The Rudolf Steiner Archive

a project of Steiner Online Library, a public charity

From Mammoths to Mediums
GA 350

XIII. How conscience developed in the course of human evolution. Unbornness and immortality. Teachings of Aristotle and the Roman Catholic Church

25 July 1923, Dornach

Well, gentlemen, if you have something you want to discuss or ask today, please do.

Question: Conscience is a marvellous thing people have. If you've done something, you'll think of it. And even if you are no longer thinking of the things that lie in the past, you do know you have a conscience. It would be interesting to know if the conscience can also be killed, so that it may be forgotten. The way people are today one would assume that conscience is dead for a large part of the human race.

Rudolf Steiner: You see, gentlemen, that is really a big question, but it does relate to the things we have been considering in the previous talks. I have tried to explain to you, step by step, that the human being, consisting of physical matter, also contains an ether body — which is a body of a very different kind that cannot be perceived or seen with our ordinary senses — an astral body and I organization, or one might also say I body. The human being has these four parts.

We now have to think about what happens when a person dies. As I have told you on a number of occasions, when a person sleeps, the physical body and the ether body remain lying in his bed. The astral body and the I go outside, so they are then no longer in the physical body and ether body. But when a person dies, the part that is laid aside is the physical body. It is then a real physical body; the other three parts — the ether body, the astral body and the I — go out of it. As I told you, the ether body remains connected with the I and the astral body for a few days. Then it separates from them in the way I have told you, and the human being then lives in his I and his astral body. He lives on and on in the world of the spirit which is the one we really seek to discover in our life on earth through the science of the spirit. We are therefore able to say that now, whilst we are on earth, we know something of a world of the spirit; then we shall be in that world.

We come down to earth again after a time, however. Just as we go from birth to death in life on earth, so we then go through a world of the spirit and finally come down again. We assume the physical body which is the gift of our parents and so on. So we come down from the world of the spirit. This means that we were spirits, let us say, before we came into this world. We have come down from the world of the spirit. You see, gentlemen, it is extraordinarily important for people to know that they come down from the world of the spirit with their I and their astral body. Otherwise there can be no reason at all for people to talk about spirit in any way as they grow up. If they'd never been in the realm of the spirit they simply would not talk of the spirit.

You know there was a time on earth when people did not talk about life after death as much as some people do today. But they would talk a lot about their life before they came down to earth. In earlier times people did altogether talk more about the way things were for human beings before they assumed flesh and blood than about the way things were afterwards. In earlier times people felt it was much more important to remember that they were souls before they became human beings on earth. Now, the evolution of the human race on earth is something of which I have not said so much until now, but because of the question that has been asked, let us talk a bit about this today.

Going back in time by 8,000 or 10,000 years, let us say, we would find conditions here in Europe to be pretty wild still. But at that time, about 8,000 years before our time, life was extremely highly developed over in Asia. There's a country here in Asia [drawing on the board] that is called India. This would be the island Ceylon, up there would be the Ganges, a mighty river, and up there a mountain range, the Himalayas. The people who lived in this India — as I said it is over there in Asia — had a highly developed cultural life. I'll call them Indians today. At the time the name did not yet exist. But today we call the country India and so I'll use the term. Now of course, if we were to go back and ask those people, 'What do you call yourselves?' they would say: 'We are the sons of gods,' for they would be speaking of the land in which they were before they were on earth. There they themselves had still been gods, for in those times people would have called themselves gods when they were spirits. And if you had asked them: 'What are you when you are asleep?' they would have said, 'When we are awake we are human beings, when we go to sleep we are gods.' To them, to be gods merely meant to be different from the way you were when awake, to be more in the spirit.

These people therefore had a highly developed civilization and it was not so important to them to talk of life after death but rather of life before one is born, of this life with the gods, as they put it.

You see, no written records have come down from these people. But they did, of course, continue — you know there are also Indian people today — and at a much later time they wrote great literary works called the Vedas. The singular is 'Veda'. It really means 'the word'. People said to themselves: the word is a gift of the spirit, and in the Vedas they wrote down what they still knew of the other world. They did know much more in earlier times, but today we have only the Vedas as physical records that can be studied. They were written much later. But from them, from these things written down much later, we can see that those people still knew quite definitely that the human being was in a world of the spirit before he came down to earth.

