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The Rudolf Steiner Archive

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The Soul of the People
Considered in the Light of Spiritual Science
GA 64

27 November 1914, Berlin

Translator Unknown

The theme of this lecture has been taken from the impulses arising in the times through which we are passing. Now that so many nations are fighting, we seem to be called upon to turn our inner vision upon such living forces and realities as are found among the nations. And in so far as it is possible to mention these forces and realities, these “folk-souls,” they shall be the subject of our talk to-night.

It is already hard enough nowadays to speak (as we intend to do) of the individual soul in a spiritual-scientific manner. It is no easy task in the face of the widespread materialism of our day to uphold the true inner and genuine existence of the individual soul; for this is nowadays doubted and denied on every hand. Materialistic thought, because of its determination to remain on the firm ground of natural science, often deems it its duty to reject the psycho-physical in its true meaning. And remote as is the conception of the life of the individual from this way of thinking, that which can be designated as “folk-soul” is still further removed from its grasp. For, says the naturalistic school, can the soul of a people be anything more than the manifestation of all its confluent individual souls, anything more than which binds together a given community of men and women while having no real existence except in separate human individuals? In the first lecture which I delivered this winter 1“Goethe’s Mentality in our Fateful Days, and German Culture,” delivered on 29th October, in the “Architektenhaus” in Berlin. I pointed out that the great events of our times, the sacrifice of so many lives obliged us to turn our eyes to the “folk-souls” as to something real. Whether he is fully conscious of it or not, the man who sacrifices himself in obedience to the destiny of the day, does believe the sacrifice which he makes to the folk-soul to be made to something real, something true, something that lives and has an inner being of its own. Even our modern philosophers, who are so averse to the spiritual attitude, cannot, when they come to enquire more deeply into the relations of history and human life in communities; dispense with the idea of a group soul, cannot, that is to say, do without the idea of a “folk-soul.” Thus Wundt, the Leipzig philosopher, who is so highly esteemed, and who certainly cannot be accused of any inclination towards the spiritual-scientific view of things, cannot avoid seeing in the group spirit something real, something to which he attributes an organism and even a personality.

Facts like these make one realise that the man who concerns himself with philosophical matters must at least draw near to what Spiritual Science has to give, and that it is simply for lack of familiarity with Spiritual Science that people hold the spiritual life and spiritual reality to be mere appendages of external reality. Wundt sees in the language, customs and religious views, as lived by a whole people, a certain organism; he even says that this life expresses a certain personality. But ordinary philosophy has not yet achieved a genuinely spiritual-scientific approach to the problem. To do this it would have to start from the fundamental principles to which attention was drawn in yesterday’s lecture. {i.e., The Human Soul in Life and Death, Berlin, 26th November, 1914, already available on your website; in the first paragraph of the lecture on 26th (note 1) is also reference to this lecture.}

It was pointed out that there exists a method of developing the human soul by the quickening of its inner powers and by the conquest of its inner conflicts. In this way the human soul is prepared for the vision of the spiritual world and is raised to the experience which can he expressed by saying that in the spiritual world one feels oneself to be living as a thought in the mind of a higher being. Just as our own thoughts live in us, so through soul development can we feel ourselves to be living as the thought of spiritual beings of a higher order. And it was also pointed out that that which is comprised by the psycho-spiritual element in man, that which throughout ordinary sleep lives outside the human body, is clarified and illumined by this soul development. Man can then know himself to be in that state wherein he generally lives in unconsciousness from the moment he goes to sleep till the moment when he wakes; he knows himself to be living in his own spiritual mode of being, and therefore in his own higher existence, just as he ordinarily knows himself to be living in his physical mode of being in external nature. But we also showed why in his heavy sleep life, the soul of man cannot be illumined with the consciousness of his spiritual mode of being. From the moment he drops asleep to when he awakes, man is filled with the desire to sink back into his physical body. And this desire has the effect of clouding over and obscuring that which the soul would experience if, freed from the body in sleep, it were at rest in the heart of the spiritual world. For Spiritual Science has grasped the fact that the soul is an independent entity which knows itself to be free of the body, that this soul cannot know anything of the condition in which it enters the state of sleep every day, cannot know why in this state its consciousness is obscure and dim. But in learning to know the peculiar character of the body-free human soul the Spiritual Investigator also learns to know what it is to sink back into the body at the moment of awaking. And at this point we must state a very important tenet of Spiritual Science, a very important result of Spiritual Investigation.

