Tuesday, August 2, 2016
The Way of Anthroposophy: Reversing the Fall of Man through spiritualizing the intellect
Rudolf Steiner, Dornach, Switzerland, January 21, 1923
You have seen from these lectures that I feel duty bound to speak at this time about a consciousness that must be attained if we are to accomplish one of the tasks of the Anthroposophical Society. And to begin with today, let me point to the fact that this consciousness can only be acquired if the whole task of culture and civilization is really understood today from the spiritual-scientific point of view. I have taken the most varied opportunities to try, from this point of view, to characterize what is meant by the fall of man, to which all religions refer. The religions speak of this fall of man as lying at the starting point of the historical development of mankind; and in various ways through the years we have seen how this fall of man — which I do not need to characterize in more detail today — is an expression of something that once occurred in the course of human evolution: man's becoming independent of the divine spiritual powers that guided him.
We know in fact that the consciousness of this independence first arose as the consciousness soul appeared in human evolution in the first half of the fifteenth century. We have spoken again and again in recent lectures about this point in time. But basically the whole human evolution depicted in myths and history is a kind of preparation for this significant moment of growing awareness of our freedom and independence.
This moment is a preparation for the fact that earthly humanity is meant to acquire a decision-making ability that is independent of the divine spiritual powers. And so the religions point to a cosmic-earthly event that replaces the soul-spiritual instincts — which alone were determinative in what humanity did in very early times — with just this kind of human decision making. As I said, we do not want to speak in more detail about this now, but the religions did see the matter in this way: With respect to his moral impulses the human being has placed himself in a certain opposition to his guiding spiritual powers, to the Yahweh or Jehovah powers, let us say, speaking in Old Testament terms. If we look at this interpretation, therefore, we can present the matter as though, from a definite point in his evolution, man no longer felt that divine spiritual powers were active in him and that now he himself was active.
Consequently, with respect to his overall moral view of himself, man felt that he was sinful and that he would have been incapable of falling into sin if he had remained in his old state, in a state of instinctive guidance by divine spiritual powers. Whereas he would then have remained sinless, incapable of sinning, like a mere creature of nature, he now became capable of sinning through this independence from the divine spiritual powers. And then there arose in humanity this consciousness of sin: As a human being I am sinless only when I find my way back again to the divine spiritual powers. What I myself decide for myself is sinful per se, and I can attain a sinless state only by finding my way back again to the divine spiritual powers.
This consciousness of sin then arose most strongly in the Middle Ages. And then human intellectuality, which previously had not yet been a separate faculty, began to develop. And so, in a certain way, what man developed as his intellect, as an intellectual content, also became infected — in a certain sense rightly — with this consciousness of sin. It is only that one did not say to oneself that the intellect, arising in human evolution since the third or fourth century A.D., was also now infected by the consciousness of sin. In the Scholastic wisdom of the Middle Ages there evolved, to begin with, an ‘unobserved’ consciousness of sin in the intellect.
This Scholastic wisdom of the Middle Ages said to itself: No matter how effectively one may develop the intellect as a human being, one can still only grasp outer physical nature with it. Through mere intellect one can at best prove that divine spiritual powers exist; but one can know nothing of these divine spiritual powers; one can only have faith in these divine spiritual powers. One can have faith in what they themselves have revealed either through the Old or the New Testament.
So the human being, who earlier had felt himself to be sinful in his moral life — ‘sinful’ meaning separated from the divine spiritual powers — this human being, who had always felt morally sinful, now in his Scholastic wisdom felt himself to be intellectually sinful, as it were. He attributed to himself an intellectual ability that was effective only in the physical, sense-perceptible world. He said to himself: As a human being I am too base to be able to ascend through my own power into those regions of knowledge where I can also grasp the spirit.
We do not notice how connected this intellectual fall of man is to his general moral fall. But what plays into our view of human intellectuality is the direct continuation of his moral fall.
When the Scholastic wisdom passes over then into the modern scientific view of the world, the connection with the old moral fall of man is completely forgotten. And, as I have often emphasized, the strong connection actually present between modern natural-scientific concepts and the old Scholasticism is in fact denied altogether. In modern natural science one states that man has limits to his knowledge, that he must be content to extend his view of things only out upon the sense-perceptible physical world. Dubois-Reymond, for example, and others state that the human being has limits to what he can investigate, has limits to his whole thinking, in fact.
