has to some extent been lost. I told you that the special sort of waking consciousness we have today, which consists predominantly in more or less abstract ideas or at the best in shadowy pictures, did not then exist in the same form, and that in its place there was a kind of waking-dreaming, or dreaming-waking. This was not experienced as we experience dreams but as a living picture which corresponded pretty well with spiritual reality. There was a condition of sleep which, though it was dreamless, left an after-effect of the kind described, and there was a third state of consciousness beyond this which was experienced as a resting in the surging Moon-forces, forces which, reaching under the Earth, lift man out of earthly gravity and allow him to experience his cosmic existence. The essential point about these older conditions of soul was that they allowed man to experience his cosmic existence. In our ordinary everyday consciousness there is only a shadowy image left of that older state of consciousness — a shadowy image that is noticed by very few and is mostly entirely unheeded.

I will try to describe this survival of a primeval state of consciousness. When we observe our dreams — chaotic as they are — we find that all sorts of experiences drawn from earthly existence flow into them. Things long forgotten crop up altered in many ways, even things which passed unnoticed at the time. The times, too, at which events took place may be thoroughly confused. But if you look more closely into the details of a dream, you will discover the remarkable fact that in essence practically everything which crops up in it is related to the happenings of the last three days. You may perhaps have a dream about something that happened to you twenty-five years before; you may dream of it in all its vividness, though somewhat altered in detail. But if you study it closely you will always discover something of the following sort: in this dream about an event of twenty-five years before, a character appears whom we will call Edward, and you will find that you have somewhere heard the name casually in passing, or your eye has caught it as you were reading. In the details of a dream, even the remotest, there is always some relation, however insignificant, to something which has happened during the last three days. The reason is that we bear within ourselves the events of the last two, three or four days — the period is of course approximate — in a quite different way from those which occurred earlier.

Our perceptions are, as you know, taken up into our astral organism and our ego-organism, and the events thus perceived do at first live in direct connection with our consciousness. What we have experienced in the course of three days — that is, when at least three days have passed — goes more intensively into our feelings. Ordinarily we do not notice these things, but they are realities all the same. The reason is that all we perceive or think, which is taken up into the astral organism and the ego-organism, has also to be somehow imprinted upon the etheric body, the body of formative forces, and at least to some extent even upon the physical body. This process takes two to four days, so that we have to sleep two or three times on anything we experience before it is imprinted on the etheric and physical bodies. Only then is it firmly fixed in the etheric body so that it may be a permanent memory. Thus in man there is a perpetual inner reciprocity, a sort of struggle, between the astral and etheric bodies, and the result is always that what we have experienced consciously is imprinted into the denser, more material elements of our being. After three or four days, what was at first only a transitory sense-experience is transferred into the body of formative forces and into the physical body.

But how little of what I have been describing actually comes into men's consciousness nowadays! Yet it is something which is perpetually taking place in the life of the human body and soul. Every experience of which we have been aware has to wait three or four days before it is fully our own. It fluctuates between the astral and etheric bodies, and cannot decide — one might say — whether it has really been impressed into the etheric and into the physical body.

This is something of extraordinary significance. Remember that basically our true being is only our ego and astral body. We cannot really claim that the etheric body is our own property. In this materialistic age people talk as though the etheric and physical bodies were their, whereas actually they belong to the whole Cosmos. And so when in the course of three or four days, what our ego and astral body have experienced is passed on to the etheric and physical bodies, it is then part, not only of ourselves but of the Cosmos. It is only for three days that we can claim any action of ours in the world as significant for ourselves alone. After that we have, as it were, imprinted it on the Universe, and it rests within the whole Universe and belongs not only to us but also to the gods.

In very early periods of human evolution, as a result of that state of consciousness which is now lost and which has deeper than sleep, men had a definite impression of this remarkable fact, and the Initiates were able to give information about what lay behind it. Particularly in the epoch of which I spoke yesterday, the Egypto-Chaldean epoch, it was only a vague feeling that men had. But the priests were initiated into the real nature of the fact. Whereas nowadays Initiation must be a purely inner experience of soul and spirit, at the most with symbols and rites of a physical nature only, in those earlier days Initiation was an external process and the effects of that external process passed over into man's inner being. To take one example: when a man was to be initiated, for three or four days he was put by the Hierophant who was initiating him, into this state of consciousness which we have now lost. The purpose of this was to enable him to see for himself what happens during these three days in the world external to him, and how it finds entrance into the real being of man. The Initiate was enabled to see what happens to an idea, to an experience or a feeling, before it becomes a man's own property.

