Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Eagle

"The Eagle" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring'd with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.

Rudolf Steiner:  "Let us look at the bird in the air — the eagle, let us say, in his majestic flight — upon whom, as though by an outer gift of grace, the rays of the Sun and their action bestowed his plumage, bestowed his horny beak — let us look at this eagle as he flies in the air. Certain forces work upon him there. The Sun does not only possess the physical forces of light and warmth of which  we usually speak. When I described the Druid Mysteries to you, I drew your attention to the fact that spiritual forces too emanate from the Sun. It is these forces which give to the different species of birds their variegated colors, the special formation of their plumage. When we penetrate with spiritual perception into the nature of the Sun's working, we understand why the eagle has his particular plumage, and when we deepen our contemplation of this being of the eagle, when we develop an inner, artistic comprehension of nature which contains the spiritual within it, when we can perceive how formative forces work out of the impulses of the Sun — strengthened by other impulses of which I shall speak later — when we see how the Sun-impulses stream down over the eagle even before he has emerged from the egg, how they conjure forth the plumage, or, to be more exact, how they conjure it into his fleshy form, then we can ask ourselves: What is the significance of all this for man? The significance of this for man is that it is what makes his brain into the bearer of thoughts. And you have the right insight into the macrocosm, into Great Nature, when you so regard the eagle that you say: The eagle has his plumage, his bright, many-colored feathers; in these lives the self-same force which lives in you in that you make your brain into the bearer of thoughts. What makes the convolutions of your brain? What makes your brain capable of taking up that inner salt-force which is the basis of thinking? What really enables your brain to make a thinker of you? It is the same force which gives his feathers to the eagle in the air. Thus we feel ourselves related to the eagle through the fact that we think: we feel the human substitute for the eagle's plumage within us. Our thoughts flow out from the brain in the same way as the feathers stream out from the eagle." -- October 19, 1923

Edward Schure on first meeting Rudolf Steiner: "I shall never forget the extraordinary impression made upon me by this man when he entered the room. As I looked at that thin, powerful face, at the black mysterious eyes flashing light as if from unfathomable depths, it struck me that for the first time in my life I was facing one of those supreme seers who have direct vision of the great beyond."


The Archangel Phanuel
the protector of those seeking initiation

Psalm 91
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Eurythmy: Dances with Vowels

Learn to dance, or else the angels in heaven will not know what to do with you.
— Saint Augustine

Follow peace with all men

Au(m) : Gold   — 13 ways of looking at my guru. #1: The Goldsmith

"The weakest of all weak things is a virtue which has not been tested in the fire."  —Mark Twain

When he hath tried me,
I shall come forth as gold.

"He that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be manifest, that they are wrought in God."  — John 3:21

Revelation 3:14-22

And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Swamiji has always served me as a father figure. As a resident at the Himalayan Institute, I'd seen him fry several people in public; in each instance I simply figured they must have had it coming. Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition: one day out of the blue Swamiji lit into me! I was still burning a couple of days later when a Bible verse suddenly appeared out of the flames: "Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth." —Hebrews 12:6

I opened my Bible. 


Hebrews 12

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 

For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. 

Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. 

And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 

For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 

If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 

But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 

Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 

For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 

Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. 

Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; 

And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. 

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: 

Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; 

Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. 

For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears. 

For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, 

And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: 

(For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: 

And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:) 

But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 

To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, 

And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. 

See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: 

Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. 

And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 

Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 

For our God is a consuming fire.

"He [Swamiji] said, 'Isn't this a cremation ground?' referring to his ashram. 'You come here to be burned, and if you can't get that into your head, there's no point in your being here!'" —Swami Veda

Rudolf Steiner, from an Esoteric Lesson given in Berlin on November 6, 1905:

A in the sacred syllable signifies our lower individuality; U the master's individuality; M the force through which we want to develop ourselves up to him.

"He must increase; I must decrease."  — John 3:30

"I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain."  — Galatians 2:19-21


Weave in Wisdom — Live in Glory — Strive in Virtue

Weave in Wisdom — Live in Glory — Strive in Virtue

John 3:14-21

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

"Not I, but Christ in me"

For God so loved the world

Rudolf Steiner:  "How is it that we avoid bringing the ego down into the physical body when we strive for Imagination? Only by developing the power of love more nobly than in normal life, where love is led by the powers of the bodily senses. Only by acquiring the selfless power of love, freedom from egotism not only regarding the realm of humanity but also regarding the realm of nature. Only by allowing all that leads to Imagination to be borne by love, by merging this power of love with every object of cognition that we seek in this manner."


Washed in the Blood of the Lamb are We
Awash in a Sunburst Sea
You—Love—and I—Love—and Love Divine:
We are the Trinity

You—Love—and I—We are One-Two-Three
Twining Eternally
Two—Yes—and One—Yes—and also Three:
One Dual Trinity
Radiant Calvary
Ultimate Mystery

The way forward

The Boundaries of Natural Science. Lecture 6 of 8.
Rudolf Steiner, Dornach, Switzerland, October 2, 1920:

