Wednesday, December 23, 2020
'Chance' and Present-day Consciousness. An Easter Meditation
Earthly and Cosmic Man. Lecture 3 of 9.
Rudolf Steiner, Berlin, March 26, 1912:
We will begin the lecture today by thinking of what is implied by the word “chance.” We say that certain happenings in the world are comprehensible to us because they take their course “in accordance with law”; in them we recognize certain laws, “natural laws.” Of other happenings it is said that they seem to be governed by no law; the time at which they occur, the sequence of circumstances connected with them ... all must be attributed to “chance.” Modern science, recognizing only those abstract laws which it calls the “laws of Nature,” will certainly be prone, where these laws prove inapplicable, to speak of “mere chance,” of something, that is to say, in regard to which conformity to law cannot be admitted. When modern science speaks of “chance” in cases to which its laws do not apply, it really puts a ban upon any suggestion of conformity to law. Both generally and in particulars, there is hardly anything more intolerant in human life than the “scientific attitude.” I do not, of course, refer to scientific facts, for they are presented in a way which does science the very highest credit, and intolerance does not come into question here. I am speaking of the “scientific attitude” which arises on the foundation of these facts. The attitude of materialistic thought today is an example of almost the greatest intolerance to be found in history.
If in the light of Spiritual Science we consider “chance” in relation to the life of feeling, our first question will be: How does chance befall the human being? How does it present itself to him? ... When something happens “by chance,” “fortuitously,” it seems as though a man could not possibly, out of his own thoughts — whatever they may be — ascribe any meaning, any inner conformity to law, to this “chance” event. It looks as though reason must simply let it go at that, without bothering to ascertain whether any conformity to law could possibly be attributed to it. People are usually unwilling to bring reason or intelligence to bear upon unforeseen occurrences which, as such, are apparently quite inexplicable. Where feeling is concerned, however, the attitude is very different, although this is not generally realized. Feeling does not always allow itself to be dominated by intellectual preconceptions or by the reasoning mind, but rises out of hidden depths of the soul where man is wiser than he is in his intellect and reason. Thus it may well happen that in his life of feeling a man is attracted or repelled, pleased or displeased by what his reason and intellect call “pure chance.” We will take a definite example. A schoolboy is wrestling with a sum he has to solve; he pores over it and struggles hard but still cannot get it right. After persistent efforts he solves it, to his great delight. But he says to himself: “To be quite certain that I have got it right and shall not be kept in and be given a bad mark, I must go through it all again.” So he makes up his mind that after supper he will work it all out again. Then, quite by chance, and owing to entirely unrelated circumstances, a classmate turns up at his home and asks him what solution he has reached. They compare results and find that they agree. In this way the boy is spared from an additional strain; not needing to pore over the sum any longer, he is free and can go to bed at once. Now if the father is what is called an “enlightened” man, he will say: “The other boy did not call in unexpectedly just to save my boy an hour's study which might have injured his health, but was sent by his mother to bring something I had left behind.” The father calls it “chance.” But the boy has a feeling of happiness, although he will probably not go to the length of believing that an angel brought this school friend to him; the reaction of his feelings, at any rate, will be quite different from that of his reason and intellect. The father will certainly not be inclined to accept the idea that an angel from heaven sent the friend to his son, yet he too will feel glad about what happened.
That is what I mean when I say that when feeling rises out of hidden depths in the life of soul it may well be cleverer than the intellect and the reasoning mind which have to develop independence in the course of the Earth's mission, to develop in such a way that they are thrown back entirely on themselves; reason and intellect are, so to speak, “God-forsaken,” and can therefore easily fall into the error of believing that in what presents itself to them as chance, there is no Divine-Spiritual conformity to law, nor anything like it. Therefore we may say that what rises out of the depths of the soul makes us — as in this case — cleverer in our feelings than we are in our life of intellect and reason. This indicates quite clearly that Spiritual Science is right when it asserts that what lies in the depths of the soul and rises in the feelings from these depths originates from an epoch when the human being was not thrown back entirely upon himself; that the element of sympathy or antipathy in the life of soul is something that came over from the Old Moon period. Therefore, during the course of Earth evolution the human being has to become as clever in his life of intellect and reason as he became in his life of feeling during the Old Moon period of evolution. Someone may say at this point: “But I have observed that feelings are by no means always clever; they can also be the very reverse!” The reason for this is that our feelings as men of Earth are influenced by the intellect which works down into the feelings. If our feelings are stupid, they have become so only because they have been influenced by the intellect. If the life of feeling had remained immune from this influence, despite the circumstances connected with incarnation and the general evolution of mankind, then the feelings would, in fact, be cleverer than the intellect and the reason.
