Tuesday, July 23, 2019

All Things Were Made By Him

To see a world in a grain of sand,

And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.

         ~William Blake

Rudolf Steiner:  "There is little value in knowing plants, animals, and minerals unless one can find the stars working in every one of them."


Washed in the Blood of the Lamb are We
Awash in a Sonburst 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

Monday, July 22, 2019



Washed in the Blood of the Lamb are We
Awash in a Sonburst 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

Cognition of the Christ Through Anthroposophy

Rudolf Steiner, London, April 15, 1922:

Clairvoyance, which is the basis of the modern science of initiation, has always existed. In the past ages it was something that rose up within the human being like an elemental force, and on the path of initiation those who had gone through fewer stages were essentially dependent for their progress upon the authority of those who had gone through more stages than they. But to meet the needs of the human soul of today we cannot build on authority; to do so would be to contradict the stage it has now reached.
In our age the methods are entirely built, as in external science, upon the continuous and full control of the individuality and personality; in the soul life there must be control in every stage and in every step taken by the new candidate for initiation. Hence in speaking of exact clairvoyance in connection with the modern science of initiation we use the word ‘exact’ as it is used in the term “exact” science. Yesterday I spoke of the insight we gain into the cosmos and into the working of all things through the modern science of initiation. That insight is by no means something which, when we study it, lives in the soul merely as a theory or an abstract conception; it is something which becomes a living, spiritual force which penetrates us fully in all our powers and faculties when we allow it to work upon us. Thus the anthroposophical spiritual movement has been made effective in many spheres of life and particularly in that of the artistic life. Through the help and self-sacrifice of its friends and members in many countries the movement has been able to build the Goetheanum, its headquarters at Dornach, near Basle, Switzerland, [Refers to the first Goetheanum, destroyed by fire on December 31, 1922. Rebuilt as the present Goetheanum. (Ed.)] as an independent school of anthroposophical science. And in all its forms this building expresses that same deep spiritual reality which finds utterance through the spoken and the written word for the ideas and thoughts of the science.
Had any other spiritual movement in our time required to build a headquarters it would have commissioned an architect to design it on Antique, Renaissance or Gothic lines, or in one of the prevailing styles. This the Anthroposophical Movement, by reason of its inner nature, could not do. The architectural forms of the Goetheanum are drawn from the same source out of which the ideas of the super-sensible spring, as they are proclaimed through the world. Everything that is found in Dornach, be it sculpture or painting, is carried by a new style out of which Anthroposophy is born in this modern age. Whoever visits this School for Spiritual Science will find that on the one hand the anthroposophical world view is proclaimed from the rostrum in words and on the other hand the forms of the building and the paintings express in an artistic way what is expressed by the word. That which can work from the stage should only be another form of revelation than that what can be effected through the word. Anthroposophy should come out of the deepest foundations of humanity, of which theoretical Anthroposophy is only one branch, education and the arts are the others. In this way anthroposophical life becomes a factor in the most varied fields of human existence. The Waldorf School, which has been founded in Stuttgart, is not in any sense a school where children are taught a particular anthroposophical conception of the world. It is one where the teachers themselves, not so much in what they teach as in how they do so and in the whole way in which they exercise the art of education — are permeated in their faculties with that which anthroposophy can give them. Reference could be made to other directions in which the modern science of initiation is proving itself of use in every branch of human life and activity. Moreover it operates upon and vitalizes the religious needs of civilized humanity, and as these needs are deeply connected with an understanding of the Mystery of Golgotha it is with that subject that I propose to deal now.
Let me begin by connecting what I have to say with what was said yesterday about the path of spiritual development for modern times leading to imagination, inspiration and intuition. I showed how by imagination and concentration, by means of certain exercises, the student can develop his thought-power until it becomes something which may be called imaginative in the real sense of the word, and in such a way that thought becomes not what it ordinarily is — abstract, cold, and in outline sketchy if compared with the intense vitality of sense impressions — but imaginative, pictorial, vivid and full of life, and in these characteristics no way inferior to impressions of the senses. The man who has attained to imaginative thinking, has something as full of life as when in normal daily existence he yields to the impressions of the world of colour or of sound.
But between the students of the new science of Initiation who attain to this imaginative thought, and those who abandon themselves to uncontrolled vision and hallucination, there is an important difference. The man who is subject to visions and hallucinations is not aware that the pictures which arise before him are subjective; on the other hand, he who has imaginative thought is fully aware that what he has before him is not an external reality but is something subjective having its origin in his own inner life. He knows the subjective nature of that imaginative picture-world. He knows too, that when through ‘imaginative thought’ he comes to perceive what was called yesterday his ‘time organism’ — the formative force body that works within the physical body as its sculpturer and architect — he is perceiving the first spiritual super-sensible thing that he can experience, and something that essentially belongs to his own inner being.
Then there comes the second stage on that path of development when he becomes so strong that he is not only able to concentrate the full forces of his soul at will upon the concepts, and then upon the imaginative pictures he has before him in imaginative thought, but can divert that picture world away from his consciousness while maintaining it in a fully wakeful condition. He is now ready for the real imaginations to pour into him from the external world spiritually, speaking through the outside spiritual universe, i.e., the objective imaginations as against the subjective picture-world that he had before. Here is attained the stage I have described as inspirational knowledge. He perceives his own spiritual being as it exists independently of his physical bodily organism, and as it existed in the worlds of soul and spirit before he entered into this physical life through conception and birth. He has before him a picture of his prenatal existence in the spiritual world and of the spiritual realities of the whole universe, and comes in contact through conscious knowledge with the spiritual reality of man and of the universe. Thus, through this imaginative, inspirational knowledge, he discovers what he was before he descended into this physical incarnation in a physical body for this life. He discovers also that when he came down from the spiritual worlds he carried with him into this physical life the power of thought which he here possesses in his ordinary consciousness. What is this power of thought? It is that which he already had in his life in the spiritual worlds before birth, but ordinary consciousness only shows it in a pale and abstract outline.
He then comes to recognize something that may be thus described: he gazes upon the picture at the gate of death, and the moment of death, and sees that the physical body is no longer held together and built up in its whole forces by the force of an indwelling human soul but is given over to the forces of the earth as they work in the external mineral world; he sees how, through decay or the process of burning, the human physical body is given up to those mineral forces and assimilated with the earth. He sees by comparison how, in effect, what is carried into the earthly life through birth is something (speaking now in the sense of the soul) that dies into the physical body just as the latter dies into the earth at death. What he had in his power of thought in the ordinary consciousness was something that was vital and full of spiritual life in the spiritual worlds before conception and birth, but was then killed in the physical body so that it appeared in ordinary consciousness as the power of deadened thought.
Because of this fact knowledge of today is so unsatisfactory for man, as he comprehends, in a certain sense, only lifeless nature. It is an illusion when he thinks that through scientific experiments he can reach anything else. Certainly there will be progress beyond representing only lifeless nature; they will be able to create organic substances. But it will not be understood by the deadened thinking, even when they have been created in the laboratories. With this kind of thinking, which is the corpse of the soul which is spiritually dead, only death can be understood.
In what then does the process consist that was described as the development of the soul to imaginative, inspirational and intuitional knowledge? It is in effect this, that we call to life within ourselves what was killed in our power of thought. When we develop the living, imaginative, plastic thought, and inspirational and intuitional cognition, we call to life our power of thought, which was dead.
We have now reached the point where we should be able to understand human evolution and history. Modern scientific history usually skims over the surface of external events, without regarding the metamorphoses that go on within the soul of man from age to age. We may ask why is it that in this age humanity has had to pass through a period when thought was abstract and of a deadened quality. The answer is that the full, living, spiritual thought, by its very vitality and fullness of life, exercises a kind of compulsion on the human soul. It is by passing through this dead and abstract thought that humanity has been able to achieve freedom, and for the evolution and development of freedom this stage was a necessary one.
After man has attained to Imagination and Inspiration, he has to say to himself: Something has happened to me, which causes me anxiety. I mention this as an unusual fact, for the strange thing happens, that the man of today when he has risen to Imagination and Inspiration, experiences real anxiety. This stems from the fact that today, when he becomes clairvoyant, man has to say to himself: I have become too strongly egotistical through my development. Anxiety arises in the heart and mind (Gemüt), for man has the feeling that his ego works too strongly. In ancient initiation, before the Mystery of Golgotha, the candidate went through the opposite experience: As he attained to initiation he found that in a sense he was becoming less ego-conscious, that he was pouring himself out into the universe and becoming less in possession of himself. His ego-consciousness was rather weakened than strengthened.
The turning point between these two characteristics of initiation is the Mystery of Golgotha. The first human being to pass through initiation, and to experience this deeply disquieting feeling when the ego becomes too strong, was St. Paul at Damascus. The passage in the New Testament (Acts 9) is so well known as to need no further reference here. It was on that occasion that he gained insight into the necessity for weakening the power of his ego; he realized that the initiate of the new age stood in need of a force to weaken the intensity of the ego-life, and as a result of his experience he pronounced the words which were to give the keynote to the whole development of humanity through initiation as from the moment of the Mystery of Golgotha. These words, which resounded forth into the future and pointed out the direction to be taken by the succeeding period of evolution, were ‘Not I, but Christ in me.’ When we look upon the place of Golgotha, and receive into ourselves the forces of the Christ Who descended to earth from the spiritual worlds and Who since the Mystery has permeated the earth, we are enabled to diminish the forces of the ego and to pass through initiation in the right way.
