The Principle of Spiritual Economy
VI. On the Occasion of the Dedication of the Francis of Assisi Branch
Malsch, April 6, 1909
Today we are gathered for the dedication ceremony of our anthroposophical branch in Maisch. Although this “Section” of our Society has been fully at work for a while, we are able only today to officially celebrate its opening.
Many of our anthroposophical friends have come to this celebration from the most diverse regions to which our anthroposophical endeavors have spread. By coming here, they have demonstrated that they wish to unite their anthroposophical feelings and thoughts with those of serious and hardworking people in this group. One might say this group of people in Maisch has been thrown into these remote mountains, but surrounded by all the beautiful, great, and noble forces of nature, they will successfully unfold anthroposophical life. Those of you who were able to look around in the vicinity of this hospitable house in Malsch will have noticed that much has been done for its external appearance, as if the people responsible wished to say externally that the spiritual life by which all of us are inspired shall find special expression in this beautiful spot.
Let us look back at the modest beginnings of our anthroposophical life at the founding of our German Section, into which the Section in Malsch is now being incorporated. At that time we began with but a small group of people of spiritual scientific enthusiasts. Then, as we look at events such as this one today and observe the large number of souls who unite with us in spiritual scientific feelings and sentiments, we can be satisfied with the last few years of our endeavors.
The Stockmeyer family has spared no efforts to help with the unfolding of spiritual life on this beautiful piece of land although the spirits of nature have clearly aided their efforts. Also, this family must find great satisfaction in seeing how many genuine and true friends have hurried to this hospitable place, and I am sure all anthroposophical friends may be justly called genuine and true friends. This is so because anthroposophy must above all be truth in our hearts, and truth is sincerity. Anthroposophy, therefore, must be sincere; and anthroposophical friendship is expressed by your participation in such a dedication festival. Everything must be imbued with sincerity because honesty in friendship unites us with those who have worked so industriously so that here, too, there would arise a working sphere of anthroposophic activity. The hearts of those who have come here will be filled with gratitude for the efforts of the Stockmeyer family, who can be assured of our truly sincere anthroposophical appreciation.
On the other hand, the very success of such a dedication festival with so many souls present shows that Spiritual Science in our time is a powerful magnet for human striving, and on this occasion it may also be fitting to say that we can certainly look beyond the rooms that, surrounded by the spirits of beautiful nature, enclose us today and look at the rest of the world. It is possible to say that life and the endeavors of Spiritual Science today appear as phenomena whose existence results from an inner necessity. Really, it is as if many a page in the book about the life of old cultures, which sustained European and Western humanity for millennia and gave security and strength for life to it, were now beginning to wither and appear cold and lifeless to human hearts. That is why we see today a longing for spiritual scientific truths in so many areas of life. I, for one, having been permitted to speak to you here, sense something like a future force at work because of what has been taking place around me in the last few days.
We are here surrounded by green trees, the budding life of nature, and also by the magnificent sunlight that shines on us benevolently at this dedication since it animates everything and is imbued with spirit. This, then, is a perfect place to relate to you the words of our great harbingers of the new wisdom, the Masters of Wisdom and of the Harmony of Feelings.
A few days have passed since I was permitted to speak in the same spirit in a lecture cycle in Rome, and this event symbolized to me what a magnet spiritual striving is. I was to speak to those who harbor a spiritual scientific longing in their hearts, but their longing is still fairly undefined at times. Yet the place where I was to speak looked differently, and it was on ground that actually had been entered only by cardinals in pursuit of spiritual endeavors or by others who work out of the convictions of the most positive and orthodox Catholicism. And so the air of the rooms where normally nothing but the official message from the orthodox center of Rome was proclaimed resounded with the free pronouncements of the spiritual scientific world view.
This shows us that although the free contemporary spirits of these Northern lands feel more attracted to anthroposophy, they can nevertheless look with a certain satisfaction to the souls who long to escape from an old, iron-clad orthodox tradition. It is certainly a good indication of the spirit of the times that it was possible to speak as freely and frankly about anthroposophic truths on territory heretofore reserved for cardinals, and as freely as this would be possible in the North. For what has been said before holds true everywhere: anthroposophy is sincerity; and where souls are in need of it and a call is issued, anthroposophy will follow it. But at no time will anthroposophy deviate in the least from the overall precepts that inspire its pronouncements, just because the consideration for the territory on which these pronouncements are made may make this expedient.
