[RSArchive Icon]
Rudolf Steiner Archive Section Name Rudolf Steiner Archive and e.Lib



Man as Symphony of the Creative Word

On-line since: 12th July, 2002

LECTURE XII

11th November, 1923

When we realize that everything of external nature is transformed inside the human organism, and this in so radical a way that the mineral must be brought to the warmth-etheric condition, we will also find that all that lives in man, in the human organization, flows out into the spiritual. If — according to the ideas so frequently deduced in current text-books on anatomy and physiology — we imagine man to be a firmly built form taking into itself the products of external nature and returning them almost unchanged, then we will always labour under the absence of the bridge which must be thrown from what man is as a natural being to what is present in him as his essential soul-nature.

At first we shall be unable to find any link to join the bony system and system of muscles, composing the solid body which man believes himself to be, with, let us say, the moral world-order. It will be said that the one is simply nature and that the other is something radically different from nature. But when we are clear about the fact that in man all types of substantiality are present and that they must all pass through a condition more volatile than that of muscles and bones, we shall find that this volatile etheric substance can enter into connection with the impulses of the moral world-order.

These are the modes of thought we must use if we are to develop our present considerations into something which will lead man upwards to the spiritual of the cosmos, to the beings whom we have called the beings of the higher hierarchies. Today, therefore, let us do what was not done in the foregoing lectures — for those were more occupied with the natural world — and take our start from the spiritual moral impulses active in man.

The spiritual-moral impulses — well, for modern civilization these have more or less become mere abstract concepts. To an ever greater degree the primal feeling for the moral-spiritual has receded in human nature. Through the whole manner of his education modern civilization leads man to ask: what is customary? what has convention ordained? what is the code? what is the law? — and so on. Less account is taken of what comes forth as impulses, rooted in that part of man which is often relegated in a vague way to conscience. This inner directing of oneself, this determining of one's own goal, is something which has retreated to an ever greater degree in modern civilization. Hence the spiritual-moral has finally become a more or less conventional tradition.

Earlier world-conceptions, particularly those which were sustained by instinctive clairvoyance, brought forth moral impulses from man's inner nature; they induced moral impulses. Moral impulses exist, but today they have become traditional. Of course nothing whatever is implied here against the traditional in morality — but only think of the ten commandments, how old they are. They are taught as commands recorded in ancient times. Is it to be expected today that something might spring forth from the primary, elementary sources of human nature which could be compared to what once arose as the Decalogue, the Ten Commandments? Now from what source does the moral-spiritual arise, which binds men together in a social way, which knits the threads uniting man to man? There exists only one true source of the moral-spiritual in mankind, and this is what we may call human understanding, mutual human understanding, and, based upon this human understanding, human love. Wheresoever we may look for the arising of moral-spiritual impulses in mankind, in so far as these play a role in social life, it will invariably prove to be the case that, whenever such impulses spring forth with elemental power, they arise from human understanding based upon human love. These are the actual driving force of the social moral-spiritual impulses in mankind. And fundamentally speaking, in so far as he is a spiritual being, man only lives with other men to the degree that he develops human understanding and human love.

Here one can put a deeply significant question, a question which is indeed not always voiced, but which, in regard to what has just been said, must be on the tip of every tongue: If human understanding and human love are the real impulses upon which communal life depends, how does it come about that the very reverse of human understanding and human love appears in our social order?

This is a question with which initiates more than anyone else have always concerned themselves. In every age in which initiation science was the primal impulse, this very question was regarded as one of their most vital concerns. When this initiation science was still a primary impulse, however, it possessed certain means whereby to get behind this problem. But if one looks at conventional science today, one is forced to ask: As the god-created soul is naturally predisposed to human understanding and human love, why are these qualities not active as a matter of course in the social order? Whence come human hatred and lack of human understanding? Now, if we are unable to look for this lack of human understanding, this human hatred, in the sphere of the spiritual, of the soul, it follows that we must look for them in the sphere of the physical.

