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Ancient Myths:
Their Meaning and Connection with Evolution

Schmidt Number: S-3465

On-line since: 20th June, 2004


Lecture V

11th January, 1918.

It is our aim in these lectures to speak of important questions of mankind's evolution, and you have already seen that all sorts of preparatory facts drawn from distant sources are necessary to our purpose. In order that we may have a foundation as broad as possible, I shall remind you today of various things that have been said from one or another standpoint during my present stay here, but which are essential for a right understanding of the two coming lectures.

I have pointed out to you that in that evolutionary course of mankind which can be regarded as first interesting us after the great Atlantean catastrophe, significant changes took place in humanity. I have already some months ago indicated how changes in humanity as a whole differ from changes taking place in a single individual. The individual as the years go on becomes older. In a certain respect one can say that for humanity as such, the reverse is the case. A man is first child, then grows up and attains the age known to us as the average age of life. In so doing the man's physical forces undergo manifold changes and transformations. Now we have already described in what sense I a reverse path is to be attributed to mankind. During the 2,160 years that followed the great Atlantean catastrophe mankind can be said to have been capable of development in a way quite different from what was possible later. This is that ancient time which followed immediately upon the great flooding of the earth — called in geology the Ice Age, in religious tradition, the Flood — from which there actually proceeded a kind of glacial state.

We know that at our present time we are capable of development up to a certain age independently of our own action; we are capable of development through our nature, our physical forces. We have stated that in the first epoch after the great Atlantean catastrophe man remained capable of development for a much longer time. He remained so into the fifth decade of his life, and he always knew that the process of growing older was connected with a transformation of the soul and spirit nature. If today we wish to have a development of the soul and spirit nature after our twenties, we must seek for this development by our power of will. We become physically different in our twenties and in this becoming different physically there lives at the same time something that determines our progress of soul and spirit. Then the physical ceases to let us be dependent on it; then, so to speak, our physical nature hands over nothing more, and through our own willpower we must make any further advance. This is how it seems, externally considered — we shall see immediately how matters stand inwardly.

There was in fact a great difference in the first 2,160 years after the great Atlantean catastrophe. Then indeed man was still dependent on his physical element far into old age, but he had also the joy of this dependence. He had the joy of not only progressing during his growth, and increasing, but of experiencing, even in the decline of life-forces, the fruit of these declining life-forces as a kind of blooming of soul qualities, which man can feel no longer. Yes, external physical cosmic conditions of human existence alter in relatively not such a very long time.

Then again came a time in which man no more remained capable of development to such a great age, into the fifties. In the second epoch after the great Atlantean catastrophe, which again lasted for approximately 2,160 years, and which we call the Old Persian, man remained still capable of development up to the end of his forties. Then in the next epoch, the Egypto-Chaldean, he could develop up to the time of his forty-second year. We are now living — since the 15th Century — in the period where man carries his development only into his twenties. This is all something of which external history tells us nothing, which moreover is not believed by external historical science, but with which infinitely many secrets of mankind's evolution are connected. So that one can say: Mankind as a whole drew in, became younger and younger — if we call this change in development a becoming-younger! And we have seen what consequence must be drawn from it. This consequence was not so pressing in the Greco-Latin age; a man then remained capable of development up to his thirty-fifth year through his natural forces. It becomes more and more pressing, and from our time onward quite specially significant. For as regards humanity as a whole we are living, so to say, in the twenty-seventh year, are entering the twenty-sixth and so on. So that men are condemned to carry right through life the development they acquired in early youth through natural forces, if they do nothing of their own freewill to take their further development in hand. And the future of mankind will consist in their receding more and more, receding further, so that I, if no spiritual impulse grips mankind, times can come in which only the views and opinions of youth prevail.

This becoming younger of humanity is shown in external symptoms — and one who regards historical development with more sharpened senses can see it — it is shown by the fact that in Greece, let us say, a man had still to be of a definite age before he could take any part in public affairs. Today we see the claim made by great circles of mankind to reduce this age as much as possible, since people think that they already know in the twenties everything that is to be attained. More and more demands will be made in this direction, and unless an insight arises to paralyse them there will be demands that not only in the beginning of his twenties a man is clever enough to take part in any kind of parliamentary business in the world, but the nineteen-year-olds and eighteen-year-olds will believe that they contain in themselves all that a man can compass.