But that is a direct continuation of Scholasticism. The only difference is that Scholasticism believed that because the human intellect is limited, one must raise oneself to something different from the intellect — to revelation, in fact — when one wants to know something about the spiritual world.
The modern natural-scientific view takes half, not the whole; it lets revelation stay where it is, but then places itself completely upon a standpoint that is possible only if one presupposes revelation. This standpoint is that the human ability to know is too base to ascend into the divine spiritual worlds.
But at the time of Scholasticism, especially at the high point of Scholasticism in the middle of the Middle Ages, the same attitude of soul was not present as that of today. One assumed then that when the human being used his intellect he could gain knowledge of the sense-perceptible world; and he sensed that he still experienced something of a flowing together of himself with the sense-perceptible world when he employed his intellect. And one believed then that if one wanted to know something about the spiritual one must ascend to revelation, which in fact could no longer be understood, i.e., could no longer be grasped intellectually. But the fact remained unnoticed — and this is where we must direct our attention! — that spirituality flowed into the concepts that the Scholastics set up about the sense world. The concepts of the Scholastics were not as unspiritual as ours are today. The Scholastics still approached the human being with the concepts that they formed for themselves about nature, so that the human being was not yet completely excluded from knowledge. For, at least in the Realist stream, the Scholastics totally believed that thoughts are given us from outside, that they are not fabricated from within. Today we believe that thoughts are not given from outside but are fabricated from within. Through this fact we have gradually arrived at a point in our evolution where we have dropped everything that does not relate to the outer sense world.
And, you see, the Darwinian theory of evolution is the final consequence of this dropping of everything unrelated to the outer sense world. Goethe made a beginning for a real evolutionary teaching that extended as far as man. When you take up his writing in this direction, you will see that he only stumbled when he tried to take up the human being. He wrote excellent botanical studies. He wrote many correct things about animals. But something always went wrong when he tried to take up the human being. The intellect that is trained only upon the sense world is not adequate to the study of man. Precisely Goethe shows this to a high degree. Even Goethe can say nothing about the human being. His teaching on metamorphosis does not extend as far as the human being. You know how, within the anthroposophical worldview, we have had to broaden this teaching on metamorphosis, entirely in a Goethean sense, but going much further.
What has modern intellectualism actually achieved in natural science? It has only come as far as grasping the evolution of animals up to the apes, and then added on the human being without being able inwardly to encompass him. The closer people came to the higher animals, so to speak, the less able their concepts became to grasp anything. And it is absolutely untrue to say, for example, that they even understand the higher animals. They only believe that they understand them.
And so our understanding of the human being gradually dropped completely out of our understanding of the world, because understanding dropped out of our concepts. Our concepts became less and less spiritual, and the unspiritual concepts that regard the human being as the mere endpoint of the animal kingdom represent the content of all our thinking today. These concepts are already instilled into our children in the early grades, and our inability to look at the essential being of man thus becomes part of the general culture.
Now, you know that I once attempted to grasp the whole matter of knowledge at another point. This was when I wrote The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity and its prelude, Truth and Science, although the first references are present already in my The Science of Knowing: Outline of an Epistemology Implicit in the Goethean World View, written in the 1880's. I tried to turn the matter in a completely different direction. I tried to show what the modern person can raise himself to, when — not in a traditional sense, but out of free inner activity — he attains pure thinking, when he attains this pure, willed thinking, which is something positive and real, when this thinking works in him. And in The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity I sought, in fact, to find our moral impulses in this purified thinking.
So that our evolution proceeded formerly in such a way that we more and more viewed man as being too base to act morally, and we extended this baseness also into our intellectuality.
Expressing this graphically, one could say: The human being developed in such a way that what he knew about himself became less and less substantial. It grew thinner and thinner (light color). But below the surface something continued to develop (red) that lives not in abstract thinking, but in real thinking.
Now, at the end of the 19th century we had arrived at the point of no longer noticing at all what I have drawn here in red; and through what I have drawn here in a light color, we no longer believed ourselves connected with anything of a divine spiritual nature. Man's consciousness of sin had torn him out of the divine spiritual element; the historical forces that were emerging could not take him back. But with The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity I wanted to say: Just look for once into the depths of the human soul and you will find that something has remained with us: pure thinking, namely, the real, energetic thinking that originates from man himself, that is no longer mere thinking, that is filled with experience, filled with feeling, and that ultimately expresses itself in the will. I wanted to say that this thinking can become the impulse for moral action. And for this reason I spoke of the moral intuition which is the ultimate outcome of what otherwise is only moral imagination. But what is actually intended by The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity can become really alive only if we can reverse the path that we took as we split ourselves off more and more from the divine spiritual content of the world, split ourselves off all the way down to intellectuality. When we again find the spirituality in nature, then we will also find the human being again.
