Sunday, July 31, 2022

And the Veda was made flesh, and dwelt among us


Rudolf Steiner:  "The Mystery of Golgotha stands at the center of the whole human evolution on Earth. The fact that the Mystery of Golgotha entered history at a moment when the Greeks strove to set forth the divine in man from an external aspect, from the aspect of the Earth, as it were, should not be considered as a historical coincidence. We might say, and this is more than a poetical image: The Greeks had to set forth the divine in man artistically, out of the ingredients of the Earth, and the cosmos sent down to the Earth the God who entered man, as a cosmic answer to the wonderful question sent out into the world's spaces, as it were, by the Greeks. In the historical development we may sense, as it were, that with their humanly portrayed gods the Greeks addressed the following question to the universe: Can Man become a God? And the universe replied: God can become Man. This reply was given through the event of the Mystery of Golgotha."

Source: February 18, 1923. GA 221 

Related post:

The Mystery of the Holy Spirit: Knowledge Pervaded With Love


Rudolf Steiner, February 18, 1923:

On many occasions we have emphasized that the present historical moment of human evolution is the one in which intellectual life predominates. The epoch which has been characterized as the fourth post-Atlantean age, as the Graeco-Roman age, was a preparation for the present epoch. And you also know, from certain soul characteristics of man which developed during these epochs, that we reckon the Graeco-Roman age from the eighth century B.C. to the fifteenth century A.D. Since that time we must take into account the epoch in which we are now living, in which the soul qualities of Western humanity must unfold, and which we look upon as the present moment in history.
Before the fifteenth century man's whole relation to the world of the intellect was quite different from what it was later on. Since the fourth century A.D. the human soul had a certain inclination towards the intellectual life which existed in ancient Greece and was about to set; nevertheless we find in this second period of the fourth post-Atlantian epoch a soul mood which can only be fully grasped if we immerse ourselves with a feeling soul into the characteristic of the ancient Greeks, particularly during the time which history describes in a rather superficial way, when Greek life was beginning to evolve: the time of Socrates and Plato until the end of the Greek era.
From all that shines through an external description — one might say, a superficial historical description — it is possible to recognize, even without a spiritual-scientific deepening, that when the ancient Greek gained what we now call an intellectual world conception, this gave him pleasure, or at least a sense of satisfaction, and when by his intellectual power he could form a picture of the universe, after having passed through the different stages of learning of that time, he believed that he had risen to a higher stage of human development. When he could grasp the world intellectually, he believed that he was a human being in a higher sense. During the fourth post-Atlantean age, there existed in full measure inner joy and satisfaction derived from the life of the intellect.
This may also be observed in the historical characters of a subsequent epoch. For example, the way in which John Scotus Erigena of the ninth century formed and described his ideas shows us that he believed to have in them something which may arouse inner enthusiasm. Even though later on a somewhat cooler form of discussion set in, we find this soul attitude in the men who sought to gain an intellectual picture of the world through Scholasticism, and who were frequently alone in their striving, isolated from the rest of the world. It was the course of development during the past centuries which induced men to believe that by rising up to intellectual thoughts they must lose their inner soul warmth.
But by going back to a time which does not lie so very far back, by considering, for example, the intellectualistic world conception still existing in Schiller, or even to the extraordinary exact morphology developed by Goethe, we may observe that these men painted their picture of the world in a very marked ideal-intellectualistic way and believed that they were human beings in the true sense of the word only if they could bring inner warmth into their ideas. Not so very long ago, the world of ideas was not yet described in such a pale, cold way as is so frequently the case today.
This fact is connected with an important law of human development. It is connected with the fact that man himself adopted an entirely different attitude towards the world of ideas grasped through his intellect; it was an entirely different attitude from that of past epochs. In earlier times, the world of ideas was linked up with the living essence of the universe, for the universe was looked upon as a living organism. I might say: True insight into older forms of thinking can show us that in the past everything dead, everything that was not alive, was really looked upon as something which falls off from the world's living essence, and this was thought of as being spread over the whole universe; it fell off from it, like ashes fall off from burning substance. Man's feeling attitude towards the universe was quite different from his present attitude. He looked upon the universe as a great, living organism, and its lifeless part — for example, the whole extent of the mineral kingdom — was to him ashes falling out of the universal processes, and these ashes were dead, because they were nothing but the refuse of the world's living essence.
During the past centuries, this feeling towards the universe underwent an essential transformation. Scientific knowledge, for example, is now fully valued — or this was the case — only insofar as it deals with lifeless substances and processes. In an ever-growing measure, the longing arose to look upon everything living only as a kind of chemical combination of lifeless substances. The idea of spontaneous generation from lifeless substances became prevalent.
On many occasions, I have already mentioned the following: During the Middle Ages, when people tried to produce the homunculus in the retort out of certain ingredients, they never connected this with the idea of spontaneous generation in the meaning of modern scientific investigation, but they looked upon the homunculus as a definite living essence conjured up from an indefinite living universe. For they did not yet think of the universe as something lifeless, as a mechanism. Consequently people believed in the possibility of conjuring up a definite living essence out of an indefinite living essence. Never did it occur to a medieval mind to connect lifeless with living things. These things are very difficult to grasp without the aid of spiritual science, because modern people are accustomed to form their ideas by assuming that their thoughts are absolutely correct and have become so perfect, because mankind has left behind the stages of childhood.
We can talk about modern progress all we want; it is still true that people have never been as rigid in their concepts and thoughts as they are now. Indeed, this rigidity, particularly in regard to man's cognitive power, is a subjective element. When man turns his thoughts and ideas to lifeless things, this is something quite passive. For he can form his thoughts with the greatest ease and comfort; the lifeless world does not change, and he forms his concepts of physics without being disturbed by the fact that in approaching Nature with his lifeless thoughts, Nature itself, with its living changing character, demands from him to be just as living and mobile in his thoughts.
Goethe still had the feeling that when single phenomena had to be drawn out of the whole extent of facts and grasped in the form of ideas, then inwardly living thoughts are needed — not sharply outlined ones, but thoughts conforming with the ever-changing, living form of existence, with the ever-changing, living beings.
Expressed more paradoxically, we may say that modern man likes thoughts which can be formed without much effort. This tendency to rigid thought, to thoughts with sharp outlines, can only be applied to lifeless things, to things which do not change, so that the thoughts themselves remain unchanged and rigid; but these rigid thoughts, which really ignore life in the external world, nevertheless gave man — as I have frequently described — the inner consciousness of freedom.