This kind of growing younger is at the same time a challenge to mankind to draw for themselves from the spirit what is no longer given by nature. I called your attention last time to the immense incision in the evolutionary history of mankind which lies in the 15th Century. This is again something of which external history gives no tidings, for external history, as I have often said, is a fable convenue. There must come an entirely new knowledge of the being of man. For only when an entirely new knowledge of man's being is reached, will the impulse really be found which mankind needs if it is to take in hand of its own freewill what nature no longer provides. We dare not believe that, the future of humanity will come through with the thoughts and ideas which the modern age has brought and of which it is so proud. One cannot do enough to make oneself clear how necessary it is to seek for fresh and different impulses for the evolution of humanity. It is of course a triviality to say, as I have often remarked, that our time is a transition age — for in reality each age is a transition. But it is a different thing to know what is changing in a definite age. Every age is assuredly an age of transition, but in each age one should also look about and see what is passing over.

I will link this to a fact — I could take a hundred others — but I will link on to a definite fact and let it serve as an example — one could draw on hundreds from every part of Europe. In the first half of the 19th Century, in 1828 in Vienna, a number of lectures were held by Friedrich Schlegel, one of the two brothers Schlegel, who have deserved so well of Central European culture. Friedrich Schlegel sought in these lectures to show from a lofty historical standpoint what the development of the time required, and how these requirements should be studied if the right direction were to be given to the evolution of the 19th Century and the coming age.

Friedrich Schlegel was influenced at that time by two main historical impressions. On the one hand he looked back at the 18th Century, how it had gradually evolved to atheism, materialism, irreligion. He saw how what had gone on in people's minds during the course of the 18th Century then exploded in the French Revolution. (We wish to make no criticism, merely to bring forward a fact, to consider a human outlook.) Friedrich Schlegel saw a great onesidedness in the French Revolution. To be sure, one might find it today reactionary if such a man as Friedrich Schlegel sees a great onesidedness in the French Revolution, but one would also have to look on such a verdict from other aspects. On the whole it is fairly simple to say to oneself that this or the other was gained for mankind through the French Revolution. It is no doubt very simple; but it is a question whether someone who speaks enthusiastically in this way of the French Revolution is really altogether sincere in his inmost heart. One questions it! There is a crucial test of this sincerity which simply consists in this: one should consider how one would look at such a Movement if it broke out round one at the present day? What would one say to it then? One should really put oneself this question when judging these matters. Only then does one have a kind of crucial test of one's own sincerity, for on the whole it is not so very difficult to be enthusiastic over something that went on so and so many decades ago. The question is whether one could also be enthusiastic if one were directly sharing in it at the present day.

Friedrich Schlegel, as I have said, looked on the Revolution as an explosion of the so-called Enlightenment, the atheistic Enlightenment of the 18th Century. And side by side with this event to which he turned his attention he set another: the appearance of that man who took the place of the Revolution, who contributed so enormously to the later shaping of Europe — Napoleon. Friedrich Schlegel from the lofty standpoint from which he viewed world-history, pointed out that when such a personality enters with such a force into world-evolution he must really be considered from a different standpoint from the one that is generally taken. He makes a very fine observation where he speaks of Napoleon. He says: ‘One should not forget that Napoleon had seven years in which to grow familiar with what he later looked on as his task; for twice seven years the tumult lasted that he carried through Europe, and then for seven years more the life-time lasted that was granted him after his fall. Four times seven years is the career of this man.’ In a very fine way this is pointed out by Friedrich Schlegel.

I have indicated on various occasions what a role is played by this inner law in the case of men who are really representative in the historical evolution of humanity. I have pointed out to you how remarkable it is that Raphael always makes an important painting after a definite number of years. I have pointed out how a flaring-up of Goethe's poetic power always takes place in seven-year periods, whereas between these periods there is a dying down. And one could bring forward many, many such examples. Friedrich Schlegel did not look on Napoleon exactly as an impulse of blessing for European humanity!