Considered from this point of view, something of peculiar interest concerning “chance” presents itself, something that is extremely instructive. The question might indeed be raised: “Is there not also significance in the very fact that certain things can be regarded as fortuitous, accidental? Is not that in itself significant?” The question is a natural one, for it is precisely during Earth evolution that the human being must develop intellect and reason — in other words, what is called the “normal” consciousness. At the end of Earth evolution man should have reached the stage of perceiving law in those happenings and facts which today he considers fortuitous; they seem to him to be examples of pure “chance”; he can see in them no immediate evidence of the law manifested by happenings in Nature; their conformity to law is wholly concealed. But precisely in those things which during the Earth evolution conceal all evidence of law, seeming to be pure chance, man will learn to perceive a deeper conformity to law; when Earth evolution has run its course — but not until then — this law will present itself with the same inexorable “necessity” now associated with the laws of nature. If what are now called “chance” happenings appeared to be subject to the necessity of natural law, man would learn nothing from them. He would not be able to bring himself to say of some event: “I can either regard it as full of significance — or as chance!” And so because it is given into the hands of man and is a matter of his own free will whether he will apply intelligence and reason to what looks like “chance,” he learns to find his way through earthly incarnations, to permeate with reason and intelligence what seems to be subject to no rule and to be brought merely by chance: so that what cannot, by its very nature, appear to him as an evidence of rigid conformity to law appears, finally, as evidence of spiritual law.
We are able, here, to glimpse a very wise provision in world evolution, one which, if we grasp its significance, shows us that with extraordinary wisdom certain things were ordained to appear as “chance.” We have, therefore, ourselves to unravel the threads of the law which has, first of all, to be discovered within them. In order that for the sake of our own development we might be taught self-knowledge and learn to weigh ourselves in the balance, it was left to our own will either to be wise or foolish, either to recognize conformity to law in so-called matters of chance, or to acknowledge only the inflexible laws of Nature. As time goes on it will be found that certain branches of science will refuse to apply anything except the abstract laws of outer Nature and will insist upon labeling everything else as “chance.” These branches of science too, of course, represent activity in the life of soul, but if, as Goethe indicates at the end of Faust, man has turned his gaze to a higher world and has drawn nearer to what is spoken of by all true mysticism as the “Eternal Feminine,” the realm in which the “Feminine” is the symbol for the eternal laws of Nature and the sciences ... if that has come to pass, these particular branches of science will, at the end of Earth existence, be regarded as the “Foolish Virgins.” On the other hand, Spiritual Science and what develops from it will be able to act in accordance with wisdom and law in those domains where the external sciences — the “Foolish Virgins” — are incapable of doing so. This will enable certain branches of science to be the “Wise Virgins” at the end of Earth evolution. And the beautiful parable in the Gospel indicates what will happen to the Wise Virgins and the Foolish Virgins in due time. [e.Ed: Matthew 25:1-13]
These things can lead us more deeply into the secrets of world evolution; and if we connect direct observation of the outer world with what we learn from Spiritual Science, a very remarkable factor comes to light. I will ask you now to accompany me in your thoughts.
You know that during the Earth period more and more of the content, the data of knowledge, the achievements, the experiences of the normal consciousness will become an integral part of man's being. But all evolution proceeds slowly and by degrees, and it will occasionally happen — indeed it sometimes happens now — that something which only in the future will be normal for man projects itself into the life of abstract reason and intellect, into the domain of the various branches of natural science; something not derived from the normal consciousness but connected with higher forms of consciousness projects itself into life. It is naturally veiled from the normal consciousness, but it points, nevertheless, to the deeper backgrounds of existence. Hence it is to be expected that whenever there is a projection of something which transcends the normal consciousness it will also, strangely enough, be too striking to be lightly put down to “chance.” In other words: As long as a man lives among his fellows with his normal consciousness only, he can speak lightly of “chance.” As long as in mutual dealings among human beings there is no question of any element other than reason and intellect playing into their words and actions, so long will it be possible to speak glibly of “chance.” For then, everything in their intercourse with one another and in external life which does not appear to be subject to law will look so much like chance that it will be difficult to realize that even in what is, apparently, quite fortuitous there is a connection regulated by law. But suppose something comes into our earthly life which cuts across the ordinary form of intercourse between human beings, based as it is merely upon intellect and reason — something which indicates a great deal more! So that you may see what I mean, I want to quote a special case which is to be regarded merely as an example but from which a great deal may be learnt if it is viewed in the light of Spiritual Science. It is an unpleasant, disagreeable case, but one from which we can learn, as in an experiment, what is actually in operation.
