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The Christmas Conference

Christmas Conference: Lecture 9: Continuation of the Foundation Meeting, 28 December, 10 a.m.

Schmidt Number: S-5535

On-line since: 21st December, 2008

Continuation of the Foundation Meeting

28 December, 10 a.m.

BEFORE the lecture, Dr Steiner makes some announcements regarding arrangements:

My dear friends!

Before opening today's meeting I must ask your forgiveness for yesterday's unpleasantness about access to the hall and having to wait outside. I do beg your forgiveness for this most annoying incident which, however, was truly the consequence of a whole sequence of misunderstandings. From now on we shall make sure that our friends will find the doors open here half an hour before any meeting. I am also doing my best to have two more radiators put in tonight so that it will no longer be quite so cold in the outer room. It is really difficult in this primitive accommodation to create conditions which are satisfactory for everybody. Please believe me when I say that the conditions are the least satisfactory of all for the Vorstand and myself. Let us hope that we can avoid too much trouble in the coming days.

Now may I ask Herr Stuten to speak. He is going to give us the pleasure of a lecture about the element of music in spiritual life.

Herr Stuten gives his lecture on music and the spiritual world.

After a fifteen-minute break the debate on the Statutes continues. Dr Steiner opens with the following words:

My dear friends! Today once again I shall speak the words which are to give us the foundation for our present work as well as for our continued work outside:

Soul of Man!
Thou livest in the limbs
Which bear thee through the world of space
In the spirit's ocean-being.
Practise spirit-recalling
In depths of soul,
Where in the wielding will
Of world-creating
Thine own I
Comes to being
Within God's I.
And thou wilt truly live
In the World-Being of Man.

For the Father-Spirit of the heights holds sway
In depths of worlds begetting being.

Soul of Man!
Thou livest in the beat of heart and lung
Which leads thee through the rhythm of time
Into the realm of thine own soul's feeling.
Practise spirit-awareness
In balance of the soul,
Where the surging deeds
Of the world's becoming
Thine own I
Unite
With the World-I.
And thou wilt truly feel
In the Soul-Weaving of Man.

For the Christ-Will in the encircling round holds sway
In the rhythms of the worlds, bestowing grace on the soul.

Soul of Man!
Thou livest in the resting head
Which from the grounds of eternity
Opens to thee the world-thoughts.
Practise spirit-beholding
In stillness of thought,
Where the eternal aims of Gods
World-Being's
Light
On thine own I
Bestow
For thy free willing.
And thou wilt truly think
In the Spirit-Foundations of Man.

For the world-thoughts of the Spirit hold sway
In the being of worlds, craving for light.

Now, dear friends, let us once more inscribe the inner rhythm into our souls, the rhythm that can show us closely how these very words resound out of the rhythm of the universe.

The first verse:

[ Rudolf Steiner writes on the blackboard as he speaks. See Facsimile 4, Page XV top. ]

Practise spirit-recalling

This is the activity that can be accomplished within one's own soul. It corresponds to what out there in the great universe is expressed in the words:

For the Father-Spirit of the heights holds sway
In depths of worlds begetting being
.

The second is:

Practise spirit-awareness

That is the process within, which is answered out there in the universe by:

For the Christ-Will in the encircling round holds sway
In the rhythms of the worlds, bestowing grace on the soul
.

The third is:

Practise spirit-beholding

From out there comes the answer:

For the world-thoughts of the Spirit hold sway
In the being of worlds, craving for light
.

[As shown on the blackboard]

 

1

Practise spirit-recalling

For the Father-Spirit of the heights holds sway
In depths of worlds begetting being
.

2
Practise spirit-awareness

For the Christ-Will in the encircling round holds sway
In the rhythms of the worlds, bestowing grace on the soul
.

3
Practise spirit-beholding

For the world-thoughts of the Spirit hold sway
In the being of worlds, craving for light.


DR STEINER: We shall now continue our meeting with a discussion of Paragraph 4 of the Statutes. Would Dr Wachsmuth please read Paragraph 4.

Paragraph 4 is read by Dr Wachsmuth:

‘4. The Anthroposophical Society is in no sense a secret society, but is entirely public. Anyone can become a member, without regard to nationality, social standing, religion, scientific or artistic conviction, who considers as justified the existence of an institution such as the Goetheanum in Dornach, in its capacity as a School of Spiritual Science. The Anthroposophical Society rejects any kind of sectarian activity. Party politics it considers not to be within its task.’

DR STEINER: Mr Collison has applied to speak first.

MR COLLISON: Please pardon me, as a very old member, for saying a few words about the Statutes. We have now come to point 4. I believe that it cannot be our intention to improve on these Statutes. Dr Steiner has put so much effort into them and they are truly all-embracing. It seems to me that any debate on the various points should serve the purpose solely of asking any questions there might be about the meaning or the extent of any of them.

(Lengthy applause.)

DR STEINER: Who would like to speak about Paragraph 4?

The suggestion is made that the Statutes should be adopted by acclamation.

