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The Relation of the Movement for Religious Renewal to the Anthroposophical Movement

The Spiritual Communion of Mankind

By Rudolf Steiner

GA 219

A lecture delivered in Dornach, Switzerland, on December 30th, 1922. Authorized translation from the German of Notes unrevised by the lecturer.

Lecture 11 of 12 from the lecture series: The Relationship of the Starry World to Humans and of Humans to the Starry World, also known as: Man and the World of Stars, and The Spiritual Communion of Mankind. Published in German as: Die Verhaeltnis der Sternenwelt zum Menschen und des Menschen zur Sternenwelt. Die Geistige Kommunion des Menschheit. GA# 219.

Copyright © 1963
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The Spiritual Communion of Mankind
Published in Man and the World of the Stars 1963

Lecture IV

The Relation of the Movement for Religious Renewal to the Anthroposophical Movement.

Dornach, December 30, 1922

I HAVE often said in this place that in more ancient times in the evolution of humanity, science, art, and religion formed a harmonious unity. Anyone who is able in one way or another to gain knowledge of the nature of the ancient Mysteries knows that within these Mysteries, knowledge was sought as a revelation of the Spiritual in picture form, in the way that was possible in those times. That way can no longer be ours, although in this age we must again advance to a knowledge of the spiritual nature of the world. A pictorial knowledge of the Spiritual lay at the foundation of all ancient conceptions of the world. This knowledge came to direct expression, not merely by being communicated in words, but through forms which have gradually become those of our arts — bodily, plastic presentation in the plastic arts and presentation by means of tone and word in the arts of music and speech. But this second stage was followed by the third stage, that of the revelation of the nature of the world in religious cult or ritual, a revelation through which the whole man felt himself uplifted to the divine-spiritual ground of the world, not merely in thought, nor merely in feeling as happens through art, but in such a way that thoughts, feelings and also the inmost impulses of the will surrendered themselves in reverent devotion to this divine-spiritual principle. And the sacred acts and rites were the means whereby the external actions of man’s will were to be filled with spirit. Men felt the living unity in science (as it was then conceived), art, and religion. The ideal of the spiritual life of the present day must be, once more to gain knowledge that can bring to realization what Goethe already divined: a knowledge that raises itself to art, not symbolical or allegorical art, but true art — which means creative, formative activity in tones and in words — an art which also deepens into direct religious experience.

Only when anthroposophical Spiritual Science is seen to contain this impulse within it, is its true being understood. Obviously humanity will have to take many steps in spiritual development before such an ideal can be realized. But it is just the patient devotion to the takin