Spiritual Science as a Foundation for Social Forms. Lecture 17 of 17.
Rudolf Steiner, Berlin, September 18, 1920:
Among the concepts of anthroposophically oriented spiritual science that must work toward the future development of man's soul being in the most fruitful, the most intensive, indeed the most necessary way, will be the concept of man's prenatal existence. Let us consider for a moment what will be added in this direction to those concepts and feelings that have for so long held sway in Western humanity. When anyone professing a faith, regardless of what religious denomination, speaks today of eternity, of the immortality of the human soul, he thinks mainly of nothing but living on after death, the continued existence of the human soul. In the future, when the viewpoints of spiritual science will have taken hold of a sufficiently large number of people, one will, above all, speak of the human soul's existence before birth. One will speak of the human soul's sojourn in spiritual worlds before it descended to physical Earth existence. Mainly one will speak of what takes place before birth or before conception, just as one speaks of what happens to the human soul after death. Today one does not sufficiently realize the significance that such mention of prenatal existence will have for the whole of human life, not only for the inner but also external life.
Let us consider for a moment what this means when we look at the growing child; when we see how, from day to day, from week to week, from month to month, the physiognomy of the face assumes its outward form from within, how various features appear, smooth themselves out or recede, and so on. As yet, we really do not realize what secrets of existence we are looking into when watching such a developing human being. How great will be the intimate ardor with which such a developing human being will be viewed when one has the underlying awareness: Before this human being was conceived and born, its soul-spiritual entity was above in soul-spiritual worlds. There it had experiences by means of soul-spirit organs, just as man during physical existence has experiences through his physical organs.
We can go a step further into the inner nature of the human soul and, from that standpoint, get some idea of the change of views in this regard. Take the various religious denominations that speak to people today in sermons and doctrine about eternity and the immortality of the soul based on their centuries-old traditions. One should not speak about these matters from a theoretical standpoint; one should speak from the standpoint of life itself. One should follow the nuances of feeling out of which flow most sermons and theological doctrines about the human soul's claim to eternity. I am not speaking about the content so much as the motives, intentions, and feelings that underlie what is being said in sermons and theological doctrine. It is a fact that, quite aside from what is true, a person can have the feeling, springing from an inner egotism of the soul, that the soul ought not to be destroyed along with the body! It is really an element of soul egotism that desires not to be destroyed. One cannot bear the event of dissolution; one thirsts for a continued existence of the human soul after death. It is this feeling of thirsting for immortality to which sermons and theological doctrines appeal. This gives the basis for what is spoken to people of various religious denominations about the eternity of the soul. One finds believers by making concessions to their hidden inner soul egotism. Actually, one tells such people something for which they thirst, the opposite of which they certainly do not wish to hear. By telling them of the continuation of life after death, one discovers the access to human faith. In no other way would one find this access to faith, if the human soul were not thirsting out of egotism for the soul's indestructibility after death.
Now we know from spiritual science that the human soul does, in fact, retain its existence after death. From the many descriptions that have been given in the course of the work in this movement, we could also see that one can speak with precision about the experiences after death based on the science of initiation.
To begin with, we will not speak about what really lies beyond death, only about the motives that underlie the preaching of the doctrine of immortality. Spiritual science cannot appeal to these motives. In fact, spiritual science will not make any appeal when it is supposed to speak of the human soul's existence prior to birth or conception, for it actually has nothing to do with the soul's egotism. As a rule, people give little thought to how they fared prior to birth or conception, as to what their experiences were before they descended into an earthly body. This leaves them more or less indifferent, and does not stimulate the same longing as does the question of life after death. An interest in this area will only be found in those in whom the desire is aroused to comprehend the human being in general, in whom exists a longing to discover that force in the human soul which, as an immortal force, actually lies at the basis of what we are in the outer physical world owing to our body. In our Western civilization, which is doomed to decline unless new forces are injected into it, we find little inclination and few concepts to which one might turn if one were to speak about this life of the human soul before birth. As you know, the churches view this teaching as heresy; they do not realize that in this they are not really teaching Christianity but Aristotelian philosophy. For when Aristotle's philosophy was included in the Church's philosophy in the Middle Ages, the doctrine of the origin, of the creation, of each individual human soul at birth, or, respectively, with the development of the human embryo in the mother's womb, gained ground increasingly in the philosophy of the Church. Thus, gradually, the belief arose that this denial of the human soul's preexistence was part of the true doctrine of the Church, of Christianity. It was not part of it. To the real practical teaching of Christianity belongs the penetration of the spiritual worlds. Penetration into the spiritual worlds cannot exist without the insight into the preexistence of the human soul.