Wherever anthroposophical truth is proclaimed and where the spiritual element that pulsates through us is cultivated, there our message must be delivered in the light of sincerity, even when it is still surrounded by the thoughts of those who hate anthroposophy. However, in the midst of those who hate anthroposophy there are souls who, more or less consciously, long for the light of anthroposophy. And especially a strong contrast such as the one I have experienced during the past fourteen days can show us what a strong magnet anthroposophical life is.
The observation of our immediate present teaches us that this anthroposophical force is now strong enough to justify our joyful and satisfying hope that the small seedling planted today will in the future grow into a mighty tree. As theosophists, we are today in the same position humanity was in during the ancient Atlantean time. And just as life has become different since that time, so it will change again in the future, up to a time following a catastrophe. The wide perspective will now be made to appear before our souls.
Let us call to memory a similar movement in the last third of the Atlantean epoch that started small just like ours. The Atlantean soul life, which in many ways was still clairvoyant, had reached a high point during that time, but it did not yet have the consciousness of self, the strong feeling of the “I.” Instead, Atlanteans had a certain ability of clairvoyance and also certain magical powers, and this enabled them to look into the spiritual world. Those who had progressed to be leaders of this civilization were the ones best able to gaze into the spiritual world in the old ways and to bring forth the most knowledge from the astral realms. This clairvoyance disappeared little by little; in fact, mankind had to lose it completely in order to conquer for itself the consciousness of self in the physical world. But it is certain that clairvoyant knowledge in the last third of the Atlantean era had reached a special climax.
You will remember the technological achievement of the Atlanteans. They flew over the earth in small space vehicles — close to the earth because the atmosphere was saturated with thick fog formations. They propelled their small vehicles through this sea of air and water with energy derived from sprouting plants. The leading creators of this technology can be compared to today's industrial wizards who construct ingenious machines from lifeless forces. And those Atlanteans who could relate the most from the spiritual world can be compared to today's leading scholars and natural scientists.
However, within this Atlantean humanity a segment of people began to evolve who had only minor clairvoyant faculties, but possessed the ability to regard the external world with affection. The first rudimentary beginnings of arithmetic and counting could be observed in these people, but their participation in the great advances of the Atlantean industry — the construction of ever mightier vehicles for this sea of water and air — was very limited. And thus a small, insignificant group of people had developed in this last third of the Atlantean period who, in a certain sense, were despised for their comparative lack of clairvoyant power and their inability to participate in this great industry. However, this group of people prepared the way for seeing and knowing that is prevalent today, the way of seeing and knowing of which the external world today is so proud since it developed it in such a one-sided way.
Those leaders of the Atlantean civilization who had mastered everything that could be known from the vantage point of the Atlantean consciousness, including technology, conceived of a technical idea toward the end of the Atlantean era that has become fully productive in modern times. We can compare it to another measure of progress in our time that will carry over into the next catastrophe. During their golden age, the Atlanteans had vehicles that moved through air that was heavily mixed with water. Later, however, when their culture was already in a state of decline, it also became necessary to navigate the water, and this led the last cultural races of the Atlantean era first to embracing and then to realizing the idea of navigation and the conquest of the seas. This momentous idea in the Atlantean era not only of traversing the air but also of navigating the ocean water was quite a sensational idea that was put into reality by the last Atlantean races. After long experiments to navigate the waters, success came during the time when Atlantean culture was already in its decline.
Those responsible for this tremendous progress were not the ones who could be recruited for the task of transmitting the legacy of the actual spiritual life from the Atlantean era to our time. Rather, this task was reserved for the plain and simple people because they had been the first ones to be endowed with the ability to relate to the physical world. They were the ones whose clairvoyant faculties, though deteriorated the most among the several groups of people, were still adequate for those who were messengers from the spiritual world. These people, despised by the great scholars and inventors, were gathered by an eminent initiate whom we call The Great Initiate of the Sun Oracle. This small group was comprised of people who had least preserved their technical abilities and who were disdained by the leaders and by the great scholars and inventors. Yet it was precisely they whom the Great Initiate of the Sun Oracle led from the West to the East, through Europe and into Asia. And it is also this small group of people that made the foundation of the post-Atlantean cultures possible.
The best of what was subsequently developed by the various cultures, the mighty tree of post-Atlantean knowledge and wisdom, emanated from the descendants of the despised simple people from the Atlantean era. Above all, something else emanated from the midst of the descendants of this group of modest people. Let us place the external events side by side with the internal events of our evolution. Let us look at the great sensation of the Atlantean era when the secondary racial group, whose descendants were the Phoenicians, invented navigation. What was accomplished by this invention?
