Rudolf Steiner, Dornach, Switzerland, November 19, 1917:
We are now cultivating studies that I have associated with a striving for knowledge that is streaming in, without there yet being the adequate methods to achieve this knowledge. This has led us to distant historical perspectives, in relation to which I beg you to consider the following. With these things — as was also the case in what I said in my last visit with the same intention, from the same impulse — we are dealing with reports of actual events, not with some theory or system of ideas but with reports of facts. It is just this point that we must bear in mind, because otherwise it will be difficult to reach understanding of these things. It is not a matter of my developing historical laws or ideas for you but of presenting facts that relate to the intentions and purposes of certain personalities who are allied in brotherhoods. They are also allied with other beings who influence such brotherhoods, whose influence is sought by these brotherhoods. These beings are not human beings incarnated in the flesh but are beings that incarnate themselves in the spiritual world. It is necessary to bear this in mind, especially regarding such information as I gave yesterday, because with these brotherhoods we are dealing to a certain extent with different factions. You could recognize this already in last year's discussion. At that time I drew your attention to the fact that within such brotherhoods we are dealing with a faction that insists on absolute secrecy regarding certain higher truths. Opposed to them, with various shadings in between, are members of other brotherhoods who contend that, particularly since the middle of the nineteenth century, certain truths must be revealed to humanity, carefully and appropriately, even if to begin with only those truths whose revelation is most necessary. In addition to these main factions there are other groups with different nuances. From this you can see that what is intended, what is planted by such brotherhoods as an impulse into the evolution of humanity, often becomes subject to compromise.
These brotherhoods, who were familiar with the spiritual impulses effective in humanity's evolution, saw the approach of a significant event at the beginning of the 1840s, that is, in the middle of the nineteenth century. This event was the struggle between certain spirits and higher spirits, the struggle that culminated in 1879 when certain angelic spirits, spirits of darkness, fell prey to the event that is represented symbolically by Michael conquering the dragon. When the brotherhoods felt the approach of this event, they had to take a stand, they had to ask themselves what could be done. Those members of the brotherhoods who wished above all to take into account the demands of the time were, to some degree, filled with the best intentions. It was they who undertook the erroneous impulse that wished to take into account the materialism of the time. It was they who thought it preferable to bring to the human beings who wished to know things only on the physical path something of the spiritual world; this would be communicated directly in the materialistic way of this physical path. The intentions were thus good when spiritism was thrust by them into the world in the 1840s.
At the time of this struggle, a time in which, as I have indicated, the spirit of criticism was to reign on earth — the intellect directed purely to the outer world — it was necessary to instill into the human being at least an experience, a feeling, that there is a spiritual world surrounding man. As compromises arise, so this compromise also arose. Members of these brotherhoods who maintained an attitude that totally rejected the revelation of certain spiritual truths to humanity saw themselves as being beaten by the majority, as it were, and had to consent to it. Wherever one is dealing with a group, and the will of the group prevails, one has to do with compromises. As is natural in outer life, however, if something is decided within a group, something is expected from the decision not only by those who have set things in motion for their own purposes; those who originally opposed the decision also expect this or that once the decision is made.
Well-meaning, spiritual members of the brotherhood thus held the erroneous attitude that by the use of mediums people could be convinced of the existence of a spiritual world around them. It would then be possible, they believed, to impart to man higher truths on the basis of this conviction. This might have occurred if what these well-meaning members of the brotherhood had surmised would occur had actually taken place, if what these mediums had brought to light had been presented as though one were dealing with the spiritual world around us. Something completely different took place, as I pointed out yesterday. What came to light through the mediums was interpreted by the people who took part in the seances as coming from the dead. What was revealed through spiritism was therefore essentially a disappointment for all. Those who had allowed themselves to be overruled were naturally most distressed that in the seances, at times rightfully, there could be talk about manifestations of the spirits of the departed. The well-meaning, progressive initiates did not at all expect that there would be talk about the dead. They expected that the universal elementary world would be mentioned. They were therefore also disappointed.