Western civilization, however, is infected by the various creeds. Things have gone so far that we do not even have the means in our language to express what is the truth in this area. If we still adhere to a religious world concept, or to some kind of rational philosophical worldview, we speak of the immortality of the human soul. In that we have this word "immortality" of the human soul, we point to the fact that with this word we actually negate only dying, not birth; for what word could we use with which we could indicate preexistence in the same way that the word "“immortality” points to postexistence? Why should we not use a word like “unbornness” which, in the face of true spiritual knowledge, has as much justification as does the word “immortality?” This can be your best evidence of what has been lost in the West directly through the activities of the various religious denominations: the truth about the being of man. This truth has been lost even in regard to language. And even insofar as language is concerned, we must bring about the awareness that the human soul is eternal, that it exists before birth as much as it exists after death. We need a word for the condition of "unbornness" just as much as for “immortality.” Now, however, when you think of an existence before birth, and turn to really sound logic, logic that makes you capable of thinking something through to its conclusion, ask yourself if you are then still capable of not speaking of repeated Earth lives. Of course, if you speak only of immortality, of postexistence, you can believe: Here is one Earth life, then follows an eternity of a totally different kind! Logically, you will no longer be able to do that when you speak of preexistence. For, otherwise, you would have to ask yourself: Well, how is it that I now find that the soul is not created at birth? Why should it be created somewhere along the way before birth? In short, you absolutely arrive at repeated Earth lives when you speak of preexistence. It is a fundamental fact that never in earthly civilization has one come to the view of preexistence without also speaking of repeated Earth lives.
But consider what it will mean for the whole approach to this earthly existence if this teaching of repeated Earth lives is not to be proclaimed as a mere theory, if this view finds its way into all the feeling life and also the will life of people, if man experiences himself as a being that has descended from spiritual worlds and has embodied himself in a physical body. Then you know that here on this Earth you are a messenger of the divine spiritual world; you know that this life here is a continuation of a spiritual life. Everything that we bear in ourselves as a sense of duty, as abilities, is illuminated and energized by such an awareness, for we know that the gods have sent us down into this physical existence. Only then will this physical existence receive a task not set by itself, but set for it by the heights of heaven. This is what is special about spiritual science — it does not just speak against the intellect, it must speak to the intellect, for these matters must be comprehended. Yet insofar as we take up the concepts derived from initiation science, these concepts penetrate the whole of our human nature; they penetrate not merely our thoughts; they penetrate feeling, our emotions; they penetrate our will and give us an awareness of the nature of our whole human condition. The manner in which one places oneself in the world in awareness of this preexistence of the human soul will be especially important for the civilization of the future. This manner will penetrate human beings with the light and with the power that is needed to struggle free from the powers of decline that otherwise will, without fail, drive civilization into barbarism at the beginning of the third millennium.
Indeed all the segments of life take on special form when one has such an underlying view. You have often heard me speak here of the Waldorf School that was founded in Stuttgart. In teaching and education, this school is in a certain sense supposed to make practical use of anthroposophically oriented spiritual science. The abstract guidelines that you normally find in pedagogical textbooks, or in teaching regulations approved by the state, are by no means particularly important in the pedagogy of Waldorf School teachers. Instead, the feelings with which a teacher enters the classroom, for instance, are among the especially important things effective there. One of these feelings that is especially effective pedagogically — a feeling that every teacher is permeated with because he has been led into his calling from this aspect — is the reverence for the divine seed that, from day to day, from week to week, from month to month, is blossoming forth from within the entity that has come down from the eternal spiritual world into this physical world. The awareness possessed by the teacher that, through the gate of the physical body, he is dealing with a being that has descended to him out of spiritual worlds is the basis of the deep reverence the teacher has for that human being, which, as a soul-spirit being, increasingly takes on form in the physical body. One may or may not believe it today — a teacher who has this reverence for the developing human being possesses a secret power within himself by means of which he teaches and educates quite differently from a teacher who does not have this reverence, and who believes that the human being comes into existence at the moment his physical body is released from the mother's body. For one teaches and educates not only by means of concepts and ideas. Above all, one educates with the mysterious powers and forces that pass as imponderables from teacher to child.