We need only to remember the great events from the beginning of modern times, such as the great voyages of discovery by Columbus and other seafarers, which would have been impossible without navigation and the invention of ships, and we shall see how this sensational invention led to the gradual conquest of the physical plane on earth. PostAtlantean peoples were confined to a small radius of activities, but through the invention of ships the circle defining the earth became rounded out so that we now have a completed configuration of the physical plane. And thus, the sensational invention of the Atlantean world reaches into our time and promotes further progress on the physical plane.
However, the greatest conquest in the Atlantean era emanated from the descendants of that group of plain people gathered around the Great Initiate of the Sun Oracle. And when those descendants, through their own development, had prepared the Indian, Persian, Egyptian, GraecoLatin, and our cultures, the earth became capable of yielding the material into which the Christ could be born. Therefore, the greatest spiritual event and deed of the post-Atlantean era had its beginning in the people who belonged to the most despised human beings in the eyes of the leaders of the Atlantean civilization, and this event gave rise to the immense spiritual progress that supports and maintains all spiritual life in our time — weaves through it and makes it productive.
The events in Atlantis are paralleled by those of our time. Seeing that the germinal beginnings of man's ability to do arithmetic and to count were present in Atlantis, we can recognize how these capabilities are today furthered in a marvelous conquest of the physical plane and how they brought about all kinds of technical progress. We also see how the great inventors and discoverers today have reached the culmination, in a sense, in applying those forces that first began to germinate with the small group of despised people in the Atlantean time. And what was then clairvoyant knowledge is today knowledge of nature and of the physical world. There is also a similarity between the spiritual leaders of the Atlantean civilization and today's natural scientists and scholars. On the other hand, a class of plain people exists everywhere — irrespective of positions its members might hold in the world, whose hearts are filled with the mighty magnet that attracts us to spiritual life, just as people in Atlantis were attracted to a life in which the external faculties for the physical plane could be developed.
Despite these similarities, there is also a certain difference between the modern and the ancient situation. In the old days referred to, the last remnants of clairvoyance were still present in people so that they were able to behold the Great Initiate. In a certain way, things today are more difficult for human beings when a call from the spiritual world issues to an equally small group of people, something we designate as the call of the Masters of Wisdom and of the Harmony of Feelings. But since people today are placed on the physical plane, these Masters of Wisdom and of the Harmony of Feelings are at first unknown to this small nucleus of human beings that has crystallized itself out of the mass of people. As we can deduce from the facts of the present time, this small group feels in its hearts that there is such a thing as a new spiritual message that is meant to have an effect on the future just as the message in former ages has had an effect on the present. These human beings who today come from all walks of life and whom we can find everywhere are the true theosophists because they carry in their hearts a longing for a spiritual life that is meant to lay the foundation for future cultures. The true theosophists in our time are emerging — just as we now encounter a sensational discovery similar to the one in the Atlantean era.
In ancient times water was conquered through the highest technological progress; the same is true today in the case of air. This conquest will, of course, extend into a later epoch. But just as ships in our times have brought about mastery of the physical plane only, so the air ship that will lead human beings into the atmosphere and beyond will empower the pilots to find only matter — material things. Granted, new realms of the physical plane will be conquered, and this will be beneficial for the external world. However, the inner spiritual life is borne in the hearts of those who feel spiritually fulfilled by the promise of being able in the future to look into the spiritual world while being conscious of self.
Look into life and you will find out there our leaders of civilization, the pillars of external culture, active as inventors and discoverers, as scholars and natural scientists. They look with scorn and contempt on a small group such as the one assembled here today that constitutes itself as a new bearer of culture and that unites its members with others in spiritual scientific associations. The events of the ancient Atlantean era repeat themselves.