Yesterday I closed with a consideration of what reveals itself at one boundary of scientific thinking as a real and true mode of cognition: I closed with a characterization of Inspiration. I have brought to your attention the way in which man enters through Inspiration a spiritual world: he knows that he is in this world and feels also that he is outside the body. I have shown you how the transition from the experience of a “toneless” musical element to a merger with an individuated element of being occurs. It also became clear in the course of yesterday's considerations of pathological skepticism and hypercriticism that pathological conditions can arise within man if he takes this step out of the body without the accompaniment of the ego, if he does not suffuse the conditions he experiences in Inspiration with full self-consciousness. If one brings the ego into Inspiration, Inspiration represents a healthy, indeed a necessary, step forward in human cognition. Yet in a cultural epoch such as ours, in which man's being is striving to free itself from the physical organism, one cannot allow this condition to come about in an instinctive, unconscious, unhealthy way without the emergence of the pathological conditions we discussed yesterday. For, you see, there exist two poles in human nature. We can either turn to what opens a free, spiritual vision of the highest realities, or, by shunning this, by not summoning sufficient courage to penetrate into these regions with full consciousness but allowing ourselves to be driven by unconscious forces within ourselves, we can call forth illness in the physical organism. And it would be a grave error to believe that one could guard against this illness by electing not to strive into the actual spiritual world. Illness will occur anyway, if the instincts are allowed to drive the astral body, as we call it, out of the organism. Yet especially at the present time, even if we do not investigate the spiritual world ourselves, we are fully protected against the pathological states that I described yesterday — even against those arising only in the soul — by seeking to comprehend rationally the ideas of spiritual science.
What is it, however, that we bear into the spiritual world when we take full consciousness with us? You need only follow somewhat man's development from birth to the change of teeth and beyond in order to realize that, besides the development of speech, thinking, and so forth, an especially important element in this human development is the gradual emergence and transformation of memory. If you then look at the course of human life, you will come to see the tremendous importance of memory for a fully human existence. If, as a result of certain pathological conditions, the continuity of memory is interrupted, so that we cannot recall certain experiences we have had, then a serious illness befalls us, for we feel that the thread of the ego, which otherwise runs through our lives, has been broken. You can consult my book Theosophy on this: memory is intimately connected with the ego. Thus in pursuing the path I have characterized we must take care not to lose what manifests itself in memory. We must take along with us into the world of Inspiration the power of soul that provides us with memory.
Just as in nature everything changes, however — just as the plant, in growing, metamorphoses its green leaves into the red petals of the flower — just as everything in nature is in constant metamorphosis, so it is with everything concerning human existence. If we really bear the faculty of memory out into the world of Inspiration under the full influence of ego-consciousness, it metamorphoses itself. Then one comes to realize that in the moment of one's life in which one investigates the spiritual world in Inspiration, one does not have the normal faculty of memory at one's disposal. One has this faculty of memory at one's disposal in healthy life within the body; outside the body, this faculty is no longer available.
This results in something extraordinary — something that, since I present it to your mind's eye for the first time, might seem paradoxical, yet that is fully grounded in reality. Whoever has become a true spiritual scientist, who enters and seeks to experience through Inspiration actual spiritual reality as I have described it in my books, must experience this reality each time anew if he wishes to have it present to consciousness. Thus whenever someone speaks out of Inspiration concerning the spiritual world — not from notes or from mere memory but when he expresses immediately what reveals itself to him in the spiritual world — he must perform the task of spiritual perception each time anew. The faculty of memory has transformed itself. One has retained only the power to call forth the experience again and again. For that reason the spiritual scientist does not have it so easy as one who relies on mere memory. He cannot simply communicate some information out of memory but must call forth anew each time what presents itself to him in Inspiration. In this matter it is essentially the same as it is in normal sense perception of the physical world. If you wish actually to perceive within the physical world of the senses, you cannot turn away from what you wish to perceive and still have the same perception in another place. You must return to the object. In the same way, the spiritual scientist must return to the same spiritual content of consciousness. And just as in physical perception one must learn to move about in space in order to perceive this or that in turn, the spiritual scientist who has attained Inspiration must learn to move freely within the element of time. He must be able — if you will allow me to use a paradoxical expression — to swim within the element of time. He must learn to travel along with time itself, and when he has learned this, he finds that the faculty of memory has undergone a metamorphosis, that the faculty of memory has transformed itself into something else. What memory performed within the physical world of the senses must be replaced by spiritual perception. This transformed memory, however, gives the spiritual scientist perception of a more encompassing ego. Now the ego is recognized to be more encompassing. When one has transformed memory, which contains the power of the ego between birth and death, the content of the ego cracks the husk that circumscribes but one lifetime. Then the fact of repeated earthly incarnations, alternating with a purely spiritual existence between death and rebirth, emerges as something that can be grasped as a reality.
