[RSArchive Icon]
Rudolf Steiner Archive Section Name Rudolf Steiner Archive & e.Lib



Highlight Words

On the Development of Human Culture

Schmidt Number: S-5825

On-line since: 31st May, 2011

I

Dornach, 12th July, 1924


I have spoken to you of our wish to look further into the history connected with the study of the world that we have undertaken. You have seen how the human race has gradually built itself up from the rest of great Nature. It was only when conditions on the earth were such that men were able to live upon it, that is, when the earth had perished, no longer had its own life, only then could human and animal life develop on the earth in the way I have pictured.

We have also seen that to begin with, human life was actually quite different from what it is today, and its field of action was where the Atlantic Ocean is now. We have to imagine that where today the Atlantic Ocean is, there was formerly solid ground. I will make a rough sketch of this. Today we come to Asia over there, this is the Black Sea, below is Africa, this is Russia, and there we find Asia. Here would be England, Ireland, yonder America; formerly all this was land and very little water, but over here in Europe at that time there was actually a really huge sea. These countries were all in the sea, and when we come up here, on this side there was sea too. Below where India is today — that is Indo-China — the land was appearing a little above the sea. Thus we actually have some land here, and here again land. Where today we find the Asian peoples, the inhabitants of the Near East and those of Europe, there was sea — the land rising up only later. This land, here, went much further, continuing right on to the Pacific Ocean where today there are so many islands, Java, Sumatra, and so on, which are all portions of the continent formerly there — all this archipelago. Thus, where now the Pacific Ocean is, there was a great deal of land with sea between.

Now the first peoples we are able to follow up have remained in this region, where the land has been preserved. When we look around us in Europe we can really say: ten, twelve, or fifteen thousand years ago the earth became sufficiently firm for men to dwell upon it. Before this only marine animals were there which developed out of the sea. If at that time you had looked for man, it would have been where the Atlantic Ocean is today. Already fifteen thousand years ago, however, in Asia, in Eastern Asia, there were also men. These men have naturally left descendants, and their descendants are very interesting on account of their culture, the most ancient on earth. These are the peoples referred to today as Mongolians; they include the Japanese and Chinese. They are interesting as being the remnants — the remaining traces — of the oldest inhabitants of the earth.

As you have seen, there was a much older population on the earth, who, however, have been entirely wiped out. They were the peoples who lived in ancient Atlantis, of whom nothing remains. For in this case even if any remains did exist we should have to dig down into the bed of the Atlantic Ocean to find them. We should have to get down to this bed — a more difficult thing to do than people imagine — and dig there to find in all probability nothing, for as I said those people had soft bodies. The culture resulting from what they did is impossible to unearth because it is no longer in existence. Thus, what was there long before the Japanese and Chinese is not accessible to ordinary science; we must have some knowledge of spiritual science if we want to make such discoveries.

What has remained of the Japanese and Chinese peoples, however, is very interesting. You see, the Chinese and older Japanese — not those of today, about whom I shall be speaking presently — these Chinese and Japanese have a culture quite different from ours. We should have a better idea of this had not our good Europeans in recent centuries extended their domination over these spheres, bringing about a complete change. In the case of Japan, this change has been very effective. Although Japan has preserved its name, it has become entirely Europeanized, its people have gradually absorbed everything from the Europeans, and what remains to them of their ancient culture is merely its outward form. The Chinese have preserved their identity better, but now they can no longer hold out. It is true that the European domination is not actively established there, but in these regions what the Europeans think is becoming all-prevailing, and what once existed there has disappeared. This is no cause for regret; it is in the nature of human evolution. It has, however, to be mentioned.

Now if we observe the Chinese — among whom things can be seen in a less adulterated form — we find there a culture distinct from all others, for the Chinese in their old culture do not include anything that can be called religion. The Chinese culture was devoid of religion.

You must picture to yourselves what is meant by a “culture without religion.” When you consider the cultures that have religion you find everywhere — in the old Indian cultures, for instance — veneration for beings who are invisible but yet seem to resemble human beings on earth. It is the peculiar feature of all later religions that they represent invisible beings anthropomorphically.

