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Karma of Untruthfulness I
GA 173a

Lecture VI

17 December 1916, Dornach

In order to reach the goal of our discussions, we shall have to endeavour to comprehend the whole nature of the fifth post-Atlantean period in all its deepest significance. It is impossible to come to an understanding of events as deeply important as those of the present day by refusing to enter into concrete matters, and by insisting on considering only general aspects of the universe and man in the way that can be done when one is not concerned with specific circumstances. Unfortunately, I have to stress that an understanding for the deeply important nature of these events is largely lacking today.

For certain quite definite reasons which will become apparent, I yesterday spoke to you about two matters. First of all I told you how the book by Brooks Adams had been launched on mankind, a kite flown to gauge the scale on which such things are understood, at least by a few individuals. This book describes how a nation should be seen as a living organism which comes into being and passes through phases of childhood, youth, maturity and decline in a similar way to a human being, though of course only similar, not identical. Furthermore it is pointed out that at certain stages of their development nations evolve two characteristics which belong together, namely, at one stage those of an imaginative and a warlike nature, and at another those of a scientific and an industrial or commercial nature. So it is assumed that nations which are imaginative and warlike by nature, and others which are scientific and industrial or commercial, live side by side and that in the mutual interplay of such nations the universal development of mankind proceeds.

I told you that this was a one-sided view. How do such views surface in the first place? What does it signify that they are launched on the public?

Views of this kind have made an impression on individuals of a certain standing and therefore have become part of the impulses working today. In such matters it is always a question of disconnecting portions of the overall spiritual knowledge of man's evolution and planting them in the world when needed or wanted. By taking a portion of the total occult picture of mankind's development it is possible to achieve definite things in the service of a particular group and its particular egoism. Knowledge of the whole picture always serves the whole of mankind. Portions taken out of context always serve the egoism of individual groups. It is significant and important to take into account that much that is launched on the public from occult sources is not untrue, but half true, a quarter true, an eighth true, and just because it bears within it a part of the truth it can be used to achieve one aim or another in a one-sided way. That is why those who see through these things gain a significant impression from the fact that, on the part of America, the twentieth century is introduced by the launching of certain ideas in the world via some channels of the bookselling trade serving certain movements which make use of occult means.

The second matter about which I spoke was the remarkable treatise by the noble Thomas More on the best form of public adminstration in the state and on the island of Utopia. Out of this treatise by Thomas More I quoted to you yesterday the passage in which More says through the mouth of a stranger what he wants to say about Utopia. This stranger is presented as a fictitious person; perhaps we shall get to know him better today, but he is not fictitious, as you will see. Out of a certain mood of his time, which I described yesterday, he develops the theme of his feelings and then describes Utopia itself.

This description of Utopia by Thomas More, who flings these particular ideas into the midst of human development at the beginning of the fifth post-Atlantean period, is indeed quite remarkable. I have found a number of people who have read Utopia, but not a single one who has read it carefully enough to become even partly aware of all the extraordinary ins and outs and unlikely details the book describes. People simply take the description of the island of Utopia as that of an imaginary island and just read on, page after page. This is understandable in the present age, which is void of all spirituality. But at least one should notice either that Thomas More is describing something incomprehensible, even if it is only meant to be imaginary, or that he must have been a complete idiot, an absolute fool. But such logical conclusions are not drawn in our time; people far prefer to pass over things by means of superficial judgements. I shall now call up before our souls an outline of the content of this work. If you want all the details, you must read Utopia yourselves.

It is significant that Utopia is described as having reached a certain maturity in its institutions. It is expressly stated that the situation being described did not exist in the beginning but has taken 1,760 years to achieve, so that we are now presented with a kind of finished product of some maturity.

The first point to be particularly stressed is that property is common, nobody owns anything. The state is divided into certain families who, if we can put it like this, elect elders, and from among the elders a prince is elected. From time to time a council is called at which public matters are discussed in accordance with the instructions of the different sections of the population. Here we immediately come to an extraordinary arrangement: Public affairs may only be discussed in the prescribed manner. Anybody who privately discusses public affairs is liable to be condemned to death. Further, we discover a highly sensible arrangement: When a suggestion is made during the council meeting it may never be discussed immediately; people must first go home and think about it and it is then brought up again on a subsequent occasion. The one who is telling us the story says that in this way people have an opportunity to think about things, and do not make hasty judgements which they would naturally defend with stubbornness and egoism, just because they have become attached to their own judgement instead of thinking carefully and coming to the right conclusion.