DR STEINER: Yes, but I still have to ask whether anybody would like to speak to Paragraph 4. This Paragraph is in the main concerned with the fact that quite soon we shall be presenting the Anthroposophical Society to the world as an entirely public society. And everything that can contain the esoteric element, despite this public character, will be ensured by Paragraph 5 and subsequent Paragraphs.

May I ask once more who would like to speak to Paragraph 4 of the Statutes? There seems to be nobody. So will those friends who are in favour of adopting Paragraph 4 please raise their hands. (They do.) Who is in favour of rejecting Paragraph 4? (No hands are raised.) Paragraph 4 is adopted at the second reading.

Would Herr Wachsmuth please read Paragraph 5 of the Statutes.

Paragraph 5 is read out:

‘5. The Anthroposophical Society sees the School of Spiritual Science in Dornach as a centre for its activity. The School will be composed of three Classes. Members of the Society will be admitted to the School on their own application after a period of membership to be determined by the leadership at the Goetheanum. They enter in this way the First Class of the School of Spiritual Science. Admission to the Second or Third Class takes place when the person requesting this is deemed eligible by the leadership at the Goetheanum.’

DR STEINER: Now, my dear friends, the purpose of this Paragraph is to enable the soul which naturally belongs to the Anthroposophical Society and which can be given to it in the Goetheanum at Dornach, to be given to it indeed in the near future. This Paragraph of the Statutes is intended to make members, or those who still want to become members, conscious of the fact that in the Goetheanum we are given the soul of the Anthroposophical Movement. This will make it possible for the esoteric impulses that ought to be given to the Anthroposophical Society to actually be given to it. We shall make progress if you endeavour to penetrate to the spirit of this fifth Paragraph.

I would only like to say a few things about how I see the constitution of the School of Spiritual Science in Dornach, at the Goetheanum, in the future. Those who have sojourned and worked within the Anthroposophical Society for some time have had the opportunity of realizing quite well that in the matter of advancing in the schooling by stages it will more and more be a question not merely of intellectual capacities, least of all the type of intellectual and empirical schooling customary in the outside world except where absolutely necessary in respect of specialist knowledge. An important role will have to be played by the capacities that lie in the feelings and in those of direct perception of the esoteric and the occult, and by moral qualities and so on. The fundamental feature of what will be at work with regard to the three Classes, which are built on the foundation of the Anthroposophical Society, which in its turn is entirely public — this fundamental feature in the working of the three Classes will be, of course, the spiritual-scientific content. But for this very reason it will be necessary for us to present the working of the School of Spiritual Science before the world in a way that shows how it can inspire the various realms of civilization, of knowledge, of art and so on. Here, too, from the start, we must not allow ourselves to think along any given lines. What is meant by thinking along a given line? To think along a given line would be to say: The School of Spiritual Science must be divided up in accordance with a concept or an idea such as a logical division into the first Section, the second Section, the third, the fourth, the fifth Section and so on. This can be nicely thought out. [ See Facsimile 5, Page XVIII top. ]

SCHOOL OF SPIRITUAL SCIENCE
Figure 2

What is usually the consequence of such a way of thinking? It is a structure that lies in the realm of Cloud-cuckoo-land. And on top of that, this structure has to be administered! So then you start hunting for suitable people, you look around all over the place for people who have to fit into the first, the second, the third Section, and finally they are somehow juggled in by means of some sort of election or something. Usually what then becomes apparent is that they settle as though into a chrysalis in their particular department in the scheme; they creep into their chrysalis, but no butterfly emerges. So let us not proceed in an abstract way. Let us start by taking the activities that are already going on and put together the Sections out of the existing facts. Let us take what is already there. You see, dear friends, the management of what has to be administered, including what has to be administered in the highest spiritual sense in the different realms, cannot be carried out by just anybody who might be called and who might not even live here permanently. Is it not so that if more is to be done than merely talking about work, if the work itself is actually to be done with full responsibility, then firstly each one doing the work must be constantly available for all the others, and secondly the leadership as a whole must be accessible at any time to those who are responsible. That is why simply out of spiritual empiricism I thought that the School of Spiritual Science at the Goetheanum in Dornach should be led by me with regard to all esoteric matters and that I should be supported in this leadership by those people who have shared spiritually in the work of bringing about the building of the Anthroposophical Movement.

What I am now going to say therefore arises naturally out of the situation in Dornach at the moment. First of all it will fall to me to maintain an overall view and to administer the School as a whole, while also taking on the leadership of the general anthroposophical and pedagogical aspects.

I would carry out the leadership of the other aspects by placing at the head of the different Sections those persons who are in a position, from what has gone before, to run a particular branch of the work of the Anthroposophical Movement.

Out of this there would arise: Firstly — I have mentioned it already — what in France is called ‘belles-lettres.’ I don't know whether the expression is still used. No? What a pity! In Germany they spoke of ‘schöne Wissenschaften’ up to the nineteenth century, and then the term lapsed. The ‘beautiful sciences’, sciences which brought beauty into human knowledge, aesthetics, art. How typical that even in France the expression ‘belles-lettres’ is no longer used!

SOMEONE CALLS OUT: ‘Académie des lettres!’

