Saturday, October 21, 2017

"Light on the Path" by Mabel Collins. Part 1

Mabel Collins

These rules are written for all disciples: Attend you to them.

Before the eyes can see, they must be incapable of tears. Before the ear can hear, it must have lost its sensitiveness. Before the voice can speak in the presence of the Masters it must have lost the power to wound. Before the soul can stand in the presence of the Masters its feet must be washed in the blood of the heart.

1. Kill out ambition.

2. Kill out desire of life.

3. Kill out desire of comfort.

4. Work as those work who are ambitious.

Respect life as those do who desire it. Be happy as those are who live for happiness.

Seek in the heart the source of evil and expunge it. It lives fruitfully in the heart of the devoted disciple as well as in the heart of the man of desire. Only the strong can kill it out. The weak must wait for its growth, its fruition, its death. And it is a plant that lives and increases throughout the ages. It flowers when the man has accumulated unto himself innumerable existences. He who will enter upon the path of power must tear this thing out of his heart. And then the heart will bleed, and the whole life of the man seem to be utterly dissolved. This ordeal must be endured; it may come at the first step of the perilous ladder which leads to the path of life: it may not come until the last. But, O disciple, remember that it has to be endured: and fasten the energies of your soul upon the task. Live neither in the present nor the future, but in the eternal. This giant weed cannot flower there: this blot upon existence is wiped out by the very atmosphere of eternal thought.

5. Kill out all sense of separateness.

6. Kill out desire for sensation.

7. Kill out the hunger for growth.

8. Yet stand alone and isolated, because nothing that is imbodied, nothing that is conscious of separation, nothing that is out of the eternal, can aid you. Learn from sensation and observe it, because only so can you commence the science of self-knowledge, and plant your foot on the first step of the ladder. Grow as the flower grows, unconsciously, but eagerly anxious to open its soul to the air. So must you press forward to open your soul to the eternal. But it must be the eternal that draws forth your strength and beauty, not desire of growth. For in the one case you develop in the luxuriance of purity, in the other you harden by the forcible passion for personal stature.

9. Desire only that which is within you.

10. Desire only that which is beyond you.

11. Desire only that which is unattainable.

12. For within you is the light of the world — the only light that can be shed upon the Path. If you are unable to perceive it within you, it is useless to look for it elsewhere. It is beyond you; because when you reach it you have lost yourself. It is unattainable, because it for ever recedes. You will enter the light, but you will never touch the flame.

13. Desire power ardently.

14. Desire peace fervently.

15. Desire possessions above all.

16. But those possessions must belong to the pure soul only, and be possessed therefore by all pure souls equally, and thus be the especial property of the whole only when united. Hunger for such possessions as can be held by the pure soul, that you may accumulate wealth for that united spirit of life which is your only true self. The peace you shall desire is that sacred peace which nothing can disturb, and in which the soul grows as does the holy flower upon the still lagoons. And that power which the disciple shall covet is that which shall make him appear as nothing in the eyes of men.

17. Seek out the way.

18. Seek the way by retreating within.

19. Seek the way by advancing boldly without.

20. Seek it not by any one road. To each temperament there is one road which seems the most desirable. But the way is not found by devotion alone, by religious contemplation alone, by ardent progress, by self-sacrificing labor, by studious observation of life. None alone can take the disciple more than one step onward. All steps are necessary to make up the ladder. The vices of men become steps in the ladder, one by one, as they are surmounted. The virtues of man are steps indeed, necessary — not by any means to be dispensed with. Yet, though they create a fair atmosphere and a happy future, they are useless if they stand alone. The whole nature of man must be used wisely by the one who desires to enter the way. Each man is to himself absolutely the way, the truth, and the life. But he is only so when he grasps his whole individuality firmly, and, by the force of his awakened spiritual will, recognizes this individuality as not himself, but that thing which he has with pain created for his own use, and by means of which he purposes, as his growth slowly develops his intelligence, to reach to the life beyond individuality. When he knows that for this his wonderful complex separated life exists, then, indeed, and then only, he is upon the way. Seek it by plunging into the mysterious and glorious depths of your own inmost being. Seek it by testing all experience, by utilizing the senses in order to understand the growth and meaning of individuality, and the beauty and obscurity of those other divine fragments which are struggling side by side with you, and form the race to which you belong. Seek it by study of the laws of being, the laws of nature, the laws of the supernatural: and seek it by making the profound obeisance of the soul to the dim star that burns within. Steadily, as you watch and worship, its light will grow stronger. Then you may know you have found the beginning of the way. And when you have found the end its light will suddenly become the infinite light.

21. Look for the flower to bloom in the silence that follows the storm: not till then.

It shall grow, it will shoot up, it will make branches and leaves and form buds, while the storm continues, while the battle lasts. But not till the whole personality of the man is dissolved and melted — not until it is held by the divine fragment which has created it, as a mere subject for grave experiment and experience — not until the whole nature has yielded and become subject unto its higher self, can the bloom open. Then will come a calm such as comes in a tropical country after the heavy rain, when Nature works so swiftly that one may see her action. Such a calm will come to the harassed spirit. And in the deep silence the mysterious event will occur which will prove that the way has been found. Call it by what name you will, it is a voice that speaks where there is none to speak — it is a messenger that comes, a messenger without form or substance; or it is the flower of the soul that has opened. It cannot be described by any metaphor. But it can be felt after, looked for, and desired, even amid the raging of the storm. The silence may last a moment of time or it may last a thousand years. But it will end. Yet you will carry its strength with you. Again and again the battle must be fought and won. It is only for an interval that Nature can be still.

These written above are the first of the rules which are written on the walls of the Hall of Learning. Those that ask shall have. Those that desire to read shall read. Those who desire to learn shall learn.



Anthroposophy: The Redemption of Thinking

Rudolf Steiner:  "It is as if everything were being done in the middle of the nineteenth century to beguile human beings into believing that thinking must remain subjective and shadow-like, that it must not interfere in the world outside so that they could not possibly imagine that there might be reason, nous, in the cosmos, something that lives in the cosmos itself.

This is what caused this second half of the nineteenth century to be so unphilosophical. Basically, this is also what made it so devoid of deeds. This is what caused the economic relationships to become more and more complicated while commerce became enlarged into a world economy so that the whole Earth in fact turned into one economic sphere, and particularly this shadow-like thinking was unable to grasp the increasingly complex and overwhelming reality. This is the tragedy of our modern age. The economic conditions have become more and more complex, weighty, and increasingly brutal; human thinking remained shadowy, and these shadows certainly could no longer penetrate into what goes on outside in the brutal economic reality.