In Utopia everyone has to learn farming while still a child. Later they also learn a trade, usually that pursued by their parents, though they may choose another if they have the skill for it. Work is strictly regulated and nobody need labour for more than six hours a day.

Everything else is also arranged in the best way; there are three hours of work in the morning but, before this, at sunrise, those who wish may gather to learn about spiritual and similar things. Games such as those we know outside Utopia do not exist there. They have, however, a competitive game something like chess, a kind of arithmetical battle, and also another competitive game, again similar to chess, in which the vices and the virtues compete with one another.

Under the supervision of the elected representatives those who are suitable are declared scholars. From among their number the ambassadors and the priests are elected. The dirtiest work is performed by slaves who are either recruited from amongst conquered peoples or else are criminals. Every true Utopian is free. There is another arrangement in Utopia which we, who are not from Utopia, have only just come to enjoy: no journey may be made without permission from the appropriate authority. A passport is necessary for even the shortest journey. Money does not exist. Anything available for consumption is taken to the markets where anybody can help himself. Since this is so well arranged that no one takes more than he needs, there is no necessity to pay anything, for everyone receives what he requires. Money or anything like it is simply not necessary.

The only metal of any value is iron. Please take note of this, for it is very significant. Silver is valued less and gold least of all. Gold is not fashioned into the articles non-Utopians would use it for, but mainly into chains for criminals, and for similar objects. Gold is forged into chains for criminals; they have to wear them as a symbol of their shame. Certain receptacles which one does not mention in polite company are also made of gold, and so on. This had a curious consequence once, when some foreign diplomats visited Utopia and sought to impress the Utopians by festooning themselves in gold chains and jewellery. The Utopians thought them to be of very lowly origin, since such things were only used as toys for children, who discarded them as they grew older. When the diplomats came, the children watched them pass by in the street and said: Look at those old fogeys still wearing children's playthings!

No value is attached in Utopia to the wearing of fine clothes, for they say: How can anyone fancy it matters whether his clothes are made from this wool or that wool? The sheep were the first to wear them. How can you fancy there is anything special in wearing what the sheep first wore naturally!

In Utopia there is also another peculiarity; good and evil, virtue and vice are only judged in connection with religious ideas. A goal to be striven for in life is a kind of epicureanism in the pleasures one enjoys. The more fun one has in life, the more virtuous one is considered to be. The Utopians believe in the immortal soul of man and have a kind of religion of reason. They consider that everybody may use his common sense to see that God rules the world like an overseer, that man has an immortal soul and that after death this will enter into a spiritual world where there will be reward and punishment for virtue and vice.

The Utopians think nothing of jewels for they say: When somebody buys a jewel he has to seek the assurance of the seller that it is genuine; why on earth should something be valuable if you cannot see with your own eyes whether it is a genuine or a counterfeit jewel? This could only happen in Utopia. Hunting is also scorned as something undignified. Only butchers are allowed to hunt, and theirs is not an esteemed profession.

The man who tells all these things explains that he himself introduced the Utopians to Greek literature and art and that they proved to be extraordinarily intelligent. Indeed their language seems to have affinities with Greek, and their culture is unusual in that it seems to remind one of that of Greece mingled with something of Persia. The manner in which husband and wife are selected I shall not describe for reasons which you will understand if you read the book. There are no lawyers in Utopia; they are considered to be the most harmful people. Contracts are not entered into because the Utopians believe that if someone wants to keep an agreement he can do so without a contract, whereas if he does not, he can break it even if he has a contract.

In war, they avoid bloodletting if at all possible; it is considered the most shameful thing. They say: If one spills blood in war, one is no better than wolves and tigers. Other methods must be sought, for man has intelligence. Only in absolute extremity, if there is no other hope, will they spill blood. They set about the matter of making war on another nation by sending out scouts whose task it is either to bring about confusion among the enemy so that they start to quarrel among themselves, or to murder one or another member of the enemy force, or something similar. In other words they seek to use ‘love and good sense’ to bring about discord and dissension as well as mutual irritation among those on whom they wish to make war, and only if this fails will they decide to shed blood. And even then they use quite special methods which show that they intend to cease the bloodletting at the first possible opportunity.

Another point is that religious tolerance is a fundamental characteristic of the Utopians. So long as he does not break the law, anybody may belong to any sect or represent any religious view he likes. This was instituted by the founder of Utopia, Utopus himself. However, all must believe in a highest being, whom they call Mythra. The one who tells us this has himself attempted to introduce Christianity there. The A-94-Utopians proved to be most open to it and recognized it as being indeed the best religion. The utmost religious tolerance prevails, and all may believe whatever they will, except that someone who is a materialist or who does not believe in the immortality of the soul forfeits all civil and other rights, indeed is declared to be without rights.

