Opponents of Anthroposophy
8 February 1921, Dornach
Translated by Hanna von Maltitz
I have taken on to still give this lecture before the approaching lengthy voyage regarding what relates to important tasks of the Anthroposophical movement — at least with the intention that important tasks need to be spoken about. Through some aphorisms I want to bring things to your attention today. We have every reason to examine the historic development of the Anthroposophical movement again, and will again because this Anthroposophical movement depends on those who want to be its bearers and that they this up and understand it in the right way. We should continuously bear in mind the circumstances out of which, through its own nature, through its entire being, this Anthroposophical movement grew at a stage which enabled it to find its existence to a certain extent unnoticed by the world. This fact we dare never overlook, for it is one of the most important facts in the development of the Anthroposophical movement. We need to be very clear how the Anthroposophical movement had begun and actually had to come into being, because one can only create true relationships out of something real, where small groups came together and work was done by these small cooperating groups. These small groups however multiplied, this we can't deny, contributing something scrupulously sectarian out of the old Theosophic movement. From different sides it was adopted, one could say, like a working habit by some of our members; but then again there were those to whom the content of what is meant in this anthroposophic spiritual science was such that from the beginning, it was impossible to fit any kind of sectarian behaviour into it. It clearly entered everyone strongly and was visible in each individual in the way it was encountered when the Goetheanum Building had been started in Dornach. It was considered possible by many of those in the member's circles that such a building could be created in the world by still retaining old sectarian customs. Such sectarian traditions are all too understandable, they are usually in all Theosophical Societies and in orders where most of them work in a manner which could be called obscure, where things are thoroughly avoided which should in fact be examined if a movement strives to uphold a generally humane character.
The work habits in certain orders and in the Theosophical movement can therefore not be applied to the content which is worked through in the Anthroposophical movement, because this Anthroposophical movement, despite speaking to the hearts and minds of every single person, at the same time was fully developed in all scientific challenges from the start, but could only be as it were presented in the present time. The latter is a fact which has not been taken seriously from many sides amongst the membership. It is characteristic that people prefer to remain completely stuck within a habit originating from tradition or from the course of life. Within the course of life it presents a certain isolated territory for you. This is not in agreement with what your religious tradition has brought you, it is in agreement with what the popular spreading of a world view offers you and now you feel a certain satisfaction when something is offered which surpasses that, which is equally from religious tradition as also from the general, wide, popular point of view of the modern materialistic thought processes which are able to come out of a newer time. However, you still prefer to a certain extent what is a given, because you allow yourself, I want to say, in a kind of Sunday pleasure, something which exists but doesn't intervene in a disruptive manner with ordinary life.
A movement such as the Anthroposophical one which reckons with the life forces of the present, naturally can't do this. Such a movement seizes the entire human being, involves every single detail of life. You can't consider it as something on the side. You may well enter into certain conflicting details because these things are absolutely unavoidable, and it doesn't allow living within the present lifetime habits in the various areas, through submitting on the one side to what life has presented and act as a courageous philistine, and on the other side, continue with your reading of Anthroposophy, accepting through your heart and mind the Anthroposophical life. You see, this would be the most comfortable way, but it denies the content of vital human evolutionary forces which Anthroposophically orientated spiritual science singles out in the present. Just as little as the Anthroposophically orientated spiritual science which necessitates a wide view and a truthful gaze on what moves within mankind and worldly life, can it be united with what is loved in the trade of some circles, which intend, out of a soul lust, the creation of small, inaccessible, obscure circles which demonstrate all kinds of illusions, carry out all kinds of obscure mysticism and so on. Such things are completely unable to be unified into the anthroposophic, wide world view of all life's relationships regarded through spiritual science. It is already necessary that these things appear in all clarity to the souls of our members, who need to break off all sectarian usages, because today the Anthroposophically orientated spiritual science stands in such a situation in the world that it can be attacked from all sides, and be besmirched from all sides. Usually this doesn't happen to some kind of obscure movement. I can let you anticipate a symptom right now which you can find if you take the February edition of the monthly “Die Tat.” Later on I want to speak in greater depth about what makes this “Tat” issue so symptomatic. It appears to actually orientate the entire issue to the Anthroposophical movement which is treated, in this case by a completely untalented author, in what I might call a brutal clarity.