On the other side, the side of consciousness, there emerges something different when one seeks to avoid what an ancient view of the spirit, that of the Vedanta, did not yet know. We in the West feel on the one hand the loftiness of the spiritual view when we steep ourselves in the ancient Oriental wisdom. We feel that in the Vedanta the soul was borne up into spiritual regions in which it could move in a way that the Westerner's normal consciousness can move only in mathematical, geometrical, analytic-mechanical thinking. When we descend into the expansive realms that in the Orient were accessible to normal consciousness, however, we find something that we Westerners, because of our more advanced state of evolution, can no longer bear: we find an extensive symbolism, an allegorization of the natural world. It is this symbolism, this allegorization, this thinking about external nature in images, that makes us clearly aware that we are being led away from reality, away from a true investigation of nature. This has become part of certain religious confessions. Certain religious confessions are at a loss how to proceed with this act of symbolization, of mythologization, which has become decadent. For us in the West, that which the Oriental, living in an illusory world, applied directly in this way to external nature, that with which he believed himself capable of arriving at insights concerning the natural world — for us at present this has value only as an exercise preliminary to further spiritual research. We must acquire the soul faculty that the Oriental employed in symbolism and anthropomorphism. We must exercise this faculty inwardly and remain fully conscious thereby: we lapse into superstitions, into rhapsodic enthusiasm for nature, if we employ this faculty to any end but the cultivation of our soul. Later I shall have occasion to speak here about the particulars of this — which, by the way, you can find in my book Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and Its Attainment.
By taking this faculty that the Oriental turned outward and employing it inwardly, as an activity of inner schooling [Kraft des Übens], by first developing a pictorial representation in such a way within, one actually begins to arrive at new insights on the other side, on the side of consciousness. One gradually achieves a transformation of abstract, merely notional thinking into pictorial thinking. Then there arises what I can only call an experiential thinking [erlebendes Denken]. One experiences pictorial thinking. Why does one experience this? One experiences nothing other than what is active within the physical body during the first years of childhood, as I have described it to you. One experiences not the human organism that has taken static form in space but rather what lives and weaves within man. One experiences it in pictures. One gradually struggles through to a viewing of the life of the soul in its actuality. On the other side the content of consciousness gradually emerges within cognition: pictorial representation, a life within Imagination. And without entering into this life of Imaginations, modern psychology shall not progress. In this way, and in this way only, by entering into Imagination, there will arise again a psychology that is more than word-games, a psychology that actually looks into the soul of man.
Just as the time has come in which, as a result of general cultural relationships, man is gradually excarnating from the physical body and striving for Inspiration, as we have seen in the example of Nietzsche, the time has come in which man, if he desires self-knowledge, should feel himself led toward Imagination. Man must descend deeper into himself than was necessary in the course of previous cultural history. If evolution is not to lapse into barbarism, humanity must attain a true image of itself [Selbstschau], and humanity can accomplish this only by accepting the knowledge offered by Imagination. That man is striving to descend deeper into his inner self than has been the case in evolution heretofore is shown, again, in the phenomena of pathological diseases of a particularly modern form. These have been described very recently by those who are able to study them from the point of view of medicine or psychiatry. It is shown above all in the emergence of agoraphobia, claustrophobia, and astraphobia — illnesses of a sort that arise especially frequently in our time. Even if they usually are observed only as pathological conditions requiring psychiatric treatment, the more acute observer can see something else altogether. He sees agoraphobia, astraphobia, and so forth already emerging from the soul-nature of humanity, just as he saw Inspiration arising pathologically in Friedrich Nietzsche. Above all, he can observe states of soul that often appear outwardly normal from which emerges agoraphobia — morbid dread of open spaces. He sees emerging something that appears as astraphobia, a state in which one fails to come to terms with an inner sensation. This inner feeling can grow to the extent that the organs of digestion are attacked, and digestion is disturbed. He comes to know what might be called fear of isolation, agoraphobia, in which one cannot remain alone but only where there is company assembled all around and so forth. Such things emerge. These things show that humanity is presently striving for Imagination and that an illness that must otherwise become an illness of the entire culture can be counteracted only by developing Imagination. Agoraphobia — this is an illness that manifests itself in many people in a frightening way. These people grow up, and from a certain point in their lives onward remarkable conditions manifest themselves. If such a person steps out of the house into a square devoid of people, he is stricken with a fear that is entirely incomprehensible to him. He is afraid of something; he does not dare go a step further into the empty square, and if he does, it can happen that he falls down on his knees or perhaps even topples over in a faint. The moment that even a child comes, the sufferer grasps its arm or merely reaches out to touch the child: in this moment he feels himself inwardly strengthened again, and the agoraphobia subsides. One case that has been described in the medical literature is particularly interesting. A young man who felt himself strong enough even to become an officer is overcome by agoraphobia while on maneuvers as he is sent out to map some terrain. His fingers tremble; he is unable to draw. Wherever there is emptiness around him, or what he perceives as emptiness, he is beset with fears that he immediately senses to be pathological. He is in the vicinity of a mill. In order to be able to perform his duty at all, he must keep a small child at his side, and its mere presence is enough for him to be able to resume drawing. We ask ourselves: what is the cause of such phenomena? Why is it that there are, for example, people who, when they have somehow forgotten to leave open the door to their bedrooms at night — something that has perhaps long since become a habit with them — wake in the night dripping sweat and can do nothing but leap up to open the door, for they cannot stand to be in an enclosed space. There are such people. Some suffer to such an extent that they must have all the doors and windows open. If their house is on a square, they must leave open the door leading out, so that they know they are free and can get out into the open at any time. This claustrophobia is something that one sees emerging — even if it often does not emerge in so radical a form — if one is able to observe human states of soul more closely.