Now in these lectures Friedrich Schlegel showed what, in his view, the salvation of Europe demanded after the confusion brought by the Revolution and the Napoleonic age. And he finds that the deeper reason of the disorder lies in the fact that men cannot lift themselves to a more all-embracing standpoint in their world conception, which indeed can only come from an understanding of the spiritual world. Hence, thinks Friedrich Schlegel, instead of a common human world-conception, we have everywhere party-standpoints in which everyone looks on his point of view as something absolute, something which must bring salvation to all. According to Friedrich Schlegel the only salvation of mankind would be for each man to be aware that he takes a certain standpoint and others take others, and an agreement must come about through life itself. No one stand point should gain a footing as the absolute. Now Friedrich Schlegel considers that true Christianity is the one and only thing that can show man how to realize the tolerance that he means — a tolerance not inclining to indifference, but to strong and active life. And therefore he draws the conclusion (I must emphasize it is in 1828) from what he has put before his audience: the whole life of Europe, above all, however, the life of science and life of the State, must be Christianized. And he sees the great evil to be that science has become unchristian, States have become unchristian, and that nowhere has what is meant by the actual Christ-Impulse penetrated in modern times into scientific thought or the life of the State. Now he demands that the Christ-Impulse should once more permeate the scientific and State-life.

Friedrich Schlegel was of course speaking of the science, the political life of his time, 1828. But for certain reasons which will shortly be clearer to us than they are now, one could look at modern science and modern political life as he regarded them in 1828. Try for once to inquire of the sciences which count for the most in public life: physics, chemistry, biology, national-economy, political science too, try to inquire of them whether the Christian impulse is seriously anywhere within them! People do not acknowledge it, but all the sciences are actually atheistic. And the various churches try to get along well with them, as they do not feel strong enough really to permeate science with the principle of Christianity! Hence the cheap and comfortable theory that the religious life makes different demands from those of official science, that science must keep to what can be observed, the religious life to the feelings. Both are to be nicely separate, the one direction is to have no say in the other. One can live together in this way, my dear friends, one can indeed! But it gives rise to the sort of conditions that now exist.

Now what Friedrich Schlegel brought forward at that time was imbued with a deep inner warmth, and his great personal impulse was to serve his age, to demand that religion should not merely be made a Sunday School affair but should be carried into the whole of life, above all the life of science and State. And one can see from the way he spoke at that time in Vienna that he had a hope, a great hope, that out of the disorder produced by the Revolution and Napoleon, a Europe would come forth which would be Christianized in its life of State and Science. The final lecture treated especially of the prevailing spirit of the age and the general revival. And as motto for the lecture, which is truly delivered with great power, he put the Bible text: ‘I come quickly and make all things new.’ And he headed it with this motto because he believed that in the men of the 19th Century, to whom he could speak at that time as young men, there lay the power to receive that which can make all things new.

Anyone who reads through these lectures of Friedrich Schlegel's leaves them with mixed feelings. On the one hand, one says: From what lofty standpoints, from what lucid conceptions men have spoken formerly of science and political life! How one must have longed for such words to kindle a fire in countless souls. And had they kindled this fire what would Europe have become in the course of the 19th Century! I repeat: it is with mixed feelings that one leaves off reading. For in the first place: that is not what came about; what came about are these catastrophic events which now stand so terribly before us. And these catastrophes were preceded by a preparation in which one could have seen exactly that such events had to come. They were preceded by the age of materialistic science — which had become stronger than it was in Friedrich Schlegel's time — preceded by the age of materialistic statesmanship over the whole of Europe. And only with sorrowful feelings can one now behold such a motto: ‘For lo, I come quickly and make all things new.’ Somewhere there must be a mistake. Friedrich Schlegel most certainly spoke from utterly honest conviction. And he was in no slight degree a keen observer of his time; he could judge of the conditions — but yet there must have been something not quite in accord.

For, my dear friends, what did Friedrich Schlegel understand by the Christianizing of Europe? One can admit that he had a feeling for the greatness, the significance of the Christ-Impulse. And hence he also had the feeling that the Christ-Impulse must be grasped in a new way in a new age, that one cannot stop short at the way in which earlier centuries had grasped it. That he knows; a feeling of that is present in him. But, nevertheless, with this feeling he finds support in the already existing Christianity, Christianity as it had developed historically up to his time. He believed that a movement could proceed from Rome of which it could be said ‘I come quickly and make all things new’. He was in fact one of those men of the 19th Century who turned from Protestantism to Catholicism because they believed they could trace more strength in the Catholic life than in the Protestant. But he was a free spirit enough not to become a Catholic zealot.