Such things are carefully followed by those who are initiated in a certain way. We have, in addition to the aforementioned members of brotherhoods, members of other brotherhoods, or at times portions of the same brotherhood in which minorities — and sometimes also majorities — could form.
We must take heed of other initiates, those who are called within the brotherhoods the “brothers of the left,” that is, those who exploit everything that is embodied as an impulse in human evolution as a means for power. It is self-evident that these brothers of the left also expected all sorts of things to come to light through spiritism. I explained yesterday that it was mostly such brothers of the left who made the arrangements for the use of the souls of dead human beings. For them it was of compelling interest what would come out of these seances. They gradually took over the whole field. The well-meaning initiates gradually lost all interest in spiritism; they felt in a certain way ashamed, because those who had been against the spiritism from the beginning told them it could have been known from the beginning that nothing could come out of spiritism now. Through this, spiritism came into the sphere of power, so to speak, of the brothers of the left. I spoke yesterday about such brothers of the left, who felt disappointed because they saw that, through the spiritism that they themselves had set into motion, could be revealed what they wished above all things would not emerge. Since the participants believed themselves influenced by the dead, it was possible in the seances to reveal through messages from the dead what certain brothers of the left were doing with the souls of the departed. In these seances, exactly those souls could manifest themselves who had been misused to a certain degree by the brothers of the left.
You must take into consideration that with these messages we are not dealing with theories but are relating facts that can be traced to individualities. When these individualities are united in brotherhoods, one individuality can expect one thing, while another expects something different from one and the same matter. It is not possible to speak about actualities in the spiritual world; it is impossible to seek there anything but a working out of the impulses of the individualities. What one does and what another does contradicts itself even as in life. When theories are spoken of, the ground for contradiction may not be broken. When one speaks of facts, however, then just because facts are spoken of, it will frequently be shown that these facts agree just as little in the spiritual world as the actions of human beings do here on the physical plane. I therefore beg you always to consider that it is impossible, when one speaks about these things, to speak about realities if one does not speak about individual facts. It is these with which we are concerned. It thus becomes necessary to keep the individual streams apart, to peel them apart.
This is connected, however, with a very significant matter that one must bring above all to one's consciousness if one wishes in the present to arrive at some sort of satisfying world conception. What I am saying is of prime importance, and although it is something abstract, we must lead this fact once before our souls.
If man wishes to build for himself a world conception, he rightly strives toward harmonizing the individual parts. This he does out of a certain habit, out of a habit that is most justified, because it is related to all that through many centuries has been humanity's dearest treasure of soul and spirit, to monotheism. What is encountered in the world as experience one wishes to lead back to an undivided foundation of the world. This is well justified, though not in the way that we usually believe it to be justified. It is justified in a completely different way, about which we will speak next time. Today I would like to lead before your soul only what is of principal importance.
One who approaches the world with the expectation that everything must explain itself without contradiction, as if it arose from an undivided foundation of the world, will experience many disappointments when he faces the world and its experiences in an unprejudiced way. It is traditional for the human being to treat all that he perceives in the world according to a pastoral world conception, in which everything is led back to the undivided, divine, primordial foundation; everything stems from God and therefore must be understandable as a unity.
This is not the case now, however. What surrounds us in the world as experience does not stem from the undivided primordial foundation. Rather it stems from spiritual individualities different from one another. Different individualities work together in all that surrounds us in the world as experience. This is how it is above all. We will speak next time about other ways of justifying monotheism, but this is how it is above all. We must think of individualities as being to a certain degree — actually to a high degree — independent of one another as soon as we cross the threshold of the spiritual world. One cannot then require that what appears be accountable by an undivided principle. Imagine that this, schematically represented, is some experience (as far as I am concerned it could be the experiences from 1913–1918).