However, when the spiritual life touches your hearts with such force that you can compare yourselves with dignity to those who were gathered around the Great Initiate of the Sun Oracle, then you will be the bearers of spiritual life in later ages. In addition to offering humanity the external, material, and corporeal realities, such a life would also make possible a renewed immersion in the spiritual world. Although the Great Initiate gathered human beings around Himself in ancient times, today the Masters of Wisdom and of the Harmony of Feelings fulfill a similar function and issue their call to you. If you feel your mission from a sense of history, then your hearts will become strong enough to withstand all the ridicule and disdain that the so-called pillars of civilization heap on Spiritual Science from the outside. And if you understand your mission in this spirit, then your thoughts will be strong and any doubt that may reverberate into your souls from the outside will be unable to shake you in your conviction. Your thoughts will be spiritually refined by the very force that can issue from such a knowledge of our mission. Even if we have to review thousands of years and establish far-reaching ideals, it is worth the effort because where such ideals are established, life is transmuted, and where they are absent, life is dead. Ideals transform themselves into the force of a moment even if they have been taken from vast periods of time and may seem to make the person subscribing to them appear somewhat petty and despondent. You will be strong for the most insignificant task if you are capable of extracting your ideal from the loftiest heights. This will make you stand fast when those who govern the world with their erudition talk with disdain and contempt about the little spiritual scientific associations where those people sit who “do not want to go along with contemporary culture.” Oh yes, they do want to go along, and they also know to appreciate the accomplishments of the external, physical world, but they also know that just as a body cannot be without a soul, no external culture can exist without spiritual life.
Just as the despised human beings characterized above gathered around the Great Initiate and after generations made the existence of Christ on earth possible, so the anthroposophical movement must facilitate a comprehensive understanding of Christ. Christ descended to earth in the fourth major era, and those who wish to understand Him completely will be able to do so from the anthroposophical vantage point.
Why do people who have heretofore been nourished by the positive, orthodox religions, come to Spiritual Science as if responding to an undefined longing in their consciousness? Why do they listen to the anthroposphical message when before they listened only to the Vatican? Why? Is it still permissible today to say anthroposophy exists only for those who regard the greatest spiritual fact of our age — the Christ Impulse — with indifference? What do the people coming to us need from us? They want us to tell them who Christ was and what He accomplished! They are coming to us because those who consider themselves to be the privileged bearers of the Christ-name today cannot tell them who Christ was, whereas anthroposophy can. Today's cultural leaders use the denial of Christ to oppose the external tradition emanating from various religions, but they cannot effectively challenge the moribund positive religious movements. Those who do not know what the Great Christ is, those who deny His spirituality will be no match even for the old religious movements. But only the spiritual movements that place themselves in the midst of those who claim an exclusive right to the Christ-name, the movements who know how to express the true essence of the Christ even to those who wish to hear the opposite, only those spiritual movements will attract human beings to their cause who carry the future in their hearts. The ancient religious trends will prove to be stronger than all religious nihilism.
We do not conceive of anthroposophical life in a petty, dogmatic sense, nor do we want to comprehend it with the help of individual tenets or maxims, but rather by recognizing and understanding the mission and the task of our time. We want to embrace anthroposophical life in such a way that the true spirit of our time speaks to us and that the most significant event of our post-Atlantean era can be expressed through the words of anthroposophy. If these words are not just recited but rather put into practice as an expression of the spirit of our time, they will become a dynamic force of life in our souls, and this will make people understand what anthroposophical life is.
When we truly feel this, we will increasingly grow stronger, and the newly gained strength will help us to embrace our ideal firmly. Then we will know how this ideal can be justified, regardless of whether this happens in an environment where an old culture yearns for a new content, or in this environment here, where nature and the magnificent, spirit-endowed sunrays glittering around us encircle what the daily efforts of anthroposophy achieve. We will again learn to recognize the spirit within these sunrays and know that when the sun has set, the spirit indwelling in it will look into our hearts. We will also learn what it means to behold the sun and its spirit at midnight, and in understanding what this spirit is, we will see how it has descended and how it is now united with the highest impulses of our age. It is necessary that humanity understand the Christ-Impulse and that we can say who the Christ was. Such an understanding is now only in the beginning stages, but in direct proportion to its increasing spiritual insights, mankind will gradually understand how the Christ-Impulse has penetrated this worldly edifice.
To feel this way at the dedication of a branch of our movement is especially appropriate when, as is the case here, the members were united in wanting to express a heartfelt desire and name this branch after Francis of Assisi, whose life is enveloped by a deep spiritual mystery.
When Christ descended to the earth, He enveloped Himself with the threefold physical, etheric, and astral bodies of Jesus of Nazareth and lived three years in this sheath as Christ, the Sun-Spirit. With the event of the Mystery of Golgotha, Christ descended to the earth; but aside from what is known to all of you, something else special happened by virtue of the fact that Christ indwelled the three bodies of Jesus of Nazareth, particularly the astral and etheric bodies. After Christ cast off the bodies of Jesus of Nazareth, they were still present as spiritual substance in the spiritual world, but multiplied in a great many copies. They did not perish in the world ether or in the astral world, but continued to live as identical images. Just as the seed of a plant, once buried in the ground, reappears in many copies according to the mystery of number, so the copies of Jesus of Nazareth's etheric and astral bodies were present in the spiritual world. And for what purpose were they present, considering the large framework of spiritual economy? They were there to be preserved and to serve the overall progress of the human race.
