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World History in the light of Anthroposophy

Schmidt Number: S-5544

On-line since: 31st October, 2012


O f peculiar importance for the understanding of the history of the West in its relation to the East is the period that lies between three or four hundred years before, and three or four hundred years after, the Mystery of Golgotha. The real significance of the events we have been considering, events that culminated in the rise of Aristotelianism and in the expeditions of Alexander to Asia, is contained in the fact that they form, as it were, the last Act in that civilisation of the East which was still immersed in the impulses derived from the Mysteries.

A final end was put to the genuine and pure Mystery impulse of the East by the criminal burning of Ephesus. After that we find only traditions of the Mysteries, traditions and shadow-pictures, — the remains, so to speak, that were left over for Europe and especially for Greece, of the old divinely-inspired civilisation. And four hundred years after the Mystery of Golgotha another great event took place, which serves to show what was still left of the ruins — for so we might call them — of the Mysteries.

Let us look at the figure of Julian the Apostate [Flavius Claudius Julianus, called the Apostate by the Christians, was Roman Emperor from 361–363.]. Julian the Apostate, Emperor of Rome, was initiated, in the 4th century, as far as initiation was then possible, by one of the last of the hierophants of the Eleusinian Mysteries. This means that he entered into an experience of the old Divine secrets of the East, in so far as such an experience could still be gained in the Eleusinian Mysteries.

At the beginning of the period we are considering, stands the burning of Ephesus; and the day of the burning of Ephesus is also the day on which Alexander the Great was born. At the end of the period, in 363, we have the day of the death — the terrible and significant death — of Julian the Apostate far away in Asia. Midway between these two days stands the Mystery of Golgotha.

And now let us examine a little this period of time as it appears in the setting of the whole history of human evolution. If we want to look back beyond this period into the earlier evolution of mankind, we have first to bring about a change in our power of vision and perception, a change that is very similar to one of which we hear in another connection. Only we do not often bring the things together in thought.

You will remember how in my book Theosophy I had to describe the different worlds that come under consideration for man. I described them as the physical world; a transition world bordering on it, namely, the Soul-world; and then the world into which only the highest part of our nature can find entrance, the Spirit-land. Leaving out of account the special qualities of this Spirit-land, through which present-day man passes between death and a new birth, and looking only at its more general qualities and characteristics, we find that we have to give a new orientation to our whole thought and feeling, before we can comprehend the Land of the Spirits. And the remarkable thing is that we have to change and re-orientate our inner life of thought and feeling in just the same way when we want to comprehend what lies beyond the period I have defined. We shall do wrong to imagine that we can understand what came before the burning of Ephesus with the conceptions and ideas that suffice for the world of to-day. We need to form other concepts and other ideas to enable us to look across the years to human beings who still knew that as surely as man is united through breathing with the air outside him, so surely is he in constant union through his soul with the Gods.

Starting then from this world, the world that is a kind of earthly Devachan, earthly Spirit-land, — for the physical world fails us when we want to picture it, — we came into the interim period, lasting from about 356 b.c. to about a.d. 363 And now what follows? Over in Europe we find the world from out of which present-day humanity is on the point of emerging into something new, even as the humanity of olden times came forth from the Oriental world, passed through the Greek world, and then into the realm of Rome.

Setting aside for the moment what went on in the inner places of the Mysteries, we have to see in the civilisation that has grown up through the centuries of the Middle Ages and developed on into our own time, a civilisation that has been formed on the basis of what the human being himself can produce with the help of his own conceptions and ideas. We may see a beginning in this direction in Greece, from the time of Herodotus onward. Herodotus describes the facts of history in an external way, he makes no allusion, or at most very slight allusion, to the spiritual. And others after him go further in the same direction. Nevertheless in Greece we always feel a last breath, as it were, from those shadow-pictures that were there to remind man of the spiritual life. With Rome on the other hand begins the period to which man to-day may still feel himself related, the period that has an altogether new way of thought and feeling, different even from what we have observed in Greece. Only here and there in the Roman world do we find a personality such as Julian the Apostate who feels something like an irresistible longing after the old world, and evinces a certain honesty in getting himself initiated into the Eleusinian Mysteries.

What Julian, however, is able to receive in these Mysteries has no longer the force of knowledge. And what is more, he belongs to a world where men are no longer able to grasp in their soul the traditions from the Mysteries of the East.