The experiences of human beings continue naturally in both directions. The historian is always tempted to assume an undivided principle in this whole process. This is not the case, however. As soon as we cross the threshold to the spiritual world — which can be crossed from either above or below (see drawing, red), it is one and the same — various individualities work together in influencing these events that are relatively independent of each other (see drawing, arrows). If you do not take this into consideration, if you assume everywhere an undivided foundation of the world, you will never understand these events. Only when you take into consideration what is to a certain degree the ebb and flow of events, the varied individualities who work with or against one another, only then will you understand these things in the right way.
This matter is indeed connected with the deepest mysteries of human evolution. Only the monotheistic feeling has veiled this fact for centuries or millennia, but one must consider it. If one wishes to progress today, therefore, with questions of a world conception, above all one must not confuse logic with an abstract lack of contradiction. An abstract lack of contradiction cannot exist in a world in which individualities are working together independently of one another. A striving for conformity will therefore always lead to an impoverishment of concepts; the concepts will no longer be able to encompass the full reality. Only when these concepts are able to take hold of this world full of contradictions, which is the true reality, will they be able to encompass the full reality.
What man has before him as a realm of nature materializes in a remarkable way. Different individualities also work together in all that man calls nature and includes in natural science on the one hand and nature worship, aesthetics of nature, etc., on the other hand. In the present evolutionary cycle of humanity, however, a fortunate arrangement has been found for human beings through the wisdom-filled guidance of the world: man can grasp nature with concepts that relate him to an undivided guidance, because only what is dependent upon an undivided guidance can approach the human being as experience from nature through sense perception. Behind the tapestry of nature lies something quite different, which is influenced from a totally different direction. This is blocked out, however, when man perceives nature. What man calls nature is consequently an undivided system, but only because it has been sifted. When we perceive through our senses, nature is, as it were, sifted for us. Everything that is contradictory in it is sifted out, and nature is transmitted to us as an undivided system. At the moment when we cross the threshold, however, and perceive the reality, bringing clarification into nature — the elemental spirits or influences upon human souls that could also be regulated by nature — one is no longer in a position to speak about nature as an undivided system. Rather one must become clear that we are dealing with influences of individualities who are either struggling with one another or supporting and strengthening one another.
In the elementary world we find spirits of earth, gnome-like beings; spirits of water, undine-like beings; spirits of air, sylph-like beings; and spirits of fire, salamander-like beings. They are all there. They are not there, however, to form a unified regiment. It is not like that. These various realms — gnomes, undines, sylphs, salamanders — are in a certain way independent. They do not work only as the rank and file from a single system, but they fight with one another. Their intentions have nothing to do with each other to begin with, but what then arises evolves through the most diverse working together of intentions. If one is familiar with the intentions one can see in what appears before us perhaps a working together of fire spirits and undines. One must never believe, however, that behind these beings stands someone who gives them a certain command. This is not the case. This idea is widespread today, and philosophers such as Wilhelm Wundt (about whom Fritz Mauthner unjustifiably said, “Authority by his publisher's grace,” though he was the authority for almost the whole world before the war) aim to gather together as a unity all that lives in the human soul, the life of thinking, life of feeling, and life of willing. They say that the soul is a unity and therefore everything must belong to a unity, to a common system. This is not so, however, and those strong contradictions so full of significance in human life, which analytical psychology has discovered, would not emerge unless our life of thinking beyond the threshold were not to lead us back to quite different regions where other individualities influence our life of thinking, our life of feeling, and our life of willing.
It is so curious! You see, if this is the human being (see drawing) and we have within the human being the life of thinking, life of feeling, and life of willing (see drawing, T, F, W), a systematizer like Wundt would not picture anything but that it is all a system. Meanwhile the life of thinking leads to one world (W1), the life of feeling leads into another world (W2), and the life of willing into yet another world (W3).
The human soul is there exactly for the purpose of forming a unity of what in the pre-human, momentarily pre-human world, was a three-foldness.
All these things must be taken into account as soon as we concern ourselves with the impulses for the historic evolution of humanity, these impulses that will be embodied in this historic evolution.
