In VIEWING the soul of
man, we find its inner element composed of
thinking or forming of mental representations,
feeling, and willing. You know that these
three soul-activities have been often discussed by me.
Nevertheless, I should like to say a few words today about this
threefold constitution of the human soul, inasmuch as it is in
especial connection with the present cycle.
Life in the waking state is essentially concerned with our
mental activity. Of what we are thinking we are fully conscious
in the waking state. If you ask yourself: Are we as conscious
of the feelings that we experience in the waking state as we
are of the mental representations? the answer would have to be
in the negative. In a certain sense, feelings are apprehended
but dimly and vaguely by waking consciousness. And if you
compare the experiences of your world of feelings with
those confronting you in the manifold imagery of the
dream-world, you will find the same degree of consciousness in
the world of feelings that you do in the world of dreams. In
the world of feelings, we dream in a different way; yet also in
that world it is still only dreaming.
may be easily misled regarding the character of this world of
feeling by translating that which is felt into mental
representations. We make a mental image of our feelings. In
this way, the feelings are raised into waking consciousness.
Yet the feelings, as such, are no more conscious than
What remains still more unconscious — it might be said,
wholly unconscious — are man's will-impulses. Try to
visualize what you know of the faculty generally called
willing. Suppose that you stretch out your hand in order to
grasp something. First, you have a mental image of the fact
that you are going to stretch out your hand. This is what you
intend to do. But how this intention streams down into your
whole organism; how it is imparted to the muscles, the bones,
so that your hand be enabled to grasp an object: of all this
you know as little as you know, in your ordinary consciousness,
of what happens to your ego during sleep. Only after grasping
the object, you become aware — again by means of a mental
image — of having carried out a movement.
What lies between the mental image forming the intention and
the image engendered within you after this intention has been
acted upon externally, what happens within your organism
between these two stages is hidden by a sleep which takes
possession of you even in the waking state. Willing is a
matter of sleeping, feeling a matter of dreaming.
And only mental activity, thinking, is a matter of real
Here we have, even in the waking state, the threefold human
soul: the waking soul that forms mental images; the dreaming
soul that feels; and the willing soul that sleeps. Hence man
can never know, out of his ordinary consciousness, what goes on
in those regions where the will is weaving and living.
however, we illuminate by the methods of anthroposophical
research the regions where the will is pulsating, we
discover the following: The intention of carrying out a
will-impulse is primarily a thought, a mental image. At the
moment when this intention streams down into the organism,
something is produced which might be called a process of
inner combustion. Invariably, this combustion is kindled in the
organism along the entire path followed by the
will-impulse. The combustion of metabolic products existing
within you brings forth the movement used by the arm in order
to carry out a will-impulse. Hence someone who wills an action
undergoes, in a physical sense, a burning-up and consuming of
his metabolic products. The metabolic products must be
renewed for the reason that they are being constantly burned
up, consumed by the will-impulse.
is different in mental activity. Here a constant depositing of
salt-like particles takes place. Earthy, salt-like, ash-like
particles are excreted from the organism. Thus, in a
physical sense, thinking or mental activity is a depositing of
salt. Willing is a combustion. To the spiritual view, human
life appears as a continuous depositing of salt from
above, and a combustion from below. This combustion has the
effect of preventing by the fire within our body — if I
may express it in this way — our perceiving, by
means of our ordinary consciousness, the real nature of will.
This combustion puts us to sleep in regard to our will, or
what becomes invisible to our ordinary consciousness while we
are asleep? If by the methods of spiritual research, we
illuminate the organic fire constantly being kindled through
the will, we perceive that this fire contains the effects of
our moral behavior during previous earth-lives. What lives in
this fire may be designated as human destiny, human
is actually true that a certain fact may assume an entirely
different significance if looked at from a correct, spiritual
viewpoint instead of an external, sensible-intellectual
instance, a man may become acquainted, in a certain year of his
life, with another man. This is generally considered as
accidental. And it really seems as if the two persons had been
led together by the accidents of life and become acquainted at
a chance moment. Things, however, happen otherwise. If we use
the methods of spiritual research and look into the whole
connection of human life, if we look into everything made
invisible by the previously mentioned process of
combustion, we then find that an acquaintance made in a
man's thirty-fifth year has been longed for and striven for by
this man during his entire life according to a definite
plan. If we follow someone's life from his thirty-fifth year
back into his early childhood, we may uncover and reveal what
paths were pursued in order to arrive at the point where
the other man was encountered. All this has been carried out in
accordance with a plan harbored in the unconscious.
