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The Situation of the World

(War, Peace and the Science of the Spirit)

Schmidt Number: S-1139

On-line since: 15th June, 2018

The Situation of the World

Rudolf Steiner Archive Document

Lectures Section

This single lecture is the second of twenty-two lectures in the lecture series entitled, Riddles of the World and Anthroposophy, published in German as, Die Weltraetsel und die Anthroposophie. It is also known as, The Present Situation in the World, War and Peace, published in the Anthroposophic News Sheet, Volume 14, 1945, p.249, and as War, Peace, and the Science of the Spirit, in Anthroposophic Review, Volume 7, 1985, No. 3.

By Rudolf Steiner

The translator is unknown
Bn 54.2; GA 54; CW 54

This single lecture is the second of twenty-two lectures in the lecture series entitled, Riddles of the World and Anthroposophy, published in German as, Die Weltraetsel und die Anthroposophie. It is also known as, The Present Situation in the World, War and Peace, published in the Anthroposophic News Sheet, Volume 14, 1945, p.249, and as War, Peace, and the Science of the Spirit, in Anthroposophic Review, Volume 7, 1985, No. 3.

This lecture series is presented here with the kind permission of the Rudolf Steiner Nachlassverwaltung, Dornach, Switzerland. From Bn 54.2; GA 54; CW 54."; export FRT

Copyright © 1945
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September 9th, 1945

No.35/36

14th Vol.



THE SITUATION OF THE WORLD

(WAR, PEACE and the SCIENCE OF THE SPIRIT)

Lecture by Dr. RUDOLF STEINER, given in Berlin on the 12th of

October 1905.

(From somewhat abbreviated notes not revised by the lecturer.)

Spiritual investigation cannot meddle with the immediate events of the day. But at the same time, one should not believe that spiritual science floats in the clouds above every reality and that it has nothing to do with practical life. To-day we shall not speak of the events that are stirring the world just now, events of the kind: described in the daily newspapers, nor do we belong to those who prefer to be blind and deaf to the occurrences that move the human heart. The spiritual-scientific investigator must always thread his way between two rocks; he never loses himself in the ruling opinions and views of the day, and on the other hand he never becomes involved in empty abstractions and authoritative concepts. On many occasions I had the opportunity to tell you that spiritual science should make us practical; far more practical than is generally believed to be the case by the men of daily practical life. It should make us practical, by leading us to the deeper forces which lie at the foundation of life and throwing light upon everything from these deeper forces, and by guiding our actions so that they are in harmony with the great laws of the universe. We are able to achieve something in the world and we can influence its course of events only if we act in accordance with the great laws of the universe.

After these introductory words, let me begin by pointing out a few facts for the sole purpose of calling up in your mind the importance of present-day problems, I might say the actuality of these problems.

One, fact which everyone may perhaps remember is that on the 24th of August 1898 the Czar's authorised representative sent a circular to all the accredited foreign representatives at St. Petersburg, containing among other things the following words: The maintenance of peace and thee diminution of armaments that weigh upon the nation constitute an ideal of modern civilisation, an ideal upon which the governments of all nations should turn their attention. My sovereign completely dedicated his strength to this task. Hoping that this, may be in keeping with the desire of most of the other lowers, the Imperial Government holds that it is now the best moment to ensure peace upon the basis of international discussion and to put an end to the present uninterrupted arming.

This document also contains the following: Since the financial means required for armaments are constantly rising, capital and labour are deviated from their true paths and are devoured unproductively. The armaments consequently correspond less and less to the purpose allotted to them by the respective governments. The document concludes by saying that a Conference with God's aid would be a good omen for the new century.

To be sure, this is not exactly a new resolution, for we can go back many centuries, and in the l6th/17th century we come across a ruler, Henry IVth of France, who then advanced the idea of holding such a universal Peace Conference. Seven of the sixteen nations of that time had already given their consent, when Henry IVth was murdered. No one continued his work. If necessary, it would be possible to trace intentions and plans having this aim and flowing from such quarters, much further back still.