I have mentioned in the course of these studies that every era in the post-Atlantean age has its particular task. I have characterized in general the task of the fifth post-Atlantean period, indicating that it is humanity's task in this period to come to grips with evil as an impulse in the evolution of the world. We have frequently discussed what this means. It cannot be otherwise than that forces that appear at the wrong place appear as evil. They can be conquered for humanity, however, through the exertions of human beings in the fifth post-Atlantean period, so that with these forces of evil something good for the future of the evolution of the whole world is in the position to unfold. For this reason, the task for the fifth post-Atlantean period is a particularly difficult one. As you see, a great many temptations face humanity. When the powers of evil gradually appear, it is natural that man is more likely under the circumstances to give in to this evil in all realms, rather than taking up the struggle to allow what appears to him as evil to be put in the service of the good in world evolution. Yet this must happen: the evil must to a certain degree be placed at the service of the good in world evolution. Without this, it would be impossible to enter the sixth post-Atlantean period, which will have a completely different task. It will have the task of allowing humanity to live above all in a continuous contemplation of the spiritual world, of spiritual impulses, in spite of the fact that it is still connected with the earth. Just this task in the fifth post-Atlantean period, that of opposing evil, is connected with the new possibility of a certain kind of personal darkening for humanity.
We know that since the year 1879 the spirits of darkness who are closest to human beings, the spirits belonging to the kingdom of the angeloi, wander about within the human kingdom, because they were thrown out of the spiritual world into the human kingdom and now exist within human impulses, are working through human impulses. I have said that, exactly because of this, beings that are close to man work in an invisible way among human beings, and man is held back from recognizing the spiritual with the intellect through the play of forces of evil. This is again bound up with the task of the fifth post-Atlantean period, because precisely through this many opportunities are given to the fifth post-Atlantean period to lend itself to dark illusions and the like. Man must accustom himself to a certain extent in this period to grasping the spiritual with his intellect. The spiritual will already have been revealed. Because the spirits of darkness were overcome in 1879, more and more spiritual wisdom can flow down from the spiritual worlds. Only if the spirits of darkness had remained above in the spiritual kingdom would they have become a hindrance to this flow. This flow of spiritual wisdom they henceforth cannot hinder, but they can cause confusion and could darken souls. We have often described which opportunities for darkening are exploited. We have already mentioned what arrangements are made to prevent the human being from receiving the spiritual life.
Naturally, all of this cannot give rise to wailing or something of that sort but should strengthen the force and energy of the human soul to approach the spiritual. If in this fifth post-Atlantean period man can achieve what can be achieved through embodying the forces of evil in a good sense, then at the same time something tremendous will be achieved; then this fifth post-Atlantean period will know something for human evolution out of greater ideas than any other post-Atlantean period, yes, than any other period of earthly evolution. Christ appeared, for example, in the fourth post-Atlantean period through the Mystery of Golgotha. Only the fifth post-Atlantean epoch, however, can make this mystery its own through the human intellect. In the fourth post-Atlantean period, human beings could grasp that they possessed something in the Christ impulse that would lead them as souls beyond death. This became sufficiently clear through Pauline Christianity.
Something still more significant, however, will enter the evolution of the fifth post-Atlantean period, in which human souls will recognize that they have in Christ the helper to transform the forces of evil into good. One thing is bound up with this characteristic of the fifth post-Atlantean period, however, one thing that one should inscribe anew every day within the soul. It should never be forgotten, although man is especially inclined to forget this, that man must be a fighter for the spiritual in this fifth post-Atlantean time. He must experience that his forces will weaken if he does not continually hold them in check for the conquest of the spiritual world. Man is given his freedom to the highest degree in this fifth post-Atlantean period! He must endure this. To a certain extent the idea of human freedom must be the testing ground for all that meets man in the fifth post-Atlantean period. If the forces of man should weaken, everything could take a turn for the worse. Man is not in the position in this period to be led like a child. There are certain brotherhoods, however, which hold as their ideal to lead human beings like children as they were still being led in the third post-Atlantean period and in the fourth. These brotherhoods are therefore not doing what is right — they are not doing at all what should be done for the evolution of humanity: to direct human beings toward the spiritual world in such a way that acceptance or rejection of the spiritual world is left to the freedom of the human being.