The abstract thinking of which I spoke in the first part of this lecture, where the power of thought is deadened and becomes like a soul-corpse living in the physical body, has prevailed only in the more recent times of human evolution. It began, gradually, some three or four centuries after the Mystery of Golgotha. In the more ancient people, man brought with him into his physical life out of the spiritual worlds more of the full life of thought which is now dead abstract thought. This may be confirmed by studying, without bias, the evolution of humanity and the records and experiences of man, whether initiate or non-initiate, in ancient times. Much is said today about so-called Animism, the poetic fancy of simple and primitive peoples, in an endeavour to explain the experiences of the past ages as recorded and handed down in tradition. But by facing up to realities we see that it was not in a kind of poetic fancy that ancient man described the woods and forests, lakes and mountains, springs, brooks, clouds and thunder and lightning, and everything physical in the world of Nature in a spiritual way. He saw and described not only the physical things that we see, but the spiritual beings that inhabited every flower and mineral, every spring and wood. That description was not, as in the modern conception of Animism, something created out of poetic fancy, but a direct experience of the living, spiritual power which man brought with him into physical life. It was as though, in a spiritual sense, he sent out feelers which felt and touched and realized, giving him experiences of the spiritual beings which inhabit everything in external nature. It is only since the third or fourth century after Christianity that gradually developed in humanity dead thinking, that dead consciousness which today can only see the mineral world. Ancient man experienced in himself something that was living; he was able to experience and to know the spiritual beings in the world and to recognize them as the same thing that had lived within him before he entered into the physical life. His experience was a very practical one, explaining his pre-natal existence in spiritual worlds, and he felt that something was born with him into this physical life and lived within him; he did not feel that this thought proceeded from the organism of his physical body, for he knew it was a living thing he had brought with him from the spiritual world before his birth.
Now we can quite well realize how the course of human evolution would have continued along the line that has been described, and how the thinking power of man would have become more and more dead. We can imagine evolution continuing in a straight downward line, and that is what would have happened if the Cross had not been raised upon Golgotha. Looking at the picture of death we see that had it not been for the Mystery of Golgotha the physical body of man would die, that his soul-life would die with his physical body. We can say out of our consciousness of this abstract, deadened thought, that our soul-life, i.e., our life of thought, partakes of death. And this is what humanity would have had to experience gradually more and more but for the Cross on Golgotha; no longer would there have been the living thought, but the soul-life would have slowly expired in universal death.
This is how we can regard the Mystery of Golgotha by means of the modern science of initiation, just as it is possible for those who are rooted in Christianity to regard the Mystery through the simple study of the Gospel records. This fresh aspect of the Mystery is the starting point for a new evolution and an upward one. He who goes through the experiences and training of the modern path of initiation, and who attains to inspirational and intuitive cognition, is able to attain to the point where a spiritual world is revealed, of which the Mystery of Golgotha is shown as the great solace in world existence. He also realizes that he has attained freedom, but as the price of that freedom he finds this deep and troubling experience, as he passes through the way of initiation to ‘imagination’ and ‘inspiration’, that his ego has been strengthened and intensified, and is now too strong. That is one pole of his experience. The other pole is that in spite of the strengthened ego he has gained from evolution he cannot save himself or mankind from the universal death of the soul-life. But when he looks out, from his spiritual experience in inspirational and intuitive cognition, upon the picture of the Cross on Golgotha, he sees that through the passing of that Divine Being, the CHRIST — first through the physical body of a human being, Jesus of Nazareth, and then through the gate of death — mankind can be redeemed from universal death. On the one hand man has strengthened the ego-consciousness, but this cannot save him from universal death; and on the other hand he sees redemption from that death in the picture of the Cross on Golgotha and of the dying and the risen Christ. Through this conscious spiritual knowledge he is able to understand from out of what experience the wonderful writers of the Gospels wrote. He sees that until the third or fourth century after Golgotha something still remained of that living thought in humanity, something of that spiritual world which man brought into his physical life, and that it was this which enabled isolated human beings in the first three or four centuries to understand the Mystery of Golgotha; even as the modern initiate can understand it by means of the new science of initiation when he goes through that path and through the exercises which have been described.
From the knowledge contained in the Gnosis — which resembles in some respects modern anthroposophical science — we find that in the first few centuries there was a certain understanding of the Mystery of Golgotha, and that unless that understanding had still existed in isolated human beings the Gospels never could have been written. They were written out of the last relics of the old pre-Christian science of initiation. Hence we see why St. Paul out of his experience was able to say, “Were it not for the risen Christ then all our faith and all our life of soul would have been in vain, would have remained dead'. Then we understand that the Divine Being, the God, descended to the earth and went through the gate of Death, and lives in and with the earth since the Mystery of Golgotha, and, as was not the case before, the forces of Christ are working especially in the evolution of humanity upon the earth. We know that He passed through and conquered death, that He rose again through conquering the death of the soul forces and redeemed the soul from death. And so are we able to enter our thinking life again, to enliven what has become dead in the soul-life by looking up from the deeply moving and troubling experience of our too much strengthened ego to the picture of the Mystery of Golgotha.
It is thus that anthroposophy can show the path, not away from Christ, but to Him. I shall now give an outline of what anthroposophical cognition tells us of the evolution of mankind in its approach to the Mystery of Golgotha.
In primeval times, when man's thinking was still alive and filled with spiritual vitality, he saw the spiritual alongside the physical being when he looked out upon the physical phenomena of the world of Nature. The spiritual thought he experienced in a somewhat dreamlike, instinctive consciousness, and he knew that his spiritual origin was in the spiritual worlds. From out of the great masses of men who thus knew instinctively of the spiritual world there arose individuals who gave themselves up to science, to the path of knowledge, just as in our time individuals become scientists and learned men. In that time when in the forces of all human souls there was still a connection with the spiritual world, there arose men of science and learning, initiates, who also by exercises and by training the soul (though different in character from those described for the modern science of development) attained to a kind of imagination, inspiration and intuition.
Intuition is the third stage of spiritual development, Here the initiate perceives not only pictures of the spiritual world, but enters into and communes with the spiritual beings themselves. In the spiritual worlds the initiates held a mighty and majestic communion with beings who descended from the divine spiritual worlds; they raised themselves to this inter-course. The most ancient and primeval teachers of humanity were spiritual beings who taught, not through the external senses and not by walking in physical bodies among men and teaching through the physical ear, but through the spiritual consciousness of the ancients. Now what was it primarily that these spiritual beings, the sublime teachers, taught mankind through these ancients? It was the mysteries of ‘unbornness’ of the human soul. They taught in clear knowledge that which was already known or felt instinctively by the masses of mankind, namely, how the life of man is connected in the spiritual worlds before birth. From these ancients, divine spiritual teachers, humanity learnt to know the destinies of the human soul through its connection with the life before birth. We can see how in ancient times death and resurrection were represented merely in pictorial form in the cults and ceremonies. The cults represented the death and the resurrection of gods, of divine beings, prophetically and in a picture that was not at that time a real and practical experience of the mysteries of death. For man had not then the same tragic experience of death as he has today; he still had within him the living life he had brought from the spiritual worlds into his physical life. Death to him did not mean that tragedy which it was to mean later when the soul-life had been drawn into the physical body and become like a corpse. In those ancient cults where death and resurrection of the Divine Being were represented as in a picture it was more like a pictorial prophecy of what was to come — the Mystery of Golgotha. The men who witnessed these cults and ceremonies were already able to say in dim prophecy that the god passes through death and conquers it, and that because the god conquers death so can the divine in the human soul. Nevertheless the pre-Christian mysteries and understandings and teachings of humanity by the divine spiritual beings was a teaching principally of the mysteries of birth not of death. And that is a deeply significant fact in the evolution of humanity.
The first initiates of the Christian era, looking upon the Mystery of Golgotha, recognized that the old initiation and the old teaching of the mysteries did not penetrate into the knowledge of death. They realized however that this knowledge was revealed in the Mystery of Golgotha. Then there was understood and was revealed what can only be described by saying literally that in the Mystery of Golgotha something happened which concerned the destinies of the gods themselves. It may be put in this way: looking down upon the earth, the divine spiritual beings could see that through a destiny that was beyond the power of the gods, the earth and humanity and all that was connected with humanity were being given up to death. But who was it that had no experience of death? The gods, the divine spiritual beings, those from whom the ancient primeval teachers of humanity descended to commune with the initiates when they had raised themselves to a consciousness of the spiritual. And they, the gods, did not partake in that death through which all earthly human beings were destined to pass. Therefore it was decided between the gods, not only as a matter concerning mankind but as one concerning the gods themselves, that a god should pass through the mystery of death on earth in a human body. That is the great mystery that we must understand about the Mystery of Golgotha. It not only concerns man but also the gods.
So it is that when we come to view the Mystery through the modern science of initiation our aspect or outlook is super-sensible. Anthroposophy leads to an understanding of this. Not only the initiate of today but every man may receive a stimulating impulse, encouragement and understanding from the modern science of initiation. We, all of us, may attain to an intensified and strengthened power of knowledge, and having done so may recognize that the Mystery of Golgotha which took place within earth-existence, was at the same time a cosmic and an earthly event. Then are we able to say, ‘It is not I, but Christ in me Who makes me live again in the spiritual life of the soul.’
Anthroposophy does not lead to irreligion but to a religious life in the fullest sense of the term; we are deepened and penetrated with new spiritual forces. Through spiritual-scientific cognition of the Mystery of Golgotha man overcomes all doubts which are contained so strongly in today's religious life. External science has given us freedom, but with it has come doubt. It is the task of Anthroposophy to sweep away these doubts that have come in the train of external science and which were a necessary stage in the development of humanity, and because Anthroposophy is a spiritual science it is able to do so. It can instill into the heart and soul of man a religious sense for everything in the world and in mankind, and above all it can give an understanding of the Mystery of Golgotha in a form that can be received, not only by those who adhere to the older Christian tradition, but by all men on the earth.
Anthroposophy did not come to found sects or new religions. It came to call to life again what is the religion of humanity, the synthesis of all religions, the religion that is already there — Christianity. Not only is it able to call Christianity into fresh life, but for those who have been bereft of Christianity by modern science and the doubts arising from it, it is able to bring about, in the fullest sense, a resurrection of the religious life. Amongst all the other life-giving forces, Anthroposophy is able at this present time to enliven us and to bring about the resurrection of religious experience for all mankind.