we look at a human being's destiny in this way, it is
remarkable to discover what wiles were occasionally
employed by this person in order to arrive at a certain place,
in a certain year, and to encounter a certain person. Anyone
having real insight into human life cannot help but say that,
if someone is undergoing an experience, he himself has sought
it, with all the force at his command, during his entire
why do we seek a particular experience? Because this seeking
has been poured into our soul out of former lives. These former
earth-lives, however, do not show their effect inside our
waking thought-consciousness. They show their effect in that
state of consciousness constantly lulled to sleep by the
process of combustion. Although striving unconsciously, we are
nonetheless striving for the attainment of our earthly
Now, if something of this kind is said, various objections may
arise in our thoughts. First of all, the following argument
might be raised: If all this be true, then our whole life is
determined by destiny; we have no freedom. But do we lose our
freedom through the fact that our hair is blond and not black?
This, too, is predestined. We are nevertheless free, even if
our hair is blond instead of black — although we might
possibly prefer black hair; we are nevertheless free, even if
we cannot pull down the moon, as we might have longed to do as
children. We are nevertheless free, even though we have sought
certain experiences since the beginning of our
earth-life. For not all of human life is composed of such
destined experiences; these experiences are always joined
to freely chosen experiences.
these freely chosen experiences joined to the others are found
by spiritual science in a different place.
have often spoken of the three stages of spiritual
knowledge: Imagination, when we first view a world of
images; inspiration, when this world of images is
penetrated by spiritual reality and essence; intuition, when we
stand amid spiritual reality and essence.
the human being, in the course of his spiritual research,
attains imagination and hence sees before him the tableau of
his life, something else always becomes visible at the same
time. One cannot be attained without the other. We cannot
attain imagination, real spiritual knowledge of the life lived
by us heretofore on earth, without seeing emerge, in a strange,
memory-like manner, the experiences undergone by us
during sleep between going to sleep and awaking. I have told
you of what these experiences consist.
When attaining imagination on the one hand, we attain, on the
other, by means of the inner silence enveloping our soul, an
especially profound view of what the human being experiences
during sleep. I have already described to you many things
experienced by us during the sleeping state. What,
however, is mainly set before our inner eye in sleep concerns
destiny, as it forms itself anew.
we illuminate the sleep that encompasses our will even in the
waking state, we can see at work the karma resulting from
And, if we see in their true light the experiences undergone by
us between going to sleep and awaking, we recognize how the
karma that will be realized in our next earth-life is being
woven out of the free deeds performed by us in the present
might believe that those able to fathom the realm of sleep
might be perturbed when saying to themselves: Your own moral
conduct during the present earth-life is preparing your karma.
Yet this fact is no more perturbing than the knowledge that the
sun has risen, climbed to its highest position at noon, sunk in
the evening below the horizon, and will repeat the same course
on the morrow. The lawfulness rising from the depth of slumber
does not perturb us; because through freedom all that has
been formed in the sleeping state of the present
earth-life can, in the most manifold ways, be brought forth
during the next earth-life.
And, when we envisage that which begins to weave itself in
sleep, hidden from our ordinary consciousness, as new karma, we
can clearly see karma at work in the subconscious states of our
will — clearly see karma being spun anew.
can also see how the past is being interwoven in the
human being with the future; we can see how that which is
veiled to the waking human being by sleep in the day-time, that
is to say, the inner secrets of his will, is being spun
together with that which is veiled to him by sleep at night:
namely, the inner secrets of his ego and astral body as they
have separated themselves from the physical and etheric
bodies and are taking part in weaving the future karma.
Consider that the things thought by man in his ordinary waking
state are mostly concerned with outer matters. These outer
things thought by us remain fixed, by means of our soul-life's
ordinary content, in our memory.
this, however, represents only the surface of our soul-life.
Beyond this thought-level lies a soul-life of much greater
profoundness. Whatever we experience during the waking
state as our thinking, we experience in the etheric body, the
formative-force body. All that happens at a deeper level
in the astral body and the ego can be experienced only by
consciously penetrating the events passed through by the astral
body and the ego when they have separated themselves from the
physical and etheric bodies and fallen asleep. Then the future
karma is being spun.
the day-time, this future karma is veiled to us by the
outward thoughts contained in the etheric body. In the
depth of the soul, however, it is being woven together, also
during the day, with that which dwells in unconscious, sleeping
will as the karma emerging from the past. Hence the karma of
the human being can be accurately divulged.