There is a sect which holds animals to be creatures who have souls like people. There are priests who teach in special mystery churches and perform cultic rites. Festivals are celebrated at the end and the beginning of each year. Musical instruments differ somewhat from those in other countries, for they are particularly suited to expressing in music what the human soul feels in its various moods. And so on.

I have told you all this just as it is described in the book. You will have noticed I said on the one hand that the Utopians have a religion of good sense, in which each individual believes what his good sense tells him is right; and yet, on the other hand, we are told that Christianity has been introduced and that all believe in a kind of Mythra. Further, it is said that tolerance prevails, and yet those who are materialists forfeit their rights as citizens. In short, you will find in the book one contradiction after another.

So what is this book really about? What is it describing? We can indeed only understand it on the basis of spiritual science. We must understand that Thomas More, like Pico della Mirandola and others, is a man who stands with part of his being in the fourth post-Atlantean period while another part already projects into the fifth. But he is also a man who knows that this is so and develops it in full consciousness because he possesses a certain spiritual life.

Thomas More spent many hours every day in meditation, and with his meditations he achieved certain quite definite results. But these results came about because, as I said, part of his being still lived in the fourth post-Atlantean period, so that atavistic elements joined in him with a conscious raising of his soul into the life of the spiritual world. Yet he lived a whole century after the beginning of the fifth post-Atlantean period and in his soul everything lived which was characteristic of that fifth period: intellectuality and reasoning as we know them today—which did not yet exist during the fourth period, contrary to the opinion of those whose view of history is utterly fantastic. All this worked and mingled in his soul. You can discover what must have gone on in such a soul if you study Pico della Mirandola and also the relationship of Pico della Mirandola to Savonarola.

We have, then, a man into whose soul we must penetrate a little if we are to understand what he meant with his description of Utopia. Such a man as this knew that occult impulses work and weave in the evolution of mankind, and also that at the turn of the fourth to the fifth post-Atlantean period it was necessary to provide the right impulse for many people. Whether they then make use of it is another question. What did such people know? We have often discussed that things are different nowadays, but this is what it was like then; so what did such people know? They knew that mankind must grow decadent if only those things were developed which were, let me say, unspiritual, thought-out, merely reasoned. Such people know that human beings must become desiccated even down to their physical bodies—of course not during the course of a few centuries but over a long period—if only dry reasoning, if only that spiritual element is developed on which materialistic views are founded. Such people have quite a different concept of the truth from that which gradually evolved during the fifth post-Atlantean period. They know that thoughts must be thought which do not relate to the physical plane, because, quite apart from the truth of such matters, human beings, if they do not wish to wither, must think thoughts which do not relate to the physical plane. These are the thoughts which bring life, which make life possible and help it to make progress. This is why what is spiritual is so important, quite apart from the aspect of truth.

Through his meditations Thomas More had come to experience pictures of the higher worlds in a partly atavistic and partly conscious way, but these were mingled with the material aspect of the dream worlds. Out of these actual experiences arose what he relates in Utopia. It is not something he has thought out, it is not fantasy, but something he really experienced as the fruit of his meditation. He placed it before us just as he experienced it, in order to say: Behold! A man who lives in England under King Henry VIII, a man who is even a servant of Henry's state, a man who bears in his soul the feelings, the desires, the intimate goals of England at this time—when his visions stir up his inner being, he experiences what is here described to be a kind of ideal state. He wanted to express what are the wishes, the goals, the ideas lurking in the subconscious of those who are dissatisfied with the external world. This is what he wanted to express.

So it can be said: this is the astral self-knowledge of a man of that time. A wise man such as Thomas More does not simply set before his contemporaries a fantastic ideal for the future. He sets before them what he himself experiences because, through this, in his own way and in keeping with his own time, he wants to present them with the great truth that the external world perceived by the senses is maya and that this external world of the senses must be seen in conjunction with the super-sensible world. But if one sees them in conjunction in this way—so that all the desires, all the wishes which belong to a particular age and are in keeping with that age, are allowed to play their part—then the outcome is something which, if looked at closely, is by no means a proposition that could be considered ideal. For I must admit, if I were to be born in Utopia I would probably see it as my primary task to overcome the prevailing conditions as quickly as possible and replace them with others. I might even consider the conditions prevailing here or there on our earth—apart from those of the immediate present—to be more ideal than those in Utopia. But it was not Thomas More's aim to describe ideal conditions. His intention was to show what he really experienced under the conditions as I have described them. He wanted to say to people: If you could see your wishes, if you could see before your eyes what you imagine to be ideal conditions, you would find that you were not in agreement with them at all.