Anthroposophy no longer does this; anthroposophy no longer represents the super-sensible world anthropomorphically, but as it actually is. Further, it sees in the stars the expression of the super-sensible. The remarkable thing is that the Chinese have had something of the same kind. The Chinese do not venerate invisible gods but say: what is here on the earth differs according to climate, according to the nature of the soil where one is. You see, China in the most ancient times was already a big country and is still bigger than Europe today; it is, as you will admit, a gigantic country, has always been gigantic, and has had a tremendously big, vigorous population. Now the idea that the population of the earth increases is just superstition on the part of modern science, which always makes its calculations from data to suit itself. The truth is that also in the most ancient times there was a vast population in China, also in South America and North America. There, too, in those ancient times the land reached out towards the Pacific Ocean. If that is taken into account, the population of the earth cannot be said to have grown.

Thus we find a culture that is quite ancient, and today this culture can still be observed as it actually existed ten thousand, eight thousand, years age. These Chinese said: above in the north the climate is different, the soil is different, from what they are further down; everything is different there. The growth of the plants is different and human beings have to live in a different way. But the sun is all-pervading. The sun shines in the north and in the south; it goes on its way and moves on from warm regions to those where it is cold, and so on. Thus these people said: on earth diversity prevails, but the sun makes everything equal. Hence they saw in the sun a fructifying, levelling force. They went on to say therefore: if we are to have a ruler, our ruler must be like that; individual men differ but he must rule over them like the sun. For this reason they gave him the name of “Son of the Sun.” He was called upon to reign over the universe. The individual planets, Venus, Jupiter, and so on, act in their various ways; the sun as ruler over the planets makes everything equal. Thus the Chinese pictured their ruler as Son of the Sun. For they took the word son essentially to imply “belonging to something.”

Everything, then, was so arranged that the people said: the Son of the Sun is our most important man; the others are his helpers, just as the planets and so on are the helpers of the sun. They organized everything on earth in accordance to what appeared overhead in the stars. All this was done without prayer, for the Chinese did not know the meaning of it. It was all done without their actually having what later constituted a cult. In what might be called their kingdom, everything was organized in such a way that it was an image of the heavens. It had not yet reached the point of being a state — that is an infliction of modern man; they appointed all their earthly affairs in the image of what appeared to them in the stars above.

Now something came about through this — naturally quite different from what happened later — a man became the citizen of a kingdom. He did not profess any particular creed but felt himself just as member of a kingdom. Originally the Chinese had no gods of any kind; when later they had them, these gods were taken over from the Indians. To begin with, they did not have gods, but all their connection with the super-sensible worlds found expression in the essential nature of their kingdom and its institutions. Hence these institutions had a family quality. The Son of the Sun was at the same time father to all other Chinese and these were at his bidding. Even if it was a kingdom, it partook as a whole of the nature of a family.

All this is possible only for men whose thinking has no resemblance to that of later comers; and the thinking of the Chinese at that time did not at all resemble that of later men. What we think today would have been quite foreign to the Chinese. We think, for example, animal; we think men; we think scales or table. The Chinese did not speak in this way, but they knew: there is a lion, there a tiger, there a bear — not there is an animal. They knew: my neighbour has a table with corners; someone else has a less angular table, a table that is rounder. They gave names to single things, but what a table is never entered their head; the table as such — of that they had no knowledge. They were aware: there stands a man with a bigger head, there one with a smaller head, with shorter legs, and so on; there is a smaller man, here a bigger man, but man in general was to them an unknown factor. The Chinese thought in a quite different way, in a way impossible for man today. They had need, therefore, of other concepts. Now if you think table, man, animal, you can extend this to legal matters, for jurisprudence consists solely of such concepts. But the Chinese were unable to think out any legal system, everything with them savouring more of the family. In the family, when a son or a daughter wants to do anything there is no thought of any law of obligation. Today if anyone wants to do anything in Switzerland, the law of obligation, marriage laws, and so on, all come in. This is implicit and has to be applied individually.

Inasmuch as human beings still retain something of the Chinese within them — and there always remains a little — they do not know what to make of the law and must have recourse to a lawyer. They are at sea, too, with general concepts. As for the Chinese they never had a legal code; they had nothing at all of what later took on the nature of a state. All they had was what the individual man could see in each individual case.

Now, to continue. The whole Chinese language, for instance, is influenced by this. When we say “table,” we at once picture a flat surface with one, two, or three legs, and so on; but it must be something that can stand like a table. Were anyone to tell me a chair was a table, I should say: a table? How foolish you are; that's no table; it's a chair. And if someone else came along and called the blackboard a table, we should tell him he was even more foolish; it was not a table at all but a blackboard. In accordance with the character of our language we have to call each thing by its special name.

