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Self Knowledge and the Christ Experience

Self Knowledge and the Christ Experience


A Lecture By Rudolf Steiner Dornach, Fe ruary !, "#!$ %A !!"
This is the 1st of 9 lectures given by Rudolf Steiner at Dornach, in February of 1923. The title of the series of lectures is: Earthly Knowledge and Heavenly Wisdom. t !as "ublished in #er$an as: Erdenwissen und Himmelserkenntnis. This translation is based on shorthand notes not revised by the lecturer. t !as translated by %ona &radley, edited by Dr. '. (. )elburn. t is "resented here !ith the *ind "er$ission of the Rudolf Steiner +achlassver!altung, Dornach, S!it,erland. Fro$ #'- 221. Search for related titles available for "urchase at '$a,on.co$. &han's to an anony(ous donor, this lecture has een (ade a)aila le to e)eryone*

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' lecture given by Rudolf Steiner in Dornach, 2 February 1923 %y dear Friends, Su""ose that !e observe an ani$al during the course of a year. )e !ill find that its life follo!s the cycle of the seasons. Ta*e for e7a$"le an insect: according to the ti$e of year it !ill for$ a chrysalis 8"u"ate9, at another season it !ill e$erge and shed its chrysalis:for$, at another ti$e lay its eggs, and so on. )e can follo! the course of nature, follo! the stages of such an insect;s life, and find a certain connection bet!een the$, for the ani$al organi,es its life according to its natural surroundings. f !e then go on to consider "eo"le < say, the "eo"le of one of the larger hu$an co$$unities during earlier stages of the earth;s evolution < !e find that they too e7"erienced, $ore or less instinctively, the 0ife of nature. &ut as hu$anity develo"ed further, those instincts, !hich enabled "eo"le to e7"erience their natural surroundings so directly, largely died out. '$ong $ore advanced hu$anity, therefore, !e !ill not find that s"ontaneous har$ony < a har$ony bet!een !hat arises fro$ the hu$an side and the i$$ediate setting or natural surroundings. That has to do !ith the fact that hu$anity itself is undergoing a develo"$ent, !hich constitutes its history, and !hich !ill for$ a !hole !ithin the long "lanetary develo"$ent of the earth. Returning to our e7a$"le of a lo!er ani$al, in insect, !here these $atters are revealed $ost clearly, !e find that its e7"erience s"ans a co$"aratively short s"ace of ti$e < a year. Then the cycle re"eats itself. )ith regard to $an*ind, a certain la! of develo"$ent is found to run li*e a thread through long ages of our earth;s "lanetary evolution, as !e have re"eatedly observed during our historical studies. )e have beco$e fa$iliar, for instance, !ith the ty"e of instinctive clairvoyance belonging to earlier "eo"les. Their "ictorial consciousness gradually di$inished during an inter$ediate "eriod of hu$an develo"$ent, eventually giving "lace to $odern consciousness !hich is intellectual, conce"tual. 2ur o!n historical ti$e, dating fro$ the first third of the fifteenth century, is the ti$e of the develo"ing 4onsciousness Soul. t is that ti$e !hen $an !ill ste" fully into his ca"acity of intellectual thin*ing in its narro!er sense, !hich !ill then bring hi$ fully to free consciousness of the Self.

