Saturday, August 29, 2020

We need a new civilization upon the ruins of the old; we need to develop cosmic consciousness

Rudolf Steiner, Dornach, Switzerland, October 10, 1919:

It is with realities we are dealing when we say: —
The Anglo-American Being: a striving toward Cosmogony;
The European Being: a striving toward Freedom;
The Asiatic Being: a striving toward Altruism.

And when we then try to comprehend these three divided forces in a consciousness that embraces the universe as a whole; when, from out of this consciousness of the universal whole, we say to ourselves that the old civilization is bursting through its partitions, it is doomed — then to try to save it in its present form would be to work against one's age, not with it. We need a new civilization upon the ruins of the old. The ruins of the old civilization will gradually crumble; and that man alone understands the present times who has will and courage for one that shall be really new. But the new must be grounded neither in a sense of country, as among the Greeks and Romans, nor in a sense of the Earth, as with men of modern times. It must proceed from a sense of the World — the world-consciousness of future man, that world-consciousness which once more turns its eyes away from the Earth here, and looks up to the Cosmos.
Only, we must arrive at a view of this Cosmos which shall carry us in practice beyond the schools of Copernicus and Galileo. My dear friends, the Europeans have known how to express the Earth's environment in terms of mathematics, but they have not known how, from the earth's environment, to extract a real science. For the times in which he lived, Giordano Bruno was a remarkable figure, a great personality; but today we need to realize that, where he could only perceive a mathematical order, there a spiritual order reigns — reality reigns. The American does not really believe in this purely mathematical world, in the purely mathematical Cosmos. His particular civilization leads him to reach out to a knowledge of the supersensible forces beyond, even though he is, as yet, on the wrong road....
The time has come when one must speak out honestly and straightforwardly. And if one is to be honest and straightforward, one must speak out quite plainly about the occult facts of civilization in the present day, among them that the Anglo-American world has the gift for Cosmogony; that Europe has the gift for Freedom; Asia, the gift for Altruism, for religion, for a social-economic order.
These three temperaments must be fused together for a complete humanity. We must become people of the cosmos, and act from that standpoint, as inhabitants of the universe. Then and then only can that come about which the age really demands.

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