Here we find several interesting facts. The age of the human
being's earliest childhood is especially revealing for the
observation of karmic connections. The resolutions of
children appear to us as utterly arbitrary; and yet they are
not at all arbitrary.
is indeed true that the child's actions imitate what goes on in
the child's surroundings. I have indicated in my public lecture
how the child, completely at one with his sense-organism,
inwardly experiences every gesture, every movement made by the
people around him. But he experiences every gesture,
every movement, in its moral significance. Hence a child who is
confronted with a choleric father experiences the immoral
element connected with a choleric temperament. And the child
experiences, through the subtlest movements of the people
around him, the thoughts that these people harbor. Hence we
should never permit ourselves to have impure, immoral
thoughts in a child's presence and say: Such thoughts are
permissible, because the child knows nothing about them. This
is not true. Whenever we think, our nerve-fibers are always
vibrating in one way or another. And this vibration is
perceived by the child, especially during his earliest years.
The child is a subtle observer and imitator of his
strangest and — it might be said — the most
interesting fact, in an exalted sense, is the following: The
child does not imitate everything, but takes his choice.
And this choosing is done in a very complicated manner.
us assume that the child has before him a hot-headed, choleric
father who does many things that are not right. The child,
wholly one with his sense-organism, must absorb all these
things. Since his eye cannot protect itself, it must perceive
what takes place in the child's surroundings.
What the child absorbs, however, is absorbed only in the
waking state. Eventually the child goes to sleep.
Children sleep a great deal. And during sleep the child is able
to choose: What he wants to absorb is sent out of his soul into
his body, his physical organism; what he does not want to
absorb is ejected during sleep into the etheric world. Thus the
child takes into his bodily organism only those things that
have been predestined for him by his destiny, his Karma.
The working of destiny is seen with especial vividness in the
child's very first years.
person with a merely intellectual bent often feels that he is
tremendously clever and the child tremendously stupid. After
acquiring insight into the world, we discard this opinion and
begin to realize how stupid we have become since our childhood.
Our present cleverness, as opposed to that of childhood,
is a conscious one. Yet far, far greater than all the
wisdom given to us in later years is the wisdom with which the
child, as was previously described, chooses between that which,
according to the destiny resulting from former
earth-lives, he must incorporate into himself, and that which
he may eject into the general etheric world. And what is
brought by man from former earth-lives into his present one
becomes especially visible during the first years, when the
question of freedom does not matter as yet. At the age when the
consciousness of freedom arises, we have already brought into
the present earth-life most of what had been destined to be
garnered from previous earth-lives. And if someone has a
certain experience at the age of thirty-five, he has blazed a
trail towards this experience since his first childhood years.
The first steps of life are the most important and
essential for all that is determined by destiny.
have tried to point out how wise we were as children and how,
fundamentally, we become less and less wise as life
continues. Our consciousness expands: hence we value
conscious rationalism, and do not value the child's unconscious
wisdom. Only by acquiring the science of initiation are we
taught how to value this wisdom.
have called attention to these things in the very first chapter
of my booklet: Spiritual Guidance of Man and Humanity
[Anthroposophic Press, New York.] Official philosophy has taken
me severely to task on this score. It is important,
nevertheless, that we are capable of looking at the first years
of childhood in the right way.
People, once they have understood these things, will attain a
sounder judgment on something that is mentioned today again and
again, but not understood in the least: the question of
present-day literature and science the tendency is to base
everything on qualities that have been inherited from the
parents. If we once realize how the child, in a karmic
sense, gathers from previous earth-lives whatever his wisdom
urges him to select, we shall comprehend the correct relation
between that which is determined by destiny and that
which represents external inheritance and garb. For this
inheritance is nothing but an external garb. That the latter
exists will not seem strange to those comprehending in the
right way how the human beings connect themselves, at a certain
point between death and a new birth, with the sequence of
generations. Turning their glance from the Beyond to the
earthly realm, they are able to foresee who their parents are
going to be. From the Beyond, we help to determine the
qualities that our parents will have. Hence it is no wonder
that we inherit these qualities. Yet — as was previously
described — we make our choice concerning the
qualities that we inherit.
observe the human being during his first childhood years is a
study as interesting as it is exalted. I must use this
expression again and again. You will remember that I
called your attention to the three things learned by the
child in his first years: walking, which includes so
many things that were discussed yesterday,
speaking, and thinking. These three
faculties are attained by the child.
let us observe correctly how the child takes his first steps.