An example can be cited for this that can be mentioned as an especially important one. As a teacher, one may ponder over how one might give this or that child the idea of immortality. Today, of course, the usual way of thinking is that the teacher is the clever one and the child the dumb one. The clever teacher thinks: How do I teach this dumb child something of the idea of immortality? He might say to the child: Look at the chrysalis of the butterfly! Inside is the butterfly; it emerges and unfolds after the chrysalis bursts open. It is just like this in the case of the immortal soul in your body — the body bursts open. The immortal soul is just not as visible as the butterfly, but it is visible to supersensible perception, and it flies into spiritual worlds. Certainly, one can think up something like that and teach a child the concept of immortality by means of such a comparison. In my opinion the child will not gain much this way when the idea of immortality is taught to him by the type of teacher who is clever by today's standards. This is because he does not believe in it himself! He only thought it up. When any one of our Waldorf teachers teaches a child the idea of immortality in this way, it is quite different. For he himself believes in this picture; he is permeated with the truth that the chrysalis and the butterfly that crawls out of it were ordained by the gods to represent the picture of the human soul's immortality. He is permeated by the thought: This is the same phenomenon — the emerging butterfly on a lower level, on a higher level the soul that comes out of the body. I did not make up this picture; it has been placed into nature by the divine-spiritual powers themselves. He believes in it with the same fervor with which the child should believe, and this faith is what matters. If the teacher has this belief, then he can also secure it in the child; if he does not have it, or if he has it only as an abstract idea in himself, this idea will not have a fruitful effect. For it depends upon the feelings that flow into the classroom, upon the feelings that are kindled in our own soul out of the knowledge of preexistence.
Only if one takes seriously all that follows from preexistence will one gain an accurate concept of the connection between the human soul and the human body. If you take any handbook of knowledge concerning the soul — one calls this psychology — you find all kinds of theories on how the soul works upon the body, and so forth. You would not become very knowledgeable through these theories, for they are abstract webs of thought, and when you are finished with them you don't know much more than you did before. For in psychology all kinds of hypotheses are merely set forth on how the soul affects the body.
If one knows how the prenatal human being incarnates itself in a physical body, then one follows the developing human being in the child quite differently. We find that there are two stages in the developing human being. The first stage is indicated by the change of teeth around age seven. What does this change of teeth signify? It is a much more powerful change in the whole human organism than one usually believes. Today, however, one only observes these things outwardly. When people eventually accustom themselves to consider these things on the soul level in the way it can be done through spiritual science, what will they realize? They will say: Strange! Until the change of teeth the child does not really form solid, contoured concepts; to be sure, the child remembers a lot but does not retain its memories in concepts; actual intelligence does not yet appear. Just observe a child carefully and notice how, during the time when the teeth change, the faculty of actual intelligence increasingly emerges. Today one has no sense of the difference existing between a seven-year-old and a five-year old regarding the development of intelligence. If one would only observe how the soul gradually emerges after age seven — the Waldorf School teachers must observe it, for their whole teaching and education is based upon it — one would immediately understand in which direction one has to look in order to answer the question: Where was the element of intelligence that emerges after the seventh year? Where was it concealed? It was within the body; it was active in the organism. The same element that emancipates itself at age seven and turns into intelligence was within the body, was forming the body, and the culmination point of its activity of shaping the body is reached when the second teeth appear. The power that thrusts itself into being with the second teeth has been active in the whole organism. It is, however, a power that is active in the body only up to the seventh year. After that it has nothing more to do with the body; it then becomes intelligence. It already was intelligence earlier; as such, however, it was at work in the body. Look at what takes place in the child's body up until the seventh year. Next, look at what the child has as intelligence after age seven. You are looking at the same thing. Through birth, intelligence descended. At first it was not active as intelligence, as soul being; it becomes active in this way gradually after the seventh year. Here you have a concrete view of the working together of the soul with the body. Now you are able to see what was mainly at work in the human body until age seven. You do not have the foolish abstract concepts, fabricated and put into our textbooks and handbooks, concerning the interaction of body and soul. You have the concrete views of what works throughout seven years in blood and nerves, in muscles and bones, and then becomes the child's intelligence.
