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The Karma of Untruthfulness

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The Karma of Untruthfulness, Volume Two

Rudolf Steiner Archive Document

Lectures Section

Out of his research into the spiritual impulses of human evolution, Steiner reveals the dominant role secret brotherhoods played in the events culminating in World War One, and warns that the retarding forces of nationalism must be overcome if Europe is to find its new destiny. He emphasizes the urgent need for a new social structure to emerge out of the insight of spiritual science if humanity is to progress into the future with confidence. This volume is a continuation of Karma of Untruthfulness, Volume One.

By Rudolf Steiner

Bn/GA 174

Out of his research into the spiritual impulses of human evolution, Steiner reveals the dominant role secret brotherhoods played in the events culminating in World War One, and warns that the retarding forces of nationalism must be overcome if Europe is to find its new destiny. He emphasizes the urgent need for a new social structure to emerge out of the insight of spiritual science if humanity is to progress into the future with confidence. This volume is a continuation of Karma of Untruthfulness, Volume One.

These 12 lectures are from the lecture series entitled, Historically, The Karma of Untruthfulness, Part 2 of 2, published in the original German as, Zeitgeschichte Betrachtungen. Das Karma der Unwahrhaftigkeit. Zweiter Teil. Kosmische und menschliche Geschichte. Translated by Johanna Collis and edited by Joan M. Thompson, we present them here with the kind permission of the Rudolf Steiner Nachlassverwaltung, Dornach, Switzerland. The Introduction is by Rudi Lissau.