Our materialistic attitude to the world today affords us no conception at all of the extraordinary significance of the wisdom that lay within this condition that is so deeply concealed from us. I can perhaps best explain to you what was accomplished in the three days of this Initiation during that dim condition of consciousness if I remind you first of our ordinary dream-life with an attitude based purely on what we might call scientific method, there is still something extraordinarily profound involved.

How is this dream-life really revealed? There are of course many kinds of dreams, but let us keep for the moment to what consists largely in the recollection of past experiences. Pictures of these experiences arise in dreams. How do they arise? You are aware that they appear radically transformed. This transformation may go a very long way; for instance, we may take the case of a tailor who in his ordinary life has never had the occasion of making a Minister's state robes; he may have made a number of coats and been very proud of them, but for all that he has not the slightest chance of making such a robe as he now dreams he makes. In a dream like this there may be a number of different influences at work. For instance, the man may in a former life have been the attendant of a Roman magistrate and among his duties had to help him on with his toga. A dim feeling of all this survives and what a man experiences in this life may be colored by what streams over from a previous one.

This is just an example of how the content of dreams may be altered; the important fact is that they undergo the intense transformations we all know. One must really ask what is contained in these dreams, what is at work in them. It is external events which give the occasion for this type of dream, but the external events make their appearance in a wholly altered form.

The reason for this is quite beyond the conception of our ordinary scientific ideas. The sort of law which we should recognize as scientific, the laws we look for in the external world by our method of observation and experiment, cease to be valid as soon as we pass inside the skin of a human being. We should be very much mistaken were we to assume that the natural laws laid down in the laboratory were valid within the human being. Not only are the substances transformed within our organism when we consume them in the ordinary course of nourishment, but the laws of the substances are also changed, down to the smallest atoms. What appears in our dreams is not just the abstract reflection of some reality; in our dreams we see the weaving of the organic laws within which man has his being. Dreams are much closer to us than is our normal abstract thinking; they show the way in which external substances act within man. Our dreams are a protest against the part of reality that is shackled within the laws of Nature. From the time you go to sleep until the time you wake, you live in a world where according to the scientist everything is controlled by these laws. Actually the moment you enter, even to the slightest degree, into the spiritual world through your dreams, your dream-experience arises as a protest against the laws of Nature. Dreams cannot run their course in the way of external events, or they would be very much like actual waking life. Dreams which emerge from real sleep are in their make-up a protest against the laws of Nature, and they concern us much more intimately.

In this regard modern investigators of a materialistic turn of mind have made some interesting discoveries. Some of you will know a book by a man called Staudenmaier, entitled Experimental Magic, which appeared a good many years ago and is typical of the spiritual constitution of many modern scientific thinkers. Staudenmaier wanted to find out if there is any reality in the spiritual world. Of Anthroposophy he admitted that he knew only what its opponents had written. People don't like studying Anthroposophy; they find it difficult, particularly if they are typical scientific thinkers of today.

Staudenmaier attempted, by spiritualistic methods, to get into the spiritual world. He dulled his consciousness until he was in a sort of mediumistic state; then he began automatic writing and was surprised that he wrote a lot of nonsense which did not at all agree with what he knew about reality. In particular, the fact that spirits seemed to be speaking to him did not agree with it! He knew that was impossible and yet what he wrote assured him that spirits were speaking. He was appalled by the lies that these non-existent spirits told him. You should read in his book all the incredible lies which flowed into his writing. He became — to use no worse a word — a medium, and he did not know what to make of it all. A friend advised him to give the whole thing up and to lead a normal, sensible life and go out shooting. So he did, and he went out after magpies; but even there he found that whatever it was he had stirred up inside himself continued its activity, and he could not rid himself of it. If he looked up at a tree, he saw, not a magpie but a fearful dragon with terrible fangs, which looked at him with horrifying eyes. The same things happened everywhere, and he lived in an inner struggle to get himself back into a normal condition.