In this way, when one gradually penetrates into what spiritual science is able to give, one comes to know the human being in the totality of his nature, in his soul and bodily being. Now, man stands before us in a completely different way. It is strange — materialistic science aimed at knowing what matter was, and yet could not know anything, for example, of the nature of the forces that are active in the child's body until the seventh year. Now comes spiritual science and teaches how one really comes to know matter; spiritual science penetrates right into the material element. This is the tragedy of materialism — it becomes more and more abstract and no longer teaches what matter really is. What does the modern physician really know of the liver and kidney, of the stomach and lungs — that is, of the material structures? One day, when the insights attained through spiritual science are applied to medicine and natural science, when something of what I tried to show in the course held in Dornach this spring [ Note 97 ] penetrates modern science, one will see that spirit insight is called upon to throw light even into the essence of matter, while the materialist confronts the whole world like a blind man standing before color. Material existence is just what the materialist never comes to know.
A second stage in the life of the human being is puberty; in the male sex it is marked by the change of voice, in the female by changes in the body that spread over the whole organism, not focusing on one organ as clearly as does man's change of voice. In both sexes the changes fall somewhere around the fourteenth year. Once again, this is an essential change in the organism. What is really happening there? What is different after puberty? The whole life of will of the human being is quite changed! Try to compare a nineteen-year-old with a thirteen-year-old, directing your attention to the concrete life of will. The whole life of will becomes quite different; otherwise feelings of love could not enter the life of will. Again, a transformation in the soul life! When through spiritual science we investigate what is going on, we come to the following: We increasingly grow together with the outer world, especially in the time between the change of teeth and puberty; we grasp more and more of this outer world; our will becomes more and more oriented and we learn to bring it into harmony with the things and events of the external world. When one really studies the whole complex confronting us here, one finds that during this time the human being acquires for himself the will element, not from within, but through contact with the outer world. It was out of deep intuition that Goethe said “A talent is formed in the stillness, a character in the stream of life.” [ Note 98 ]
Talent springs from within. Character, that is, the element of will, is formed in the stream of the world, in the exchange between inner and outer forces. The human being always has to defend himself against all that comes toward him from the outer world; the inner being has to react; it has to resist what comes from the outer world. This will-developing element, which approaches man through the alternating communication with the external world, is confronted by an inner force from the opposite direction. This force accumulates in the larynx of the male, in the female in other organs. This accumulation, this collision between the outer element of will and the inner will element, is expressed in the transformation of the larynx or similar organs. Here you even see the spiritual of the outer world working on the human being.
Now bring all this together with the views of spiritual science with which you are already familiar. We know that we descend from the soul-spiritual world into the physical world through conception or birth. We know, on the other hand, that with our astral body and ego we enter a spiritual world every time we go to sleep. The spiritual world, which gives us our soul, works upon the shaping of our form until the seventh year, but after that it becomes our intelligence. Now this intelligence is confronted by the will element — actually, from birth onward, but especially so at puberty, because the interchange between them takes place then. This struggle between the external will element and the inner element of intelligence; between that spirituality we sleep through — passing through it from the moment we fall asleep until we awaken — and the particular realm of the spiritual world that we went through before our birth and conception; the struggle between what we have brought along and what we sleep through each night expresses itself in the development of the larynx, in the development of what occurs in the organism during puberty. A spiritual element works with another spiritual element. We go through a spiritual world between falling asleep and waking up. Concealed in this spiritual world is the will that is communicated to us; concealed in our organism is the intelligence that we bring through birth into physical existence. We can understand the human body when we experience it as an outer revelation of something taking place out of the spiritual domain.
Everywhere we look, and especially when we look upon the human being, we find that spiritual forces are the basis of the world. We only begin to understand man when we actually envision the interchange between these spiritual forces. Mankind will take up all of this in the future. Then humanity will find it incomprehensible how a certain age could once have come to the point of saying: There is the sense world; in it work atoms, molecules, tiny particles whose collision with each ether is supposed to be brought about through certain movements of light or electricity. No, it is not the effects of atoms and molecules; spiritual forces are at work there! Behind all that is perceived by the senses, spiritual forces are at work. The dramatic reversal will be that man no longer will believe he is walking through a mist of atoms and molecules; he will be aware that with every step he is going through spiritual worlds. It is spirit worlds that dwell in him, and spirit worlds that build him up, that transform him. Just as our materialistic faith, the mere postmortem doctrine, has, in its final consequence, led us into what is now happening in the East of Europe, so the teaching of the spirit will lead us in the future into an existence truly worthy of man. But only this spirit teaching, only this, can lead to a real social reconstruction, and not until mankind comprehends this can things improve; they will only get worse and worse.