Yes — but now modern conventional science gives us its answer as to what the physical-bodily nature of man is: blood, nerves, muscles, bones. No matter how long one studies a bone, if one only does so with the eye of present-day natural science, one will never be able to say: It is this bone which leads man astray into hatred. Nor yet, to whatever degree one is able to investigate the blood according to the principles by which it is investigated today, will one ever be able to establish the conviction: It is this blood which leads man astray into lack of human understanding.

In times when initiation science was a primal impulse matters were certainly quite otherwise. Then one turned one's gaze to the physical-bodily nature of man and perceived it to be the counter-image of what one possessed of the spiritual through instinctive clairvoyance.

When man speaks of the spiritual today he refers at most to abstract thoughts; this for him is the spiritual. If he finds these thoughts too tenuous, all that remains to him is words, and then, as Fritz Mauthner did, he writes a “Critique of Language”. Through such a “Critique of Language” he manages to dilute the spirit — already tenuous enough — until it becomes utterly devoid of substance. The initiation-science which was irradiated with instinctive clairvoyance did not see the spiritual in abstract thoughts. It saw the spiritual in forms, in what produced pictures, in what could speak and resound, in what could produce tones. For this initiation science the spiritual lived and moved. And because the spiritual was seen in its living activity, what is physical — the bones, the blood — could also be perceived in its spirituality. These thoughts, these notions, which we have today about the skeleton, did not exist in initiation science. Today the skeleton is really regarded as something constructed by the calculations of an architect for the purposes of physiology and anatomy. But it is not this. The skeleton, as you have seen, is formed by mineral substance which has been driven upwards to the state of warmth-ether, so that in the warmth-ether the forces of the higher hierarchies are laid hold of, and then the bone formations are built up.

To one who is able to behold it rightly, the skeleton reveals its spiritual origin. But one who looks at the skeleton in its present form — I mean in its form as present-day science regards it — is like a person who says: there I have a printed page with the forms of letters upon it. He describes the form of these letters, but does not read their meaning because he is unable to read. He does not relate what is expressed in the forms of the letters to what exists as their real basis; he only describes their shapes. In the same way the present-day anatomist, the present-day natural scientist, describes the bones as if they were entirely without meaning. What they really reveal, however, is their origin in the spiritual.

And so it is with everything that exists as physical natural laws, as etheric natural laws. They are written characters from the spiritual world. And we only understand these things rightly when we can comprehend them as written characters proceeding from spiritual worlds.

Now, when we are able to regard the human organism in this way, we become aware of something which belongs to the domain of which the true initiates of all epochs have said: When one crosses the threshold into the spiritual world, the first thing one becomes aware of is something terrible, something which at first it is by no means easy to sustain. Most people wish to be pleasantly affected by what seems to them worthy of attainment. But the fact remains that only by passing through the experience of horror can one learn to know spiritual reality, that is to say true reality. For in regard to the human form, as this is placed before us by anatomy and physiology, one can only perceive that it is built up out of two elements from the spiritual world: moral coldness and hatred.

In our souls we actually possess the predisposition to human love, and to that warmth which understands the other man. In the solid components of our organism, however, we bear moral cold. This is the force which, from the spiritual worlds, welds, as it were, our physical organism together. Thus we bear in ourselves the impulse of hatred. This it is which, from the spiritual world, brings about the circulation of the blood. And whereas we may perhaps go through the world with a very loving soul, with a soul which thirsts for human understanding, we must nevertheless be aware that below in the unconsciousness, there where the soul streams down, sends its impulses down into the bodily nature, for the very purpose that we may be clothed in a body — coldness has its seat. Though I shall always speak just of coldness, what I mean is moral coldness, though this can certainly pass over into physical coldness, traversing the warmth-ether on its way. There below, in the unconsciousness within us, moral coldness and hatred are entrenched, and it is easy for man to bring into his soul what is present in his body, so that his soul can, as it were, be infected with the lack of human understanding. This is, however, the result of moral coldness and human hatred. Because this is so, man must gradually cultivate in himself moral warmth, that is to say human understanding and love, for these must vanquish what comes from the bodily nature.