Here you have an article — the whole thing is an article — from the start to the end of the issue, regarding Anthroposophy — which deals with “Anthroposophy and Christianity,” and only stems from a particularly untalented creator. In this article you will find, I may say, pointed out with awkward fingers, the basis, why at this time, seen from the outside, so many discussions are taking place regarding what the orientation is of spiritual science. The man says: “As long as Anthroposophy is esoterically maintained in circles, it can be left to their own devices, like in so many other side streams of spiritual histories. However, if one comes to the fore with a claim which is to renew the viable basis of social renewal as well as public, political and social life on the basis of thought and its second- and third-hand budding `truths,' then it is time to see through this cultural and spiritually favoured `esoteric lore' and duly reject their borders in order that truthful powers of renewal do not become forerunners blamed of false evidence.
“Our generation however, who turns towards Anthroposophy in great crowds, create a symbol like the moving scene in the First Book of Samuel, when Saul, renounced by God before the day of his death, prove the augury true.”
You see what gives people the reason to run down Anthroposophy? It is clearly here where the cumbersome fingers indicated express it in the sentence: “Our generation however, who turn towards Anthroposophy in great crowds ...” It is this, that Anthroposophy also contains certain effective origins within itself, from which one could say that people — forgive me when I repeat the expression, it is tasteless enough even if one can't imagine it, what “great crowds” can be — that people turn to Anthroposophy in “great crowds.” However it is this which causes the attacks and people would certainly leave us in peace if we would have been active for instance, let's say, in the years 1900 to 1907 or 1909. I personally would also not have been left in peace in those days, but anyway the attacks came, I could say, from a more restrictive corner and were not as wilfully destructive as they are now.
What appears to be thoroughly difficult to understand to those close to our movement, is the necessity to extract ourselves from sectarianism. You see one can renounce all the rest — many self-explanatory things can be stated — but one can't refer to such a building as the Dornach Building and still support certain obscure sectarian usages, which are being maintained by many of our members in the Anthroposophical movement. One can't do it any other way. One can't without a certain sophisticated sense, without a broader view of the world do what we do: regarding the way in which we do it. One could sit together in small circles, whether six or forty people, it's the same thing, and somehow make someone broadcast, on my account, something regarding the reincarnation of the holy Magdalene or Christ, or whatever. If it doesn't originate from closer circles one can do it and indulge ecstatically in soul experiences. One can't for instance publically present something like our Eurythmy without having a certain sense about the world. It is assumed that those who participate in such a movement, will have no peeved or no narrow-minded sense but a sense of the world, that one doesn't have some kind of sectarian airs and graces nor such affectations leading to only feeling comfortable in small circles, but it is assumed that one brings together everything connected to the world into what such a movement itself should be, which is not merely a movement of a world view, but includes everything spiritual and actually human life as well. Therefore it is by now necessary for discussions to take place about various spiritual or other movements existing in the world today. Sectarianism has the peculiarity of frequently being haughty and disdainful about everything which is outside its framework and does not understand what is on the outside and want to be cut off and be isolated. With us this can't at all be sustained in the long term. If our movement wants to be taken seriously it is certainly necessary that this or that is not continuously chattered about as it is often done, but it is necessary that we should — I must ever and again use this expression — acquire a certain world sense which enables understanding for what is going on, resulting in a point of view taken from Anthroposophical spiritual science, in order to clarify and treat these things. This is necessary in all areas. Certainly, one may say, someone or other doesn't have the possibility to do this or that. Indeed, one can't expect someone or other to do this or that if the person doesn't get the opportunity. We have actually been able to have extensive experiences of this during the last weeks when certain individuals in our movement have now also decided to act. As a result something quite terrible has come to the fore. It must be added that it is perhaps not absolutely necessary to expect anyone to do what he or she doesn't find suitable. Something is absolutely necessary, namely to abstain from certain things, because certain things, which are not carried out, work further in the most fruitful way.
My dear friends, I don't mean it in such a way that one could say: We are therefore encouraged not to participate in any way. — No, I don't mean this; I mean refraining from certain things which we can already see is of a gossipy or unreasonable nature. It is so, to take only one example, that folly refrained from being expressed in gatherings, finds a way to expresses itself in the opposition members of our movement.
These things are of course difficult to discuss because as soon as something is presented in some false way to the world one can say it becomes a blind act of will attracting blind supporters. That is absolutely not the case, but it is about those things which as a result of unrefined tactlessness, in turn in the most terrible way prevent things from working. Hence, when a saying is continuously repeated by our members, for example from something I have refrained from doing or saying, then we will naturally as an Anthroposophical movement not make any progress. I want to again mention the example, which is found in this “Tat” publication.