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f !e consider a longer s"ace of ti$e fro$ this "oint of vie!, !e begin to find certain observable la!s in the develo"$ent of hu$anity. )e can co$"are these develo"$ental la!s !ith those !hich, say, an insect e7"eriences during the course of a year. +o! in ancient ti$es "eo"le still instinctively lived together !ith their natural surroundings and !ith the cycle of nature but these instincts have $ore or less died a!ay, and no!adays !e live in a ti$e in !hich conscious inner life $ust re"lace the$. )hat !ould ha""en no!adays if a $an !ere to give hi$self u" entirely to chance. Su""ose he !ere not to ado"t any inner guiding "rinci"les or rules, or that he did not tell hi$self at a certain $o$ent: >This is ho! you should orientate yourself? < su""ose that he !ere not to arrive at any such inner orientation but lived his life though, fro$ birth to death, as chance directed. %an !ho by virtue of his higher soul develo"$ent is ranged above the ani$als !ould sin* because of the $anner in !hich he handled his soul:life, belo! the ani$al level. )e $ay say, therefore, that the insect has a certain direction in its life through s"ring, su$$er, autu$n and !inter. t does not give its develo"$ent u" to chance, "lacing itself as it does !ithin certain la!s in each succeeding "hase of its life. %an*ind, ho!ever, has left behind the age of instinctive co:e7istence !ith nature. n his case it !as $ore ensouled than that of the ani$als, but still instinctive. 3is life has ta*en on a ne!er, $ore conscious for$. @et !e find that $an, in s"ite of his higher soul:life and ca"acity to thin*, has given hi$self over to a $ore chaotic life. )ith the dying a!ay of his instincts he has fallen, in a certain !ay, belo! the level of the ani$als. 3o!ever $uch one $ay e$"hasi,e $an;s further ste"s for!ard, to!ering above the ani$als, one $ust still concede that he has lost a "articular inner direction in his life. This directing Auality of his life could be found once $ore by seeing hi$self as a $e$ber of the hu$an race, of this or that century. 'nd Bust as, for a lo!er for$ of life, the $onth of Se"te$ber ta*es its "lace in the course of the year, so does this or that century ta*e its "lace in the !hole develo"$ent of our "lanet. 'nd $an needs to be conscious of ho! his o!n soul:life should he "laced historically in a "articular e"och. This is an idea to !hich $an needs to gro! accusto$ed so as to ste" even further into the develo"$ent of the 4onsciousness Soul. ' $an should be able to say to hi$self: > live in this or that e"och. a$ not $an in the full sense of the !ord if give $yself over to chance. 4hance has de"osited $e into earthly life through birth. &ut to give $yself u" to change as far as $y consciousness is concerned !ould be si$"ly to abandon $yself to *ar$a. a$ only $an, in the full sense of being $an, if ta*e account of !hat the historical develo"$ent of hu$anity as*s fro$ $y soul:life, belonging as do to this "articular e"och.? 'n ani$al lives !ithin the cycle of the year: $an $ust learn to live as "art of the earth;s history. )e have "laced as the $ost vital event in the earth;s history the %ystery of #olgotha. 'nd !e have often considered !hat it $eant to live before the %ystery of #olgotha, or at so$e "oint after it. )e have here a *ind of fulcru$ in historical develo"$ent, fro$ !hich vital, historical deed one can rec*on bac*!ards and for!ards. &ut to do Bustice to such rec*oning !e $ust *ee" in $ind the "articular tas*s a!aiting the hu$an soul in each historical age. The *ind of "resentation of the "ast !hich is custo$ary cannot lead to such an understanding of each "articular age. )e $ay be told in bald ter$s, ho! 6ersian, &abylonian, /gy"tian, #ree* or Ro$an history unfolded, but that leaves us !ithout any *ey to the "osition of each in the !hole regular historical develo"$ent of our "lanet < in the !hole regular !ay an ani$al stands !ithin the course of the year. +o!, in order to gain a conce"t of !hat !e need to arouse in our o!n soul:life in this age, !e have had to consider the various ages of history fro$ $any "oints of vie!. 0ife is rich and diverse, and if one !ants to reach so$e reality concerning our life on earth, !e shall have to loo* at hu$an life fro$ ever: differing "oints of vie!, fro$ !hich the "articular tenor of soul:life in our o!n ti$e. f !e loo* bac* to ancient ti$es in hu$an history !e shall find, scattered about the inhabited earth, !hat are *no! as the %ysteries. )e find that various grou"s of "eo"le, living their lives scattered about the earth, develo" under the influence of the %ysteries. They do so out!ardly < but $ore "articularly in regard to culture and the life of the soul. )e find that individuals are acce"ted into the %ysteries, according to their degree of $aturity. There they undergo further develo"$ent, !hich is to lead the$ to a "articular grade of *no!ledge, of feeling, and !illing. Then, !hen they have advanced in *no!ledge, in higher feeling, and higher !illing, they ste" out again and $ove a$ong the $aBority of $an*ind, giving guidance for the details of daily life, for the strengthening of the soul;s inner !or* and of their !ill, their actual deeds. )ith regard to "ast ages of $an, the best "lace in !hich to study such guidelines is actually the training of those "re"aring for initiation in the %ysteries.