In a certain place it happened that a clergyman had alienated a woman's affection from her husband. He had had a kind of love affair with this woman, causing the husband deep grief. In the same place there lived two men, friends of each other, who were devoted to the clergyman, not merely in their intellectual life but in their hearts and feelings. They were in his power, in the sense that his influence worked not only through the life of intellect and reason but also through the religious services and rites, through the element of spiritual life in religion. That the rites in this case had not produced any very good effect is not the point here; the point is the method adopted by the two men and the fact that the clergyman was their spiritual pastor ... The two friends finally decided to do the clergyman a good turn and they consulted together as to how to get rid of the husband. The case has ugly features about it because the spiritual element is mingled with egoistic, human interests, bringing the whole thing near to the region of black magic. The two friends agreed to murder the husband, and actually did so. Thus they both incurred guilt, not merely by their intellectual decision but also because they had come under the sway of a psychological influence which affected the whole parish. We have therefore a curious case of human connections in which not only reason and intellect are operating but also something lying behind reason and intellect — because the clergyman, being what he was, was able to work with means connected with the spiritual life. What is to be expected, in the light of the principles of Spiritual Science known to us? Because events are causes and, as such, bring consequences, we can expect to find something else happening as a result of what then took place. In most occurrences connected merely with the operations of the reason and intellect you will find many “chance” happenings, and you will speak of them light-heartedly as such if you know nothing of Spiritual Science. But it will not be possible to speak of “chance” when there is definite evidence of a psychic influence having been involved in the causes of certain happenings. Here were two friends who had cooperated in the murder. In such a case karma may be expected to work in a very definite way and all the circumstances oblige us to think of something more than “chance.” Something very special must have been at work, for in this case there is evidence of an influence which might be termed “grey” or “black” magic. And what did, in fact, happen? The two murderers fell ill unaccountably, each with a different illness, and both died within the same hour. Those who insist upon speaking of “chance” will naturally want to do so here too; but those less determined to attribute everything to chance will try to reflect a little more deeply. What has been said in connection with this striking example will be confirmed in many ways if you are willing to probe thoroughly into incidents suggesting the interplay of something more than belongs specifically to the Earth mission and Earth consciousness; in this case something rooted behind the sphere of external existence is in operation, indicating by the peculiar course of events “abnormal” conditions — as common parlance would express it. But those who observe events from the standpoint of Spiritual Science will say: Here is a direct indication that because there is something different in the actual causes, the karmic course taken by the consequences of those causes will be strikingly significant.
Thus when we know of the power of the supersensible behind the world of sense, the very way in which the external facts present themselves is an indication that such happenings differ from those in which there is no suggestion of any interplay of the supersensible. Ordinary science would do well to investigate matters other than the pointless subjects which are dragged to light nowadays and which Friedrich Theodor Vischer — in some respects a very shrewd writer — ridiculed in the following way. He said: There was once a learned scholar who went to Goethe's house and burrowed in all the dust that had been accumulating for years, examining every scrap of paper still lying in the wastepaper baskets; then he searched in all the corners, turned over the dirty rubbish heaps, and finally produced a treatise on “The Connection between Frau Geheimrat von Goethe's Chilblains and the symbolical characters in the Second Part of Faust.” That is a rather radical example, but in the catalogues of the most learned publications similar things are to be found. It would be well if external science, instead of occupying itself with such matters as Vischer had in his mind, were to turn to happenings like the one quoted, which provide striking evidence that occurrences attributed to “chance,” but indicating the existence of psychical elements, clearly hint at meaning. The same thing applies, of course, to cases where no psychical factor is in evidence and which may therefore lightly be put down to “chance,” only then it is not so easy to perceive the meaning, and spiritual observation is required to discern the presence of law. And so if we study life, in what confronts us as “chance,” as an antithesis to law, we can see the clash of two worlds, literally the clash of two worlds.
What do I mean by this?