You see, it is really out of our membership's requests that such things come about, like cycles (of lectures) simply being printed as they were copied, while the work of the Anthroposophical movement is not given the time to do things in the way they should actually be done. The demand for printing the cycles has indeed originated from members, but normally something like this arises without anyone developing a feeling of responsibility for such a thing. It is natural that something like this arises from the members but a sense of responsibility must develop to not allow a distortion of it. This appears in the most harsh way in the February edition of the “Tat,” where it is said: “I don't want to spend time regarding Steiner who has left some of his disciples to edit the shorthand notes of a part of his esoteric lectures, for example the Evangelists, without taking on the responsibility to bother himself with it any further (as it is strictly assured on the title-page).”
These things should not be propagated further because of my needs, but because the Anthroposophical society needs it; it requires however at the same time that this Anthroposophical society develops a sense of responsibility for that which is necessary for its own sake, not for my sake, not always striking back on me personally because as a result it restricts me representing Anthroposophy as such in the appropriate way towards the world. It is quite necessary that this must be clearly understood otherwise what the Anthroposophical society really presents will in the widest sense prohibit the actual spreading of the Anthroposophic way. I should naturally become much more strict as we face a more serious situation here, than what has merely happened up to now through goodwill amongst the members. Besides, what is to be said in this area nevertheless has to be said. In this context I want to stress once again that it is not enough to merely disprove opposition as it has frequently happened in this way, when from this or that side the opposition turns against us — I have mentioned this already the day before yesterday. Such dismissals which have to be made now and then out of necessity, are worthless, supports nothing really, because today there are definite categories or groups of people who are active in a spiritual or other life, who have nothing to do with people who represent a rebuff and with whom it somehow comes down to a defence, a rebuff, but here we have people who do not care to spread the truth but with whom it finally comes down to spreading untruths.
Thus it is very necessary in such a strong and thoroughly spiritual movement which the Anthroposophical movement is, to point out interrelationships. One can't skip certain events because they become repetitive. For instance, I recently received a letter in which it was written that the writer had turned to the famous Max Dessoir, to this Max Dessoir who has been characterised as adequate among Anthroposophists for his moral and intellectual qualities. Now the relevant person wrote to me that he had a conversation with this Max Dessoir. Obviously such a person as Dessoir can't be converted by a conversation, that we must spare him — because firstly he doesn't want it and secondly it appears stupid to him to have to understand something Anthroposophically. So it makes no sense to try some way or another to continue a discussion with such an individual.
During conversations it also came out that Max Dessoir soon would write a piercing statement against me and my letter writer declared himself available to first read through this work and correct any mistakes so that Max Dessoir at least would not make errors! Now, one can hardly believe that such things, often through celebrities, can actually be done. And what are the results? When one complains and reproaches the person concerned, he would possibly say: “If something like this is not done then it means Anthroposophy doesn't allow itself to argue with scientific people.” Yes, my dear friends, we should not think like this. We should not immediately generalize abstractly, because it concerns the separate, specific moral and intellectual inability of the characterised individual Max Dessoir, and one can't do Max Dessoir the honour by saying we seriously consider him scientific and that we can't get involved in a discussion due to a certain inner spiritual cleanliness. These things must actually be grasped and individually actually followed through and thought through or otherwise we would really experience that writings by the opposition could possibly work well and that no “errors” would appear because these would have been corrected by our members. It is quite necessary to discuss these things because we have arrived at a serious time in our Anthroposophical movement. Much is done this way so one can say, things come about because we crush them, perhaps sometimes, as in this case also, quite out of goodwill; but the best will can turn out quite evil when it is not seriously — here I must use this word again — enlivened by a World sense and thought through. This is something which quite unbelievably often comes from our present Anthroposophical movement.
You see, it doesn't come down to being merely defensive today. Yet if nothing is said in defence, due to the fact that I have something against defending, it is obvious something must be done and it calls for the actual characterisation of the movement as such. In a person such as Frohnmeyer it doesn't merely concern a bare opponent and aggressor of Anthroposophy. It is much more important to establish the manner in which it is done and what kind of sense of truth controls him. It is far more important to know that this priest, Frohnmeyer, has developed out of quite a wide mass of people who are also similar. He is only somewhat freer than the mass; he represents a type of person within these groups which are as such really quite large in the world. Today we can't hope that people who argue from such a basis can't somehow be converted. It is complete nonsense that they do not wish to be converted. We do them the greatest favour when we don't present an opposing truth but stupidities, because then their values are better challenged. So it doesn't come down to mere defence against such people. This would result in an endless discourse of statement and counter-statement. What it boils down to is to characterize out of what spiritual ground and basis this originates and what it means for the entire dampening and degeneration of our present spiritual life. From this general sophisticated viewpoint things must at all costs be lifted because one can hardly remain stuck at mere defensive nagging and counter nagging. This is really what doesn't concern us because for us the concern is about the all-inclusive characteristics of these spiritual endeavours which need to be conquered today. Only through doing this can we effectively counter the Frohnmeyers, Gogartens, Bruhns and Leeses. It's not so tremendously important that someone within such a movement has the time to sit down and write a book; this anyone with a little learning can do, but it depends out of which spiritual foundation these things are presented to the world. One must be completely clear that people like Frohnmeyer can't criticize Anthroposophy differently than the way they do it. One should refrain from the personal. For me it never depends upon the personal. I never want to defend or attack a Frohnmeyer or Bruhns or Heinselmann or whoever they are all called, but I want to characterize this existing spiritual stream out of which these people develop. Individually these people according to today's sense of the word could be honourable men — honourable men they all are when I remind myself of Shakespeare's dramas — but this is irrelevant. I don't want to attach anything to these people personally. For example it doesn't include someone like the priest Kully who actually is the product of certain streams within the Catholic Church.