Certainly, all of you have often allowed a saying by Christ from the Gospel to pass through your souls: “Heaven and Earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.” [ Note 99 ] What does this word of Christ mean? It has no meaning for the person who believes in atoms and molecules because he assumes that, prior to this Earth existence with its animals, plants, and human beings, there was a nebulous formation, and that out of it, the Sun and the planets gradually developed; then, along with the conglobulation and constant rotation, plants, animals, and human beings eventually originated. Right-feeling people go along with what the famous historian Hermann Grimm [ Note 100 ] said: “Future ages will have difficulty explaining the nonsense of the Kant-Laplace theory, for a carrion bone being circled by a hungry dog is more appetizing than this theory!” This is what a person with healthy feelings says. For when we look out into the world of the senses, what is behind the colors, what is behind the sounds? Not atoms and molecules, but spiritual forces that collide with our own spiritual forces and so form the carpet of color, the network of sounds, and the sphere of warmth that spread out around us. If, then, this is what is in truth around us — I have already identified it in the eighties of the last century in my introduction to Goethe's natural-scientific writings — namely, metamorphosing sensations and behind them a spiritual world, then we shall experience what one would see if one could travel from Earth to a distant star and from there look back at the Earth. From there, one would not see what is in our surroundings — trees, clouds, plants, and animals — one would only behold what is contained within the human skin. What you see in the star is not what the beings of this other star see, for that has no meaning for a star. The light that streams toward you from other stars is not a process in the external world; it is a process within the beings that inhabit these stars, just as what is within your skin becomes visible only when Earth is viewed from another star. When you grasp this you will no longer say that the world came into being out of a multitude of atoms that conglobulated. Human beings form ideals; what is to become of such ideals if Earth turns again into nothing but a heap of atoms? The whole moral world, all ethical, moral, and religious ideas that ever arose, would be lost, forgotten and destroyed, if only matter and energy were everlasting. Energy and matter resolve themselves into sensations. The spirit that we bear within us is eternal, and this spirit also appears physically on another celestial body. What exists outside the human skin is in no way present for that other heavenly body. Therefore we can say that a certain nature surrounds us now; we are born again and again; this nature will no longer be there in the future; it will have been replaced by a different nature. Of everything that is present now, only what dwells within the human skin will still exist in future times. It was therefore out of a profound intuitive knowledge that Christ Jesus said “Heaven and Earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away!” He meant, All that you see around outside will pass away, but the words that issue from My mouth will not pass away; they will endure!
Now let us look from this point of view at the lies of today's world. We hear it proclaimed from the pulpits that the human soul is immortal; we hear it proclaimed from the universities that matter and energy are everlasting. Then come the cowardly compromisers who try to fit these two concepts together. It would only be honest if those who believe in the eternity of matter would say that there is no immortality of the soul, and if those who believe in the soul's immortality would deny the eternity of matter. They would then have to confess to the truly Christian saying “Heaven and Earth will pass away, but my words”— meaning, the content of my soul — “will not pass away!” The two concepts are incompatible; if people had courage, the materialistic university professors would admit that Christianity has no validity for them. Those whose task it is to proclaim Christianity would have to fight against the materialism of the universities for the sake of Christianity. The fact that this is not done, that people try to glue the two viewpoints together — this is the great lie in our time regarding life. Where the attitude of falsehood prevails, its seeds come up; the germ of lying proliferates and creeps into the other aspects of life. It has done so extensively in the course of time because men did not try to appeal along with postexistence to a knowledge that would unconditionally point to preexistence, to a life before birth. All untruthfulness of life, prevalent today in so many areas, springs from the fact that so many wished to speak only of postexistence — something that appeals merely to soul egotism, not to knowledge. The spirit of untruthfulness cannot be halted if it takes hold of the best in us, namely, our innermost conviction.