One of the first individuals to benefit from the blessed fact of these countless copies of Jesus's etheric body being present in the spiritual world was St. Augustine. When he again descended to earth after an earlier incarnation, not just any etheric body was woven into his own, but rather the copy of the etheric body of Jesus of Nazareth. Augustine had his own astral body and ego, but his etheric body was interwoven with the image of the etheric body of Jesus. He had to work through the culture of his ego and astral body, but when he had made his way to the etheric body, he realized the great truths that we find in his mystical writings.
Many other human beings from the sixth to the ninth centuries had a copy of the etheric body of Jesus woven into their own etheric bodies. Many of these individuals conceived the Christian images that later were to be glorified in the arts in the form of the Madonna or the Christ on the cross. They were the creators of religious images who experienced in themselves what the people living at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha had experienced.
In the period spanning the eleventh through the fifteenth centuries the time had come when a copy of the astral body of Jesus of Nazareth was woven into the astral bodies of certain reincarnated souls. From the eleventh to the fourteenth centuries many human beings, for example Francis of Assisi and Elisabeth of Thüringen, had the imprint of the astral body of Jesus of Nazareth woven into them while their own astral bodies — the source of their knowledge — were formed during reincarnation. This enabled these individuals to proclaim the great truths of Christianity in the form of judgments, logical constructs, and scientific wisdom. But, in addition, they were also able to experience the feeling of carrying the astral body of Jesus of Nazareth within themselves.
Your eyes will be opened if you allow yourselves to experience vicariously all the humility, the devotion, and the Christian love that was part of Francis of Assisi. You will then know how to look at him as a person prone to make mistakes — because he possessed his own ego — and as a great individual because he carried a copy of the astral body of Jesus of Nazareth within his own astral body. All the humble feelings, the profound mysticism, and the spiritual soul life of Francis of Assisi become comprehensible if we know this one secret of his life.
Having such knowledge, we can see with our inner eye that the future of this new branch augurs well as it climbs upward under the guiding light of this great individual, for those who, like Francis of Assisi, received the grace and the calling to guide Christian humanity in the West will at all times let their spiritual light radiate into the areas of spiritual activity. And especially if this Francis of Assisi Section works in a genuinely spiritual sense, the unison of thoughts and feelings of this branch will be the reflection of the harmonizing light of Francis of Assisi, which he received as a gift of grace, as we mentioned before, by an infusion of his own astral body with a copy of the astral body of Jesus of Nazareth. Something of this light will radiate into this very branch.
In letting such perspectives roll by our inner eye, we who are assembled today in this modest branch for the purpose of dedicating the new branch will leave the proper feelings behind us when we depart. Let us look up to the light of Francis of Assisi; let us take along with us what can be ignited in us in this moment, and let us remember this branch in the future. In doing so, our feelings and thoughts will hover invisibly over this Francis of Assisi Branch, so that the impulses struggling upward from below may prove to be worthy of the light that shines into our souls from the outside. In such a moment we become conscious of the fact that we are here to work for the true and real measures of progress in our post-Atlantean era. Surely, when the founders of this branch felt the need to name it after Francis of Assisi, their souls must have sensed something of the great progress.
What was the most decisive turning point of our entire evolution? It was the time when the Christ descended to earth. Let us look back six hundred years from that event and then compare the earth to what it was six hundred years after Christ, a period spanning some twelve hundred years. First, let us look at Buddha, who lived six hundred years before Christ. In him we see an individuality of such greatness that words of admiration should be superfluous. Specifically, let us look at the moment where he is led out into life, but not into the life he wanted to live. Consider how he first meets a helpless child and how from this experience he forms the perception that there is suffering in the journey that human beings begin with their birth. And upon seeing a sick person, he says to himself, “Not only is there suffering in this world, but human beings on this plane are also subjected to illness.” He sees an old person who no longer is able to move his limbs and says to himself, “Aging involves suffering.” And when he sees a corpse, the sight of it conjures up in him the perception that death is suffering. Another perception is that to be separated from a loved one creates suffering, as is the case when one is united with someone whom one doesn't love. Finally, not to obtain what one desires is suffering too.