This is what causes our present misery. Unfortunately, if a person actually believes that he is more delicately organized and has need of the spirit, he may possibly get into the habit of making a long face, of speaking in a falsetto voice and of talking about the fact that he has to elevate himself from brutal reality, since the spiritual basically can be grasped only in the mystical realm. Thinking has become so refined that it has to withdraw from reality, that it perishes right away in its shadowy existence if it tries to penetrate brutal reality. Reality in the meantime develops below in conformity with the instincts; it proliferates and brutalizes. Up above, we see the bloated ideas of mysticism, of worldviews and theosophies floating about; below, life brutally takes its course. This is something that must stop for the sake of mankind. Thinking must be enlivened; thought has to become so powerful that it need not withdraw from brutal reality but can enter into it, can live in it as spirit. Then reality will no longer be brutal. This has to be understood.

What is not yet understood in many different respects is that a thinking in which universal being dwells cannot but pour its force over everything. This should be something that goes without saying. But it appears as a sacrilege to this modern thinking if a form of thinking appears on the scene that cannot help but extend to all different areas. A properly serious attitude in life should be comprised of the realization: In thinking, we have been dealing with a shadow image, and rightly so, but the age has now arrived when life must be brought once again into this shadow image of thought in order that from this form of thought life, from this inner life of soul, the outer physical, sensory life can receive its social stimulus."

Source: lecture of April 29, 1921, in Materialism and the Task of Anthroposophy, pp. 188-90.

Reconnecting with the cosmos

Spiritual Science as a Foundation for Social Forms. Lecture 15.
Rudolf Steiner, Dornach, Switzerland, September 10, 1920:

If we make a survey of what takes place in the civilized world today, of what is present in it, we actually find — indeed, we may say this after the many explanations which have already been given — that civilization is increasingly falling into ruin. If we understand what spiritual science can tell us about the secrets of the universe, we must realize quite clearly that everything that takes place outside in the physical world has its source in the spiritual world. The causes for what takes place at any time in the historical development of mankind also lie in the spiritual world. Another truth, which cannot be called to mind too frequently, is that in the present moment of time, humanity's condition requires each individual to contribute something toward the reconstruction of culture from his own inner being. We no longer live in an age in which it suffices to believe that the gods will help. In the present time, the gods do not count on human beings recognizing them and their intentions, and much that a short time ago was not yet left to mankind is left to men's decisions today.
Such a truth must be grasped in all its gravity, and basically by each one individually. To do this it will be necessary, above all, to understand a number of things that we have outgrown. Gradually, in the course of the materialistic age, one might say that the human being has reached the point of grasping everything from a certain absolute standpoint, a standpoint, moreover, that differs according to the human being's age. When a person is twenty-five years old today, he feels called upon to judge everything. He believes that it is possible to have a final opinion about everything without undergoing any kind of development. Perhaps when he reaches the age of fifty, he may look down with a certain sense of superiority upon his faculty of judgment twenty-five years ago. At age twenty-five, however, he will in no way feel drawn as a result of his upbringing to seek and reckon with the more mature judgment of a man of fifty.
Among the causes underlying our present chaos, the one just outlined is by no means the least important; instead, it is one of the most significant, though admittedly one that had to exercise its influence upon the whole evolution of mankind. Only by man's feeling completely emancipated in a certain sense from the whole world context; by adopting an absolute standpoint not only personally in the life between birth and death, but at any given moment of this life; by assuming the standpoint that he is able to judge everything in a sovereign manner; only because this illusion was added to the many other illusions of life — and in the merely physical world everything is in a sense illusion — the course of human development will gradually lead the single human being toward freedom.
We should bear in mind, however, the great difference between our present epoch, which sets out from this standpoint, and the past epochs, in which entirely different life impulses lay at the foundation of human existence. We must pay heed to the life impulses of former times, which in turn are intended to become those of the future, to which all efforts in the present should be directed again. Indeed, such earlier life impulses must be observed. They only disappeared slowly and gradually in the course of human evolution, and we underestimate the whole tempo of modern spiritual development if we do not perceive the speed with which, in a few centuries, materialistic impulses have melted away a tremendous amount of the spirituality that once existed.
In order to gain some starting points for a real study of the present, which we shall pursue tomorrow, let's turn our minds back to, say, the best period of ancient Egyptian life. Naturally, in the life of ancient Egypt or ancient Chaldea, there certainly existed social institutions in the outer world as well. These social structures were inaugurated and implemented by certain human beings. However, these individuals did not make judgments by pursuing thoughts in their wise heads on how to come up with the best social arrangements, or by following their opinions on what might be right for the communal life of people. Instead, they turned to the initiation centers. In actual fact, the sage who was initiated into the mysteries of the universe in these centers was the actual leading adviser of the highest social rulers, who, depending on their rank and maturity, were in large part themselves initiates into the cosmic secrets. When one was supposed to make provisions concerning the affairs of the social order, one did not consult the clever human brain — in the literal sense of the word — but one consulted those who were capable of interpreting the heavenly signs. For one knew that when a stone falls to the ground this is connected with the forces of the earth; when it rains, that has to do with the forces of the air — the atmosphere. If, on the other hand, human destinies should be fulfilled that are supposed to interact with each other, this has nothing to do with any natural laws that can be figured out in the above manner. It has to do with those laws that could be traced in the cosmos by means of what makes the course of the stars evident. So, the course of the stars was read in the same way we read the time of day from a clock. We do not say “One hand of my clock is down here on the right, the other is on the left.” Rather, we say “We know that this position indicates that the Sun has set so many hours ago, and so forth.” Likewise, these individuals who could read the course of the stars said to themselves “This or that constellation of the stars signifies to us one or the other intention on the part of those divine spiritual beings who guide and direct everything we may call human destiny.” One beheld the intentions of those accompanying spiritual beings of the cosmos by looking up to the course of the stars. One was clearly aware that not everything that man has to know reveals itself here on Earth; indeed, the most important things he has to be aware of, the forces that work in his social life, reveal themselves in manifestations observable in the cosmos outside the earthly sphere. One knew that the concerns of humanity here on Earth cannot be managed unless one investigates the intentions of the gods in the realm outside Earth. Therefore everything that was to be accomplished here within the social order was connected with the sphere outside the Earth.
Where do we find any inclination today to investigate these great signs visible in the cosmos outside the Earth, when here or there the belief arises again that some reform movement should be introduced? A far more important symptom than materialism, than anything which has arisen in the form of natural-scientific materialism, is the fact that man no longer consults the cosmos outside the Earth in regard to his earthly concerns. One does not become spiritual by setting up theories concerning the human being or anything in the universe; one will only become spiritual if one understands how to connect humanity's earthly concerns with the cosmos outside the Earth.
In that case, however, one has to be convinced, above all, that the affairs of this world do not allow themselves to be arranged according to the judgments acquired by mere natural-scientific education. Then, one has to be able to introduce into the whole civilizing education the capacity to connect the sphere transcending the Earth with earthly concerns once more. Then, it was necessary, above all, to discern more clearly how this capacity was lost in the course of human evolution, and how we gradually arrived at the point of wanting to judge everything only from an earthly standpoint. Let us consider something that is now prevalent in the world, a component of social agitation.
You have all heard of the effort appearing everywhere to introduce compulsory labor — to require a person to work by means of some social order based on the legal decrees of this social order — no longer to appeal merely to what obliges man to work, namely, hunger and other motivations, but in fact to establish compulsory labor legally.
We see how, on one side, this compulsory labor is demanded by socialistic agitation. We note how, in Soviet Russia, this compulsory labor has already led to a downright rigid form, with human life taking on the aspect of life in the barracks. We also find that radical socialists enthusiastically uphold compulsory labor. We see also how the sleeping souls of the present receive news such as this, how government officials here or there have even determined to introduce compulsory labor. One reads this like any other news item, and does not pay it much attention. One rises in the morning as one usually does, eats breakfast, has lunch, goes into the country for the summer holidays, returns again and, in spite of the fact that the most important and fundamental events are taking place in the world, one behaves as one has always been accustomed to behave. Yet, mankind should not insist on clinging to old habits. Mankind should take seriously what it is that matters today, namely, having to relearn about all conditions of life. Even when we see that the demand for compulsory labor is being opposed, what are the viewpoints from which these matters are attacked? We have to admit that the opponents are as a rule not much brighter than those who advance these demands. For the most part, they will ask “Well, can a person still find joy in his work?”— or something like that. All the reasons cited for and against the above are worth more or less the same, because they arise from the same judgments that are limited only to what takes place here between birth and death; they do not originate from a sufficient insight into life. When the spiritual scientist comes and says “Go ahead and introduce compulsory labor, but in ten years you will have terrible results, for suicides will increase at an alarming rate,” people will view such a statement as fantasy. They will not recognize that this conclusion is derived from an inner knowledge of the relationships existing in the universe. They will not be willing to study spiritual science and to discover the basis from which one can find such a judgment justified. Instead, people will go on living as usual — some getting up in the morning, breakfasting and lunching, traveling into the country for the summer and more of the same, others sleeping away their time in some other manner, refusing to take these questions seriously. Still others will found clubs, social associations, women's associations, and so forth — things that are admittedly quite nice — but when such efforts are not connected to the actual cosmic order, they lead nowhere. Our age is much too conceited to abandon absolute standpoints which assume that, at any age, one definitely has a conclusive judgment about all things.
