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The Rudolf Steiner Archive

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Foundation Course: Spiritual Discernment, Religious Feeling, Sacramental Action
GA 343

X. Composition of the Gospels

1 October 1921 a.m., Dornach

My dear friends! At the end of this lecture I would like to explore the arrangement of the material which we want to consider in the time remaining available to us. Today I want to start by continuing what I had begun yesterday. This will make it easier to reach clarity quite quickly regarding the effects of the teaching when the necessary basics are there in the sense I have imagined them and added them to this. For these basics to be more solid, we need a little additional time.

If we consider how to enter into the Gospels in the sense of working with the Gospel processes, then we first of all discover before our souls how in a most particular way the Gospels can be related to, and it is of course necessary, regarding this point, that everyone approaches them from a personal perspective. You then generally understand the content when such a perspective is asserted. For this reason, you may allow me to say something personal in today's lecture. I'm urged to do this because it is the best way for you to receive the following. When I approach the Gospels, it often happens that I have quite a distinctive feeling that within the Gospels, as far as they can be understood, what has been thought and said about them—and you could even, I say this explicitly, however often you approach them—always encounter something new. You can never know enough about the Gospels. Learning about the Gospels is linked to something else; it is linked to the fact that the further you occupy yourself with them, the more your admiration grows for the depth of the content, for just that, I could call it the immeasurable, into which you can become immersed, which calls for the actual experience, that there is no end to this immersion into the depths, that this admiration increases greatly with every deepening of the Gospel involvement.

There are however difficulties along this path which come to the fore when some strides are made into the Gospel—I stress the words "into"—that make you stumble over the inherited content. For actual spiritual researchers this creates less of a disturbance, because such a person would place the primordial Gospel into, what one could nearly call, a wordless text, and that makes it easier not to stumble over the inherited content. Admiration as a basis for reading the Gospels, seems to me an indispensable element for individuals, as a foundation for their religious learning processes. I once more need to stress that it is not important to characterise religious life in general, but to supply a foundation for the teaching process, in any case for religious processes as such.

This admiration you develop for the Gospels actually connects to everything, including details in the Gospels, and follows something else which will probably surprise you, but as I said, I'm speaking from a personal perspective; as a result of this admiration there is the feeling that you are never completely satisfied with just one of the Gospels, but you would only be satisfied with a combined harmony sounding through all the Gospels in a lively way. For instance a great deal of meaning can be found if you let the 13th chapter of Matthew's Gospel work on you and strive to enter into it as I've tried to indicate yesterday and want to continue with today; then again taking the parallel position, but now with Luke's Gospel, into your soul, where approximately the same situation is described, then you will have quite a changed impression of the experience. The impression becomes quite different; one arrives at quite another synopsis to one which one usually experiences, compared with an inner, lively synopsis.

You see, when you have occupied yourself with such things for a long time, you have had all kinds of experiences in life, and these experiences could seem quite important in as far as having started as a youngster and entering into these teaching processes which you wanted, in the majority.

I once encountered a man with a New Testament. For this New Testament he had acquired four differently coloured pencils and then he had with one pencil, I think it was the red one, underlined everything carefully which appeared as common content in all four Gospels. That meant, as he showed me, very little. He had taken St John's Gospel. There were four pencils; the other three he had applied to delete what only is contained in the Matthew Gospel, and then, what only was in Mark's Gospel and finally that which only appeared in the Gospel of Luke. In this way he had in his way created a strange analytical synopsis about which he was extraordinarily proud. I objected, saying such attempts were often made; we also know about it within German literature—it was an Englishman who held this achievement in front of me—where these attempts are made with corresponding places indicated next to one another in columns and blank intermediate spaces left where it can only be found in one of the Gospels. He was a priori convinced that his synopsis was the best.

