Blood and Nerves
13th June, 1916
GA 169: 2 of 7
science we consider all matter or substance to be a manifestation of
the spiritual. But the essential question is always how a
particular material phenomenon manifests the spiritual. The generalization
that all matter is a manifestation of the spiritual really says nothing
at all; at most it is an easy philosophy for lazy people. All those
who seriously strive for knowledge have to study how the world's specific
material phenomena manifest the spiritual.
There is a very ancient, yet ever new, saying
to the effect that the human being is a microcosm. Human beings in the
physical world are, in the first place, material phenomena. If we seriously
believe that the human being is a microcosm, that our physical being
contains the secrets of the whole cosmos, then we will think it worthwhile
to examine how our physical being reveals the spiritual. If you study
the physical aspect of the human being and think about it and you'll
have to think if you strive for knowledge — you will see there
are two totally different kinds of substance in our physical being.
It only takes ordinary thinking and observation to see that there are
two fundamentally different kinds of substance in us: the blood substance,
or blood material, and the nerve substance.
Of course, you may say that at first glance
there are all sorts of other substances too, muscle tissue, bone matter,
and so on. But all these substances are actually built up from blood,
as you will see when you study them more closely. Thus, their existence
does not contradict that we have primarily two substances in us, blood
substance, or blood material, and nerve substance.
One of the differences between these two substances
can easily be observed; you need only consider that everything connected
with the blood is involved from the inside, so to speak, in our metabolic
processes. Though generated as a result of external influences, our
blood is produced within us, and it in turn generates what is necessary
for physical existence.
On the other hand, the most important nerves
show themselves to be continuations of our sense organs. For instance,
in the eyes you find the optic nerve continuing behind the eye and merging
with the nerve substance of the brain. Similarly, all nerves are really
continuations of our sense organs. The processes taking place in them
are more or less the result of outside influences, of everything working
upon us from the outside. We can say that just as magnets have two poles
and just as we have positive and negative electricity, so the blood
and the nerve substances are the two poles of our physical being. And
these two kinds of substance are inwardly very different from each other.
If we perform an autopsy on a human being
according to the methods and teachings of modern anatomy and physiology,
we can put everything originating directly out of the blood next to
everything built up from the outside, namely the nerve substance. Then
the substances would appear to be the same. In fact, they are fundamentally
different. The great and significant difference between them becomes
clear if we trace the gradual development of life. We could quote a
great deal from the most modern anatomy and physiology to provide further
proof of this difference; however, we will not go into that right now
but look at the question from the point of view of spiritual science
Our blood has entered our organism as a result
of processes belonging specifically to the earth. Blood is essentially
of an earthly nature. You know that the development of the human being
had been prepared long before the earth existed during the Saturn, Sun,
and Moon phases of evolution.
What was prepared there did not yet have any blood. Human blood, as
it flows through our veins today, was added during our earth evolution.
In contrast to that, the structure and development of the nervous system
contains what had long ago been prepared in the Saturn, Sun, and Moon
phases of evolution through processes that preceded our earth organization.
If you investigate both the blood substance
and the nerve substance in the light of spiritual science, you will
readily see the tremendous difference between the two. Our nerve substance
is not of the earth, but the blood substance is of the earth. Nerve
substance originated in processes that took place before the formation
of the earth. Our blood substance, and everything that streams and flows
in it, has its origin completely in earthly processes. Our nerve substance
is absolutely extraterrestrial, so to speak, and woven into us as something
cosmic; it is related to the cosmos.
Our nerve substance has been transferred into
the earthly realm; it exists here on the earth where we live as physical
beings. Thus, we all bear something of extraterrestrial origin in us
that has been transplanted onto the earth. This is a very important
fact, for the nerve substance, as it rests in us, is actually dead.
You need only open any current anatomy or physiology textbook to see
that in terms of substance, nerve substance is the most durable in our
body. It is the one most resistant to change and, like the blood substance,
least subject to direct, mechanical interference from the outside. Our
nerve substance is affected by influences of our sense perceptions,
but it cannot be influenced directly and mechanically because it was
originally a living substance and is now dead because we as earth beings
carry it in us. We might say if it were not paradoxical — though
it is true in a spiritual sense regardless of any paradox — that
if we could take our nerve substance and raise it to a sphere beyond
the influence of earth forces, it would become a marvelous, living,
This nerve substance is, so to speak, designed
for life in the heavens, in the extraterrestrial realm, but because
it is in our organism and has thus entered the earthly sphere, it dies.