That is not so in the case of the Chinese. I will put this to you hypothetically; it will not give you an exact picture, but you will gather some idea of it. Say, then, that the Chinese has the sound OA, IOA, TAO [See Note 1], and so on. He has perhaps a certain sound for table, but this same sound signifies many other things too. Thus, let us say, such a sound might mean tree, brook, also perhaps flint. Then he has another sound, let us suppose, that can mean star, as well as table, and bench. (I don't mean that this actually is so in the Chinese language but it is the way the language is built up.) Now the Chinese knows: there are two sounds here, for example LAO and BAO, each meaning some things that are quite different but both signifying brook as well. So he puts them together — BAOLAO. In this way he builds up his language. He does not build it up upon names given to single things, but according to the various meanings of the various sounds. A sound may signify tree but it may also signify brook. When a Chinese therefore combines two sounds which, besides many other things, signify brook, the other man knows that he means brook. But when he utters only one sound, no one knows what he means. In writing there are the same complications. So the Chinese have an extraordinarily complicated language and an extraordinarily complicated script.

Indeed, a great deal follows from this. It follows that with them, it is not so easy as with us to learn to read and write — nor even to speak. With us, reading and writing can really be called quite simple; indeed we are disappointed when our children do not learn to read and write — so it must be simple enough for them. In the case of the Chinese this is not so; in China one grows quite old before one can write or in any way master the language. Hence you can imagine that the ordinary people are not able to do all this, and only those who can go on learning up to a great age can at last become proficient, In China, therefore, spiritual nobility is conferred as a matter of course on those who are cultured, and this spiritual nobility is called into being by the nature of the language and of the script. Here again it is not the same as in the West where some degree of nobility having been conferred, it can be passed on from generation to generation. In China it was possible to acquire rank only by being learned.

It is strange that if we are willing to judge superficially, at this point we are emphatic: then we do not want to be Chinese! But you must not understand me to say that we ought to become Chinese or for that matter particularly to admire China — although that is what some people may easily say afterwards. When two years ago we had a congress in Vienna, one of us spoke of how some things in China were managed even today more wisely than with us. Immediately the newspapers were saying that we wanted Chinese culture in Europe! But that is not what was meant. In describing Chinese culture, in a certain way — but only in a certain way — praise must be given for what it has of spiritual content. It is primitive, however, and of a kind that can no longer be adopted by us. So you must not think I am looking for another China in Europe. I am simply wishing to describe this most ancient of human cultures as it actually existed.

Now — to proceed. What I have said here is connected with the whole manner of Chinese thinking and feeling. Indeed the Chinese, and the Japanese of more ancient times as well, occupied themselves a great deal, a very great deal, with a kind of art — they painted, for instance. Now when we paint, it is quite a different affair from the Chinese painting. I will show you this as simply as possible: when we paint a ball, for example, if the light falls in this way, the ball is bright here, and there dark for it is in shadow — the light is falling beyond it. There again, on the light side, the ball is rather bright because there the light is reflected. Then we say: That side is in shadow, for the light is reflected on the other; and here we have to paint the shadow the ball throws on the ground. This is one of the characteristics of our painting — we must have light and shade on the objects.

When we paint a face, we paint it bright where the light falls (a drawing is made), and over here we make it dark. When we paint the whole man, if we paint rightly, we put shadow in the same way falling on the ground. But besides all this we must pay attention to something else in our picture. Suppose I am standing there and want to paint; I see Mr. A. sitting in front; there behind, Mr. M., and the two other gentlemen sitting right at the back — I must paint these too. Mr. A. will be quite big and the two gentlemen right at the back quite small. Were I to photograph them, in the photograph also they would come out quite small. When I paint I do it in such a way that the gentlemen sitting in the front row are represented as being quite big, the next behind smaller, the next again still smaller and the one sitting right at the back has a tiny little head, a tiny little face. There you see we have to paint in accordance with perspective. This too has to be done with us. We have to paint in accordance with the light and shade and also with perspective. This is inherent in the very way we think.

Now the Chinese in their painting recognized neither light nor shadow, nor did they recognize perspective, because they did not see at all in the we do. They took no notice of light and shade or perspective, for this is what they would have said: A. is certainly not a giant any more than M. is a diminutive dwarf. We can't put them together in a picture as if one were a giant and the other a dwarf, for that would be a lie, it would not be the truth! This is the way they thought about everything, and they painted as they thought. When they learn to paint, the Japanese and the Chinese do not learn by looking at objects from the outside, they think themselves right into the objects; they paint everything from within outwards in the way they have to imagine it to themselves. This constitutes the very nature of Chinese and Japanese painting.