This is one sequence of facts. The other one is: the Conference of The Hague. You all know the name of that praiseworthy person who pursues her ideals with such rare devotion and with such a good knowledge of the facts: Bertha von Suttner. One year after the Conference at The Hague she collected the acts into a book in which she recorded speeches which were sometimes very beautiful. She also wrote an introduction to this book. Please bear in mind that one year passed by since Bertha von Suttner envisaged this book about the Peace Conference.


(At this point there is an interruption in the text.)


War has now broken out, in diametrical opposition to these ideas, war due to refusal of intermediation — the cruel Transvaal war. If we now look around in the world, we find that very noble-hearted men are lighting for the ideal of Peace and the love for universal peace lives in the hearts of high- minded idealists — nevertheless so much blood has never before been shed on earth as during this short time. This is an earnest very earnest matter for everyone who is also interested in the great problems of the soul.

On the one hand we have the devoted apostles of Peace and their untiring activity, we have the excellent books of Bertha von Suttner who knew how to set forth the terrors of war with such rare skill — but do not let us forget the other side. Do not let us forget that many clever men who belong to the other side assure us again and again that war is necessary for human progress, that it steels the forces. The strength increases by having to face opposition. The scientific investigator who attracted so many thinkers to his side, often said that he desired war, that only a fierce war could advance the forces in Nature [See the lecture of October 5th, 1905: HAECKEL, THE RIDDLES OF THE WORLD AND THEOSOPHY.]. Perhaps he did not express himself so radically, nevertheless many people harbour these thoughts. Even within our spiritual-scientific Movement some people voiced the view that it would be a weakness, nay a sin against the spirit of national strength, if any objection were raised against the war which had led to national honour, national power. In any case, the opinions in this sphere are still strongly opposed.

But the Conference at The Hague brought with it one thing. It brought to our notice the views of many people who are at the head of public life. Many representatives of Governments at that time agreed that the Conference at The Hague should take place. One might think that a cause which had gained the support of such high quarters, would be highly successful. -

In order to. view things in the way in which they have to be viewed from the aspect of a spiritual conception of the world and of life, we must penetrate more deeply into the whole subject. When we study the problem of peace as an ideal problem and see how it developed in the course of time, but at the same time observe the facts of battle and strife, we must say that perhaps the way in which this ideal of peace has been pursued, calls for a closer investigation and claims our attention.

You see, even the hearts of many soldiers are filled with pain and abhorrence for the consequences and effects of war. Such things, may indeed induce us to ask: Do wars arise through anything which can be eliminated from the world by principles and opinions? These who look more deeply into the souls of men know that two quite distinct and separate directions produce that which leads to war. One direction is what we designate as power of judgment and understanding, what we name idealism; the other direction is human passion, the human inclinations, man's sympathies and antipathies.

Many things would be different in the world if it were possible, without further ado, to control desires and passions in accordance with the principles of the heart and of the understanding. For this is not possible, the very opposite has so far always been the case in human life. The understanding, the heart itself, provide in idealism the mask for what is pursued by passion and desire. And if you study the history of human development, you may again and again ask, whenever you come across certain principles, whenever you see idealism flashing up: What are the passions and desires which lurk in the background?

You see, if you bear this in mind, it is quite possible that with the best principles one cannot as yet achieve anothing; perhaps something else will be required, because the human, passions, instincts and desires are not sufficiently developed to follow the idealism of individual men. The problem has, as you see, a deeper root and we must grasp it more deeply.

If we wish to judge the whole matter rightly, we must cast a glance into the human soul and its fundamental forces. We do not always survey the course of development to a sufficient extent, generally we only survey a short space of time, — so that an encompassing conception of the world must open our eyes, giving us on the one hand a deep insight and on the other a survey of larger epochs of time, in order that we may form a judgment of the forces which are to lead us into the future.