Two things have arisen through the fact that man lost life completely in the sphere of his thoughts: One is the consciousness of freedom, the other the possibility to apply these rigid thoughts, drawn out of lifeless things and applicable only to lifeless things, to magnificent, triumphal technical achievements, based on the realization of the rigid system of ideas.
This is one aspect of mankind's modern development. We must grasp that man separated himself, as it were, from the living world, he became estranged from it. But at the same time we should also grasp the following: If man does not wish to remain within the lifeless essence of the world, but wishes to take into his soul the impulse of life, he must discover the world's living essence through his own power, whenever he faces the lifeless world.
When we go back into ancient times, we find that each cloud formation, the lightning coming out of the cloud, the rolling thunder, the growing plant, etc., gave man a living essence; through knowledge he breathed in life, as it were, and thus he existed in an immediate way within the world's living essence. He only had to take in life from outside. In accordance with man's present stage of development, which only enables him to grasp lifeless thing in his thoughts, so that the external world no longer gives him a living essence, he is obliged, in the present epoch, to draw this living essence out of the innermost depths of his own life; he himself must become alive. History cannot be grasped theoretically, through the intellect. It would be too monotonous. With our whole soul we should penetrate into the way in which people experienced history during the different epochs. We shall then discover what a great change took place in all the pre-Grecian epochs, if I may use this expression, which Anthroposophy traces back as far as the Atlantean age, that is to say, as far as the seventh and eighth centuries B.C. — we shall discover the great change which took place from the time of ancient Greece until now. Let me describe to you this change of human feeling in connection with the universe — let me describe it to you quite objectively. I wish to describe how this change of feeling in human souls facing the universe appears in the light of a spiritual conception.
When we go back into ancient times — only faint traces of this remote past are known to ordinary history, for in order to grasp these things we must penetrate into them in a spiritual-scientific way, through the methods which you have learned to know — when we go back into ancient times, to the men of the pre-Grecian age — for example to the Egyptian culture, the Babylonian-Chaldean culture, or even to the ancient Persian culture — we shall find that everywhere men had come down to the  Earth from a prenatal, pre-earthly life, and that they still bore within them, as an after-effect, all that the Gods had implanted into them during their pre-earthly existence.
In the past, the human being felt that he lived on the Earth in a way which made him say to himself: I am standing here on the Earth, but before I stood upon it, I lived in a soul-spiritual world —  imaginatively speaking, in a world of light. But this light continues to shine mysteriously in my inner being. As a human being, I am, as it were, a covering sheath for this divine light that continues to live in me.
Man thus knew that a divine element had come down with him to the Earth. In reality, he did not say — and this may be proved philologically — I am now standing upon the Earth, but he said: I, who am a human being, enfold the God who came down to the Earth. This is what really lived in his consciousness.
And the farther back we go into human evolution, the more frequently shall we find this consciousness: I, who am a human being, enfold the God who came down to the Earth. For the divine element was manifold. One might say: In the past, man was conscious of the fact that the last gods of the godly hierarchy reaching down to the Earth were human beings. Those who do not distort Oriental culture in the terrible way in which Deussen distorted it for Europe, those who do not perceive in a superficial, external way, but in a truly feeling manner, the state of consciousness of the ancient Indian who felt himself at one with his Brahman whom he enfolded, will also be able to feel what really constituted the true essence of soul life in ancient times.
Out of this developed the consciousness of the Father, man's attitude towards God the Father. He felt that he was, as it were, a son of the Gods. He did not feel this in connection with his body of flesh and blood, but in connection with that part of his being enfolded by his flesh and blood, though according to many people of ancient times, these were not worthy of being the involucre of a God. Not the human being of flesh and blood was looked upon as divine, but that part which came from a spiritual world and entered man's physical-earthly part, the being of flesh and blood.
Man's religious connection was thus felt above all in the relationship to God the Father. In the ancient Mysteries the highest dignity, the highest rank, was that of the Father. In nearly all the Mysteries of the Orient the candidate of initiation had to pass through seven different stages. The first stage or degree was one of preparation, in which he gained a soul constitution giving him a first idea of what the Mysteries revealed to him. The subsequent degrees, up to the fourth, enabled him to have a full understanding of his folk soul, so that he no longer felt that he was a single human being, but the member of a whole group of men. And by rising to the higher stages, the fifth and sixth degree, he felt in an ever-growing measure that he was the involucre of a divine essence. The highest degree was that of the Father. People who had attained this stage realized in their external life and existence this divine archetypal principle, which could be experienced by man and which could really be brought into connection with man. The whole external spiritual culture was entirely in accordance with this central point of religious life: to experience in human consciousness a relation with the creative principle of God the Father. Everything which could be grasped by man's inner being was experienced accordingly: Man felt that the light of knowledge which could be kindled within him came to him from God the Father. In his own intellect he felt the influence of God the Father. Cults and rituals were arranged accordingly, for they were only a reflection of the path of knowledge which could be followed in the Mysteries.
Then came the Greek Age. The Greek is the most perfect representative of that stage of human development coming out of those older soul conditions which I have just described to you. The ancient Greek felt that man was more than man, not only the involucre of something divine. But this Greek feeling was of such a kind that a person who had passed through a Greek training — let us call it the Greek school of the intellect, or Greek art, or Greek religious life — felt, as it were, that the divine essence had completely identified itself with man. The ancient Greek no longer thought that he enfolded a God, but he felt that he was the expression of God, that he set forth a divine being. But this truth was no longer pronounced as openly as the other truth in older epochs. In ancient Greece this truth — As a human being, thou art a divine being, a son of the Gods — this truth was only revealed to the disciple of the Mysteries at a definite stage of his development. It was deemed impossible to describe this secret of human evolution to people who were not adequately prepared for it. Nevertheless, this was how the initiated Greeks thought, and thus it was the fundamental feeling of their culture. It was not a sharply defined idea, but a basic feeling of the soul.
We come across this fundamental soul feeling in Greek art, which sets forth the Gods as if they were idealized human beings. This way of setting forth the Gods as idealized men proceeds from this fundamental feeling. The Greek therefore took back, as it were into the chastity of feeling, his relationship to the Divine.
When the Greek world conception had completely set, an entirely new soul mood came to the fore in the fifteenth  century. No longer did the human being feel that he enfolded a divine essence or set forth something divine, as he had experienced himself in ancient Greece, but he felt that he was a being that had risen from less perfect stages to the human stage and that he could only look up to a divine essence transcending the physical world. Modern man called into life natural science based upon this fundamental feeling — which is, however, still unable to discover man's connection with his own self.