It is exactly the opposite way to what can be found with the choice of the spiritual route. Here the different Gospels' content doesn't fall apart in contradictions, but they are enclosed into the totality of the deed, together; the coming-into-admiration is an experience which has to be had, an experience which is resisted in the most imminent sense by our present spirit of the time. For the spiritual scientist, however, it turns out that what I cannot even ask you to accept is still there, it turns out that there is no other way, than that the content of truth must appear other than just by the harmony between the four Gospels. It would, even if one would create an external synopsis as in Tatian's sense, which are not contradictory within certain limits, it would not result in what is found in the four Gospels as a concrete harmony.

You need to allow all four to work on you and then wait to see what comes out of this, not by first prescribing what the unopposed abstract truth should be and then only look for all which you can eliminate which contradicts the abstract truth. The truth needs to be experienced, and the Gospels themselves are such written works in which truth can be experienced; however, you need to have patience in order to experience this truth in the Gospels. You can of course object and say, you will never actually be able to experience the truth within the Gospels. I have to agree with your point of view because I still never presume to believe that I have found the truth of the Gospels completely; by continuously making further progress I have the decisive feeling that remaining patient in waiting is the basis, because the certainty of truth does not diminish, but becomes increasingly bigger. You can calmly feel the truth as an ideal placed before you at an immeasurable distance yet with the awareness that you are on your way towards it. These are the things you need to place in the soul with Gospel reading, and shape in your heart, otherwise you would actually never be able to cope with the Gospels in a real way. Of course, you could ask: Should I do this?—It will be shown in the next few days, that yes, one should do this after all.

Now I must say, it was quite an inner rejoicing for me when I came across something in the Gospels which someone else probably have found as well, but I came across it through spiritual research into the Gospels. I came across an image which really should be grasped with the eyes of the soul; an image of the three Wise Men or the Three Kings—kings were in those days initiates, inspired by wisdom—how the three Wise Men according to their knowledge discovered in the stars, clearly saw the starry script in the heaven leading them to the Star of Christ, and they came to worship Christ. They actually saw that Christ had to come, according to the prophecy in the stars. For those who know out of scientific foundations what is called star wisdom, can actually only honour this image in the right sense, because they would know that star wisdom is in the most imminent sense different from what we call astronomy today.

What we call astronomy today is mathematical and, at most, of a physical nature. If we talk about astronomy today, which is a science of calculations, and we talk of astrophysics, which is a mechanical science, also when we as religious individuals come from a different basis to our feeling towards the cosmos, we speak out of our time spirit and feel and think within it. However, prophetically predictive star wisdom of the Tree Wise Men is something quite different.

Star wisdom was at that time not taken like earth wisdom. Star wisdom was called something which could not be calculated purely by mathematics or physics, it was regarded as something that must be read like a scripture which had to be learned. The starting point was the twelve fixed signs of the zodiac, and then to look what changes the planets experienced in their positions—seven were accepted, as you know—in relation to the fixed signs of the zodiac. These curved movements were taken up by man; just as we read letters, so man saw signs in the curves, signs giving through the planetary positions in the zodiac, and with their own observations of the stars, to each was added a plane. These planes were differentiated according to how man experienced the world-all from the physical point of view: (draws on blackboard) north, south, east, west, with which you could intensively think about the depth of the dimensions, with nothing added, but everything that was found in the dimensional depth, projected on this plane. By looking at these fourfold differentiated planes as the table on which you read what is shown in the starry worlds as revealed, resulted in a feeling as if you read in the cosmos, and there were specific tasks, which one attains through this reading of the cosmos.

Image 343_02_01

One such task was that you said: Shift yourself particularly into seeing, into your inner seeing and understand how you feel yourself within it, and by understanding yourself in this inner positioning, you now follow the moon's course, follow therefore what can be placed here (demonstrates on blackboard), and you will understand as earthy man, the secrets of Saturn.

I initially just want to indicate how such things came about. These were once lively human occupations and through this reading in the heavens a certain amount of knowledge was gathered. Today's astronomy and astrophysics by comparison appear as someone describing the letters, but in the astronomy under consideration here, I'm not even talking about the letters but about reading the text. That's the difference. With this I wanted to characterise how wisdom was created for humanity from which the wise men rose up out of the Orient in search of Christ: this wisdom directed them to the Christ.