This must be kept in mind continually by anyone who speaks of the spiritual world in this fifth post-Atlantean period. For this reason certain things in this period can only be said, but the saying is just as important as something else was important in another era. I will give you an example. In our time the communication of truths or, if I may express it trivially, the lecturing about truths, is most important. After that, people should find their direction in freedom. One should not go any further than the lecture, the communication of truths; the rest should follow in free resolve, follow as things follow that one makes as resolves from the impulses of the physical plane. This relates also to things that to a certain extent can only be directed and guided from the spiritual world. We shall understand this better if we enter into individual examples. In the fourth post-Atlantean period it was still so that other things came into consideration than the mere word, the mere communication. What came into consideration? Let us take a definite case: the island Ireland, as we call it today, has particular characteristics. This island distinguishes itself from the rest of the earth in certain ways. Each realm of the earth differs from the others through certain characteristics; that is nothing special. I will emphasize today only the relatively strong distinction between Ireland and the other regions of the earth. In the evolution of the earth, as we have seen in my book, An Outline Of Occult Science, (see Note 3 ) one can go back in time, and various influences, various occurrences, confirm what can be gathered as facts from the spiritual world. You know from Occult Science what things existed when we refer back to what was called the Lemurian time, what has developed since the Lemurian time, how the various things have evolved. I called your attention yesterday to the fact that the whole earth must essentially be regarded as an organism from within which stream different forces upon the inhabitants of different territories. This out-streaming has a special influence upon the double, to which I called your attention yesterday. In past times, the human beings who were familiar with Ireland brought the particular characteristics of Ireland to expression in fairy tales and legends. I would like to point out that an esoteric legend was known that expressed the essence of Ireland in relation to the earthly organism. It was said that humanity was once cast out of paradise because in paradise Lucifer had misled humanity, which was then scattered across the rest of the world. The rest of the world, however, had already been there at the time when humanity was cast out of paradise. One therefore distinguishes — so it is said in this fairy tale, in this legendary representation — between the paradise with Lucifer in it and the rest of the earth into which humanity was expelled. It is different with Ireland, however; it does not belong in the same sense to the rest of the earth, because before Lucifer had set foot in paradise a likeness of paradise had formed itself upon the earth, and this likeness has become Ireland.
You should well understand that Ireland is therefore that bit of earth that had no part of Lucifer, to which Lucifer had no relationship. That which had to be separated from paradise so that the earthly likeness of paradise could arise would have hindered Lucifer from entering paradise. Ireland thus was conceived according to this legend as a separation of those portions of paradise that would have hindered Lucifer from entering paradise. Only after Ireland had been separated from paradise could Lucifer enter paradise.
This esoteric legend that I have presented in a very incomplete way is something very beautiful. It was for many people an explanation for the unique task of Ireland throughout the centuries. In the first Mystery Drama that I have written, you find what is so often told, how the Christianizing of Europe originated with the Irish monks. When St. Patrick introduced Christianity into Ireland the situation was such that Christianity led there to the highest devoutness. It gives new meaning to the legend about which I just spoke that Ireland — called Ierne by the Greeks and Ivernia by the Romans — was called the Isle of the Saints in those times in which the forces of European Christianity originated in their best impulses directly from Ireland, from Irish people who had been lovingly initiated into Christianity. It was called this because of the great devoutness that reigned within their Christian cloisters. This is connected with the fact that these territorial forces, about which I have spoken, ascending from the earth and taking hold of the human double, are at their very best on the island of Ireland.