He may put down his little legs and feet firmly or gently;
advance courageously or timidly; bend his knee vigorously or
with less vigor; use his index finger or his little finger more
frequently. Those who have the right insight into what is
connected with walking, what is connected with the sense
of equilibrium through which the child orientates himself in
the three spatial directions — all those will recognize
that the child's karma is symbolically expressed in his
attempts at walking. We see a certain child, as he learns
how to walk, put down his little feet with firmness. This shows
us that he has proved himself as brave and courageous in
various situations belonging to previous earth-lives.
This brave and courageous quality coming from previous
earth-lives is expressed, in a sensible image, by the firm
manner in which the child plants his little feet on the ground.
Thus we may observe just in the child's first attempts at
walking a miraculous image of human karma. A man's personal
karma is especially expressed by the manner in which he learns
how to walk.
the second place, we learn how to speak. We imitate what is
spoken around us. Every child does this in his own way; yet all
human beings who learn how to speak their mother tongue within
a lingual province imitate just this one language. Hence
we find that the human being's folk destiny is expressed by the
way in which the child adapts himself to the imitation of
sounds. The child, when learning how to walk, expresses his
individual destiny; when learning how to speak, his folk
destiny. And, when learning how to think, he expresses
the destiny of universal mankind living in a certain
period all over the globe. Thus a threefold destiny is
interwoven in man.
is true that we clothe our thoughts with diverse languages.
Yet, when penetrating across language to the thoughts, we
assume that these can be understood by every person
anywhere in the world. A Chinese and a Norwegian language
exist; nonetheless there is no difference — except
an individual one — between Chinese and Norwegian
thoughts. For it must be admitted that thoughts as such, with
regard to their truth or untruth, are the same everywhere. They
are differently colored for the sole reason that human beings
express themselves through language and individual traits. The
thought-content, however — not the form — is alike
for all men. By adjusting himself to thought-life in his
third stage, the child adjusts himself, at a certain
point, to all of mankind. Through language, he adjusts himself
to the folk destiny; through his orientation in three spatial
directions (by learning how to walk, how to handle objects, and
so forth) he adjusts himself to his personal, individual
order to understand man's being in the right way, these things
must be viewed from all sides. Now I should like to
explain to you by means of another fact how the whole of
human life is constituted.
us go back to the sleeping state; to those experiences
undergone by us between falling asleep and awaking. Here we go
back, with our ego and astral body, into the spiritual world;
we go back to the starting-point of our life. Yet the ego and
astral body are weaving our future destiny.
When the ego and astral body return again to the physical body,
then destiny has been woven anew night by night. Man's ordinary
consciousness, however, does not yet know anything of this
destiny. He enters again into his physical and etheric bodies.
In the etheric body, he had left behind his thoughts. We only
assume that we do not think while lying in bed. We think
unceasingly, but unbeknown to ourselves, because our ego and
astral body dwell outside our thoughts. Thinking is an activity
of the etheric body. You can easily observe this fact even in
every-day life. For instance: you have heard, for the first
time, a symphony that excited you greatly. If you are inclined
to wake up during the night, you will do so again and again,
always finding yourself amid this symphony's sounds, which
continue to vibrate within your etheric body. These vibrations
do not cease. It is not necessary that your ego be present
while the symphony reverberates within you. If your ego were
present, you would be aware only of the etheric body's
vibrations. It is the same with other thoughts. You are
thinking all night long while lying in bed; since your ego is
away, however, you do not know that you think.
can even disclose to you that waking life often spoils our
thinking. Generally, our thoughts are much keener when our ego
is away at night. This is true, whether you believe it or not.
Most people's judgment on life is much sounder at night than in
the day-time. If the etheric body, which is in harmony with the
laws of the universe, thinks by itself and man does not ruin
these thoughts, then man's thinking, no longer muddled up by
the ego (as happens so often in the day-time) becomes much
While our ego and astral body are outside our physical and
etheric bodies, we are engaged in weaving our future karma.
What as ego and astral body lives and weaves outside us
between falling asleep and awaking must pass through the
portal of death; it must enter and pass through the
super-sensible world. It is true that the astral element is
subsequently merged with the ego, which thus undergoes a change
of substance and must continue its way alone. Yet all that
which has been weaving, in the sleeping state, outside
the physical and etheric bodies must pass through the portal of
death and must, between death and a new birth, pursue its path
across the stages described by me during the recent days. My
description has shown you how the ego passes through a stage
where it works in unison with the beings of the higher
Hierarchies, in order to prepare the spiritual germ of a future
This work necessitates the experiencing of profound wisdom
between death and a new birth — an experience that can be
undergone only if sharing a spiritual activity with beings of
the higher Hierarchies.