And then there are people who feel, even to a physical degree, something inexplicable happening within them. What is it? It is an approaching thunderstorm or some other atmospheric condition. There are otherwise intelligent people who must draw the curtains whenever there is lightning or thunder. Then they must sit in a dark room, for only in this way can they protect themselves from what they experience in the atmospheric conditions. This is astraphobia, or morbid fear of thunderstorms. What is the cause of these states that we observe already very clearly in the souls of human beings today, especially in those who for a long time surrender themselves devoutly to a certain dogmatism? In these people one observes precisely these states of soul, even if they have not manifested themselves yet physically. These states are just beginning to appear. Their emergence works to upset a balanced, calm approach to life. They also emerge in such a way that they call forth all kinds of pathological conditions that are ascribed to every sort of thing, because the physical symptoms of claustrophobia, agoraphobia, or astraphobia are not yet manifest, while they must actually be ascribed to the particular configuration of soul arising within man.
What is the cause of such conditions? They are the result of our need not only to experience the life of the soul discarnately but also to bring this experience of the discarnate soul down into the physical body. We must allow it to immerse itself consciously. Just as that which I have described to you in the course of these lectures gradually extricates itself from the body between birth and the change of teeth, so also that which is experienced externally, which we could call experience of the astral, immerses itself again in the physical organism between the change of teeth and puberty. And what takes place in puberty is nothing other than this immersion between approximately the seventh and fourteenth years. The independent soul-spirit that man has developed must immerse itself in the body again, and what then emerges as physical love, as sexual desire, is nothing other than the result of this immersion I have described to you. One must come to understand this immersion clearly. Whoever wishes to gain a true understanding of the basis of consciousness must be able to effect this in a fully conscious, healthy way, using such methods as I shall describe here later. That is to say, he must learn to immerse himself in the physical body. Then he attains an initial experience of what manifests itself as an Imaginative representation of the inner realm. Here a faculty of formal representation framed for an external, three-dimensional world of plastic forms is insufficient. To perform this inner activity one needs a mobile faculty of formal representation: one must be able to overcome gradually everything spatial in Imagination and to immerse oneself in the representation of something intensive, something that radiates activity. In short, one must immerse oneself in such a way that in descending one can still clearly differentiate between oneself and one's body. Whatever inheres in the subject cannot be known. If one can keep what one experiences outside from immersing unconsciously in the physical body, one descends into the physical body and experiences in descending the essence of this body up to the level of consciousness in Imagination, in pictures.
Whoever fails to keep these pictures separate, however, and allows them to slip into the physical body, confronting the physical body not as an object but as something subjective, brings the sensation of space down into the physical body with him The astral thereby coalesces with the physical to a greater degree than should be allowed. The experience of the external world coalesces with man's inner life, and because he makes subjective what should have remained objective, he can no longer experience space normally. Fear of empty space, fear of lonely places, fear of the astrality diffused through space, of storms, perhaps even of the Moon and stars, rise up within one. One lives too deeply within oneself. Thus it is necessary that all exercises leading to the life of Imagination protect one against descending too deeply into the body. One must immerse oneself in the body in such a way that the ego remains outside. One may not take the ego out into the world of Imagination in the way that one must carry the ego out into the world of Inspiration. Although one worked toward Imagination through a process of symbolization, through pictorial representation, in Imagination itself all pictures created by mere fantasy disappear. Now objective pictures emerge instead. Only that which actually lives within the human form ceases to confront one as an object. One loses the outward human form and there emerges a diversity of living forms from the human etheric. One now sees not the unified human form but the profusion of animal forms that interpenetrate and merge to create the human form. One comes to know in an inward way what lives within the realms of plants and minerals. One learns this through introspection. One learns what can never be learned through atomism and molecularism: one learns what actually lives within the realms of plants and minerals. And how is it that we avoid bringing the ego down into the physical body when we strive for Imagination? Only by developing the power of love more nobly than in normal life, where love is led by the powers of the bodily senses. Only by acquiring the selfless power of love, freedom from egotism not only regarding the realm of humanity but also regarding the realm of nature. Only by allowing all that leads to Imagination to be borne by love, by merging this power of love with every object of cognition that we seek in this manner.
Again we have divergent tendencies: the healthy tendency to extend the power of love into Imagination or the pathological tendency to expose ourselves to fear of what is outside. We experience what lies outside with our ego and then, without restraining our ego, bear it down into the body, giving rise to agoraphobia, claustrophobia, and astraphobia. Yet we enjoy the prospect of an extremely high mode of cognition if we can develop in a healthy way what threatens humanity in its pathological form and would lead it into barbarism.
In this way one attains a true knowledge of man. One surpasses all that anatomy, physiology, and biology can teach; one attains a true knowledge of man by actually seeing through the physical body. Oh, man comes to know himself in a way so different from that which nebulous mystics believe, who think that some abstract divinity reveals itself to them when they delve down within. Oh no, something rich and concrete reveals itself; something that provides insight into the human organism, into the nature of the lungs, the liver, and so forth. Only this can be the basis of a true anatomy, a true physiology; only this can serve as the basis for a true understanding of man and also for a true medical science. One has developed two faculties within human nature. On the side of matter is the faculty of Inspiration, developed by gradually discovering within matter a spiritual realm that expands out into the tableau Mr. Arenson has depicted for you here. The other faculty is developed by discovering within oneself the realms that I described as the basis of a true knowledge of man, of a true medical science, when I spoke here earlier this year before almost forty medical doctors.