You will realize, therefore, that learning to see came only later to mankind. Human beings in China at that time thought in their own way in pictures; they did not form general concepts like table and so on, but what they saw they apprehended inwardly. This is nothing to wonder at, for the Chinese descended from a culture during which seeing was different. Today we see in the way we do because there is air between us and the object. This air was indeed not there (this is no longer so in modern China. I am speaking of the regions where the Chinese were first established). In the times from which the Chinese have come down, people did not see in our way. In those more ancient times it would have been nonsense to speak of light and shade, for there was not yet any such thing in the density of the air. Thus with the Chinese it is a case of their having no light and shade in what they paint — nor do they have perspective. That only comes later. From this you see how the Chinese inwardly think in a quite different way; they do not think like the men who came later.

All this, however, did not in the least hinder the Chinese from going very far where cleverness in outward affairs is concerned. When I was young — it is rather different now — we learned at school that Berthold Schwarz invented gunpowder, and this was said as if there had never been gunpowder before. Berthold Schwarz, when making alchemistic experiments, produced gunpowder out of sulphur, nitre, and carbon. But the Chinese had made gunpowder thousands of years before!

At school we were taught that Guttenberg discovered how to print. We learned many things that are quite correct, but it always looked as if formerly there had been no knowledge of printing. Thousands of years ago the Chinese already possessed this knowledge, just as they had the art of woodcarving — knew how to cut the most wonderful things out of wood. In these outward affairs, the Chinese have had an advanced culture. This culture was in its turn the last remnant of a former culture still more advanced, for one recognizes in this Chinese art that it goes back to something even higher.

It is characteristic of the Chinese, then, to think not in concepts but in pictures, also to project themselves right inside objects. Thus they have been able to make all those things which depend upon outer invention — that is, when it is not a matter of steam engines or anything of that kind. So the present condition of the Chinese, which we may say is degenerate and uncultivated, has actually arisen as the result of years of ill-treatment at the hands of Europeans.

Thus you see that here we have a culture which in a certain sense is really spiritual — a culture which is quite ancient and goes back ten thousand years before our time. Comparatively late, in the millennium preceding Christianity, people like Lao Tse and Confucius made the first written record of knowledge possessed by the Chinese. Those old masters simply wrote down what had arisen out of the family intercourse in this old kingdom. They were not conscious of inventing rules of a moral or ethical nature, but merely recorded their experience of Chinese conduct. Previously this had been done by word of mouth. Thus everything at that time was basically different.

This is something that may to a certain extent still be perceived in the Chinese — hardly in the Japanese any longer because in everything they follow European culture. That this culture has not developed out of themselves can be seen in their inability to discover on their own initiative what is purely European. For example, the following once really happened. The Japanese were to have steamships and saw no reason why they would not be able to manage them perfectly well. They covertly made a study of how to turn the ship, to manipulate the screw, and so on. They then had instructors, Europeans, to work with them for a time until one day the Japanese said with pride: Now we can manage on our own, appoint our own captain! So the European instructors were put ashore and off steamed the Japanese to the high seas. Wanting then to try revolving the ship they turned the screw, when lo and behold, the ship twisted round — but no one knew what to do next, and there was the ship whirling round and round on the sea, puffing out smoke and just turning and turning. The European instructors watching from the shore had to take a boat and bring the revolving ship to a standstill. You remember perhaps Goethe's poem called “The Magician's Apprentice” — we have performed it in eurythmy — where the apprentice listens to the spells of the old master- magician. As a result, to save himself the trouble of fetching water, by mean? of a magic formula he converts a broom into a water-carrier. One day when the old magician is out, the apprentice decides to put this idea into practice, and remembers the words to start the broom working. The broom gets down to the business of fetching water, of bringing more and always more water. Now the apprentice forgets how to stop it, Imagine if you had your room flooded and your broom went on fetching more and more water! In his desperation, the apprentice chops the broom in two — then there are two water-carriers! When everything is drowned in water, the old master comes back and says the right words to make the broom become a broom again.

Well, the same kind of thing happened with the Japanese; they did not know how the screw had to be manipulated, and so the ship continued to go round and round. A regular ship's dance went on out there until the instructor-; on land could get a boat and come to the rescue.