I mention all this because here we have experimental evidence that there is an immediate protest against the external order of Nature as soon as we are not merely dreaming while awake but are using this device to contact and arouse the inner being of man. Obviously we regard it all as lies. When we have thought of a man as a friend and as a decent fellow, and if after he has got into this mediumistic condition we see him putting out his tongue at us or making long noses, then inevitably we say that the spiritual world is lying and that this experience is simply that of a dream. Now there is something in this. Whenever man approaches the spiritual world inside himself, within which everything inside his skin is enclosed, there is an immediate protest from this sphere against the natural order. It is not surprising that when a man enters it with underdeveloped faculties of judgment, all kinds of elemental beings appear and create delusion. But there is always this protest against the natural order when we approach the spiritual; and ordinary dreams make this clear.

We ought to realize that we then enter a quite different order of being, and, even though it appears only in the fleeting form of the dream, it is all the same a protest against those admirable laws of Nature which we establish by laboratory experiments. This is the first step into the spiritual world where we immediately find the protest against natural laws, which are, as it were, robbed of their dignity as soon as we penetrate a little into man's inner being.

The old Initiates knew very well through their three days' Initiation that there is not only a natural order, but that within and behind that natural order there is a spiritual one. It is moreover still possible for anyone who has acquired some knowledge of Initiation to penetrate with modern methods into these things and to pass through the experiences a really fearful torment of the soul. When dreams begin to weave their forms we actually enter a world where the laws of Nature collapse, and just because the ordinary laws no longer hold good, their interrelations change, however many recollections of ordinary life may still be effective. If we have come to regard natural laws as the last word, we find ourselves face to face with nothingness. It is painful, almost tragic, for a modern man, as he passes through Initiation, to experience entry into a sphere of being where this protest against the laws of Nature is encountered; he feels that everything he had got from his intellect, and which was determined by the laws of Nature is swamped. His soul can no longer breathe because he has been too much accustomed to the natural order. He finally realizes that an altogether different world is pressing in from a quite different direction. This is no longer a natural but a spiritual order, which is throughout permeated with what in the depths of our present-day human conscience we experience as a moral world-order. He gradually learns that on the one hand there is the order of Nature perceived by the senses, for which the laws have been established by natural science; on the other hand, if he moves out of this natural order, he moves into a world that protests against the natural order. As he experiences this protest, a sort of luminous water of life pours round him and he can once again breathe — this is the moral order which ultimately expands into the spiritual.

The highest knowledge gained by the ancient Initiates was when they discovered the protest against the physical world-order and saw the true moral world-order extend into the physical. It is indeed experienced in a much weaker degree during the three days described: whatever we experience in the external world, whether actions or feelings, takes three or four days to be imprinted on our organism. But when the process is completed, the imprinted form is not like that which we experienced externally; it becomes an impulse demanding a moral expression very different from the natural order. If we could see how our experiences have changed in our inner being during those three of our days, we should see that what we experienced in its natural form during our earthly existence has been imprinted in our external being and is no less real than it was in the external world. But now it lives within us as the impulse of a moral world-order by means of which we may move further over the ocean of life. Thus we carry the results of what we have experienced naturally as the moral foundation for our later life.

In recent periods of human evolution, however, when men plunged into that “lower sleep,” if I may call it so, that Earth-embraced sphere, he plunged into the outer ether. There his experiences find their compensation. He is not merely set within the moral world-order as regards the direction of his inner life; in that lower sleep he is set within the moral order of the Cosmos. Since this deep sleep has been lost to our forms of consciousness and we now have only a very faint echo of it in the three-days' experience described, this contact with the Cosmos has been lost also. Indeed, we should have been gradually thrust out of the self-subsisting moral world-order if a particular event had not occurred in the course of Earth-evolution. The experience undergone by the older Initiates so as to be able to tell men what happens during those three days, was undergone as a unique world-event, as an event in world-history, by the Christ Being who descended from spiritual worlds into the body of Jesus of Nazareth and, though a God, lived a truly human life. That experience of the three days now became available for all mankind. What could previously be discovered in the sleep of deep consciousness, taking place in man not consciously but at least subconsciously, in a natural way, had to be gone through in order that man might find his connection with what was brought about for earthly humanity by Christ in the Mystery of Golgotha. This was the vicarious deed of a God. Man was to take a step upwards in his evolution and to experience in moral form through Christianity what had previously come to him naturally. The Mystery of Golgotha is therefore closely related to the whole meaning of earthly evolution, because of its relation to the evolution of man's consciousness. We can understand what was to be accomplished by the Mystery of Golgotha only if we can look back on what had once occurred naturally and was now to occur morally.