These two faculties, however, those of Inspiration and Imagination, can join together. The one can coalesce with the other, but it must happen in full consciousness and by comprehending the cosmos in love. Then there arises a third faculty, a confluence of Imagination and Inspiration in true, spiritual Intuition. Then we rise up to that which allows us to recognize the external material world to be a spiritual world, the inner realm of the soul and spirit with its material foundations as a continuous whole; we rise up to that which grants us knowledge of the expansion of human existence beyond earthly life, as I have described it to you here in other lectures. One comes thus on the one side to know the realms of plants, animals, and minerals in their inmost essences, in their spiritual content, through Inspiration. By coming to know the human organs through Imagination one creates the basis for a true organology, and by uniting in Intuition what one has learned about plants, animals, and minerals with what Imagination reveals concerning the human organs, one attains a true therapy, a science of medication that knows in a real sense how to apply the external to the internal. The true doctor must understand medications cosmologically; he must understand the human organs anthropologically, or actually anthroposophically. He must come to grasp the external world through Inspiration, the inner world through Imagination, and he must achieve a therapy based upon real Intuition.
You see what a prospect opens before us if we are able to comprehend spiritual science in its true form. To be sure, this spiritual science still has to shed many externals and much that still adheres to it in the minds of those who believe they can nurture it with fantasies and dilettantism of every sort. Spiritual science must develop a method of research as rigorous as mathematics and analytical mechanics. On the other hand, spiritual science must rid itself of all superstitions. Spiritual science must truly be able to call forth in light-filled clarity the love that otherwise overcomes man if he calls it forth out of instinct. Then spiritual science will be a seed that will grow and send its forces out into all the sciences and thus into human life.
For this reason, let me bring to a close what I have had to say to you in these lectures with one more brief consideration. Beforehand I would like to say that there is, of course, still much that can be read between the lines of my descriptions. Some of this I shall make legible in two lectures this evening and tomorrow: they will elaborate what I could only intimate in the short time available to us for this course. Only what is gained by attaining Imagination on the one hand and Inspiration on the other, and then uniting Imagination and Inspiration in Intuition, gives man the inner freedom and strength enabling him to conceive ideas that can then be effected in social life. And only those who experience contemporary life with a sleeping soul can fall to see everything that is brewing in the most frightful way, threatening a horrific future.
What is the spiritual cause of this? The spiritual cause of this is something one can perceive by studying attentively recent human evolution as it manifests itself in extremely prominent individuals — how human beings strove in the later nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to arrive at clear concepts, to arrive at truly inward, clear impulses for three concepts that are of the very greatest importance for social life: the concept of capital, the concept of labor, and the concept of commodities! Just look at the relevant literature from the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries to see how human beings strove to understand what capital actually means within the social process, to see how that which human beings strove to understand in concepts has passed over into frightful struggles in the external world. Just look how intimately the particular feeling emerging within humanity in the present age corresponds to what they are able to feel and think concerning the function, the meaning of labor within the social organism. Then look at the hopelessly inadequate definition of “commodity”! Human beings strove to bring three practical concepts into clear focus. In the course of life in the civilized world today one sees everywhere a lack of clarity regarding the triad, capital, labor, commodities. And one cannot rise up to answer the question: what function does capital have within the social organism? One is able to answer this question only when, out of a true spiritual science, by means of Imagination and Inspiration united in Intuition, one understands that a proper impulse for the functioning of capital can be found within the spiritual life as an independently subsisting part of the social organism. Only true Imagination can bring real comprehension of this part of the social organism. And one will come to realize something else as well. One will realize that one can come to understand labor's functioning within the social organism when one no longer understands what is produced by human labor in terms of the product, so that one no longer conceives commodities in the Marxist manner as congealed labor or even congealed time. Rather, one will realize that the results of human labor can be understood by arriving at a representation, at a free experience, of that which can proceed from man. The concept of labor will become clear only to those who know what is revealed to man through Inspiration.
And the concept of “commodity” is the most complicated imaginable. For no single man is able to comprehend what commodities are in their actual existence in life. Anyone who wishes to define commodities has not the slightest inkling what knowledge is. “Commodity” cannot be defined, for one can define in this sense or formulate conceptually only what concerns but one individual, what one man alone can comprehend with his soul. Commodities, however, always exist in the interaction between a number of human beings and a number of individuals of a certain type. Commodities exist in the interaction between producers, consumers, and those who mediate between them. The impoverished concepts of barter and purchase, products of a discipline that fails to recognize the limits of natural science, shall never prove adequate to an understanding of commodities. Commodities, the products of human labor, exist in the relationship between several individuals, and if a solitary man undertakes to understand commodities “as such,” he is on the wrong track. Commodities must be understood as a function of the socially contracted majority of human beings, of association. Commodities must be understood in terms of association; they must exist in association. Only when associations are formed that process what originates with the producers, businessmen, and consumers will there arise — not out of the individual but through association, through the worker associations — the social concept, the concept of “commodity,” that human beings must share before there can exist a healthy economic life.
If human beings would only take the trouble to ascend to that which the spiritual scientist can convey from the realm of higher cognition, they would find concepts giving rise to the social forms we must develop if we wish to reverse the course of a civilization on the decline. It is thus no mere theoretical interest, no mere scientific need, that underlies all we shall strive for here. It is rather the most urgent need that the work and the research we do here make human beings mature enough that they can go forth from this place to all the corners of the Earth, taking with them such ideas and social impulses as really can buoy up an age so rapidly sinking, and reverse the course of a world so clearly in decline.