It becomes clear from this that the invention of European things is an impossibility for both the Chinese and the Japanese. But where the invention of older affairs is concerned, such as gunpowder, printing, and so forth, they had already got as far as that in much more ancient times. You see, the Chinese is much more interested in the world around him, in the world of the stars as well as in the outside world generally.

Another people who point us back to ancient days are the Indians, but they do not go as far back as the Chinese. The Indian people also have an old culture. This old culture, however, might be said to have arisen from the sea later than the Chinese. The people in India who were the later Indian people came more from the north, settling down here as the land became free of water.

Now whereas the Chinese interested themselves in what was in the world outside, could project themselves into anything, these Indian people brooded more within themselves. The Chinese reflected more about the world, in their own way, but about the world; the Indians reflected chiefly about themselves, about man himself. Hence the culture that arose in India went deeper. In the most remote times Indian culture was still free of religion; only later did religion enter into what at first was still without it. Man was their principal object of study, but this study was of an inward kind.

In this case, too, I can best explain matters by the way in which the Indians used to draw and paint. The Chinese, looking at a man, painted him simply by entering into him with their own thinking — without light, shade, or perspective. That is really the way they painted him. Thus, if a Chinese had wanted to paint Mr. B., he would have thought his way in to him; he would not have made him dark there and light here, as we would do today; he would not have painted light and shade because they did not yet exist for him. Neither would he have made the hands bigger in comparison because of being in front. But if our Chinese had painted Mr. B., then Mr. B. would really have been there in the picture!

It was quite different with the Indians. Now just imagine the Indians were going to paint a picture; they would have started by painting heads. They too, had no such thing as perspective. But they would at once have had the idea that the head might possibly be different, so they straightway made another, then a third again different, and a fourth, a fifth. In this way, they would gradually have had 20 or 30 heads side by side! All these would have been suggested to them by the one head. Or in the case of a plant, if they were painting a plant, they imagined at once that this might be different, and there arose a number of young plants growing out of the older one. This is how it was in the case of the Indians in those very ancient times. They had tremendous powers of imagination. The Chinese had none at all and drew only the single thing, but made their way right into this in thought. The Indians had this powerful imagination.

But you see those heads are not there; if you look at Mr. B. you see only one head; hence if you were painting him it is only one head that you can paint. You are, therefore, not painting what is outwardly real if you paint 20 or 30 heads; you are painting something merely thought-out in your mind. The whole Indian culture took on that character; it was a quite inward culture of the mind, of the spirit. Hence when you see the spiritual beings of the Indians, as the Indians have thought of them, they have been represented with numbers of heads, numbers of arms, or in such a way that what is of an animal nature in the body is made manifest.

The Indians are quite different people from the Chinese. The Chinese lack imagination whereas the Indians have been full of it from the beginning. Hence the Indians were predisposed gradually to turn their culture into a religious one, which up to this day the Chinese have never done; there is no religion in China. Europeans, who are not given to making fine distinctions, speak of the Chinese having a religion, but the Chinese themselves do not admit it. They say: You in Europe have a religion; the Indians have a religion; we, say the Chinese, have nothing resembling your religion. This tendency was possible, however, in the Indians only because they had particular knowledge of something of which the Chinese were ignorant — namely, the human body. The Chinese knew well how to put themselves into anything external to them. Now when there are vinegar, salt and pepper on our dinner table and we want to know what they taste like, we have first to sample the pepper, salt, vinegar on our tongue. In the case of a Chinese in olden times, this was not necessary. He tasted things that were still outside him; he could really put himself into things and was quite familiar with what was external to him. Hence he had certain expressions showing that he took part in the outside world. We no longer have such expressions, or at most they signify for us something of a figurative nature. For the Chinese, they signified a reality. When, on getting to know someone, I say of him: what a sour fellow he is! — we mean it figuratively; we do not imagine him really to be sour in the way vinegar is sour. But for a Chinese this meant that the man actually evoked in him a sour taste.