Let us consider the human soul, where we can study it deeply and thoroughly. Let us consider from another aspect something which we mentioned eight days ago. [In the lecture on Haeckel.] We have, a natural-scientific theory, the so-called Darwinism. There is one idea which plays an important part in this natural-scientific conception. It is the idea designated as the “STRUGGLE FOR EXISTENCE,” the “BATTLE OF LIFE.” Our whole natural science, our whole conception of life stood under the sign of this struggle for existence. The scientists declared: In the world the beings that can best assert themselves in the battle of life, that can gain the greatest advantage over their fellow-creatures, are those who survive, whereas the others perish! Consequently, we need not be surprised that we are surrounded by beings, who adapted themselves best of all, for they developed throughout millions of years. The fittest survived and the unfit perished.

The struggle for existence has become the watchword of scientific research. From where did this struggle come? It has not been taken from Nature. Darwin himself, though he sees it in a greater style than his followers, took it from a conception of Malthus [Thomas Robert Malthus, 1760-1854.], spreading over the history of human development, a conception according to which the earth produces food in a progression rising in a far more reduced measure than the increase of the population. Those who versed in these questions will know that one says: The increase in food is in accordance with arithmetic progression, whereas the increase in the population is in accordance with geometrical progression. This produces a struggle for existence, a war of all. against all. Setting out from this idea, Darwin placed the struggle for existence also at the beginning of the life of mature. This conception is not only in keeping with a mere idea, but with the modern ways of living. This battle of life has become reality reaching as far as the conditions of individual existence, as expressed in the form of general economic competition. This battle of life was observed at close quarters, it was looked upon as something natural in the kingdom of man, and then it was taken over by natural science.

Ernst Haeckel set out from these ideas, and in warlike activities, in war itself, he even saw a lever of civilisation, Battle strengthens, the weak must go under, — civilisation demands that the weak should perish. National economy then applied this struggle to the human sphere. We thus have great theories in national economy, in the conceptions of social life, theories which look upon the struggle for existence as something quite justified which cannot be severed from the development of humanity. With these principles, not with prejudices, one went back to the remotest times, and one tried to study the life of the wild barbaric peoples; one believed that it was possible to listen to the development of human culture and thought to discover in it the wildest principle of war. Huxley said: If we survey the animals in Nature, their struggle for existence resembles a fight of gladiators — and this is a law of Nature. And if we turn our attention from the higher animals to the lower species in keeping with the course of world-development, we find that the facts prove everywhere that we live in the midst of a general struggle for existence,

You see, this idea could be expressed, it could be accepted as a general law of the universe. Those who realise that no words can be uttered which are not deeply rooted in the human soul, must say to themselves that the feelings, the soul-constitution even of our best people are still based upon the idea that war, battle, in the human race as well as in Nature, constitutes a law, something from which we cannot escape.

Now you can say: These scientists were perhaps very humane, perhaps in their deepest idealism they longed for peace, for harmony. But their profession, their science convinced them that this was not so, and perhaps they wrote down their theories with a bleeding heart.

This might stand as an objection, if something quite different had not arisen. We can say that the above-mentioned theory was universally accepted by all those who believed that they were sound thinkers, scientifically and economically, in the sixties and seventies of the 19th-century. generally accepted was- the view that war and strife were, a law of Nature, from which one could not escape. The old conception of Rousseau had been disposed of completely — so people thought — for Rousseau held that only man's wickedness had brought battle and strife into the general peace of Nature, opposition and disharmony into its harmony. At the end of me loth century the Rousseau atmosphere was still prevalent, according to which a glance into the life of Nature which is still uninfluenced by man's super-culture, reveals everywhere harmony and peace. It is man, with his arbitrariness and culture, who brought strife and battle into the world.

This was still Rousseau's idea and during, the last third of the 19th century the scientists assured us: it would be fine if this were true, but this is not the case: the facts show us a different state of things. Nevertheless, let us ask ourselves earnestly: Has human feeling expressed a verdict, or the facts themselves? ... It would be difficult to raise any objection if the f acts themselves spoke in this way.