Source: https://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/Dates/19220415p01.html

Anthroposophy: A Messenger of Love

Rudolf Steiner:

Anthroposophy has set itself the task of sweeping human souls clean of those strong doubts that have been placed in them by external science. In a true scientific spirit, anthroposophical science has the task of overcoming what external science cannot overcome. It will be able to reintroduce genuine religious life into human souls. It will not contribute to the slaying of religious feeling but will reintroduce into human evolution a religious sense for everything. Human beings will gain a new understanding of Christianity when they turn toward the Mystery of Golgotha which anthroposophy alone can help people to understand and accept fully.

Since anthroposophy gives human beings not only a reawakening of old religious understanding but also a new religious sense through knowledge, it can most certainly not be said to be aiming for anything sectarian. It has as little intention in this direction as any other science. 

Anthroposophy does not strive to form sects. It wants to serve the religions that already exist, and in this sense it wants to bring new life into Christianity. It does not want to preserve old religious feelings and help religion press forward in the old way. It wants to contribute to a resurrection of religious life, for this religious life has suffered too much at the hands of modern civilization. Therefore anthroposophy wants to be a messenger of love. It does not want merely to bring new life to religion in the old sense; it wants to regenerate and reawaken the inner religious life of humanity.

Thank you, Bruce Michael!