It was not so with the Indians; the Indians for their part could go much more deeply into their own bodies. If we go deeply into our own bodies, it is only when certain conditions are present that we can feel anything there. If every time we have had a meal, this meal remains in our stomach without being properly digested, we feel pain in our stomach. If our liver is out of order and cannot secrete sufficient gall, we feel pain on the right side of our body — then we get a liver complaint. When our lungs exude too freely, secrete too much so that they become more full of mucous that they should be, then we feel that there is something wrong with our lungs, that they are out of order. Human beings today are conscious of their bodies only in those organs that are sick. Those men of more ancient times, the Indians, felt when a man's organs were sound; they knew how the stomach or the liver felt. When today anyone wants to know this, he has to take a corpse and dissect it; he then examines the condition of the separate organs inside. No one today knows what a liver looks like unless they dissect it; it is only spiritual science that is able to describe it. The Indians thought man from within and would have been able to draw all his organs. In the case of an Indian, however, who had been asked to feel the liver and to draw what he felt, he would have said: Liver — well, here is another liver, another and yet another, and he would have drawn 20 or 30 livers side-by-side.

But you have there a different story. If I give a complete man 20 heads, I have a fanciful picture. But if I draw the human liver with 20 or 30 others beside it, I am drawing something not wholly fantastic; it would have been possible for these 20 or 30 livers really to have come into being! Every man has his distinctive form of liver, but there is no absolute necessity for that form, it could very well be different. This possibility of difference, this spiritual aspect of the matter, was far better understood by the Indians than by those who came later. The Indians said: When we draw a single object, it is not the whole truth; we have to conceive the matter spiritually. Hence the Indians have had a lofty spiritual culture; they have never set great store by the outer world but have had a spiritual conception of everything.

Indians thought it very important that learning should actually be acquired in accordance with this; hence, to become an educated man was a lengthy affair. For, as you can imagine, it was not just a matter of a man going deeply into himself and being capable all at once of knowing everything! When we are responsible for the instruction of young people, we have first to teach them to read, write, and so on, in this way imparting to them something from outside. But this was not so in the case of the Indians. When they wanted to teach anyone, they showed him how to withdraw into his inner depths; he had indeed to turn his attention as far as possible away from the world and to focus it upon his inner being.

Now if anyone sits and looks outwards, he sees you all sitting there and his attention is directed to the outer world. This would have been the way with the Chinese; they directed their attention outwards. The Indians did something different. They said: You must learn to gaze at the tip of your nose. Then the student had to keep his eyes fixed so that he saw nothing but the tip of his nose, nothing else for hours at a time, without even moving his eyes.

Yes, indeed, the European will say: How terrible to train people to be always contemplating the tip of their nose. True, for the European there is something terrible in it; it is impossible for him to do the same. But in ancient India, that was the custom. In order to learn anything, an Indian did not have to write with his fingers, he had to look at the tip of his nose. But this sitting for hours gazing at the tip of his nose led him into his own inner being, into what was within — for the tip of the nose is the same in the first hour as it is in the second, and nothing particular is to be seen there. From the tip of his nose, however, the student was able to behold more and more of what was within him; within him everything became brighter and brighter. This is why he had to carry out the exercise.

Now as you know, when we walk about we are accustomed to do so on our feet; and this going about on our feet has an effect upon us, we feel ourselves to be upright men when walking on our feet. This was discouraged for those in India who were to learn something. While learning they had to have one leg like this and to sit on it, while the other leg was in this position. Thus they sat, gazing fixedly at the tip of their noses, so that they became quite unaccustomed to stand and had the feeling they were no longer upstanding men but crumpled up like an embryo in the mother's womb. You can see the Buddha portrayed in this way. It was thus that the Indians had to learn. Gradually they began to look within them, learned to know what is within man, came to have knowledge of the human physical body in an entirely spiritual way.

When we look within us, we are conscious of our paltry thinking, learn something of our feeling but almost nothing of our willing. The Indians felt a whole world in the human being. Naturally you can imagine what different men they were from those who came later. Then, as you know, they developed those tremendous powers of imagination expressed in poetical form in their books of wisdom — later, in the Vedas and in the Vedantic philosophy, which still fill us with admiration. It figured in all their legends concerning super-sensible things — even today objects of wonder.

Now look what a contrast! Here were the Indians, here the Chinese, and the Chinese were a prosaic people, interested in what was outside, a people who did not live from within. The Indians were a people who looked entirely inwards, actually contemplating within them the spiritual nature of the physical body.

I have begun by telling you something about the most ancient inhabitants of the earth. Next time I shall be continuing, so that in our historical survey we shall finally arrive at the actual time in which we are living.


Note 1 The German pronunciation of the vowel sounds has been used:
German a, English ah (as in father)
German i, English ee (as in feet)




Last Modified: 28-Oct-2018
The Rudolf Steiner Archive is maintained by:
The e.Librarian: elibrarian@elib.com
[Spacing]