Now we have made the acquaintance of the stranger who describes Utopia: he is the astral self of Thomas More. These things must be seen as being much more real than is usually supposed. At certain points of human evolution the fundamental facts must be sought out if one wants to understand this human evolution. A judgement cannot be made simply by taking the few facts closest to hand. A valid judgement cannot be based on these, for it would merely relate to sympathies and antipathies. These are valid, of course, but they take us no further, and mankind cannot be served by them.

My purpose here—and we shall return to these things later—has been to place before you a man who is particularly typical of the turning point between two ages, namely, between the fourth and the fifth post-Atlantean ages: one who is able to bring to the surface what is characteristic of his deeper soul life in such a way that he has an experience of self. Let me just leave this as a fact for the moment.

In order to gain an understanding of the kind for which a number of our friends here have expressed a wish, we must now also work on achieving a comprehension of the concrete reality of a folk soul. For our materialistic age and way of feeling tends to make us confuse the folk soul with the individual soul. I mean, when we speak of a people, a nation, we believe that this has something to do with the individuals who constitute this nation. To use a rather rough-and-ready, though graphic comparison: To say that an Englishman or a German can be identified with the folk soul of his nation is, for the spiritual scientist, as nonsensical as saying that a son or daughter can be identified with father or mother.

This is a rough-and-ready comparison, as I said, because on the one hand we are dealing with two physical people, whereas on the other we mean one physical and one non-physical being, which differ totally from one another when examined concretely. Not until there is an understanding of the mysteries of repeated earth lives and of the karma which these involve will there really be a comprehension of what underlies all this, which it is highly necessary to understand if one wants to speak on a firm basis about these things. An immensely important truth lies in the fact that one lives within a certain folk spirit only for a single incarnation, whereas one bears within one's own individual being something quite different, something immeasurably greater and yet also immeasurably smaller than that which lives within a folk soul. To identify oneself with a folk soul is, in reality, totally devoid of meaning once one goes beyond what is described by such words as love of the fatherland, love of the homeland, patriotism and so on. We shall only understand these things properly, once we can look earnestly and deeply at the truths of reincarnation and karma.

I have spoken recently in various places about the connection between the human soul between death and rebirth and what comes into being when man enters a new existence through birth. I pointed out that between death and rebirth man is linked with the forces which bring people together over many generations. Through the ever-repeated union of different pairs of parents and all that leads to descendants, as well as other aspects of the succession of generations, it comes about that the human being between death and rebirth finds himself within a whole stream which, in the end, leads him to the parents through whom he can incarnate. Just as in physical life one is linked with one's physical body, so between death and rebirth is one linked with the conditions which prepare for birth through a particular pair of parents. One is immersed in the forces which bring one to particular parents, and which brought father and mother to their parents, and so on back through the generations, in all their offshoots and ramifications, and whatever works together here in the most varied ways—in all this one is immersed for centuries!

Consider the imposing number of centuries one would remain within all this in order to pass through a mere thirty generations. The period from Charlemagne to the present day encompasses approximately thirty generations, and over all that time, in all that has taken place in the way of meeting, falling in love and begetting descendants which at last led to our own parents—in all this we have ourselves been involved, all this we have ourselves prepared.

I am repeating this because in connection with those personalities one calls leaders, those who can be recognized as leading personalities in some respects, it is important to understand that what makes them significant for mankind comes about through all that I have just described. I shall draw your attention now to a leading personality, and the climax of what I have to say about him will be expressed in the words of another. You will see in a moment why this is so.

We see in Dante a most eminent personality who lived at the end of the fourth post-Atlantean period. We may juxtapose such an eminent personality with those personalities who gained a certain eminence after the beginning of the fifth post-Atlantean period, such as, for instance, Thomas More. Let us look closely at what may be recognized in general in a personality such as Dante. A personality such as Dante is of far-reaching significance, gives far-reaching impulses. It is therefore interesting to consider, or at least to guess, how such a soul before entering through birth into a physical existence that is to be significant for mankind, puts together—excuse this rather peculiar expression—what he is to become, in order to be born in the right way through the right parents. Obviously these conditions are brought about out of the spiritual world, but they are realized with the help of the physical tools. In a certain sense the spiritual world guides this blood to that blood, and so on.