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Though not of course in the abstract, intellectual $anner of today, the "u"ils in the %ysteries !ere led to *no! the !orld about the$. %ost i$"ortantly, they learned to *no! the so:called three *ingdo$s of nature and all that lives in the$. n the lo!est classes of our schools !e learn, by !ay of all sorts of conce"ts and "ictures, ho! !e stand !ithin the three real$s of nature. Through conce"ts and ideas !e learn to *no! $ineral, "lant and ani$al. )e then see* there the *ey to understanding hu$an life itself. Such conce"ts, !ith the intellectual soul:content i$"arted to "eo"le these days, did not e7ist a$ong those !or*ing for initiation in the ancient %ysteries. 4once"ts did e7ist thenC but they !ere not !on, as today, through the e7ercise of observation and logic. Rather, "eo"le had to e7ercise their souls in!ardly, so as to arrive eventually at inner "ictures of $ineral, of "lant, and ani$al. These "eo"le did not absorb the abstract conce"ts of today but e7"erienced "ictures < "ictures that intellectual $odern $an $ight find fantastic but, nevertheless, "ictures. 'nd $an *ne! fro$ direct e7"erience that !hat he discovered, !hen he e7"erienced these "ictures, actually yielded hi$ so$ething that lived in the $ineral, "lant or ani$al < of !hat gre! there, too* for$, and unfolded !ithin the$. This he *ne!: and he *ne! it fro$ those "ictures !hich to $odern $an !ould a""ear fantastic $yths. 'ncient $an *ne! that reality e7"ressed itself in things !hich today are considered $ere $ythology. 3e could certainly say: >The ani$al before $e has fir$ visible outlines.? &ut these fir$ outlines !ere not !hat he tried to gras" or understand. 3e tried rather to follo! the flo!ing, $obile, fluid Auality of its life. 3e could not do this, ho!ever, in shar" outlines, in shar"ly defined conce"ts. 3e had to teach in "ictures that !ere fluid, $eta$or"hosing, changing. 'nd thus it !as taught in the %ysteries. &ut !hen, on the basis of this %ystery:*no!ledge, a $an !as to rise to self:*no!ledge, he under!ent a significant crisis in his soul. 'ccording to the ty"e of *no!ledge available in those ancient ti$es, early $an obtained "ictures of $ineral, "lant and ani$al. )ith his drea$li*e consciousness, he could then see, as it !ere, into the inner real$s of nature. Fro$ the content of the %ysteries he also received the guiding "rinci"les of self:*no!ledge, $uch as he did in later ti$es. >1no! Thyself? has been an ideal in all civili,ations, in all ages of hu$an cultural develo"$ent. &ut in "rogressing fro$ his *ind of i$aginative, natural *no!ledge to!ards *no!ledge of hi$self, ancient $an under!ent an inner crisis of the soul. can only describe the nature of the crisis by saying that !hen he learned to loo* at the nature of the $ineral as it !as s"read before hi$ $an found fulfill$ent in his soul:life. 3e bore in hi$self the effects of "hysical: $ineral "rocesses. 3e bore in hi$self "ictures of inter!eaving vegetative life, and also of ani$al life. n his !orld he !as able to bring all these together: $ineral, "lant and ani$al. 0oo*ing bac* fro$ the vantage "oint of the !orld around hi$ into his o!n in!ardness, he had, in his "ri$itive ty"e of $e$ory, an inner "icture of $ineral, "lant and ani$al, and of ho! they !or*ed together. Dnderta*ing to obey the inBunction >1no! Thyself?, ho!ever, he found hi$self suddenly at a stand. 