Man has his Earth mission to fulfill, that is to say, he has to develop and elaborate what is now called the “normal” consciousness. A wise World Order has made it possible for many happenings to appear to him as chance; it therefore rests with his free will whether or not he will recognize in them the presence of law. But several currents, not only one, are always in operation. Everywhere there is an inflow of the Spiritual, the Spiritual of which man, too, is part. The Spiritual would have been operating in an occurrence of the kind described above, even if the central figure had not been a clergyman; but in that case his own life of soul would not have been implicated to anything like the same extent.
This episode provides a clear illustration of the operation of another element, side by side with reason and intellect. Both elements play continually into life. Do not imagine for a moment that people who claim to be “Monists,” in other words, materialists, have emancipated themselves altogether from the Spiritual, or that they “believe” in nothing at all, as they pretend. Monism is nothing but belief — belief, moreover, which obscures the Spiritual. What is all-important is to see through the illusion, the maya. Human prejudices being what they are, it is, of course, difficult always to see through maya; when people are deeply embedded in maya it is by no means easy to see through it. Those who look at history today from the standpoint of materialism may say: “The course of evolution is such that on account of certain purely materialistic contrasts in the social life of man, some kind of collapse is inevitable, and out of this collapse a new order of society will grow.” This is now being taken for granted in the domain of “historical materialism.” It has been prophesied that the clash between classes and ranks will result in a collapse of the social order, and that a new order of society will arise from the ruins. A materialist who speaks in this sense will certainly be ready to admit that he believes in nothing, but bases his judgment upon historical facts; and he will refer with a kind of inner satisfaction, even with glee, to “queer fellows” who spoke of an “Apocalypse,” a “kingdom of a thousand years,” a “millennium,” of a different shaping of the future brought about by the spiritual worlds! He will look down upon them as eccentrics. But it never once enters his head that he is merely accepting another belief, substituting materialistic belief for belief in the Spiritual. Those who are seekers after truth, however, must see through such things and emancipate themselves from maya.
Within us there is a clash of two worlds: one is connected merely with the operations of intellect and reason, resulting from the mission of the Earth as such; the other is connected with spiritual happenings which even in their apparent fortuitousness speak an eloquent language (as in the instance given and in innumerable other cases).
What is it, then, that can help us, while adhering to the purpose and mission of Earth existence, to seek for the working of law in “chance,” recognizing the wisdom with which world evolution has made it possible for certain things to appear as “chance,” in order that when we ourselves become a little wiser we shall wish to discover the operation of law in them? Without exonerating the weaknesses of the times, let us face the facts clearly.
With dauntless scientific daring, men of the present age place their reliance upon the laws of Nature and are not afraid to bring the facts and happenings of Nature into the framework of these laws. In this respect men are truly courageous And why? It may sound harsh but in a certain sense it is true to say that they are courageous because after that there is nothing more to do! No special courage is needed to recognize natural laws or to anticipate laws where external phenomena themselves speak so forcibly. In these days, as a matter of fact, there would be an inclination to pay greater respect to those who are bold enough to deny natural laws than to those who recognize them. If someone were to say: “People maintain that natural law exists, but after all, it, too, may well be only “chance ” ... this might evoke greater respect because it would be a radical and audacious step to admit the possibility of chance in the sphere of natural law. Nietzsche was one who came very near to the point of regarding everything as chance. Again, someone might say: “Even if hitherto the sun has risen every morning, that might likewise be a matter of chance; the daily sunrise may be regarded as chance as justifiably as other happenings.” Such a statement might be forcible and audacious — but it would be false! In their recognition of natural laws operating in chemical and physical processes men are undoubtedly courageous — the courage is certainly there ... but it is cheap! The facts of Nature do not readily lend themselves to being regarded as chance. Courage evaporates in the face of things generally designated as “chance.” Just where it is most needed and when man ought to say to himself: “Although the happenings confronting me here seem to group themselves together quite haphazardly, I shall try to find a deeper meaning and purpose in them!” To see meaning and purpose in external chance means that the outer facts are being confronted with a strength of soul which also endures in the face of seemingly quite fortuitous happenings. The modern weavings of fantasy in regard to chance are the outcome of inner weakness, because men do not trust themselves to recognize law in the things which seem to be fortuitous. It is really cowardice on the part of science to accept the factor of chance and to be chary of introducing law into what presents itself as disordered chaos simply because law does not make itself immediately apparent. Hence the science of today, which really lacks courage and is willing only to concern itself with natural laws, must be counteracted by the forcible and courageous science of the Spirit which makes the soul strong enough to perceive law and order in apparently fortuitous happenings. This is the side of Spiritual Science which must make the human being strong enough not merely to recognize law where the external circumstances themselves compel him to be courageous, but where he must call upon all his inner forces and let them speak with the same compelling power with which the happenings of Nature speak to him. Nature confronts the human being as a finished work. Within Nature and by the side of Nature, “chance” presents itself. Man himself is involved in this “chance,” and much of what he calls his destiny is rooted in the laws underlying it. What is it, then, that is needed? We will now try to answer this question.