This is how things must be considered at all costs in today's serious time in which we stand. This is what we must consider under all circumstances. We must develop a spiritual eye, above all, for every decadent spiritual movement, which needs to be identified, characterized. We need clarity regarding today's world situation: amongst quite a large number of people it is simply the case that spiritual science is seen for itself and everything within the content of their lives is made to come out of spiritual science. Above all, when you could search and find proof of what is growing within today's youth then you'll have to say to yourself: these youths inherently have definite inclinations and abilities for which spiritual science is allowed to appear as something natural. On the other hand is the curiosity that there are still enough forces to hold down what actually wants to rise to the surface of existence just as we see it in politics.
Do you believe for instance that in the defeated or conqueror's countries there aren't innumerable individuals who, if they somehow could be brought to act, they wouldn't be able to do something sensible? There are certainly many such people but you don't encounter them because those connected to all old, degenerating world and life attitudes (Weltanschauungen) and who have caused this misfortune, are repeatedly thrown back with an iron fist to the surface. As long as one doesn't get the insight that it is quite impossible to do something with people who come out of old spiritual streams, even when they are in radical parties of the present, as long as one deals with those who have grown out of feeble minded and old spiritual structures, one will get no further. We need to maintain actual new forces, and those who are running the show are holding these forces back.
This is generally happening in spiritual life. We must draw a thick line between what wants to be worked at into today's youth out of the world, and whoever occupied the professorial chair and given the stamp of approval in the exam. This causes terrible pressure. Insight must develop for the content held by the examiner and the learned chair-person for what is involved here, because no lucid insight can arise for what is absolutely needed today. Pessimism says something, the forces are simply not there, it is not permitted. Only once we allow something to happen can we make it possible to get out of degeneration. Is it any use then that we conduct such a beautiful university course? Certainly, we can inspire several young individuals — that actually happened and will happen many times in the future. These young people are inspired for a time but they grow up in an environment of exams and philistinism and of course need to earn their daily bread because they will not manage otherwise and thus their development is of course weighed down and prevented from real striving and creativity in future. These things must be inspected thoroughly and on this track something must be done in order to overcome these things. We can't do this if today, during these earnest times of development, mankind as well as also our Anthroposophical movement refrain from reflecting that these things are present. This kind of thing is aptly depicted in this “Tat” publication.
You see we need to give attention to how these things which grow out of the basis of spiritual science come from thoughts of broad reality. For everything, when it comes down to it, is the main thread found in a far wider line of argument. In my book “Riddles of the Soul” I point out these Dessoir talents: Dessoir relates a very naive and quite beautiful example of his extraordinary spiritual predisposition in his “Schandbuch” (Book of Shame?) which he wrote and which has found much recognition in the world, that it can happen to him while in the middle of lecturing and immersed within his thoughts, he suddenly is unable to continue. Now, I find this a quite extraordinarily characteristic for such thought, that it can be thought and thought and suddenly can't continue. Yes indeed! I find this extraordinarily characteristic ... (Gap in short-hand notes). It is even a precondition that one can't regard him as a serious scholar, is that not so; one comes across such people today, who create something like the “Tat.”
The publisher of the “Tat” is the former Eugen Diederichs. I once came across a collection which Diederichs held to former students, where the discussion was led by Max Scheler as main speaker. Some time before that Diederichs had written to me with the request of wanting to publish one of my books. It was either in 1902 or 1903. The one he wanted was “Christianity as Mystical Fact” which had been published before already. In front of the word “Theosophy” he winced. The next day he wanted to speak to me. This conversation dealt with a publisher's concern out of which nothing came because obviously, nothing could come out of Diederichs ... (Gap in short-hand notes). He said — the mystical writing of Plotin, as well as other mystics should much rather be fostered because, regarding the general wellbeing of mankind, these make such a particularly good impression. It is just like when one drinks sweet wine or something similar and it runs in such a soulful manner through the entire human organism. — And one can hardly abstain from having the thought of him sitting there with rather a full little belly trying to digest the mystical by slapping his full belly with his flat hands!