I therefore once expressed in a lecture that I held many years ago in Mannheim that mankind, in fact, in its present development, is on the point of reversing the fall of man. What I said was hardly noticed, but consisted in the following: The fall of man was understood to be a moral fall, which ultimately influenced the intellect also. The intellect felt itself to be at the limits of its knowledge. And it is basically one and the same thing — only in a somewhat different form — if the old theology speaks of sin or if Dubois-Reymond speaks of the limits of our ability to know nature. I indicated how one must grasp the spiritual — which, to be sure, has been filtered down into pure thinking — and how, from there, one can reverse the fall of man. I showed how, through spiritualizing the intellect, one can work one's way back up to the divine spiritual.
Whereas in earlier ages one pointed to the moral fall of man and thought about the development of mankind in terms of this moral fall of man, we today must think about an ideal of mankind: about the rectifying of the fall of man along a path of the spiritualization of our knowing activity, along a path of knowing the spiritual content of the world again. Through the moral fall of man, the human being distanced himself from the gods. Through the path of knowledge he must find again the pathway of the gods. Man must turn his descent into an ascent. Out of the purely grasped spirit of his own being, man must understand, with inner energy and power, the goal, the ideal, of again taking the fall of man seriously. For the fall of man should be taken seriously. It extends right into what natural science says today. We must find the courage to add to the fall of man, through the power of our knowing activity, a raising of man out of sin. We must find the courage to work out a way to raise ourselves out of sin, using what can come to us through a real and genuine spiritual-scientific knowledge of modern times.
One could say, therefore: If we look back into the development of mankind, we see that human consciousness posits a fall of man at the beginning of the historical development of mankind on Earth. But the fall must be made right again at some point: it must be opposed by a raising of man. And this raising of man can only go forth out of the age of the consciousness soul. In our day, therefore, the historic moment has arrived when the highest ideal of mankind must be the spiritual raising of ourselves out of sin. Without this, the development of mankind can proceed no further.
That is what I once discussed in that lecture in Mannheim. I said that, in modern times, especially in natural-scientific views, an intellectual fall of man has occurred, in addition to the moral fall of man. And this intellectual fall is the great historical sign that a spiritual raising of man must begin.
But what does this spiritual raising of man mean? It means nothing other, in fact, than really understanding Christ. Those who still understood something about him, who had not — like modern theology — lost Christ completely, said of Christ that he came to Earth, that he incarnated into an earthly body as a being of a higher kind. They took up what was proclaimed about Christ in written traditions. They spoke, in fact, about the Mystery of Golgotha.
Today the time has come when Christ must be understood. But we resist this understanding of Christ, and the form this resistance takes is extraordinarily characteristic. You see, if even a spark of what Christ really is still lived in those who say that they understand Christ, what would happen? They would have to be clear about the fact that Christ, as a heavenly being, descended to Earth; he therefore did not speak to man in an earthly language, but in a heavenly one. We must therefore make an effort to understand him. We must make an effort to speak a cosmic, extraterrestrial language. That means that we must not limit our knowledge merely to the Earth, for the Earth was in fact a new land for Christ. We must extend our knowledge out into the cosmos. We must learn to understand the elements. We must learn to understand the movements of the planets. We must learn to understand the star constellations, and their influence on what happens on Earth. Then we draw near to the language that Christ spoke.
That is something, however, that coincides with our spiritual raising of man. For why was man reduced to understanding only what lives on Earth? Because he was conscious of sin, in fact, because he considered himself too base to be able to grasp the world in its extraterrestrial spirituality. And that is actually why people speak as though man can know nothing except the earthly. I characterized this yesterday by saying: We understand a fish only in a bowl, and a bird only in a cage. Certainly there is no consciousness present in our civilized natural science that the human being can raise himself above this purely earthly knowledge, for this science mocks any effort to go beyond the earthly. If one even begins to speak about the stars, the terrible mockery sets in right away, as a matter of course, from the natural-scientific side.