Present-day mankind would never have come into being if Asia had not been followed first by Greece and then by Rome. Present-day mankind is built up upon personality, upon the personality of the individual. Eastern mankind was not so built up. The individual of the East felt himself part of a continuous divine process. The Gods had their purposes in Earth evolution. The Gods willed this or that, and this or that came to pass on the Earth below. The Gods worked on the will of men, inspiring them. Those powerful and great personalities in the East of whom I spoke to you — all that they did was inspired from the Gods. Gods willed: men carried it into effect. And the Mysteries were ordered and arranged in olden times to this end, — to bring Divine will and human action into line.

In Ephesus we first find a difference. There the pupils in the Mysteries, as I have told you, had to be watchful for their own condition of ripeness and no longer to observe seasons and times of year. There the first sign of personality makes its appearance. There in earlier incarnations Aristotle and Alexander the Great had received the impulse towards personality.

But now comes a new period. It is in the early dawn of this new period when Julian the Apostate experiences as it were the last longing of man to partake, even in that late age, in the Mysteries of the East. Now the soul of man begins to grow different again from what it was in Greece.

Picture to yourselves once more a man who has received some training in the Ephesian Mysteries. His constitution of soul is not derived from these Mysteries: he owes it to the simple fact that he is living in that age. When to-day a man recollects, when, as we say, he bethinks himself, what can he call to mind? He can call to mind something that he himself experienced in person during his present life, perhaps something that he experienced 20 or 30 years ago. This inward recollection in thought does not of course go further back than his own personal life. With the man who belonged, for instance, to the Ephesian civilisation it was otherwise. If he had received, even in a small degree, the training that could be had in Ephesus, then it was so with him that when he bethought himself in recollection, there emerged in his soul, instead of the memories that are limited to personal life, events of pre-earthly existence, events that preceded the Earth period of evolution. He beheld the Moon evolution, the Sun evolution, beholding them in the several kingdoms of Nature. He was able, too, to look within himself, and see the union of man with the Cosmic All; he saw how man depends on and is linked with the Cosmos. And all this that lived in his soul was true, ‘own’ memory, it was the cosmic memory of man.

We may therefore say that we are here dealing with a period when in Ephesus man was able to experience the secrets of the Universe. The human soul had memory of the far-past ages of the Cosmos.

This remembering was preceded in evolution by something else: it was preceded by an actual living within those earlier times. What remained was a looking back. In the time, however, of which the Gilgamesh Epic relates, we cannot speak of a memory of past ages in the Cosmos, we must speak of a present experience of what is past.

After the time of cosmic memory came what I have called the interim time between Alexander and Julian the Apostate. For the moment we will pass by this period. Then follows the age that gave birth to the western civilisation of the Middle Ages and of modern times. Here there is no longer a memory of the cosmic past, still less an experience in the present of the past; nothing is left but tradition.

  1. Memory of the Cosmic Past.
  2. Present Experience of the Past.
  3. Tradition.

Men can now write down what has happened. History begins. History makes its first appearance in the Roman period. Think, my dear friends, what a tremendous change we have here! Think how the pupils in the Ephesian Mysteries lived with time. They needed no history books. To write down what happened would have been to them laughable. One only needed to ponder and meditate deeply enough, and what had happened would rise up before one from out of the depths of consciousness. Here was no demonstration of psycho-analysis such as a modern doctor might make: the human soul took the greatest delight in fetching up in this way out of a living memory that which had been in the past. In the time that followed, however, mankind as such had forgotten, and the necessity arose of writing down what happened. But all the while that man had to let his ancient power of cosmic memory crumble away, and begin in a clumsy manner to write down the great events of the world, — all this time personal memory, personal recollection was evolving in his inner being. For every age has its own mission, every age its own task.

Here you have the other side of that which I set before you in the very first lectures of this course, when I described the rise of what we designated ‘memory in time.’ This memory in time, or temporal memory, had, so to say, its cradle in Greece, grew up through the Roman culture into the Middle Ages and on into modern times. In the time of Julian the Apostate the seed was already sown for the civilisation based on personality, as is testified by the fact that Julian the Apostate found it, after all, of no avail to let himself be initiated into the Eleusinian Mysteries.