My dear friends, what has actually arisen in our souls with this? What is placed before our souls is that the highest wisdom which could, at that time, be reached in the world, was leading towards the Mystery of Golgotha, the highest wisdom. To a certain extent in this lies the thought of the proclamation: May you obtain the highest wisdom; the highest wisdom which can be gained from reading the stars, proclaiming the Mystery of Golgotha to you. This image appears in the Matthew Gospel when you are in the position to fully engage in the Matthew Gospel, in its own time epoch. This experience forms itself in such a way that it really turns into admiration for the depictions of the Matthew Gospel.

Now you leave this image for a moment. Going on to Luke's Gospel you find the verse of the shepherds in the fields. In contrast to the Three Wise Men from the Orient, who have the highest knowledge, you are taken to the simple-minded shepherds in the fields, who know nothing about knowledge, who can't for a moment sense the knowledge possessed by the three Wise Men from the Orient. The shepherds, through the natural relationship they have with their consciousness, only have an inner experience in which the announcement is given: The Divine is revealed in the Heights, so that peace may come to all mankind—only out of their uncomplicated, simple-minded experience this manifests as an image, not a mere dream image, but a picture of an imagination of a higher reality, a higher actuality. We are led to the hearts of these shepherds, who out of this human simplicity, in the absence of all knowledge, come to the decision to go and worship the Child.

Let's now place these two side by side. We don't look at them as something about who said this or who said that, but we place them side by side as the complimentary experience towards the complete truth. What do we get then? We have the direct, enlivened conviction: The Mystery of Golgotha has appeared in such a way that it is revealed to the highest of knowledge of that time and the most simple-minded hearts, if they are open to it in a selfless way. On the one hand, hardly anything can be seen with greater illumination and on the other hand experienced with greater depth in the soul, than the feelings in the Mystery of Golgotha.

You have to have the boldest of modern intellectualist minds towards experiences, well founded in present knowledge and not only in an outer content of old wisdom, but in the soul constitution of the old wise ones, if you want to behave like modern science behaves towards these things. Just as deeply as the cosmic reading resides within the starry worlds, so deeply are the simple-minded shepherds in the fields certain of the strong validity of the announcement. Today, mankind no longer knows how the soul constitution has changed in the course of time, humanity doesn't know how, what can be read in the outer knowledge of the stars, can be experienced inwardly in the human soul as it was experienced in olden times, how astral truths were heart-felt experiences, and how we as human beings, in order to gain our freedom, were led out of these stages of consciousness, and after gaining our conscious freedom, we can again return to this earlier stage. My dear friends, we must be able to acquire this selfish feeling. To achieve our freedom, we must go back so far, let's say from 20 December to 6th or 7th January just as abstractly as people with our souls, as we do, for example, when we (abstractly) experience Easter time. Let me express this particularly clearly—as I've said, these things even take root in life's experiences—I once attended a small gathering where the discussion was about a reformed calendar, a reformed calendar to be developed from modern needs. A modern astronomer who was highly regarded in the astronomic scholarly community, was also present. He obviously was an expert witness and pleaded for the uniformity in the Easter festival being determined as always being on the first Sunday of April, that it would be at least purely outwardly, abstractly, fixed. He had no understanding at all that mankind had to look at the alternating relationship between the sun and moon in order to determine the Easter festival. To speak like this in such a gathering would of course have been complete foolishness. We are so far away from our inner religious experience of what current humanity can understand of the cosmos, which, just when it's at the highest point of its particular chapter of scholarship, they see it only as normal for mankind.

Among the reasons given at the time to determine the Easter festival, there was also introduced the disorder which had to be put into the annual accounting records, when the variable time of Easter had to be placed into these books, they no longer preserve anything other from the old religion than inserting the words "With God" on the first page. This was recorded in the accounting records. I ask you to please go and look for yourselves, how much of this expression is observed in the pages that follow.