Now it cannot be denied — this presents itself in all clarity to spiritual vision — that in our age, which began with the fifteenth century and has developed in an intellectualistic way on the one hand and in a materialistic way on the other, much human misunderstanding and human hatred has become imbedded in men's souls. This is so to a greater degree than is supposed. For only when man passes through the gate of death does he become aware of how much failure to understand, how much hatred, is present in our unconsciousness. There man detaches his soul-spiritual from his physic bodily nature. He lays his physical-bodily nature aside. The impulses of coldness, the impulses of hatred, then reveal themselves simply as natural forces, as mere forces of nature.

Let us look at a corpse. Let us look with the spiritual eye at the actual etheric corpse. Here we are looking at something which no longer evokes moral judgment any more than does a plant or a stone. The moral forces which have previously been contained in what is now the corpse have been changed into natural forces. During his lifetime, however, the human being absorbed very much from them; this he takes with him through the gate of death. The ego and astral body withdraw, taking with them as they go what remained unnoticed during life because it was always entirely submerged in the physical and etheric bodies. The ego and astral body take with them into the spiritual world all the impulses connected with the human body, all the impulses of human hatred and coldness towards other men which had gained access to their souls. I mentioned that it is only when one sees the human being pass through the gate of death that one perceives how much failure to understand, how much human hatred have been implanted into mankind just in our civilization by various things about which I shall still have to speak. For the man of today carries much of these two impulses through the gate of death, immensely much.

But what man thus carries with him is in fact the spiritual residue of what should be in the physical, of what the physical and etheric bodies should deal with themselves. In the lack of human understanding and in human hatred which man carries into the spiritual world we have the residue of what really belongs in the physical world. He carries it thither in a spiritual way, but it would never profit him to carry it onward through the time between death and a new birth, for then he would be quite unable to progress. At every step in his further evolution between death and a new birth he would stumble if he were obliged to carry further this failure to understand the other man, this human hatred. Into the spiritual world, which is entered by the so-called dead, people today continually draw with them definite currents which would halt them in their development if they had to remain as they actually are. From whence do these currents proceed?

To discover this we need only look at present-day life. People pass one another by; they pay little heed to the individual characteristics of others. Are not people today mostly so constituted that each one regards himself as the standard of what is right and proper? And when someone differs from this standard we do not take kindly to him, but rather think: This man should be different. And this usually implies: He should be like me. This is not always brought into the consciousness, but it lies concealed in human social intercourse.

In the way things are put forward today — I mean in the whole manner and form of people's speech — there lies very little understanding of the other man. People bellow out their ideas about what man should be like, but this usually means: Everyone should be like me. If someone different comes along, then, even if this is not consciously realized, he is immediately regarded as an enemy, an object for antipathy. This is lack of human moral understanding, lack of love. And to the degree in which these qualities are lacking, moral coldness and human hatred go with man through the gate of death, obstructing his path. Now, however — because man's further development is not his own concern alone, but is the concern of the whole world-order, the wisdom-filled world-order — he finds the beings of the third hierarchy, Angels, Archangels, Archai. In the first period after man has passed through the gate of death into the world lying between death and a new birth these beings stoop downward and mercifully take from man the coldness which comes from lack of human understanding. And we see how the beings of the third hierarchy assume the burden of what man carries up to them into the spiritual world in the way I have described, in that he passes through the gate of death.

It is for a longer period that man must carry with him the remains of human hatred; for this can only be taken from him by grace of the spirits of the second hierarchy, Exusiai, Kyriotetes, Dynamis. They take from him all that remains of human hatred.

