17 February 1924
TO ALL MEMBERS • V
Anthroposophical Leading Thoughts*
In future there will be
found in these columns something in the nature of anthroposophical
‘Guiding Lines’ or ‘Leading Thoughts’.
[See the volume,
Anthroposophical Leading Thoughts
(Anthroposophical Publishing Company, London, 1927).] These
may be taken to contain advice on the direction which leading members
can give to the lectures and discussions in the several Groups. It is
but a stimulus and suggestion which the Goetheanum would like to give
to the whole Society. The independence of individual leading members
in their work is in no way to be interfered with. We shall develop
healthily if the Society gives free play to that which leading
members have to offer in all the different Groups. This will enrich
and make manifold the life of the Society.
it should also be possible for a unity of consciousness to arise in
the whole Society ― which will happen if the initiative and
ideas that emerge at different places become known everywhere. Thus
in these columns we shall sum up in short paragraphs the descriptions
and lines of thought given by me in my lectures to the Society at the
Goetheanum. I imagine that those who lecture or conduct the
discussions in the Groups will be able to take what is here given as
guiding lines, with which they may freely connect what they have to
say. This will contribute to the unity and organic wholeness of the
work of the Society without there being any question of constraint.
thing will become fruitful for the whole Society if it meets with a
true response ― if the leading members will inform the
Executive at the Goetheanum too of the contents and manner of their
own lectures and suggestions. Then only we shall grow, from a chaos
of separate Groups, into a Society with a real spiritual content.
guiding lines here given are meant to open up subjects for study and
discussion. Points of contact with them will be found in countless
places in the anthroposophical books and lecture-cycles, so that the
subjects thus opened up can be enlarged upon and the discussions in
the Groups centred around them.
new ideas emerge among leading members in the several Groups, these
too can be brought into connection with the suggestions we shall send
out from the Goetheanum. We would thus provide an open framework for
all the spiritual activity in the Society.
activity can of course only thrive by free unfoldment on the part of
the active individuals ― and we must never sin against this
truth. But there is no need to do so when one group or member within
the Society acts in proper harmony with the other. But if such
co-operation were impossible, the attachment of individuals or groups
to the Society would always remain a purely external thing ―
where it should in fact be felt as an inner reality.
cannot be allowed that the existence of the Anthroposophical Society
is merely made use of by this or that individual as an opportunity to
say what he personally wishes to say with this or that intention. The
Society must rather be the place where true Anthroposophy is
cultivated. Anything that is not Anthroposophy can, after all,
be pursued outside it. The Society is not there for extraneous
has not helped us that in the last few years individual members have
brought into the Society their own personal wishes simply because
they thought that as it increased it would become a suitable sphere
of action for them. It may be said, why was this not met and
counteracted with the proper firmness? If that had been done, we
should now be hearing it said on all sides, ‘Oh, if only the
initiative that arose in this or that quarter had been followed up at
the time, how much farther should we be today!’ Well, many
things were followed up, which ended in sad disaster and only
resulted in throwing us back.
now it is enough. The demonstrations which individual experimenters
in the Society wished to provide are done with. Such things need not
be repeated endlessly. In the Executive at the Goetheanum we have a
body which intends to cultivate Anthroposophy itself; and the Society
should be an association of human beings who have the same object and
are ready to enter into a living understanding with the Executive in
the pursuit of it.
must not think that our ideal in the Society can be attained from one
day to the next. Time will be needed, and patience too. If we
imagined that what lay in the intentions of the Christmas meeting
could be brought into existence in a few weeks' time, this again
would be harmful.
* The asterisk denotes a title given by Frau Marie Steiner.