There is, however, something which Friedrich Schlegel has not said to himself. What he has not told himself is that one of the deepest and most significant truths of Christianity lies in the words: ‘I am with you always even unto the end of the Earth-time.’ Revelation has not ceased; it returns periodically. And whereas Friedrich Schlegel built upon what was already there, he should have seen, have felt, that a real Christianizing of science and the life of the State can only enter if fresh knowledge is drawn out of the spiritual world. This he did not see; he knew nothing of it. And this, my dear friends, shows us, by one of the most significant examples of the 19th Century, that again and again even in the most enlightened minds the illusion crops up that one can link on to something already existing. It is thought that one need not draw something new from the well of rejuvenescence. With these illusions people can no doubt say things and carry out things that are great and brilliant, but it leads to nothing. For Friedrich Schlegel's hope was for a Europe of the 19th Century with its science and political life permeated by Christianity. It must come quickly, he thought, a general renewal of the world, a general re-establishing of the Christ-Impulse. And what came? A materialistic trend in the science of the second half of the 19th Century, compared with which the materialism known by Friedrich Schlegel in 1828 was child's play. And then also came a materializing of political life (one must know history, real history, not the fable convenue which is taught in schools and universities) of which likewise in 1828 he could see nothing around him. Thus he prophesied a Christianizing of Europe and was so bad a prophet that a materializing of Europe came about!

Men live willingly in illusions. And this is connected with the great problem that is now occupying us, the problem that will become clear to us in the coming days: men have forgotten how really to become old, and we must learn again to become old. We must learn in a new way how to become old, and we can only do so through spiritual deepening. But, as I said, this can only become clear in the course of our study. Our time is in general disinclined for it, still disinclined, and it must cease to be disinclined and grow inclined for it.

In any case, my dear friends, the customary thought and feeling of today are not aiming at familiarizing themselves with a certain ease and facility with what, for instance, forms the spiritual challenge of the anthroposophical Spiritual Science. One can see that by various examples: I will bring forward one that lies to hand.

I had a letter the day before yesterday from a man of learning. He writes to me that he has just read a lecture of mine on the task of Spiritual Science, [See: ‘The Mission of Spiritual Science and of its Building at Dornach.’] which I gave two years ago, and that he now sees that this Spiritual Science has, after all, something very fruitful for him. There is a thoroughly warm tone in this letter, a thoroughly amiable, kindly tone. One sees that the man is gripped by what he has read in this lecture on the task of Spiritual Science. He is a trained Natural Scientist, standing in the difficult life of today, and he has seen from this lecture that Spiritual Science is not stupid and not unpractical, but can give an impulse to the time. But now let us look at the reverse side of the matter. The same man five years ago sought to attach himself to this Spiritual Science, to join a group where Spiritual Science was studied, begged moreover at that time to have various conversations with me, and these he had. He took part in group meetings five years ago, and five years ago he so reacted that the whole matter became repugnant to him, and he turned away from it so strongly that in the meantime he has become an enthusiastic panegyrist of Herr Freimark, whom you know from his various writings. Now the same man excuses himself by saying that it would perhaps have been better, instead of doing what he did, to have read something of mine, some books of mine, and made himself acquainted with the subject. But he had not done that, he had judged by what others had imparted to him, and then he had got such a forbidding picture of Spiritual Science that he found it was not at all suited to his own path of development. Now after five years he has read a lecture and has found that this is not the case.

I quote this example — and it could be multiplied — of the way in which people stand to what desires in the only possible way — not in the way of Friedrich Schlegel — a Christianizing of all science — a Christianizing of all public life. I quote it as an example of the habits of thought of today, especially of the science of our time. It is therefore no proof that a man has found something antipathetic to him, if he approaches the Anthroposophical Movement, has various talks, takes part in group meetings, grumbles vigorously about the members of these meetings and what they say to him, concludes that he must now abuse Anthroposophy as a whole, and afterwards becomes an enthusiastic panegyrist of Freimark, who has written the vilest articles on Spiritual Science. After five years the same person decides that he will really read something! So it is no proof at all, if so and so many people today are abusive or agree with the abuse, that deep down they might not have a natural tendency to attach themselves to anthroposophical Spiritual Science. If they have as much good will as the man in question, they need five years, many need ten, many fifteen, many fifty, many so long that they can no longer experience it in this incarnation. You see how little people's behaviour is any kind of proof that they are not seeking what is to be found in anthroposophical Spiritual Science.

