If what I have just said does not remain a colorless theory but passes over into man's whole nature of feeling and perception, then he feels himself standing in the universe and says “I am here for the sake of cosmic evolution; through me passes the stream of cosmic events.” This feeling of being an integral part of the universe must permeate the consciousness of the present and of the immediate future. Think how this feeling contrasts with another that has been brought to the surface of human development by the civilization of the last three to four hundred years. Have these last centuries arrived on their own at anything like such an awareness of the human being? Indeed not; science has in no way reflected on what the human being is and signifies in the cosmos. Attention was directed to the various types of animals. People learned to recognize how one animal form evolved from others and concluded that man is the highest of the animal forms. Man was added on to the lower animals, so to speak, as the highest animal. People learned to know man in his animality; they did not speak at all about the essential being of man. From now on a reversal must take place in the souls of mankind. The human being must again become aware that he represents a channel for divine forces, that in a way he is the stage on which hierarchies encounter each other so that they may work together in the universe. Man should also know that when he has a low opinion of himself, acts basely and degrades his awareness of humanity, he will not be a mediator between the higher and the lower worlds. Man must learn to think of himself as a being that belongs to the cosmos. Divine beings who serve the centrifugal motive powers and divine beings serving the centripetal powers meet each other in man.
It is really like this: If one makes a diagram of the universe as it draws apart into distant space, yet is held together centripetally at this boundary, we discover the oldest forces of the universe [see sketch above]. In a certain sense, they disintegrate. And our comprehension, our human intellect, arises from these disintegrating forces that are passing over into death and have turned into chaos.
Translator's Notes:A. Note by translator: Reference to the First Goetheanum.