This is very strange, isn't it? We have this nerve substance in us that
is alive in the realm of the cosmos but dead in the realm of the earth.
If we were to take some of this nerve substance up beyond the reach
of earthly influences, we would have a wonderful, living, luminous substance.
Of course, as soon as we returned it to our earthly sphere, it would
revert again to the still, lifeless condition in which it now rests
within us. Our nerve substance, then, is alive in the cosmos and dead
In fact, as far as its material composition
is concerned, the nerve substance we have in us is an extraterrestrial
element. All this can be very clearly expressed in a symbol. As you
remember, I once lectured here on anthroposophy in a more specific sense
and listed the human senses. Usually people distinguish only five senses,
but we counted twelve then. Human beings have twelve senses if everything
that can really be called a sense is taken into account. Ultimately,
our senses are nothing but points of departure from which our nerves
extend into us.
So, we really have twelve senses. And from
these twelve senses nerves extend into us like little trees. This is
because the nervous system that belongs to our outer senses is the expression
of the passage of the sun through the twelve constellations of the zodiac,
which is symbolized in the relation of our entire nervous system to
each of the twelve senses. This shows that we carry in us, in the spatial
relationship of our total nervous system to the twelve senses, what
really exists out there in the cosmos in the sun's passage through the
constellations of the zodiac.
When you look at that part of our nervous
system located deeper inside us in the spinal cord, you will find the
nerve fibers extending through the ring-like vertebrae of the spine.
These rings in fact correspond to the months, to the orbit of the moon
around the earth. Thus, the passage of each nerve fiber through the
opening of the vertebrae in the spine corresponds to each day of the
month — another cosmic relationship! The orbit of the moon around
the earth is really symbolized in the relationship of our inner nerves
to the spinal cord. Our nerve substance is entirely built up out of
the heavens, out of the cosmos. We can understand this marvelous organization
of the nerve substance within us only when we see in its tree-like arrangement
an image of the whole starry firmament. And the forces that flow outside
from star to star and express themselves in the movements of the heavenly
bodies, those same forces actually flow in our nervous system, which
is, however, dead in us. This connection between the organization of
the cosmos and the structure of our nervous system, like many other
things, reveals that the whole universe is manifest in us. Insofar as
our nervous system is built for the heavens, it is alive in the heavens,
in the cosmos, but it is dead in us because it has entered the earthly
Our blood substance is quite different because
it belongs entirely to the earth. Due to the inner composition of the
blood, the processes taking place in it would really have to be completely
earthly processes. The peculiar thing about them, however, is that they
are not living processes. As you know, the mineral realm, the lifeless
kingdom, developed during evolution on the earth. And the nature of
our blood corresponds fully to this lifeless kingdom. Although our blood
lives as long as it is in us, it is not destined for life by its inner,
earthly nature. Strangely enough, our blood is alive only because it
is connected to the cosmic element in us. Our nervous system is actually
destined for life in the cosmos beyond the earth but is dead inside
us; our blood, on the other hand, is meant to be dead in us and receives
its life from outside. In a sense, the nervous system yields its life
to the blood. Thus, the nervous system is dead while the blood is alive,
comparatively speaking. Our blood is by its very nature dead on earth
and has only a borrowed life, a cosmic life forced upon it. Life itself
is not at all of our earth. That is why the nervous system must take
death upon itself in order to become earthly, and why the blood has
to become living to enable us as beings of earthly substance to turn
to the world beyond the earth.
This is the point where all we have learned
through spiritual science takes on a deeply serious character. For we
have to realize that the nerve substance we have in us is by its very
nature destined for life, and yet it is dead. Why is that? It is dead
because it has been transplanted onto the earth. Death — as you
can read in the cycle of lectures I gave in Munich — is actually
the kingdom of Ahriman.
Thus, be cause our nervous system lost its life in its descent into the
earthly sphere, we carry an ahrimanic element in us. And because our blood
is alive — though by its very nature destined for death, that is,
for mere chemical and physical processes — we have a luciferic
element in us. Ahriman can exist in us because our nervous system is
dead, and because our blood is alive, Lucifer can live in us. Now you
can see the significant differences between these two substances; they
are polar opposites, just as the North Pole is to the South Pole.
Let us now consider the realm beyond the earth,
not condensing spiritual science into an abstract theory but keeping
it alive so it can speak to our feelings. We look out into the universe
and realize that out there is the spirit that could live in our nervous
system if the latter had not descended to the earth. We can sense the
spirit out there, filling the universe, the spirit belonging to our
nervous system. When we then turn our thoughts to our blood, we understand
that by its very nature it is actually destined only for physical and
chemical processes, only for the assimilation of oxygen as it is described
by anatomy and physiology. However, because it lives in us, it participates
in the life of the cosmos. It has, however, a primarily luciferic life.