Many other things must be merged with the karma, as it is woven
between falling asleep and awaking, in order to unite all the
elements into a future physical body. For you must
consider what kind of path has to be pursued. All that is
being woven as karma dwells in the ego and astral body. It must
descend into those regions possessed by us, in the next
earth-life, as the unconscious will-regions. All these elements
must be thoroughly blended with our entire bodily organism.
During the ordinary sleeping state, the ego and astral body
have as yet but little of what they must attain during their
transition between death and a new birth.
From the sleeping state, the ego and astral body must
return to the physical body; and, when they wake up, they
do not quite understand how to deal with this physical body.
For, having received this body as the result of a previous
earth-life, they do not know how to immerse themselves into it
in the right way.
Because the astral body and ego can form the physical and
etheric bodies only in the next earth-life, working on them in
childhood during the first and second seven-year period and
because the ego and astral body will only then encompass all
that can work in the right way on the physical body: therefore
now, when the ego — on falling asleep — has just
absorbed the human being's moral conduct and karma has just
begun to weave itself, this ego, on awaking, does not rightly
understand all the things contained in the physical body.
ego, when again immersing itself in the physical body, is
utterly unconscious. Yet, as it passes through the region of
mental activity, confused dream-images arise. What do these
signify? Why do they correspond, in many cases, so little to
life? Because the ego and astral body try to immerse themselves
in the physical and etheric bodies, but find it difficult to do
so. This discrepancy between that which the ego cannot do, but
which it should do according to the wise principles of the
physical and etheric bodies — this discrepancy is
expressed by the confused images dreamed by us just before
awaking. These dreams show us pictorially how the ego tries to
bring what it has not yet attained into a certain harmony with
the physical body and etheric body. And only when the ego,
suppressing consciousness in regard to the will, immerses
itself in subconscious regions, and hence no longer
relies upon its own wisdom, can it enter again into the
physical body without producing confused mental
the ego, on awaking, plunged into the physical body when fully
conscious, or half conscious as in dreams, then the most
terrifying dreams would arise from man's entire physical body.
Only the circumstance that we plunge, at the right
moment, into the unconscious will subdues the fleeting
dream-images and lets us sink down as proper egos and proper
astral bodies into the regions of the unconscious will.
is quite clear to anyone looking at these things without
prejudice that every dream can show us the disharmony
existing in the present life between what the ego and
astral body have acquired in this present life and the fully
developed physical and etheric bodies. First that which has
been woven as moral element must unite itself, during the
transition between death and a new birth, with the
spiritual germ of the physical body. Then, whatever has been
woven in the present life between falling asleep and awaking,
becomes so powerful that it is really able to sink down during
the next childhood life, during this dreamy, half asleep
childhood life, into the physical and etheric bodies, using
them as tools for earth-life.
carry within us the result of preceding earth-lives. Only all
that we carry below in our will-organism as forces of the
preceding earth-life is concealed by an inner fire which
consumes our physical substance and products. Yet these
forces, although consumed by fire, are nonetheless active. We
pursue our path across the world by means of our karma. There
exists an especial path for every single experience. By
choosing, from childhood on, what we want to imitate from the
surrounding world, and by so doing, initiating an event that
may not occur until our fiftieth year, and at the same time by
exerting our will for the purpose of bringing about this
experience, we undergo within ourselves a combustion of
that which is bodily substance. And, because the fire renders
us unconscious with regard to our life-path, our inner
perception transposes what is really a continuous course of
destiny into something appearing to us like momentary
desires, instincts, urges, varieties of temperament, and so
forth. Below courses the life-path determined by destiny.
The fires are always flaming forth anew. We, however, can only
see the fires' surface. And on this surface, out of the
seething flames, as it were, there comes to life what dwells in
our souls as passions, desires, instincts. Here is only the
outer semblance, the outer revelation of that which weaves in
the depths as human destiny.
What men observe are the single passions, the single
instincts, the single desires, momentary likes and
dislikes, deeds carried out or not carried out because of
momentary sympathy or antipathy. In making such observations,
however, we behave like someone who has a sentence before
him and says: “Here I see
g,o,d,r,u,l,e,s,t,h,e,w,o,r,l,d.” All he can do is to
spell the single letters. Then another person comes and says:
“The letters spelled by you mean God rules the
world.” Just as spelling differs from
reading, so does ordinary science differ from spiritual
Ordinary psychology is able to spell. By looking at a human
life, it finds certain instincts and urges in the child. The
scientist, who only knows how to spell, registers these
things, and thus it continues during the human being's entire
existence on earth.