It is the task of Anthroposophy to rediscover man's connection with his own self and the divine essence. This may be thought of as follows: Let us transfer ourselves into the soul of a man living before the time of ancient Greece. He will say: I enfold a divine essence. By enwrapping it with my body of flesh and blood, I set it forth less worthily, in a way which is not in keeping with its true essence. I can only draw it down upon a lower level, as it were. If I wish to set forth the divine essence purely, I must purify myself. I have to pass through a kind of catharsis, cleanse myself, so that the god within me may assert himself.
This is in reality a return to the archetypal principle of the Father, and it comes to expression in many forms of past religious life, through the fact that people thought that after death they returned to the ancestors, to their distant forefathers. Religious life undoubtedly reveals this trait, this tendency toward the archetypal, creative principle of the Father. Man does not yet feel quite at home upon the Earth. And he does not yet strive from a kind of alien position, as it were, to a transcendental God; he rather strives to set forth man as purely as possible, in the belief that God might then express himself through man.
In ancient Greece, life undergoes a change. Man no longer feels so closely connected with the divine principle of the Father, as in the past. As a human being, he feels himself intimately connected with the divine essence, but at the same time also with the earthly one. He lives, as it were, in equipoise between the divine and the earthly. This is the time in which the Mystery of Golgotha takes place. It is the epoch in which one could no longer say only: “In the beginning was the Logos. And the Logos was with God [by this one meant the Father-God], and the Logos was God.” One had to say instead: “And the Word was made Flesh.” — The Word, originally looked upon as being one with the Father-God, was now looked upon in such a way that it had found an abode in man, it dwelt fully in man, and man had to seek it within himself.
The Mystery of Golgotha met this mood which had arisen in mankind. God the Father could never be imagined in human shape; he had to be imagined in a purely spiritual form. Christ, the Son of God, was imagined to be divine-human. In reality, the longing felt by the ancient Greek, or what he set forth as an artistic realization, reaches its human fulfillment in the event which took place in the Mystery of Golgotha.
We should not bear in mind details, but the essential: namely, that a divine essence entered man, in his quality of human being living upon the Earth.
The Mystery of Golgotha thus stands at the center of the whole human evolution on Earth. The fact that the Mystery of Golgotha entered history at a moment when the Greeks strove to set forth the divine in man from an external aspect, from the aspect of the Earth, as it were, should not be considered as a historical coincidence. We might say, and this is more than a poetical image: The Greeks had to set forth the divine in man artistically, out of the ingredients of the Earth, and the cosmos sent down to the Earth the God who entered man, as a cosmic answer to the wonderful question sent out into the world's spaces, as it were, by the Greeks. In the historical development we may sense, as it were, that with their humanly portrayed gods the Greeks addressed the following question to the universe: Can Man become a God? And the universe replied: God can become Man. This reply was given through the event of the Mystery of Golgotha.
On many occasions I have explained that it is only possible to grasp the real, original essence of the Mystery of Golgotha by approaching it not only with the knowledge of lifeless things applied by modern men, but with a new living knowledge, a knowledge that is once more pervaded with the spirit.
We thus reach the point of saying to ourselves: Man has reached on the one hand his consciousness of freedom, and on the other hand, with the aid of lifeless thoughts, the technical and mechanical progress in external culture; he cannot, however, remain standing by this inner lifelessness. Out of his soul's own strength he must gain the impulse of life, of something that is spiritually living; that is to say, he must again be able to win ideas which are inwardly alive, which do not only seize the intellect, but the whole human being. Modern man should really attain what I have indicated in my book on Goethe's world conception: he should once more be able to speak not of lifeless ideas and abstractions, but rise up to the spirituality in which he is pervaded by ideas, and take into this sphere of ideas all the living warmth that may gleam in his soul, the brightest light which his enthusiasm may kindle in his soul. Man should again bring into his ideas the whole warmth and light of his soul. Inwardly he should again be able to carry his whole being into the spirituality of the world of ideas. This is what we have lost in the present time.
We may say: In modern literature there is perhaps nothing so deeply moving as the first chapter of Nietzsche's description of Greek philosophy, which he himself designates as “The Tragic Age of the Greeks.” Nietzsche describes the philosophers before Socrates: Thales, Heraclitus, Anaxagoras — and for those who have a real feeling and an open heart for such things, it is deeply moving to read Nietzsche's description of how at a certain moment of Greek life, the Greek rose up to the abstraction of mere existence. From the manifold impressions of Nature filling the human soul with warmth, he passed over to the pale thought of existence.
Nietzsche says more or less the following: It gives one a chilly feeling, as if one entered icy regions, when an ancient Greek philosopher, for example Parmenides, speaks of the abstract idea of the encompassing existence. Nietzsche, who lived so completely in the modern culture, as described to you the day before yesterday, felt himself transferred to glacier regions.
Nietzsche failed, just because he could only go as far as the coldness — one might say, the glacier character — of man's world of ideas. A truly spiritual clairvoyance can bring soul warmth and soul light into the intellectual sphere, so that we can reach that purity of thought described in my Philosophy of Spiritual Activity without becoming inwardly dried out, but filled with enthusiasm. By abandoning the earthly warmth of the life of the senses, we can feel in the cold regions of intellectualism the warm  Sun forces of the cosmos; by abandoning the shining objects of the Earth and by experiencing inner darkness through the intellectual world of thought, the living soul impulses, which we bring into this darkness, can receive the Cosmic Light, after having overcome, as it were, the earthly darkness.
Everywhere in Nietzsche we find this longing for the cosmic light and the cosmic warmth. He cannot reach them, and this is the true cause of his failure. Anthroposophy would like to indicate the path leading to a goal where we do not lose earthly warmth, earthly light, where we preserve our keen interest in every concrete detail of earthly life, and rise to that height of conception where the divine essence becomes manifest in pure thought. As modern men we no longer feel this divine essence within us, as did the human beings of past epochs, but we ourselves must first find the way to it, we must go to it.
This is the mood which truly enables us to experience the Mystery of the Holy Ghost. And this constitutes the difference between the spiritual life of modern man and of ancient man. The man of older epochs absorbed his spirituality from every single creature in Nature. As already explained: The cloud spoke to him of the spirit, the flower spoke to him of the spirit. Through his own forces modern man must animate his concepts, which have grown cold and lifeless: then he will come to the Holy Spirit that will also enable him to see the Mystery of Golgotha in the right way.
When we thus pervade our ideas — let me say it quite dryly — in an anthroposophical way with soul warmth and soul light, then we draw something out of humanity and take it with us. For unless we take this along we cannot go beyond the dry, banal, abstract character of the world of ideas. When we achieve an understanding of the world through the insights I have explained in my anthroposophicl books, then our ideas remain just as exact as they are in mathematics or in the other sciences. We do not think in a less precise way than the chemist in his laboratory, or the biologist in his cell; but the thoughts which we thus develop require something which comes from the human being and accompanies them. When an anthroposophist speaks out of imagination and inspiration, and sound common sense really grasps this imagination or inspiration, these confront him in the same way in which mathematical or geometrical figures confront him in mathematics — but the human being must bring along something, for otherwise he does not grasp these ideas in the right way. What he must bring with him is love.