If we now go back to about 6,000 years before our time we find civilization to be much less highly developed in this area. Civilization in India was then going down. The ancient Indian civilization of which scholars still speak today will by then have gone down from its original high level. But there, to the north of it [drawing on the board] — this would then be Arabia — there to the north, up there, a civilization was developing in an area that would later be Persia. I have therefore called it the Persian civilization. A completely different civilization developed there. It is quite remarkable. You see, if we go back to the ancient Indians who lived 2,000 years before these people here, we always find that they really thought very little of the earth world. They would always be mindful of having come to this earth world from the world of the spirit. They knew this very well. They did not think much of the earth world; they only had regard for the world of the spirit, and they would say they felt as if they had been cast out. Anything that existed on earth was not particularly important to them. But here in this place, that is, 6,000 years before our time, in the area known as Persia today, esteem for the earth arose for the first time. They had regard for life on earth in such a way that they would say to themselves: 'Yes, light is indeed most valuable, but the earth, too, is valuable in its darkness.' And the view gradually developed that the earth is equal in value and that it fights against heaven. And this struggle between heaven and earth was what people considered particularly important for 2,000 or 3,000 years.

Then, going back just 3,000 or 4,000 years, we come to a country over there, going from Arabia across to Africa, where the Nile is — Egypt. The Egyptians were the people who were more towards the west over there in Asia, more towards Europe, and they liked the earth even more. Going back 3,000 or 4,000 years we thus find these Egyptians, we might say a third kind of people — Indians, Persians, Egyptians — building those enormous pyramids. But the main thing they did was to manage the Nile. The river would flood the land with its rich soil year after year, and they channelled it in such a way that those floods would prove a benefit in every direction. They developed geometry, as it is called. They needed this. Geometry and the art of the surveyor were developed. People came to like the earth more and more. And you see, to the degree in which people came to like the earth when on earth, they were less able to see that they had come from a world of the spirit. I'd say they forgot this more and more as time went on, for they came to like the earth more and more, and in the same way it also became more important to them to say that one lives on after death.

Now, as we have seen, life after death is a certainty for human beings, but in earlier times, before the Egyptians came along, people did not give so much thought to immortality. Why? Because they took it as a matter of course. Knowing they had come from a world of the spirit, and had merely assumed a physical body, they never had any doubt but that they would be in a world of the spirit again after death. But here, in Egypt, where people were not giving so much thought to being in the realm of the spirit before life on earth, the Egyptians got terribly afraid of dying. This enormous fear of death is something which has not really existed for more than 3,000 or 4,000 years. The Indians and Persians had no fear of death. We can actually prove that the Egyptians had this terrible fear of death. For you see, if they had not had this appalling fear of dying, it would not be possible for English people and others today to go to Egypt and then exhibit mummies in their museums! People were embalmed in those times, using all kinds of ointments and substances. They put people in their coffins looking the way they had looked in life, carefully preserved. People were embalmed and made into mummies because it was thought that if one kept the body together the soul principle, too, would remain for as long as the body still existed on earth. They preserved the body so that the soul principle would not suffer any kind of harm. So there you have the fear of dying. The Egyptians would use all the powers in earthly matter to bring about immortality. They also knew a great many other things that later came to be lost.

The next people to attract our attention were a bit to the north of Egypt, in Greece, in what is Greece today. Ancient Greece was very different, however. You see, the Greeks had almost completely forgotten about life before birth. Only a few individuals in particularly advanced schools called the 'mysteries' would still know of it. But generally speaking, people in Greek civilization had forgotten about their life in the spirit before birth, and they loved life on earth more than anyone. A philosopher who lived in ancient Greece in the fourth century before the Christian calendar began was Aristotle. 43Aristotle (382-322 bc) You see, we are now close to the Christian era. Aristotle presented a view that had not existed before. The view he presented was that when a child is born it is not only a body which is born but also a soul. So it was in ancient Greece that the view first developed that the human soul is born with the body, but that it is then immortal, that is, goes through death to live in the world of the spirit. Aristotle then developed a peculiar view. He had really forgotten all the wisdom of earlier times and his view was that the soul is born together with the body. But when someone dies, the soul remains, having only one life on earth behind it. And it then has to look back on that one life on earth for all eternity.

Just think what a terrible prospect that must have been! If someone had done something bad here on earth, he would be unable to make this good for all eternity, but would always have to look back, always see the scene where he did something bad. That was the prospect Aristotle offered.