During these days and in the last few weeks I have explained the way in which the various branches of the threefold social organism have originated in the different territories of Earth evolution. I have said that, fundamentally speaking, all our spiritual life is only a transformation of what originated a long time ago in the Orient. But when we look into what was described on numerous occasions in the past few weeks from one aspect, and investigate it in regard to the standpoints which I have indicated just now, we find that, insofar as it referred to human destiny, all this knowledge of the Orient was deciphered from the course of the stars, from what exists outside the Earth, and the Greek concept of destiny was the last ramification of such extraterrestrial wisdom.
Then came the knowledge arising from the Middle region. As we indicated, this was a more juristic knowledge; it was something that man drew more out of his own being. It was not linked with observations of the cosmos outside the Earth. I told you that the higher world outlook of the Occident has been permeated with a juristic element, how the events that run their course in humanity's development were placed under juristic concepts. Punishment is meted out by a cosmic judge, just as the human judge hands down a penalty for some external misdeed. It was a juristic view, a juristic manner of conception, that permeated the entirely different form of the Oriental conceptions concerning the spiritual world.
This view of the spiritual world was connected with the fact that in the initiation centers those who were found to be sufficiently mature were initiated into the nature of that which was sent down to Earth from invisible realms by what was revealed in the visible. Then, the events that were to take place on Earth were guided according to the intentions of initiation. Naturally in the case of such a knowledge it is necessary to take into consideration more than the singular standpoint of any given age, by which one believes oneself able to make an absolute judgment on all sorts of matters. From the viewpoint of initiation the whole evolution of man must be considered, also what the human being brings into earthly existence through birth, and what can reveal itself to him when, in earthly life, he beholds a revelation of the supersensible existence.
In recent times something that was basically a science of the heavens has become permeated with a juristic element. This celestial science itself and its fate must be considered a little now. The sacred knowledge of the Orient was something that was cultivated in its purest form in the initiation centers perhaps 10,000 years ago in the Orient. Later on, although no longer in such pure form, it was cultivated in Egypt in a still relatively pure manner. Having become popularized in a certain sense, it was used by swindlers and conjurers on the streets of the later imperial Rome, although transformed into visible magic tricks. This is, after all, the course of world events; something that is sacred in one epoch can turn into the most unholy thing in a later age. While the highest Oriental knowledge belonged to the streets in the later imperial Roman time, juristic thinking was developing out of Romanism itself on the basis of the late Egyptianism, and subsequently dominated the world. In the ages that followed, but only slowly and gradually, what had once been brought down from the stars as human wisdom in the Orient grew dim and finally died out. For even in the thirteenth century Thomas AquinasNote 91 ] still said: “Human destiny, all of destiny occurring in the sublunar world, is guided by the Intelligences of the stars. It is, however, by no means something inevitable for man.” So this Catholic-Christian church father of the thirteenth century does not refer to stars, to planets, merely as physical planets; instead, he speaks of the Intelligences that dwell in these planets, who are the actual rulers of what should be called human destiny. What had once arisen in the Orient was really still present in the twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth centuries, although in its last ramifications, as an aspect of the Christian Catholic Church. It is simply a terrible misrepresentation of the present Catholic Church to withhold these matters from the faithful, so that the church can declare it a heresy, for example, to assume that the individual stars and planets are ensouled and permeated with spirit. By doing this, the Church not only denies Christianity; it even denies its last teachers who still had a more direct connection with the sources of the spiritual life than does the present age in any sense. Therefore one must point out that it was not so very long ago that the conception was completely abandoned which still pictured the world as permeated with spirit. If people would teach the truth today concerning what still held sway in the spiritual life of the eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries; if, following preconceived opinions, they would not distort what prevailed in those times, then even this would still have a fructifying effect for a spiritualization of the present worldview. The materialism, the natural-scientific materialism, or the materialism of the mystics or theosophists, particularly the materialism of the Catholic Church, could not exist. For what is contained in the dogmas of the Roman Catholic Church originated from the purest spiritual science; and this pure spiritual science beheld the spirit everywhere in the universe.
All that was beheld as spirit in the universe by the eye of the soul has been discarded. The universe became pervaded with materialism. For that reason, naturally, nothing remains except words of faith. For example, behind the Trinity, the doctrine of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, stand the most profound mysteries. On the other hand, there is nothing contained any longer in what is taught today as the dogma of the Trinity. On one side, there is the doctrine, the belief of the religious denominations, on the other side, natural science devoid of spirit. Neither can save humanity from the misery into which it has fallen. In order to render rescue possible, it is necessary that a sufficiently large number of people rouse themselves inwardly. For, particularly in the present epoch, the possibility exists in man's inner being to pick up those threads of a soul-spiritual kind which, if their power is inwardly experienced in the proper way, lead to an understanding of what can be gathered from spiritual science for an illumination of the life of nature as well as the social life. One should not wish to retain at all costs the bad habits of one's inner life, however they have developed during the past few centuries. These bad habits are based on the opinion that if one can keep quiet and be passive, the gods will eventually enter into one, reveal everything within, and mystical depth will be illuminated by an inner light, and so forth. The present age is not suited for that. It demands an inner activity of soul and spirit from the human being; it demands that man turn and look at what is trying to reveal itself within. Then he will find under all circumstances what wishes to reveal itself within  but he must be willing to unfold such inner spiritual activity. One must not believe, however, that much can be gained by some inner pseudo-mystical doings; above all else, one has to trace the spirit in the external things of the world.
I have called your attention to what happened, for example, in the East, in Asia. Once upon a time, so I told you, conditions in Asia were of a kind that the human being felt his heart expand, felt his soul grow warm, when, guided by the thought of the sacred Brahman, he directed his glance to the mighty external symbol of the swastika, the hooked cross. It made his inner life unfold. This inner mood of soul meant a great deal to him. Today, when an Oriental receives an ordinary Russian 2,000 ruble note — which is not worth much, for small change will no longer do for buying anything, only thousand ruble notes — he sees on it the beautifully printed swastika. Those thousand-year-old feelings that once upon a time inwardly beheld the sacred Brahman when the eye was directed to the swastika are certainly stirring. Today, the same emotional qualities arise on seeing the 2,000 ruble note.
Do you believe that one has a spiritual view of the world if one does not look at something like that and say to oneself “Those are the Ahrimanic powers who are at work here; herein lies a super-earthly intelligence, even though it is an Ahrimanic intelligence?” Do you believe that it suffices merely to say “Oh, that is the external material world! We direct our glance heavenward to spiritual things; we don't pay any attention to things for which people only have words"? If you seek for the spirit, you must look for it even where it turns up in the mighty aberrations of external world evolution itself, for there you can find the starting point for other aspects.
It is the tragedy of modern civilization that people believe that only human forces are at work everywhere, forces which arise between birth and death. Actually, our world is permeated all over by supersensible forces, spiritual powers, which manifest themselves in the various events that take place. If one wishes to do something, if one tries to realize intentions so that this or that result may come about, one needs to look to those benign spiritual powers capable of working against other spiritual powers; and the spiritual powers that can oppose the others have to be born in man through his own inner activity.
In regard to all this, however, one actually does need to look up into the spiritual world. This is something that is most inconvenient to many people. This is why the great majority of people in the world find even talk of initiation science unpleasant. For there is one thing that initiation science must make clear, under all circumstances, to the human being. Man is organized, in the first place, in the direction of his intellect. Certainly there are other aspects to his organization, such as digestion, metabolism, heartbeat, breathing, and physiological processes. He bears instincts within, hence, soul entities, and so forth. In addition he bears within him what is termed intelligence, and the present age is especially proud of this intelligence. But where does our intelligence come from? Materialism believes that our intelligence is derived from those processes that occur below in the liver, in the heart; they then become more refined and turn into the processes within the brain. These processes in the brain are just a little different from those that take place in the liver or the stomach, but these same processes produce thinking. We know that this is not so. Those processes that run their course in the brain, just as those in the liver or the stomach, would cause no thinking at all. Up in the brain something takes place; out of the constructive processes destructive ones are constantly developed.