Knowledge of Christ through Anthroposophy London 15th of April, 1922

Source: https://888spiritualscience.blogspot.com/2018/11/anthroposophy-christianity.html?fbclid=IwAR0sIdc3ew_A0PARc1ayGPBtOTw6l7eiuRZRAW0QBCcb3xpx_DyC0o4_vvo

Related post: https://martyrion.blogspot.com/2019/07/honor-thy-father-and-thy-mother.html

The Scarlet Sutra

Rudolf Steiner:  "Those who do not admit that the religions were adapted to particular conditions, but maintain that all religious systems have emanated from one undifferentiated source, can never acquire real knowledge. To speak only of unity amounts to saying that salt, pepper, paprika, and sugar are on the table, but we are not concerned with each of them individually. What we are looking for is the unity that is expressed in these different substances. Of course, one can speak like this, but when it is a question of passing on to practical reality, of using each substance appropriately, the differences between them will certainly be apparent. Nobody who uses these substances will claim that there is no difference: just put salt or pepper instead of sugar into your coffee or tea, and you will soon find out the truth! Those who make no real distinction between the several religions, but say that they all come from the same source, are making the same kind of blunder. If we wish to know how a living thread runs through the different religions towards a great goal, we must seek to understand this thread, and study and value each religion for its particular sphere."

Thank you, Bruce!
Source: https://888spiritualscience.blogspot.com/2018/11/anthroposophy-christianity.html?fbclid=IwAR1TTK897TGTLhKd_cSyVgEfyysOGhXyFek6kh4ReVcX8iHEkOzARJhr3wo

The Social Question as a Question of Consciousness

The Social Question as a Question of Consciousness
Lecture 7 of 8
Rudolf Steiner, Dornach, Switzerland, March 15, 1919:

If you follow present-day developments with full awareness, in all humanity you will find a trend little adapted to direct thinking towards what the purely perceptible facts at work in the world themselves demand. There exists a general aversion to thoughts that do not run in the old grooves. But never before, perhaps, would it have been so apt to ask how it comes about that people are quite unready to entertain thoughts new to them. We experience today a fundamental phenomenon running through the whole evolution of the times. I have often pointed out how this came to expression some years ago. One could quote quite a collection of speeches delivered in the spring and early summer of 1914 by European statesmen, and find much the same in all their utterances — in what, for example, the Secretary of State, Jagow, said when addressing the Reichstag. This was to the effect that by the efforts of the European Cabinets it had been possible to create a satisfactory relation between the great powers, and that peace in Europe had been secured for a long time to come. Again and again you might find this kind of speech, repeated with variations by these self-styled ‘practical’ men. Thus it was at that time. A few weeks later began the world-conflagration now merely entering on a different phase.
What else do we experience today in the aims and actions of men so largely the children of their times? I have recently attended a so-called League of Nations Conference at Berne. There people talked of many things. Fundamentally everything concerning recent previous events was of the same caliber as the speeches of the European statesmen in the spring and summer of 1914. These men talk on the old customary lines of thought as for years they have been accustomed to talk. In truth, during the last four-and-half years they have actually learnt nothing, nothing at all from the lessons speaking to them out of the depths of world-existence. This is a fact to which the Anthroposophist should give his most earnest attention; for this depressing indifference in face of facts is widespread throughout the greater part of the continent of Europe. Despite many variations there repeatedly appears, quite typically, what is produced out of powerful depths, which are, however, ruinous for these times. This appears from the direction of a certain current in world-outlook, which on account of indifference and lack of interest among Europeans has every prospect of making impression upon impression, conquest upon conquest. When I was quite a boy — a long time ago now — in my religious books the following could be read, which was intended to lead boys to knowledge of Jesus Christ: Jesus Christ was either a hypocrite, a lunatic, or what He Himself said — the Son of the living God. Since one dare not accept His being either a hypocrite or a lunatic, there remains only the other possibility, namely, that it is true that He was, as He said, the Son of the living God! What was there in print in my religious books decades ago, I heard again recently in an address given in Berne by a Graz Professor Ude, in connection with the so-called Berne League of Nations Conference. Once again one could hear the words Jesus was either a hypocrite, a lunatic, or as He Himself said the Son of the living God. “And as we dare not call Christ” — this was hurled at the audience — “a lunatic or a hypocrite. He can only have been what He said, the Son of the living God!” With Jesuitical fervour this was cast at the audience, and there were few indeed in the hall who today in face of such things would ask the only really significant question: Has not this been repeated over and over again before the faithful, and in spite of it has not destruction descended upon mankind? Is there no one with heart and sense today in whom the thought can arise of the senselessness in the midst of the great world catastrophe of crying aloud to the multitude things that have shown such strong proof of their fruitlessness: And I heard another talk, by the same professor, on the social question, which from beginning to end gave no hint of what should happen, what must happen. It was solely a kind of condemnation of many immoral practices that, in the present time, are certainly both prevalent and predominant. But here, too, one realised that nothing had been learnt from the sad experiences of these four-and-a-half years.
This is a better example than many because, among the numerous speeches given in Berne these of Professor Ude were by far the best. For behind them was at least a world-outlook, even though one which if preached today must have its dangers. The other speeches had their roots in a lack of power to rise to any kind of world-outlook or understanding of life. We must continually emphasise that men's thoughts today have become dull and summary. They are unable to penetrate into realities. They move among illusions and are entirely superficial. Men cannot see into what it is that these times demand from those who would speak about the necessary organisation of things.
We should remind ourselves again and again, my dear friends, that during the last four centuries we Europeans, with the new blood of America, have produced a thinking only fit to understand what is lifeless. We have brought into being a thinking entirely dominated by mathematical technics. We have become incapable of directing our thought to what is living in nature, and comprehend only what is dead. What official science has to say about the living organism is only valid for the organism when dead, and is actually acquired from the corpse. So accustomed have people become to this thinking that it is also applied to the social organism. This simply means that mankind in general today is incapable of any creative thinking about the living social organism, at least they find it very difficult. But what thoughts do they find easy? They find easy such thoughts as have been drubbed into them for centuries through the method of catechism and as run in the ruts they have made; or those thoughts born of thinking that relates only to what is dead in the living organism. But today it is the living social organism we have to comprehend.
Let us start from a concrete example. Modern socialist thinking is directed against capitalism. Socialism demands the association of all private capital for means of production. There was already much talk about this socialisation in what I believe was called the National Assembly of Weimar. The way in which capitalism is now spoken of absolutely conforms with the dead thinking of recent centuries, which has greatly increased in the world-conception of purely materialistic natural science. What exactly have we in capitalism? We have something that fundamentally has become a terrible oppressor of the great mass of human beings, and we have the fact that there is very little to be said in answer to what is urged, and will continue to be urged from the side of the proletariat against the oppressive nature of capitalism in its relation to the spheres of the spiritual, of the economic, and of rights. But what conclusions are drawn by the socialist thinker from these undeniable facts? The conclusion that capitalism must be done away with! Capitalism is the oppressor, something dreadful, it has proven itself a scourge of modern mankind, so it must be destroyed. What should appear more comprehensible, more fruitful, for the usual agitator than this demand for the abolition of capitalism. But it has resulted in terrible deeds all over Europe. For those who do not confine themselves to these dead thoughts of the last four hundred years, but are able to turn to living thinking needed above all for our Spiritual Science — for those, this talk of the necessity for abolishing capitalism as an oppression and a scourge, is just as logical, based on just such factual as the following: We continually breathe in oxygen end breathe out dead carbonic acid; in us the oxygen is transformed into carbonic acid. Then why should we first inhale it? For it only produces a deadly poison in us, it becomes a deadly poison! There is no doubt that oxygen changes inside us to deadly poison, but for our life's sake we have to breathe it in; the life process in both human and animal bodies is unthinkable without the inhaling, of oxygen. And the social life is just as unthinkable without the continual building up of capital; without the constant building-up of the means of production which, strictly speaking, is nothing more nor less than capital. There is no social organism that would not show the interworking of individual human capacities. Were the demands of the social organism widely understood the worker would say: It is a question of having confidence in the director of the undertaking, for unless he takes the responsibility for it I cannot do my work. When there are directors of undertakings, however, the accumulation of capital necessarily follows. It is impossible to escape the accumulation. If socialistic thinkers, well-meaning up to a point, but mistaken, put the question: How is capitalism to be done away with? this is as significant as to ask: How is the social organism itself to be done away with? How, best is the social organism to be driven to its death?
It is quite clear for anyone who has insight into the matter that capital is accumulated even in the wisest social order, and equally clear that it is idle to ask: How can the amassing of capital be prevented; how can we arrange that no capital is accumulated? — But you see, people today find it too difficult to face up to these things; they prefer to avoid such thoughts. Where thinking is concerned they prefer everything to be easy. But this is not allowed by the times. It is always forgotten that everything living is in a state of becoming, that to comprehend the living time must be taken into account; what is living is one thing at one time and later something different. With a little thought it is not hard to become aware that to understand in its concrete nature anything living, we must take time into account. For the human organism in something alive. Think of your organism about half-past-one; you are all busy people who do not stay long over your meals; coming out after having eaten you have — at least it is to be hoped you have — satisfied your hunger, you are no longer hungry. You can describe your organism, taking it in its concrete condition at half-past-one, as a human organism that is a living being without hunger. But at half-past-twelve on entering the restaurant it was otherwise; then you were all hungry; then you would say: a human organism is something having hunger. The fact is that you are looking at the concrete, the living, at two different points of time, and that, at two different points of time, two entirely contrasting conditions are needed for the well-being of the organism, and something has to be brought about in the the organism that has the effect of causing its opposite to arise. It is the same in what is living in nature as it is in what is socially alive. In a living society capital can never be prevented from arising as a natural symptom of the work of individual human capacities; private property can never be prevented from becoming the means of production. When anyone devotes himself to the direction of some branch of production, and also shares equally in the resulting products with the manual workers working with him, the social organism would never be able to exist unless capital appeared as an attendant phenomenon. For the individual possesses this just as much as he possesses what he needs for his own use, what he produces so that he can exchange it for what he needs.
But we can think just as little whether or not we should eat since we shall certainly become hungry again, as we can think about how the building-up of capital can be permanently prevented. We can think only how this capital is to be transformed at some future date, what must become of it. You cannot wish to prevent the accumulation of capital without undermining the whole social organism in its capacity for life; you can only want what is thus accumulated not to cause harm to the soundness of the social organism.
What is demanded in this way for the soundness of the social organism to be found only in the threefold ordering. For only in the threefold social organism, as in the human natural organism, can the different members work in their various directions. It is in the interest of the individual that a member should be there in the social organism in which individual human capacities come to expression; but it is in the general interest that these individual human capacities should not take on a form that sooner or later would injure the organism. In the course of the economic life capital will always be accumulated. If just left there it will simply pile up to an unlimited extent. Capital piled up through the capacities of human individuals cannot be left in the economic sphere, it must be transferred to the sphere of rights. For the moment man acquires more than he needs of what is produced by him alone or in association with his fellows, the moment capital is accumulated, what he possesses is no more a commodity than is human labour. Possession is a right. Possession is nothing more nor less than an exclusive right, a matter of using or disposing of a thing — be it land, house, or anything of the sort — with utter disregard of others. No other definition of possession is fruitful for understanding the social organism. The moment a man acquires a possession, it must come under the political State and be directed from within the Rights State. But the State may not itself acquire, for then it would itself become economist. It has only to pass over what is acquired to the spiritual organism where the individual capacities of men are dealt with. Now-a-days a process of this kind is carried out only with goods today considered of least value. What I have just been stating holds good for these; it does not hold good for what is of value. When today anything spiritual is produced, a fine poem for instance, an important work by writer or artist, the proceeds from it can be left to his heirs for thirty years after his death, then it passes ever as the free property of all men in common. Thirty years after his death an author's works can be reprinted without any restriction. This originates in the sound idea that man has society to thank for his own individual capacities. Just as a man cannot learn to speak on a desert island but only in the company of others, it is also only from society that he has his individual capacities — on the basis of his karma, certainly, but that has to be developed in society. The fruits of individual activity must return to society. For a time only the individual has command of it because this is better for the social organism. A man himself best knows what he has produced, so to begin with he can be its best administrator. The goods valued least by modern mankind, the spiritual goods, are thus socially estimated in a certain way by taking into account the current concepts.