You need to understand such things thoroughly, as expressions of the spirit of the time. If you don't grasp the spirit of the time even into the details, how will you then sense the actual impulse for religious renewal? You have to be able to say to yourself with certain seriousness that this "with God" should prove true on the pages of the General Ledger and Cash Book or Journal. Just imagine what power is needed to encounter the forces active in today's social life, to really bring religion into life. This has to be sensed constantly in the background, or otherwise the drive to religious renewal is not serious enough, as it should be today. So, a feeling must develop for change in the soul constitution. You must understand that in olden times the soul constitution was such that when the earth was frozen and the stars appeared in its extraordinary aura in the second half of December, inner mankind was so contracted that they came to visions which allowed them to inwardly experience what in reality was outwardly read in the stars by the exploring astrologers.

From the same source did the poor shepherds on the fields and the astrologers (for that was they were, the Wise Men) come to worship the Christ infant. They came from different sides to the same place. The ones from the periphery of the world-all, the others from the centre of the heart of mankind, and they discovered the same. We must learn while doing one thing or another, to also really find the same, we must, particularly as religious teachers do this, so that our words gather content, content of such a kind as the content in the words the Tree Wise Men brought from the Orient.

In the same way as the shepherds went forth in the fields, we must go, because only then will words become as powerful as they need to be. We need content for our words, and we need power in words. We attain such content for our words when we deepen ourselves in something like the Matthew Gospel; and we attain the power when we deepen ourselves in something like the Luke Gospel. These two Gospels—we will still come back to the others—stand to a great extent as complimentary opposite each other. It is what anyone can give and taken into their being, just as if we break through what is given as religious teaching content coming from of the depth of the human soul.

So you see, we can only really speak in this way through Anthroposophy. Just try for once if you can find the possibility somewhere, to speak in this way. Where you will find it, Anthroposophy is actually subliminally present; it doesn't always have to be called dogmatic, it is not meant that way.

Now, as soon as we approach such feeling and experiences as we find in the 13th chapter of the Matthew Gospel, my dear friends, then first of all we will find—by just taking the words, as they are expressed—that their experienced content is not the same as what we so easily have in the awareness of our time—we discover first of all an elevated admiration for the entire composition of the 13th chapter of the Matthew Gospel. The entire composition can only leave one filled with admiration.

First of all, we have the parable of the sower. After this parable we have three parables, from the sowing of the herbs and the weeds which should grow until the harvest, we have the mustard seed parable and the parable of the sourdough. Between these parables we have certain instruction of the disciples who should listen differently compared to how other people listen. Then come the dismissal of the people and more parables which are addressed to the disciples only. During the course of the chapters we are led through parables spoken to the people, and to instructions given to the disciples regarding the parables which had been given to the people. Then follows the disciples being taken into, I'd like to call it, the secrecy of the parables which only the disciples share, followed by the question: Have you understood the parables?—and the answer: Yes, Lord.—

This is a wonderful composition and it becomes even more admirable when we go into details. First of all, we simply have the parable of the sower. After introductory words having been said, we are told what the sower sows; that birds also eat the sown seeds, some seeds fall on stony ground where they can only have weak roots and get too little inner strength, others fall on good earth. This is clearly put to us; and after this has been given, the next parable already starts with the words: "The Kingdom of Heaven is like ..." The parables that follow and that are also spoken to the people, begins with "The Kingdom of Heaven is like ..." The people are therefore thoroughly prepared, by first having the facts established and then they are softly led to what is said as facts, facts aimed at the nature of the kingdoms of heaven. That's all the people will be told, then they will be released.

The following parables are taught to the disciples: the parable of the treasure in the field, the parable of the precious pearl, the parable of the fish caught in the net from which many are thrown out, and the good ones gathered for nourishment. These parables are only spoken about to the disciples, and they are asked whether they have understood. They answer with the word "Yes," which in the context of the Gospel would mean the same if today we could acquire the right feeling for it, and say: Yes, Amen.—In this the wonderful composition lies, which does not have to be looked for because it comes across in a natural way.

Sceptics may well say: this layout means nothing, as it is put down.—However, my dear friends, if you let yourself live into the Gospels, you will not be able to do anything other than experience these things; and it will have its reasons why we must experience them so, as to live into the wonderful composition, in order to really notice all the details, the Gospels have to reveal. Here you have a wonderful composition.