Diagram 26

Here not only upbuilding, but disintegrating processes are at work; matter is forever falling out into nothingness. Thus we are not dealing with an upbuilding in the brain. Any constructive process only serves to nourish the brain, not to produce thinking. If you wish to focus on those brain processes that have something to do with thinking, and you wish to compare them to the remaining organism, you must not compare them to the constructive processes, the processes of growth, but to the processes of elimination. The brain is constantly involved in elimination, and, as I said, the processes of destruction, of disintegration, of death, are the accompanying phenomena of intelligence. If our brain were incapable of elimination, we would be unable to think. If our brain would only contain upbuilding processes, we would exist in a dull, instinctive condition; at most, we could attain to quite dim dreams. We arrive at clear thinking precisely because the brain secretes and eliminates substances. Thinking only functions parallel to processes of elimination. It is only because the human organization eliminates what is useless to it that thinking establishes itself out of the spiritual world.
Now, take the thinking that has developed especially since the middle of the fifteenth century, the thinking of which modern man is so proud. It comes into being because we destroy our brain, because we bring about in it processes of disintegration, of elimination. Suppose that you are Trotsky or Lenin, traveling to Russia — transported there on orders of Ludendorff Note 92 ] in a sealed railway carriage and escorted by Dr. Helphand Note 93 ] (it was such a train, going from Switzerland through Central Europe, which brought Lenin accompanied by people like Dr. Helphand to Russia under Ludendorff's protection) — suppose you are such a person and you believe that out of the processes representing intelligence — the only processes from which natural-scientific thinking of the past few centuries has emerged — the social order could be developed. What kind of a social order will that turn out to be? It will be a reproduction of what takes place within the brain during the thinking processes. Do not think that what we develop without is different from what we develop within, if the only processes employed are thinking processes! If you try to establish a social order with them it will be something destructive, just as thinking processes in the brain cause destruction — exactly the same thing. Thinking, applied to reality, destroys. One can gain insight into such matters only when one looks into the deeper secrets of the being of man and the whole world. This is why humanity needs to pay attention to these things if any sort of valid judgment concerning public affairs is to be rendered. It does no good at all today to base discussions about any social concerns on the suppositions of the past few centuries, for they no longer hold water. It is important here to realize that completely different processes must come to pass in the human spiritual life; again the science of initiation must step in and draw from spiritual resources what can never be gleaned from mere sources of human intelligence. A social science of the present can only emerge as a consequence of spiritual science. This can and must be grasped from its very foundation.
This is what is in fact important for modern man, namely, that he does not attain a relationship with spiritual science merely in some superficial manner, but that he learns to recognize how completely spiritual science is linked to human destiny for the future.
In order that a person can gauge something like this, a feeling must develop in the human being for what is asserting itself with profound earnestness out of the spiritual resources. For such a feeling to come about, however, much must be eliminated, above all else the generally prevailing frivolity. Recently, in a lecture that I gave for local teachers, I indicated a symptom in which such frivolity appears today. One of our friends in London made efforts to arrange a gathering of a number of artists here in August. It was for the purpose of their becoming acquainted with our building and forming a sort of center from which the impulse could go out that is now so necessary if the building is ever to be completed. An English journalist was informed, not one from an ordinary daily paper but from a magazine that calls itself “Architect,” in other words, a publication that wishes to be taken more seriously. The journalist was even given a description in writing of what was intended. This fellow was so flippant and frivolous, however, that he wrote: “A visit to Dornach is anticipated by such and such persons. Dr. Steiner himself has promised to acquaint the visitors with what is going on there, and it is believed that ten days will suffice for this excursion. Of this time, four days will be spent on travel, and during the remaining six days the visitors will be able to recuperate from the shock they will have experienced following their first impression of Dornach.” So, this frivolous character has no idea what he is supposed to write about, and for his penny-a-line is only capable of making a stupid joke so that his readers can accordingly continue to maintain a frivolous mood.
Things have gone so far that the general mood of people is spoiled from the very outset, spoiled by this kind of journalist; there is no longer any question of anything being accomplished. The only thing such journalists can do is seize the opportunity to make some stupid, frivolous joke. No progress will be made if the earnestness with which such matters should be discussed is not understood. One will get no further if such matters are considered to be insignificant; if, from a certain jaded standpoint, one says, for example, “Oh, one cannot take such a journalist so seriously!” From a certain point of view one certainly need not give much credit to such penny-a-lining, but it must be evaluated according to what effect it has in the world.
These matters are indeed serious and of such a nature that they induce us again and again to say “This building here is intended to be a landmark for what should take place for the sake of mankind's ascent!” To be sure, from certain quarters no effort has been spared to make the building what it is now. Destiny, too, contributed its necessary share. It is, alter all, true that at the outset this building was erected here chiefly as the result of efforts made by the Central European countries. But when Central Europe's financial resources began to touch rock bottom, the neutral countries were ready in a most significant, commendable manner to do something for this building. Those from Central Europe who were able to do something for the building spared no effort throughout the time of the war psychosis, stirred up by hate and opposition, to maintain this site in such a manner that people from every part of the world, from all nationalities, could gather together here. This building was saved and maintained throughout all the years of chauvinism; nobody was denied the opportunity here to encounter others in a spirit of friendship, no matter what part of the world he came from. All this, however, demonstrates the impossibility of completing this building by relying on the earlier resources; it shows the necessity for efforts by those countries that are in a financially favorable position, for they are at the beginning of a period where they are not encumbered by financial disaster and are certainly in a position to do something for the building. One would hope that a message like the following will not one day spread through the world: A landmark for the dawning spiritual life was to be erected. Those people who were swept away by the cataclysmic world events and then perished left behind as a last legacy as much as they could accomplish. Those, on the other hand, who were not swept away, who could have begun the new life, did not realize what those who were doomed left for them.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Fashioning the world order out of ourselves

Spiritual Science as a Foundation for Social Forms. Lecture 14.
Rudolf Steiner, Dornach, Switzerland, September 5, 1920:

In order to comprehend a number of things that have to be mentioned in connection with previously presented matters, it is necessary to recall several facts. We have seen how we are connected with our environment, with the other realms of existence. We have seen how our etheric body is directed toward the animal kingdom, the astral body toward the plant kingdom, and the ego toward the mineral kingdom. We have seen how, as a result of the work which the ego performs upon itself together with others within the social order, there arises what we know as the cultural development of mankind in art, religion, and science. I said yesterday that these soul contents — art, religion, and science — are basically nothing else than what comes about through the work of the human ego upon itself. Thus we have here one of the examples showing the connection of the human being with social life. Art, religion, and science are really, in the widest extent, the contents of the actual spirit realm of the social organism.
Then we have what comes into existence through the transformation of the astral body. As a matter of course, this transformation must be essentially more subconscious at the present stage of human evolution than what is accomplished in the spiritual realm of art, religion, and science; and what grows out of the metamorphosis of the astral body is essentially what we have to designate as the rights sphere within the social organism. Then, even more subconsciously, we have what results from the transformation of the etheric body because of our living in union with our fellowmen. All that springs from this, all that men do through the transmutation of their ether body, belongs to the economic sphere of the social organism. Here then we have the connections, the relationships, of the human being to what is outside him. Yesterday too we saw the significance of such relationships that the human being has to the life of the social order outside him. For as we have seen, he thus actually prepares the basic natural foundation for his next life on Earth. He works in a certain measure at the creation of earthly existence itself. It would indeed be desirable for as many people as possible to grasp the extraordinary importance and relevance of the present moment of human evolution.
It can be said that until this world-historical hour the evolution of humanity has, in general, rested on the providential care of the forces standing above man in the higher hierarchies. As we know, mankind achieved a certain development of the ether body during the old Indian cultural period, a certain development of the astral body during the Egypto-Chaldean time, and a development of the intellectual soul in the Greco-Latin time. Now humanity is on the point of lifting the consciousness soul from the depths of soul existence. But since the germ of what is to come must always be present in the preceding evolutionary stages, what is to be the content of the next cultural epoch — the unfoldment of the spirit-self — is already proclaiming itself; however, this development of the spirit-self must of necessity proceed from man himself.
We have passed through various Earth lives. When we speak of the men of the primeval Indian time, of the ancient Persian, the Egypto-Chaldean, and the Greco-Latin times, we are, in fact, speaking of ourselves; for we lived under quite different conditions in those ancient times. We lived in surroundings of animal, plant, or mineral nature prepared for us at the instigation of our divine progenitors, who were the humanity on the Moon, the Sun, and Saturn and who, in the pre-stages of the Earth, experienced what we are experiencing today. What constitutes content upon an earlier planetary evolution remains as form for the succeeding one. We lived on what was bequeathed to us by the gods, the beings of the higher hierarchies. Now we have reached the point where the Earth would dry up and wither if man, in a sense, did not spin out a new thread of life from himself.
Just think how all this was really prepared for us. Naturally we have a spiritual life within our social life. The people of the Occident are proud of this social life; they are proud of their art, religion, and science. Human beings must distinguish, however, between the Mystery of Golgotha as a fact, and the manner in which it has been heretofore understood through concepts obtained from religion, art, and science. We have comprehended the Christ according to the standard of what we possessed as spiritual content in our souls. Here in the Occident we have established something like a continuation of the old spirituality. When anyone is able objectively to enter upon the nature of the actual spiritual life of Europe and its American extension, he finds that in the end it is all an Oriental heritage. It is nothing else. Certainly, we have changed any number of things. As I have already pointed out in these lectures, the quite different worldview of the Orient — which, once upon a time, could magnificently grasp the causative connections between the successive Earth lives of the human being, but which later in the Greek concept of the cosmos had become a shadow of itself in the fatum, in destiny — all that turned finally through the Latin Roman element into something juristic. I have indicated how this is felt when we look at Michelangelo's painting in the Sistine Chapel where Christ appears in the role of World Judge, a cosmic jurist, deciding between good and evil human beings. The world concept had become juristic. This was not so in the Oriental worldview.
Then there was added what results from economic thinking. Bacon was one who actually proceeded entirely from economic thought, and all of Europe allowed itself to be taught by him. What we possess in our sciences, and what today constitutes the popular view of the world permeating all European circles, is the result of this Western economic thinking, which, as I have indicated, simply did not stop with the economic sphere, but has entered the higher domains, the rights domain and even the cultural domain. If individuals like Huxley and Spencer had employed their thinking to bring order into economic relationships, they would then be in the right place. They are out of place when employing their particular kind of thinking for the purpose of creating science. Yet the whole world has imitated them.
We can therefore say that what we possess of actual spirituality is fundamentally only an obsolete legacy of the ancient Orient. Later, legalistic, political thinking began in Greece and Rome. It would simply be nonsense to believe that this could have existed in the ancient structure of the Oriental state. The dignified patriarchal structures, of which the early Chinese constitution was a reflection, were not state formations in the sense that the European understands them. What we now possess as the rights structure did not yet exist in Orientalism. It entered into Occidental culture, faintly at first, by way of Greek thinking, and then quite strongly by way of Latin thinking. Thus we must say that our entire spiritual life basically still has a character which was inherited from what the Oriental possessed. Bear in mind, however, how I had to present this emergence of the Oriental spiritual life. It arose out of man's metabolism — out of the inner impulses of metabolism — in the Vedas, in the magnificent poetry of the Orient. It must be sought as a new outgrowth of the metabolism, just as blossom and fruit issue from the tree. Anyone who can look upon the inner relationships as they are in reality knows how to look upon the blossoms and fruit of the tree; he will observe how the sap rises up from the earth, ascends in the trunk, shoots out into the branches, turns green within the leaves, becomes varicolored in the blossoms, and achieves ripeness in the fruit. This is what presents itself to our eyes. If we then note the result in our metabolic processes of what is drawn up with the substance coming from the earth and taken up into ourselves, how it is digested and burned up, how it passes over into the blood, is refined and etherized within the body, we see that it sprouts, flourishes, and ripens just like the vegetative process that turns to blossoms, fruits. and trees. It only changes into something else by sprouting, flourishing, and ripening through the human organs; it turns into the poetic fruit of the Vedas, it becomes the philosophic fruit of the Vedanta philosophy. In the Orient the spiritual life was considered a fruit of the earth, of the metabolism that courses through the human being, just as one looked upon the process coursing through the verdant, fruit-bearing tree. What appears in the Vedas and in Oriental poetry is intimately bound up with the essence of the earth. It is the flower of the earth. It is nonsense when men of today make our earth into a lifeless product, as geology does, for instance. For not only what arises from the earth in flower and fruit belongs to her, but also what has arisen like a philosophical fruit in the primordial epochs of mankind in the Vedas and the Vedanta philosophy. Whoever wishes to see nothing but stones come into existence in or upon the earth, whoever sees her only as tillable soil, whoever views the earth as nothing but mineral substance, does not know the earth. For to her belongs also what she has borne in times past as blossom and fruit through the body of man.
Then the other age arrived, the age in which man had already emancipated himself from the earth. He was no longer connected with the earth, but only with the climate and atmosphere, in which he brought to expression his rhythmic system rather than his metabolic system. It was the age in which the mighty spiritual intuitions of antiquity were no longer manifest, but in which man's concepts of rights developed.
In the more recent age, particularly since Bacon, the human being has begun to withdraw completely into himself, to divorce himself from the earth, and to manifest what lives only within himself as mere intellect within the economic thinking of the Western world. Thus what evolves through the human being is differentiated over the earth.
All these are matters to which we must pay attention at present. If we would pay attention to these things, we must certainly bring our soul to an inward awakening. We must seek to comprehend what spiritual science can give us. We must confess to ourselves that the time is past when, after having worked hard all week, we can simply sit down and listen to an abstract sermon about the connection of the human being with a divine world order. Those times are over; that is antiquated.
It is the duty of modern humanity to comprehend quite concretely how man's essential being is itself linked with the cosmos, how its existence is bound up with the cosmos. Only as a consequence of this comprehension will the human being understand the necessity of dividing the social life into the spiritual sphere — which is basically only a heritage from the Orient grown more and more lifeless, for our spiritual life today is dead — and the other two spheres. The old Oriental of primeval times could never have grasped what is meant when we say that we do not understand life. Today we say that we do not understand life, for we live only in the dead mineral realm, even though we do so with our ego, which the Oriental did not yet do. Precisely here, life must enter. After all, what do we mean when we strive as human beings to accord a special place and emphasis to the spiritual sphere within the social organism? What is it, after all, that we desire here?
As long as the spiritual or cultural sphere is bound up with the wholly differently constituted rights or state structure — or worse, with the economic life — so long will the single human individuality be unable to contribute to the spiritual life what this spiritual life should contain. Let us understand one another on this particular point! With the thinking habits of the present it is not an easy task to understand just what matters here. In what follows I shall attempt to make comprehensible just what needs to be grasped in this respect.
Consider, for instance, the case where the state enacts its school laws. These school laws are put through either from a despotic, tyrannical point of view or from a democratic one. How are they made? Let us put the matter quite simply. Picture to yourself three people sitting together. When three people sit down together they are “terribly clever” in an abstract sense. Three people who get together really know everything about all things; it is not much better when people come together as a party — they usually know everything about all things. One knows exactly how to set up paragraph one: how religion should be taught; paragraph two: how German or any other language should be taught; paragraph three: how arithmetic should be taught; paragraph four: how geography should be taught. Wonderful paragraphs can be worked out that should represent an ideal condition for the educational system. Then all this can be made into rules and regulations, and then put into effect. It is quite immaterial whether it is done by three or three hundred people, it will always be very clever, for people are very clever when they construct something in abstractions. Then it becomes law. It is something else, however, when, for instance, someone confronts a class of fifty real children. They have quite definite characters; they are not the wax we pretend they are, when, with great cleverness, we formulate paragraphs one, two, and so forth. Children can be molded only as far as their special peculiarities and abilities allow. In addition, something else enters the picture. The teacher himself confronts the class with his particular capabilities. They, too, are limited. And one with experience knows that rules can be this good in an abstract sense [referring to larger form in drawing]; the clever teacher, however, can only apply them this well [referring to the smaller form]. In abstractions, everything can be figured out. In reality, however, it is a question of dealing with reality. In the educational system that is part of the spiritual sphere, the state as such can accomplish nothing but abstractions. These can be quite wonderful and outstandingly good  but leave the state out of it! Take it out of the educational system, which is a part of the spiritual sphere! Make the educational system dependent on the teachers themselves who are available at a particular time. Then it will be a reality; then it will not become a lie but something that is in accordance with the particular age. That is what is meant by working toward realities. Something else, however, takes its place: Paragraphs one, two, three, ten, fifty are all dead, and the way in which they are observed is actually something absolutely irrational. What lives through the body of teachers and comes into existence in the living collaboration among real teachers is alive. Here you have the point where life enters into what is derived from the dead mineral. A higher sphere is reached. We bring life, illuminated life, into the spiritual sphere by resting it upon human individualities, not upon paragraphs one, two, and so on. We infuse life into the spiritual sphere; out of an ether body we permeate the spiritual sphere around us with what is derived from the living human being. In your own attitude of mind what is otherwise dead, inanimate, a machinelike thought, turns into a living being. The spiritual sphere spreads out as something inwardly alive over the entire Earth. That is what must be understood inwardly. One must feel how life streams out of an undreamed-of soul depth into the independent life of the spirit, and how we actually vivify this self-reliant spiritual life by founding it upon the human individuality.