If we want to hear correct statements about the relation of man to the animals, we must already turn our eye to the extraterrestrial world, for only the plants are still explainable in earthly terms; the animals are not. Therefore I had to say earlier that we do not even understand the apes correctly, that we can no longer explain the animals. If one wants to understand the animals, one must take recourse to the extraterrestrial, for the animals are ruled by forces that are extraterrestrial. I showed you this yesterday with respect to the fish. I told you how Moon and Sun forces work into the water and shape the fish out of the water, if I may put it so. And in the same way, the bird out of the air. As soon as one turns to the elements, one also meets the extraterrestrial. The whole animal world is explainable in terms of the extraterrestrial. And even more so the human being. But when one begins to speak of the extraterrestrial, then the mockery sets in at once.
The courage to speak again about the extraterrestrial must grow within a truly spiritual-scientific view; for, to be a spiritual scientist today is actually more a matter of courage than of intellectuality. Basically it is a moral issue, because what must be opposed is something moral: the moral fall of man, in fact.
And so we must say that we must in fact first learn the language of Christ, the language ton ouranon, the language of the heavens, in Greek terms. We must relearn this language in order to make sense out of what Christ wanted to do on earth.
Whereas up till now one has spoken about Christianity and described the history of Christianity, the point now is to understand Christ, to understand him as an extraterrestrial being. And that is identical with what we can call the ideal of raising ourselves from sin.
Now, to be sure, there is something very problematical about formulating this ideal, for you know in fact that the consciousness of sin once made people humble. But in modern times they are hardly ever humble. Often those who think themselves the most humble are the most proud of all. The greatest pride today is evident in those who strive for a so-called ‘simplicity’ in life. They set themselves above everything that is sought by the humble soul that lifts itself inwardly to real, spiritual truths, and they say: Everything must be sought in utter simplicity. Such naive natures — and they also regard themselves as naive natures — are often the most proud of all today. But nevertheless, during the time of real consciousness of sin there once were humble people; humility was still regarded as something that mattered in human affairs. And so, without justification, pride has arisen. Why? Yes, I can answer that in the same words I used here recently. Why has pride arisen? It has arisen because one has not heard the words “Huckle, get up!” [From the Oberufer Christmas plays.] One simply fell asleep. Whereas earlier one felt oneself, with full intensity and wakefulness, to be a sinner, one now fell into a gentle sleep and only dreamed still of a consciousness of sin. Formerly one was awake in one's consciousness of sin; one said to oneself: Man is sinful if he does not undertake actions that will again bring him onto the path to the divine spiritual powers. One was awake then. One may have different views about this today, but the fact is that one was awake in one's acknowledgment of sinfulness. But then one dozed off, and the dreams arrived, and the dreams murmured: Causality rules in the world; one event always causes the following one. And so finally we pursue what we see in the starry heavens as attraction and repulsion of the heavenly bodies; we take this all the way down into the molecule; and then we imagine a kind of little cosmos of molecules and atoms.
And the dreaming went further. And then the dream concluded by saying: We can know nothing except what outer sense experience gives us. And it was labeled ‘supernaturalism’ if anyone went beyond sense experiences. But where supernaturalism begins, science ends.
And then, at gatherings of natural scientists, these dreams were delivered in croaking tirades like Dubois-Reymond's "Limits of Knowledge." And then, when the dream's last notes were sounded — a dream does not always resound so agreeably; sometimes it is a real nightmare — when the dream concluded with “Where supernaturalism begins, science ends,” then not only the speaker but the whole natural-scientific public sank down from the dream into blessed sleep. One no longer needed any inner impulse for active inner knowledge. One could console oneself by accepting that there are limits, in fact, to what we can know about nature, and that we cannot transcend these limits. The time had arrived when one could now say: “Huckle, get up! The sky is cracking!” But our modern civilization replies: “Let it crack! It's old enough to have cracked before!” Yes, this is how things really are. We have arrived at a total sleepiness in our knowing activity.
But into this sleepiness there must sound what is now being declared by spiritual-scientific anthroposophical knowledge. To begin with, there must arise in knowledge the realization that man is in a position to set up the ideal within himself that we can raise ourselves from sin. And that in turn is connected with the fact that along with a possible waking up, pride — which up till now has only been present, to be sure, in a dreamlike way — will grow more than ever. And (I say this of course without making any insinuations) it has sometimes been the case that in anthroposophical circles the raising of man has not yet come to full fruition. Sometimes, in fact, this pride has reached — I will not say a respectable — a quite unrespectable size. For, it simply lies in human nature for pride to flourish rather than the positive side.