But a strange man appeared in the year 1880, who gave a lecture in St. Petersburg in Russia, during the Congress of Scientists of 1880. This lecture is of profoundest significance for all who are really interested in this problem. This man is the zoologist Kessler. He died soon after [“On the principle of Mutual Help,” lecture by Prof. Kessler, Dean of the St. Petersburg University, given in January 1880 during the congress of Russian Scientists. (Kessler died in 1881)]. His lecture dealt with the principle of mutual help in Nature. All those who earnestly deal with such questions, will find in the research and scientific maturity contained in this lecture a completely new impulse. Nor the first time in our modern epoch facts were collected from the whole of Nature proving that all the former theories on the struggle for existence are not in keeping with reality.

You see, this lecture expounds and proves by facts that the animal species, the groups of animals, do not develop through the battle of life, in reality, a struggle for existence only exists exceptionally between two different species, but not within the same species, for the. individuals belonging to it on the contrary help each other. Those species are the fittest, where the individuals belonging to it are most inclined to this mutual help. Long existence is guaranteed not by a struggle for existence, but by mutual help.

This opened out a new aspect, by. a strange coincidence and chain of circumstances in modern scientific research, this subject was continued by a man who adopted the most extraordinary standpoint, by Prince Kropotkin: He was able to prove in the case of animals and certain tribes, by bringing forward innumerable sound facts, the great significance of this principle of mutual help, both in Nature and in human life. I would advise everyone to read his took. (Peter Kropotkin: MUTUAL HELP IN ‘EVOLUTION’) It brings a number of ideas and concepts which are a good school for an ascent to a spiritual outlook.

But these facts can be grasped in the right way only if they are considered in the light of a so-called esoteric conception, if we gain insight into these facts upon the foundation of spiritual science. I might adduce many facts which speak very clearly, but you can read them in the above-mentioned book. The principle of mutual help in Nature declares that those in whom this principle is developed in the highest measure are those who advance furthest. Consequently, the facts speak clearly and will speak more and more clearly for us.

When we speak of a single animal-species in the theosophical conception, we speak of it in the same way in which we speak of man's single individuality. An animal species is upon a lower sphere the same as the single human individuality upon a higher sphere. I already explained before that there is one fact which, we must clearly envisage in. order to grasp the difference which exists between man and the whole animal kingdom. This contrasting difference may be expressed in the words: Man has a biography, but the animal has no biography. In the case of an animal it suffices to describe its species. lather, grandfather, grandson and son — these distinctions do not count in the case of a lion; we do not need to describe each one in particular. Certainly I knew that many objections can be raised: I know that those who. love a dog or a monkey think that they can write a biography of the dog or of the monkey. But a biography should not contain what another person knows of the being that is the subject of a biography, but what that being himself knew. Self-consciousness is essential for a biography, and in this meaning, only the HUMAN BEING has a biography. This would correspond to a description of a whole animal-species. That each group of animals has a group-soul, is the external expression for the fact that each individual human being bears a soul within him.

I was able to explain to you here that a hidden world is immediately connected with our physical world; it is the astral world which does not consist of the objects and beings that can be perceived through the senses, but which are woven of the same substance of which our passions and desires are woven. If you examine the human being you can see that he led down his soul as far as the physical world, the physical plane. But the animal has no individual soul upon the physical plane, — you find instead the animal's individual soul upon the so-called astral plane, in the astral world that lies concealed behind our physical world. The groups of animals have individual souls in the astral world.