As a rule, a personality like Dante cannot be born of homogeneous blood. To belong to a single nation is impossible for such a soul. It needs a mysterious alchemy; various blood streams must flow together. Whatever those over-patriotic people might say who claim great personalities for a single people, there is no great reality behind it!

As regards Dante, so that you do not think I am taking sides I shall now let another, who knows him intimately, describe what is clearly apparent in his being. It would be easy to imagine that I might be carrying on politically, which is actually furthest from my intentions. So for this reason I have made enquiries of Carducci, the great Italian poet of today, who is an expert on Dante. Behind Carducci—and this is why I am quoting him—stand what are called ‘Massonieri’ in Italy, and what is connected with all those secret brotherhoods to whom I have drawn your attention. Because of this, Carducci's theoretical arguments about the actualities of life are, to a certain extent, based on some deeper knowledge. I would not maintain that he has flaunted this deeper knowlege all over the market place or that he is in any way an occultist. But what he says does contain a certain amount of what has come to him via all kinds of secret channels.

Carducci says: Three elements work in Dante, and it is only because these three elements work together that Dante's being was able to become what it was. First, through certain branches of his lineage, there was an ancient Etruscan element. This gave Dante whatever it was that opened the super-sensible worlds to him; because of this he was able to speak so profoundly about the super-sensible worlds. Secondly, there was in him a Roman element which gave him a proper relationship to the life of his time and a basis of certain legal concepts from which to proceed. And thirdly, says Carducci, there was a Germanic element in Dante. From this he gained the boldness and freshness of his views, a certain candour, and the courage of his convictions in what he had set himself. These three elements, says Carducci, made up the soul life of Dante.

The first element points to the ancient Celtic influence which pulses through him like blood in a certain way, leading him back to the third post-Atlantean period; for the Celtic element in the North leads back to what we have come to know as the third post-Atlantean period. After this we find the fourth post-Atlantean period in the Roman, and the fifth in the Germanic element. Carducci maintains that the elements in Dante's soul are composed of these three periods and their impulses, so that we really have three layers lying side by side—or rather one above the other—the third, fourth and fifth post-Atlantean periods: Celtic, Roman, Germanic. Dante experts of some stature have gone to great pains to discover how, from the spiritual world, Dante managed to mingle his blood in such a way as to obtain the final composition with which he was born. Of course, they did not express this in these words, but they went to great pains and came to believe that much may be put down to the fact that a great many of Dante's ancestors are to be found in the Grisons area of present-day Switzerland. This is borne out to some extent by history. The chain of Dante's predecessors points in every direction of the compass, including this district, where so much mixing of blood streams took place.

We now see how, in a single personality, the remarkable working together of the three layers of European human evolution is revealed. We also see how a man like Carducci, whose judgement is based on a certain objectivity and not on present-day nationalistic madness, points to the foundation on which Dante stands.

Herewith we touch on conditions which are well-known in circles familiar with the realities of life, conditions which may be reckoned with and which may be used as forces if one wants to do certain things. These conditions are by no means unknown to the secret brotherhoods, neither in their rightful use, nor in that other direction which uses secret knowledge in one way or another in the service of some group egoism. For the secret of how the three consecutive layers—which are exceedingly meaningful, mainly for Europe—work together, is discussed most carefully in all secret brotherhoods worthy of the name, though naturally in some cases in a manner which deflects from what might be termed the good direction.

Please be sure not to forget that knowledge about such things exists, and that it is taught—even though, in the external, clever world no one wants to know much about it—very systematically and with great care, especially in the western and American secret brotherhoods.

Having now prepared the way and brought to your attention the teaching about what is, in a certain way, a mystery of evolution and which is taught, albeit with the most varying aims, I shall now point to some further teachings simply by describing them to you. These teachings formed the content of the instruction given in certain occult schools, particularly towards the end of the nineteenth century. They continued into the twentieth century, but it was particularly in the nineteenth century that they were taken up, at which time they gained a considerable degree of influence. Efforts were made to bring them into all kinds of situations in which it was felt necessary to use them for certain ends. So to start with I shall simply report, quite uncritically, on certain teachings from the secret brotherhoods of England, whereby I shall be alluding to what I have prepared.