And so, along with the recognition that the raising of man is a necessity, we must also see that we now need to take up into ourselves in full consciousness the training in humility which we once exercised. And we can do that. For, when pride arises out of knowledge, that is always a sign that something in one's knowledge is indeed terribly wrong. For when knowledge is truly present, it makes one humble in a completely natural way. It is out of pride that one sets up a program of reform today, when in some social movement, let's say, or in the woman's movement one knows ahead of time what is possible, right, necessary, and best, and then sets up a program, point by point. One knows everything about the matter. One does not think of oneself at all as proud when each person declares himself to know it all. But in true knowledge, one remains truly humble, for one knows that true knowledge is acquired only in the course of time, to use a trivial expression.
If one lives in knowledge, one knows with what difficulty — sometimes over decades — one has attained the simplest truths. There, quite inwardly through the matter itself, one does not become proud. But nevertheless, because a full consciousness is being demanded precisely of the Anthroposophical Society for humanity's great ideal today of raising ourselves from sin, watchfulness — not Hucklism, but watchfulness — must also be awakened against any pride that might arise.
We need today a strong inclination to truly grasp the essential being of knowledge so that, by virtue of a few anthroposophical catchwords like ‘physical body,’ ‘etheric body,’ ‘reincarnation,’ et cetera, we do not immediately become paragons of pride. This watchfulness with respect to ordinary pride must really be cultivated as a new moral content. This must be taken up into our meditation. For if the raising of man is actually to occur, then the experiences we have with the physical world must lead us over into the spiritual world. For these experiences must lead us to offer ourselves devotedly, with the innermost powers of our soul. They must not lead us, however, to dictate program truths. Above all, they must penetrate into a feeling of responsibility for every single word that one utters about the spiritual world. Then the striving must reign to truly carry up into the realm of spiritual knowledge the truthfulness that, to begin with, one acquired for oneself in dealing with external, sense-perceptible facts. Whoever has not accustomed himself to remaining with the facts in the physical sense world and to basing himself upon them also does not accustom himself to truthfulness when speaking about the spirit. For in the spiritual world, one can no longer accustom oneself to truthfulness; one must bring it with one.
But you see, on the one hand today, due to the state of consciousness in our civilization, facts are hardly taken into account, and, on the other hand, science simply suppresses those facts that lead onto the right path. Let us take just one out of many such facts: There are insects that are themselves vegetarian when fully grown. They eat no meat, not even other insects. When the mother insect is ready to lay her fertilized eggs, she lays them into the body of another insect, that is then filled with the eggs that the insect mother has inserted into it. The eggs are now in a separate insect. Now, the eggs do not hatch out into mature adults, but as little worms. But at first they are in the other insect. These little worms, that will only later metamorphose into adult insects, are not vegetarian. They could not be vegetarian. They must devour the flesh of the other insect. Only when they emerge and transform themselves are they able to do without the flesh of other insects. Picture that: the insect mother is herself a vegetarian. She knows nothing in her consciousness about eating meat, but she lays her eggs for the next generation into another insect. And furthermore; if these insects were now, for example, to eat away the stomach of the host insect, they would soon have nothing more to eat, because the host insect would die. If they ate away any vital organ, the insect could not live. So what do these insects do when they hatch out? They avoid all the vital organs and eat only what the host insect can do without and still live. Then, when these little insects mature, they crawl out, become vegetarian, and proceed to do what their mother did.
Yes, one must acknowledge that intelligence holds sway in nature. And if you really study nature, you can find this intelligence holding sway everywhere. And you will then think more humbly about your own intelligence, for first of all, it is not as great as the intelligence ruling in nature, and secondly, it is only like a little bit of water that one has drawn from a lake and put into a water jug. The human being, in fact, is just such a water jug, that has drawn intelligence from nature. Intelligence is everywhere in nature; everything, everywhere is wisdom. A person who ascribes intelligence exclusively to himself is about as clever as someone who declares: You're saying that there is water out there in the lake or in the brook? Nonsense! There is no water in them. Only in my jug is there any water. The jug created the water.
So, the human being thinks that he creates intelligence, whereas he only draws intelligence from the universal sea of intelligence.