Now, however, the human being has arrived about midway in the region between death and a new birth, to the abiding place of the first hierarchy, Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, which I described in my Mystery Play as the midnight hour of existence. Man would be quite unable to pass through this region of the Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones without being inwardly annihilated, utterly destroyed, had not the beings of the second and third hierarchies already taken from him in their mercy human misunderstanding, that is to say moral coldness, and human hatred. And so we see how man, in order that he may find access to those impulses which can contribute to his further development, must at first burden the beings of the higher hierarchies with what he carries up into the spiritual world from his physical and etheric bodies, where it really belongs.

When one has insight into all this, when one sees how this moral coldness holds sway in the spiritual world, one will also know how to judge the relation between this spiritual cold and the physical cold here below. The physical cold which we find in snow and ice is only the physical image of that moral-spiritual cold which is there above. If we have them both before us, we can compare them. While man is being relieved in this way from human misunderstanding and human hatred, one can follow with the spiritual eye how he begins to lose his form, how this form more or less melts away.

When someone first passes through the gate of death, for the spiritual vision of imagination his appearance is still somewhat similar to what it was here on earth. For what a man bears within him here on earth is in fact just substances in more or less granular form, let us say, in atomistic form; but the human figure itself — that is spiritual. We must really be clear about this. It is sheer nonsense to regard man's form as physical; we must represent it to ourselves as spiritual. The physical in it is everywhere present as minute particles. The form, which is only a force-body, holds together what would otherwise fall apart into a heap of atoms. If someone were to take any of you by the forelock and could draw out your form, the physical and also the etheric would collapse like a heap of sand. That these are not just a sand heap, that they are distributed and take on form, this stems from nothing physical; it stems from the spiritual. Here in the physical world man goes about as something spiritual. It is senseless to think that man is only a physical being; his form is purely spiritual. The physical in him may almost be likened to a heap of crumbs.

Man, however, still possesses his form when he goes through the gate of death. One sees it shimmering, glittering, radiant with colours. But now he loses first the form of his head; then the rest of his form gradually melts away. Man becomes completely metamorphosed, as though transformed into an image of the cosmos. This occurs during the time between death and a new birth in which he comes into the region of the Seraphim, Cherubim and Thrones.

Thus, when one follows man between death and a new birth, one at first still sees him hovering, as it were, while he gradually loses his form from above downwards. But while the last vestige of him is vanishing away below, something else has taken shape, a wonderful spirit-form, which is in itself an image of the whole world-sphere and at the same time a model of the future head which man will bear on his shoulders. Here the human being is woven into an activity wherein not only the beings of the lower hierarchies participate, but also the beings of the highest hierarchy, the Seraphim, Cherubim and Thrones.

What actually takes place? It is the most wonderful thing which, as man, one can possibly conceive. For all that was lower man here in life now passes over into the formation of the future head. As we go about here on earth we only make use of our poverty-stricken head as the organ of our mental images and our thoughts. But thoughts also accompany our breast, thoughts also accompany our limb-system. And in the moment that we cease to think only with the head, but begin to think with our limb-system, in that moment the whole reality of Karma is opened up to us. We know nothing of our Karma because we always think only with that most superficial of organs, our brain. The moment we begin to think with our fingers — and just with our fingers and toes we can think much more clearly than with the nerves of the head — once we have soared up to the possibility of doing so — the moment we begin to think with what has not become entirely material, when we begin to think with the lower man, our thoughts are the thoughts of our Karma. When we do not merely grasp with our hand but think with it, then, thinking with our hand we follow our Karma. And even more so with the feet; when we do not only walk but think with our feet, we follow the course of our Karma with special clarity. That man is such a dullard on earth — excuse me, but no other word occurs to me — comes from the fact that all his thinking is enclosed in the region of his head. But man can think with his entire being. Whenever we think with our entire being, then for our middle region a whole cosmology, a marvelous cosmic wisdom, becomes our own. And for the lower region and the limb-system especially Karma becomes our own.