You see, here you have the difference between man and the animal kingdom. If we now ask ourselves: What is really waging battle, when we observe the struggle for existence in the animal kingdom? — we must reply: In truth, the astral battle of the soul's passions and instincts stands behind this struggle of the different species in the animal kingdom, the battle of soul-passions and instincts which is rooted in the double souls, or in sex. But if we were to speak of a struggle for existence WITHIN the same species in the animal kingdom, this would be the same as if the human soul were to wage war upon itself in its different parts. This is a very important truth«, We cannot accept the rule that a struggle exists within the same animal species, but a struggle for existence can only take place between DIFFERENT SPECIES; for the soul of one whole species is the same for all the animals belonging to it ... and because of this it must control the single members. In the animal species we can observe mutual help and assistance, which is simply the expression for the uniform activity of the species or of the group-soul. And if you consider all the examples mentioned in the. above-named interesting book, you will obtain a beautiful insight into the way in which these group-souls work. We find, for example, that when a specimen of a certain species of crab has accidentally fallen on its back, so that it cannot turn around alone, a number of animals in its neighbourhood come along and help it to get on its legs again. This mutual support comes from the soul-organ which the animals have in common. Follow the way in which beetles help each other when they have to protect a brood, or tackle a dead mouse, etc., how they unite and carry out their work together, there you can observe the activity of the group-soul. It is possible to observe this right up to the highest animal-species. Indeed, those who have some understanding for this mutual support and assistance among animals, also obtain insight into the activity of the group- souls and an idea of how they work — and just there they can develop a spiritual vision. The eye acquires sun-like qualities.

In the case of man, we have an individualized group-soul. Such a group-soul dwells in each single human being. We must therefore apply to the human beings what must be applied to the different animal species, so that in the case of man it is possible that one human being fights, against another human being; an individual strife is possible.

But let us now consider the purpose of strife, whether battle exists in the development of the world for the sake of battle. For what has become of the struggle of existence among the species? The species that supported each other most of all survived, and those who fought against each other perished. This is a law of Nature. Consequently, we must say that in external Nature development progresses through the fact that peace replaces the struggle. Where Nature reached a definite point, where it arrives at the great turning point, we really find harmony; the peace which is the final outcome of the whole struggle, can really be found there. Consider, for instance, that the plants, as species, are also engaged in a struggle for existence. But consider at the same time how wonderfully the vegetable kingdom and the animal kingdom support each other in their common process of development: for the animal breathes in oxygen and breathes out nitrogen, whereas the plant breathes in nitrogen and breathes out oxygen. Thus peace is possible in the universe.

What Nature thus produces through its forces, is destined to be produced by man consciously, out of his individual nature. Man progressed gradually and what we designate as the self-consciousness of our individual soul unfolded little by little. We must look upon the present situation of the world as the result of a course of development, and then follow its tendency towards the future. Go back into the past; there you will find group-souls at the beginning of human development. These group-souls were active within small tribes and families, so that we also come across group-souls in the human beings. The further back you look into the development of the world, the more compact you will find the structure of human life, the people will appear to you harmoniously united. One spirit seemed to pervade the old village communities; which afterwards became the primitive State. You can study that when Alexander the Great led his armies into battle, it was a different thing from leading modern armies into war, with their far more developed individualized will-forces. This must be seen in a true light.

The progressive course of civilisation consists in the fact that the human beings became more and more individualized, more and more independent and self-conscious. The human race developed out of groups and small communities. Even as there are group-souls that guide and control the single animal-species, so the different nations were guided by the great group-souls. By his progressive education, the human being more and more emancipates himself from the guidance of the group-soul and becomes more and more independent. Whereas formerly he confronted his fellow-men with more or less hostility, his independence brought him to the point of standing in the midst of a battle of life which now takes hold of the whole of humanity. This is the present situation of the world, and this is the. destiny particularly of our epoch or race, that is to say, of the immediate present.

Spiritual science distinguishes in the present development of the world five great races, the so-called sub-races. The first sub-race developed in ancient times, in distant India. This sub-race was to begin with filled by a culture of priests; It is this culture of priests which gave our present race its first impulses. It had come over from the Atlantean culture; this developed in a region which is now the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. The leading note was given by this race and it was followed by the others; now we live within the fifth sub-race. This subdivision is not taken from anthropology or from some racial theory, but will be explained more in detail in my 6th lecture (of the 9th of November 1905: “FUNDAMENTAL IDEAS OF THEOSOPHY”).

