Monday, September 6, 2021

When you search for the future of the world you must look into the human being


Rudolf Steiner:

You see, the human being incorporates himself into the entire world, and I would like to close these considerations by pointing out to you an idea, asking you to think it through, to make it a subject of meditation. Science today pictures a world process, and within this world process the Earth is thought to have arisen. Natural science believes that in the end, when entropy is fulfilled, the Earth will end in a warmth death, and so on. If today one forms for oneself a view such as the Copernican view, or any modification of Copernicanism, one takes into consideration only the forces that formed the Earth out of the primeval mist, and human life basically becomes a sort of fifth wheel on the wagon, for the geologist, the astronomer, does not take the human being into consideration. It does not occur to him to seek at all within the human being for the primal cause of a future shaping of the world. For modern science, the human being is everywhere present in this world process, but he is the fifth wheel on the wagon — the world process takes its course, but he has nothing to do with it. Picture it in this way: this whole world process comes to an end, ceases, dissolves itself in space. It ceases, and the primal causes of what then happens lie within the human skin, within the human being; there they continue. The origin of what is now the world lies far back within the human being in primeval ages. This is a reality. Just as the books of ancient wisdom relate such things to us in their own language, so the word of Christ Jesus also point to these things: “Heaven and Earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” All that constitutes the material world passes away, but that which comes from the spirit and the soul and is expressed in words survives the destruction of the Earth and lives on into the future. The primal causes of the future do not lie outside our skin, and the geologists need not look for them in the ground. Rather we must seek them within, in the inner forces of our organization, which at first pass over into our next earthly life but then continue in other metamorphoses. Hence when you search for the future of the world you must look into the human being. Everything that is outer perishes utterly.

Diagram 1

The nineteenth century erected a barrier against this knowledge, and this barrier is called the law of the conservation of energy. This law of the conservation of energy carries forward the forces residing in man's environment, but all these will dissolve and disappear. Only what arises within the human being builds the future. It is impossible to think of anything more false than the law of the conservation of energy. In reality its result is simply to make the human being a fifth wheel in the world process. It is not the statement of the law of the conservation of energy that is correct, but rather that other saying: “Heaven and Earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” This is the correct statement. These two statements are diametrically opposed to one another, and it is simply a lack of thought when today certain adherents to this or that positive denomination wish to be believers in the Bible and at the same time adherents to the theories of modern physics. This is simply dishonesty, which appears today to be culturally creative. This dishonesty must be driven from the field of creative culture — which it actually opposes — if we are to emerge from these forces of decline into forces of ascent.

Source: July 2, 1921

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