This, then, is the teaching that spread as the teaching of Buddha, some six hundred years before Christ. Let us fix in our minds the moment where Buddha steps out into the world, sees a corpse, and stands face to face with death. It was six hundred years after the event of Golgotha when for the first time one particular image came into being: the image of the cross with the corpse of the Savior hanging on it. Thousands of people were there to look at it. Now when Buddha looked at a corpse, it was to him a personification of all suffering on earth. The believers of the Christian community six hundred years after Christ would look at the corpse and see it as the victory of all spiritual life over death, the claim to bliss. And here we see how a faithful community looked at a dead body six hundred years before Christ, and then six hundred years after the event of Golgotha.
What can the Christ-Event tell us about the other pronouncements of suffering? Is birth suffering, as Buddha expressed it? Looking at Christ on the cross, the part of humanity that really understands Him will say, “Through birth we step into this existence — an existence that was found worthy of harboring the Christ. We are born into a life in which we can unite with Christ.” Likewise, sickness is not suffering if one understands Christ. People will have to learn to understand through the Christ-Impulse what, from a spiritual point of view, creates health. Illnesses will be healed in a spiritual way through the innermost, Christianized life. By dying to the outer world, we become assured that the treasure acquired in connection with the Christ-Impulse is carried into every other life. Through Christ's victory, death appears to us as a bridge that leads to the spiritual world, and we learn to understand the meaning of death for this spiritual world through this Christ-Impulse.
Also, it is no longer possible to say that the separation from the object of one's love creates suffering because the power of Christ will unite us, as one soul to another, with everything we want to love. Moreoever, the power of Christ will tie those together who love each other. The suffering that could arise through the separation of those loving each other is overcome through Christ.
Let us learn to love all people, lest our interpretation of the world be that to be united with what one does not love means suffering. Rather, let us learn to love every creature in its own right, and when our spiritual wells start to flow, our desires will be purified in such a way that we can partake in everything our souls are destined to receive, once the hurdles of the physical world are eliminated. And those spiritual fountainheads can begin to flow through the Christ- Impulse. People who will be content to obtain through the Christ-Spirit what they want will have their desires purified.
The new spiritual life has placed itself next to the old spiritual life through the Christ-Impulse. That is how deep progress in spiritual life ran before and after the Christ-Impulse had surfaced. This is keenly felt by someone who turns to one of the most ardent and joyful admirers and messengers of the Christ-Impulse — Francis of Assisi; his name, therefore, may well be bestowed on an association in which spiritual life is to be cultivated. May this name be a good augury, and may the work in this branch proceed in the true spirit of our time, properly understood, because this is necessary for the programs we have envisioned in our souls.
Let us consecrate this branch of our movement in the spirit expressed by the preceding words and by calling down the benediction we used yesterday when we broke ground for the outer temple. Let us conjure up the same spirit one more time so that it may hold sway and weave in this Francis of Assisi Branch.
May the feelings of those who have come to this dedication ceremony unite with this spirit and also unite in a brotherly way with those who are at work here in serious, anthroposophical endeavors so that spiritual life may germinate in the midst of the trees, forests, and sprouting plants of this sunny piece of nature. It matters little whether the bright sunrays outside indicate what is beautiful or magnificent in nature, whether snow be piled up outside, or whether a thick cloud cover be out there to obscure the external, physical sunlight. In times when nature renews itself or when she wears her somber garb, may the spirit of a higher life always imbue those who will be engaged in spiritual activities, and let us now conjure up this spirit to aid all the human beings in this branch.
With this, let us dedicate, from the bottom of our hearts, the Francis of Assisi Branch and hope that it will continue its work in the spirit in which it began — through the spiritual force of the Masters of Truth and of the Harmony of Feelings that streams into every branch. May it also continue its work through the good spirit with which it has endowed itself by naming itself after the splendid bearer of Christ.
May this branch continue as it began. Good spirits will guide its course as it becomes one of the centers where the kind of life is cultivated of which our time is clearly in need and where the seeds for the requirements of a far-distant future are sown. Let us hope the people who will soon have to work in solitude here emerge strengthened from today's festivities, where so many sincere friends united their feelings with them! Then the spiritual life cultivated in this place will flow back to all people involved and coalesce with the great harmony of anthroposophical life. Thoughts that originate in this place will encounter our thoughts, just as our thoughts will flow here from distant places. This harmony is something like an external garment of spirituality, and spirituality must pass through human evolution like a spiritual breath of air if beneficial forces are to reign over humanity.
May this branch be dedicated in the fullest sense of the word; may it become a field of activity into which we can always place our hopes with the same love and inner satisfaction as is the case in today's dedication ceremony.