1 June 1924
TO ALL MEMBERS • XV
Something more about the Tone which is necessary in the Group
The study of
Anthroposophy ought not to lead to a depreciation of external life.
True, in the case of many people it is the hard blows of fate, or a
perception of the contradictions of external life, which lead them to
a deepening of feeling and incline them to a spiritual understanding
as the physical nature of man has need of sleep if, when awake, he is
to be fit for life, so too, in order that he may stand rightly in the
spiritual world, it is necessary that he should take an interest in
physical experience if he is to develop firmness and assurance of
soul. For the filling of man's inner being with spiritual knowledge
means an awakening out of the life of sense-reality, and out of the
impulses with which this reality animates the will.
of us who are working actively in the Anthroposophical Society should
always bear this in mind. To those who seek to apprehend the inner by
under-valuing the outer life, we should indeed give of the inner life
in fullest measure. But it is necessary that at the same time they
should learn to value the outer life and to be efficient in the
fulfillment of its claims.
should always be a matter for reflection that human life on earth,
looked at from the standpoint of the whole range of human existence
in its passage through births and deaths, has its own significance.
During earth-life the human spirit is embodied in the material.
is given up to an existence in matter. In no form of existence within
the spiritual worlds can the spirit experience what belongs to the
material life on earth.
in the material world is, for man, that stage of existence in which
he can perceive the spiritual in a picture outside of its
reality. And a being who is unable to experience the spirit even in a
picture-form cannot come to desire the spirit freely, out of his own
inner nature. Those beings also, who do not embody themselves in
matter after the way of men, pass through stages of life in which
they have to surrender their own being to another element of
lies in this surrender the foundation for the development of the
love-impulse in life. A being who has never known what it is to
withdraw from its own self, is unable to cultivate that devotion to
another which reveals itself in love. And the apprehension of the
spiritual by man can easily harden into lovelessness if in a
one-sided way it is connected with a disdain for what is revealed in
the outer world.
Anthroposophy does not seek for the spirit because it finds nature
devoid of spirit, and therefore worthy of contempt, but rather
because it desires to seek the spirit in nature and can only find
this by anthroposophical means.
kind of spirit must permeate all that is done in our Group Meetings,
then will the experience of members in these meetings be in harmony
with the demands which life in its entirety must make of each of us.
The remoteness from life which, like an unhealthy atmosphere, can
only too easily enter our anthroposophical work, will be removed.
too is one of the elements which should bring about a right feeling
in the work of our Society. Members will not have spent their time in
the Group Meetings in the right way if they feel a gulf between what
they receive of Anthroposophy and what they experience in their outer
life. The spirit that holds sway in the Group Meetings must be a
light which continues to shed its rays even when members are immersed
in the external requirements of their life. But if this spirit does
not hold sway, Anthroposophy might make members not more efficient
but less so in their outer life, which also has its just claims and
rights. And if this were to be so, many of the reproaches which
outside people make against the Society would be justified, in which
case the Anthroposophical Society would be doing Anthroposophy much