We cannot acquire the knowledge anthroposophy gives us without permeating it with love. Without love it has no more significance than anything else. It makes no difference whether you classify beings as the materialistic scientists do into marsupials, anthropoid apes, ape-men, and human beings or whether you say human beings consist of physical body, etheric body, astral body, and I. Only the thought is different, but not the state of mind. The soul, the state of mind, only change when the spiritual comprehension of man within Nature becomes an inwardly living comprehension. But there can be no real understanding unless knowledge is accompanied by the same feeling, the same state of mind, which also lives in love. If knowledge is pervaded with the experience of love, this knowledge can approach the Mystery of Golgotha. We then have not only the naïve love for Christ, which is in itself fully justified — as already stated, this simple, naïve love is quite justified — but we also have a knowledge which encompasses the whole universe and which may deepen to the comprehension of the Mystery of Golgotha. In other words: Life in the Holy Spirit leads to life in Christ, or to the presence of Christ, the Son of God.
We then learn to grasp that through the Mystery of Golgotha the Logos actually passed over from the Father to the Son. And then the following important truth will be revealed to us: For the men of ancient times it was right to say: “In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God.” But during the Greek epoch they had to begin to say: “And the Logos was made flesh.” Modern man should add: “And I must seek to understand the Logos living in the flesh, by raising my concepts and ideas and my whole comprehension of the world to the spiritual sphere, so that I may find Christ through the Holy Ghost, and through Christ, God the Father.”
Undoubtedly this is not a theory, but something which can penetrate into the direct experience of modern man, and this is the attitude towards Christianity which grows quite naturally out of Anthroposophy.
You see, my dear friends, it is indeed indispensable that modern man should grasp the necessity of treading a spiritual path. He needs it in view of the present lifeless culture consisting in the mechanism of modern life — which should not be despised, for, from another aspect, it must be greatly valued. But an inner push is needed, as it were, so that modern man may set out along this spiritual path. And this inner push — recently I spoke of it as a real awakening — is a development which many people prefer to avoid. The opposition of modern people to Anthroposophy is really due to the fact that they have not experienced this push, this jerk, within their soul. It is uncomfortable to experience it. For it casts us, as it were, into the vortex of cosmic development. People prefer to remain peacefully with their rigid, sharply defined concepts that apply only to what is dead, to what does not put up any resistance to their understanding of the world. In contrast, what is living resists being comprehended with dead concepts; it moves around and eludes our concepts. Modern people find that feeling uncomfortable. They clothe this uncomfortableness in all kinds of other things, and they get furious when they hear that certain circles want a very different understanding of the world in all areas of life.
This mood alone explains the very peculiar things to be observed among opponents of Anthroposophy. It suffices to mention a few recent examples, for these can show us the strangeness of it all.
We were hit by the great misfortune of losing our Goetheanum. We know quite well that in spite of all efforts to built it up again, the first Goetheanum cannot rise up again; it can only remain a memory, and it is an immense grief for us to have to say: The Goetheanum wished to set forth a style of art in keeping with the new spirituality, and this style of art, which was meant to exercise a stimulating influence, has, to begin with, vanished from the surface of the Earth with the Goetheanum. When we only mention this fact, we can feel the immense grief connected with the loss of the Goetheanum.
Generally, in the face of misfortune, even opponents cease to use a pitiless, scornful language. But just the misfortune which deprived us of the Goethanum induced our opponents to speak all the more scornfully and insultingly. That is indeed peculiar, and it fits in appropriately — though it is of course inappropriate — with so many other things.
The Anthroposophical Movement began as a purely positive activity. No one was attacked — our only form of “agitation” was to state the facts investigated by anthroposophical methods of research and we waited patiently until the human souls that undoubtedly exist in the present time should come to us led by the impulse which lived in them, in order to gain knowledge of the truths which had to be revealed out of the spiritual world. This was the tendency of our whole anthropospohical work; we did not intend to agitate, to set up programs, but we simply wished to state the facts obtained through investigation of the spiritual world, and to wait and see in which souls there lived the longing to know these realities.
Today there are many people who are opponents of Anthroposophy without knowing why; they simply follow those who lead them. But there are nevertheless some who know quite well why they are opponents of Anthroposophy; they know it, because they see that out of the anthroposophical foundation come truths which call for that inner jerk which has been characterized above. This they refuse. They refuse it for many reasons, because these kinds of truths were always to be preserved within more restricted circles, in order to emerge from the rest of mankind as small groups forming a kind of spiritual aristocracy. Consequently their hatred is directed particularly towards that person who draws out the truths from the spiritual world for all human beings simply because this is in keeping with the present age. At the same time these opponents — I mean, the leading opponents — know that truth as such cannot be touched, for it finds its way through the smallest rifts in the rock, no matter what obstacles it may encounter. As a rule, they do not therefore attack these truths: for the truths would soon discover ways and means of ousting the foe. Observe the opponents, indeed in our anthroposophical circles it would be most advisable to study our opponents carefully: They renounce attacking the truths, and lay chief stress on personal attacks, personal insinuations, personal insults, personal calumnies. They think that truth cannot be touched, yet it is to be driven out of the world, and they believe that this can be done by personal defamation. The nature of such an opposition shows how well the leading opponents know how to proceed in order to gain the victory, at least for the time being.
But this is something which Anthroposophists above all should know; for there are still many Anthroposophists who think that something may be reached by direct discussion with the opponent. Nothing can do us more harm than success in setting forth our truths in the form of discussion; for people do not hate us because we say something that is not true, but because we say the truth. And the more we succeed in proving that we say the truth, the more they will hate us.
Of course this cannot prevent us from stating the truth. But it can prevent us from being so naïve as to think that it is possible to progress by discussion. Only positive work enables us to progress; truth should be represented as strongly as possible, so as to attract as many predestined souls as possible, for these are far more numerous in the present time than is generally assumed. These souls will find the spiritual nourishment needed for the time when no destructive work but only constructive work will have to be done if human development is to follow an ascending, not a descending curve.
There is no way out of the present chaos if we follow the materialistic path. The only way out is to follow the spiritual path. But we can only set out along the spiritual path if the Spirit is our guide. To choose the Spirit as our guide, to understand how we should choose it, this is the insight which Anthroposophists should gain; this is what they should learn to know in the deepest sense.