Some apparently capitalistic members of my recent audience in Berne are supposed to have been very angry — so I was told — when I asked in a lecture why it should not be possible for a capitalist to be obliged by law to assign his capital, a certain number of years after his death, to the free control of a corporation of the spiritual organisation, the spiritual part of the social organism. One can surely think out different ways of establishing a concrete right. But, if it should be expected of people today to return to what was a matter of right in the old Hebraic times, namely, that after a definite time: goods should be apportioned anew, it would be regarded as something unheard of. But what is the consequence of men looking upon it in this way? The consequence is that in the last four-and-a-half years ten million people have been killed, eighteen million crippled, and we have the prospect of more happening in this way. Reflection above all is needed in these matters. It is really not without importance that there should be a desire for the concept of time to be brought to the understanding of the social organism The social organism is thought of as being timeless if it is said that already in a condition of arising something should be done with the incipient capital. But one has to allow capital to come into existence, end even let it for a time be controlled by those who have caused it to arise. We must, however, have the possibility of letting it actually pass over again to men in general through a sound organisation, a sound organism, that is to say, an organism functioning as one that is threefold.
You cannot just ask why a social organism consisting in only one member should not be capable of doing all this. Today people still believe that it is possible, but when they believe it they must reckon badly with the human soul. Only think what it means — for the human soul must be reckoned with — when a near, or even distant, relation of a judge stands before him. As a relation he has his special feelings, but when he has to pronounce judgment it will not be in accordance with his feelings but obviously in accordance with the law. He will give his decision from this other source. Thought out in an all-embracing psychological way this gives you an idea of the necessity for men to judge from three directions, to control from three sources, whatever streams into the social organism. Our times demand that we should go into these things. For ours is the time of the epoch of consciousness, that wishes man to have concrete ideas as guiding impulses for his actions. Many people claim today that we should not keep to the intellect, and to abstract thinking (which is all the thinking they know) but that we should judge out of feeling and, since thinking is only for scientific matters, should hold above all to belief in principles that concern life between man and man.
This is all very doubtful because in our time men are inclined to the most abstract thinking and hold fast to the most straight-forward concepts. And when they have grasped these they cling to them with tremendous tenacity. This abstract thinking has for its organ chiefly the human head, is bound up at least with the physical organ. Formerly, in the time of atavistic clairvoyance, there entered into this thinking from the rest of the human organism a thinking directed to the spiritual. This time is past. Henceforward man must rise consciously to Imagination and grasp the spiritual life consciously. For without this penetration into spiritual life today man's thoughts remain empty.
Now why is this? You know from our recent discussions that what belongs to every human head today is brought over from the rest of the organism of the previous incarnation, excluding the head. I have often dwelt upon this with you. Naturally this does not mean the physical substance but the formative forces of the head,which even in the roundness of its form, resembles the cosmos, these forces after death merge into the cosmos. What remains over for our life as forces between death and a new birth, what in the next life will become the head, is the rest of the body of the previous incarnation. To this is appended the rest of the organism which, fertilised by the father, then comes from the body of the mother. On passing through death we lose what belongs to the head as forces, and transform the forces of the rest of the body into the head of our next incarnation. The great mass of mankind of the present day was in its former incarnation so placed on earth that in the way they thought, in a truly Christian sense, they despised this earthly vale of tears. This scorn is a feeling that is connected not with the head but with the remaining organism. When these human beings re-incarnate today, what appeared in their former incarnation as an exalted Christian feeling, being now reincarnated and developed into the head organism, is transformed into its opposite and becomes a longing for the material, a yearning after material life. Present-day man has reached a turning point in evolution of which we must say that very little from the previous incarnation has come into the head. And just because of this something fresh must enter man, something that as a revelation from the present is manifested anew from the spiritual world. It is no longer possible today simply to hold to the Gospels; it is necessary to listen to what man is now being told about the spiritual. The Catholic Church is sharing in this dead thinking that cannot grip the living organism. Here in Berne the preachers of the Catholic Church too never tire in their professions of faith in the Christ, the Son of the Living God. But of what use is it to believe in the Christ, the Son of the living God, if one grasps Him only with dead thinking, that is, if He becomes a dead ideal in one's own thoughts? Our need today is not to call on the Christ, the Son of the living God, but to call on Christ, the living Son of God, which means to call on the Christ who is living now in the new revelations He is sending to mankind.
Spiritual Science wishes to make what as new revelation is striving directly towards the earth out of the spiritual worlds, into the impulse behind all thoughts. Through this men would receive thoughts capable of diving deep down into reality. These thoughts, it is true, would in many respects be the opposite of those holding sway in men today. Present-day men would like to hold to the most audacious thoughts, as far as possible from reality. And when they have such thoughts they cling to then tenaciously without noticing what the realities are that alter the circumstances with regard to thoughts. I will quote you a striking example of this.
Just as in the Spring and early Summer of 1914 statesmen talked of world peace, so now in Berne the various so-called ‘internationally’ thinking people talk of the coming League of Nations. You know that this idea came from the head of Woodrow Wilson. In his speech of January, 1917, Wilson made public this idea of a League of Nations. He set it up as a model of what men must strive for if he is not again in the future to suffer the terrible catastrophe into which we have today been driven. He described the striving for such a league as an absolute necessity. At the same time he said — and this is important — that the realisation of this League of Nations would depend upon a certain assumption without which there could be no talk of founding a league of the sort. This necessary assumption would be that the war should end without victory on either side for a League of Nations could never be founded in a world where there was definite conquest on the one side, definite defeat on the other.
This is the assumption Wilson made for the setting up of a League of Nations. What has arisen is the exact reverse of this assumption. Nevertheless men will establish the League of Nations in the way that, in January, 1917, Wilson spoke of it as a hypothesis. This means he was very far from reality in his thinking, that he clung to a thinking that offers no possibility of going with these thoughts deeply into reality, comprehending reality, of coming to terms with reality through thought. But that is just what is most needed. for the present time. People do not in the least realise that they dare not hold to their old way of thinking but that it is absolutely essential with thought to look deep into reality.
Now at Berne, as an example of a well-meaning man, we might point to the pacifist, Schücking. There was a discussion about the League of Nations and its organisation. It was curious to listen to the words that the aim would have to be a super-State and a super-Parliament resembling the parliaments of the individual States. For example, Schücking said: The objection will be made that the various States remain individualities and will not submit to the control of a single centralised super-State. The answer to that is what is being done in the national Assembly in Weimar. In that Assembly small local principalities are also individuals, nevertheless there exists a sense of the collective whole. — Here we have, close at hand, an obvious thought for those who love abstractions; for what could be more illuminating than to see that what can be done in miniature with a number of principalities, by joining them into a National Assembly, is now sought to be realised on a large scale with this super-State? But who ever thinks realistically, concretely, whoever makes straight for reality in his thinking, will ask why it was possible in Weimar? It was possible only because a German revolution took place! Otherwise there would have been no talk of doing away with the small States.
Today it is very difficult to make people see that a completely new thinking is necessary, a thinking in sympathy with reality, and that setting things right in present conditions depends upon how much inclination men have for this kind of thinking. A thinking, however, that wishes to know nothing of the spiritual world cannot dive into reality for in all reality there lives the spiritual world. And when we know nothing of the spiritual world we are unable to grasp reality, either today or in the future. Therefore, for the healing of the world today the chief condition is that man should turn to the knowledge of spiritual science. This must form the foundation, this can form the foundation, this can easily form the foundation. Do not keep repeating the superficial chatter that it is difficult to apply Spiritual Science to reality because people are not ready to receive it. Abolish State control over universities, schools, all schools, and. in ten years, in place of the present science which harms and kills the human soul, Spiritual Science, at least in its rudiments, will have arisen! Then what today can grow out of the emancipated third part of the sound social organism, out of the spiritual organisation, will have a different appearance from what is supervised by the State. For this State wishes to develop only its own spirituality, which means that it tolerates only a State theology, or would train its own jurists so that State jurists alone are recognised. Not to speak of medicine! How stupid, how ridiculous it is that medical practice should vary from one State to another, that the same knowledge should not be supposed to heal human beings on both sides of a frontier!
I have often emphasised that to socialistic thinking all spiritual life is mere ideology. What is the deeper reason of this being so for the masses of the proletariat? The reason is that all knowledge is supposed to be controlled by an external political State, and that it is only the shadow of the political State. It is indeed an ideology! If the spiritual life is not to be mere ideology, it must continually out of its own forces, be proving its reality, that means being established on its own foundation. The spiritual life must continually be showing its reality and may not depend upon outward support. Only this kind of independent spiritual life, which sees itself established solely on human ability and has entire control over itself, only a spiritual life of this kind will let its tributaries flow into capitalism with healing effect. For the control of capitalism too is brought about simply by human ability. Make the sources healthy, and spiritual life where it joins with capitalism in guiding economic life, will also be healthy. Thus things hang together and we must become conscious of the connection. The thinking of the present abstractionists must be avoided, the thinking estranged from reality which meets us at every step. It created the conditions that caused our present conditions; but this is not yet understood.
Today men ask how the super-State must be created, and they think of the former State. What was done by that should be done also by the super-State. — But is it not more to the point to ask what the State should leave undone? When the States have landed us in a European catastrophe is it not more apt to askr what it should not do? It should have done with its meddling in spiritual life and its acting as economist; and it should limit itself to the political sphere! It can no longer be asked how a League of Nations should be established, by taking as model what the States have done or should do; it is better and more suitable to the times to ask what the States should give up doing.
People are still little inclined to look deeply into these things. But upon their doing so the destiny of man today will depend.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Commodity, Labor, and Capital