The fifth race is the one which made us progress furthest of all in our individual existence, in our individual consciousness. Christianity was in fact a preparation for the attainment of this individual consciousness; man had to attain to this individual consciousness.

If you go back to the time before Christ, to ancient Egypt where the gigantic pyramids were built, you will find there an army of slaves who carried out tasks so difficult and fatiguing that it is hardly possible to conceive this to-day. But for the greater part of the time these workmen built the immense pyramids as a matter of course and they were filled by an immense peacefulness. They submitted to their work because at that time the teaching of reincarnation and of karma was a natural thing. No books tell you about this, but if you penetrate into spiritual science this will be quite clear to you. Each slave who toiled until his hands were sore and who lived in pain and misery, knew: This is one of many lives, and what I am suffering now must be borne as the consequence of what I prepared for myself in my former lives! If this is not the case, I shall experience the effect of this life in my next; and the one who now orders me about, once stood upon the same stage on which I am standing now, or he will do so one day.

With such a mentality, however, it would have been impossible to develop a self-conscious earthly life, and the High Powers that lead human destiny as a whole, knew what they were doing, when for a time — which lasted many thousands of years — they blotted out the consciousness of Karma and of Reincarnation. This disappearance was brought about by the great course of development of Christianity, up to the present time; it eliminated the power to look up to another world which brought a harmonising influence, and drew attention instead to the immense importance of this life upon the earth.

Though this might have gone too far in its radical application, it was never the less necessary, for the world's course of development does not follow logic, but quite different laws. From earthly life people deduced an eternity of punishment, and although this is nonsense, the tendency of human development led to this. Humanity thus learned to grow conscious of this one earthly existence and the earth, the physical plane, thus assumed an immense importance for the human being. This had to come, the earth had to acquire this great significance. Everything that takes place to-day in the form of a material conquest of the earthly globe, could only grow out of a mentality based upon an education cut out for this earth and emitting the idea of Reincarnation and Karma.

We now see the result of such an education: man came down completely to the physical plane during his earthly life; for the individual soul could only unfold upon the physical plane, where it is isolated, enclosed within the body and where it can only look out into the world through the senses, as an isolated individual existence.

This brought human competition into the human race, in an ever-growing measure, and the effects of such an isolated existence. We must not be surprised that to-day the human race is not by a long way ripe enough to eliminate once more what was thus drawn in. We saw that the present species of animals reached their state of perfection by mutual help and that the struggle for existence only exists between the species, passing from species to species. But if the human individuality is upon a higher stage the same as the group-soul of the animals, then the human soul will only be able to attain self-consciousness by passing through the same struggles through which the animal-species passed in Nature. This struggle will last until the human being will have developed complete independence. But he is called upon to reach this consciously; consciously he must attain what exists outside upon the. physical plane. Along the stages of consciousness pertaining to his own sphere, he will be guided towards mutual help and support, because the human race is one species. The absence of struggle which exists in the animal kingdom must be attained for the whole human race in the form of an all-embracing, complete peace. It is not struggle, but mutual help and support that led the single animal-species, to their present state of development. The group-soul that lives in the animal-species as an individual soul is at peace within itself and a uniform soul. Only man's individual soul has a special structure within its isolated physical existence.

You see, the great acquisition which spiritual development can bring to our soul is to recognise truly the one soul that, fills the whole human race, the unity with humanity as a whole. We do not receive this as an unconscious gift, but we must conquer it for ourselves consciously. It is the task of the spiritual- scientific world-conception to develop really and truly this uniform soul that lives within the whole human race.