There followed Christianity. During the very early centuries people understood Christianity a little bit. But when the Roman Empire absorbed Christianity, which then had its firm seat in Rome, people no longer understood it. People did not understand Christianity.

Now the Christians always held Councils. High Church dignitaries would meet and decide what the large herd of the faithful were to believe. You know, the view was then that there are shepherds and sheep, and the shepherds decided at those Councils what the sheep should believe. At the eighth of these Councils the shepherds decided for their sheep that it would be heretical to believe that human beings lived in the world of the spirit before they were born. And so Aristotle's earlier views became the dogma of the Christian Church. Humanity was literally forced to know nothing in this way, never even to think that the human being has come down from the world of the spirit with a soul. This was forbidden.

When materialists say today that the soul is born with the body and is nothing but a bodily element, this is exactly what people have learned from the Church. The thing is, people think they go beyond the Church in becoming materialists. But no, people would never have become materialists if the Church had not got rid of perception of the spirit. At that eighth ecumenical Council in Constantinople the Church got rid of the spirit, and this continued all through the Middle Ages. It is only now that we have to discover again, through the science of the spirit, that the human being existed as soul before he was on earth. This is the important thing, the most tremendously important thing.

Anyone who looks at human evolution on earth can see very clearly that people originally knew that human beings exist in the spirit before they come down to earth. It was merely forgotten as time went on, and later was actually forbidden, following the decision made at the Council.

Now we have to understand what this means. Just think, people who lived until Egyptian times, that is in early millennia, knew: 'Before you walked about on this earth you were in the world of the spirit.' Yes, they did not just bring down some kind of vague, general knowledge from the world of the spirit, but an awareness of having lived there with other spirits. And their ethical impulses also came from this. 'I can see what I am meant to do here on earth from the way things are here on earth,' those ancients would say; 'and as to anything else I am meant to do, I merely need to remember what was before birth.' They brought their ethical impulses down with them from the world of the spirit. You see, if you had asked people in those ancient times, 'What is good? What is evil?' they would say: 'Good is what the spirits want with whom I was before I was on earth; evil is anything they do not want.' But every single one of them would say this to himself. Today, gentlemen, it has been forgotten.

In Greece, the situation was a strange one. People had so much forgotten that there is life before birth that Aristotle was moved to say: 'The soul is born with the physical body. The ancient Greeks therefore no longer had any idea that they had had a life before birth. But they felt something of that life in them. You know, whether one knows something or not really does not influence the real situation. I can say for as long as I like, 'There's no table behind me, I don t see any table' [stepping back and bumping into the table], but the table is definitely there, even though I do not see it. Life before birth continued to be there, and people felt something of this inwardly. And in about the fifth century before the Christian calendar started they began to call this their conscience. In about the fifth century before the Christian calendar started, the word 'conscience' first came up in Greece. It did not exist before that. The word 'conscience' thus came into being because people had forgotten life before birth and gave a name to something of it which they still felt inwardly. And it has been like this ever since. People sense life before birth in themselves but they'll say, 'Well, that's how it is. It comes into existence somewhere down there and then it comes popping up,' but they don't take any real note of it.

You see, that was a good thing for the Church. For what was it then able to do? Well, gentlemen, in early times, when people knew they had lived as souls before they came to earth, they would say: 'Ethical principles lie in the things we know of our earlier life, of life before earth.' Now the Greeks only had a sense of conscience. And then the Church came in and controlled people's consciences. You know, the Church took hold of the situation and people were told: 'You do not know what you are meant to do. The sheep do not know this; the shepherds do.' And rules were established to control their consciences.

You see, there was need to do this, to get rid of the spirit by decision of a Council, for it was then possible to control the conscience which was what remained of the spirit for people. And the Church then said: 'No, nothing existed of the human being before he existed on earth. The soul is born with the body. Any who do not believe this serve the devil. But we, the Church, know what goes on in the world of the spirit and what human beings are meant to do on earth.' This is the way in which the Church took control of human conscience.