You will say that in that case the best human beings must be in Ireland. Yes, this is so, but not in the world. Into every region other people wander and have descendants, etc. It is not so, therefore, that man is merely the product of the bit of earth on which he stands. It can very well be that the forces ascending from the earth oppose the character of the human beings there. One must not confuse what really develops within the human being with the characteristics of the earthly organism in a definite territory. Then one would simply open oneself again to the world of illusion.
What I have just suggested, however, that Ireland is a special land, we are able to say today. From this should emerge a factor, among many factors, that could lead today in a fruitful way to social and political ideas. One must take such factors into account. What I have just said about Ireland is a factor, and one must reckon with such factors. One must gather everything together, to be created into a science of the forming of human conditions on earth. Until this comes about no true healing can come into the arrangement of public affairs. What can be communicated from the spiritual world must flow into the regulations that one encounters. For this reason I have said in public lectures that it is important that everyone concerned with public affairs — statesmen and so on — should acquaint himself with these things. Through this alone can public servants master reality. They will not do it, or at least they have not done so up to now, but it is a necessity nevertheless.
In accordance with the tasks of the fifth post-Atlantean period, emphasis must be put today on speaking out, on communication, because before what has been said can become deed, resolves must be made as they are determined by the impulses of the physical plane. This was different in former times; then one could act differently.
At a definite moment in time in the third post-Atlantean era a certain brotherhood made arrangements to send a large number of colonists from Asia Minor to the island of Ireland. At that time colonists settled there from the same realm in Asia from which later the philosopher Thales originated. You may read in my Riddles of Philosophy (see Note 9 ) about the philosophy of Thales. Thales came from the same region, although later; he was born, of course, only in the fourth post-Atlantean period. Earlier, however, out of the same milieu, out of the whole spiritual substance from which later the philosopher Thales originated, the initiates had sent colonists to Ireland. Why? Because they were familiar with the characteristics of a realm of the earth such as Ireland. They knew what was indicated in the esoteric legend about which I have spoken to you. They knew that the forces ascending from the earth through the soil of the Irish island worked in such a way upon human beings that man was influenced little in the direction of intellectualism, little in the direction of egoism, little in the direction of the capacity to make resolves. The initiates who sent colonists there knew this full well, and they selected people who, through their particular karmic predisposition, seemed suited to be exposed to just these influences of Ireland. Today there are still descendants in Ireland of that old population who were at that time transplanted from Asia Minor and who were to develop in such a way that not the least intellectuality, not the least intellect, not the least capacity for making resolves, should develop but instead special qualities of the feeling (Gemuet) soul.
Through this was prepared far in advance what took place in Ireland as that glorious evolution of Christianity, the peaceful spreading of Christianity from which streamed the Christianizing of Europe. This was prepared far in advance. The countrymen of the later Thales sent people there who proved themselves equipped to become monks and who could work there in the way I indicated. Such things were often done in ancient times, and when you find historic colonizations described in exoteric history by today's unintelligent historians (who have, however, much intelligence — intelligence can be found in the streets today) you must always understand that in such colonizations lay a deep-seated wisdom that was directed and guided by considering always what was to take place in the future, by taking into account at that time the characteristics of earthly evolution.
This was another way of bringing spiritual wisdom into the world. This should not be done today, however, by just anyone who takes the proper path; it would be wrong simply to prescribe something for people against their will in order to partition the earth; rather one should proceed in such a way that people are told the truth so that they may guide themselves accordingly.
You see, therefore, that this was an essential progression from the third, fourth, to the fifth post-Atlantean period. One should keep this matter clearly in view and recognize how this impulse toward freedom must pull itself through all that rules over the fifth post-Atlantean period. It is exactly against the freedom of human feeling (Gemuet) that the antagonist conspires, the antagonist who, as I told you, is like a double accompanying man from some time before birth to death but who must abandon man just before he dies. If one is under this influence that works directly with the double, all sorts of things might emerge that can appear already in the fifth post-Atlantean period. It is not suitable for this period, however, to give man the full possibility of achieving his task. This task consists in the struggle against evil, of transforming evil into good.