Friday, September 23, 2016

The way forward: the proper introduction of Inspiration into human evolution

The Boundaries of Natural Science. Lecture 5 of 8.
Rudolf Steiner, Dornach, Switzerland, October 1, 1920:

Today it will be necessary to come to terms with a number of things that actually can be understood only if one is able to overcome certain prejudices that have long been cultivated and zealously inculcated right up to the present day. Much of what shall be said here today, and further substantiated tomorrow, must be comprehended through raising oneself up to an inner viewing [Anschauung] of the spirit. You must consider that when the results of a scientific investigation of the spirit are met with a demand for proof such as is recognized by contemporary science or jurisprudence, or even contemporary social science — which is so useless in the face of life itself — one does not get very far at all. For the true spiritual scientist must already bear this method of demonstration within himself. He must have schooled himself in the rigorous methods of contemporary science, even of the mathematical sciences. He must know what mode of demonstration is demanded in these circles, and he must suffuse the processes of his whole inner life with this method: therein he builds the foundation for a higher mode of cognition. For this reason it is usually the case that when the demands of normal consciousness are placed before the spiritual scientist, he is thoroughly at home in the field from which the question stems. He has long since anticipated the objections that can be raised. One could even go so far as to say that he is only a spiritual scientist in the true sense of the word — in the sense in which we characterized spiritual science yesterday — to the extent that he has subjected himself to the rigorous discipline of the modern scientific method and knows at least the tenor of modern scientific thought quite well. I must make this one preliminary remark and add one other. If one cannot transcend the manner of demonstration that experimentation has made scientific habit, one shall never attain knowledge that can benefit society. For in a scientific experiment one proceeds — even if one cherishes the illusion that it is otherwise — in such a way that one moves in a certain direction and allows phenomena to confirm what lives within the ideas one has formulated as a natural law, or perhaps mathematically.
Now, when one is required to translate one's knowledge into social judgments, in other words, if the ideas that one has formulated as the natural laws of contemporary anthropology or biology or Darwinism — no matter how “progressive” this Darwinism might be — are to have validity; if one wants to translate them into a social science that can become truly practical, this knowledge obtained through experimentation is totally inadequate. lt is totally inadequate because one cannot simply sit in a laboratory and wait to see what one's ideas call forth when they are applied to society. Thereby thousands upon thousands of people could easily die or starve or be made to suffer in some other way. A great part of the misery in our society has been called forth in just this way. Because they have originated in pure experimentation, our ideas have gradually become too narrow and impoverished to subsist in reality, which they must be able to do if thought is ever to enrich the sphere of practical life. I have already indicated the stance the spiritual scientist must take regarding the two boundaries that arise within cognition — the boundaries at the poles of matter and consciousness — if he is to attain knowledge that can reflect light back into nature and at the same time forward into the social future. I have shown that at the boundary of the material world one must not allow one's thinking to roll on with its own inertia in order to construct mechanistic, atomistic, or molecular world conceptions tending toward the metaphysical, but rather one must call a halt at the boundary and develop instead something that normally is not yet present as a faculty of cognition. One must develop Inspiration. On the other hand, I have shown you that if one wishes to come to an understanding of consciousness, one must not attempt, as Anglo-American associative psychology does, to penetrate into consciousness with ideas and concepts called forth by the natural world. It must be entirely clear in one's mind that consciousness is constituted such that these ideas culled from the external world can gain no access. We must abandon such ideas and seek rather to enter the realm of Imaginative cognition. In order to achieve self-knowledge we must permeate the concepts and ideas with content, so that they become images. Until the view of man which was born in the West and now has all of civilization in its grasp is transformed into Imaginative cognition, we shall never progress in coming to terms with this second boundary presenting itself to normal human cognition.
At the same time, however, one can say that humanity has evolved from certain stages, now become historical, to the point that requires that it progress to Inspiration on the one hand and Imagination on the other. Whoever is able to perceive what humanity is undergoing at the present, what is just beginning to reveal its first symptoms, knows that forces are rising out of the depths of human evolution that tend toward the proper introduction of Imagination and Inspiration into human evolution.
Inspiration cannot be attained except by exercising a certain faculty of mental representation in the way that I described in my book Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and Its Attainment, and that I shall describe at least in outline in the coming lectures. When one has progressed far enough in a kind of inner self-cultivation, a schooling of the self in a certain form of mental representation [Vorstellen] — when one schools oneself to live within the realm of representations, ideals, and concepts that live within the mind — then one learns what it means to live in Inspiration. For when one exercises consciously the faculty that otherwise “mathematicizes” within us during the first seven years up to the change of teeth (in normal life and in conventional science this occurs unconsciously), when one enters into this “living mathematics,” into this “living mechanics,” it is as though one were to fall asleep, entering not into unconsciousness or nebulous dreams but into a new form of consciousness that I shall begin to describe to you today. One takes up into full consciousness what otherwise works within as the sense of balance, the sense of movement, and the sense of life. It is as though one were to wrest from oneself what otherwise lives within as sensations of balance, movement, and life so that one lives within them with the extended mathematical representations. Tomorrow I shall speak about this at greater length. One passes over into another consciousness, within which one experiences something like a toneless weaving in a cosmic music. I cannot describe it otherwise. One unites with this weaving in a toneless music in a way similar to that by which one makes the physical body one's own through the activity of the ego in childhood. This weaving in a toneless music provides the other, rigorously demonstrable awareness that one is now outside the body with one's soul-spirit. One begins to comprehend that even in normal sleep one's soul-spirit is outside the body. Yet the experience of sleep is not permeated with that which vibrates when leaving the body consciously through one's own initiative, and one experiences initially something like an inner unrest, an inner unrest that exhibits a musical quality when one enters into it with full consciousness. This unrest is gradually elucidated when the musical element one experiences there becomes a kind of wordless revelation of speech from the spiritual cosmos. These matters naturally appear grotesque and paradoxical to those who hear them for the first time. Yet much has arisen in the course of cosmic evolution that first appeared paradoxical and grotesque, and human evolution will not advance if one wishes to pass over these phenomena only half-consciously or unconsciously. Initially one has only a certain experience, an experience of a kind of toneless music. Then out of this experience of toneless music there arises something which, when experienced, enables us to comprehend inwardly a content as meaningful as that which is conveyed to us when we listen outwardly to a man who speaks to us via sensible words. The spiritual world simply begins to speak, and one has only to begin to acquire an experience of this.