These matters can only be rightly and fully evaluated, however, in connection with the whole of human life. Throughout the Middle Ages and right into our time, one spoke only of “right” and “wrong.” Everyone, of course, believed he had hit upon the right thing and whatever did not conform with that was wrong. When people spoke of right and wrong they spoke from the standpoint of logic. Logic was the great pride of mankind. It is already hardly the case today. From America a teaching has come that has already taken hold of philosophy and, in Germany, has assumed an especially grotesque form. This is no longer the logical teaching of true and false; it is the so-called pragmatism, the teaching of what is useful. One believes that something is true not because one has perceived it logically, but because people like William James [ Note 101 ] and others say that true and false are merely other expressions for what is useful or damaging. We notice that something is useful; therefore we say it is right; we note that something is damaging to us; therefore we consider it wrong. In Germany this has asserted itself as the “as-if” philosophy. There actually exists a thick book on this by a certain university professor, Vaihinger, [ Note 102 ] who taught philosophy for a long time in Halle. This “as-if” philosophy goes something like this: One does not know whether atoms or molecules exist, but it is useful to explain the world as if there were atoms. One does not know whether the good has any everlasting significance, but it is useful to explain the world as if this were so. One does not know if there is a God, but it is useful for humanity — more useful than the opposite — to view the world as if there is a God, and so on. I am only expressing this with a few paradigmatic words. This “as-if” philosophy is the German version of the American teaching that what is useful is true and what is damaging is false.
Beside these viewpoints there existed yet another in all the old cultures. In the late Greek culture it was already no longer present, but it was still noticeable in more ancient Greek times by those who study this era not in a professorial manner but according to truth. In those times one did not say of a viewpoint in the logical sense that it was “true” or “false”; one said of it that it was “healthy” or “sick.” That signified something! Today we really talk of health or sickness only when we refer to physical man, for in ordinary life we refer to nothing any longer but him. We know that from somewhere in the cosmos come the forces that make us healthy or sick. But when we speak of soul and spirit we no longer refer to health or sickness; for there we have changed over to abstractions, to mere theory. In the cultures of antiquity, when somebody said something that was correct, one had the feeling that this organized his spirit in a correct sense and he was healthy. When he said something that was awry and what we today abstractly call “false,” people sensed concretely that this came from a sick soul mood. “Healthy” and “sick” were terms that were applicable also to the soul; actually, above all, one felt this way about the soul. Out of this feeling originated a word about which scholars have later written long philological treatises — the word “catharsis” in Greek tragedy, a word that comes out of the Mysteries. According to Aristotle, catharsis takes place in the human soul when it watches a tragedy. Fear and compassion are stimulated in the soul, leading to a kind of crisis, to catharsis, and the human being in turn is purified by fear and pity. Thus, the process that occurs in the human soul when it looks upon a tragedy is described as a healing process occurring in the strengthened soul. There, in aesthetics, in art, you still have the concept of a curative element and of an element that causes an affliction.
We must return to this! We must once more regain the concept that what we now abstractly call “right” comes about because the soul, descending from prenatal existence, gains control over the body and organizes it so that it will submit as malleable substance to the soul forces that make it healthy. This is the truth. It is the sick soul element which comes from a soul that is unable to use its body as an apparatus, a soul that expresses itself obliquely and darkly through its body. We must once again learn to replace the concepts “true” and “false” with “healthy” and “sick.” We must again experience an inner pain that can overcome us when somebody expresses wrong views; we must again sense inner satisfaction over truth. Not until we speak equally of prenatal existence and postmortem existence, however, not until we learn to use a word like “unbornness” just as we use the word immortality, shall we feel that way. The fact that we do not feel this now shows how far we have strayed from the knowledge of that spiritual world from which the human being actually comes.
You will find that those matters I have only briefly summarized today are described in more detail in numerous published cycles of my lectures and books. From such descriptions you can realize what a change it signifies in the whole constitution of the human soul when spiritual science will be the very nerve center of human feeling; when human beings will go about in the world with an awareness of their being such as the one attainable from spiritual science. People today indulge only the egotism of the soul that wishes to cling to a postexistence; they do not want to press onward to a real comprehension of the human soul which had experiences before birth, just as it will have experiences after death. The whole, complete eternity of the human soul is only grasped by one who can not only speak of immortality but, based an insight, of “unbornness,” too. We can believe, because belief always comes from a desire for life after death. We can know of the life before birth and the life after death as two things that are inseparable. Knowledge takes in the total being of the human soul; belief is concerned only with the postmortem existence. Knowledge of the spiritual is what the human being must struggle to acquire, but this is what people today strongly resist. Real knowledge of the spiritual world can only flow out of spiritual science. Out of spiritual science will come a constitution of the human soul that is healthy, not only true, and physical healing will be a necessary consequence of spiritual healing. Then man will not view the Earth in the manner of modern geology as a huge mineral globe; he will view it as a spiritual being of which he himself is a member. That is what we must work toward.
This was meant to be the first part of my observations today. [ Note 102 ]
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