It is possible to give chapter and verse for this. For you see, this continued to play a role even in the nineteenth century, sometimes in a most terrible way. There was someone in Prague, for instance, in the 1830s and 1840s whose name was Smetana. 44Augustin Smetana (1814-51), canon regular of the Holy Cross and suppl. professor of philosophy in Prague. The full story is given in Geschichte cities Excummunicirten. Eine Selbstbiographie von Augustin Smetana. Aus dessen Nachlasse herausgegeben ... von Alfred Meissner, Leipzig 1863. He was the son of a Roman Catholic verger who, of course, was a good Catholic. The father felt that one must believe what the Church says. He had a son. People were rather ambitious in those days and sent their children to grammar school. But they did not really learn very much at the kind of grammar schools they had in Prague in those days. Basically they learned very little. Young Smetana was thus educated at a grammar school. And the way things were in those days was that anyone who really wanted to learn anything would become a priest. Young Smetana therefore also became a priest. The situation in Prague and also in the rest of the Austrian Empire in those days was that grammar schools, too, would be staffed by priests. And when he had to teach others himself, Smetana would read somewhat different books from those that were prescribed reading for priests. The result was that he gradually came to doubt things, above all one particular dogma. He said to himself: 'Surely it is a terrible thing that a person is said to be born, live his life on earth and then go through death, and if he was an evildoer he must then look only at the bad things he has done on earth for all eternity — the Church would illustrate the matter as required — and never be given the opportunity to change for the better!'

Now you see, this man Smetana lived in an establishment of his order. But when he became a teacher, he felt too confined there and moved into a temporal home where he gradually read more and more — anthroposophical books weren't available then — of Hegel, Schelling and so on, people who wrote at least some sense, the beginnings of sense. Smetana then began to feel more and more in doubt about the eternal nature of punishment in hell, for according to Aristotle an evildoer goes through death and must then live on as an evildoer for ever and ever. The dogma of eternal punishment in hell which was then adopted by the Church at its Council came from this idea. It is not a Christian dogma but came from Aristotle. It is not at all true to say that it is a Christian dogma, this dogma of punishment in hell; it came from Aristotle. But people did not know this.

Smetana did come to see it, however. He then started to teach something that was not entirely in accord with the teaching of the Church. It was in 1848 that he taught something that was not quite in accord. He was first of all given a serious warning, a long letter written in Latin in which he was told to repent and return to the bosom of the Church, for it had made the shepherds extremely angry that he was teaching the sheep something that had not been laid down by the shepherds. He replied to that first letter, written in Latin, that he felt it was hypocritical to say something that went against one's convictions. A second letter in Latin brought an even more severe warning. And when he did not reply to this, for that would have been pointless, it was proclaimed in all the churches in Prague one day that a most important ceremony was to be performed at which one of the lost sheep, who had actually become a shepherd, would be excluded from the Church.

Old father Smetana, the verger, was one of the people who had to distribute the notices. He was still a faithful Catholic. You can imagine what it meant that the whole of Prague was called on to come and condemn Smetana's son, who was to be excluded from the Church for all eternity, and so on, and the father had to take the notices around himself! The church had never been as full in Prague as it was on that day. All the churches in Prague were full. And it was proclaimed from every pulpit that the apostate Smetana was cast out by the Church.

The consequence was — the Smetana family did of course have a disposition for tuberculosis — that first of all Smetana's sister died of grief, then the old father died of grief, and soon after Smetana himself died of grief, of the pain. But this is not the point for us, is it, but the fact that Smetana no longer proclaimed eternal punishment in hell, the way he saw it.

All this has to do with the idea of conscience evolving in human beings. Something human beings have retained in them from their life before earth lives in them and speaks as the voice of conscience. And when it comes to conscience, we can say to ourselves that conscience cannot have originated in the physical matter of the earth. For just imagine someone has a tremendous yearning for something, let us say. Such a thing has been known to happen. It is the material substances in his body, the physical matter of the earth, which urge him on and keep pricking so that he develops this yearning. His conscience will tell him: 'You must fight such desires.' Well, gentlemen, if the conscience had also come from the body this would be just as if someone were supposed to walk forward and back at the same time! It's nonsense to say our conscience comes from the body. Our conscience is connected with something we bring with us to earth from the life we have in the spirit before we are born. But, as I said, the awareness that our conscience comes from the world of the spirit has been lost to human beings, and in the case of someone like Smetana it began to dawn again in the nineteenth century because of this terrible business of punishment in hell. Conscience belongs to the human being himself. He has it in him. What good would be all the conscience one has in one if one were to go through death and then had to see for ever and ever how bad one has been? One would not be able to help oneself in that situation, and in that case, having a conscience would be quite pointless!