It already means a great deal when we look at the way a person walks, not in a dull way, but marking the beauty of his step, and what is characteristic in it; or when we allow his hands to make an impression upon us, so that we interpret these hands and find that in every movement of the fingers there lie wonderful revelations of man's inner nature. Yet that is only the smallest part of what moves in unison with t he walking man, the grasping man, man as he moves his fingers. For it is man's whole moral nature which moves; his destiny moves with him; everything that he is as a spiritual being. And if, after man has passed through the gate of death, we are able to follow how his form dissolves — the first to melt away being what is reminiscent of his physical form — there then appears what does indeed resemble his physical structure, but which is now produced by his inner nature, his inner being, thus announcing that this is his moral form. Thus does man appear when he approaches the midnight hour of existence, when he comes into the sphere of the Seraphim, Cherubim and Thrones. Then we see how these wonderful metamorphoses proceed, how there his form melts away. But this is not really the essential point. It looks as though the form would dissolve away, but the truth is that the spiritual beings of the higher worlds are there working together with man. They work with those human beings who are working upon themselves, but also upon those with whom they are karmically linked. One man works upon the other. These spiritual beings, then, together with man himself, develop out of his previous bodily form in his previous earth-life, what, at first spiritually, will become the bodily form of his next earth-life.

This spirit-form first connects itself with physical life when it meets the given embryo. But in the spiritual world feet and legs are transformed into the jaw bones, while arms and hands are transformed into the cheek-bones. There the whole lower man is transformed into the spiritual prototype of what will later become the head. The way in which this metamorphosis is accomplished is, I do assure you, of everything that the world offers to conscious experience the most wonderful. We see at first how an image of the whole cosmos is created, and how this is then differentiated into the structure which is the seat of the whole moral element — but only after all that I have mentioned has been taken from it. We see how what was, transforms itself into what will be. Now one sees the human being as spirit-form journeying back once more to the region of the second hierarchy and then to that of the third hierarchy. Here this reversed spirit-form — it is in fact only the basis for the future head — must, as it were, be welded to what will become the future breast-organism, to what will become the future limb-organization and the metabolic system. These must be added. Whence come the spiritual impulses to add them?

It is by grace of the beings of the second and third hierarchies, who gathered these impulses together when the man was on the first half of his journey. These beings took them from his moral nature; now they bring them back again and form from them the basis of the rhythmic system and metabolic-limb-system. In this later period between death and a new birth man receives the ingredients, the spiritual ingredients, for his physical organism. This spiritual form finds its way into the embryonic life, and bears within it what will now become physical forces and etheric forces. These are, however, only the physical image of what we bear in us from our previous life as lack of human understanding and human hatred, from which our limb-organization is spiritually formed.

If we wish to have such conceptions as these, we must acquire a manner of feeling and perceiving quite other than that needed in the physical world. For we must be able to behold what arises out of the spiritual becoming physical in the way I have described; we must be able to sustain the knowledge that coldness, moral coldness, lives as physical image in the bones and that moral hatred lives as physical image in the blood. We must learn to look at these matters quite objectively. It is only when we look into things in this way that we become aware of the fundamental difference between man's inner being and external nature.

Just consider for a moment the fact I mentioned, namely that in the blossoms of the plant-kingdom we see, as it were, human conscience laid out before us. What we see outside us may be considered as the picture of our soul-being. The forces within ourselves may appear to have no relation to outer nature. But the truth is, bone can only be bone because it hates the carbonic acid and calcium phosphate in their mineral state, because it withdraws from them, contracting into itself, whereby it becomes something different from what these substances are in external nature. And one must face up to the conception that for man to have a physical form, hatred and coldness must be present in his physical nature.