In this respect, however, our modern consciousness, which runs its course between waking, sleeping and dreaming, has not yet attained inner harmony. Since the fifteenth century, when this modern consciousness first received its imprint, it has looked on Nature one-sidedly and has claimed to understand the order of Nature, considering that what is found there constitutes reality. Beyond this reality men will not look; they will not press forward to that strengthened form of human knowledge to which the spiritual reveals itself just as the natural order does. Thus it has become customary to speak of the moral order as of unknown origin. To do this was not strictly honest, since the common view of Nature cannot admit any reality in the moral order. One could, even if a little dishonestly, get over this difficulty by saying that on the one side we have knowledge, on the other, faith; and that the moral order belongs to the realm of faith; that knowledge cannot become faith nor faith, knowledge; and that the moral order belongs to the realm of faith. Such is the convenient formula which has become customary. The distinction has even come to be regarded as something specifically Christian, though even five or six hundred years ago no genuine Christianity, and certainly not original Christianity, would have admitted the distinction. Even today it is not yet Catholic dogma, however much it may be Catholic custom, to distinguish in this way between faith and knowledge.

We cannot get a proper notion of the relation between the natural and the moral-spiritual order because we are not aware of the transition between them; because the dream is not understood which leads out of the natural order and protests against it, thus preparing the way. If we have gone through this preparatory stage, we can make contact with the moral order of the world.

Only an honest view of the past of mankind, and of something which modern man does not yet possess, can lead to a satisfying picture of all this. Failing that, even historical documents of ancient times remain just things which can be studied but convey no real meaning. Now we spoke this morning a good deal about the opponents of Anthroposophy. I could say much that would be for their good, though certainly not in their favor. The comments of our opponents ... I often have to recall an anecdote supposed to be based on truth which the famous Professor Kuno Fischer was fond of telling. He used to relate how he had had two schoolfellows — they may have been brothers — with an uncle who was a thorough simpleton. The boys got to the stage of learning logarithms and having to buy log tables. The uncle caught sight of these tables and when he saw the mass of figures he asked his nephews what they were. The boys were completely at a loss to explain, but at last the young rascals conceived the idea of telling him they were the house-numbers of all Europe. The uncle believed them and finally thought it an excellent idea to be able to know at a glance all the house-numbers of London, Paris, and so on. Now people who are unable to see with insight into the meaning of the ancient documents are like the old uncle with his log tables. Our modern historians who edit these ancient documents do not tell us much more about them than the uncle did about logarithms when he took them to be the house-numbers of Europe. We must make it clear to ourselves how far their interpretation, based on present-day abstract thought, is removed from the real spiritual facts. We must have the determination to do that, or we shall never be able to see how man has developed into the present out of a past when he was very different.

We are living at a time when all sorts of inner conflicts must arise from our present-day experience of sleeping, waking and dreaming, if we are in the least capable of real self-observation. Just as men lost the real knowledge of that deep sleep which was so significant for them that the Initiates had to explain its nature to them, so in modern times our ordinary sleep tends to crumble to pieces. I do not mean that in the future men will dream the whole night through, but rather that their dreams will be dulled. Just as man has passed since olden times from that “waking dreaming” to our modern abstract thinking, our present-day chaotic dreams will be dulled, and that duller kind of sleep will become normal. Dreams will no longer extend into our consciousness, which will be overlaid entirely by our present-day form of abstract logical thinking. But then a super-consciousness will emerge, already apparent to anyone who can understand these things. This super-consciousness is concerned with the human will and with the effects of the will when it acts on the nervous system. If with the help of Initiation-knowledge you observe the unrestrained way in which human will is developing, you will be able to see how various psychological manifestations, sometimes going as far as actual physical illness, are really the herald of a form of consciousness higher than our present waking consciousness.

But there is something beyond this which men will not yet be able to experience unless they can actually acquire spiritual science: a science, that is, which needs a quite different sort of thinking from the normal and is in reality far more practical than the theoretical attitude to life, which is in fact completely unpractical. This spiritual science adds an inner living power of thinking to ordinary abstract thinking. Yet this is not something we can arbitrarily add or neglect; it occurs because an organism is coming into being within man which did not exist in earlier times and of which only the first foundations have so far emerged. The way in which the blood circulates through man's limbs, his arms, legs, hands and feet, is continually changing. What we often call “nervousness” (a nervous state) nowadays is an expression of the fact that a higher condition is striving to make its way into man, but that he is unwilling to accept it because of its strangeness, and this produces a restlessness which will cease only when he makes the new consciousness his own.