Those understanding spiritual science are able to read.
Looking beyond the fire's surface, they see what is
below: man's destiny-determined life-path.
Between ordinary psychology, such as it is still practiced
today, and genuine knowledge of human soul-life there is
a difference akin to that between spelling and
could make ourselves understood with less difficulty, if we
could only tell the others that they are wrong. But, if
someone spells g,o,d,r,u,l,e,s, it is impossible to tell
him: “What you say is wrong.” For it is perfectly
correct. Only the other, lacking the knowledge that the
letters can be combined and read, will say to us: “You
are a crazy fellow. All that I can see is g,o,d, and so forth.
It would be utterly foolish to combine the letters.” He
cannot understand that we are not only able to spell but also
This fact makes our position very difficult. The
anthroposophist could easily reach an understanding with the
others; he does not have to refute them. Neither is he
entangled into polemics against external science. If this
science, however, begins to call him a crazy fellow —
then, naturally, he is forced to state that this is wide of the
mark and point out his willingness to consider as valid
what the others want to consider as valid. Only he would have
to exclude the following principle: Whatever this or that
person does not see is non-existent. For this principle is no
criterion of truth. And those persons who hold to it should
first ascertain whether others can see what they themselves
view of these things, those standing on anthroposophical ground
must be able to fathom this difficult relationship
between Anthroposophy and other world views. At most, we
could come to the conclusion that the one tolerating nothing
but g,o,d,r,u,l,e,s, should be considered as semi-illiterate.
Likewise, we might possibly say to the one who could not
wean himself of the habit to spell out the single instincts,
urges, passions, temperaments, and so forth: “You
are a semi-Philistine, a semi-blockhead. The trouble with you
is that you cannot soar.” We could not tell him, however,
that he was wrong.
issue between Anthroposophy and other world views is of such
nature that no understanding can be reached until those, who
know only how to spell, will have a mind to learn how to read.
Otherwise no mutual comprehension is possible; and for this
reason all the customary debates lead to no result whatsoever.
This fact is noticed by very few opponents of
Anthroposophy. In my opinion, it is essential that these
things should be known to you.
opponents of Anthroposophy increase with every month. Yet they
are unable to find a foothold. For, since Anthroposophy
always agrees with them, but they refuse to agree with
Anthroposophy, they cannot attack very well what the
Anthroposophist says. And for this reason they attack his
personality: defame it, tell lies about it. Unfortunately,
polemics tend more and more towards such a form. This must be
envisaged by those standing on anthroposophical ground.
must consider that a very odd assortment of antagonistic
books exists now-a-days. Many of their authors, who have read
anthroposophical literature, may have found out that I myself,
in certain passages of my own books, mention all the objections
that could be raised. I engage in polemics against myself, in
order to show how that which I affirm could be blotted out.
Hence all possible objections against Anthroposophy can
be found in my own books. Consequently, many of my opponents
busy themselves with copying the arguments which I myself, in
my own books, have cited against Anthroposophy. They then
distribute these writings to others in order to attack
Anthroposophy. Thus you can find hostile writings plagiarizing
my own books and simply copying my words when I say: this or
that objection could be raised. The fact that the
anthroposophist himself has to point out all the arguments that
can be advanced against him makes his opponents' task rather
mention these things not for the purpose of harrowing my
opponents, but in order to characterize how one must progress
if one desires to read life-experiences (with regard to the
will-impulses) instead of merely spelling them out. Spelling
only shows us what momentarily wells up in the form of urges,
of animal life expressed by desires, passions and wishes. Those
able to combine these letters and read them will penetrate
every individual human destiny. This human destiny is working
at the source of life; and, by means of this destiny, the human
being joins himself to the ever continuing course of mankind's
whole evolution. And only by comprehending in this way a single
human being's entire life are we able to comprehend human
history. During the following days, we shall contemplate
mankind's history; contemplate it as the life of mankind in its
destiny before and after the Mystery of Golgotha. And we shall
also see how the Mystery of Golgotha has influenced mankind's
development on earth.
First, however, I had to erect a foundation and show what is at
work within the human being. Only thus can it be
recognized in the right way how the gods and the Mystery
of Golgotha are at work within the individual man, within
his entire destiny.