Copyright © 1992
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 Cover Sheet  
Lecture Fourteen January 01, 1917
The karma of untruthfulness. The effect of poisons in man's higher components. People who lag behind evolution fill their being with a poisonous phantom of formative forces, the source of emptiness of soul, hypochondria, aggressive instincts. If spiritual life is possible, it must also be possible to go astray. Untruthfulness is the counter-image of Imagination. Evil comes about through the misuse of higher forces. Those who fail to accept the spirit develop poisons instead. Richard Grelling's J'accuse and Romain Rolland's John Christopher as examples of failure to find the spirit.
Lecture Fifteen January 06, 1917
Nationalism, imperialism, spiritual life. The mechanical world of material progress is non-national, like a body which is to receive non-national spiritual science as its soul. Nationalism arises because soul development lags behind material progress. Profusion of ideas in the age of German Idealism. The power of slogans which are divorced from reality. The abstract idea of ‘eternal peace’. Which countries could have embarked on disarmament? British imperialism. The puritanical and the imperialistic stream in England. The importance of absolute truthfulness.
Lecture Sixteen January 07, 1917
Tragedy and guilt among nations. How the folk soul works into individuals. An individual belongs to a nation as a result of karma. Nationality as something karmic is above logic, nationality as something belonging to the blood is below logic. ‘Justice and freedom’ are concepts which cannot be applied to nations. Rise and fall of nations. Hebbel's definition of what is tragic. Seeley, the historian of the British Empire. Prophetic writings. Treitschke, Cramb, Kuropatkin. Untruth in the guise of truth. The importance of actual facts.
Lecture Seventeen January 08, 1917
Exhortation to members not to misrepresent these lectures. The Austro-Serbian conflict and the World War. Russian and British imperialism. Russia's attention drawn away from India and towards the Near East. The chain reaction: Britain in Egypt, France in Morocco, Italy in Tripoli, the Balkan War. The Grand Lodges as implements of occult impulses. The democratic trend in the world paralleled by an aristocratic trend in the Lodges. German Idealism transforms the mysteries of the Lodges into a purely human matter. The spiritual life of the Lodges originated in Central Europe: Fludd, pupil of Paracelsus; Saint-Martin, pupil of Jakob Böhme. Sir Oliver Lodge: materialistic view of spiritual matters. Fichte: Reden an die deutsche Nation. Polzer-Hoditz: Thoughts during Wartime.
Lecture Eighteen January 13, 1917
Materialistic history; history revealed through following one's karma. Wilhelm von Humboldt and Heinrich von Treitschke. History revealed through symptoms. Need to cultivate a sense for truth. Treitschke's love for the truth. Humboldt's work on a concept of the state; his successors Edouard Laboulaye and John Stuart Mill. Treitschke's Freedom. Treitschke as a representative of the German people. Treitschke not an exponent of the principle of power, but a teacher for his people. The note from the Entente to President Wilson. The meaningless term ‘Czecho-Slovaks’. Kramar and Masaryk.
Lecture Nineteen January 14, 1917
The subconscious soul impulses. On self-knowledge. The solar plexus as the point of contact for ego-activity. The ego as bearer of evil forces which are held in check by the abdominal nervous system. Liberation of the ego: madness. The nervous system of the spinal cord as the point of contact for the astral body. Liberation of the astral body: madness, volatility of ideas, manic conditions, depression, hypochondria. The brain as point of contact of the etheric body. The liberated etheric body has chiefly ahrimanic characteristics: envy, jealousy, avarice. Psychiatry will have to learn to distinguish between the abnormalities caused by the freeing of the different components. The earth works on man through the solid element, the angeloi through the fluid element, the archangeloi through the airy element, the folk spirits through the system of ganglia. The working of the folk spirits is removed from consciousness and therefore demonic. This is utilized by secret brotherhoods who pursue the egoistic aims of their groups.
Lecture Twenty January 15, 1917
Recapitulation of previous lecture. The battles of the fifth post-Atlantean period as expressions of the conflict between materialism and spiritual life. The spiritual world-view of the sixth post-Atlantean period. Echoes of the third and fourth post-Atlantean periods in the peoples of Europe. Italy-Spain; France. The British element as representative of the fifth post-Atlantean period. Development of the commercial, industrial element. This strives to dominate the world. The contrast between western commercial thinking and eastern (Russian-Slav) spiritual inclinations. Central European impulses: Luther, Huss, Wyclif, Zwingli, Kepler, Copernicus, Galileo-Lomonosov as bridges between East and West. Central Europe strives to find the spirit through the soul. The West seeks to prove the spirit through experiments. Bacon, Shakespeare, Jakob Böhme, Jakobus Baldus, King James I of England. ‘My kingdom is not of this world.’ Theocracy, monarchy, industrial elements to be replaced by the general human element which seeks no form of domination. ‘Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's.’ Attacks on Anthroposophy. The Central Powers' call for peace.
Lecture Twenty One January 20, 1917
The destructive power of untruthfulness in the relationship between the living and the dead. When the living work on spiritual science this gives the dead the opportunity to work in the physical world. Secret brotherhoods bring about ahrimanic immortality by means of ceremonial magic which leads to an illegitimate relationship with the dead.
Lecture Twenty Two January 21, 1917
Orientation of the human body according to the stars. The threefold structure of man — head, breast organs and abdominal organs — in relation to life after death. How the dead intervene in the world of the living. Materialism as a barrier to a healthy relationship between the earthly and the super-sensible worlds.
Lecture Twenty Three January 22, 1917
Consciousness in sleep and consciousness after death. Work of angeloi, archangeloi and retarded spiritual beings on the dead. Retarded archai as opponents of Christ. Occult impulses for egoistic group purposes. Concepts which could provide the foundations for peace. The spiritual significance of Central Europe.
Lecture Twenty Four January 28, 1917
Measure and number. The Platonic Cosmic Year. Goethe's studies on the breathing of the earth. The links between speech and the rhythm of breathing. Sleeping and waking and their importance for man's contact with the spiritual world. The constitution of folk souls; the Italian and Russian folk souls. The lack of concrete concepts. A brochure by Hungaricus.
Lecture Twenty Five January 30, 1917
History of the Anthroposophical Movement. Saint-Martin. Ancient wisdom and the etheric clairvoyance of the future. The flood of ‘occult’ literature compared with the wisdom given by spiritual science. Bridges to be built between the physical and spiritual world. German Idealism as the spiritual life of Central Europe: Novalis, Schlegel, Steffens, Schubert, Troxler, K. C. Planck. W. and J. Bolyai and the question of parallel lines. Honesty in forming concepts. The element of general humanity in Central Europe in contrast to the one-sided elements in the periphery. The necessity for concepts to be in accord with reality. Parting words at a time of utmost difficulty.

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