Yes, but the ‘belles’ has been left out! And it is just this aspect with which I am concerned. We have plenty of sciences, but where are the ‘beautiful sciences’? I don't know what those of you gathered here, especially the younger members, intent on science, think about the matter, but here in Dornach we link up not only with more recent times but also with most ancient past times. Therefore we may, and indeed must, create a Section for the field that in France used to be called ‘belles-lettres’ and in Germany is called ‘schöne Wissenschaften.’ Perhaps we shall have to give it a less unaccustomed name for the world at large, but so far I haven't found one. And once again I have to say that it is perfectly obvious that there is a person here who could not be more suitable as the leader of this Section, and that is our dear friend Albert Steffen who will most certainly do nothing in this realm which is not most eminently suited to the spiritual-scientific Movement as it is intended to take its start here from Dornach. (Lively applause.)

Then there is the realm of the spoken arts together with music and eurythmy. Once again there is a person on whom the choice falls quite naturally, so there is no need for me to say a great deal. My leadership of this realm will be through Frau Dr Steiner as the Section Leader. (Lively applause.)

Another department to be created here is a Section for the natural sciences themselves. You know that our attitude to the natural sciences is such that we seek in them something extremely profound and that it is most urgent for us to metamorphose the way they are treated nowadays into something quite different. You will see from a work of literature which is almost ready at the printer that our dear friend, Dr Guenther Wachsmuth, has devoted himself enthusiastically to this metamorphosis of natural science. Therefore we shall most fruitfully be able to entrust the department for the natural sciences to Dr Guenther Wachsmuth. (Applause.)

In connection with this will be a department which must be cultivated especially carefully because always in times when true spiritual knowledge has been striven for its field has been not so much a chapter of spiritual science as rather something quite organically linked with spiritual science. It is impossible to imagine that in olden times the spiritual vision, the spiritual knowledge given to mankind could have been separated in any way from the medical element. It will be seen in the work which Frau Dr Wegman has been doing with me here, which is soon to be made public, how not only a synthesis but an organic development can arise for a true anthroposophical view of the world. Once more, therefore, it is as a matter of course that the administration of the medical department, the Medical Section, should be conducted through me with the help of the Section Leader Frau Dr Wegman. (Applause.)

Now my dear friends, if you call to mind the old Goetheanum, and if you call to mind the beautiful words spoken about it today by our friend Herr Stuten in his excellent lecture, then you will see that the sculptural or plastic arts, too, have played a great role here. They will have to go on playing this role in future, so we shall certainly need a Section for the Sculptural Arts. You know that for years Miss Maryon has been at my side in carrying out the sculptural arts for the Goetheanum. Most unfortunately she is unable to take part in this gathering as she is suffering from a long illness which has prevented her even from stepping over here to take part. But I hope that after a while, when she is well again, she will be able to devote herself to the work of which I am now speaking. I shall carry out all that needs to be done here by way of sculpture and in the realm of the sculptural arts through the leader of this Section, Miss Maryon. (Applause.)

And there is another person who has marked out her territory in the world so clearly that whenever advice or help is needed in the realm of mathematics and astronomy it comes from her. You, and especially those resident in Dornach, can see from the content of my most recent lectures, including those given here before the last cycle, how necessary it is, especially in the field of astronomy, to go back to the more ancient conceptions. If you consider a small note in my memoires which are now appearing in Das Goetheanum — just at the beginning of the article coming out this evening [ Note 52 ] — you will see how very profound are the reasons for the motto over Plato's Academy: ‘God geometrizes’. And indeed it is only possible to penetrate Platonic instruction — I am speaking of Platonic instruction and not spiritual-scientific instruction — by means of mathematics. Everything which needs to be put straight in this field must be put straight. And I believe that you will be as enthusiastic as you were in the other cases when I tell you that in the future I shall let this area be tended through Fräulein Dr Vreede as the Section Leader. (Applause.)

My dear friends! If I had divided up these Sections according to ideas, no doubt there would have been others too, but the people would have been lacking here in Dornach who could have seen to what was necessary in accordance with all the fundamental conditions. You may believe me that whereas the Statutes are the fruit of four weeks' consideration, the announcements I have just made are based on the experience of years. So this is how things will have to stand.

Later on, when we come to include the Vorstand in the Statutes, I shall speak on this final point of the Statutes and tell you how I see the relationship between the Collegium of Section Leaders, who administer the School, and the Vorstand, which bears the initiative for the leadership of the Anthroposophical Society.

Now would anyone wishing to speak to Paragraph 5 of the Statutes please do so. (Nobody does.) Mr Collison's words appear to be having a remarkably muting effect!

HERR INGERÖ: Respected friends! Just a brief question: In Paragraph 5 does the statement ‘a period of membership determined by the leadership at the Goetheanum’ refer to an individual period or will it be general?

DR STEINER: It will be entirely individual. You must consider how it will arise. Of your own free will you become a member of the Anthroposophical Society, or you are one already and have been for some time. For most of you sitting here the conditions are already fulfilled. But it also says here ‘on their own application’. This means that you express your will to become a member of the School. And then the leadership of the Goetheanum decides whether this is possible at the present moment or not until some future moment. This is how this matter will be dealt with in practice.