Let's try and enter into this wonderful composition. Let's go to the three parables only told to the disciples about heaven. According to the total sense in which the 13th chapter of Matthew's Gospel is expressed, out of the spirit of Matthew's Gospel of Christ Jesus, this is not said to the people. Listen carefully what I emphasize: in the spirit of the Matthew Gospel this would not be told to the people. Try to remember exactly what is said in these parables which are only told to the disciples. Firstly, there's the parable about the treasure in the field, discovered by a man who then sells all he has in order to buy the field with the treasure in it, so he may own it. Actually, it comes down to this, that he sells everything in order to acquire this treasure; that he gives up everything so that he may have the treasure. This relationship of Jesus to his disciples may not be expressed to the people. Why? Because it contains a certain danger; that of becoming egotistic, the danger of reward-ethics. One could not, without damaging the people, without further ado speak about egoism. Egoism is addressed when one urges good deeds with reference to the reward of the Eternal. Reward ethic, which fundamentally is still present to a marked degree in the Old Testament, this reward ethic is rejected by Christ Jesus. That is why he speaks about this parable—for which the unprepared would look for as reward—only to those who had already progressed far enough that there would no longer be a danger for this parable to indicate its egotistic meaning. The disciples who through their communal life with Christ Jesus had gone beyond egoism, to them this could be said as it is in this parable, to them the heavenly realms could be compared with a treasure. In the disciples the urge for selfishness was not agitated. To the people in this sense of the Matthew Gospel it could not be said, just as little as what follows, which is structured accordingly with the parable of the merchant who sells everything in order to acquire the Heavenly realm. Because Christ Jesus knows he may speak to his disciples in this way, he can speak to them about the last, the most dangerous parable. It is the parable which must have a terrible effect on unprepared people, the parable of everything which is in offensive, evil or sinful, will finally be burnt in the furnace of fire, and only the good be gathered for Heaven. This can only be tolerated by minds which have learnt to be un-egoistic; otherwise it would anger their minds regarding such a parable.

What is it actually, that should be avoided with such an instruction, which Christ Jesus gives his disciples? Becoming angry should be avoided, that people should become angry with the way of the world and about being human. The entire 13th chapter of the Matthew Gospel is an instruction to make people patient regarding their destiny; for this reason, it can only be revealed at the very end, as to what will happen at the end of the world. So these final parables are the ones which could only be spoken to the disciples in secrecy because in they were—whatever the Christ Jesus may also say, as the most terrible thing, at this moment, in this immediate present—to be found in unselfishness. For this reason, they could say: Yes, Amen.

After we have tried to have an experience of these particular parables addressed only to the disciples, we can go back to the others. A person can only be prepared for a selfish notion of something if he approaches something which exists outside of him in nature, without agitation of his judgement. If a person dwells on the contemplation of the four processes of the seeds—if a person doesn't think of anything other than: the seeds which fall on to the ground are eaten by the birds, the seeds that fall on stony ground, fall under the thorns, and some on good ground—by simply spending time with these observations, one can actually not be engaged with oneself: one is drawn into selfless observation. After one has, in this way, presented the outside world to the usually selfishly dominated mind, then only can something happen. What is it that can happen?

Now you see, here we again come to an important detail of the 13th Matthew Gospel chapter. I can do nothing towards someone finding this examination of details as perhaps pedantic; for me it is not pedantic, it is certainly a reality. From out of the time consciousness of the epoch of the Mystery of Golgotha important differences are made between ears, errors in hearing, and eyes which are slumbering, sleeping and not awake. The explanation is given that the evolution of mankind should be discovered through the inaccurate hearing and that the eyes should be awakened.