3e had a !orld of inner "ictures, varied, richly diverse in for$ and colour, and sounding !ith inner $usic < this !as his e7"erience of his earthly surroundings. @et he felt that this !orld of for$s, diversity, and constant flu7, this !orld that tre$bled !ith glo!ing colour and radiance and $usical tones, let hi$ do!n !hen he $ade the atte$"t to *no! hi$self. The "ictorial !ay in !hich he tried to gras" the nature of $an itself baffled hi$ in his atte$"t. 3e !as able to attain "ictures of $an too: but even !hile e7"eriencing the$ he *ne! that the reality of $an;s being, the source of his hu$an dignity, esca"ed hi$ < it !as not there. n his %ystery:initiation $an lived through this crisis. @et out of it, arising fro$ the i$"otence of self: *no!ledge, so$ething else develo"ed: a "articular conviction about 0ife, a conviction on !hich every ancient civili,ation !as based. t $eant that really enlightened "eo"le in those ancient ti$es could say: >%an does not reveal his true nature here on earth. The $inerals, "lants and ani$als all achieve their end here on earthC they can reveal the$selves fully in the "ictures !hich have of the$.? This is at the root of all ancient civili,ations: this living conviction that $an does not belong to the earth in the sa$e sense as do the other real$s of nature. 3is ho$e is else!here than on the earth. 3is ho$e lies essentially in the su"ersensible !orld. 'nd this belief !as no arbitrary fig$ent. t !as achieved through a crisis of the soul < after gaining the *no!ledge available at that ti$e about the !orld e7ternal to $an. 'nd a solution to the crisis !as only "ossible because "eo"le still had the ca"acity to turn their $inds to life before birth, and fro$ there to life after death. /veryone then *ne! instinctively of life before birth. t !as "art of earthly life, li*e a "re:natal $e$ory. 'nd they learned about life after death on the basis of life before birth 8see +ote 19.
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2n the basis of those ca"acities !hich he then had, $an learned that after crossing the threshold of death the $o$ent !ould co$e !hen he !ould not only have around hi$ the natural !orld, e7ternal to $an, but his o!n being !ould arise before his soul. For it !as characteristic of the $ore ancient stages of hu$an develo"$ent that, bet!een birth and death, $an develo"ed an e7clusively "ictorial consciousness. have often s"o*en about this. 3e did not yet "ossess the intellectual consciousness !hich !e have today. n those days this !as only develo"ed i$$ediately after death. 'nd "eo"le retained it then, after death. t is a "eculiarity of $an;s "rogress that, in ancient ti$es, $an;s consciousness after death !as an intellectual oneC !hereas !e e7"erience a "urely "ictorial "anora$a of our life during the three days after death. There lies the "eculiarity, that in ancient ti$es $en had a drea$y "ictorial consciousness on earth, !hereas no!adays !e have an intellectual consciousness. Then after death, they gre! into an intellectual consciousness !hich enabled the$, once free of the body, to gain freedo$. n ancient ti$es $an beca$e an intellectual and free being after death. 2n being initiated into this fact, the "u"il in the %ysteries !ould be told that he could !in *no!ledge of the !orld e7ternal to $an through his "icture:consciousness. f ho!ever he obeys the i$"erative >1no! Thyself?, and loo*s bac* u"on hi$self, he !ill not find his full hu$an dignity there. 3e !ill not find it in earthly life before death. 3e !ill only beco$e fully hu$an !hen he has crossed the threshold of death, and "ure thin*ing beco$es hisC for !ith "ure thin*ing he can beco$e a free being. t is a strange thing that this ty"e of consciousness occurred after death in "ast ages of hu$an develo"$ent, !hereas today after death !e have the "anora$a of "ast life s"read out before us. n a sense this consciousness has entered $an;s life in a counter:strea$. t has $oved fro$ the life after death into his actual earthly life. 