Diagram 25

You see from this that what we draw forth from spiritual science for everyday life has to do most intensely with realities. One could really despair when one sees how little actual energy and enthusiasm is generated in humanity for this vivification of the spiritual sphere. One feels as though humanity were imbued by the same attitude of mind as is a person who desires to see only stillborn children brought into the world, and who does not wish the spark of life to enter the body that otherwise would come into the world dead. This is how one feels about modern mankind. Humanity sits upon a dead culture, as if stuck with pitch to comfortable seats, not willing to rise to the enthusiasm of vivifying the spiritual life. Enthusiasm is what we need above all else, for this spiritual life will not be revitalized out of its dead traditions.
Next is the rights sphere. I said that it is born out of instincts, out of half-conscious instincts. This rights sphere was still something semiconscious, glimmering up into consciousness, when born out of Greek life, more particularly, out of the Latin-Roman life, and was then elaborated upon further. Now it is to be placed independently on its own democratic basis. What has developed under the impulse of the rights sphere up to now? The legal paragraphs came into being, in which the individual has such a small share that I must say there has been hardly anything that has left such a bitter taste in my mouth as when I had dealings with a lawyer. This has happened repeatedly in my life. One goes to somebody who is a representative of the law, a man learned in the law. One is concerned with a specific case. One watches this lawyer go to some filing cabinet. He takes out a bundle of briefs. With much effort, he fits together what he is reading at the moment; he himself is quite detached from the matter at hand. One wishes to know how this case fits into the framework of the law. He goes to his library, takes out a certain law book, leafs through it at length, but nothing results because in reality he is entirely unacquainted with the subject. Nothing at all of a living, human connection is present in such a proceeding.
A matter of litigation once caused considerable correspondence between a lawyer and myself; I do not wish to relate the whole affair. In the end, it turned out that it was necessary to refer also to a book on international law. The case had been going on for nearly two and a half years when the good man told me that he did not have a book on international law, and I would have to procure it myself. He said “You will have to supply me with the necessary data anyway, if I am to give you further advice!” Now, those who know me are aware that I am certainly not boastful in such matters. I am certainly not conceited, either. I obtained the book on international law, and within two hours it was clear to me just how the case stood. One need only look into matters with a healthy mind and one finds that what otherwise might be protracted over two years can be accomplished in two hours. This is how far removed the human element has come from what really exists as the system of rights, which has become entangled in what is derived from the three members in the social organism. We must return to a life that experiences what holds sway in rights in the same way we experience the external sense objects. We must be connected in a living manner with what exists as the rights body.
The true meaning of democracy is for the dead paragraphs to be humanized, and for our feelings to participate in what otherwise lies buried in the dead paragraphs. Just as life enters the spiritual sphere through what can be born out of spiritual science, so also will feeling enter into the rights sphere through what is being willed by spiritual science. What lives from man to man will then be felt.
We proceed to the third sphere — the economic sphere. We know that this takes place very much in the subconscious; that based on what he has to deal with, an individual today is simply not in a position to penetrate with full consciousness into what is at hand in the economic sphere. Associations must be formed in which the experience of the one supplements the experience of another. Out of associations, out of group formations, the decisions must subsequently be made. Whereas each one of us must individually create out of ourselves what is commensurate with our talents in the spiritual sphere, what is active in the economic sphere must result from a group decision. From such group judgment, governing reason will then emerge and hold sway in the economic life.
1. spiritual life:             life            etheric body