Later every Mister Mystic supported the “Tat,” and the second publication in 1921 contained nothing other than an article on Anthroposophy, firstly one which was actually written by someone who had been elected by certain communities for the particular battle against Anthroposophy. What he wrote is combined out of pure impertinence and nonsense: I.W. Hauer: “Anthroposophy as the way to the Spirit.” — As second article appeared a refutation of the first from Walter Johannes Stein, “Anthroposophy as monism and as theosophy,” because Diederichs wanted to illustrate his objectivity. Of course he also invited supporters because they were within it all, they were people who read it and obviously were immediately convinced that Diederichs was an objective man, who allows both opponents and supporters to have their say. The distinction is that among the supporter articles a really well written one came from a man, Wil Salewski, “The Goetheanum in Dornach near Basel and the Anthroposophical High School course in Autumn 1920.” Certainly some good articles appeared in it but particularly those written by opponents show a grand stupidity, an absolute misunderstanding for what really should work through Anthroposophy, what it means and so on.
Quite tragic-comic, even joking, I might say, however is a discussion which the publisher Eugen Diederichs presents, entitled: “Towards an Anthroposophic Special Edition.” Permit me to quote the slime: “This booklet is the research from fruitful, striving discussions of religious men who preside over the non-confessional, within the circles of anthroposophic thought, and the director of this movement, Dr Rudolf Steiner. How such an attempt comes across depends on the personality traits found amongst members. I must confess, despite all efforts I was not successful in attracting the Steiner followers into a stronger collaboration.”
I wanted, but they didn't fall for it, not for Diederichs to compliment his “Tat” with something which comes right out of our circles.
“One could say, it is based perhaps on their relation lacking `humility' in the sense of Mennickes, yet as publisher I feel it my duty to be quite impartial and state facts. I hope however that later, another anthroposophist from the priest's rank, Rittelmeyer, will contrast his own serious Christ experience in opposition to those of Michel, Gogarten and Mennicke.
“As private person I can only admit that up to now I have not succeeded to acquire an affirming position regarding Anthroposophy.”
It doesn't appear to taste like sweet wine and thus can only be run down!
“I personally stand completely with Mennikes' point of view that Anthroposophy is the end point of materialism as well as rationalism and as a result this end point indicates no new developments. This doesn't exclude that it can be a transformative constructive phenomenon with new construction and that it therefore contains all kinds of worth, like constructive eclecticism built on values of the past. Anthroposophy doesn't appear to me as coming directly ....” — what is `direct' in this case is at most working from an inaccurately active gastric acid — “and therefore also doesn't give any evidence — despite all the talk about intuition, creativity and Goethe's observation. I know the Theosophists claim this assertion as their highest lack of understanding nevertheless it is spoken out in a singular attitude of secret subconscious powers.”
Regarding this `attitude', I've already spoken to you about it! “So I see from this personal attitude (which should absolutely not be an attack on Anthroposophy, but only a confession).”
Really, it is not very nice, because now someone who is smart enough will say: `He isn't attacking Anthroposophy.' — He is apparently indifferent whether he attacks it or not. Thus he says: “So I see ... it is a danger for the mental investment of the upcoming Germany, and is urgently necessary, not only for the readership of the `Tat,' but above all for the youth with Rudolf Steiner and with those of his spreading movement that it is intellectually dealt with. Because today it has become so close that we need to save ourselves from the chaos of our new development in a safe tower.”
Governments have sometimes saved themselves in “safe towers” during revolutions and riots; something can be said about that! Now however the publisher ends with: “My colleague Ernst Michel, well known to readers of this newspaper through his Goethean sayings and books, in this issue about Anthroposophy is faced with Catholic God- and World-feelings.”
Now, I ask you to listen even more carefully, because then you will notice what I have already characterized for you out of the most varied backgrounds the experience of Catholicism in an apparent rejuvenated gesture becoming a kind of Catholic-Dadaism, finding shelter under Eugen Diederichs in the “Tat.” “His article forms a prelude to the April edition which will connect with the Sonderheft of the Catholic youth movement.”