Thus we can visualize three further states of consciousness towards which man is making his way: a dulled dream life, waking, and a heightened state of waking. All the turmoil and upheaval which show themselves even in external conditions today are due to the fact that men are trying, for the most part quite unconsciously, to fight against something that is approaching humanity from the spiritual worlds. It is struggling to make its way especially into the human will. We shall have to understand — as nowadays we do not — that as soon as the spiritual comes into action, we pass at once into a sphere where a protest is uttered against natural laws. We shall also not properly understand the Mystery of Golgotha unless we can rise to the realization that the full import of that Mystery cannot be attained by our ordinary knowledge. To grasp its full meaning we have to develop a new faculty; we have to pass with right understanding beyond mere dreaming, which indicates a natural process, and penetrate to an understanding of the other side of being. It is from the side of the spirit that we have to acquire the elements of understanding adequate for future comprehension of the Mystery of Golgotha. What we must do is to set our experience of the present in this way between the past and the future, and so feel ourselves as a sort of bridge between them. Thus we shall increasingly achieve the understanding required for the use of spiritual truths alongside the natural.

It is easy to understand our ordinary illusions, just because the things that are false are so uncommonly logical. We do not suspect that falsehood can be so logical. What could be more logical than to argue as follows: first observe how long it takes some particular geological stratum to reach a particular thickness, then, if we are dealing with another stratum, divide the smaller into the greater thickness and multiply it by the time taken by that stratum to form, and so reach the conclusion that some epoch, the Silurian or Devonian for instance, was twenty or 200 million years ago. The arithmetical calculation is quite correct and there is nothing to be said against it. It is only ordinary logic that is here deceiving us.

This sort of logic always reminds me of the logic one of the greatest mathematicians of all times applied to his own life. When he had already reached a considerable age he suddenly became ill with some kind of lung trouble; and seeing that he had had a good deal to do with doctors, he had the idea of calculating how many tiny abscesses would have to be got rid of in order to shake off the lung trouble. His calculations about the further development of the illness showed him that it would take fifteen years, and then he would be cured. But ... he died two years later. That was the reality; the other was only logic.

The same sort of thing applies to the relationship between reality in the Cosmos and our ordinary logic. Things are very easily proved by logic, and the logic is perfectly sound. It is just as sound as if we calculated as follows: Our heart goes through certain phases of development; in a definite period it will have reached a definite condition; then we calculate how long it would take to reach that condition and the answer is 300 years. Then we can calculate backwards 300 years and see what our heart looked like 300 years ago. Unfortunately we were not alive, at least as physical beings, 300 years ago, and we shall not be alive 300 years hence. Equally the Earth did not exist in those past ages that are worked out by the geologists. The destinies undergone by the Earth can be known only in spiritual terms. That is the distressing thing about modern science: it can prove so logically what is really an illusion, and its proofs tell us nothing about reality.

Human beings today, though people do not realize it consciously because they refuse to be aware of it, are living with the unconscious fear that they are on the way to losing touch with truth. We can see this fear manifesting itself in various forms. Fundamentally, the people who base their philosophy of life on materialism are very ill at ease. They are always harassed by anxiety about the limits they have set themselves, for their cherished limits create appalling obstacles to living a fully human life. People already feel intuitively that if they have nothing more than the natural order to rely on, they cannot draw life from it; above all, that the ideas derived from this natural order cannot lead them to any genuine artistic and religious experience or ideas.

We must always remember that our existing religious systems originated in the times when men were dependent on that deep sleep I have described for their understanding of the Cosmos. All our religious institutions derive from those times: the religious institutions, yes, but not the Mystery of Golgotha. That is independent of any religious view; it stands grasped by those conditions of consciousness that are still in course of preparation. For centuries now, even millennia, the religiously creative side of man has lain barren and the same is true of real artistic capacity. With rare exceptions we have to live on what we can get from various cultural revivals. We do not possess any original power of creation. But that is what is seeking to make its way into this age, and the general unrest typical of our civilization today is something like the birthpangs of a new age, a new age in the scientific and artistic spheres but also in the social, religious, and moral spheres. The future of mankind — that is what we must strive to take to heart. There has never been a time when humanity has been less disposed to listen to Initiation-knowledge and yet never a time when humanity has been in greater need of it.