We have now come to the period when the man of the West, beginning from the 3rd or 4th century after Christ and continuing down to our own time, lives his life on Earth entirely outside the spiritual world, lives in concepts and ideas, in mere abstractions. In Rome the very Gods themselves became abstractions. We have reached a time when mankind has no longer any knowledge of a living connection with the spiritual world. The Earth is no longer Asia, the lowest of the Heavens, the Earth is a world for itself, and the Heavens are far away, dim and darkened for man's view. Now is the time when man evolves personality, under the influence of the Roman culture that is spread abroad over the lands of the West. As we had to speak of a soul-world bordering on the spiritual world, on the land of the Spirits that is above, — so, bordering on this spiritual oriental world is the civilisation of the West; we may call it a kind of soul-world in time. This is the world that reaches right down to our own day. And now, in our time, although most men are not at all alive to the fact, another stupendous change is again taking place.

Some of you who often listen to my lectures will know that I do not readily call any period a period of transition, for in truth every period is such, — every period marks a transition from what comes earlier to what comes later. The point is that we should recognise for each period the nature of the transition.

What I have said will already have suggested that in this case it is as though, having passed from the Spirit-land into the Soul-world one were to come thence into the physical world. In modern civilisation as it has evolved up till now, we have been able to catch again and again echoes of the spiritual. Materialism itself has not been without its echoes of the spirit. True and genuine materialism in all domains has only been with us since the middle of the 19th century, and is still understood by very few in its full significance. It is there, however, with gigantic force, and to-day we are going through a transition to a third world, that is in reality as different from the preceding Roman world as this latter was different from the oriental.

Now there is one period of time that has had to be left out in tracing this evolution: the period between Alexander and Julian. In the middle of this period fell the Mystery of Golgotha. Those to whom the Mystery of Golgotha was brought did not receive it as men who understood the Mysteries, otherwise they would have had quite different ideas of the Christ Who lived in the man Jesus of Nazareth. A few there were, a few contemporaries of the Mystery of Golgotha, who had been initiated in the Mysteries, and these were still able to have such ideas of Him. But by far the greater part of Western humanity had no ideas with which to comprehend spiritually the Mystery of Golgotha. Hence the first way by which the Mystery of Golgotha found place on Earth was the way of external tradition. Only in the very earliest centuries were there those who were able to comprehend spiritually, from their connection with the Mysteries, what took place at the Mystery of Golgotha.

Nor is this all. There is something else, of which I have told you in recent lectures [See the 8th and 9th lectures in Mystery Knowledge and Mystery Centres. ], and we must return to it here. Over in Hibernia, in Ireland, were still the echoes of the ancient Atlantean wisdom. In the Mysteries of Hibernia, of which I have given you a brief description, were two Statues that worked suggestively on men, making it possible for them to behold the world exactly as the men of ancient Atlantis had seen it. Strictly guarded were these Mysteries of Hibernia, hidden in an atmosphere of intense earnestness. There they stood in the centuries before the Mystery of Golgotha, and there they remained at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha. Over in Asia the Mystery of Golgotha took place; in Jerusalem the events came to pass that were later made known to men in the Gospels by the way of tradition. But in the moment when the tragedy of the Mystery of Golgotha was being enacted in Palestine, in that very moment it was known and beheld clairvoyantly in the Mysteries of Hibernia. No report was brought by word of mouth, no communication whatever was possible; but in the Mysteries of Hibernia the event was fulfilled in a symbol, in a picture, at the same time that it was fulfilled in actual fact in Jerusalem. Men came to know of it, not through tradition but by a spiritual path. Whilst in Palestine that most majestic and sublime event was being enacted in concrete physical reality, — over in Hibernia, in the Mysteries, the way had been so prepared through the performance of certain rites that at the very time when the Mystery of Golgotha was fulfilled, a living picture of it was present in the astral light.

The events in human evolution are closely linked together; there is, as it were, a kind of valley or chasm moving at this time over the world, into which man's old nearness with the Gods gradually disappears.

In the East the ancient vision of the Gods fell into decay after the burning of Ephesus. In Hibernia it remained on until some centuries after Christ, but even there too the time came when it had to depart. Tradition developed in its stead, the Mystery of Golgotha was transmitted by the way of oral tradition; and we find growing up in the West a civilisation that rests wholly on oral tradition. Later it comes to rely rather on external observation of Nature, on an investigation of Nature with the senses; but this after all is only what corresponds in the realm of Nature to tradition, written or oral, in the realm of history.