It is necessary, therefore, to truly keep our eye on the facts of nature. But facts are left out when the Darwinian theory is promoted, when today's materialistic views are being formulated; for the facts contradict the modern materialistic view at every point. Therefore one suppresses these facts. One recounts them, to be sure, but actually aside from science, anecdotally. Therefore they do not gain the validity in our general education that they must have. And so one not only does not truly present the facts that one has, but adds a further dishonesty by leaving out the decisive facts, i.e., by suppressing them.
But if the raising of man is to be accomplished, then we must educate ourselves in truthfulness in the sense world first of all, and then carry this education, this habitude, with us into the spiritual world. Then we will also be able to be truthful in the spiritual world. Otherwise we will tell people the most unbelievable stories about the spiritual world. If we are accustomed in the physical world to being imprecise, untrue, and inexact, then we will recount nothing but untruths about the spiritual world.
You see, if one grasps in this way the ideal whose reality can become conscious to the Anthroposophical Society, and if what arises from this consciousness becomes a force in our Society, then, even in people who wish us the worst, the opinion that the Anthroposophical Society could be a sect will disappear. Now, of course our opponents will say all kinds of things that are untrue. But as long as we are giving cause for what they say, it cannot be a matter of indifference to us whether their statements are true or not.
Now, through its very nature, the Anthroposophical Society has thoroughly worked its way out of the sectarianism in which it certainly was caught up at first, especially while it was still connected to the Theosophical Society. It is only that many members to this day have not noticed this fact and love sectarianism. And so it has come about that even older anthroposophical members who were beside themselves when the Anthroposophical Society was transformed from a sectarian one into one that was conscious of its world task, even those who were beside themselves have quite recently gone aside again. The Movement for Religious Renewal, when it follows its essential nature, may be ever so far removed from sectarianism. But this Movement for Religious Renewal has given even a number of older anthroposophists cause to say to themselves: Yes, the sectarian element is being eradicated more and more from the Anthroposophical Society. But we can cultivate it again here! And so precisely through anthroposophists, the Movement for Religious Renewal is being turned into the crassest sectarianism, which truly does not need to be the case.
One can see how, therefore, if the Anthroposophical Society wants to become a reality, we must positively develop the courage to raise ourselves again into the spiritual world. Then art and religion will flourish in the Anthroposophical Society. Although for now even our artistic forms have been taken from us [through the burning of the Goetheanum building on the night of December 31, 1922], these forms live on, in fact, in the being of the anthroposophical movement itself and must continually be found again, and ever again.
In the same way, a true religious deepening lives in those who find their way back into the spiritual world, who take seriously the raising of man. But what we must eradicate in ourselves is the inclination to sectarianism, for this inclination is always egotistical. It always wants to avoid the trouble of penetrating into the reality of the spirit and wants to settle for a mystical reveling that basically is an egotistical voluptuousness. And all the talk about the Anthroposophical Society becoming much too intellectual is actually based on the fact that those who say this want, indeed, to avoid the thoroughgoing experience of a spiritual content, and would much rather enjoy the egotistical voluptuousness of soulful reveling in a mystical, nebulous indefiniteness. Selflessness is necessary for true anthroposophy. It is mere egotism of soul when this true anthroposophy is opposed by anthroposophical members themselves who then all the more drive anthroposophy into something sectarian that is only meant, in fact, to satisfy a voluptuousness of soul that is egotistical through and through.
You see those are the things, with respect to our tasks, to which we should turn our attention. By doing so, we lose nothing of the warmth, the artistic sense, or the religious inwardness of our anthroposophical striving. But that will be avoided which must be avoided: the inclination to sectarianism. And this inclination to sectarianism, even though it often arrived in a roundabout way through pure cliquishness, has brought so much into the Society that splits it apart. But cliquishness also arose in the anthroposophical movement only because of its kinship — a distant one, to be sure — with the sectarian inclination. We must return to the cultivation of a certain world consciousness so that only our opponents, who mean to tell untruths, can still call the Anthroposophical Society a sect. We must arrive at the point of being able to strictly banish the sectarian character trait from the anthroposophical movement. But we should banish it in such a way that when something arises like the Movement for Religious Renewal, which is not meant to be sectarian, it is not gripped right away by sectarianism just because one can more easily give it a sectarian direction than one can the Anthroposophical Society itself.
Those are the things that we must think about keenly today. From the innermost being of anthroposophy we must understand the extent to which anthroposophy can give us not a sectarian consciousness, but rather a world consciousness. Therefore I had to speak these days precisely about the more intimate tasks of the Anthroposophical Society.