Then one comes to experience something at a higher level. One no longer only weaves and lives in a toneless music and no longer merely perceives the speech of the supersensible spiritual world: one begins to recognize the contours of something that reveals itself within this supersensible world, the contours of beings. Within this universal spiritual speech that one initially encounters there emerge individual spiritual beings, in the same way that we, listening at a lower level to the speech of another man, crystallize or organize — if I may use such trivial expressions — what reveals itself as his soul and spirit into something substantial. We begin to live within the contemplation and knowledge of a spiritual reality. This realm of the spirit replaces the vacuous, insubstantial, metaphysical world of atoms and molecules: it confronts us as the reality that lies behind the phenomena of the sense world. We no longer stand in the same relation to the boundary of the material world as when we allow conceptualizing to roll on with its own inertia, attempting to carry the kind of thinking developed through interaction with the sense world beyond the boundary. Now we stand in a relationship to this boundary of sense such that the spiritual content of the world suddenly stands revealed there. This is one boundary to cognition.
Ladies and gentlemen, humanity at this point in its evolution is yearning to step out of itself, to step out of the body in this way, and one can see this tendency exemplified quite clearly in certain individuals. Human beings seek to withdraw from their bodies that which the spiritual scientist withdraws with full consciousness. The spiritual scientist withdraws this in a way analogous to the way in which he applies inwardly obtained concepts in a systematic, organized fashion to the natural world. As some of you will know, for some time now a great deal of attention has been paid to a remarkable illness. Psychologists and psychiatrists term this “pathological questioning or doubt” [Grübelsucht; Zweifelsucht]; it would perhaps better be termed “pathological skepticism.” One now encounters innumerable instances of this illness in the most remarkable forms, and it is already necessary that the study of this disease in particular be promoted within the cultural context of our time. This illness manifests itself — you can learn a great deal about it from the psychiatric literature — in these people, from a certain age onward, usually from puberty or the period immediately preceding puberty, no longer being able to relate properly to the external world. When confronted with their experiences in the external world, these people are overcome by an infinite number of questions. There are certain individuals who — though they remain otherwise fully rational, can pursue their duties to a great extent and are fully cognizant of their condition — must begin to pose the most extraordinary questions if they are but slightly withdrawn from what normally binds them to the external world. These questions simply intrude into their life and cannot be brushed aside. They intrude themselves especially strongly in individuals with healthy, or even conspicuously healthy, organizations — in individuals who have an open mind and a certain understanding for the manner in which modern scientific thinking proceeds. They experience modern science in this way, so that they cannot understand at all how such questions arise unconsciously thereby. Such phenomena are evident especially in women, who have less robust natures than men and who also tend to acquire their knowledge of natural science, if they undertake to do so, not so much through the highly disciplined scientific literature but rather through works intended for laymen and dilettantes. For if at this time immediately before puberty, or just when puberty is on the wane, there should occur an intense preoccupation with modern scientific thought in the way I have just described, among such people a high incidence of this disease can be observed. It manifests itself in these people having then to ask: where ever does the Sun come from? And no matter how clever the answers one gives them, one question always calls forth another. Where does the human heart come from? Why does it beat? Did I not forget two or three sins at confession? What happened when I took Communion? Did a few crumbs of the Host perhaps fall to the ground? Did I not try to mail a letter somewhere and miss the slot? I could produce a whole litany of such examples for you, and you would see that all this is eminently suited to keeping one uneasy.
Now, when the spiritual scientist comes to consider this matter he feels himself right at home. It is simply a manifestation of the element in which the spiritual scientist resides consciously when he achieves an experience of the toneless musical speech of spiritual beings through Inspiration. Those afflicted with pathological skepticism enter this region unconsciously. They have cultivated nothing that would enable them to comprehend the state into which they enter. The spiritual scientist knows that throughout the entire night, from falling asleep until waking, one lives in an element consisting entirely of such questions, that out of the sleeping state countless questions arise within one. The spiritual scientist knows this condition, because he can experience it consciously. Whoever approaches these matters from the standpoint of normal consciousness and seeks thus to comprehend them will perhaps make attempts at all kinds of rationalistic explanations, but he will not arrive at the truth, because he is unable to comprehend the matter through Inspirative cognition. Such a one sees that there are, for example, people who go to the theater in the evening and on leaving the theater are helpless to resist the countless questions that overcome them: What is this actress' relationship to the outer world? What was that actor doing some previous year? What are the relationships between the individual actors and actresses? How was this or that flat constructed? Which painter is responsible for each? and so on, and so on. For days on end such people are subject to the influence of this pesky questioner within. This is a pathological condition that one begins to understand only by realizing that these people enter a region the spiritual scientist experiences in Inspiration by approaching this realm differently from those afflicted with this pathological condition. Persons in this pathological state enter the same region as the spiritual scientist, but they do not take their egos with them; in a certain sense they lose their egos upon entering this realm. And it is just this ego that is the ordering faculty. It is the ego that is capable of bringing the same kind of order into this world as we are able to bring to our physical environment. The spiritual scientist knows that one lives in this same region between falling asleep and waking. Everyone who returns from the theater actually is deluged by all these questions in the night while he sleeps, but due to the operation of certain laws sleep normally spreads itself out over this interlocutor, so that one has finished with him by the time one awakens again.
In order to perform valid spiritual research, one must bear into this region unimpaired judgment, complete discretion, and the full force of the human ego. Then we do not live in this region in a kind of super-skepticism but rather with just as much self-possession and confidence as in the physical world. And actually all the meditative exercises that I have given in my book Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and Its Attainment, are intended in large part to result in a greater ability to enter this region preserving one's ego in full consciousness and in strict inner discipline. The purpose of a large part of the spiritual scientist's initial schooling is to keep him from losing the inner support and discipline of the ego while traversing this path.