Rudolf Steiner, Dornach, Switzerland, August 11, 1919:

What I have to say today will be a kind of interlude. I should like to speak briefly about three concepts which, if they are fully understood, can bring about an understanding of outer social life. I say expressly outer social life because these three concepts originate from people's cooperation in outer affairs. I refer to the concepts commodity, labor, capital. I have already told you that modern political economy in all its shadings endeavors in vain to arrive at complete clarity about these concepts. That was not possible after men began to think consciously in a political-economic fashion. Prior to the middle of the fifteenth century there can be no question of people consciously comprehending their mutual social relationships. Life took its course more or less unconsciously, instinctively, in regard to the social forces playing between man and man. Since then, however, in the age when the consciousness-soul is being developed, people have had to think more and more consciously about social relationships. And so, every kind of idea and direction in the life of human society has arisen. This begins with the school of the Mercantilists, then the school of the Physiocrats, Adam Smith, the various Utopian streams, Proudhon, Fourrier, and so on, right up to modern social-democracy on one side and modern academic political economy on the other.
It is interesting to compare the modern social-democratic theory based on Marx and Engels, with modern academic political economy, which is completely unproductive. It produces no concepts capable of permeating the social will. Nothing results from the confused, chaotic concepts of modern academic political economy if we pose the question of what is to happen in social life, because this academic economy is infected by the concepts of modern science. You know that in spite of the great and admirable progress of natural science, which is not denied by spiritual science, this modern science in the schools and universities completely rejects all that springs from the spirit. As a result, political economy wants only to observe what happens in economic life. But this has become almost impossible in recent times because the more people have evolved in the modern age the less have they had thoughts that could cope with economic facts. Economic facts took their own course mechanically, as if by themselves; they were not accompanied by human thinking. Therefore, observing these thought-bereft facts of the world market cannot lead to laws, and has not done so, because our political economy is practice without theory, without ideas, and our social-democratic endeavors are theory without practice. The socialistic theory can never be put into practice, for it is a theory without insight into practical life. We suffer in modern times from the fact that we have an economic life that is practice without ideas, and with it the mere theory of the social democrats without the possibility of introducing this theory into economic life. Thus, we have reached a turning point in the historical evolution of mankind.
Since social life has to be founded upon the relation of man to man it will be easy for you to realize that a certain attitude has to underlie all human endeavor to found a socially just life. That is what is so important in the threefold membering of the social organism, namely, that this certain attitude, this feeling, be generated in the interrelated spheres of social action. Without this mood of soul among men social life cannot flourish. This soul quality will definitely be taken into account by the threefold social organism. I should therefore like to point today to certain aspects of this matter.
If you think of social life as an organism you will have to imagine that something of a soul-spiritual nature streams through it. Just as in the human and animal organism the blood is the bearer of the air that is inhaled and exhaled, so something must breathe through, must circulate through the entire social organism.
Here we come to a chapter that is hard for modern man to comprehend because he is so little prepared for it; but it must be comprehended if there is to be any question at all of a social reformation. The fact that in the social life of the future the content of human conversation will be of special significance, is something that must be understood. Results will depend upon what people take seriously when they exchange their ideas, their sensations, their feelings. The views that hold sway among men are not insignificant if they wish to become social beings. It is necessary for the future that general education be governed not merely by concepts derived from science or industry, but by concepts that can be the basis for imaginations. Improbable as it may seem to modern man, nevertheless it will not be possible to develop a social life if people are not given imaginative concepts; that is to say, concepts which shape the human mind quite differently from the merely abstract concepts of cause and effect, energy and matter, and so forth, that are derived from natural science. These concepts derived from science which govern everything today, even art, will be of no avail in the social life of the future. For that we must make it possible again to comprehend the world in pictures.
What is meant by that I have repeatedly indicated, also in regard to the question of education. I have said: If we intimately occupy ourselves with children it is easy to impart to them, let us say, the idea of immortality by showing them the chrysalis of a butterfly, how it opens and the butterfly emerges and flies away. We then can make clear to the child, “Your body is like the chrysalis, and in it there lives something like the butterfly, but it is invisible. When you come to die, with you too the butterfly emerges and flies into the spiritual world.” Through such comparisons we bring about an imaginative effect. But we must not merely think out such a comparison; this would only be acting in the manner of the scientific view. What is the attitude of people with present-day education as they hear such a comparison? Modern men, even when they are barely grown up, are very clever, exceedingly clever. They do not consider at all that one might be clever differently from the way they, in their abstract concepts, deem themselves clever. Men are very peculiar in regard to their modern cleverness!
A few weeks ago, I gave a lecture in a certain city. It was followed by a meeting of a political science association in which a university professor — a clever man of our time, of course — spoke about my lecture and what was connected with it. He was of the opinion that not only the views I had advanced but also those to be found in my books, are infantile. Well, I understand such a judgment. I understand it especially well when the man is a university professor. I understand it for the reason that science, which he represents, has quite lost all imaginative life and considers infantile what it does not comprehend. It is characteristic of modern men in their cleverness that they say: If we are to employ such an image, which compares the immortal soul with the butterfly emerging from the chrysalis, we, the clever ones, know that it is an image we have made; we have passed beyond the content of such an image. But the child is childlike, so we compare what we know in our concepts with this image, yet we ourselves do not believe in it. The secret of the matter is, however, that in that case the child does not believe in it either. The child is only taken hold of by the picture if we ourselves believe in it. The genuine spiritual-scientific attitude is to restore in us the faculty of seeing in nature not the ghost-like things of which science speaks, but the pictorial, the imaginative. What emerges from the chrysalis and is present in the butterfly is really an image for the immortality of the soul placed into the order of nature by the divine world order. If there were no immortal soul there would be no butterfly emerging from the chrysalis. There can be no real image if truth is not the basis for it. So it is with all of nature. What natural science offers is a ghost. We can comprehend nature only if we know that it is an image for something else.
Likewise, people must accustom themselves to considering the human head as an image of a heavenly body. The human head is not round in order to resemble a head of cabbage, but rather to resemble the form of a celestial body. The whole of nature is pictorial and we must find our way into this imagery. Then there will radiate into the hearts, the souls and minds, even into the heads — and this is most difficult — what can permeate man if he takes in pictures. In the social organism we will have to speak with each other about things that are expressed in pictures. And people will have to believe in these pictures. Then there will come from scientific circles persons able to speak about the real place of commodities in life, because the commodity produced corresponds to a human need. No abstract concepts can grasp this human need in its social value. Only that person can know something about it whose soul has been permeated by the discernment that springs from imaginative thinking. Otherwise there will be no socialization. You may employ in the social organism those who rightly ascertain what is needed, but if at the same time imaginative thinking is not incorporated in the social organism through education it is impossible to arrive at an organic social structure. That means, we must speak in images. However strange it may sound to the socialistic thinker of today, it is necessary that in order to arrive at a true socializing we must speak from man to man in pictures, which induce imaginations. This indeed is how it must happen. What is a commodity will be feelingly understood by a science that gains understanding through pictures, and by no other science.