'nd !hat !e have gained, "articularly since the first third of the fifteenth century, has tric*led into earthly $an fro$ "ost:earthly $an. The "u"il in the ancient %ysteries *ne! clearly that the essence of $an could only be found in su"er earthly life, after death. This has no! ta*en its "lace in life on earth. ' real su"ersensible strea$ has entered into our life on earth. This sets u" an o""osition to the direction of our hu$an life, $oving fro$ >before? to >after?, the su"ersensible strea$ $oving fro$ >after? to >before?. Thus, as $odern "eo"le, !e ta*e "art in su"er: earthly life. )e have underta*en to beco$e !orthy < !orthy of !hat has been dra!n fro$ su"ersensible into sensible e7istence. )e no! have to !in our freedo$ by inner right. )e $ust recogni,e fully the i$"ort of the su"ersensible for the develo"$ent of the 4onsciousness Soul. For the "eo"le of ancient ti$es, !hen the inBunction >1no! Thyself? loo$ed before the$, their res"onse had to be that there is no self:*no!ledge on earth: for the essence of hu$anity is si$"ly not fulfilled here on earth. %an reaches it only !hen he has gone through the threshold of death into the su"ersensible !orld. 't the ti$e of the %ystery of #olgotha, and for centuries after!ards, $an as he lived on earth !as still called, in the language of ancient %ystery !isdo$, the >natural $an?. 'nd it !as considered that this natural $an !as not the real hu$an being. The natural $an !as clearly differentiated fro$ the s"iritual being !hich bore the essence of $an. The vie! then !as that one only beca$e s"iritual $an !ith the laying aside of the "hysical body. 2nly after crossing the threshold of death did one beco$e s"iritual $an and, as such, >fully hu$an.? nitiation in the ancient %ysteries led to great hu$ility !ith regard to earthly consciousness. /arthly $an could not be $ade arrogant through %ystery:initiation. For !hilst on earth he did not even feel that he !as $an in the fullest sense. 3e felt that he !as $ore a candidate for hu$anity, and that he needed to use his life on earth in such a !ay that, after death, he could beco$e fully $an. So, according to %ystery:!isdo$, $an, as he !ent about his business on earth, !as not a revelation of full hu$anity. +o! !e $ust co$e to ancient #reece, and the ti$e !hen #ree* culture !as !idely influential. For it !as then that "eo"le began to be a!are, !ith their intellect and in freedo$, that the true being of $an !as "ouring fro$ the s"here of after:death into $an;s earthly being. n #ree* civili,ation the individual on earth !as not regarded as entirely fulfilling his hu$anity. %en sa! the !or* of the su"er:earthly, as it !as dra!ing into the earthly. They sa! in the detail of $an;s "hysiogno$y, his !ay of going about, his sha"e < in all this they beheld !ith reverence, the su"er:earthly strea$ing into the earthly. )ith the recent develo"$ent of hu$anity all that has changed. +o! $an says: %y great tas* is to beco$e a!are of $y hu$anity. %y tas* on this earth is to reveal, at least to so$e degree, $an;s being in its fullness. too stand under the banner of the e7hortation >1no! Thyself?. can co$"ose $y soul for freedo$, because have gained intellectual consciousness. can lay hold of the inner strength of "ure thin*ing in the
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act of self:*no!ledge. &efore the eye of $y soul $an can a""ear. +ot that $an should gro! "roud in the "artial fulfill$ent of this inBunction >1no! Thyself?. 