Earthly Knowledge and Heavenly Wisdom

Anabolic Anthroposophy


Rudolf Steiner:  "Anthroposophy has to intervene in the process  of civilization so that a true upbuilding process can occur to counter-balance the breakdown processes coming from past ages."

Source: February 11, 1923. GA 221 page 85

The Invisible Person Within Us

Rudolf Steiner

The Invisible Man Within Us: Pathology Underlying Therapy
Rudolf Steiner, Dornach, Switzerland, February 11, 1923:

When we consider the human being, two beings can be clearly distinguished. You will recall that in various recent studies I have explained how the physical organization of the human being is spiritually prepared during the preearthly life. In a certain sense it is then sent down as spiritual organization before the human being enters with his ego into earthly existence. This spiritual organization continues to be active essentially during the entire physical life on earth, but it does not express itself during physical earthly life as something outwardly visible. The outwardly visible aspect of this spiritual organization is essentially cast off at birth, consisting of the embryonic membranes that envelop the human embryo during its development — the chorion, the allantois, the amnion, the yolk sac — everything, in other words, that is cast away as physical organization when the human being attains a free physical existence on leaving the womb.
Yet this pre-earthly organization continues to be active in the human being throughout his entire life. It is somewhat different in character, however, from the body soul-spirit efficacy of the human being during his physical earthly life. And this is what I would like to speak about today.
In a certain sense, then, we have an invisible man within us. It is contained in our growth-forces as well as in those hidden forces through which nourishment occurs. It is contained in everything in which the human being is not consciously active. Its work extends into this unconscious activity, right into the growth activity, into the daily restoration of forces through nutrition. And this work is the aftereffect of the pre-earthly existence, which in earthly existence becomes a body of forces that is active in us but does not come to conscious manifestation. Today I would like to describe to you the character of this invisible man, which we all carry within us, contained in our forces: growth and nutrition, as well as in our reproductive forces.
Proceeding schematically, we can say that this invisible man also contains the ego, the astral organization, the etheric organization (and therefore the body of formative forces), and the physical organization. Of course in the human being after birth the physical organization of the invisible man is inserted into the other human physical organization, but in the course of today's considerations you will begin to understand how the invisible man can lay hold of the physical organization.
Drawing 1
Drawn schematically it would look like this (see drawing, [right]). In this invisible man we have first the ego organization (yellow); then we have the astral organization (red), then the etheric organization (blue), and finally we have the physical organization (white). This physical organization of the invisible man penetrates only into the nutrition and growth processes, into everything where the lower man, as we have often called it — the metabolic-limb man — manifests itself in the human organization. All currents, all effects of forces in this invisible man proceed from the ego organization into the astral, then into the etheric, and on into the physical organization (see arrow). They then spread out in the physical organization. In the human embryo, what we call here the physical organization of the invisible man is present in the embryonic envelopes, in the embryonic sheaths, the chorion, the allantois, the amnion, and the yolk sac. In the human being after birth, however, the physical organization of the invisible man is contained in the nourishing and restorative processes in the human being. Thus viewed from outside, this physical organization is not separated from the other physical organization of the human being but is united with it.
In a certain sense, then, in addition to this invisible man we have the visible human being that we encounter after birth. I will sketch this visible human being right next to the invisible one (see drawing). This is how the mutual interpenetration of the physical and superphysical human being would appear during earthly life. During earthly life there is a continuous stream from ego to astral body, to etheric body, to physical body (see arrows). In the human being after birth, this stream flows into the metabolic-limb organization, in the forces of our outer movement, and also in the inner forces of movement that carry ingested food into the entire organization up to the brain.
In addition to this, however, there is a direct intervention of forces that enter the entire human being directly from the ego. An activity thus penetrates us, a stream that flows directly from the ego into the nerve-sense organization without first passing through the astral body and etheric body; instead this stream lays hold of man's physical body directly. Naturally this penetration is strongest in the head, where most of the sense organs are concentrated, but I should actually draw this stream in such a way that it spreads out over the skin-senses, over the entire human being, just as I would have to draw a stream for the course of food taken in by the mouth. Schematically, however, my drawing is quite correct.
In the human head, then, we have one organization that flows up from below, proceeding from the ego but passing through the astral, etheric, and physical and then to the ego. We have another stream that enters the physical directly and flows down. If we examine the human organism, we arrive at the insight that this unmediated stream, which enters the physical directly from the ego and then branches out over the whole body, proceeds along the nerve pathways. Thus when the human nerves spread out in the organism, the outwardly visible nerve strand is the visible sign of these outspreading streams that enter the entire organism directly from the ego, proceeding from the ego into the physical organization without mediation. The ego organization at first runs along the pathways of the nerves. This has an essentially destructive effect on the organism. There the spirit enters directly into physical matter, and wherever the spirit enters physical matter directly a destructive process occurs, so that along the nerve pathways, proceeding from the senses, a delicate death process spreads out through the human organism.
The other stream, which in the invisible man goes through the astral, etheric, and physical bodies, can be traced in the human being by following the blood pathways up to the senses. Thus when we examine the human being as we encounter him here on earth, we can say that the ego flows in the blood. But the ego flows in such a way that it first ensouls its forces through the astral organization and through the etheric and physical organizations. After first taking along the astral and etheric organizations, the ego streams through the physical organization in the blood from below upward. Thus the entire invisible man flows in the blood as a constructive process, as a growth process, as the process that constantly renews the human being by working through his food. This stream flows in the human being from below upward (speaking schematically), pours itself into the senses, and therefore also into the skin, and encounters the other stream which, from the ego, takes hold of the physical organization directly.
Actually, however, this whole matter is even more complicated, because we must also consider the breathing process. In the breathing process, the ego flows into the astral body, but then it goes directly into the lungs along with the air. Thus something from the super-sensible man also underlies the breathing process, but not in the same way as occurs in the nerve-sense process, where the ego takes hold of the physical organization directly. In the breathing process, the ego permeates itself with the astral forces, taking hold of oxygen and only then, no longer as pure ego organization but as ego-astral organization, does it take hold of the organism with the help of the breathing process. It could also be said that the breathing process is a weakened process of destruction, a weakened death process. The actual death process is the nerve-sense process, and a weakened process of destruction, a weakened death process, is the breathing process.
This is then confronted by the process in which the ego further strengthens itself by streaming up to the etheric body and only then being taken up. This process, taking place mainly in the super-sensible so that it cannot be traced by the usual physiology, is active in the pulse; there it is still outwardly perceptible. It is a restorative process, not as strong as the direct metabolic-restorative process, but rather a weakened restorative process. As we have seen, the breathing process is to a certain extent a destructive process. Our life would be much shorter if we absorbed more oxygen. The more the carbonic acid formation process of the blood counters the absorption of oxygen in the breathing process, the longer our life will be.
Thus everything interacts within the organism, and in order really to understand what is going on, one needs to understand the super-sensible human being, because its outwardly visible aspects were cast off with the embryonic membranes and are active in the human being after birth only through invisible forces. These forces can be clearly designated, however, if we proceed from the anthroposophical knowledge of the human being.
If, for example, we look into the eye with this anthroposophical knowledge, we see that the blood process courses through the eye in fine ramifications. This is taken hold of by the nerve process going in the opposite direction. The blood process always moves toward the periphery in the human being, moving centrifugally; the nerve process, which is in fact a breakdown process, is always directed centripetally, toward man's inside. All processes that occur in the human being are metamorphoses of these two processes.
If the interaction of pulse and breathing is properly coordinated, then the lower man is properly connected to the upper man. If this is the case and no external injuries intervene, an individual should be basically healthy. Only when breakdown predominates will destructive processes encroach on the activities in the organism. The human being becomes ill because something foreign accumulates in his organism that has not been worked through in the right way, something containing excessive breakdown forces, containing too much of what is related to the physical nature that surrounds the human being in his earthly environment.