And now think deeply and with great sensitivity
of a recurrent common theme of our talks and remember all we have said
about the descent of Christ from the cosmos into our earthly sphere.
Then we can link what we remember with the thoughts we have just discussed.
We ourselves originated in this universe, in the cosmos. Long ago, in
the Lemurian epoch, or in the course of earthly evolution in general,
we descended and have connected our evolution with the earth. But by
entrusting the development of our nervous system to the earth, we have
consigned it to death and left its life behind in the cosmos. That life
we left behind later followed us and descended in the Christ Being.
In other words, the life of our nerves, which we have not been able
to bear in us ever since the beginning of our earthly existence, followed
us later in the Christ Being. And what did that life have to lay hold
of in earthly existence?
It had to lay hold of the blood! That is why
we talk so much about the mystery of blood.
Our nervous system lost its cosmic life and
our blood received a cosmic life, that is, life became death and death
became life. They live separately in us. Yet, a new connection between
them was achieved when the life of our nervous system, which had been
left behind, descended to us from the cosmos, became human and entered
the blood, which in turn united itself with the earth, as I have explained
And now we as human beings can reconcile the contrast between blood system
and nervous system through our participation in the Christ Mystery.
The polarity we carry in us manifests in
various ways. For instance, there is the material science of the outer
world. It has found its culmination, its goal, in present-day natural
science, which sees the world as built up out of atoms. These atoms,
however, are pure fantasy; they are simply not to be found out there.
Why then do we talk about atoms? Because we have in us our nervous system
built up out of little globules, and we project this structure on the
world outside. The world of atoms out there is nothing but a projection of
our nervous system! We project ourselves into the world and thus think
of it as consisting of atoms, and of our nervous system as composed
of many individual ganglion-globules. Science will always tend to atomism
for it originates in nerve substance. By contrast, mysticism, religion,
and so forth come from the blood and do not look for atoms but always
for unity. These two opposites are in conflict with each other in the
world. We do not understand their conflict unless we know it is really
the struggle in us between nerve substance and blood substance. There
would be no conflict between science and religion if there were none
in us between nerve and blood substance.
Reconciliation is found if we unite ourselves
in the right way with the Christ Being that pulsates through the earth
since the Mystery of Golgotha. Every feeling and experience we can have
in connection with the Mystery of Golgotha contributes to this reconciliation.
We have not yet advanced much in bringing about this reconciliation,
but we must continue to strive for it. Even in our circles we see very
often that the contrast I described manifests in one way or another.
There are many among us who listen to the teachings of anthroposophy
and accept them as they would accept conventional science. As a result,
many people see no difference between anthroposophy and ordinary science.
But we understand anthroposophy rightly only when we grasp it not just
with the head, but allow every one of its utterances to kindle our enthusiasm
and to live in us so that it finds its way from the nerve system to
the blood system. Only when we take warmly to the truths contained in
anthroposophy do we really understand it. As long as we approach it
abstractly and study it as we study the multiplication tables, an arithmetic
book, instruction manuals, or a cookbook, we do not understand it at
all! We cannot understand anthroposophy if we study it in the same way
as chemistry or botany. Only when it generates warmth in us, replenishes
us with its own vibrant life, do we begin to really understand it.
Christ said: “I am with you always,
even unto the end of the world.” And He is with us not as one
who is dead, but as a living Being among us, revealing Himself continuously.
And only people so shortsighted as to fear these revelations can want
us to stay with what has always held good in the past. Those who are
not cowards know Christ is always revealing Himself; therefore, we may
accept what He has revealed in the form of anthroposophy as a true Christ-revelation.
Members have often asked me how they can establish a relationship with
Christ. This is a naive question; for everything we strive for, every
line we read of our anthroposophical science, is an entering into a
relationship with Christ. In a certain sense, we really do nothing else.
And those who seek an additional, special way of entering into a relationship
with Christ are only naively expressing that they would prefer to avoid
the more troublesome way of reading and studying.