Here then we have the civilisation of personality. And in that civilisation the Mystery of Golgotha, with all that pertains to the spirit, is no longer perceived by man, it is merely handed down as history.

We must place this picture in all clearness before us, the picture of a civilisation from which the spiritual is excluded. It begins from the time that followed Julian the Apostate, and not until towards the end of the 19th century, beginning from the end of the seventies, did there come, as it were, a new call to humanity from the spiritual heights. Then began the age that I have often described as the Age of Michael. To-day I want to characterise it as the age when man, if he wishes to remain at the old materialism — and a great part of mankind does wish so to remain — will inevitably fall into a terrible abyss; he has absolutely no alternative but to go under and become sub-human, he simply cannot maintain himself on the human level. If man would keep on the human level, he must open his senses to the spiritual revelations that have again been made accessible since the end of the 19th century. That is now an absolute necessity.

For you must know that great spiritual forces were at work in Herostratus. He was, so to speak, the last #8224 stretched out by certain spiritual powers from Asia. When he flung the burning torch into the Temple of Ephesus, demonic beings were behind him, holding him as one holds a sword, — or as it might be, a torch; he was but the sword or torch in their hands. For these demonic beings had determined to let nothing of the Spirit go over into the coming European civilisation; the spiritual was to be absolutely debarred entry there.

Aristotle and Alexander the Great placed themselves in direct opposition to the working of these beings. For what was it they accomplished in history? Through the expeditions of Alexander, the Nature knowledge of Aristotle was carried over into Asia; a pure knowledge of Nature was spread abroad. Not in Egypt alone, but all over Asia Alexander founded academies, and in these academies made a home for the ancient wisdom, where the study of it could still continue. Here too, the wise men of Greece were ever and again able to find a refuge. Alexander brought it about that a true understanding of Nature was carried into Asia.

Into Europe it could not find entrance in the same way. Europe could not in all honesty receive it. She wanted only external knowledge, external culture, external civilisation. Therefore did Aristotle's pupil Theophrastus take out of Aristotelianism what the West could accept and bring that over. It was the more logical writings that the West received. But that meant a great deal. For Aristotle's works have a character all their own; they read differently from the works of other authors, and his more abstract and logical writings are no exception. Do but make the experiment of reading first Plato and then Aristotle with inner concentration and in a meditative spirit, and you will find that each gives you quite a different experience.

When a modern man reads Plato with true spiritual feeling and in an attitude of meditation, after a time he begins to feel as though his head were a littler higher than his physical head actually is, as though he had, so to speak, grown out beyond his physical organism. That is absolutely the experience of anyone who reads Plato, provided he does not read him in an altogether dry manner.

With Aristotle it is different. With Aristotle you never have the feeling that you are coming out of your body. When you read Aristotle after having prepared yourself by meditation, you will find that he works right into the physical man. Your physical man makes a step forward through the reading of Aristotle. His logic works; it is not a logic that one merely observes and considers, it is a logic that works in the inner being. Aristotle himself is a stage higher than all the pedants who came after him, and who developed logic from him. In a certain sense we may say with truth that Aristotle's works are only rightly comprehended when they are taken as books for meditation. Think what would have happened if the Natural Scientific writings of Aristotle had gone over to the West as they were and come into Middle and Southern Europe. Men would, no doubt, have received a great deal from them, but in a way that did them harm. For the Natural Science that Aristotle was able to pass on to Alexander needed for its comprehension souls that were still touched with the spirit of the Ephesian age, the time that preceded the burning of Ephesus. Such souls could only be found over in Asia or in Egypt; and it was into these parts that this knowledge of Nature and insight into the Being of Nature were brought, by means of the expeditions of Alexander. Only later in a diluted form did they come over into Europe by many and diverse ways — especially, for example, by way of Spain, — but always in a very diluted or, as we might say, sifted form.

The writings of Aristotle that came over into Europe direct were his writings on logic and philosophy. These lived on, and found fresh life again in medieval scholasticism.

