1: Fritz Mauthner, 1849–1923,
German philosopher and writer. Critique of Language, 1901.
2: Immanuel Kant, 1724–1804,
German philosopher of the Enlightenment, Published Critique of Pure
Reason in 1781.
3: Fritz Mauthner, Dictionary of Philosophy,
1: Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel, 1770–1831,
German philosopher. Published Encyclopedia of the Philosophical
Sciences in 1817.
2: Rudolf Steiner, Theosophy:
An Introduction to the Supersensible Knowledge of the World and the
Destination of Man, (Hudson, N.Y.: Anthroposophic Press, 1986).
1: This lecture was preceded by a eurythmy performance
of the final scenes of Goethe's Faust, II.
2: Wilhelm Wundt, 1832–1907, German philosopher
and philologist. See also Mauthner's article “History” in
his Dictionary of Philosophy.
3: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1749–1832,
German poet, playwright, and novelist. Faust, dramatic poem. The quotations
from Faust in this book are all taken from the translation
by Bayard Taylor.
4: Wilhelm Traugott Krug, 1770–1842, German
philosopher, influenced by Kant.
5: Baruch Spinoza, 1632–1677, Dutch philosopher.
1: Antoine Laurent Lavoisier, 1743–1794,
French chemist. In 1774 he refuted the theory claiming that a substance
called phlogiston escapes during the combustion process. In 1777 Lavoisier
discovered that combustion consists in the combination of a substance
with oxygen. He discovered that breathing is also a combustion or oxidation
2: Edmund Husserl, 1859–1938, German Phenomenological
1: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1749–1832,
German poet, dramatist, and novelist. The quoted quatrain is from his
poetry collection entitled The East-West Divan, published in
1819. The poems are influenced by ancient Persian and Arabian poetry.
2: Sixth International Congress for Philosophy,
3: Rudolf Steiner, Philosophy of Spiritual
Activity, (Hudson, N.Y.: Anthroposophic Press, 1986).
4: Jacob Boehme, 1575–1624, German pantheist
mystic. He was a shoemaker by profession and the first philosopher to
write in German rather than in Latin.
5: William James, 1842–1910,
American psychologist and Pragmatist philosopher. Published Principles
of Psychology in 1890
1: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1749–1832,
German poet and thinker. Published Metamorphosis of Plants in 1790;
in this book he shows the leaf as the primeval organ of the plant out
of which all other plant organs evolved.
2: Johannes Peter Eckermann, 1792–1854.
Published Conversations with Goethe, 1823-1832 in 1836.
3: Archimedes, 285–212 B.C., Greek physicist
4: Johannes Kepler, 1571–1630, German astronomer.
Calculated orbits of the planets and discovered the laws of the movement
of the planets.
1: Rudolf Steiner, Life between Death and
Rebirth, (Hudson, N.Y.: Anthroposophic Press, 1987).
1: Rudolf Steiner, An
Outline of Occult Science, (Spring Valley, N.Y.: Anthroposophic
2: Otto Liebmann, 1840–1912,
German philosopher and professor of philosophy. Leader of Neo-Kantianism.
Published Thoughts and Facts in 1882.
3: “The cosmos is ensouled
and all full of gods.” De Anima I, 5. Aristotle, 384–322
B.C., Greek philosopher. De Anima, one of his major works,
was published in 322 B.C.
4: Plato, 427–347 B.C., Greek
philosopher. Teacher of Aristotle.
5: Johannes Kepler, 1571–1630, German astronomer.
6: Giordano Bruno, 1548–1600, Italian philosopher
and Dominican monk. Was burned on the stake as heretic for teaching
that the world is infinite in space and time and that all matter is
7: Goethe and Eckermann, see Lecture VI, note
8: Gustav Theodor Fechner, 1801–1887, German
physicist, psychologist, and philosopher.
9: See Liebmann's book Thoughts and Facts,
10: Gustav Theodor Fechner, Professor Schleiden
and the Moon, Leipzig, 1856.
11: Matthias Jakob Schleiden, 1804–1881,
German natural scientist and professor.
12: Fechner wrote a booklet entitled Proof that
the Moon consists of Iodine and published it under the pseudonym Dr.
Mises in 1832.
13: Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, 1729–1781,
German poet, playwright, and critic. Published essay entitled Education
of the Human Species in 1780.
14: Steiner ended this lecture with more details
about events that were known to his audience and that had occurred shortly
before these lectures were given. However, these events cannot be fully
reconstructed, and as this passage thus lacks a concrete context for
modern readers, it has been moved to this section. Steiner continued:
I'll cite some facts experienced during the
last few days, hoping that no member sitting here will be so indiscreet
as to spread abroad what is discussed here in our intimate circle. At
a conference of teachers held in this area, somebody recently spoke
who had written about our movement without knowing anything about it.
The teachers association in question was asked to let one of our members
listen to the talk and maybe even reply to it. The way this request
was refused is characteristic of our times. The letter denying our request
to be present where one of our neighbors speaks about our movement contains
among other sentences the following “...because if one of you
came, that person would probably feel that the speaker does not know
your movement sufficiently. Therefore, to avoid unpleasant feelings
for the speaker due to the presence of a person from your movement,
we ask you not to send anybody. For there will not be enough time for
a discussion and the matter would only lead to unpleasant feelings as
the man who will speak to us does not know you.”
This is the reason for denying our request;
let's take note of that. It has to be said again and again that it is
possible today that people say they do not want anyone from our movement
to be present because somebody will be speaking about us who does not
know anything about us. This is indeed possible, my dear friends; it
is a fact.
It has come to the point where people not
only think such things but even write them down, and even write them
as justification for denying a request. That is the current condition
of morality. However, this is not the only instance of such morality;
it can be found everywhere. Unfortunately, we had to decide to show
our building to that same group, so that those people could not say
we were as impolite to them as they were to us. And unfortunately at
just the time when they were taken on a tour of our building, a eurythmy
lesson was apparently in progress. I don't want to speak about what
this eurythmy evoked in the dirty minds of those who were shown through
our halls. I regret that it is necessary to mention these things at
all. I do not mention them to characterize or criticize the outer world,
the people around us. I can only pity them from the bottom of my heart.
Rather I mention these things for your sake, so that you become accustomed
to finding the right standpoint and to knowing that opposition, enmity,
and meanness lurk everywhere. The fact that something is sacred
to some people does not protect it against being pulled down, dragged
down, by others to the most profane level.
When we are confronted with hate for some
reason, we must become conscious of it. This is necessary because we
are much too careless about the way we place ourselves in relation to
the world around us. Granted, it is inconvenient to place oneself rightly
in relation to the outer world, but it is worse to close one's eyes
and be ignorant of the hate and opposition lurking everywhere.
Above all we must realize that opposition
based on facts cannot ever harm us. We can deal with opposition based
on facts. But it is difficult when the opposition is such that one wants
to wash one's hands every time one has looked at it. This is the case,
for example, with those people in Leipzig who do not base their opposition
to us on facts but work only with seemingly plausible slander. Even
if you were to write to them in a factual tone, people there will answer
out of a fundamental attitude that belongs on the same level as the
attitude I have just characterized.
We can foresee that as we are increasingly
being noticed in the world, and as we complete our building, opposition
and yet more opposition will be called forth; for envy and resentment
grow enormously the more our building is noticed in the world. From
this, special obligations arise for us.