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The Destinies of Individuals and of Nations

Rudolf Steiner Archive & e.Lib Document

Sketch of Rudolf Steiner lecturing at the East-West Conference in Vienna.

The Destinies of Individuals and of Nations

On-line since: 31st May, 2017


Berlin, 1 September 1914

The Destinies of Individuals and of Nations

Dornach building incomplete, outbreak of war. Belief in the victory of spiritual life. Essential to understand the world necessity of the serious events taking place (reference to Bhagavad Gita. Language of world karma coming to expression at the time only to be understood later. Strength and love can grow if members make spiritual science their own, enabling them to give the right kind of help at the right time. Mantrams.

Berlin, 31 October 1914

Nationalities and Nationalism in the Light of Spiritual Science

Particular need of the moment to penetrate outer events with spiritual science. The eternal in man and his earthly configuration, the latter including the national aspect. Hatred among peoples, and death cancelling all that is national. The nations of Europe representing individual aspects of man's essential nature. Hatred seen as raging against one's higher self — which will be connected with other nationalities in the future. The particular characteristics of European nations; differences in their attitude to people belonging to other nations. Different experiences on going through the gate of death. Attitudes to warfare. Special position of Russia. Basic attitude in the East of Europe prayerful; Merezhkovsky. Occult experiences at the time when the war started. How spiritual science must prove itself in difficult times.

Berlin, 28 October 1914

The Nature of European Folk Souls

Problem of seeing through life on earth — which is Maya. Sympathy and antipathy out of place when considering the characteristic nature of folk souls. How the soul relates to other folk souls during sleep. The power of spiritual truths. Involvement of folk spirits in earth evolution; the individual soul separating itself from this on death. Meaning of death in battle. Different nature of French and Russian souls because of their folk spirits. Higher spiritual entities fighting to let a spiritual stream enter into human evolution, with the aid of souls that have gone through death. Earthly alliances and battles as reversal of spiritual battle positions. Anthroposophy as a challenge from the spiritual world. Question as to responsibility for outbreak of war, and need to make efforts to perceive the karma of the folk soul. Contribution to be made to the future through spiritual renewal of intellectual life.

Berlin, 17 January 1915

The Nature of the Christ Impulse and the Michaelic Spirit Serving It — 1

Magnitude of the Christ Impulse far beyond our understanding so far; its living intervention in history. Struggle for Rome between Maxentius and Constantine in AD 312. Until 8th and 9th centuries many souls in Western and Southern Europe related to Christian faith only in ether body. 5th post-Atlantean epoch with special mission for England on the one hand and Continental Europe on the other. Christ impulse intervening through Joan of Arc. Distinction between individual and national development. Generally no reincarnation into the same folk area. Exception in the case of Central Europe. Eastern Europe today: many souls who formerly bore Christianity in their ether bodies and are now developing a feeling relationship to it. Central Europe: centuries of preparation to link the Christ impulse with ego and astral body in wide-awake perceptiveness. Goethe and his Faust. Future missions of Central and Eastern Europe complementary; both would face disaster if external forces were to damage Central Europe.

Berlin, 19 January 1915

The Nature of the Christ Impulse and the Michaelic Spirit Serving It — 2

The crossing of major threads in history always happens under the guidance of the spiritual world. Difference between Joan of Arc's and our own time. Present-day world of machines — with demonic, Ahrimanic spirituality — has destructive effect on man. Inner revelation, spiritual impulses for Joan of Arc, a country girl. Christianization of the function performed by seers in ancient Rome. Secret of Joan's birth; nature of her death. Joan overcoming Luciferic powers of adversity.

Today, divine, spiritual powers can come into the Ahrimanized world through human actions. The nature of Michael; his influence extending to the physical world and the intellect. Resistance to the Ahrimanic principle consists in making the powers of the wide-awake intellect spiritual. Mission of the age corresponding to that of the German folk spirit. Nature of German soul qualities: capacity for sacrifice. During Gabriel age more blood-based, during Michaelic age relating to will to understand. Ahrimanic powers rendered harmless by being seen through.

Berlin, 26 January 1915 85

Spiritual Perception Essential at the Present Time

Modern scientists guided towards existence of the spiritual world; inability to draw the logical conclusion. 0. Binswanger; connection between nerve process and moral and spiritual element.

Essential nature of religious systems: to convey ideas that go beyond the physical world and give strength for the spiritual world. Present need to gain deeper spiritual powers. On the meaning of war. Great number of those who die young; unused potential of their ether bodies can serve the evolution of mankind if men become aware of their connection with the spiritual world. Maintaining a relationship with the dead. A certain dangerous trend towards religiosity through war. Necessity for war to be understood only in spiritual terms. Mental effort demanded by the times. Reason for laziness — hidden fear of being too wide awake to reality on earth and after death. Increase in nervous disorders (Dostoevsky versus Hamerling). The healing power of spiritual science.

Berlin, 22 February 1915 107

Personal and Supersensible Aspects (Relating to Certain Individuals)

Three concrete experiences relating to friends who had died — experiences made in connection with their funerals. Three different ways in which necessity to gain self-knowledge after death showed itself. Dazzling superabundance of spirit after death needs to be subdued to permit conscious awareness. Help from spiritual science: not a theory, but guide to a way of grasping the spiritual world.

The many unused ether bodies of young men killed in battle; their energies become part of the folk soul. Aim of those dead to unite with the spiritual powers of the living for the progress of the earth. Experience of such collaboration with someone who died young — in connection with the building at Dornach.