The spiritual element's direct penetration of the organism by way of the ego brings about those processes that produce pathological occurrences, foreign formations. These foreign formations may not manifest immediately in physical symptoms, but they may manifest in the fluid and even in the airy aspect of the human being. They can develop, and if they are not countered by a healing process that flows from below along the pathways of the blood, they cannot dissolve. These formations have the tendency to form tumor-like accumulations in the body and then to fragment within. If the blood-formation process confronts them in the right way, they can dissolve and again become part of the general life of the body. But when a damming up is brought about by an excessive breakdown process from above downward, it takes hold of one of the organs. Foreign bodies are then formed, which are first exudative, tumor-like, but then have the tendency to run their course like the external processes of earthly nature and fall to pieces. In this case we need to understand that not enough of the super-sensible human being is taken up along the path I have drawn here next to the physical human being.
You see, one cannot speak about healing directly through human activity, because the moment that too much activity is developed from the nerve-sense organization, in a centripetal direction — when too many of the environmental processes are “stuffed” into man so that these tumor-like formations develop somewhere, which then decompose — in that moment the other system, which runs along the blood vessels, becomes rebellious. It wants to bring about healing, wants to penetrate the organism with the proper astral and etheric forces that can come from below. It wants to prevent the ego, or the ego working with the astral body, from acting alone. The healer has to take into account this revolutionary principle in the human organism, and healing consists of supporting, by external means, what is already present in the organism as an original healing force.
When a tumor-like formation arises, it is a symptom of the ego activity from the stream of the invisible man not penetrating in the right way from out of the etheric body. The ego activity does assert itself, but may at times be unable to approach the tumor. We might then support the etheric body in this direction so that it can become active. It can become active in the right way if it is first permeated by the ego and astral body and then becomes active. That which comes from above and has not taken up etheric activity, but at most ego and astral activity, poisons the organism. When the etheric body approaches this, when we counter the ego and astral activity with etheric activity, we support the healing process already present and striving to be active in the human organization. We only have to know, in such a case, by what means the etheric organization, permeated in the right way by astral and ego organization, can penetrate the body. In other words, in such a case we simply need to help the etheric organization with a remedy. Therefore we must know which remedy will make the etheric organization stronger in such a case, so that its constructive force opposes the excessively destructive force. Thus we can see that we will never comprehend the pathology that underlies therapy unless we take into account the invisible man.
It may also be, however, that when a person is born he does not penetrate strongly enough with his ego and astral organization — his soul-spiritual organization — into the physical organization. The soul-spiritual organization does not push its way into the physical organization suffciently. Then in this individual there will continually be a preponderance of the growth forces active from below upward, which are not given sufficient heaviness through integration with the physical organization. An individual can be born in such a way that the invisible man takes insufficient hold of his physical body, refusing to penetrate into the blood process in the right way. Then man's spirit cannot approach the blood process. In such individuals we can already see the consequences of this from childhood on. They remain pale and thin, or, because of the predominating growth forces, grow radiply tall. The the soul-spiritual cannot properly enter the organism. And because the body refuses to take up the soul-spiritual, our goal must be to weaken the excessively strong etheric body where the activity has become too strong. In such pale, lanky individuals we must strive to contain the hypertrophic, excessively active forces in the etheric body, restraining them to their proper degree. By this means we can bring heaviness into the body; the blood, for example, by receiving the necessary iron content, receives the appropriate heaviness. Then the etheric body is not as active in an upward direction, and its effect on the upper man is weakened.
In such individuals another condition might be noticed: what I would like to call the night processes predominate over the day processes. You could say that at night the physical-etheric organization of every normal person refuses to absorb the soul-spiritual. This night organization of a person lying in bed — not of the invisible man, who is outside — is too strong in those people who have a sort of inborn consumption, as I have just described. In such cases, the day organization must be supported. This means that it has to be given a certain heaviness by encouraging the breakdown processes. If one enhances the breakdown processes and inwardly there appears that which hardens and finally falls to pieces (in healing, of course, this must happen only to a small extent) then the overflowing force of the etheric body is restrained and consumption is held back.
In this way, out of knowledge of the entire human being, we can comprehend the curious interaction between health and disease, This interaction is always present and is essentially balanced out by what occurs between pulse and breath. If we then come to know by what outer means one or the other can be enhanced, it will be possible to support the natural healing proceses that are always present, but I would say, not always able to arise.
What outer means we use is not such a simple matter, for a totally foreign process cannot be introduced into the human organism. When some kind of foreign process is introduced, it is at once transformed into its opposite within the organism. If you eat something, the food contains certain chemical forces. In absorbing them, the organism transforms them at once into their opposite. This is necessary. If, for example, the food maintained its external character too long after being absorbed, then it would begin to break down as it does in outer nature and would thus bring destructive and death-bringing breakdown processes into the human being.
You can pursue the details of the processes that I have developed for you here from the entire human being. Let us assume, for example, that you stick yourself with a foreign object like a splinter. Your body can react in two ways. Suppose you cannot extract the foreign object so that it remains inside you. Then two things can happen. The constructive force active in the flowing blood surrounds the foreign object. It gathers around the object, but in doing so it moves away from its own customary position. This immediately leads to a preponderance of the nerve activity there. Then an exudate-like formation begins to encapsulate the foreign object. When this happens, the following takes place in that part of the body: whereas usually, when there is not a foreign object in that spot, the etheric body penetrates the physical body in a certain way, in this situation the etheric body is unable to penetrate the foreign object; instead, within this area a bubble will form that is filled out only with the etheric. We have within us a small portion of the body that contains a foreign object and where a small portion of the etheric body is not organized by the physical. In this case it is important to strengthen the astral body in that spot to such an extent that it can be effective in the small portion of the etheric body without the help of the physical body. Through this encapsulation our body has actually made use of the destructive forces, separating out these destructive forces in a small section of the body and then incorporating into it the healing etheric body. This will then have to be supported by the astral and the ego through an appropriate treatment.
In such a case we have to say that, in a certain sense, what lies above the physical in the human being has to become strong enough to be active without the physical in this small part of the human organization. This always happens in what is called a healing of some foreign intrusion in the human being, for example when a person gets stuck with a splinter and it becomes encapsulated. In this part of his body man's whole organization is moved a little bit upward. It can also happen that something foreign is formed purely out of the organism. This must be regarded in the same way.
A completely different process could take place, however, if we have been stuck by a splinter. It could be that the nerve activity surrounding the splinter gets stronger and predominates over the blood activity. Then the nerve activity, in which the ego is active (or possibly the ego strengthened by the astral body), stimulates the blood activity. The nerve-sense activity, which goes through the whole body, stimulates the blood activity and does not permit an exudate to form. Instead it stimulates a secretory process, leading to the formation of pus (white). And because the nerves are pushing out (arrows), the pus is also driven to the periphery by the push that goes through the nerve tracts in their destructive activity. The splinter comes out and the area heals over.
You can see, then, that if the splinter is too deep in the organism, so that the pushing force of the breakdown system, the nerve-sense system, is insufficient to bring it to the outside, then the constructive activity in the blood vessels will be stronger and lead to encapsulation. If the splinter is closer to the surface, then the nerve-pushing force, the destructive force, will be stronger. It will excite or stimulate what wants to become an exudate so that it will make use of the breakdown channels that are always present anyway, leading to the outside, and the whole area will suppurate. Therefore we can actually say that we carry in us, in incipient form, in the moment of coming into being, the tendency for our organism to harden toward the inside in a centripetal direction and to dissolve again toward the outside in a centrifugal direction. In the normal processes of the human body, however, the tumor-forming force that is directed inward and the suppurative-inflammatory force that is directed toward the periphery are in equilibrium. Generally our inflammatory process is strong enough to overcome the tumefying force tending toward breakdown. Only when one process is stronger than the other will a real tumefaction or a real inflammation develop.