Would anyone else like to speak to Paragraph 5? If not, will those who wish to adopt Paragraph 5 please raise their hands. (They do.) Will those who do not wish to accept it please raise their hands. (Nobody does.) Paragraph 5 is herewith adopted at the second reading.

Please would you now read Paragraph 6.

Dr Wachsmuth reads Paragraph 6 of the Statutes:

‘6.    Every member of the Anthroposophical Society has the right to attend all lectures, performances and meetings arranged by the Society, under conditions to be announced by the Vorstand.’

DR STEINER: My dear friends! You may perhaps be brought up short by the clause: ‘under conditions to be announced by the Vorstand.’ I considered it for a long time. I said to myself that the most natural formulation for this sentence would be: ‘Every member of the Anthroposophical Society has the right to attend all lectures, performances and meetings arranged by the Society.’ It could indeed have been left like this. But then in principle we should have been unable to do what unfortunately we do have to do. We would not, for example, have been able to fix the price of tickets for the different events. This is the kind of conditions meant. In fact the thought uppermost in my mind was the price of tickets. It is dreadful, is it not, to have this thought uppermost in one's mind. But it cannot be avoided. For just as human beings cannot live on air alone, so is it also not possible to exist with the Anthroposophical Movement if our idealism does not occasionally reach for our wallet. Other similar conditions might also arise. But I cannot help finding it necessary to lay down in this Paragraph this matter of conditions of entry which refer to the public aspect of the Society. Does anyone wish to speak to Paragraph 6? (Nobody does.) Mr Collison really is a magician! Does anyone want to speak to Paragraph 6? If not, will those dear friends who are in favour of adopting Paragraph 6 at the second reading please raise their hands. (They do.)

Will those friends who do not wish to do so raise their hands. (Nobody does.) Paragraph 6 is adopted at the second reading. (Applause.)

Will Dr Wachsmuth now please read Paragraph 7.

Paragraph 7 is read:

‘7. The organizing of the School of Spiritual Science is, to begin with, the responsibility of Rudolf Steiner, who will appoint his collaborators and his possible successor.’

DR STEINER: I have just been telling you how I see the leadership of the School. And I have nothing more in particular to say to this Paragraph. Will those respected friends who wish to speak to this Paragraph please do so. Does anyone want to speak to Paragraph 7? It seems not. So will those friends who wish to adopt Paragraph 7 at the second reading please raise their hands. (They do.) Will those who do not wish to adopt it please raise their hands. (Nobody does.) Paragraph 7 is adopted at the second reading.

Now will Dr Wachsmuth please read Paragraph 8.

Paragraph 8 is read:

‘8.    All publications of the Society shall be public, in the same sense as are those of other public societies. The publications of the School of Spiritual Science will form no exception as regards this public character; however, the leadership of the School reserves the right to deny in advance the validity of any judgment on these publications which is not based on the same training from which they have been derived. Consequently they will regard as justified no judgment which is not based on an appropriate preliminary training, as is also the common practice in the recognized scientific world. Thus the publications of the School of Spiritual Science will bear the following note: “Printed as manuscript for members of the School of Spiritual Science, Goetheanum, ... Class. No one is considered competent to judge the content, who has not acquired — through the School itself or in a manner recognized by the School as equivalent — the requisite preliminary knowledge. Other opinions will be disregarded, to the extent that the authors of such works will not enter into a discussion about them.” ’

DR STEINER: My dear friends! With this I have attempted to put into practice something about which I have been thinking — if you would like to know a definite point in time — since the year 1913 before the laying of the foundation stone of the Gaetheanum. We must be clear about the fact that it is quite likely that a movement such as the Anthroposophical Movement will create a society to be its bearer which in some form smacks of sectarianism. You cannot really blame such people who take part in a society of that kind, for you know how great a tendency towards sectarianism coming from ancient atavistic impulses people still carry within them. Often they do not realize it, but people do bear sectarian impulses within themselves. Thus it has come about that amid what I might call the somewhat tumultuous arrangements for the printing of the cycles something has entered the Society, with regard to the way these matters are dealt with, which does make a sectarian impression. For it is incomprehensible to people in their modern consciousness that it is possible to print a number of copies of something, a number exceeding one hundred, and then to want to hide it within some sort of community. You just can't do this. In some fields it would indeed be fruitful to hide certain things, but it is not carried out. In the year 1888 I once spoke with the well-known philosopher, Eduard von Hartmann, [ Note 53 ] whose field concerned the unconscious, about how few people there are who read books about the theory of knowledge, even though 500 and even sometimes 1000 copies are printed. Eduard von Hartmann said that one ought to disseminate not more than 60-70 copies, for there were only 60-70 people who could really understand the theory of knowledge. I am referring to the theory of knowledge which Eduard von Hartmann was just preparing. I believe, though, that in my own little book on the theory of knowledge, The Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethes World Conception [ Note 54 ] — it has just appeared in a new edition — that I have contributed something in this field which everybody can read. However, I do believe that it is not possible to carry out the principle of keeping something secret once it has been put into print. In practice it has proved impossible. After all, we now have a situation in which our enemies are far more quick to speak in public about a new publication than are the anthroposophists themselves. Facts such as these have to be taken into account. We can only make progress with our great aims if on the other hand we take into account this spirit of the age. This spirit of the age cannot tolerate external secrets, but it can quite well tolerate internal secrets. For the really esoteric anthroposophical writings will still remain a very, very great secret for people for a long time to come. And externally we do not need to keep things physically secret if we can keep them private morally by working towards a recognition on the part of the world at large that, as with any other field of knowledge, there are boundaries between experts and non-experts. In dealing with the non-experts it must always be possible for us to point out that their judgment is comparable to the judgment of a peasant on differential calculus. If we work on this basis, we shall after a while — not straight away — succeed in solving the matter of the cycles in appropriate fashion. As I said, I have been thinking about this question for ten years and now a solution had to be found. This moral solution is the only one I can think of. After ‘All publications of the Society shall be public, in the same sense as are those of other public societies’ I want to add ‘The conditions under which one acquires a spiritual training have also been made public, and they shall continue to be presented publicly’. This is to be added in the form of a note in order to avoid the misunderstanding that was pointed out yesterday. I must of course reserve the possibility of perhaps improving the style of the imprint that is to go in the publications. Perhaps after ‘Printed as manuscript for members of the School of Spiritual Science, Goetheanum, ...’ should be added ‘but fully available to everyone’ or something like that. We shall see. It will have to be finalized very soon because the stamp to be used on the cycles that have already been printed, or are about to be printed, will have to be made up so that we can put the whole thing into practice as soon as possible once we have brought the Anthroposophical Society into being through our Conference here. Now, may I ask who would like to speak to Paragraph 8?

