25 May 1924
TO ALL MEMBERS • XIV
What is the Tone which should prevail in the Group Meetings?
By learning to observe a
man in the way spoken of in our last number, the presence and effect
of soul and spirit within the physical and etheric being of man will
be recognised as a fact. When it has become clear that what the
senses perceive of man is a picture, it will readily be understood
that something more is at work within the picture than is contained
in the material substance of it. Recognising man as a ‘picture’,
we shall approach him with quite a different attitude of soul than we
would if we considered only his material nature and constitution.
is an awakening force in this attitude of soul and feeling. Through a
vivid realisation of this difference of feeling within himself, a man
becomes aware that soul-forces are awakened which in ordinary life
are slumbering. Much depends upon whether a man, in the very
reception of Anthroposophy, already perceives that other powers of
cognition are slumbering in the human soul than those of which he was
conscious before coming into Anthroposophy.
he knows that he has a picture before him, he fixes his mind on what
is not perceptible to the senses. The result is that, as in the life
of external perception he is affected by what is perceptible to the
senses, so now he is affected by something which is not perceptible
to the senses.
members of the Anthroposophical Society who give lectures at the
Group Meetings become attentive to such things as these,
anthroposophical teaching will acquire a really anthroposophical
tone, called forth by the real facts, will be the chief means of
producing the spirit which ought to prevail in the Group Meetings.
Those who take part will then feel that Anthroposophy does not merely
contain theoretical communications about the spiritual worlds, but
that it is in itself something vigorous and real which leads to the
experience of the spiritual.
is for the active members to think out in every positive way how this
experience of the spiritual life can be attained in the
only by this means can those who take up Anthroposophy without
themselves being capable of direct spiritual investigations, be
helped to overcome the feeling that they are only allowing themselves
to be told theoretically what others, more advanced, can experience.
If communications about what is experienced in the spiritual world
are given in the right way, those who listen are able to share in
in the Group Meetings there is this spirit of sharing in spiritual
experiences then everything built up on an unjustifiable feeling of
authority will be dispelled. The opponents of Anthroposophy
continually contend that anthroposophists profess obedience to
authority in what is imparted to them. If in the Anthroposophical
Society the right spirit were maintained, this contention would lose
its meaning: for those who come to our meetings would not get the
impression that a thing is so merely because someone has said it.
They would learn the fact that consent is not enforced in one's own
soul but that it arises from the experience itself.
one meets a well-disposed person, one does not get an insight into
his character because of some authority, but because the soul feels
immediately influenced by his kindly disposition. So too one can
become aware of the truth of Anthroposophy by the way in which
it is communicated, by perceiving its real character.
order for Anthroposophy to be able to work in this way, the leaders
of Groups should do what is necessary. They should keep alive the
spirit so noticeable at Christmas ― not by the summoning up of
feelings that things are being discussed which are mysteriously
secret; for this is not essential to the esoteric nature of an
anthroposophical meeting. Esotericism depends on the above-described
deepening in the communication of truths; in this deepening one
should see something of the impulse that the Christmas Meeting wanted
to bring into the Anthroposophical Society. The never-ceasing
intention of keeping our will alive and watchfully in tune with that
Meeting, will enable the blessings of those days to be showered more
and more on the Anthroposophical Movement.