Just think what lies behind all the things into which man in the fifth post-Atlantean period has been placed. The individual facts must be illuminated in the right way. They must be understood, for wherever the double works intensely, one works against the essential tendencies of the fifth post-Atlantean period. In this fifth post-Atlantean period, humanity has not come far enough to evaluate the facts correctly. Especially during these past three sad years, humanity has not been at all ready to assess the facts in a correct way.
Let us take a fact, however, that is seemingly far afield from what I have discussed today. This is the fact that I wish to present to you: in a large iron factory, 10,000 tons of molten iron are to be loaded onto trains. For this work a definite number of workmen naturally would have to be engaged. Seventy-five men must do the work, and it emerged that each one could load twelve and a half tons a day; thus from seventy-five men each, twelve and a half tons per day. There was one man, Taylor, who put more emphasis on the double than on what must be won for humanity in the sense of progress, on what must be won for the human spirit in the fifth post-Atlantean period. This man first asked the factory owners if they did not believe that a single man could load much more than twelve and a half tons per day. The factory owners supposed that a workman could load at most eighteen tons. Then Taylor said, “We shall experiment.” Taylor began to experiment with the workmen. The machine standard was applied through this to human social life. These experiments were to be done on human beings. He tested to see whether it was really so, as the practical factory owners said, that a man could load at most eighteen tons a day. He arranged for rest periods, which he calculated according to physiology; men in these intervals would recoup as many forces as they had exerted. Naturally it turned out that under these conditions the results differed from one workman to another. Then he worked with arithmetic means. You know that it does not matter if one uses arithmetic means in mechanics, but with human beings one cannot employ arithmetic means, because each man has his justification for existence. Taylor employed arithmetic means, however: he selected those workers who recovered completely during these rational pauses and he granted them such pauses. The others, who were unable to regain their forces during these rest periods, were simply discarded. It was discovered by experimenting with people in this way that the selected ones, those selected when they completely recuperated in the pauses, could each load forty-seven and a half tons.
He applied the mechanics of Darwin's theory to the life of workers: away with the unfit, the fit chosen by selection! The fit are those who, fully exploiting the pauses, could load not a maximum of eighteen tons, as had been assumed earlier, but rather forty-seven and a half tons. In this way, the workman could also be satisfied, because immense savings were made and the wages for each workman could be raised by sixty per cent. The chosen ones are thus made, those most fit in the struggle for existence, who have been chosen in this way through selection; one has very satisfied people in addition. The unfit may die of starvation, however!
This is the beginning of a principle! Such matters are observed little, because they are not illuminated with larger perspectives; one must always illuminate such matters with larger perspectives. Today it is only erroneous ideas of natural science that are applied to human life. The impulse remains, however, and the impulse will then be applied to the esoteric truths that will come in the course of the fifth post-Atlantean period. Darwinism contains no esoteric truths, but its application would lead to great monstrosities, this application of the Darwinian view to direct experimentation with human beings. When esoteric truths are added to this, however, as they will have to be revealed in the course of the fifth post-Atlantean era, an unbelievable power over human beings will certainly be gained in this way, through always selecting the fit. It is not only that the fit will be selected, however, but the striving for a certain esoteric invention to make the fit always more fit, through which a tremendous exploitation of power could be achieved, would oppose precisely the good tendencies of the fifth post-Atlantean period.
Regarding the relationships that I have just presented to you, I wished to show only the beginnings of intentions that encompass the future and to show the need to have these things illuminated from higher perspectives. Next time it will be our task to point to the three or four great truths to which the fifth post-Atlantean period must arrive. It will then be shown how these truths can be misused if they are not applied in the sense of the good tendencies of the fifth post-Atlantean period but when instead the demands of the double are fulfilled. It is these demands of the double that are supported by the brotherhoods that wish to set another being in the place of the Christ.
Source: November 19, 1917