My talk began like a conventional scientific
talk, maybe one about anatomy or physiology, by looking at the substances
in the human being, but now we find the transition to the loftiest knowledge
we can have on earth: to Christology. You cannot find this transition
in any other science. Spiritual science shows you that our nerve substance
lost something in becoming earthly substance. But where is what our
nerve substance lost? When Jesus of Nazareth was thirty years old, Christ
entered his body and went through the Mystery of Golgotha. Try to warm
yourselves through and through with this thought. What is lacking in
our nervous system because we are living on earth, what has been replaced
with an ahrimanic element, is what we find in the Mystery of Golgotha.
It is our task as human beings to take this
Mystery into our blood to fill the luciferic element there with Christ,
to kindle our enthusiasm so that it can live in us. Our abstract thinking
is connected to the nerve substance, while our feelings, our heart and
soul, enthusiasm, or mood, are connected to the blood. The relationship
between nerve substance and blood substance in our organism is the same
as that in our soul between abstract, cold thinking and the enthusiasm
we can feel when things do not remain merely cold thoughts for us, but
warm us through the spirit. This warming through the spirit does not
come naturally; we have to train ourselves to attain it.
Now you can see in spiritual and physiological
terms as it were, what the Mystery of Golgotha accomplished. What we
had left behind in the cosmos followed us. It can now once again permeate
our soul, because it did not permeate our body at the beginning of our
earth existence, or we would have become automatons of the spirit. As
it was, we went through a period of evolution on the earth before we
were to be ensouled by what did not permeate our body right from the
very beginning. This great and wonderful connection reveals the activity
of the spiritual in matter.
We are not speaking here of the general, vague
spiritual element woolly-headed pantheists speak of so glibly, but of
the specific and definite spirit we see undergoing the Mystery of Golgotha.
That is what I meant when I said that the general truism that all matter
is a manifestation of the spiritual really does not say very much. We
know something only when we know in detail how a specific, physical
being manifests the spiritual. The findings of conventional science
are an abundance of facts and material just waiting to be permeated
with spiritual understanding. Spiritual understanding can penetrate
them so deeply that even the most material science of all can be connected
In our age people have difficulties finding
the path connecting the nerve system with the blood system. And that
is why I have shown you in several lectures how far our age is from
such a spiritual understanding of the world. Last time I mentioned Hermann
Bahr as an example of a man who had always been striving for the spiritual
but was not able to make even the most elementary approach to the spiritual
until he was already over fifty years old. I also told you that grotesque
phenomena virtually dominate our cultural life, as in the case of the
professor of philosophy in Czernowitz whose pronouncement I read to
Lest we forget his pronouncement, let me
read it again: “We have no more philosophy than animals, and only
our frantic attempts to attain a philosophy and the final resignation
to our ignorance distinguish us from the animals.” This is the
quintessence of his philosophy — well, one cannot really call
it philosophy; after all, according to this professor of philosophy,
human beings have no more philosophy than the animals! What it amounts
to is that we have reached the point where duly appointed professors
of philosophy have set themselves the task of representing philosophy
as ridiculous nonsense. In this case, we can see clearly how far this
fellow goes. Most other philosophers do the same, only not as openly.
And this truth applies not only to philosophers ut also to other people
who understand their task in life a out as much as this philosopher
does his philosophy. Therefore, they ruin every task they are appointed
to fulfill as much as this philosopher ruins philosophy. However, with
most of them this is not so noticeable except when they rub our noses
in it as cynically as Richard Wahle does, this philosopher appointed
as professor of philosophy for the destruction of philosophy.
Clearly, it is necessary — to be convinced
of this necessity you need only remember my lecture a few weeks ago
— to connect our striving with the era in European spiritual life
when people tried to approach the spirit, although not yet with the
methods of modern spiritual science. For this reason, I have given the
lectures of the past winters in these difficult times and have now collected
them in a book entitled
(“The Riddle of Man”), which will be published shortly.
This book summarizes the thinking, reflections, and contemplations
of several great minds of the nineteenth century, who were striving
for knowledge of the spirit though not yet with the methods of modern
spiritual science. I tried to show how these great minds reached out
toward the spirit even though they could not yet get there. Time will
tell whether this collection of the lectures of the past winters will
prove too difficult for people, even though it was written as simply
as possible, and whether they will, after all, be content with merely
buying it. But the important thing is to read it! Time will tell whether
this book, which was written only to serve the times, will have any
effect, whether it will enter into people's souls. It is a book everyone
can use to prove to those outside our movement that spiritual science
represents a demand of the best minds of our recent past. It did not
develop arbitrarily, but is truly what the best minds have called for.