I bring this example forward because it points to the profoundly important fact I have often mentioned — namely the lack of stability in going into a matter, the holding fast to old traditional prejudices, which people will not let go! And that again is connected with other things. One only needs to transpose oneself in feeling into those ancient times of which I have spoken to you earlier and today. Think of a young man after the Atlantean catastrophe in his connection with other people. He was, let us say — twenty, twenty-five years old; near him he saw someone of forty, fifty, sixty years. He said to himself: What happiness someday to be as old as that, for as one lives one goes on gaining more and more. There was a perfectly obvious, immense veneration for one who had grown old; a looking up to the aged, linked with the consciousness that they had something else to say about life than the young men. Merely to know this theoretically is of no consequence, what matters is to have it in one's whole feeling, and to grow up under this impression. It is of infinite consequence to grow up in such a way as not merely to look back at one's youth and say: Ah, how fine it was when I was a child! This beauty of life will certainly never be taken from men by any kind of spiritual reflection. But it is a one-sided reflection which was supplemented in ancient times by the other: How beautiful it is to become old! For in the same degree as one became weaker in body, one grew into strength of soul, one grew into union with the wisdom of the world. This was at one time an accepted part of training and education.

Now, my dear friends, let us look at still another truth which, to be sure, I have not expressed in the course of these weeks, but which in the course of years I have already mentioned here and there to our friends: We grow older. But only our physical body grows older. For from the spiritual aspect it is not true that we grow older. It is a maya, an external deception. It is certainly a reality in respect of physical life, but it is not true in respect of the full nature of man's life. Yet, we only have the right to say it is not true, if we know that this human being who lives here in the physical world between birth and death is something else than merely his physical body. He consists of the higher members, in the first place of what we have called the etheric body or the body of formative forces, and then the astral body, the ego — if we only speak of these four. But even if we stop short at the etheric body, at the invisible, super-sensible body of formative forces, we see that we bear it within us between birth and death, just as we carry about our physical body of flesh and blood and bones. We carry in us this etheric body of formative forces, but we see there is a difference: the physical body grows ever older, the etheric or body of formative forces is old when we are born; in fact, if we examine its true nature, it is old then and it becomes ever younger and younger. We can say, therefore, that the first spiritual member in us continually becomes more vigorous and younger, in contrast to the physical-corporeal that becomes weak and powerless. And it is true, literally true, that when our face begins to get wrinkled then our etheric body blooms and becomes chubby-cheeked. Yes but, the materialistic thinker could say this is completely contradicted by the fact that one does not perceive it! In ancient times it was perceived. It is only that modern times are such that people pay no attention to the matter and give it no value. In ancient times nature itself brought it in its course, in modern times it is almost an exception. But even so, there are such exceptions. I remember that I once spoke of a similar subject at the end of the eighties with Eduard von Hartmann, the philosopher of the ‘Unconscious’. We came to speak of two men who were both professors at the Berlin University. One was Zeller, a Schwabian, then seventy-two years old, who had just petitioned for his pensioning off, and who thus had the idea ‘I have got so old that I can no longer hold my lectures.’ He was old and fragile with his seventy-two years. And the other was Michelet; he was ninety-three years old. And Michelet had just been with Eduard von Hartmann and said ‘Well, I don't understand Zeller! When I was as old as Zeller I was just a young fellow, and now, only now, do I feel really fitted to say something to people ... As for me, I shall still lecture for many long years!’ But Michelet had something of what can be called a ‘having-grown-young-in-forces’. There is of course no inner necessity that he had grown so old; for instance, a tile from a roof might have killed him when he was fifty years old or earlier. I am not speaking of such things. But after he had grown so old, in his soul he had in fact not grown old, but precisely young. This Michelet, however, in his whole being, was no materialist. Even the Hegel followers have in many ways become materialistic, although they would not assent to that, but Michelet, although he spoke in difficult sentences, was inwardly gripped by the spirit. Only a few, however, can be so inwardly gripped by the spirit. But this is just what is sought for through anthroposophical spiritual science: to give something that can be something to all men, just as religion must be something to all men, that can speak to all men. But this is connected with our whole training and education.

Our whole educational system is constructed on entirely materialistic impulses — and this must be seen in much deeper connections than is generally indicated. People reckon only with man's physical body, never with his becoming-younger. No account is taken of one's growing younger as one grows older! At first glance it is not always immediately evident. But nevertheless, all that in course of time has become the subject of pedagogy and instruction is actually only able to lay hold of men in their youth, unless they happen to become professors or scientific writers. It is not very often that one finds that someone cares to take up in the same way in later life, when he no longer needs it, the material which is absorbed today during one's schooldays. I have known doctors who were leaders in their special subject, that is to say, who had so passed their student years and youth that they had been able to become intellectual leaders. But there was no question at all of their continuing the same methods of acquiring knowledge in later years. I once knew a very famous man — I will not mention his name, he was so renowned — who stood in the front rank in medical science. He made his assistant attend to the later editions of his books, because he himself no longer took part in science; that did not suit his later years.