The following was taught and is still taught: The evolution of Europe can be comprehended if, to start with, one looks at the transition from the Roman, the fourth post-Atlantean period, to the fifth post-Atlantean period. The teaching was—please remember that I am merely reporting—that the mystery of the transition from the fourth to the fifth period or, as was said in these brotherhoods, from the fourth to the fifth sub-race, must be understood. You know that we cannot use the term ‘sub-race’ for the reasons I have frequently expressed, for to use this term means to pursue one-sided group aims, whereas group aims can never be our concern, but solely the general aims of mankind. So the teaching was that the fourth sub-race is represented mainly by the Roman, the Latin peoples. Throughout human evolution it is the case that when things develop in sequence it is not a question of what comes after taking its place behind what came before. What came before remains and takes its place side by side with what comes afterwards, so that they remain side by side in space. Thus, the stragglers of the fourth sub-race, consisting chiefly of the Roman and Latin elements, have remained during the period of the fifth sub-race.

The fifth sub-race, which began at the start of the fifteenth century, is composed of those peoples who are called upon to speak English in the world. The English-speaking peoples represent the fifth sub-race, and the whole task of the fifth post-Atlantean period consists in conquering the world for the English-speaking peoples. It will be evident that the stragglers of the fourth sub-race, the peoples touched by the Latin element, will fall more and more into a certain materialism. They bear within themselves the element of their own inner dissolution, and even in the physical sense bear their own decadence within them. As I said, I am merely reporting and not saying anything which I myself maintain to be true. Further, it is said that the fifth sub-race bears within it a germ of spirituality, of a capacity to comprehend the spiritual world. It is necessary, it is said, to understand how the fourth sub-race affected the fifth, and for this purpose one must look back to where the Nordic peoples, who later became the Britons, the Gauls, the Germans, came towards the Roman Empire. The question was asked: What were these peoples at the time when the Roman Empire was making war on them; in other words, when the conflict between the fourth and the fifth sub-race began? As peoples they were at the stage of infancy! The important point is that the Romans, the Roman element, the fourth sub-race, came in order to be their wet-nurse. These expressions are needed to enable us to draw the analogy between the folk element and the element of the individual human being. So the Romans became wet-nurses and they remained so for approximately as long as they maintained their dominance over the peoples of the North who were going through their infancy.

Infants grow to be children. This is the age in which the Papacy is founded in Rome and in which the Pope in his reign becomes the guardian of the child, just as the Roman Empire was the wet-nurse of the infant. Again, I am merely reporting, and not maintaining that this is the case. So now we have the interplay between the Papacy and what is going on in the North, what developed through Central Europe right out as far as Britain. This is the education of these people under the guardianship of the Papacy, out of which the Roman element from the fourth post-Atlantean period is still working. Round about the twelfth century, when the Papacy began to be no longer what it had been, the youth of these various people commenced, this being characterized by the awakening of their own intelligence. The guardian now withdraws. The youth of these peoples continues until roughly the end of the eighteenth century. As a rule, when such things are taught the present is omitted, because for certain reasons this is thought to be a good thing to do. People must not be told too clearly what one thinks about the present time; they learn about this more through suggestion.

Thus, in the course of time in the North, under the rule of the wet-nurse, the guardian, and so on, the present mature condition grew. This bears within it the germ of rendering Britain the ruling nation of the fifth post-Atlantean period, in the same way as were not only the Romans but also the Roman element in the form of the Papacy, which was derived from them. So, according to this doctrine, while the remains of the Latin element crumble away from the human race, a new fruitful element expands from the factor in which lives the British element. Now it is hinted that all external actions and measures which are to serve any purpose and be fruitful, must be made under the sign of these views. Anything that is undertaken without these views, anything that does not take into account that the Latin element is in decline and the British element ascending, is doomed to wither. Of course such things may be undertaken, say these people, but they are condemned to remain meaningless, they will not grow. It is like sowing seeds in the wrong soil.

In the doctrine I have sketched for you we have a foundation which seeped into all the brotherhoods, even the more esoteric ones—those who worked in the West as so-called high grade Freemasons and suchlike. These things were insinuated into public affairs by people who had either close or loose connections with these brotherhoods, often in such a veiled way that those concerned had no idea how they had come by their knowledge. Particularly since the sixteenth century these things have been carried from the West into much that can be experienced in human evolution.

Other things are also taught. It is said: Just as those people in the North during the time of the Roman element were preparing themselves to be the fifth sub-race, so today, in a similar way, the Slav people are coming towards the West as the developing sixth sub-race; in the same way the Germanic peoples came out of the North to meet the Roman element. Thus it is said that living in the East, under a despotic rule that is doomed to destruction, are a number of individual peoples who, like the Germanic peoples when the Roman Empire started to spread northwards, are not yet nations as such but still tribal peoples. These tribal peoples constitute the separate elements of the so-called Slav people, which for the moment is only held together in an external way by a despotic government which is to be swept away. I am using the terms which are customary within these secret brotherhoods.