Thus, I would like to suggest that you read
some of the great, spiritual works our great writers created in the
nineteenth century; they are magnificent and important works. However,
such good intentions often turn out strangely. As I indicated elsewhere
and therefore did not repeat in this book, among the greatest of these
works are the philosophical writings of Schiller, for instance, his
Letters the Aesthetic Education of Man.
Indeed, those who have read these letters with deep sympathy
have done a great deal for the life of their soul. Several people have
made efforts to draw the public's attention to the philosophical writings
of Schiller. One of them was Heinrich Deinhardt from Vienna.
In the 1860s, he wrote a splendid, extraordinarily profound little
book on Schiller's world view. I don't think you can still get it in
bookstores, except possibly an old, used copy in a second-hand store.
It is out of print and was probably remaindered a long time ago, for
nobody read what Deinhardt had to say about Schiller even though his
book is one of the best things written about Schiller. Deinhardt was
a teacher in Vienna whom the world has forgotten. He once had the misfortune
to break his leg. Although his broken leg was set carefully, he could
not get well again because he was undernourished. This man wrote one
of the best books on Schiller, doubtlessly better than all the nonsense
written since then, and yet he had to starve. That's the way of the
With my book I tried to show the relevance
of great minds such as Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, Troxler, Planck, Preuss,
Immanuel Hermann Fichte and a few others for our age.
Their works provide a completely different kind of nourishment
for the soul than the writings people so often turn to in their sincere
but misguided quest for the spirit. With an aching heart I have seen
again and again sincerely seeking people reach for this or that book
in order to find nourishment for their soul and to find a way into the
spiritual world. If they had only turned to works such as Schelling's
Klara or Bruno, they would have received infinite nourishment for their
soul. Granted, it would have required some effort, but that would have
been good for them. A certain naive searching of souls has become more
and more lively and urgent in recent times. Yet, most people only reach
for the soul-gunk produced by Ralph Waldo Trine or for the stuff you
get when you lace some formulation or other of Buddhism, Brahminism,
or something like that with a sticky sauce.
One can have the strangest experiences with such things. For
example, I used to know a very dear man — he died recently here
in Berlin — who was very enthusiastic about my writings interpreting
Goethe when I first published them. Then as he grew older, he began
translating a number of such soul-gunk writings, not Ralph Waldo Trine
but others, from American English into German — his earlier enthusiasm
evidently having been only a flash in the pan. For a long time there,
people here in Europe thought they needed American-English nourishment
for their souls.
Let us get a sense for what needs to be done
to nourish people's souls. In the book I mentioned and also in the booklet
Mission of Spiritual Science,
which has just been published,
I tried to show what can be given even to those who are not members
of our circle.
We can certainly hand this booklet to people who are not part of our
circle. Then time will tell whether there is any understanding for the
task devolving on anyone who has some idea of how necessary it is that
spiritual truths stream into our present age.
I can assure you I have not merely made this
or that disparaging statement in what I have said to you during these
difficult times, but I have substantiated everything with details and
verified it. I have not merely said philosophers are only homunculi
but have quoted a particularly characteristic statement and a number
of other things to give you an idea of how matters really stand and
to show you that in this first third of our fifth post-Atlantean epoch
everything tends to develop into homunculism, into spiritual emptiness.
People will have to penetrate more and more
deeply into the difference between a merely logically correct concept
and one that is true to reality. A logically correct concept is not
necessarily true to reality. In my new book I have tried to elaborate
what it means to think true to reality. So much that is deplorable in
our cultural life comes from the belief that anything thought out logically
is also necessarily true to reality. However, thinking that is true
to reality is very different from merely logical and correct thinking.
For example, when you see a tree trunk lying
on the ground, you see an external reality. But if you think about this
tree trunk, you will find it is not a reality at all because it cannot
exist as such. It necessarily has to contain the shoots that develop
into branches, leaves, and blossoms. Thus, it is really a lie, this
tree trunk, a “true unreality,” because what it appears
to be cannot exist in the nature of things. Only if you are aware that
you think of something unreal when you think about a tree trunk, then
your thinking is true to reality.
Thus, you see most modern sciences consist
of thoughts about unrealities. Geology thinks of the earth as consisting
purely of minerals. But there is no such purely mineral earth, just
as the tree trunk as such does not exist. For the mineral kingdom of
the earth already contains in itself plants, animals, and human beings,
and only when we think of these latter kingdoms as connected with the
mineral are we thinking about a reality. Geology, then, is a completely
The outstanding feature of my new book is
that I have tried to elaborate the concept of reality. Another important
feature is my attempt to give at least a preliminary sketch of the imaginative
thinking we will all have to develop. You will also find all kinds of
comparisons and analogies in this book because I did not work with abstract,
logically developed concepts. Instead, I said, for example, thinking
in terms of the atomistic world view means insisting what the natural
sciences think is real. It means believing when we paint a portrait,
the subject of the painting can then walk around. In my book I have
worked with images like this. It remains to be seen whether this unique
style will be appreciated. It is the beginning of a special mode of
presentation not readily found elsewhere these days.