So this is what I mean when I call it the Catholic-Dadaistic movement. I don't say this without foundation because I immediately want to introduce you to something from Ernst Michel's article: “Anthroposophy and Christianity” and through this have the opportunity to familiarize you with a representative of religious Dadaism.
“It gives me particular satisfaction to have the opportunity to take the Catholic publication with its predominantly Protestant readers of the `Tat' and measure the Protestant individualism against the Roman Catholic community spirit. I hope that out of all the intellectual discussions the basic idea of the `Tat' gets support: the strengthening of its feeling for responsibility for its own development and as a result for the nation as a whole.”
These are the words of Mr Eugen Diederichs. Here, therefore, is a statement of the young catholic movement, which was given out of the prelude of Ernst Michel's article: “Anthroposophy and Christianity.” I have often indicated, also in the last two studies pointed out with great energy, what actually threatens the modern spiritual life from this side. However, now this article of Ernst Michel in the “Tat,” entitled “Anthroposophy and Christianity” is actually total religious Dadaism. The oldest catholic branch of Roman Catholic Christianity is here puffed out to its readers in bombastic words. Extraordinarily interesting discoveries can actually be made regarding this religious Dadaism. For example Ernst Michel noticed a basic truth of Christianity: “It is a basic Christian truth that a person with original sin against God, inherited through blood and essentially enraptured by conditions of sanctification, is unable to extricate himself through his own forces: that he has the independent inclination of wanting to rise to a higher stage of humanity; that the break through from one condition to the next, despite the original cause, appear as real procreative acts of God to this willing creature.”
So many words, so many sentences! — Each sentence can be sifted through and a childish confession found towards a `catholic catechism'. It's interesting that according to Ernst Michel it isn't up to single individuals to discover a final spiritual truth. You have just heard how it depends on `successful outcomes' and so it `breaks through'. A person receives this through grace and then breaks through. One needs to submit to this. A person should not out of his own kind of higher truth strive by claiming: “There is no spiritual development; there is only development and a successful outcome, a break-through.”
It is exceptionally nice how Ernst Michel from this standpoint of Dadaistic catechism says: yes, with dogmas there is something else, they have to be believed as truths! — “Dogmas are not formulated by a person or the community as their basic religious experience (as in `addressing God') but God, the head of the church, speaks as Holy Ghost directly and immediately through the visible church ...”
Thus the fathers of the councils, who are united, or even the Pope who speaks ex cathedra, is not a single person, not so? Now to go into excess, invoke the Dadaism of religion on top of holy Paul who had also said that the single human being dare not research the final truths: “At this point we can listen to the words of St Paul to the Corinthians without the fear of Gnostic interpretation: What we are talking about is God's secret wisdom, that which is hidden, which God prescribed for all times for our glory, which none of the rulers if this world has acknowledged ... to us however God is revealed through the spirit because the spirit explores all things, even God's depths. Speaking of people — who of you know the inner being of someone according to how the spirit lives in him? Just so nobody has ever fathomed the depth of God as the spirit of God. Yet we haven't received the spirit of the world but the spirit which comes out of God, in order for us to understand what gift God has given us ...” and so on.
Now you see, when these words of Paul are stated in the way of Anthroposophy, it all appears to agree. When however one is forbidden to somehow come to the truth through the spirit and then quote these words, one must be a religious Dadaist. It is the same with the description of the Christ experience and so on. In such minds it naturally will not be considered. In worldly minds it may be considered but of course what Anthroposophy has to say about Christ will not enter into such minds. This is where the circulating nonsense comes from which covers the Christ problem in relation to what Anthroposophy has to say about it. Of course one finds the Ernst Michel type who has to say one should have a religious relationship and out of this relationship so to say comes even such expressions as the “great crowds” which I quoted to you before. It's true, this is a particular style of expression.
On the contrary this article of Dadaistic aspects in religious affairs indulges particularly in scolding my style. This is exactly characteristic of such plump, grimy fingers which just don't manage to arrive at what is really necessary — to state spiritual truths. For this it is necessary to have a certain uncomfortable style. It is necessary to exit from such Dadaistic bombast as Ernst Michel depicts. Understandably my mysteries mean nothing to Ernst Michel. He understands absolutely nothing about it. He says for example: “Mystery certainly doesn't come from the naked-extrasensory: whoever looks for it there is a materialist, just as much as someone who looks for it in matter. No mystery is created by taking ideas of ghosts or magical wonders, dressing them in conceptual clothing and presenting them on stage under the theme of `Reality'. No indeed, the secret lies in the creative combination of nature and spirit into an indescribable gesture ...”
