The conclusion to the lecture cycle Occult Physiology
Rudolf Steiner, Prague, March 28, 1911:
What the organism produces in the way of inner warmth processes in our blood, warmth processes which it conducts to us through all its different processes, and which it finally brings to expression in a flowering of all other processes, penetrates up into the soul and spirit, transforms itself into soul and spirit. And what is most beautiful, the loftiest thing about it, is the fact that, through the forces of the human soul, what is organic can be transformed into what is soul nature! If everything that man can have through the activity of his earthly organism is rightly transformed by him after it has become warmth, it then transmutes itself in his soul into what we may call an inner living experience of compassion, a sympathy for all other beings. If we penetrate through all the processes of the human organism, to the highest level of all, to the processes of warmth, we pass as it were through the door of the human physiological processes, above the uppermost heights which are formed by these processes, into that world where the warmth of the blood is given its worth in accordance with what the soul has made out of it: in accordance with the living sympathy of the soul for everything that has being, and its compassion for everything around it. In this way we broaden our life, if our inner life carry us on to a kindling of inner heat, beyond all that is earthly being; we make ourselves one with all earthly being. And we must note the marvelous fact that the whole of Cosmic Being has taken the round-about path of first building up our whole organisation, in order finally to give us that warmth which we are called upon to transmute through our ego into living compassion for all beings.
In the Earth's mission, warmth is in the process of being transmuted into compassion.
This is the meaning of the earth process; and it is being fulfilled, since man as a physical organism is embedded in this earth-process, through the fact that all physical processes finally come together in man's organisation as their crown; that everything therein, like a microcosm, in turn, of all earthly processes, opens again into new blossoming. And, as this is transmuted in the human soul, the earth-organism, through man's sympathetic interest and living compassion for every kind of being, attains to that for which warmth had its intended use in the organism allotted to him as Earth-Man. What we take up in our souls through living sympathy, which helps us to broaden our inner soul-life more and more, we shall take with us when we shall have gone through many organisations such as enable us to use to the full, for the spirit, everything that the earth could give us as kindling heat, burning warmth, flame of fire! And when, through innumerable incarnations, we shall have taken up into ourselves all that there is of this fervour of warmth, then will the earth have reached its goal, its purpose. Then will it sink beneath us, a great corpse, into indeterminate cosmic space; and there will arise out of this earth-corpse the united throng of all those earthly human souls who, through their different earthly incarnations, have realised the worth of the outpouring warmth of earth-organisms by transmuting it into living compassion and sympathy, and into whatever can be built upon these. Just as the individual soul, when the human being passes through the portal of death, rises to a spiritual world and gives over the corpse to the forces of the earth, so to the forces of the cosmos will one day be surrendered the earth's corpse, when it shall have given to us that burning warmth we needed for the compassion which was the foundation-stone of all our higher activities of soul. This corpse which will be given over to the cosmic system, just as the individual human corpse is given over to the earth-system, will be able to see rising above it the sum of all the individual human souls, now one important stage nearer perfection as a result of earth existence, and these will then press onward to new stages of existence, to new cosmic systems. Just as in the earth-system the individual human being, after he has passed through the portal of death, advances to new incarnations, so does the throng of all the individual souls, after the earth-corpse has fallen away, advance to new planetary stages of existence.
And so we see that nothing in the cosmic system is lost, but that what is given to us in our organism up to the final blossoming of heat is that “material” which, when we have used it up as burning warmth, helps us to find the way to a new and higher stage leading to eternity. Nothing in the world is lost, but what the earth produces, through human souls, is carried over by them into eternity!
Thus does spiritual science also permit us to connect the physiological processes in the human organism with our eternal destiny. And thus will this science, if we view it as something which must so implant itself within us that it is not mere theory or abstract knowledge, fill us with all those forces which show us that we as human beings do not, after all, stand only upon the earth, but in the whole cosmic system! If we learn to think thus about the lofty and eternal destiny of humanity, how man takes the forces of the earth in order that he may work on into eternity, we then receive through spiritual science what must be wrung out of it, not only what we may attain for the sake of knowledge but for our whole man. And if those human beings who divine or already possess this high ideal of knowledge come together in a true brotherhood, harmoniously united in striving toward the highest of all, who understand each other, that is, in their innermost being, this means that there are present on our earth, in its process of becoming, human beings who have the right to be conscious that they bear within themselves seeds which are developing, which can be fruitful for the further evolution of earth and humanity. In all modesty may anthroposophists come together and unite their feelings with what is highest, most universal, in man. And, when men gather in such a spirit, they understand one another in their deepest being; for they acknowledge one another, not merely as individual earth-men and in their earthly destiny, but rather in their eternal destiny.
It was in this spirit that we came together here; and it is in this spirit that we shall go away again, to live in the outside world and perhaps to pass on to others much of what it has been possible to give here as an incentive, even if only in outline, and thus to bring it to new flower. We shall at the same time strive so to work when we are scattered that, although physically separated, we shall be in harmony with one another in living thought, in feeling, and in all our willing. Then shall we be rightly united in that Spirit which ought to be brought to mankind through Anthroposophy. In this Spirit we are about to separate after having been together for a while; in this Spirit we shall remain united in soul; and in this Spirit we shall meet again when it is meant to be.