After saying so many positive things about the Slavs, let me just add in parentheses: It is true that these peoples are still tribal in a certain way. This became evident at the Slav Congress in Prague in 1848. Each group wanted to speak in their own language, but this proved impossible because they were then incomprehensible to the others; so they were forced to use standard German instead. I do not say this to amuse you but in order to show that what is taught in the West about the Slavs does have a certain basis of truth.

It is said further in the English brotherhoods that the Poles have evolved ahead of the other Slavs, for they have developed a homogeneous cultural and religious life of a relatively high calibre. The destinies of the Poles are described to some extent, but it is then maintained that they really belong to the Russian Empire. Then the Balkan Slavs are discussed. Of them it is said that they have thrown off the yoke of Turkish oppression and formed themselves into individual Slav states which, however—and this is repeated over and over again—are destined to remain as they are only until the next great European war. In the nineties particularly, these brotherhoods held this great European war to be imminent, and it was linked especially to evolutionary impulses which were to emanate from the Balkan Slavs, born of the fact that these states, which had come into being as a result of their disengagement from the Turkish Empire, had to undergo a transition to new forms. Only until the next great European war, it was said, would these Balkan Slavs be able to maintain their independence. After that they would meet with quite other destinies.

These peoples are at present, so it is taught, in their infancy. So it is hinted that since they are the future sixth sub-race, while the Britons are the present fifth sub-race, the Britons will have to play a role towards them similar to that played by the Romans towards the northern Germanic peoples, namely that of wet-nurse; to be a wet-nurse to these peoples is their primary task. This role of wet-nurse will cease to be necessary, it is said, at the moment when these peoples will have reached a point when the Russian Empire no longer exists and they have succeeded in creating their own forms out of their own dawning intelligence. But gradually the wet-nurse must be replaced by the guardian. This means that in the West a kind of papacy must develop out of those who form the fifth sub-race. For this, a strong spirituality must develop and, just as the Papacy stood in relation to Central Europe, so a configuration will have to come about which works comprehensively from the West over towards the East. This must result in the East being used as a place where certain institutions can be created in a manner similar to that in which the Papacy created its institutions in Europe.

Of course we have now progressed by one sub-race. The Papacy created churches and religious communities of all sorts. But now the western ‘papacy’, which is to develop out of the British element, will have the task of carrying out certain quite definite economic experiments, that is, of instituting a certain form of economic society of a socialist nature which, it is assumed, cannot be founded in the West because there the fifth and not the sixth sub-race has its being. The East, experimentally at first, must be used for such experiments for the future. Political, cultural and economic experiments must be carried out.

Of course these people are not so stupid as to maintain that the dominance of the West will last forever, for no serious student of spiritual matters would believe that. But they are quite clear about the fact that just as at first the services of the wet-nurse were offered, so must these be metamorphosed into the role of the guardian—in other words a kind of future ‘papacy’ on the part of western culture.

I have been reporting, my dear friends! These things are buried deeply in the teachings of western Freemasonry and it is a matter of recognizing whether the ones I have mentioned, which are very influential, are really justified as being for the good of mankind in general in its evolution, or whether it is necessary to think of them as needing correction in some way. This is what we are concerned with. We shall return to all this again.

Now I want to point out that certain stages of evolution are really not mere fantasy, but that the more deeply one enters into the real facts, the more does it become possible to prove in the external world what was found at first by spiritual means. External science, even today, is occupied with the search for theories which prove that evolution takes place in stages which follow one another. That there is really something correct in what the spiritual scientist says can today be confirmed in some of the symptoms of ordinary science, if only one has the good will to search for them.

Diagram 1

Let me mention in this connection something of which I have repeatedly spoken already. Although external culture cannot comprehend these things there is, in spiritual development, something which is expressed in laws which are as definite as the laws of nature. I once drew your attention to a linguistic law. Human evolution from the fourth post-Atlantean period up to the present shows that Greek and Latin represent a particular stage of linguistic development; the next stage was then Gothic, and the one after that New High German. Evolution takes place here in a perfectly regular manner. I can only sketch this for you, but these things follow laws which are every bit as absolute as those of nature, and exceptions merely seem to be so.

The sound D in Greek or Latin is transmuted into T and this again into Th which, because of certain language laws, can also be Z. A Greek Th or Z becomes a Gothic D, and this becomes T in New High German. A Gothic Th or Z becomes a New High German T, and so the circle continues. Similarly, a Graeco-Roman B becomes a Gothic P, and this in turn a New High German F or Pf. A Greek F or Pf would be a Gothic B and a New High German P. There is another circle which goes from G to K to Ch. Take for example treis, three, drei: T / Greek; Th / Gothic; D / New High German. This is so in every case and exceptions can be explained by special laws which complement the main laws.