DR BÜCHENBACHER: Instead of ‘erkannt’ in the penultimate sentence, should it not say ‘anerkannt’?

DR STEINER: Yes, of course. It's a printer's error. [ See footnote A]

DR BÜCHENBACHER: May I ask whether the cycles which have already been in the possession of members for years are to be treated as publications of the School of Spiritual Science?

DR STEINER: All the cycles. In confronting the consciousness of our time we can do no other than make these measures applicable to all the cycles. This matter will mean that there will have to be a certain amount of piety among members, too. It is not a suggestion that they should sell off the cycles in their possession as quickly as possible to a second-hand bookseller.

FRÄULEIN SIMON: Does this also apply to all the publications similar to the cycles? Will they also have this note imprinted or stamped in them?

DR STEINER: On the whole it will apply only to the cycles and those publications which are equal to the cycles.

HERR WERBECK: What about the national economy course given here? Does that count as a cycle?

DR STEINER: The matter is somewhat different regarding the few works which have not actually been published by me or by the anthroposophical publishing company but which a particular circle has been given permission to print. In one way I am quite grateful to you for giving me the opportunity to speak about this rather vexed question. In the case of these papers it should be a matter of course that they are only to be used by those who have been permitted to do so. This national economy course is one, and the medical course is another, and so on. If they were to be published more widely, the author's rights would have to be returned to me. If we were planning to transform these papers into the form given to the cycles bearing this note, they would have to be returned to me, and they could only be brought out by the Philosophisch-Anthroposophischer Verlag as cycles published bearing this note. The customary author's rights would have to be considered in such a case. Does anyone else wish to speak to this Paragraph?

DR KOLISKO: Regarding what Dr Steiner has just said I should like to say the following: I would be very happy to give the specialist courses, the three scientific courses which Dr Steiner gave in Stuttgart, and also the medical course, back to the Philosophisch-Anthroposophischer Verlag because I am convinced that it would be better if all these publications were to be brought out by the School of Spiritual Science if Dr Steiner has this in mind. This is what I wanted to say about this vexed question.

DR STEINER: Does anyone else wish to speak to Paragraph 8?

HERR LEINHAS: It says here ‘the authors of such works will not enter into a discussion about them’. Does this mean that the intention is that members of the School belonging to a particular Class shall not enter into a discussion with others?

DR STEINER: Yes, of course.

HERR GOYERT: I want to ask whether it is intended that the note to be put in the cycles is also to be put in the copies that are already in the possession of members?

DR STEINER: In the Supplement to Das Goetheanum we shall appeal to members who possess such copies to write this note in their copies themselves. And as regards the copies still in stock, they will all have the note stamped in them. Every cycle, regardless of whether it came into being in the past or is yet to come into being in the future, will bear this note.

DR PEIPERS: Would it not be desirable, in order to avoid misunderstandings, to state in a note that the specialist scientific courses are included among the publications?

DR STEINER: What kind of misunderstanding is likely to arise? You cannot include something ephemeral in a statute. I mean it is impossible to say in a statute: ‘To avoid a misunderstanding’— about something that is obvious, and then expect it to refer, let us say for example, to the medical course. It is obvious that the medical course was given subject to certain conditions. And if it was given subject to these conditions, then, should it be published, it will be returned to me. I find this a matter of course. We should have to include an awful lot in the Statutes that does not belong there if we were to mention all kinds of things which are customary. I do not think this sort of thing belongs in the Statutes.

MR KAUFMANN: In future are we to advise new members to read the cycles even though they do not yet belong to the corresponding Class of the School?