We can say, therefore, that if this is the human being [drawing on the board], his conscience lives in him. His conscience is something he has brought with him from the world of the spirit into life on earth. The voice of conscience in him says: 'You should not have done that, and you should not have done that!' A human being on earth says: 'That is what I want to do; it is my wish.' His conscience says something different, for it comes from the eternal human being. And it will only be when the human being has laid aside his physical body that he will realize: 'It is you yourself that always spoke with the voice of your conscience. It is just that you did not notice this during the time you lived on earth. Now you have gone through death. Now you have become your own conscience. Your conscience is now your body. Earlier, you did not have a conscience. Now you have your conscience and you live on with it after death.'

But the conscience must also be said to have a will. You see, all the things I have told you about have happened. The Greeks had forgotten about life before earth. The Church had made it a dogma that people must not believe in a life before earth. The conscience was completely misunderstood. All this had come to pass. And then there have of course always been great scholars. But the great scholars of medieval times did, of course, think there could be no life before earth, for the Church had forbidden people to believe this.

One man who had to face this dilemma, for example, was Thomas Aquinas who lived from 1225 to 1274. Being a Roman Catholic priest, he had to adopt the dogma of the Church. But he was a great thinker. And he had to say, with regard to the things I have told you about today: 'When someone dies, he will see only his past life on earth, in all eternity, never anything else. He will see just this.' So what did Thomas Aquinas do? He said people had only their thinking mind for all eternity, but no will. They had to look at their life when they had died but could no longer change anything. Thomas Aquinas was one of the great Aristotelians of the Middle Ages exactly because he said: 'When someone has done something bad on earth, he will have to look at it for ever; when someone has done something good, he'll for ever see the good.' The soul was said to have a mind, therefore, but no will.

This is not in accord with the truth. The truth is that after death we do look at what we have been, be it good or bad, but we still have the will, the whole power of soul, to change this. And so it happens that when we look at our past life we shall, of course, see it as it has been, but we then go on to live in the world of the spirit and see what should have been different. And it will then be quite natural for us to want to come down again and make amends. We'll get things wrong again, of course, but there will be further lives still, and we shall reach the goal of developing into a complete human being.

In the Middle Ages, Thomas Aquinas was only able to believe in the mind and its insights and not the will. And nineteenth-century people like Smetana still suffered from this. The result was that other people then came in the nineteenth century who got really angry about this idea of the mind and its insights. For it still went back to the dogma of punishment in hell, though these people did not realize this. Schopenhauer, 45Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860), German philosopher. See his The World as Will and Idea (1819, final version 1859,2 vols). for example, got really angry about it all, and he then said it was all a matter for the will. Yes, but if you say it all has to do with the will, then this will is too stupid and foolish. Schopenhauer therefore said the whole of creation and everything was due to the will. People who thought about things would get caught up in a terrible inner dilemma, as Smetana did in Prague. There were many such people. That was just an excellent example, where the difficulties have been put down on paper. But there were many such people.

And so we have to understand that human conscience is an inheritance from life before earth. The spirit speaks in our conscience. Something we were before we came to be on earth has entered into the flesh and speaks as our conscience. And when we shall have laid our bodies aside, the soul will continue to speak as our conscience after death, but it will not be powerless; it will have a will and need to make amends, to continue doing things.

You see, that is the difference between anthroposophy and all the things that have become Christian dogma today, for example. There nothing is known about the power possessed by the human soul to be active. There the human being dies and can then only look for ever on the things he has done in one life on earth, for it is said that the soul is born with the body in that one life on earth. To show it in diagrammatic form one would therefore have to say: 'If this is one human life on earth [Fig. 26, upper part, circle], it also has soul from its beginning, and when the individual dies — this is his birth, this his death — the life of his soul goes on for all eternity. I won't continue the drawing across a second board, for that comes too expensive, though I'd actually need a third as well! It goes on for all eternity. And the mind is said to look at the badness of that one life on earth for all eternity, for the mind was born together with the physical in life on earth. The man who established this was really the first materialist, and that would in fact be Aristotle.

one human life on Earth
Figure 26

Well, in anthroposophy we find that there is not just the one life on earth but that there are the lives that went before and those that follow as well. The individual has always something that is left over from the previous life; he does not know it exactly, but it is there inside him. That is his conscience. He then lays his body aside and lives on in his conscience. There [Fig. 26, lower part, red, left] he is basically all conscience until he is born again. Here [circle in the middle] conscience is again inside as a voice that speaks; and then [red, to the right] it lives in the outside world; it is there again.