This is expressed in our first fundamental principle, to establish a brotherly league throughout the world, independently of race, sex, colour, etc. This implies the recognition of the SOUL that lives in the whole of humanity. The purification enabling us to discover the same soul also in our fellow-men must go as far as our passions. In physical life we are separated, but in the life of the soul we are one with the Ego of the human race. This can only be grasped in real life; true life alone can lead us to this. Consequently, only the development of spiritual life can permeate us with the breath of this one Soul. Not the people of the present, but those of the future who will more and more unfold the consciousness of this One Soul, shall lay the foundation of a new human race that will devote itself entirely to mutual help. Our first principle therefore means something quite different than is generally supposed. We do not fight; but we also do not oppose war or any other thing, because opposition and battle do not lead to a higher development. Each animal-species developed into a special race by coming out of the struggle for existence. Let us leave fighting to the bellicose who are not yet mature enough to go in search of the common Soul of the Human Race in spiritual life. A real Society of Peace is one that strives after a knowledge of the Spirit, and the spiritual-scientific current is the true Peace Movement, if is the Peace Movement in the only form in which it can exist in practical life, because it envisages what lives within the human being and what will unfold in the future.

Spiritual life always developed as a stream that came from the East. The East is the region where spiritual life was fostered. And here in the West we have the region where the external. materialistic civilisation was unfolded. That is why we see in the East the land where people dream and sleep. But who knows what is going on in the souls of those whom we call dreamers or sleepers, when they rise up to worlds which are quite unknown to the peoples of the West? We must now come out of our materialistic civilisation, and yet bear in mind everything that surrounds us in the physical world. We must ascend to the spiritual with everything which we conquered upon the physical plane.

It is more than symbolically significant that in England Darwinism should have found a new representative in Huxley who deemed it necessary to state out of his western conception: Nature shows us that the human apes fought against each other and the strongest remained on the field ... whereas from the East came the watchword: Support, mutual help, this is the guarantee for the future!

Here in Central Europe we have a special task: It would be of no use to use to be one-sidedly Oriental, or one-sidedly English. We must unite the morning dawn of the East with the. physical science of the West so that they become, a great harmony. Then we shall be able to grasp how the idea of the future may be connected, with the idea of the struggle for existence.

It is more than a coincidence that in one of the fundamental books of Theosophy those who penetrate more deeply into spiritual life will find light upon the path, for the second chapter significantly closes with a sentence which coincides with this idea. “Light upon the Path” does not contain it as a phrase, for spiritual development will lead us to a paint where we shall recognise that the beautiful words at the end of the 2nd chapter in “Light upon the Path” harmonize with the One Soul that enters the individual human soul, flashing up and coming to life within it. Those who immerse themselves in this beautiful little book — which does not only fill the soul with a content that makes us feel inwardly devout and good and that gradually gives man real clairvoyance by the. power of its words — will discover in the single individual this harmony, when they experience what is written in every chapter. The final words, “Peace be with you,” will then descend into the soul. In the end this will be experienced by the whole of humanity, for the most significant words will then be: “Peace be with you.”

This opens out to us the true perspective. Then we must not only s p e a k of peace, not only envisage it abstractly as an ideal, make treaties or long for the verdicts of a court of arbitration, but we must cultivate spiritual life, the Spiritual. We then awaken within us the strength which will be poured out over, the whole human race as the source of mutual help and support. We do not oppose, we do something else: we foster love, and we know that by fostering love, every opposition must disappear. We do not set up struggle against struggle. We set up love against struggle, by developing and fostering love. This is something positive. By pouring out love we work upon ourselves, and we establish a society based upon love. This is our ideal. If this livingly penetrates into our souls, we shall realize an old saying in a new way, and this will be in accordance with Christianity. And a new Christianity, or rather the Christianity of the past, will arise again for a new humanity. Buddha gave his people a motto which envisages this. But Christianity contains even more beautiful words on the unfolding: of love, words which should be grasped in the right way: Not by strife we overcome strife, not by hatred we overcome hatred, but strife and hatred can in reality be overcome by love alone.




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