Through this, you see, our words gain inner significance. If our bones have a certain hardness, it is to their advantage to possess this physical image of spiritual coldness. But if our soul has this hardness it is not a good thing for the social life. The physical nature of man must be different from his soul-nature. Man can be man precisely because his physical being differs from his being of soul and spirit. Man's physical nature also differs from physical nature around him. Upon this fact rests the necessity for that transformation about which I have spoken to you.

All this forms an important supplement to what I once said in the course on Cosmology, Philosophy and Religion [* Ten lectures at the Goetheanum, September, 1922. Translation in preparation by the Anthroposophic Press, New York.] about man's connection with the hierarchies. It could only be added, however, on such initial considerations as those in our present lectures. For spiritual vision gives insight alike into what the separate members of the mineral, animal and plant kingdoms really are here on earth, and into the acts of the hierarchies — those acts, which continue from age to age, as do also the happenings of nature and the works of man.

When man's life between death and a new birth — his life in the spiritual world — is beheld in this way, one can describe his experiences in that world in just as much detail as his biography here on earth. So we may live in the hope that when we pass through the gate of death, everything of misunderstanding and hatred between man and man will be carried up into the spiritual world, so that it may be given anew to us, and that from its ennobled state human forms may be created.

In the course of long centuries something very strange has come to pass for earthly humanity. No longer is it possible for all the forces of human misunderstanding and human hatred to be used up in new human forms, in the structure of new human bodies. Something has become left over. During the course of the last centuries this residue has streamed down on to the earth, so that in the spiritual atmosphere of the earth, in what I may call the earth's astral light, there is to be found an infiltration of the impulses of human hatred and human misunderstanding which exist exterior to man. These impulses have not been incorporated into human forms; they stream around the earth in the astral light. They work into man, but not into what makes up the single person but into the relationships which people form with one another on the earth. They work into civilization. And within civilization they have brought about what compelled me to say, in the spring of 1914 in Vienna, [* The Inner Nature of Man and Life between Death and Rebirth (Rudolf Steiner Press).] that our present-day civilization is invaded by spiritual carcinoma, by a spiritual cancerous disease, by spiritual tumours. At that time the fact that this was spoken about in Vienna — in the lecture-course dealing with the phenomena between death and a new birth — was somewhat unwelcome. Since then, however, people have actually experienced something of the truth of what was said at that time. Then people had no thought of what streams through civilization. They did not perceive that actual cancerous formations of civilization were present, for it was only from 1914 onwards that they manifested openly. Today they are revealed as utterly diseased tissues of civilization. Yes, now it becomes evident to what a degree our modern civilization has been infiltrated by these currents of human hatred and human coldness which have not been used up in the forms of the human structure, to what a degree these infiltrations are active as the parasites of modern civilization.

Civilization today is deeply afflicted with parasites; it is like a part of an organism that is invaded by parasites, by bacilli. What people have amassed in the way of thoughts exists, but it has no living connection with man. Only consider how this shows itself in the most ordinary phenomena of daily life. How many people have to learn without bringing enthusiasm to the learning; they simply have to get down to it and learn in order to pass an examination, so as to qualify for some particular post, or the like — well, for them there is no vital connection between what they have to take in and what lives in their soul as an inborn craving for the spiritual. It is exactly as though a person who is not predisposed to hunger were to be continually stuffed with food! The digestive processes about which I have spoken cannot be carried through. What has been taken in remains as ballast in the organism, finally becoming something which definitely induces parasites.

Much in our modern civilization has no connection with man. Like the mistletoe — spiritually speaking — it sucks its life from what man brings forth from the original impulses of his mind, of his heart. Much of this manifests in our civilization as parasitic existence. To anyone who has the power of seeing our civilization with spiritual vision in the astral, the year 1914 already presented an advanced stage of cancer, a carcinoma formation; for him the whole of civilization was already invaded by parasites. But to this parasitic condition something further is now added.