This is connected however with something else. We are gradually developing a consciousness that what one can absorb through learning is really only of service for one's youth and that one gets beyond it later on. And this is so. One can still force oneself later to turn back to many things, but then one must really force oneself — it does not come naturally as a rule. And yet, unless a man is always taking in something new — not just by allowing it to enter him through the concert hall, the theatre, or, with all due respect, the newspaper or something of that kind — then he grows old in his soul. We must absorb in another way, we must really have the feeling in the soul that one experiences something new, one is being transformed, and that one reacts to what one takes in just as the child reacts. One cannot do this in an artificial way, it can only happen when something is there which one can approach in later life precisely as one approaches the ordinary educational subjects when one is a child.

But now, take our anthroposophical spiritual science. We need not puzzle our heads over what it will be like in later centuries; for them the right form will be found. But in any case, as it is now — to the dislike however, of many — there is no primary necessity to cease absorbing it. No matter how extremely aged one may have become at the present time, one can always find in it something new that grips the soul, that makes the soul young again. And many new things have already been found on spiritual scientific soil — even such new things as let one look into the most important problems of today. But above all the present needs an impulse which directly seizes upon men themselves. Only in that way can this present time come through the calamity into which it has entered, and which works so catastrophically. The impulses in question must approach men direct.

And now if one is not Friedrich Schlegel but a person having insight into what humanity really needs, one can nevertheless keep to several beautiful thoughts that Friedrich Schlegel had and at least rejoice in them. He has spoken of how things must not be treated as absolute from a definite standpoint. He has, in the first place, only seen the parties which always regard their own principle as the only one to make all mankind happy. But in our time much more is treated as absolute! Above all, it is not perceived that an impulse in life can be harmful by itself, but can be beneficial in co-operation with other impulses, because it then becomes something different. Think of three directions that take their course together — I shall make a sketch.

One direction is to symbolize for us the socialism to which modern mankind is striving — not just the current Lenin socialism. The second line is to symbolize what I have often characterized to you as freedom of thought, and the third direction is Spiritual Science. These three things belong to one another; they must work together in life.

Lecture V, Diagram 1

If socialism, in the crude materialistic form in which it appears today, attempts to force itself upon mankind, it will bring the greatest unhappiness upon humanity. It is symbolized for us through the Ahriman at the foot of our Group, in all his forms. If the false freedom of thought, which wants to stop short at every thought and make it valid, seeks to force itself, then harm is again brought to mankind. This is symbolized in our Group through Lucifer. But you can exclude neither Ahriman nor Lucifer from the present day, they must only be balanced through Pneumatology, through Spiritual Science, which is represented by the Representative of mankind who stands in the centre of our Group. It must be repeatedly pointed out that Spiritual Science is not meant to be merely something for people who have cut themselves adrift from ordinary life through some circumstance or other and who want to be stimulated a little through all sorts of things connected with higher matters. Rather is Spiritual Science, anthroposophical Spiritual Science, intended to be something that is connected with the deepest needs of our age. For the nature of our age is such that its forces can only be discovered if one looks into the spiritual. It is connected with the worst evil of our time — that countless men today have no idea that in the social, the moral, the historical life, super-sensible forces are ruling; indeed, just as the air is all around us, so do super-sensible forces hold sway around us. The forces are there, and they demand that we shall receive them consciously, in order to direct them consciously, otherwise they can be led into false paths by the ignorant, or those who have no understanding. In any case the matter must not be made trivial. It must not be thought that one can point to these forces as one often prophesies the future from coffee grounds and so on! But nevertheless in a certain way and sometimes in a very close way the future and the shaping of the future are connected with what can only be recognized if one proceeds from principles of spiritual science.

People will need perhaps longer than five years to see that. But precisely because of these actual events — the signs of the time demand it — there must again and again be emphasized how it is the great demand of our age that people realize the fact that certain things which happen today can only be discovered and, above all, rightly judged, if one proceeds from the standpoint gained through anthroposophical Spiritual Science.




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