You see, this leads us to, as at that time—which we know about from other anthroposophic foundations—a clear differentiation made between the organisation of hearing and the organisation of seeing. People in the present day clearly know nothing about this. They don't know for example, that the total organisation which stream out from the rhythmic, goes up into the head organisation, and encircles an inner organisational harmony between hearing and speech. Hearing and speech belong together. Hearing and speech is to a certain extent combined in a single organ complex, which today's physiology doesn't list. When I show you my wooden sculpture group you will be able to use this practically demonstrated physiology—but which it doesn't want to be—to see how it appears these days, out of anthroposophic foundations, that they are a unit: breathing, speaking and hearing. These three are also present in seeing. Take this for example (writes on blackboard):

  • Breathing
  • Speaking
  • Hearing

I could also have written: speaking, breathing hearing—the sequence is unimportant. Take these three as the members of a single deed. The three members are also present in seeing. Also in seeing it is there on the one hand, something driven through breathing into the brain, the breathing process participates in seeing. All this is so quietly indicated in the human organization that we are able to say: This here (note on blackboard: breathing) is completely atrophied in human consciousness; what we are still able to observe, when we speak, and thus look at our breathing, we don't notice in the visual act; it is completely atrophied. (Beside the word Breathing he writes on the blackboard):

—completely atrophied

With the act of seeing there is also something half atrophied that links to hearing. (Beside the word Hearing he writes on the blackboard):

—half atrophied

That is partially atrophied, it remains quite in the shadows of the subconscious. The only thing which is expressed in seeing, corresponds to speaking. (Beside the word Speaking he writes on the blackboard):


In conjuring up the images around us through our eyes, we speak etherically. However, the other two members which otherwise clearly diverge, which diverge while listening and speaking, are hardly present with seeing, but atrophied; here mere formation of the image overwhelms us. Because this connection is not perceived, today's tricky physiological foundation lies in epistemology. All epistemological theories, or at least many of them, start from the physiological foundation of observation, which are equally described for all the senses; they actually have no meaning other than an act of seeing. What you can find in the physiological foundation only really fits the act of seeing and is therefore unclear, because people can't see that some things are atrophied. One could say that these physiological views, which dominate there in relation the sensory physiology, are the most dreadful, able to depress the human mind: one is forever being bothered with things said about the senses in general while each sense must be treated concretely, individually. In many cases it is so that a sensory unit theory is taken as a basis.

Such a science as we have developed in Anthroposophy was of course not available at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha. How we can discover the truths about things today essentially depends on our admiration for the Gospel content. Today there's been talk that one must apply great efforts to reach into spiritual research, and that we must regard seeing differently to listening. With listening one must say: People can actually only hear in error because listening is fully developed as a single act. We also have ears that are open during sleep; we have no wilful influence on our auditory images. Our 'I' doesn't quite flow into them and form what is heard, but only in such a way that it can penetrate them with erroneous judgements. Hearing can become incorrect. Seeing has caused hearing to become half atrophied. Seeing has only developed what corresponds to it in speech. Added to this one must be awake, the eyes must be awakened just as people need to learn to speak.

Without it being explicit knowledge in the time of the Mystery of Golgotha, it would have been simply correctly spoken and understood out of the inner soul constitution of the people. I'm not saying something like the Christ having learnt Anthroposophy—that sounds very amusing—or to those he had spoken, had learnt about Anthroposophy. He spoke in such a way because he was aware how the other, by listening, would have understood. Yet also there he had to speak in such a way, as one spoke at that time, regarding seeing, and regarding hearing, from out of the most inner soul constitution. Because of me you use the expression "out of the subconscious" which is a term often misused today in an inconvenient way for these things. In order to have this understood in the right way, you can also understand the third which is also contained in the Matthew Gospel: to understand it with a person's whole being; his concentration, understanding through the heart. Understanding with your whole being is quite a different kind of understanding; one must speak to the heart of the person if you want to explain the parables. You can't speak in a different way to the heart if it is not functioning in such a way that the eyes are made to see in the right way, the ears to hear in a right way. This is how you have to distinguish: you must awaken the ability to see and make the ears hear in the right way. The ears don't need to be awakened, they only need to hear correctly.