Something must take place of which the exoteric world has absolutely no idea. What is needed is an invigoration of the impulse which has led to the scientific method and attitude of today — an invigoration which cannot possibly be drawn from the domain of science alone. External science must receive an impulse deriving from spiritual research. For since external science allows itself to be coerced into accepting natural laws, it will be incapable of unfolding the courage that is necessary for the perception of spiritual law in the realm of the seemingly fortuitous. Spiritual Science must constitute a new impulse which calls for the steeling of courage in the souls of men, an impulse which leads to something absolutely new in the world, even though this amounts merely to a new understanding of what has already been imparted to mankind but remains more or less unconscious; from our time onward men must become conscious of it. The need for a new impulse is everywhere apparent — even to those who resist it. They themselves realize the need quite clearly, but they often proceed in a very strange way. They do not directly admit it, but lacking the courage to adopt the attitude of which we have spoken, they are willing, strangely enough, to be reconciled to all sorts of philosophical opinions concerning the spiritual world which make some slight compromise with the prevailing scientific mentality. Here and there you will find that commendable “tolerance” is extended to teachings concerning a spiritual world, although it is not difficult to attribute this tolerance to likes and predilections which have a habit of persisting in sincere and scientifically minded people ... but you may be quite sure that somewhere or other there will be exceptions. Those who think they have an unconditional right to judge may say: “Yes, it is possible to come to terms with advocates of idealistic philosophy when they base their acceptance of a spiritual world upon reason.” But when they hear about Spiritual Science or Theosophy, these people adopt a curious attitude and act very strangely, for it makes them uneasy! They cannot altogether account for it, but one thing they know, namely, that they do not want to have anything to do with this kind of thing! On that point they are unyielding, and then they are not quite so tolerant; they abuse Spiritual Science, say that it is fantastic and has no reasoned foundations. Even those who from superior heights occasionally extend tolerance to other forms of idealistic thought adopt an attitude to Spiritual Science which almost confounds the saying of Goethe: “The little fellows never notice the devil, even when he has them by the collar!” ... for Theosophy seems to them to be the very embodiment of the devil. They do not usually say as much, but that is how things are.
There has lately been a striking example of this among our own ranks; attention may be drawn to it, for it is mentioned in the current German periodicals. For his doctorate at a northern university, one of our members submitted a thesis on “The Relation of the Ego to Thinking.” If the man in question had been in the position in which I was lucky enough to be when I wrote my Philosophy of Spiritual Activity — which was before I was presenting, under the name of “Theosophy,” the world-conception I now hold — nobody would have any idea, any “false” idea, that this thesis on the relation of the ego to thinking has any connection with Theosophy; for there is absolutely nothing about Theosophy in it, any more than there is in my Philosophy of Spiritual Activity or in my Truth and Science. People had no inkling of what was behind these two works, and from time to time remarkably favorable opinions were expressed. I can give another example too. One day, because of my publications on Goethe, I was commissioned to write a chapter on Goethe's relation to natural science. The manuscript lay in the hands of the editor for a long time and the work did not appear. In those days it was practically a foregone conclusion that this particular section would have been entrusted to me, and not one of the persons concerned had any doubt about it. But you see, I had begun to use the word “Theosophy” and at the time I actually held an official position in the Theosophical Movement. The treatise was returned to me as “unusable”! You can see what was going on behind the scenes then, and also in the present case. If our friend had not been a theosophist, nobody would have failed to recognize that here was a logical, dialectical thesis on The Relation of the Ego to Thinking ... but the university town where this episode took place is not very big. The writer was known to be a theosophist, and so the professors had no use for his work. As the professors themselves happened also to be engaged in experimental psychology, their attitude was: We recognize law only where external compulsion holds sway. If anybody recognizes law where there is no external compulsion, as is the case in the relation of the ego to thinking, his thesis is rejected as a matter of course! And so the thesis was turned down. But something else transpired. The thesis was written in a northern language with which very few people are conversant, and it was sent to an old German professor who “by chance” — I say this advisedly — understands this language. He gave his verdict quite objectively and it was an extremely favorable one.