We have therefore these two streams. On the one hand we have always there a stream of wisdom that spreads far and wide, unobtrusively, among simple folk, — the secret source of much of medieval thought and insight. Long ago, through the expeditions of Alexander, it had made its way into Asia, and now it came back again into Europe by diverse channels, through Arabia, for instance, and later on following the path of the returning Crusaders. We find it in every corner of Europe, — inconspicuous, flowing silently in hidden places. To these places came men like Jacob Boehme [(1575–1624), mystic. See Eleven European Mystics by Rudolf Steiner, Rudolf Steiner Publications, New York, 1971. ], Paracelsus [Theophrastus Paracelsus (1493–1541), physician. See Eleven European Mystics. ] and a number more, to receive that which had come thither by many a roundabout path and was preserved in these scattered primitive circles of European life. We have had amongst us in Europe far more folk-wisdom than is generally supposed. The stream continues even now. It has poured its flood of wisdom into reservoirs like Valentine Wiegel [(1533–1588), mystic. See Eleven European Mystics. ] or Paracelsus or Jacob Boehme, — and many more, whose names are less known. And sometimes it met there, — as for example, in Basil Valentine [Alchemist and Benedictine monk, lived from 1413 onwards in the Monastery of St. Peter in Erfurt. His writings were not discovered or printed till the beginning of the seventeenth century. See Eleven European Mystics. ] — new in-pourings that came over later into Europe. In the Cloisters of the Middle Ages lived a true alchemistic wisdom, not an alchemy that demonstrates changes in matter merely, but an alchemy that demonstrates the inner nature of the changes in the human being himself in the Universe. The recognised scholars meanwhile were occupying themselves with the other Aristotle, with a misstated, sifted, ‘logicised’ Aristotle. This Aristotelian philosophy, however, which the scholiasts and subsequently the scientists studied, brought none the less a blessing to the West. For only in the 19th century, when men could no longer understand Aristotle and simply studied him as if he were a book to be read like any other and not a book whereon to exercise oneself in meditation — only in the 19th century has it come about that men no longer receive anything from Aristotle because he no longer lives and works in them. Until the 19th century Aristotle was a book for the exercise of meditation; but in the 19th century the whole tendency has been to change what was once exercise, work, active power into abstract knowledge, — to change ‘do’ and ‘can’ into ‘know.’

Let us look now at the line of development, that leads from Greece through Rome to the West. It will illustrate for us from another angle the great change we are considering. In Greece there was still the confident assurance that insight and understanding proceed from the whole human being. The teacher is the gymnast [Rudolf Steiner spoke in detail about this for instance in A Modern Art of Education by Rudolf Steiner, Rudolf Steiner Press, London, 1972 and Human Values in Education by Rudolf Steiner, Rudolf Steiner Press, London, 1971.]. From out of the whole human being in movement — for the Gods themselves work in the bodily movements of man — something is born that then comes forth and shows itself as human understanding. The gymnast is the teacher.

In Rome the rhetorician [Rudolf Steiner spoke in detail about this for instance in A Modern Art of Education by Rudolf Steiner, Rudolf Steiner Press, London, 1972 and Human Values in Education by Rudolf Steiner, Rudolf Steiner Press, London, 1971.]. steps into the place of the gymnast. Already something has been taken away from the human being in his entirety; nevertheless we have at least still a connection with a deed that is done by the human being in a part of his organism. What movement there is in our whole being when we speak! We speak with our heart and with our lungs, we speak right down to our diaphragm and below it! We cannot say that speaking lives as intensely in the whole human being as do the movements of the gymnast, but it lives in a great part of him. (As for thoughts, they of course are but an extract of what lives in speech). The rhetorician steps into the place of the gymnast. The gymnast has to do with the whole human being. The rhetorician shuts off the limbs, and has only to do with a part of the human being and with that which is sent up from this part into the head, and there becomes insight and understanding.

The third stage appears only in modern times and that is the stage of the professor [Rudolf Steiner spoke in detail about this for instance in A Modern Art of Education by Rudolf Steiner, Rudolf Steiner Press, London, 1972 and Human Values in Education by Rudolf Steiner, Rudolf Steiner Press, London, 1971.]. who trains nothing but the head of his pupils, who cares for nothing but thoughts. Professors of Eloquence were still appointed in some universities even as late as the 19th century, but these universities had no use for them, because it was no longer the custom to set any store by the art of speaking; thinking was all that mattered. The rhetorician died out. The doctors and professors, who looked after the least part of the human being, namely his head, — these became the leaders in education.