That is why I wished particularly to speak to you about the past, present and future of humanity from the point of view of the evolution of consciousness. Of course, in three lectures I could do it only in outline, but you can work out within your own hearts what I have told you. Because our consciousness lies closest to our own being, it is there that men can become most easily fruitful and be stirred towards spiritual experience. In order that present-day man may develop into a man of the future, what we need is not any materialistic experience but spiritual experience. Ever since we have been victims of abstract thinking and ideas, our inner habit is really such that anyone participating in our present culture must have the same sort of impression from any talk of the spirit as the simple old uncle in the story about the log. tables, and will interpret all the powerful evidence for the entry of the spiritual as if it were like the house-numbers of Europe. The analogy is a little far-fetched but if you remember what I have told you, you will understand what it means. Our normal attitude to life, or rather our ordinary judgments about life, penetrate into all our scientific thinking and produce there a philistinism and banality raised to the nth degree, even a moral hypocrisy claiming scientific validity. If there is any, even the slightest, sign of the entry of the spiritual, it is assumed to be something which intelligent human reason, according to this materialistic view, can only call “mad.”

There is a good story, founded on fact, which also illustrates this attitude. At the beginning of the forties of the nineteenth century the old philosopher Schelling was called from Munich to Berlin. He had held his peace for several years, but a high reputation had preceded him. People looked forward to lectures on philosophy of a more positive kind, as opposed to those he himself called negative. Anyway, in these lectures at Berlin University he was to deal with the spiritual development of man, the essence of religion and the Mysteries, in a much deeper fashion than anyone had done hitherto.

When Schelling began his lectures, the front rows were occupied by the most brilliant intelligences, the professors of various subjects, the heads of the teaching departments and the most distinguished representatives of spiritual life — certainly not mere callow students, who had to sit at the back. They were all waiting — as far as they were able to wait — to see what Schelling's great reputation would accomplish. As the lecture proceeded, the faces of the audience grew longer and longer. Schelling did in fact speak in a remarkable way about the spirit; just at the moment when materialism was reaching its climax and coming to its fullest flower, he spoke of the spirit. As he spoke, the faces grew appreciably longer because the audience had no idea what he was after. Trendelenburg, well-known later on as a philosopher, who was sitting in one of the front rows, said he thought he had understood a little, though most of it was beyond him; but he was not even sure he had understood that little!

Then, some days later, two of the people who had been present at the lecture happened to meet. There had been a good deal of discussion among Schelling's hearers, and these two had taken part in it, wondering why on earth he had been called to Berlin, since not a word of what he had said was intelligible. But one of them now had the answer: Schelling's daughter had got engaged to the son of the Minister of Education! So everyone could understand why Schelling had been willing to come to Berlin. The whole thing was explained!

It may seem strange to tell you these things, but I am obliged to talk to you in this way. For the form of thinking characteristic of the present day is so far removed from the sort of thinking proper to Anthroposophy, which is moreover not just a whim of ours but an absolute necessity for man's future unless he is to fall into decadence. Only this new form of spirituality will be able to experience fully the three stages of consciousness which will emerge in the future: namely, a damped-down dream-sleep, ordinary waking, and a heightened consciousness. Otherwise man will never be able to experience his humanity properly in future lives on Earth. For the gods wish out of present threefold man to form the threefold man of the future, as they have formed the present threefold man, the dreaming, sleeping and waking man, out of the former threefold man who dreamt in pictures, slept, and on waking experienced the after-effects of his sleep, and also slept deeply. In this present age of freedom, as I have so often explained to anthroposophists, we must resolve by our own free knowledge to live towards the goal laid down for us by the divine Powers of the world. If we do that we shall not only think, we shall above all feel, in the right way about the past, present and future. Then we shall also have the right will with regard to this life on Earth, in accordance with the divine-spiritual ordering of the world — from the past, through the present, into the future.

This is what I wished to talk about, and with these words I will bring our studies to a close, not however without expressing a wish that tomorrow a discussion may begin here which will show that in the Anthroposophical Society some desire exists to promote a fully living consciousness in this Society of what man in his fullness is to be — the whole man who must be comprehended as including man of the past, man of the present, and man of the future. For these three are also one. What man has been in the past, what he is in the present, and what he is to be in the future, will embrace in face of the divine World-Order the whole being — anthropos. But in order to strive for this there must be an enthusiastic, heart-felt grasping of Anthroposophy to lead us to the true anthropos, the whole man, man in his fullness.




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