We have to realize, however, how far people
are from unbiased acceptance of these things. These days people have
an incredible faith in authority. They do not look at what stands behind
the authorities, but measure authority by title, rank, and official
position. However, what matters is what stands behind an authority.
I would like to give you a nice example to show the extent to which
homunculism and thinking in mere appearances have already advanced.
A man told this story as an interesting example of what homunculism
in our time considers great and important — he told it with the
best of intentions for he is opposed to homunculism though he is not
sure what to replace it with.
There are many today who worship technology
as their god, and I gave you examples of this a few weeks ago. To show
the extent of this adoration of technology let me quote the following
monstrosity. This is an outrageous utterance of a serious man of mature
years, a doctor and a family man. He is said to be not especially outstanding
or profound in any way, that is, he is considered to meet all requirements
for pronouncing judgments held to be good common sense. Before the war,
when the newspaper world was thoroughly amazed by the daring flight
of the French aviator Pegoud, this man — a doctor and family man
and in no way outstanding — this man judged the cultural value
of the airplane in the style of the period, saying with great seriousness
and pathos, “A screw of Pegoud's flying machine is more important
than all the philosophy of Kant and Schiller, than all philosophy of
all times, if you like.”
Now, don't think this is a very unusual and rare statement. It is the
sort of attitude prevailing with many people today, and it is growing
stronger and stronger.
It is now more than twenty years ago, that
a lady invited me to speak in her salon on Goethe after I had just given
a series of public lectures. I did so, and from her circle of friends
she was able to bring together quite a large audience. So I spoke to
them about Goethe's
and some of his other plays.
The ladies took it quite well, but most of the men said that
Faust was not a drama but science. What they meant was that in a theater
one ought to see Blumenthal and not Goethe's
It is indeed true that people now are moving in a direction
culminating in judgments such as the one I just read to you.
You see, today things happen quickly. Not
long ago someone published the memoirs of a well-known natural scientist
who died recently — at least it was something like memoirs, not
really an autobiography but a book written down later by somebody else.
Strictly speaking, one cannot call this memoirs. It is indeed interesting
to contemplate one of the opinions expressed by this world-famous man;
I don't even want to tell you his name, you would be surprised how famous
he is. Indeed, he was one of the most renowned people of his day, famous
and an expert in his profession, and we certainly don't want to deny
his greatness. One of the things he said was, “Philosophy does
not concern me at all. It is all the same to me whether the sun moves
around the earth or the earth around the sun. I would only be interested
in this if I were studying astronomy.”
This man has given the world a new medical preparation; his
name is on everyone's lips; yet he has never gone outside his very narrow
circle and serenely admits being not particularly interested whether
the earth moves around the sun or the sun around the earth. He would
concern himself with that only if he were an astronomer!
I don't want to denounce or criticize anyone;
this man has doubtlessly earned his fame in his own field. He liked
to have his wife play the piano for him in the evening; yet he considered
music merely a means to improve his concentration and was not really
listening to it at all. So she played the piano for him, but he understood
nothing of it and merely enjoyed his enhanced concentration. Only on
Saturdays he did not want any music because then he was waiting for
something still more important to him. He was fervently expecting the
arrival of a detective novel, a blood-curdling detective story in a lurid
cover. He used to read such novels with special pleasure and preferred
them to piano music. He loved these detective novels, the kind of trashy
literature peddled on the backstairs!
Now, as I said, I am not telling you this
to denounce anyone but simply to show what our times are like. We must
remember that these are the authorities behind laboratory tables, behind
dissecting tables. This is the spirit permeating what can indeed be
very useful in the outer world and what will inevitably lead our whole
culture step by step into technologization, that is, into homunculism.
We must realize this danger, and, based on this insight, we have to
find ways to allow the spirit to approach people. What I said here this
winter was not said out of a subjective bias in favor of spiritual science,
but out of insight into its inevitable significance for the present
age. I believe it will be good if you will take into your souls what
has been said.
We can probably meet again for another talk
next Tuesday because it will surely take still another week before my
book is finished.