As long as the genuine Aristotle was still there, it was training, discipline, exercise that men gained from their study of him. The two streams remained side by side. And those of us who are not very young and who shared in the development of thought during the later decades of the 19th century, know well, if we have gone about among the country folk in the way that Paracelsus did, that a last remains of the medieval folk-knowledge, from which Jacob Boehme and Paracelsus drew, was still to be found in Europe even as late as the sixties and seventies of the last century. Moreover, it is also true that within certain orders and in the life of a certain narrow circle a kind of inner discipline in Aristotle was cultivated right up to the last decades of the 19th century. So that it has been possible in recent years still to meet here and there the last ramifications, as it were, of the Aristotelian wisdom that Alexander carried over into Asia and that returned to Europe through Asia Minor, Africa and Spain. It was the same wisdom that had come to new life in such men as Basil Valentine and those who came after him, and from which Jacob Boehme, Paracelsus and countless others had drawn. It was brought back to Europe also by yet another path, namely through the Crusaders. This Aristotelian wisdom lived on, scattered far and wide among the common people. In the later decades of the 19th century, one is thankful to say, the last echoes of the ancient Nature knowledge carried over into Asia by the expeditions of Alexander were still to be heard, even if sadly diminished and scarcely recognisable. In the old alchemy, in the old knowledge of the connections between the forces and substances of Nature that persisted so remarkably among simple country folk, we may discover again its last lingering echoes. To-day they have died away; to-day they are gone, they are no longer to be heard.

Similarly in these years one could still find isolated individuals who gave evidence of Aristotelian spiritual training; though to-day they too are gone. And thus what was carried east as well as what was carried west was preserved, — for that which was carried east came back again to the west. And it was possible in the seventies and eighties of the 19th century for one who could do so with new direct spiritual perception, to make contact with what was still living in these last and youngest children of the great events we have been describing.

There is, in truth, a wonderful interworking in all these things. For we can see how the expeditions of Alexander and the teachings of Aristotle had this end in view, to keep unbroken the threads that unite man with the ancient spirituality, to weave them as it were into the material civilisation that was to come, that so they might endure until such time as new spiritual revelations should be given.

From this point of view, we may gain a true understanding of the events of history, for it is often so that seemingly fruitless undertakings are fraught with deep significance for the historical evolution of mankind. It is easy enough to say that the expeditions of Alexander to Asia and to Egypt have been swept away and submerged. It is not so. It is easy to say that Aristotle ceased to be in the 19th century. But he did not. Both streams have lasted up to the very moment when it is possible to begin a renewed life of the Spirit.

I have told you on many occasions how the new life of the Spirit was able to begin at the end of the seventies, and how from the turn of the century onwards, it has been able to grow more and more. It is our task to receive in all its fullness the stream of spiritual life that is poured down to us from the heights.

And so to-day we find ourselves in a period that marks a genuine transition in the spiritual unfolding of man. And if we are not conscious of these wonderful connections and of how deeply the present is linked with the past, then we are in very truth asleep to important events that are taking place in the spiritual life of our time. And numbers of people are fast asleep to-day in regard to the most important events of all. But Anthroposophy is there for that very purpose, — to awaken man from sleep.

You who have come here for this Christmas Meeting, — I believe that all of you have felt an impulse that calls you to awaken. We are nearing the day — as this Meeting goes on, we shall have to pass the actual hour of the anniversary — we are coming to the day when the terrible flames burst forth that destroyed the Goetheanum. Let the world think what it will of the destruction by fire of the Goetheanum, in the evolution of the Anthroposophical movement the event of the fire has a tremendous significance.

We shall not however be able to judge of its full significance until we look beyond it to something more. We behold again the physical flames of fire flaring up on that night, we see the marvellous way in which the fusing metal of the organ-pipes and other metallic parts sent up a glow that caused that wonderful play of colour in the flames. And then we carry our memory over the year that has intervened. But in this memory must live the fact that the physical is Maya, that we have to seek the truth of the burning flames in the spiritual fire that it is ours now to kindle in our hearts and souls. In the midst of the physically burning Goetheanum shall arise for us a spiritually living Goetheanum.

I do not believe, my dear friends, that this can come to pass in the full, world-historic sense unless we can on the one hand look upon the flames mounting up in terrible tongues of fire from the Goetheanum that we have grown to love so dearly, and behold at the same time in the background that other treacherous burning of Ephesus, when Herostratus, guided by demonic powers, flung the flaming brand into the Temple. When we bring these two events together, setting one in the background and one in the foreground of our thought, we shall then have a picture that will perhaps have power to write deeply enough in our hearts what we have lost and what we must strive our utmost to build again.

Last Modified: 17-May-2018
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