The finest example in recent times of a man who entered this region without full preparation is someone whom Dr. Husemann has characterized here in another context. The finest example is Friedrich Nietzsche. Nietzsche is, to be sure, an extraordinary personality. In a certain sense he was not an intellectual at all. He was not your conventional scholar. With the tremendous gifts of genius, however, he grew out of puberty into scientific research; with these tremendous gifts he was able to take in what the contemporary sciences can offer. That, despite having acquired this knowledge, he did not become a scholar of the conventional sort is shown quite simply by the polemics of so exemplary a modern scholar as Wilamowitz, who came out in opposition immediately after the appearance of the young Nietzsche's first publication. Nietzsche had just published his treatise The Birth of Tragedy out of the Spirit of Music, in which there resounds a readiness to undergo initiation, to enter the musical, the Inspirative — even the title reveals his yearning for the realm that I have characterized — but he could not. The possibility did not exist. In Nietzsche's time a conscious spiritual science did not exist, but in giving his work the title The Birth of Tragedy out of the Spirit of Music, he indicated that he wished to come to terms with a phenomenon such as Wagnerian tragedy out of this spirit of music. And he entered further and further into this realm. As I said, Wilamowitz immediately came out in opposition and wrote his polemics against The Birth of Tragedy, in which he completely rejected from his academic point of view what Nietzsche, unschooled but yearning for knowledge, had written. From the point of view of modern science he was of course completely justified. And actually it is hard to understand how so excellent a thinker as Erwin Rohde could have believed a compromise was possible between this modern philology that Wilamowitz represented and what lived within Nietzsche as a dark striving, as a yearning for initiation, for Inspiration. What Nietzsche had acquired in this manner, had inwardly appropriated, grew out into the other fields of contemporary sciences. It grew into positivism, namely that of the Frenchman, Comte, and the German, Dühring. While cataloguing Nietzsche's library in the 1890s I saw with my own eyes all the marks Nietzsche had so conscientiously made in the margins of Dühring's works, from which he acquired his knowledge of positivism; I held all these books in my own hand. I could enter sympathetically right into the manner in which Nietzsche took positivism up into himself. I could well imagine how he then reverted to an extra-corporeal existence, where he experienced this positivism again without having penetrated into this region sufficiently with his ego. As a result, he produced works such as Human, All Too Human, exhibiting a constant oscillation between an inability to move within the world of Inspiration and a desire to remain there nonetheless. One notices this in the aphoristic progression of Nietzsche's style in these works. Nietzsche strives to bring his ego into this realm, but it tears itself away again and again: thus he produces not a systematic, artistic presentation but only aphorisms. It is just this constant self-interruption in aphorism that reveals the inward soul of this remarkable spirit. And then he rises to encounter that which has provided modern science, the contemporary physical sciences, with their greatest riddles. He rises up to encounter what lives in Darwinism, what lives in the theory of evolution, and attempts to demonstrate how the most complicated organisms have gradually arisen out of the most primitive. He penetrates into this realm, a realm into which I have sought in a modest way to bring inner structure and an inward mobility — you can follow this in the discussion of Haeckel in my book The Riddles of Philosophy. Nietzsche enters this realm, and there emerges from his soul the notion of a kind of super-evolution [Überevolutionsgedanke]. He follows the course of evolution up to man, where this notion of evolution explodes to create his “superman.” In following this self-progression of evolving beings he loses the content, because he is unable to obtain the true content through Inspiration: he is confined to the empty idea of “eternal recurrence.”
Only by virtue of the inner integrity of his personality was Nietzsche able to avoid what the pathologist calls “pathological skepticism.” It was something within Nietzsche, a prodigious health that Nietzsche himself sensed underlying his debility, that asserted itself and kept him from falling prey to complete skepticism, leading him rather to contrive what later became the content of his most inspiring words. No wonder, then, that this excursion into the spiritual world, this striving to proceed from music to the inner word, to inner being, culminated in the most unmusical of ideas — that of “the eternal recurrence of the same”— and the empty, merely lyrical “superman.” No wonder that it had to end in the condition that his physician, for example, diagnosed as an “atypical case of paralysis.”
Yes, this man who did not know Nietzsche's inner life, who was incapable of judging it from the standpoint of spiritual science and confronted the images and ideas of Nietzsche's inner life as a mere psychiatrist, without sympathetic understanding — this man found only an abstraction to answer the question posed by the concrete case before him. With regard to all nature, du Bois-Reymond had said in 1872: ignorabimus. Confronted with exceptional cases, the psychiatrist says: paralysis, atypical paralysis. Confronted with concrete cases that reveal the essence of present human evolution, the psychiatrist can say only ignorabimus, or ignoramus. This is but a translation of what is clothed in the words “atypical case of paralysis.”
This eventually destroyed Nietzsche's body. It produced the condition that makes Nietzsche such a revealing phenomenon within our contemporary cultural life. This is the other form of the debility appearing in certain highly cultivated individuals, which psychiatrists term pathological doubt or hyper-skepticism. And the phenomenon of Nietzsche — here I must be allowed a personal remark — stood before my eyes the moment that, trembling, I entered his room in Naumburg a few years after his illness. He lay upon the sofa after dinner, staring into space. He recognized nobody around him and stared at one like a complete idiot, but the light of his former genius still gleamed within his eyes.
If one looked at Nietzsche, knowing all one could about his worldview, about the ideas and images that lived within his soul; if, unlike the mere psychiatrist, one stood before Nietzsche, this ruin of a man, this physical wreck, with this image in one's soul, then one knew: this man strove to view the world revealed by Inspiration. Nothing of this world came forth to him. And the part of him that desired to achieve Inspiration finally extinguished itself: for years the physical organism was filled by a soul-spirit devoid of content.
From such a sight one can learn the whole tragedy of our modern culture, its striving for the spiritual world, its inclination toward that which can proceed from Inspiration. For me — and I do not hesitate in the slightest to introduce a personal remark here — this was one of those moments that can be interpreted in a Goethean manner. Goethe says that nature conceals no secret that she is not willing to reveal in one place or another. No, the entire world contains not a single secret that is not revealed in one place or another. The present stage of human evolution conceals the secret that humanity is giving birth to a striving, an inclination, an impulse that rumbles within the social upheavals our civilization is undergoing — an impulse that seeks to view the spiritual world of Inspiration. And Nietzsche was the one point where nature revealed its open secret, where the striving that exists within humanity as a whole could reveal itself. We must seek this if all those striving for education, seeking within modern science — and this shall be the entire civilized world, for education must become universal — if humanity as a whole is not to lose its ego and civilization fall into barbarism.
That is one great cultural anxiety, one great threat to civilization, which must be faced by anyone who follows the contemporary progress of human evolution and seeks to develop a thinking that can grasp the realities of social life. Similar phenomena assert themselves on the other side as well, on the side of consciousness. And we shall have to study these phenomena on the side of consciousness at least in outline as well. We shall see how these other phenomena arise out of the chaos of contemporary life, phenomena that appear pathologically and have been described by Westphal, Falret, and others. It is no accident that these have been described only just in the most recent decades. On the other side, that of the boundary of consciousness, we encounter the phenomena of claustrophobia, astraphobia, and agoraphobia, just as we encounter pathological skepticism on the side of matter. And in the same way (we shall discuss this further) in which pathological skepticism must be cured culturally-historically through the cultivation of Inspiration — one of the great talks of contemporary social ethics — we are threatened with the emergence of the phenomena that I shall describe tomorrow: claustrophobia, astraphobia, and agoraphobia. These emerge pathologically and can be overcome through Imagination, which, when civilization has acquired it, shall become a social blessing for all humanity.