You must not be under the impression, of course, that everything is as easy to comprehend in reality as it seems when matters have to be simplified in a schematic presentation. In reality the processes interpenetrate one another. In fact, you can observe that when the inflammatory forces are strong in the human being there will be febrile phenomena. These are essentially the result of excessively strong constructive processes located in the blood. With the force of selfhood (Eigenkraft) that frequently develops in a person with a fever, it could be possible to provide quite a bit of strength to a second person, if the means were available for diverting the forces from one to the other in the right way.
On the other hand, where the breakdown forces are working strongly, cooling phenomena occur. The presence of these phenomena is not as easy to substantiate as the febrile phenomena, but these two types of phenomena alternate so that in reality we are always dealing with interpenetrating activities that simply have to be distinguished if we wish to comprehend what is going on.
A question often arises concerning poisons that occur in nature, for example the poison in belladonna, the deadly nightshade: how are actual poisons different from ordinary substances that we find in our environment and use for food? When we eat food, something is introduced into the organism that is formed in outer nature similarly to the way in which our invisible man is formed. We take into us something that proceeds from a spiritual activity, enters an astral activity, then an etheric activity, and finally a physical activity. In nature such an activity is directed from above downward; it acts upon the earth from the periphery, as it were. This activity is related to our inner ego activity, which is a purely spiritual activity. If what I have depicted schematically flows down, but transforms itself via the astral, then further via the etheric, then going down into the physical, then the plant as a rule takes up such an activity. The plant grows toward this activity from below upward and takes up this etheric activity, which, however, already rightly contains from above the astral and ego activity, i.e., the soul and spiritual activity.
It is also possible for something else to take place, as it does with a poison. Poisonous substances have the peculiarity that they do not make use of the etheric as do the normal green substances in the plant; instead they turn directly to the astral, so that the astral enters into this substance. With belladonna, the fruit becomes especially greedy and is not satisfied by taking up just the etheric; instead the fruit takes up the astral directly, before this astral has taken up the life-forces through the etheric in streaming downward. You could say that in such cases the astral is continually dripping from the world-periphery directly down to the earth instead of entering the etheric. And such drops of the astral being, which have not gone through the ether atmosphere of the earth in the right way, can, for example, be found in the poison of the deadly nightshade. We also have this cosmic astral element dripping down into the plant in the poison of the Jimsonweed fruit, in hyoscyamus (henbane), etc.
What therefore lives in this plant substance, for example in the deadly nightshade, is related to the activity that enters the human nerves and circulation of oxygen directly from the ego or the astral body. Thus by taking in the poison of the deadly nightshade, we get a significant strengthening of the breakdown processes in us, those processes that usually enter the physical body directly from the ego. The human ego is not generally strong enough to tolerate such a strengthening of breakdown processes. If the opposite activity is too great, however — the activity that proceeds from below upward in the blood vessels — one can counter it with such breakdown processes from nature. Atropine, the poison of the deadly nightshade, can thus be used in small doses to counteract excessive growth processes in the human being. The moment there is too much of this poison, however, we cannot talk about an equilibrium anymore. Then the growth processes are pushed back and the human being is benumbed by a spiritual activity that he is not yet able to tolerate with his ego. He will be able to tolerate such a spiritual activity perhaps only in future conditions, in the Venus and Vulcan stages of evolution. This is why the peculiar symptoms of poisoning occur. First the point of origin of the activity effective in the blood is undermined; then the gastric manifestations arise that appear after the ingestion of deadly nightshade poison; then the forces working from below upward are strongly prevented from doing so in the right way; finally complete unconsciousness occurs with the destruction of the human being from the side of the breakdown processes.
Thus we can trace the effect of such a substance in the human organism if we know the spiritual content of a substance we have absorbed. This can best be studied in plants. Knowledge of the human organism must be joined with a proper knowledge of outer nature. We must come to know what lives in individual plants. Then we will also know how the different plants affect the human being, in dietary prescriptions for example.
Then we will really be able to achieve something if the proper social conditions are brought about at the same time so that these things can really be applied. Today, even if we know something, we are usually unable to do anything, because our social conditions are in no way adapted to the knowledge of nature. The knowledge of nature is abstracted, is driven into the abstract so that we cannot grasp the human being's real position in the whole universe. It would not yet be possible on a large scale, for example, for us to ensure that individuals who might need it could receive a certain plant substance in some sort of rhythm. In order to make this possible in a comprehensive way, our scientific medicine must take on a different character. The outer arrangements in all social life need to be related to what can be known about the human being's relationship to surrounding nature.
Certainly a great deal can be done in isolated instances. We can prepare roots by boiling them for someone in whom the breakdown processes proceeding from the head are too strong. We can decoct certain roots that are known to contain substances that have drawn the spiritual, the astral, and the etheric in the right way into the physical in the process of root formation. Through introducing substances from the process of root formation into the human organism and bringing them to activity in the organism, a person receives something that goes up to the finest ramifications of the blood vessels at the outermost periphery, going into the head. By doing this we can call forth something to counteract the excessively strong breakdown processes of the nervous system. But one needs to have an exact conception of the changes that plant substances from the root undergo when taken in through the mouth and worked through in order to go to the outermost periphery of the head organization or skin organization.
In other cases we would have to know how substances taken from the flower act in the human organism. These substances are already a little shaky in their relationship to the etheric, they have already taken up the astral to a significant extent. In a certain sense they already approach the poisonous, though only slightly. We would have to know that when these substances are added to baths, and thereby brought into the organism in a completely different way, we can stimulate the excessively weak upbuilding organization that lies in the blood vessels. We would then counteract from outside the influence from the breakdown activity.
It is similar if we wish to pursue the inner effectiveness of injected substances. There we are essentially trying to strengthen the upbuilding processes so that a proper equilibrium with the breakdown processes is established.
This is why, particularly when giving injections, we must always observe how the breakdown processes react. We will not get the right effect if we cannot see how the breakdown processes first resist and then only gradually enter into the upbuilding process in the right way. When injecting something, therefore, we may notice that slight visual disturbances and buzzing in the ears arise, because at first the breakdown processes refuse to enter into the right equilibrium with the strengthened upbuilding processes. But when such symptoms appear they provide a guarantee that we are indeed intervening in the processes.
You see, anthroposophy is really not concerned with furnishing sectarian aunt-and-uncle gatherings with schemes they can argue about, schemes describing how the human being consists of physical body, etheric body, astral body, and ego. Rather it is very seriously concerned with comprehending the human being and his relationship to the world, with bringing the spiritual into everything material. And if anthroposophy really wants to secure its place in the world, it must be understood that it is able to pursue the spiritual into the material. As long as we merely occupy ourselves with aunt-and-uncle gatherings in sectarian circles, with squabbling over the division of the human being, we will be engaged in conflict about all sorts of other sectarian things. The moment we can really show how anthroposophy touches on all other knowledge, casts light on all other earthly knowledge — just as astrology illuminated earthly processes in earlier times — then anthroposophy will be something that can take hold of modern civilization. Then truly constructive progress may begin in human civilization, even in the face of the destructive processes originating in older times.
Such seriousness must be combined with what could be called one's commitment to anthroposophy. Certainly not everyone can always participate so actively that he himself discovers, for example, how belladonna on one side and chlorine on the other work in the human organism. For each individual to discover this is not the point; instead what is important is for an understanding to arise in wider circles, a common feeling for how what is therapeutic for the human being can be gained from an anthroposophical knowledge of the earth and the human being. In Waldorf education, we would not expect that every person could be a teacher, or at least teachers of children from elementary school on. We do expect, however, that there be general understanding of how educational principles are established out of knowledge of the human being and the world. Anthroposophy needs to be met with understanding. It would be wrong to believe that everyone should know everything, but the activity of an anthroposophical community should consist of building a general understanding, based on healthy common sense, for what anthroposophy is striving to realize for the health and future of humanity.