In the total style of the 13th Matthew Gospel one's first attention is directed to the full human being; to the focus of the whole human being in his heart, perceiving through his senses, if he is to approach the interpretation of the parables. In the following way Christ Jesus makes it understandable to his disciples: after he has gone through from quite an objective observation given in the parable of the sower, he can no present further active parables and allow these to lead towards the functions of the heavenly realms. First, we have the parable of the plants and the weeds which point out that the good seeds could not flourish, without evil next to it. Then again one could say this is being expressed in a wonderful, quite scientific knowledge, because we know in a certain sense that plants can be damaged if the weeds are taken out in the wrong way. Likewise, we would harm mankind if we were to eradicate sin, for example, by not leading sinful men spiritually to the righteous, but by eradicating them before "the harvest," that is, before the end of the earth. This is approachable to people; what works in plants or in weeds, can be placed before their souls. It can be taken further, placed there objectively, how the world is spread out in the wide-open spaces, and how to carry what comes from the world, to the heavenly kingdom. The kingdom of heaven is the mustard seed, which is small compared with other seeds, then again it becomes a bigger tree compared with other plants.

This too, has to be pointed out to people, how it needs to be seen that the sprout is less visible to the eye than the grown-up plant, the heavenly less obvious than the worldly. Then awareness is drawn to how the kingdom of heaven works like sourdough, but all permeating, also working—at that time this imagination was far more obvious—as something spiritual. At that time this imagination could be uttered without introduction: Look at the sourdough as it is taken by the woman who leavens the bread with it; look at the bread which it spiritualises, behold the kingdom of heaven as it spiritualizes the world. You could not say to the people: Sell everything! The people had to behold what is indicated here, otherwise if you said: Sell everything!—in their selfishness they would really sell the whole world in order to buys something which is in the heavenly realm.

So we see in the 13th chapter of the Matthew Gospel the construction and composition of the truth because the truth is not simply stated as an abstraction, but the activity of truth consciously works from one person to another, that one needs to feel all the time, how one should speak. This is not the teaching of a hierarchy, this is simply the result of what becomes necessary through reality. It is in fact necessary, my dear friends, to speak to you in a different way because you want to become pastoral workers, than I would have spoken to non-pastoral workers, who are only believers. This content of the truth we find in the 13th chapter of the Matthew Gospel comes to us as a direct life experience which we can have in our time, which calls such a strong feeling within us, that it actually has something of a religious character.

You see, for those who have the sense that a way must be found to the truth, the truth must turn into such an inner component that it exists among people and that people can experience the truth—they would feel that university education, as it lives in writing books, is actually something hostile. Today something exists in our writing of books; when we write a book, we don't really feel like a human being among other human beings, for it is conceived as an abstraction; while writing the book it is without regarding who would be acquiring the book. This even produces the desire particularly when spiritual supersensible things are spoken about, for things that can stand alone in a book, and that, because it is ignorant, can only give something very deficient to unknown crowds of people, also again jointly experience the truth with the people in the manner and way these people are prepared for truth, while much is given in the preparation of the truth and less to the ignorant formulation of the truth content. This gives one a clear and strong experience of what I yesterday called the vital content of the Gospels. The vital content of the Gospels must also not be understood abstractly, as many do today. People do not believe, when they as religious teachers allow their words to a certain extent to flow together, that words are permeated with feelings; they firmly insist that in what one calls sacramental, they believe they should find something flowing forth out of the abstraction.

This is not the essential thing; the essential is the sense of feeling oneself a person among people, by experiencing truth with other people. This is after all Christian. For this reason, it is necessary to believe in Christian community building, not only Christian proclamation. It is very necessary to believe that everything must necessarily flow towards real community building: this means not merely thinking about what others are saying, but to communally feel and act together. In community building the foundation must be for the community feeling communally, and act communally. It must be a real soul-spiritual organism built by the community. We will talk about this further.

The following list was given for the material to be discussed:

  1. Preliminary conditions
  2. Foundation of teaching activity
  3. The way to experiencing the truth
  4. The essence of the breviary, the sermon
  5. Building the ritual
  6. The treatment of the Community.