2. rights sphere:          feeling     astral body
3. economic-sphere   reason    ego
Reason will reign in the economic sphere. This means that we contribute what we have evolved in ourselves as a gift from the gods. We contribute what we have evolved as our etheric element, what we have developed in regard to feeling as astral body, and what we have evolved as reason for our ego. All this we bring to the outer world. In the economic sphere we need not yet make the contribution as individuals; therefore we do so through associations and groups. But what we have developed individually in the ego — reason — becomes something that permeates the whole economic sphere if we aim at associations in the proper manner. Hence we carry the impulses existing in our ether body out into the social order, into the spiritual life, by enlivening the spiritual life; we carry into the rights sphere what pulsates in our astral body as feeling; and we bear into the economic sphere what lives in our ego as reason. As human beings, we have attained three things in the cosmic order: etheric body, astral body, and ego. We leave the world again with the etheric body, astral body, and ego. We yield it up to the world. We fashion the world order out of ourselves. Why should it be otherwise? Among the lower animals much is exemplified for us by the spider that spins out of herself what must come to pass. Man must indeed become a world creator, and must form out of himself what will constitute his environment in the future. We bear the future in us. I have discussed this from the most varied points of view.
Of what use is all the philosophical talk about the reality of the world? We should inform ourselves about the reality of the world by looking at the realities of the future. What is to be real in the future is borne today within us as ideality. Let us fashion the world so that it will be real. This must not live in us merely as theory; it must be a feeling in us, an innermost life impulse. Then we shall simultaneously have a cognitive relationship and a religious relationship to our environment. Out of this innermost impulse, art, too, will become something quite different in the future. It will turn into something that unites with immediate life. Our very existence will have to shape itself artistically. Without that, we will inevitably drift into the philistinism of a Lenin, a Trotsky, or a Lunatsharsky. Note 89 ] It is only the Spirit created by man out of himself that can save us from this morass; and if the life of rights is not to succumb to utter desolation, we must permeate it with feeling; and we must permeate the economic life with reason.
There was a man who looked back at the ways and means the world developed and he said “All that is real is rational, and all that is rational is real.” He, however, looked back to what the world had become through the old gods; he did not look to the future. It was Hegel, of whom I spoke here on August 27th, his 150th birthday. Today we are at a point where the world is irrational, and where man must make it rational once more. We must realize this, and this knowledge must pass into thinking, feeling, and will. There is only one social reform: People must realize what part mankind must play in the shaping of the world order.
This is what we ought to repeat to ourselves each morning and night so that we will understand anew what nonsense it is to speak of the eternity and preservation of matter. Everything surrounding us as substance will pass away. What dwells in us as ideals will replace the vacuums brought about by the destruction of matter. The ideals that live within us for the time being will occupy the empty spaces as future reality.
In this way the human being must feel a bond with the world order. In a new way he must experience Christ's words “Heaven and Earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” Note 90 ] One who understands this utterance knows that it is a genuinely Christian saying. For Christianity starts from the destructibility of matter and external energy, whereas the recent natural-scientific world outlook mocks Christianity by promulgating the conservation of matter and energy. Indeed, Heaven and Earth — meaning all matter — will pass away and all energy cease to be, but what forms within the soul of man and dwells in the word will be the world of the future. That is Christianity.
This newly understood Christianity must eradicate the anti-Christian attitude of the modern materialistic world outlook, which fantasizes about the conservation of things transitory — matter and energy. Things have gone so far that the tenets of Christianity, namely, eternity of the spirit and the avowal of the transitory nature of matter, are considered sheer insanity as compared to the firmly established phantasm of the conservation of matter and energy. It has gone so far that we lie when we still allege to be Christians while we lend a hand to the dissemination of an anti-Christian world outlook. One who holds fast to modern natural science's basic views on matter would only be honest if he could recant Christianity. Above all, in reality, representatives of Christian confessions, ministers and pastors who make their compromises with modern natural science, are inwardly quite certainly the worst enemies of Christianity. There is no other way but to begin to see these matters clearly and honestly. We must definitely speak about these things more and more in full earnestness. Without this there will be no progress. All talk of reforms, of which any number of organizations and reform movements chatter today, is mere fantasy; it is only grist to the mill of those who bring about the decline. The only hope for renewal can come from grasping the living spirit, the living spirit that has to find its source in the creative human being and which, in turn, becomes the foundation for the reality of the future, not just of some ideal future, but that of the cosmic future.
In all truth, not until modern humanity accepts this metamorphosis of modern thinking with the same ardor with which world outlooks were once accepted in former times, not until then will decline transform itself into ascending progress. One wishes that what is thus being stated would not only be comprehended conveniently by concepts; one wishes that it would be grasped by the feelings and that it would pulse through the will. For unless it is sensed and felt, unless it pulses through the will, all talk of emerging from this catastrophic age remains so much talk into the wind. Most people are unaware of the terrible way in which we are sailing into the decline that now is taking hold already of the physical environment. The physical, however, is always the consequence of the spiritual. The physical of the future will be the consequence of the spiritual we harbor in our souls today. The physical of the present is caused by the spiritual of the past, and the most recent physical conditions are brought about by the most recent past spiritual activities of mankind.
When we hear today that out of about 600 school children in Berlin an average of much more than one hundred do not have shoes and socks at present and no hope of getting them; when we are told that many more than a hundred and fifty of these 600 children have parents who cannot even purchase rations for them and who no longer receive a warm breakfast before going to school; that in the course of the last school year over 100 of these children died of tuberculosis — just add this up for yourselves! — then, my dear friends, you have material occurrences. These physical occurrences are the external expression of the spirituality that has been nurtured in mankind during the past few centuries. One must ask today: Do people wish to go on cultivating social movements — women's movements and any number of other reforms — while continuing the thoughts that have borne such fruit? Or are they willing to create and draw from a new source? This question should place itself in shining letters before our souls as we experience and feel the point in time at which we now stand.