Now, just imagine such “indescribable gestures” and then say to yourself: “in the unity of matter and form, from power and direction” in the “emerging form, the living develops itself,” this is of course a quote from Goethe! Now comes the sentence — and you must retain the relevant Dadaistic-religious correlation here in order to tolerate it at all, and not only allow this to be considered as slimy when it must be rolled on the tongue or give it an even stronger instigation — “Speech is the mystery,” yes, it is stated thus in one sentence: “Speech is the mystery, the Son of Man Jesus Christ is the mystery.” You see, you can well understand that the style in which Anthroposophical literature is presented throughout isn't created in this style and it then becomes obvious in copied lectures which have not been corrected by me, that something else can be expressed. It doesn't matter that this is pointed out, how it is in fact quite a strong piece when Diederichs presents the entire nation with such things as a “sense of responsibility,” and as a result transfer the necessity to have a good look at what is transferred by not analysing it a bit more finely. It is really extraordinary when such a Dadaist of religions claims, that such a transfer of inner reality in sound and rhythm in the element of speech, was not connected with me. He then refers to two people where such a transfer has taken place; Nietzsche and Hölderlin. Typical of such a gossipmonger who has no feeling for the spiritual life, when confronted with difficult spiritual content and is challenged by his life's hindrances, he changes his style to that of Nietzsche and Hölderlin, and in this style tragic elements emerge just as they do in Nietzsche and Hölderlin today. The entire wicked thoughtlessness of this contemporary bunch appears precisely at such a point; they have neither any feeling for the tragedy of a Hölderlin or Nietzsche, nor for the necessity of an objective style, which is necessary in bringing to expression spiritual truths and spiritual facts. It is necessary today to point out that once one has shifted into a position to examine such Diederichs-gossipmongers, it must be done in an energetic way. One must see out of which sewers such Dadaism springs today which appears as the Anthroposophical opposition cloaked in the mantel of objectivity and from where it gets its spiritual nourishment.
These things can't be expressed in a different way than this, in these present serious times, because it should not appear in the attitude amongst Anthroposophist that such “objectivity” is different to a refinement in what Anthroposophy is and what lives in her, sunk in her very ground and soil. People like Ernst Michel and their religious Dadaism as well as a Eugen Diederichs and his stomach-mysticism obviously don't have the slightest inkling. This is what we must be aware of and what we need to examine. Today it is necessary to give rise to a serious attitude towards language and not be pulled into something which presents itself to the world in this way. It must be said and must appear in all forms in the world that exactly through what is presented in this way as spiritual striving, mankind becomes gradually increasingly drawn into degeneration, into the morass, and that it is necessary for Anthroposophy to remain standing in work which is pure and not be familiar with something which flourishes in a decaying society.
It fails to interest me when something praiseworthy appears because I give neither praise nor reproach from something incompetent — while the will is incompetent but not the mind — which Anthroposophy wants to heal in mankind. This religious Dadaism of course can't do otherwise than come up with such sentences as: “The power in which people grow up as the foundation of the mystery of faith is also not first in the line of knowledge but in the show of the continued and ever deeper show of introduced love.”
With that nothing other is meant but soulful sensuality which these people keep in mind and which is not supported by what appears in pure spiritual creativity today, where there is no place for these soul-spiritual distortions into religious sexual Dadaism, which, when it also appears under all possible guises, is nothing other than the shameless living of soul sensuality which a good many disguise as religious, but which is nothing other than the shameless living in soulful sensuality.
