In connection with this lecture that Rudolf Steiner gave on November
5, 1922, in The Hague, he addressed the members of the
Anthroposophical Society in the following words:
And now, my dear friends, after these explanations permit me to
add some remarks to today's lecture which are, to a certain degree,
connected with the lecture itself. Pardon me for speaking of my own
anxieties. These anxieties of my own, to be brief, have to do with the
possibility of being able to go on with the building of the
Goetheanum, in Dornach.
My dear friends, the fact is that since the building of the Goetheanum
has been begun, and it is in large part completed, it must be
continued to completion. What if this could not be done? This is bound
up with the very fact that this Goetheanum is a symbol today for that
spiritual movement which is to be born into the world through
Anthroposophy. If there had never been a circle of friends through
whom the beginning of the building of the Goetheanum could be brought
to realization, then Anthroposophy would have had to find some other
avenue of expression. Today the building of the Goetheanum cannot
simply be discontinued without damage. And it is this, my dear
friends, that weighs heavily on my soul; for, if the results of what I
have said in this regard remain the same as they have thus far, it
will not be months, but only weeks for the moment to arrive when we
shall come to a complete stoppage in Dornach.
Naturally, I cannot make such a statement without remembering with
heartfelt gratitude that in this very country individual friends have
made sacrifices in a most devoted manner for what has been
accomplished thus far in building the Goetheanum. My thanks for this
are profound and heartfelt, and I know that many of our friends have
done their utmost in this matter. This I must, naturally, presuppose.
But, on the other hand, I cannot do otherwise than to emphasize the
fact without wishing to criticize anything that the
worry weighs heavily on my soul over the fact that we shall not be
able to continue with the building of the Goetheanum unless we receive
abundant help on the part of a greater number of our friends, and that
this Anthroposophical Movement, which has been active these last years
at all possible points of the periphery, will tie without a center.
Therefore, my dear friends, I cannot but tell you what is at stake.
Anthroposophy as such has spread very much in the world; and I assure
you that, even here in Holland, the dear friends present today are
only a very small part of the people who are in touch with
Anthroposophy. We can judge this by the sale of our literature and we
can see how, in many ways, Anthroposophy has become important to many
On the other hand, something different can be observed we can
voice this without malice, even though we may create an impression of
malice we know that, on the other hand, the enemies of truth
have made their appearance. And these, my dear friends, are well
organized. Among them exist strong international ties. The enemies of
Anthroposophical work are as well organized as our
Anthroposophical Movement pardon me for saying this is
badly organized! This is something we have yet to realize.
How is it that we have to say today that, in a few weeks, the
Goetheanum may be without any means for its progress toward
completion? You may have everything possible on the periphery
Waldorf Schools, etc. all this is naturally void of power if
there is no center. But for this center the right heart is lacking
among the membership!
Let it be understood that I am not saying that this or that person is
not giving all he has or, perhaps, does not have; it is not in the
least my intention to go into such details. But, if our souls
possessed the same enthusiasm for Anthroposophy which our opponents of
all shades have today for anti-Anthroposophy, we should be very
differently established. Then it would not be so difficult to collect
the pennies, trivial in comparison with the wealth of the world
in spite of the impoverished world of today to finish the
Goetheanum. But the right heart for this is really lacking, my dear
friends; yet we cannot do otherwise than to save this symbol in
Dornach from failure. It can be saved from ruin if we can combine a
strong enthusiasm with all our longing for Anthroposophical knowledge.
In these remarks I am not referring to any individuals. But, on the
whole, the prevalent spirit within our circles is to start things with
great apparent enthusiasm. The building of the Goetheanum was begun
with enthusiasm. This enthusiasm has vanished, particularly in those
who in the beginning displayed great enthusiasm. And these very
persons have left this problem of going on to me alone. It has in many
instances become characteristic, my dear friends, that people cannot
remain enthusiastic; that something flares up and those who
shared in this sudden blaze leave the fire and do not keep feeding it.
The warmth of heart dies out. And then come those worries. And, in
view of the seriousness of the matter, my dear friends why
should I not call attention in this intimate circle to such a thing?
The seriousness of the cause demands it. On the other hand there
really exists the necessity to extend spiritual science as such. Be
assured, a heavy responsibility rests on the one who is able to state
at all that it depends on the conditions of the cosmos, in one way or
another, whether a human being becomes a man or a woman, whether he
has blue eyes and blond hair or brown eyes and black hair. I mention
this only as an example. A statement like this cannot he made
carelessly. It requires years of research before one arrives at the
point of making such a statement, for one who does this without being
conscious of his responsibility will usher disaster into the world.
But it is necessary today, on the one hand, to extend this spiritual
science; on the other hand, my dear friends, new cares spring up
because of the developments in the periphery, when the enthusiasm does
not persist, through the very fact that these things are there. New
establishments are founded, and they have to be cared for. The worries
have to be borne. These two things do not coincide unless the Society,
as bearer of the Anthroposophical Movement, is a reality built on firm
inner ground. Societies, that are realities built on firm ground, can
surely accomplish great things! But it is imperative to observe that
along with the need to deepen spiritual science more and more, there
moved along, at the same time, an increasingly badly organized
Society, a will displaying less and less enthusiasm for making the
Society itself an instrument.
And the first thing for which I repeatedly beg our friends, since we
are confronted by urgent necessity, is that they shall make the
Society into a living, active being in the world.
This is highly essential, my dear friends. It is greatly to be desired
that the center in Dornach shall not crumble, but that friends shall
be found who will give us help.
There is, for instance, the wonderful possibility of gradually
achieving significant results in the field of medicine, of
therapeutics through the discoveries of remedies, based on spiritual
science. But all this depends on the existence of the center in
Dornach. The moment the Dornach center breaks down everything breaks
down, and it is this that I want our friends to be conscious of, for
it has in many instances disappeared from their consciousness. And I
must say, it has really become an extremely heavy burden for me, a
I am saying this for the reason, my dear friends, that you may find
the opportunity to think with me about these things in your good
heart; for these things have to be thought out.