Entry in Rudolf Steiner's Notebook, February 11, 1923

Diagram 2
The ether becomes similar to that of the nerve-sense system: A. The ether becomes similar to that of the metabolic system: B.
Pus = the organic (etheric) permeated by outer, centrifugal astrality — on the path to the outside
Congealed exudate = the (etheric) organic permeated by inner, centripetal astrality — on the path of disappearing out of the physical world —
Diagram 3
In healing, the organism only continues a process that is already active in the daily defense against outer processes penetrating into the human being, which are poisoning —
The lower system (which accomplishes this) separates the outer, after it has permeated the same with centrifugal forces, as they are active in the growth of plants — as they are present in sleep. What poisons is the centripetally active [force] — of the nerve-sense system — which leads the outer world inward — it leads the outer world inward after cooling it (making it into mere form), so that through it the spiritual penetrates inward directly.
The inhibited inhalation, nourishing, the excessively strong day processes; the excessive exhalation, digestion, the excessively strong night processes.
The body has not taken up the spirit, excessively strong night processes = one is feverish: a formation of inner softening — pus.
The body takes up the spirit too strongly, excessively strong day processes = one freezes: a formation of inner hardening — inward exudate-like — fragmenting.

Regarding Sergei Prokofieff's appalling war on Judith von Halle


“History has shown that the most terrible crimes against love have been committed in the name of fanatically defended doctrines.” ― Paul Tillich

"If anyone upholds something which contradicts the belief of those who, in their arrogance, suppose they have reached the summit of earthly wisdom, he is looked on as a visionary, a dreamer, if nothing worse. That is the contemporary form of inquisition in our part of the world."  — Rudolf Steiner

For many years ― until his death  Prokofieff was the Anthroposophical Society's Grand Inquisitor. How shameful that this was ever allowed!

The  attacks on Judith von Halle stem from Prokofieff's psychological problems.

Most Highly Recommended (and now available online):

Irina Gordienko
Sergei O. Prokofieff: Myth and Reality

This is a new publication in English of a critical examination of the work of S. O. Prokofieff, translated from the German, originally from the Russian. The author is a scientist and mathematician in her own right, with scientific publications to her credit. Taking Prokofieff to task for the gap between his interpretation of the body of Steiner's work and what Steiner himself has stated so clearly about the supersensible world, Gordienko outlines for the reader in a close step by step evaluation of Prokofieff's writings, his shortcomings, and the way in which his analysis draws a flawed picture of Anthroposophy. She makes clear the obvious discrepancies between his picture and Steiner's vision of the spiritual world and its beings, the fundamental concept of evolution and even of the Christology. The Christology is presented in an entirely new light by Prokofieff. Emphasis is placed more on a return to a group spirituality, to a morality dictated from above, rather than an autonomous thinking based on the central importance of "I" development which Rudolf Steiner again and again made fundamental to his whole teaching and which he referred to frequently as the "Christ Impulse". This is a hard-hitting, closely reasoned, and razor-sharp reading of Prokofieff's thinking -- perhaps, not a book for the faint-hearted. Yet, its powerful logic is necessary study material, especially for Anthroposophists, because it has important implications for the direction of the Anthroposophical Society as a whole...

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