Against this we must evermore be clear that for once in our time something, when it is allowed to come through, can unfold despite all these oppositions, and can penetrate into the real understanding of spiritual life which is creatively active in material life. We must evermore be clear that we need care in the present for existing abilities in people; we must thoroughly, with every fibre of our soul dedicate this care and that no nuance of seriousness is strong enough to describe the devoted energy required in order to make progress on this path. Here no compromises can be chosen. Duty must be done. Obviously everywhere where Anthroposophy wants to be heard, Anthroposophy must be heard: our duty must be done. We must not allow the slightest illusion to come about in any way. It is necessary to work out of things themselves without compromise. Every one of us has the obligation, as far as possible, to work out of ourselves towards the recovery of the Anthroposophical movement, that it may extract itself from every kind of outsider tendency, from every pettiness, and that it leaves behind any emotional, sensual mysticism, that it really penetrates through to a free contemporary well-informed understanding of existential mysteries. Because only then, when we have seized the mysteries of existence in this way, can it be worked through the soul into practical life which still has to be mastered in order not to become a hindrance towards further progressive development of mankind. Exactly in this last arena the human being is misunderstood in some way. What doesn't all have to happen to distort things most shamelessly! In the well known “Berlin Daily Newspaper” an article was fabricated regarding all sorts of sewer-like stuff which in Berlin is claimed as fortune telling and predictions of the most idiotic manner and in the middle of it all is a reference to Anthroposophy and myself. This article has been sent out into the world. It appears in both English and Swiss publications. In the most infamous, shameless manner this fabricated article is working towards the destruction of the Anthroposophical point of view. It is precisely this that must be seen through, for by merely presenting some opposition will not suffice; the culprits themselves must be characterized. Obviously it would not be so difficult to get through this if the very basis out of which all this stuff is rising is characterized and a mirror held up so they can see their own identity. This is essentially what is necessary and what becomes increasingly necessary. We can't restrict ourselves by placing a kind of anthroposophic dogma on the one side and raise a defence on the other when opposition comes along, but we need to examine everything which is active in the stupefaction and degeneration directed at humanity. This appears very, very often. We need to reiterate this to ourselves every morning in some way, expressed in truth and without fanaticism. I have not in fact spoken about these thing exactly in this way, and I seldom reason, and previously seldom reasoned about these things, but now it has become more frequent because actually your gaze must be directed towards such childish prattle which flows out of the entire decadence of our time, like this fabricated article in Berlin, which is now doing the rounds in the world, like other things also do the rounds, and we really have unbelievable much to do if we want to oppose these things. We could in fact work for twenty four hours against this shameful witnessing. Then the Frohnmeyers come along and say that what they had written was never presented as disapproval. Dr Boos disproved it, had written to the relevant editor, and the editor actually didn't accept the refutation and thus Frohnmeyer had afterwards removed some of it out of the publication which the relevant priest who had been there had seen, and had told a lie; so the reply had simply never been accepted. Consequently, I believe, further correspondence took place in which no mention was made of it, that this reply was made and no comment given. We will really have to be very active if we want to oppose all these things. It is a comfort to a Frohnmeyer or Heinzelmann to focus on something or other they wish to say which doesn't correlate in any way to reality, the relevant item borrowed, letting one believe that it is the truth. Whoever writes something has the duty to do research, to investigate the source.
With these kinds of people who develop constantly out of malice and also a predominant ignorance in their point of view, one finds no end by mere opposition. Essentially it pertains to the spiritual basis which can be found everywhere and really place this in a truthful light.
(Gap in short-hand notes — the closing words follow:)
With reference to these things and not from personal grounds I would like to mention that since April 1919 I have given countless lectures in Stuttgart which contained the most important economic facts and truths as well as giving references to characteristic contemporary spiritual streams which should be exploited. Throughout it is stressed that important material is about to be revealed. — it is “defiled.” Items are printed and sent to members of the tripartite circle and the tripartite unions and are read in small circles. Whatever appears sophisticated is made sectarian. Anyone who is interested in this is wronged because things are not taken up but handled this way.
Basically this is lost work, directed towards something like this — which is actually so far-fetched — if it is not grasped, not laboured further, not worked out in this sense.
Above all else, this is what is really needed today!
It is not only unacceptable that these things are read in a sectarian way in small circles, but these are the things which can be worked through further. Everywhere are growing points for further work! One could ask, why should one work further on something when it simply lies there as printed material, and no one is seriously worrying about it any further? This is what it is about: when it is studied further one can really do extended research into what becomes special within it. This is needed, the further research into the seeds which are given on earth. This is the real active work: by lifting our movement out of any sectarian signs and then taking things simply as they are and allowing them to again enter into sectarianism, we won't make any progress. The content of anthroposophically orientated spiritual science is actually not suitable for some or other sectarian movement; the content is something which can by all means convey the impulse for having an effect in the world.
For this to happen it is absolutely necessary that everyone join forces. Today we are confronted with the necessity that things need practical application. We will not progress if this is not earnestly accepted, if nothing is really comprehended as to how the true spirit also penetrates into actual practical applications.
Then something must be done in such a way which doesn't defile it but instead that it is grasped and actively pursued in a lively way, proving itself.
Now I still want to say this in conclusion: No one, really no one needs to feel affected by these things. Only in a time in which, as I have recently quoted, it is this possible that publications opposing anthroposophical spiritual science as well as opposing its actions can they end by saying: there is enough spiritual sparks and they are necessary because also the actual, physical fire sparks should descend on this Dornach hill — during a time when malice is basically attributed to superficiality, is it a time for serious words by all means.
For this reason I asked you to come here once again. Don't take me amiss when the opportunity came along for me to utter some really earnest words! Before this journey I simply had to bring this to your hearts, to your minds, to your consciousness!