DR STEINER: This is an entirely individual and personal matter. It is of course not possible to issue directives about it. There will be new members to whom it will be quite suitable to recommend the reading of the cycles, since they will be publicly available, and there will be others for whom this advice will not be suitable; the latter will then either abide by the advice or they will read them anyway. I think it is extremely difficult to give directives about this, and I have had some strange experiences in this connection. For instance I made the acquaintance of a branch [ Note 55 ] which even went to the extent of advising its members whether or not they should read this book or that book. Some people who were already members were not even allowed to read my book Theosophy because it was thought to be unsuitable for them. Well, it was up to these members themselves whether they found the leader of this group to be such an authority that they were prepared to stand to attention even in their souls! Or else they did not. You cannot issue generalized directives.

MADEMOISELLE SAUERWEIN: Will the cycles be published in the accustomed form or will they then be available from bookshops?

DR STEINER: The cycles will be published by the Philosophisch-Anthroposophischer Verlag, but the route by which they make their way to those who possess copies will of course depend on those people themselves. If they want to order them by some means through the book trade — we shall of course not offer terms for them, as the expression goes — if someone wants to order a cycle from a bookseller, we shall have no objection to fulfilling the order. That is quite customary.

FRAU MUNTZ: If outsiders ask us to give them a cycle, should we do so?

DR STEINER: This has hitherto gone on to such an extent that I would not know how it could be prevented. Only by strictly emphasising the public nature of everything can we get beyond what smacks of sectarianism. Is there anyone else who would like to speak to Paragraph 8 of the Statutes? If not, then I shall now put this Paragraph to the vote. Will those friends who are in favour of adopting Paragraph 8 at the second reading please raise their hands. (They do.) Now will those friends who are against it please raise their hands. (Nobody does.) Paragraph 8 has been adopted at the second reading.

Would Dr Wachsmuth now please read Paragraph 9.

Paragraph 9 is read out:

‘9.    The purpose of the Anthroposophical Society will be the furtherance of spiritual research; that of the School of Spiritual Science will be this research itself. A dogmatic stand in any field whatsoever is to be excluded from the Anthroposophical Society.’

DR STEINER: It seems to me that the content of this Paragraph is easily understood. I would only like to point out that it is not a repetition of what has been said in earlier Paragraphs but that it is necessary because it states the purpose of the Anthroposophical Society, namely the furtherance of spiritual research, that is in so far as it is cultivated at the School of Spiritual Science in Dornach. And it has to be stressed that anything dogmatic is excluded from the administration of the Anthroposophical Society.

Does anyone wish to speak to this Paragraph 9? If not, will those friends who wish to adopt Paragraph 9 at the second reading please raise their hands. (They do.) Now will those friends who are against it raise their hands. (Nobody does.) Paragraph 9 is thus adopted at the second reading.

Now we come to Paragraph 10. Will Dr Wachsmuth please read out Paragraph 10.

Paragraph 10 is read out:

‘10.    The Anthroposophical Society shall hold a regular General Meeting at the beginning of the year at the Goetheanum, at which time the Vorstand shall present a full report with accounting. The agenda for this meeting shall be communicated by the Vorstand to all members, together with the invitation, three weeks before the meeting. The Vorstand may call special meetings and fix the agenda for them. Invitations to such meetings shall be sent to members three weeks in advance. Motions proposed by individual members or groups of members shall be submitted one week before the General Meeting.’

DR STEINER: Does anyone wish to speak to this Paragraph 10? My endeavour has been to say as much as is necessary in the Statutes.

HERR HOHLENBERG: I would like to ask whether this General Meeting has to take place at the beginning of the year or whether another time can be chosen?

DR STEINER: I am not capriciously attached to the beginning of the year if it is enough for you not to have the guarantee of being able to count on a particular time so that the meeting might sometimes be in January and sometimes in December. Would this suffice? We do not want to arrange any of these things in an abstract way and we will try to put out our feelers here and there. If you think it is enough, we can say: ‘The Anthroposophical Society shall hold a regular General Meeting each year at the Goetheanum.’ I only included it because I thought that not stating the time of the meeting would meet with contradiction.

DR KOLISKO: I am in favour of leaving it in.

DR STEINER: Why?

DR KOLISKO: Because after having had many conversations I have come to realize that very many friends attach great value to the meeting taking place at Christmas time when this Christmas Conference itself is taking place.

DR STEINER: Perhaps it would be better to state it as a general wish without including it in the Statutes. Such things can be arranged in a different way.

When we have finished the discussion on the Statutes I shall be announcing to you that the Vorstand — I hope it will still be possible during this Conference — will be presenting you with By-Laws as well. These will include a number of subsidiary points which do not belong in the Statutes. The Statutes should be composed in a way that makes it possible for anybody to read them in about a quarter of an hour, with five minutes to spare in which to think about them. So I am eager to make these Statutes as brief as possible. They must be so short that there is no room in them for any special points. So I think it will be quite alright to leave this out. Does anyone else wish to speak?

HERR DONNER: In connection with this point it would be good to consider whether the national Societies should hold their General Meetings first, before the General Meeting of the General Anthroposophical Society. Would it be practical for this to be done every time?