Berlin, 2 March 1915

Three Decisions on the Path to Imaginative Perception

Three doors when body is left behind as path to knowledge is taken. Door of Death. Thought filled with life through meditation. Overcoming of inner obstacles. Thought growing to become winged head; Ahriman's desire to prevent this becoming visible. Need to overcome earthly things in one's thoughts.

The Door of the Elements. The will to gain mastery over thought has to be taken hold of in the ocean of living thought activity. Imagination of fearful lion; power gained by identifying with destiny will overcome lion. Danger of egoism; Lucifer wishing to conceal this. Grey magic.

Door of the Sun. Encounter with dragon consisting of man's lower organic and basest psychological or soul qualities. Distinction between 'head' and ‘belly’ clairvoyance. Higher powers of lower nature can be taken hold of by identifying even more profoundly with destiny.

Problems at the Door of Death. Essential to recognize spirit today. Death the teacher of the soul, particularly for those killed in battle when still young.

Berlin, 9 March 1915 149

The Sleeping-and-Waking Rhythm in the Context of Cosmic Evolution

Process of gaining higher knowledge: growing aware of what happens during sleep. Natural evolution from Moon to earth and then Jupiter from the aspect that ‘sleep’ of particular organs is basis for coming awake in thought activity. Meditation a cosmic reality. Subtle amounts of heat and light used up, leaving a cool, shadowy impression in the cosmic ether. Every experience of egoity involuntarily leaves behind such an impression. Picking these up after death, and the way they form karma in the next earth life.

Sleep and the waking state in terms of cultural evolution. Deep sleep of materialism entered into during 19th century (J. Mosen, W. Jordan, J. v. Auffenberg). Firm cohesion of spirit-soul and bodily-physical elements no longer loosening naturally today. Need to gain conscious awareness of spiritual world out of free will, through meditation. Spiritual insight needed to go out and meet the unused ether forces of those killed in battle.

Berlin, 16th March 1915

Problems on Spiritual Path — National Characteristics in Europe Moulded by Folk Spirits

Main problem on spiritual path: firm cohesion of soul and body. Comparing memory process with that of gaining spiritual insight. Every experience mediated by the senses leaves seal imprint in physical body; subconscious reading process by soul brings it to life again in memory process. Every meditation imprinted in cosmic ether. First things learned in supersensible sphere — realization that things experienced in the spirit belong to own higher nature. Meditation as work on this higher nature. Relationship of hierarchic entities to man, specifically of folk spirits to European peoples. Evolution of German folk spirit. Reason why German intellectual life has affinity to path of spiritual science. Events of the time confirming the truth of that spiritual link and presenting a challenge to overcome materialism.

Berlin, 20 April 1915

Etheric Man within Physical Man

What the soul experiences in relation to the earthly world on leaving the physical body — its living bond with the essential nature of the earth organism. Correspondence between waking and being asleep within 24 hours for man, and winter and summer in the earth spirit's year. The power alive in the earth spirit since the Mystery of Golgotha. The ‘stages of life’ reached by the soul functions — memory, thinking, feeling and will activity seen in relation to the planetary stages in the evolution of the earth and the basis for the physical body arising in each. Memory. Human will and karma. Possibility of seeing through karma if the will falls silent (E. Francisci's dream). Observing life in reality as the basis for joining forces with the spiritual world through higher knowledge. The meaning of life on earth. Events of the time as a warning.

Berlin, 10 June 1915

The Group Sculptured for the Building in Dornach

The building in Dornach — acoustics. Description of the three figures forming the group. Making the powers emanating from the central figure visible through recognition of the nature of Christ. Michelangelo's Christ in his Last Judgement. Pendulum swings in human life between Luciferic and Ahrimanic tendencies. Goethe's Faust and the dual nature of Mephistopheles. Central Europe's independent mission between the East which is orientated towards Lucifer and the West which is orientated towards Ahriman. Need for sincerity in the face of present events.

Berlin, 22 June 1915

The Prophetic Nature of Dreams: Moon, Sun and Saturn Man

Human life between past and future forms of existence. The prophetic nature of dreams clothed in the raiment of past experience. Dreams arising from interaction between astral and ether bodies. Planetary causes of earth existence continuing their hidden existence in man. ‘Moon life’ present in man as the ‘dreamer’ (e.g. Emerson's essays on Shakespeare and Goethe). Angeloi but also Lucifer and Ahriman influencing the 'dreamer' (e.g. Yushakov). ‘Saturn man’ the basis for life on earth and for ordinary science. His role in providing the basis for mineral structure on Jupiter. ‘Sun man’ influenced through spiritual science. This provides the potential for plant growth on Jupiter. Later forms of spiritual science to prepare for Jupiter's animal world and the basis for human civilization. Nonsense of purely physical atomism. Macrocosmic significance of thought, word and moral quality of man. Lecture given to elucidate certain words spoken by Christ.

Berlin, 6 July 1915 232

The Cosmic Significance of Our Sensory Perceptions — Our Thinking, Feeling and Will Activity

Man as part of cosmos and earth considered in relation to the small extent to which we are conscious of this. Cosmic aspect of sensory perception — ‘seeing’ to make the earth luminous for other planets. Human thinking and its relation to the surging ocean of a thought world of fluid images. The even more wide-ranging cosmic significance of feeling and of will activity. Mirror images arising in man of the qualities and actions (feeling) and of the essential nature (will activity) of inspiring, world-building hierarchies. Feeling and will activity as building stones for future worlds.

Old clairvoyance lost to provide for freedom. Independent thought developing as physical body is more and more strongly taken hold of. Essential balancing function provided by spiritual science. Danger of spiritual energies, which are present even if denied, being taken hold of by Lucifer and Ahriman. Example from Italian history (Cola di Rienzi and d'Annunzio). [ Note 88 ]

Original German Mantrams

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