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Preparing for the Sixth Epoch

A lecture by
Rudolf Steiner
Düsseldorf, June 15, 1915
GA 159

This lecture was given in Düsseldorf at the opening of Group II, on June 15, 1915. It was originally published in English with the title How Anthroposophical Groups Prepare for the Sixth Epoch, or Three Fundamental Characteristics of the Future Civilization of Mankind.

Lecture 13 of 15 from the volume: The Secret of Death The volume of the Complete Edition of the works of Rudolf Steiner containing the original text of the this lecture, among fifteen others, is entitled: Das Geheimnis des Todes. Wesen und Bedeutung Mitteleuropas und die europaeischen Volksgeister. (No. 159 in the Bibliographical Survey, 1961).

Copyright © 1957
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We have come here today for the opening of the group founded by our friend, Professor C. This group wishes to dedicate itself to the spiritual life of the present and future in the way that is customary in our Movement. On such an occasion it is always good to remember why we associate in groups and to ask ourselves why we found working groups and cultivate in them the spiritual treasure to which we dedicate our forces.

If this question is to be answered truly, we must realize that we make a distinction, even if only in thought, between the work we do in a group like this and our other work in the world. Those who are unwilling to enter deeply into more intimate truths connected with the spiritual progress of humanity, might ask if we could not cultivate spiritual science without forming ourselves into groups, but simply by finding lecturers and providing opportunities for people who may not know each other to come together and have access to the spiritual treasure of which we speak. We could, of course, proceed in this way. But as long as it is at all possible to establish, in the wider and narrower senses, associations of human beings who are known to one another and who come together in friendship and brotherliness within these working groups, we will continue to found them in full consciousness of the attitude of soul that is part and parcel of spiritual science. It is not without meaning that among us there are human beings who want to cultivate the more intimate side of spiritual knowledge and who sincerely intend to work together in brotherliness