I mention these incidents — there are many others as well — so that you may know how things are, and form your own judgments. Among theosophists too there are people who are ready to admit: Here or there spiritual teaching is to be found ... although they ought to realize that it is not a question of looking for a really new impulse “here or there,” but in Spiritual Science itself. The impulses leading to progress in the world can only flourish when they are grasped in their full force. The human being, too, must lay hold of all the forces within him if he is to realize that apparent fortuity in the world is permeated with meaning and divine purpose. This is the impulse that must be given by Spiritual Science. Men must recognize that in the course of human evolution a point was once reached which must now be understood in a new sense, and in full consciousness. Significant allusion is made to it in the First Chapter of the Gospel of St. Mark, in the words: “The time is fulfilled and the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand; know yourselves, pay heed to the new message.” And then, a few verses further on, a remarkable statement occurs concerning Christ Jesus.
In our Movement it is not a question of advocating orthodoxy or dogma but of indicating, in the evolutionary process of mankind, the coming of the impulse which leads to the strengthening of those inner forces whereby the human “I” attains self-knowledge, learning also to behold itself in the world and to draw into its own realm of law what otherwise appears as “blind chance.” Why is it that the phenomena of Nature give no suggestion of chance? Why does man speak of law in the phenomena of Nature? It is for this reason. After the expiration of the Saturn-, Sun- and Moon-periods of evolution, the Exusiai, the “Spirits of Form,” the “Spirits of Revelation,” began their operations; and the manifested laws of Nature are not abstract laws but, in a spiritual sense, the Deeds of the Exusiai, of the Spirits of Form! When man observes the course of Nature-happenings he beholds, in the laws of Nature, the Deeds of the Exusiai. But his courage has failed. And where the Exusiai are not articulate, where they do not palpably indicate what they have laid into the facts and happenings of Nature, man has no longer any inkling that there, too, the Spiritual is in operation, in the shape of Law. But he must strive to reach the stage where he speaks of those happenings which today he still ascribes to “chance,” as the Exusiai speak in the facts of Nature. Human courage has broken down. How does man speak of destiny, of destiny in humanity? He speaks just like the grammarians who have eyes only for the words and are not interested in the connections between the words, thinking, often enough, that there is no active, living power within them. Man must learn not only to see connective purpose in the facts of Nature, in the deeds of the Exusiai, but out of an inner impulse he must learn to speak of events in the life of humanity as though the Exusiai were being made manifest in what today seems to be pure chance. In order that this might be, there came One Who spoke very differently from those who are ignorant of what lies behind apparently fortuitous happenings. The One Who came spoke not as the grammarians but as the Exusiai speak out of the facts of Nature. Thus did Christ speak out of the mouth of Jesus! The Gospel indicates this in a wonderful way in that to the abstract words: “And they were amazed at His teaching” ... it immediately adds: “For He taught as the Exusiai teach!” Where do the Exusiai teach? In the facts of Nature! And with this same Nature-necessity, Christ spoke out of the mouth of Jesus concerning those realms of existence over which the laws of Nature seem to exercise no sway.
Such is the impulse that must enter into men. Then in the “chance” happenings of today they will find the courage to recognize the kingdom of spiritual law and gradually to learn to speak of it as the Exusiai, the Spirits of Form, speak in the facts of Nature.
The great Easter Impulse given to humanity consisted in this: There dwelt in Jesus of Nazareth the Power of a Being Who spoke with the same inner necessity with which the laws of Nature speak in the facts of Nature, from the mineral kingdom of Earth, up and beyond the realm of the clouds, to the very Realm of the stars. Thus did Christ speak in Jesus of Nazareth! And when man is able to fire his courage with this impulse he will recognize conformity to law in all the facts of world existence, in the realm of Nature and also in the realm of the Spirit, where “chance” is thought to operate. There must come to men — free from all preconceived thoughts — a new understanding of where the might of the Christ Impulse lies, and of the heights to which the Christ Impulse can raise them.
With such thoughts we pass toward the festival held as a memorial that this Impulse was vouchsafed to mankind. Much of what has been said in this lecture may well serve as a kind of Easter Meditation, and you will then find that such thoughts can help to promote the true mood of soul in which to celebrate the festival.