We have three stages, one above the other: Greek-Latin, Gothic—which corresponds to the time when the Roman Empire was coming up against the Germanic tribes—and the further stage of New High German. The strange thing is, as I have said before, that English has remained behind at the Gothic stage. So if you want to find the English for a New High German word, you have to go back a stage. Take ‘Tag’; to find the English for this you have to go, not forwards, but backwards: ‘day’. Take ‘tief’; again you have to go backwards to ‘deep’; take New High German ‘zehn’; if you want the English you have to go backwards: ‘ten’. Take ‘Zahn’; you have to go backwards if you want the English: ‘tooth’; take ‘Dieb’, here too you have to go backwards: ‘thief’. New High German ‘dick’, if you go backwards, becomes ‘thick’. So, to go from New High German to English, the direction is opposite to the normal.

So we can say quite objectively: If we seek to find the evolution of language as a folk element in respect of English, we have to go back to the Gothic stage. New High German has risen in evolution to become a special element. This is not said out of any patriotic or nationalistic feeling but simply because it is true, just as there is no need to say the polar bear is white out of any sympathy or antipathy for him. The law I have demonstrated to you is a well-known linguistic law, Grimm's law. I have only demonstrated it with regard to some voiced and unvoiced plosives and some aspirated sounds, but it can be done for the whole system of sounds. The evolution of language proceeds in accordance with strict laws and it corresponds to the impulses that rule in human evolution. Little by little natural science discovers these things, though sometimes only sporadically. In spiritual science you may find the deeper foundations for all these things.

We shall come to other aspects of spiritual and cultural life which will show that what applies to the realm of language holds sway in other fields as well. Something unconscious, when it is brought to light, bears witness to objective laws. This cannot be turned and twisted according to sympathy or antipathy!

Do not imagine that this Grimm's law on sound-shifts is unknown to those secret brotherhoods of whom we have spoken. Tomorrow we shall see how they come to terms with such matters and how they have relevant things to say about them too. What they have to say is not foolish but perfectly in keeping with a certain kind of occultism. It will be up to you to decide, when you know more about it, how you want to judge it and whether it is something legitimate or not. Through the karma of human evolution it will come about that certain things are made more easily accessible to the public at large, in particular as a result of the circumstance that a certain amount of confusion has entered into the Masonic orders. Because of these circumstances a variety of things are coming to light for the outside world. We, however, want to understand, above all, the deeper foundations of all this.

Some quite bizarre symptoms are indeed coming to light. For instance there exists today an interesting dissertation by a man who met his death—this too is a remarkable karmic circumstance—on the battlefield of the present war. It is about the parallelism that exists between French politics and French secret societies, and it shows how the two run entirely parallel, how the same forces live in both. Much more intimate and concealed are the circumstances of English politics which are totally under the influence of what lies hidden behind them in this way. Here the main concern is to find ways of placing suitable people in the right places. The people in the background who are involved in occult manipulations are often like a number one; they do not amount to much on their own. They need something else: a nought. Noughts are not ones, but the two together make ten. If more noughts are added, so long as there is a one somewhere as well, a great deal can result—for instance a thousand—though every nought remains a nought. And if the one remains hidden, then only the noughts are visible. So the aim is to combine the noughts in a suitable way with the ones, whereby the noughts have no need to know much about the way in which they are combined with the ones.

There is, for instance, a certain man who is a perfectly honest fellow. I have often said that I in no way look on him as the wicked ogre—for which many in Central Europe want to take him. I think he is an honest, nice man who, in his own way, longs to speak the truth. Yet this does not prevent him from being a nought. This man's education began at Winchester public school, whence he proceeded to Balliol College, Oxford. Then he won something very important, the Marlylebone Cricket Prize, followed by the Queen Anne Tennis Prize. At the age of twenty-three he became a member of parliament. At that age one is susceptible to all kinds of influences. At thirty he became Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. He had long been Foreign Minister when he set foot outside England for the first time in order to accompany the King of England on a journey to Africa. He also wrote a little book on angling entitled Fly Fishing. Sir Edward Grey then ascended the social ladder before sinking into obscurity. A fellow student at Oxford, ten years his senior, was Asquith, with whom he spent his years there.

This is how those appear who are the visible accomplices. We shall proceed thus far today and carry on tomorrow.