3e should reali,e ho! at every $o$ent this freedo$ of his has to be !restled for. 3e should reali,e ho!, in his "assions, e$otions, feelings and sensibilities, he is al!ays de"endent on the subhu$an. )hat !as seen by that high for$ of "ictorial consciousness in the !orld around, by ancient hu$anity, !as also this real$ of subhu$an. They recogni,ed that all their *no!ledge !as of the subhu$an real$ in those ancient ti$es. That !as a significant "oint. For, they said, true $an does not e7ist on earth. To gras" the intellectual nature of $an they !ould have needed intellectual ca"acities the$selves. )ith their non:intellectual for$ of *no!ledge they could only gras" the subhu$an. have described in $y 8Philosophy of Freedom9 ho! the intellectual is further develo"ed into conscious, e7act clairvoyance. t then lives in a free inner constitution of the soul. 2nly then can $an *no! hi$self and his relation to the other "arts of his being, outside his "ure thin*ing and his free !ill. Through such a higher consciousness < i$aginative, ins"ired and intuitive consciousness < $an $ay reach in self:*no!ledge beyond his intellect and *no! hi$self as "art of the su"ersensible !orld. 'nd then it !ill be clear to hi$ that although he is fully hu$an, as has beco$e clear to hi$ in his self:*no!ledge, full hu$anity reAuires of hi$ that he "erfect it ever $ore and $ore. Thus $odern $an cannot develo" the sa$e sort of hu$ility that he needed in ancient ti$es, !hich arose !hen he had to say of hi$self: >0iving in a "hysical body you are not yet fully hu$an, you are only a candidate for hu$anity, not yet fulfilling your hu$an dignity and !orth. 'll you can do is "re"are yourself for consciousness and freedo$ as they !ill arise in you i$$ediately after death.? ' $ore $odern $an, !ho has $ean!hile lived under #ree* conditions in a different incarnation, !ould say: >Ta*e heed that in your fleshly body bet!een birth and death you do not neglect to be fully $an. For as a $odern $an your inner tas* is the !or*ing:out of !hat has entered earthly life fro$ the real$ of the "re:earthly. @ou can beco$e $an on earth, and you $ust therefore ta*e u"on yourself the difficulty of beco$ing $an on earth.? 'll this is e7"ressed in the develo"$ent of $an;s religious consciousness. 2n a "revious occasion !e sa! ho! in earlier ti$es $an loo*ed u" "rinci"ally to the Father #od, and in 4hrist he had the Son of #od. n #od the Father he sa! the creative source of substance and the su"ersensible origin of divine "rovidence. 2f this the earthly, "erce"tible !orld is $erely an i$"ress. 3e loo*ed u" to the cos$os fro$ the earthC and in religious consciousness he loo*ed u" to #od the Father. The "u"ils in the %ysteries had al!ays been conscious that the $ost they could learn about $an !ould be a "re"aration for the life after death. +o!, through the %ystery of #olgotha, the Son of #od has united !ith the earth;s life, and $an is able to develo" an a!areness of !hat St. 6aul $eant !hen he said >+ot , but 4hrist in $e?. +o! $an can so direct his inner life as to let the 4hrist:i$"ulse co$e to flo!er in hi$C he can let 4hrist;s life flo! and breathe through hi$. 3e can absorb the strea$ !hich has co$e to us fro$ "re:earthly life and bring it to fruition in his life on earth. ' first stage in the rece"tion of this strea$ consists in $an noticing that at a "articular "oint in his life he feels so$ething flo!ering and co$ing alive in hi$. 6reviously it sat under the threshold of his consciousness, and he notices for the first ti$e that it is there. t rises, filling hi$ !ith inner light, inner !ar$th, and he *no!s that this inner life, inner !ar$th, inner light, has arisen in hi$ during life on earth. 3e acAuires a greater *no!ledge of life on earth than !as his birthright. 3e learns to *no! so$ething !hich arises !ithin his hu$anity during his life on earth. 