The Rudolf Steiner Archive

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Cosmic Christianity and the Impulse of Michael
GA 240


The following paragraphs are quoted from a lecture given by Rudolf Steiner in Dornach, 22nd June, 1924: —

“The study of problems connected with karma is by no means easy and discussion of anything that has to do with this subject entails — or ought at any rate to entail — a sense of deep responsibility. Such study is in truth a matter of penetrating into the most profound relationships of existence, for within the sphere of karma and the course it takes lie those processes which are the basis of the other phenomena of world-existence, even of the phenomena of nature. Without insight into the course taken by karma in the world and in the evolution of humanity it is quite impossible to understand why external nature is displayed before us in the form in which we behold it ...

I want here to say something by way of general introduction ... which must be taken in all earnestness ...

What has been said in the lectures here since the Christmas Foundation Meeting should not really be passed on to any audience otherwise than by reading an exact transcript of what has been said here.

A free exposition of this particular subject-matter is not possible at the present stage. If such a course were proposed I should have to take exception to it. These difficult and weighty matters entail grave consideration of every word and every sentence spoken here, in order that the limits within which the statements are made shall be absolutely clear. If anyone thinks of communicating the contents of these lectures to some audience in a different form, he must first get into touch with me and enquire whether this can be done. For in future a united spirit must prevail through the whole Anthroposophical Movement. Otherwise we shall fall into the same mistakes that were made by a number of members who thought it their duty to elaborate anthroposophical truths in terms of modern science; and we have experienced to the full how much harm was done to the Movement by what was then ‘achieved’ — I say the word with inverted commas!

In the fullest meaning of the words, a sense of responsibility in regard to communications from the spiritual worlds begins the moment things are spoken of in the way we are speaking of them now. It is in any case very difficult to speak about these matters here in view of the limitations of our present organisation which do not, however, admit of any other arrangement. It is difficult to speak about these things because such lectures ought really only to be given to listeners who attend the series from beginning to end. Understanding will inevitably be difficult for anyone who comes in later.

If, however, friends are fully conscious that such difficulties exist, a certain balance can be established. Provided this consciousness is present, then all will be well. But it is not always there ...

I think that the meaning of what I have said will be understood. I have spoken as I have in order that the necessary earnestness may prevail in regard to lectures of the kind now being given ...”