In the society of the future a proper understanding of labor will have to be a dominating element. What men say today about labor is sheer nonsense, for human labor is not primarily concerned with the production of goods. Karl Marx calls commodities crystallized labor power. This is nonsense, nothing else; because what takes place when a man works is that he uses himself up in a certain sense. You can bring about this self-consumption in one way or another. If you happen to have enough money in the bank or in your purse you can exert yourself in sports and use your working power in this way. You also might chop wood or do some other chore. The work may be the same whether you chop wood or engage in a sport. The important thing is not how much work-power you exert, but for what purpose you use it in social life. Labor as such has nothing to do with social life insofar as this social life is to produce goods or commodities. In the threefold social organism, therefore, an incitement to labor will be needed which is completely different from the one that produces goods. Goods will be produced by labor because labor has to be used for something. But that which must be the basis for a man's work is the joy and love for work itself. We shall only achieve a social structure for society if we find the methods for inducing men to want to work, so that it becomes natural for them, a matter of course, that they work.
This can only happen in a society in which one speaks of inspired concepts. In future, men will never be warmed through by joy and love for work — as was the case in the past when things were instinctive and atavistic — if society is not permeated by such ideas and feelings as enter the world through the inspiration of initiates. These ideas must carry people along in such a way that they know: We have the social organism before us and we must devote ourselves to it. That is to say, work itself takes hold of their souls because they have an understanding for the social organism. Only those people will have such understanding who have heard and taken in those inspired concepts; that is to say, those imparted by spiritual science. In order that a love for work be re-born throughout mankind we cannot use those hollow concepts proclaimed today. We need spiritualized sciences which can permeate hearts and souls; permeate them in such a way that men will have joy and love for work. Labor will be placed alongside commodities in a society that not only hears about pictures through the educators of society, but also hears of inspirations and such concepts as are necessary to provide the means of production in our complicated society, and the necessary foundation upon which men can exist.
For this we further need to circulate intuitive concepts in society. The concepts about capital that you find in my book, The Threefold Social Order, will only flourish in a society which is receptive to intuitive concepts. That means: Capital will find its rightful place when men will acknowledge that intuition must live in them; commodity will find its rightful place when the necessity for imagination is acknowledged; and labor will find its rightful place when the necessity of inspiration is acknowledged.
0x08 graphic
Figure 1.
If you take the above diagram and do not write the three concepts one below the other but in the way I have done here, then you can learn a lot from it if you permeate it with all the concepts to be found in my book about the threefold membering of the social organism. There are connections, back and forth, between labor and commodities; between commodities and capital, inasmuch as capital buys commodities; connections between labor and capital, and so on. Only, these three concepts must be arranged as shown.
Above everything, we must understand it is correct to say that in future the social order must become humanized. But it is necessary also to understand that the social order must be brought into being by men themselves; that they be willing to make up their minds to listen to the science of the initiates about imaginations, inspirations, and intuitions. This is a serious matter, for I am herewith stating nothing less than the fact that without the science of the spirit there will not take place in future any social transformation. That is the truth. It will never be possible to arouse in men the understanding necessary for matters like intuition, inspiration, imagination, if you abandon the schools to the State. For what does the State make out of schools?
Just think of something which has eminently to do with both the school and the State. I must confess I think it is something terrible, but people do not notice it. Think of civil rights, for example.* These rights are supposed to arise in the sense of those practices people today consider the proper thing. Parliaments decide about civil rights (I am speaking of democracy, not at all of monarchy). Civil rights are established through the representatives of everyone who has come of age. They are then incorporated in the body of law. Then the professor comes along and studies the law. Then he lectures on what he finds there as the declared civil rights. That is to say, the State at this point takes science in tow in the most decided way. The professor of civil rights may not lecture on anything but what is declared as rights in the State. Actually, the professor is not even needed, because one could record the State's laws for a phonograph and place this on the speaker's desk and let it run. This then is science.
I am citing an extreme case. You will scarcely assert that the majority decisions of parliaments today are inspired. The situation will have to be reversed. In spiritual life, in the universities, civil rights must come into existence as a science purely out of man's spiritual comprehension. The State can only attain its proper function if this is given to it by people. Some believe that the threefold membering of the social organism wants to turn the world upside down. Oh, no! The world is already upside down; the threefold order wishes to put it right-side up. This is what is important.
We have to find our way into such concepts or we move toward mechanizing the spirit, falling asleep and vegetizing the soul, and animalizing the body.
It is very important that we permeate ourselves with the conviction that we have to think thus radically if there is to be hope for the future. Above everything it is necessary for people to realize that they will have to build the social organism upon its three healthy members. They will only learn the significance of imagination in connection with commodities if economic life is developed in its pure form, and men are dependent upon conducting it out of brotherliness. The significance of inspiration for labor, producing joy and love for work, will only be realized if one person joins another as equals in parliaments, if real equality governs; that is, if every individual be permitted to contribute whatever of value lives in him. This will be different with each person. Then the life of rights will be governed by equality and will have to be inspired, not decided upon by the narrow-minded philistines as has been more and more the trend in ordinary democracy.
Capital can only be properly employed in the social organism if intuition will rise to freedom, and freedom will blossom from out the independently developing life of the spirit. Then there will stream out of spiritual life into labor what has to stream into it. I shall indicate the streams by arrows (Figure 2). When so organized these three spheres will permeate one another in the right way.
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Figure 2.
One of the first objections I met with in Germany was that people said: “Now he even wants to `three-member' the social organism! But the social organism must be a unity!” Men are simply hypnotized by this idea of unity, because they have always considered the State as something uniform. They are accustomed to this concept. A man who speaks of this unity appears to me like a man who says, “Now he even wants to have a horse that stands on four legs; a horse must be a unity, it cannot be membered into four legs.” Nobody will demand such a thing, of course, nor do I wish to put the “horse” State, the social organism, on one leg but upon its healthy three legs. Just as the horse-unit does not lose its unity by standing on four legs, likewise the social organism does not lose its unity by placing it upon its healthy three members. On the contrary, it acquires its unity just by placing it upon its healthy three members. Men today are entirely unable to free themselves from their accustomed concepts. But it is most important that we do not merely believe that single external establishments have to be transformed, but that it is our ideas, our concepts, our feelings that have to be transformed. Indeed, we may say that we need different heads on our shoulders if we wish to approach the future in a beneficial way. This is what is necessary and what is so hard for men to get accustomed to, because our old heads are so dear to us, these old heads that are only accustomed to thinking what they have thought for ages. Today we have consciously to transform what lives in our souls.
Now do not think this is an easy task. Many people believe today that they have already transformed their thoughts; they do not notice that they have remained the same old ones, especially in the field of education. Here you can have strange experiences. We tell people of the concepts spiritual science produces in the field of education. You may talk today to very advanced teachers, directors, and superintendents of schools; they listen to you and say, “Well, I thought that a long time ago; indeed, I am of exactly the same opinion.” In reality, however, they hold the very opposite opinion to what you tell them. They express the opposite opinion with the same words. In this way people pass each other by today. Words have lost connection with spirituality. It has to be found again or we cannot progress.
Social tasks, therefore, lie much more in the sphere of the soul than we ordinarily realize.
* Translators' note: It must be emphasized that in Rudolf Steiner's social thinking these rights are only those which apply to everyone equally. It rules out the special connotations the expression has acquired in recent years, particularly in the United States of America.