I have described to you in what may be called a spiritual-physiological way how, out of the nature of the gnomes and undines who work from below upwards, the possibility arises of parasitic impulses in man. Then, however, as I explained, the opposite picture presents itself; for then poison is carried downwards by the sylphs and the elemental beings of warmth. And so in a civilization like ours, which bears a parasitic character, what comes down from above — spiritual truth, though not poison in itself, is transformed into poison in man, so that our civilization rejects it in fear and invents all kinds of reasons for this rejection. The two things belong together: a parasitic culture below, which does not proceed from elemental laws and which therefore contains parasites within itself, and a spirituality which sinks down from above and which — in that it enters into this civilization — is taken up by man in such a way that it becomes poison. When you bear this in mind you have the key to the most important symptoms of our present-day civilization. And when one has insight into these things, just out of itself the fact is revealed that a truly cultural education must make its appearance as the antidote or opposing remedy. Just as a rational therapy, is deduced from a true diagnosis of the individual, so a diagnosis of the sickness of a civilization reveals the remedy; the one calls forth the other.

It is very evident that mankind today again needs something from civilization which stands close to the human heart and the human soul, which springs directly from the human heart and the human soul. If a child, on entering primary school, is introduced to a highly sophisticated system of letter-forms which he has to learn as a ... b ... c etc., this has nothing whatever to do with his heart and soul. It has no relation to them at all. What the child develops in his head, in his soul, in that he has to learn a ... b ... c, is — speaking spiritually — a parasite in human nature.

During his years of education a great deal is brought to the child of this parasitic nature. We must, therefore, develop an art of education which works creatively from his soul. We must let the child bring colour into form; and the colour-forms, which have arisen out of joy, out of enthusiasm, out of sadness, out of every possible feeling, these he can paint on to the paper. When a child puts on to the paper what arises out of his soul, this develops his humanity. This produces nothing parasitic. This is something which grows out of man like his fingers or his nose! — whereas, when the child has forced on him the conventional forms of the letters, which are the result of a high degree of civilization, this does engender what is parasitic.

Immediately the art of education lies close to the human heart, to the human soul, the spiritual approaches man without becoming poison. First you have the diagnosis, which finds that our age is infested with carcinomas, and then you have the therapy — yes, it is Waldorf School education.

Waldorf School education is founded upon nothing other than this, my dear friends. Its way of thinking in the cultural sphere is the same as that in the field of therapy. Here you see, applied in a special case, what I spoke about a few days ago, namely that the being of man proceeds from below upwards, from nutrition, through healing, upwards to the development of the spiritual, and that one must regard education as medicine transposed into the spiritual. This strikes us with particular clarity when we wish to find a therapy for civilization, for we can only conceive this therapy as being Waldorf School education.

You will readily be able to imagine the feelings of one who not only has insight into this situation, but who is also trying to implant Waldorf School education into the world in a practical way, when he sees in the cumulative effect of this carcinoma of civilization something which may seriously endanger this Waldorf School education, or even make it altogether impossible. We should not reject such thoughts as these, but rather make them the impulse within ourselves to work together wherever we still can in the therapy of our civilization.

There are many things today such as the following. During my Helsingfors lecture-course in 1913, I indicated from a certain aspect of spiritual knowledge a view as to the inferior nature of Woodrow Wilson, who was at that time a veritable object of veneration for much of civilized mankind and in respect of whom people are only now — because to do otherwise is impossible — gaining some measure of perception. As things went then, so have things also gone in regard to the civilization-carcinoma about which I have been speaking. Well, at that time things went in a certain way; today those things which hold good for our time are proceeding in a similar manner. People are asleep. It devolves upon us to bring about the awakening. And Anthroposophy bears within it all the impulses for a right awakening of civilization, for a right awakening of human culture.

This is what I wished to say to you in the last of these lectures.




The Rudolf Steiner Archive is maintained by:
The e.Librarian: elibrarian@elib.com
[Spacing]