DR STEINER: It would indeed be quite practical if it could become customary for the national Societies to hold their meetings first, in which they would nominate their delegates for the meeting here, after which they would hold another meeting to report on what had gone on here. This would perhaps be the best custom if it comes about.

MRS MERRY: I do not think three weeks are enough for the invitation.

DR STEINER: Very well, let us say six weeks. I have already said in the Vorstand that it could be six weeks. There is also another sentence to be added. The sentence I want to add here is: ‘A certain number of members, to be determined from time to time in the By-Laws, has the right to request a special General Meeting at any time.’ The possibility for this must also be left open.

HERR LEINHAS: I only want to recommend that the time for calling a special meeting should remain at three weeks; for the General Meeting itself six weeks, for the special meeting a shorter period.

DR STEINER: Very well. Three weeks can be made to suffice for the special meeting. Would anyone else like to speak to Paragraph 10? It seems not. So may I ask those friends who are in favour of adopting Paragraph 10 to raise their hands. (They do.) Please will those who are against it raise their hands. (Nobody does.) Paragraph 10 is adopted.

Will Dr Wachsmuth please read Paragraph 11.

Paragraph 11 is read out:

‘11.    Members may join together in smaller or larger groups on any basis of locality or subject. The headquarters of the Anthroposophical Society is at the Goetheanum. From there the Vorstand shall bring to the attention of the members or groups of members what it considers to be the task of the Society. The Vorstand communicates with officials elected or appointed by the various groups. Admission of members will be the concern of the individual groups; the certificate of membership shall, however, be placed before the Vorstand in Dornach, and shall be signed by them out of their confidence in the officials of the groups. In general, every member should join a group. Only those for whom it is quite impossible to find entry to a group should apply directly to Dornach for membership.’

DR STEINER: Does anyone wish to speak on this point? Naturally this point in particular can be explained further in the By-Laws. What is included here need not be said in general. This Paragraph shows how admissions are to be handled and everything else is a matter of general custom, which there is indeed no harm in changing from time to time.

Does anyone wish to speak to Paragraph 11? Seemingly not. So may I ask those friends who are in favour of adopting Paragraph 11 to raise their hands. (They do.) Now will those friends who are in favour of rejecting Paragraph 11 raise their hands. (Nobody does.) Paragraph 11 is thus adopted at the second reading.

Would Dr Wachsmuth now please read Paragraph 12.

Paragraph 12 is read out:

‘12.  Membership dues shall be fixed by the individual groups; each group shall, however, submit ... for each of its members to the central leadership of the Society at the Goetheanum.’

DR STEINER: I would now ask you for the moment not to discuss the amount to be inserted here. It will be considered to start with after the Vorstand has made suggestions at the meeting of the General Secretaries tomorrow morning at 8.30. What the General Secretaries consider to be possible and necessary can then be reported at the subsequent meeting of members. I would ask you to accept this Paragraph in its overall sense. Does anyone wish to speak? If not, will those friends who accept Paragraph 12 in this sense please raise their hands. (They do.) Will those friends who wish to reject Paragraph 12 raise their hands. (Nobody does.) Paragraph 12 is adopted at the second reading.

Would Dr Wachsmuth now read Paragraph 13.

Paragraph 13 is read out:

‘13.  Each working group formulates its own statutes, but these must not be incompatible with the Statutes of the Anthroposophical Society.’

DR STEINER: Does anyone wish to speak to Paragraph 13? — I think it is as obvious as anything could be. May I then ask those friends who adopt Paragraph 13 to raise their hands. (They do.) Will those friends who wish to reject Paragraph 13 raise their hands. (Nobody does.) Paragraph 13 is adopted at the second reading.

Would Dr Wachsmuth now read Paragraph 14.

Paragraph 14 is read out:

‘14.    The organ of the Society is Das Goetheanum, which for this purpose is provided with a Supplement containing the official communications of the Society. This enlarged edition of Das Goetheanum will be supplied to members of the Anthroposophical Society only.’

DR STEINER: I have already spoken about this Paragraph 14 and would now ask those friends who wish to speak to it to do so. Does anyone wish to speak to Paragraph 14?

QUESTION: Will Das Goetheanum be available from Switzerland only?

DR STEINER: We will adopt as a custom whatever will be most practical in the circumstances. An arrangement has already been made with the German section, in whose case it will be distributed from Stuttgart. Obviously we shall do whatever is most practical in any given circumstances.

A SPEAKER: To make things quite clear it ought to say: ‘The organ of the Society is the weekly Das Goetheanum’.

DR STEINER: The weekly. Very well. Does anyone else wish to speak?

HERR GOYERT: If the weekly is changed into a different kind of journal, then this will no longer be correct.

DR STEINER: Let us hope that this will not be the case. Perhaps it will be quite a good thing if we have a means of keeping the weekly journal as it is, and not changing it. Does anyone else wish to speak? If not, will those friends who are in favour of adopting Paragraph 14 please raise their hands. (They do.) Please would those not in favour raise their hands. (Nobody does.) Paragraph 14 is adopted at the second reading.