'nd if $an is sensible of the light and 0ife, of the love arising in hi$, and feels there the flo!ing, living "resence of the 4hrist, he !ill receive strength < strength to gras" the fully hu$an, the "ost:earthly, in the free activity of his o!n soul. Thus the %ystery of #olgotha and the 4hrist:i$"ulse are inti$ately bound u" !ith the attain$ent of hu$an freedo$, of that consciousness !hich is able to suffuse !ith inner life and !ar$th our $ere thin*ing that is other!ise dead and abstract. The e7hortation >1no! Thyself < bring your hu$anity to fruition in your o!n inner life? has been addressed to hu$anity through all ti$e, and is still in force today. &ut the e7"erience of 4hrist in $an is essential to our o!n day. t ta*es its "lace alongside the inBunction >1no! Thyself?, and $ust be given its full !eight. This indicates once again the enor$ous difference bet!een the soul:constitution of the "resent day and that !hich "revailed in ti$es "ast. )e learn to consider $an over great "eriods of ti$e. The !hole "rocess is
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co$"atible !ith !hat ta*es "lace !hen the insect is sensitive to the "eriod of su$$er in the setting of this !orld. For $an should be able to live in the !hole history of the earth as an ani$al lives in the course of the year. The insect ensures that it notices the transition to autu$n, and it sets in $otion another as"ect of its life accordingly, as it did for s"ring and su$$er. 'nd $an *no!s: 2nce u"on a ti$e !e !ere instinctively clairvoyantC !e !ere unfreeC our consciousness !as "ictorialC !e !ere unable to obey the inBunction >1no! Thyself?C !e *no! !e could fully reali,e our hu$anity only on the other side of the gate of deathC that ti$e !as analogous to s"ring in the life of the insect. Then ca$e the #ree* era, as su$$er and autu$n co$e round for the insect. This !as a bridge to that later era in !hich !e no! live. 2ur soul;s !or* is different. )e should be able to *no! ourselves to a certain degree here on earth, and accordingly be free after death to reach higher stages of develo"$ent than in "revious ages of $an. Then one !as !holly $an only after death. n those ancient ti$es $an;s tas* on the earth !as to be a candidate for life, beco$ing fully $an after death. n this, our o!n age, it is $an;s tas* to reali,e hi$self here in earth, that after death he $ay rise to higher stages of develo"$ent than he could in for$er ages. n those ti$es the danger !as that if he did not live his life on earth "ro"erly, $an !ould not arrive at his full hu$anity. Today !e face so$ething different. )e have to achieve our full hu$anity !hile on earth. f !e fail in this, !e betray ourselves and in the life after death "lunge further do!n into the subhu$an. n ancient days things could be left undoneC today destruction follo!s. Then, not to beco$e a candidate for life !as an o$issionC today a $an destroys, through his o!n hu$anity, so$ething in the !hole hu$an race if he does not strive after full hu$anity in his o!n life. n "ast ages he $erely left so$ething undoneC by doing so today he betrays $an*ind. Thus !e $ust gras" the need to "lace ourselves consciously in the !orld on a higher 0evel of being, as the insect does instinctively, on a lo!er 0evel, in its !orld. 2ther!ise $an delivers hi$self u" to chaos, !hich the ani$al instinctively does not do. )e $ust learn through 'nthro"oso"hy to be really hu$an, that !e $ay not e7"erience the scandal of being less in the !orld:order than the ani$als < des"ite the #ods having deter$ined us for higher things. The ani$als do not neglect their "art in the cos$ic har$ony, yet !e as $an*ind turn the cos$ic har$ony into dissonance. 'nd thus, $ay say, !e shall hea" u"on ourselves cos$ic scandal, if !e do not learn to thin* in this !ay and $a*e our consciousness accord !ith the de$ands of the age. This !e $ust learn in these days to Boin our feeling to our intellectual life. )e $ust ta*e in !hat !ould follo! u"on our not striving after that *no!ledge !hich $a*es us fully $an. t !ould be a scandal before the #ods the$selves.

+ote 1: refer to $y re$ar*s in the so:called >French 4ourse?. 86ublished as: Philosophy, Cosmology, and Religion9.

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