It is actually the human being who creates new lives on earth for himself again and again on earth. This does, of course, go completely against the grain for a teaching where man is said to be nothing at all, and man is in all respects seen only as a creature. He is no mere creature, however, for he has creative powers himself. And that is the difference between anthroposophy and those other views. In anthroposophy, investigations show that those creative powers are also in man; man is creative. And the most creative part of him is indeed his conscience, which is a sacred inheritance from life before earth and which we take out into the other world again when we go through death.

Modern science here still takes its views from the Church. And it is an area where we should see things very clearly. For the matter went like this. Only things that were logical on the one hand and materialistic on the other went over to Rome. Modern nations then adopted it. But in the German language we sometimes still have something that has come down from the past, even if people do not realize this. This is truly strange. We can see from this how the human being is connected with events that happen on a large scale.

If we look at these countries up there in Asia today [pointing to the board], we have Siberia there. Those are regions with small populations now, but there was a time when they had large populations. The rivers would have been much, much bigger then. Siberia is a country that has gradually dried out, rising up higher, and people then went to the west, over to Europe. This was because the ground rose in Siberia. As a result many ideas people had in Asia came across to Europe, and these ideas live on in the European languages. And we have to say that the further west we go the less do we find of this idea of conscience. Yet the very word does show that among the people who created it there was a feeling that there was something there in the human being.

What does the word 'conscience' really mean? We have just said what the matter itself means: it is our inheritance from life before earth, something that remains part of our humanity. But the word 'conscience', what does it mean? You know, if we look at life on earth we say to ourselves there is no certainty about events that will come in two or three years' time; but one thing that is certain is that the human being has a spirit in him which existed before he came to exist on earth and which will continue after his existence on earth. And the word 'conscience' also relates to this 'knowing with certainty', 46German for conscience is Gewissen, and to be certain of something is gewiss sein. Translator. it is the most certain tiling there can be. So the word actually points to something in the human being that is eternal. It is highly significant that the German word has a different content than the English 'conscience', for example, or other words used in the West. 'Conscience' is what comes together as knowledge on earth, knowledge massed together on earth. 47British reference works on the origin of words say 'conscience' means to 'know together', and therefore also 'together with oneself', 'privity of knowledge', 'inward thought'. This may, of course, be arguing from hindsight. Translator. But the principle in us that is called 'conscience' in German is the most certain thing there can be; it is not indefinite but absolutely certain. And it is absolutely certain that human beings on earth do not only believe in a life after death — which is the view held by Aristotle and the Church's believers — but also develop the will to shape it better and better, to shape the earth in an ever better way out of the spirit, meaning that the will lives on after death just as the mind does. Thomas Aquinas knew only of the mind living on. Now we must understand that the will lives on.

You see, gentlemen, it really is like this. We truly do not have to belittle a great scholar such as Thomas Aquinas was in the thirteenth century because he taught these things at that time. But it is a different thing for Thomas Aquinas to teach the only thing that could be taught in the thirteenth century than for people founding a Thomasian Society in Paris today to teach the same thing as was taught in the past — and indeed for Pope Leo XIII to instruct all priests and scholars in the Roman Catholic Church in the nineteenth century to speak only of the things which Thomas Aquinas taught in the thirteenth century. 48In 1879, Leo XIII declared Thomas Aquinas to have been the first teacher of the Roman Catholic Church. Thomas himself would no longer say the same today!

These two things are now in opposition in the world, something like the Thomasians in Paris, who want to take people back to the past, and anthroposophy, where things are taught the way they are at the present time. When we consider something like human conscience, the most important thing about it is that it makes us see the eternal in the human being. But you cannot understand the eternal rightly if you do not also consider life before earth but think only of the idea of life after earth, called 'immortality', which has really only come into existence in Egyptian times.

You see, gentlemen, it was only 3,000 or 4,000 years ago that people started to talk about being immortal, meaning that their souls do not die when their bodies do. Before that people would say they were not born as souls when the body was born. They had a term we have to call 'unbornness'. That was the one side of it. And immortality is the other. Modern languages only have the word 'immortality'. The word 'unbornness' needs to come into existence again. Then people will say: 'Conscience is something in the human being that is not born and does not die.' And it is only then that people will really be able to value their conscience. For it only has meaning when we are able to appreciate its true value.

We'll continue at nine o'clock on Saturday, gentlemen.