Now we have to add a fifteenth Paragraph:

‘At the Foundation Meeting at Christmas 1923 the constitution of the Founding Vorstand will be:

Rudolf Steiner as President
Albert Steffen as Vice-president
Frau Dr Wegman as Recording Secretary
Dr Guenther Wachsmuth as Secretary and Treasurer
Frau Dr Steiner as a member
Fräulein Dr Vreede as a member.’

Now I still want to mention that this is to be the Vorstand responsible for the Society but that for all matters pertaining to the leadership of the soul of the Anthroposophical Society, namely the School of Spiritual Science at the Goetheanum, the relevant meetings and consultations shall also be attended by those Section Leaders who are not members of the Vorstand. At the moment all the Section Leaders except one are also members of the Vorstand. Does anybody wish to speak to this point? It says: The total Vorstand is ‘formed’, which is an indication of the fact that it is neither elected nor nominated but that it is a self-evident Vorstand which is designated as a result of the reasons which have been given; it is a Vorstand designated by the facts themselves and receives the ground on which it stands at this Foundation Meeting.

QUESTION: Is it not possible for there to be an accumulation of offices?

DR STEINER: I expressly said yesterday that it will be incompatible for members of the Vorstand to hold other offices in the Anthroposophical Society. For example it is not desirable for one of the members of the Vorstand to be the General Secretary of some group, or for instance the leader of a branch or something similar. Then he can devote himself exclusively to his task. But for the leadership of the School it is naturally necessary to call those who are most suitable. And the leadership of the School is likely for the most part to consist of members of the Vorstand. Therefore in this instance there is an accumulation of offices whereby the Section Leaders will be advisory members of the Vorstand. Does anybody else wish to speak to Paragraph 15? No. Then I would now ask you to give your consent, not by voting in the sense of the votes conducted for the other Paragraphs but with the feeling that you acknowledge the justification of this fundamental manner of leadership of a true Anthroposophical Society. I would ask you to give your agreement that this Vorstand be constituted for the leadership of the Anthroposophical Society. (Long applause.)

DR STEINER: My dear friends, I believe I speak also on behalf of those who stand here beside me, the members of the Vorstand who are not unprepared but more than enough prepared, when I express the most cordial gratitude for your consent and when I give the promise that the leadership of the Anthroposophical Society will be conducted in the sense of its spiritual foundations and conditions.

We are now coming to the end of our meeting. Having completed the second reading, we now come to the adoption of the Statutes as a whole in the third reading. May I now ask, after the discussion of the individual Paragraphs in the detailed debate, whether anybody would like to speak once more about the Statutes as a whole? I only wish to say that I would like to add the following historical note, which was asked for yesterday, after Paragraph 2: ‘The Anthroposophical Society is in continuity with the Society founded in 1912. It would like, however, to create an independent point of departure, in keeping with the true spirit of the present time, for the objectives established at that time.’

This is the note with which we can add what was said on this point yesterday. Now, would anyone still like to speak about the Statutes as a whole? If this is not the case, may I ask those respected friends who are in favour of adopting the Statutes at the third reading to raise their hands. (They do.) Will those who are not in favour please make this known by raising their hands. (Nobody does.)

My respected friends, the Statutes of the Anthroposophical Society are adopted herewith. We shall once again continue with this meeting of members tomorrow morning after Herr Werbeck's lecture. Would you please remain seated for a few more seconds as I have some announcements to make.

Firstly: The next gathering today will be for the eurythmy performance at 4.30 this afternoon. The programme will be entirely new. Secondly: The General Secretaries are requested to meet at 8.30 on Saturday morning, as they did last Tuesday at 2.30, down in the Glass House. I would also request the representatives of the various Swiss branches to be present, as the question already mentioned about the Swiss Anthroposophical Society will be discussed to start with in this smaller circle.

Further: Unfortunately the meeting of members of the school associations for free education in Switzerland cannot take place here in the hall because it is needed for eurythmy rehearsals. There is therefore no room large enough for all the members to participate as listeners at this meeting. The meeting Will take place this afternoon down in the Glass House and in consequence I unfortunately have to ask for the attendance only of the members of the Swiss school association itself and of those friends from non-German speaking countries, that is America, England, France, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Holland and so on. Alas, the baby has to be chopped in half somewhere, and so, to start with for today's meeting, I would ask those from countries with really weak currencies not to attend. That means all the German members and also, if they cannot find any room, the members from Austria.

Also: It has been drawn to my attention — we never seem to get away from these things — that people should be more careful about what they say on the street, in the tram, or wherever they are staying. It is quite a good thing not to irritate other people by saying all sorts of peculiar things. This is all I am able to say just now. Other things can be said when the Vorstand presents you with some By-Laws. They can be said tomorrow in the members' meeting.

At 4.30 this afternoon is the eurythmy performance. This evening at 8.30 will be my lecture. It will be necessary to have the lecture at 8.30 every evening. And tomorrow morning at 8.30 is the meeting I have announced for the General Secretaries and the members of the Swiss councils. Then at 10 o'clock Herr Werbeck's lecture on the opposition to Anthroposophy, and after a short interval the continuation of this meeting.

 


Translator's Notes:

A. The difference has no bearing on the translation of this sentence into English.(Tr.)





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