The Spiritual Investigator experiences consciously this act of sinking down into the physical body. He contrives to experience consciously what in sleep is unconscious, and, in the same way, he experiences the manner in which the soul, sunk again into the body, lives in this body. And he knows that while the soul’s consciousness is clouded in the state of sleep, yet when it sinks down into the body and lives in the body, it is then more “awake” than it could be through its own powers. Just as in sleep, owing to the desire of which we spoke, the soul is duller and less clearly conscious than it could be by its own powers, so during the day is it more awake, brighter, more illumined than it could be through its own strength. By sinking down into the body, the soul can participate in that which it experiences in the body. But through this process of sinking down, the soul’s life becomes a more awakened one than it would be with the help of only such forces as it could itself bring to the task.

And thus is shown to the Spiritual Investigator the truth of the saying that whatever appears in the external world as purely “physical” is in reality permeated with the spiritual, that fundamentally the spiritual inhabits everything physical. As man enters the inner light of his soul, so does he sink down into his body and know that he is not only body, but soul and spirit throughout. And the psychic element which he apprehends as he sinks down into his body, is something that leads not only a personal, but a supra-personal spiritual life, something that eludes us in the state we traverse between falling asleep and awaking, but which we actually live through when we sink down into the body. In our body we come in contact, amongst many other spiritual entities, with what may be called the “folk soul.” This “folk-soul” animates our body through and through. With our body we are not given only corporeal materiality. No, with the body which we use as our instrument between birth and death, we are also given that which animates our body and which is not one and the same thing as our own “personal soul.” That which unites itself with our personal soul when we sink down into the body is the “folk-spirit,” the “folk-soul.” When we fall asleep we abandon, in a sense, the habitation of the folk-soul to which we belong. The Spiritual Investigator is not afraid of the charge of Dualism (which would contradict Monism) which is brought against him when he points out that man is dual, that every time he goes to sleep he falls apart from unity into duality. He fears this charge of dualism as little as does the chemist when he says of water that it consists of hydrogen and oxygen. In men, regarded as external physical forms, there exists not only the individual soul that goes from one life to another, re-embodying itself in successive lives on earth; no, in the physical forms we see walking about there lives yet another psychic element — the folk-souls, actual and conscious through and through. But consciousness permeates the folk-soul in a different manner from what it does in the case of the individual human soul; and in order to show how different in kind is this folk-soul, we wish to draw attention to the following considerations.

Faced with external reality man’s response is determined by his whole character, by the particular colouring of his soul life, and is expressed in one of two ways. Either he will give himself up at once, in the observation of things, to the objectivity of the external world, or else, feeling but little inclination to cast his eye towards the horizon of the external world, he will live in increasing familiarity with the ebb and tide of his own soul. We meet this contrast in Goethe and Schiller. Goethe’s thought, which has rightly been named “concrete,” lights upon things and spreads itself over them. It lives in suchwise that Goethe shares the life of things and at the same time breathes in their spirit like a draught of spiritual air. Schiller’s gaze did not rest so much on the things around him, but was turned inwards on to his own soul with its secret pulsations, its own incessant rise and fall. Now, what lives in history as folk-soul is so constituted that the external world is not presented to it as it is to the individual human soul. As the objects around us in nature are present to us, so are we ourselves present to the folk-soul. Our souls, which re-enter our bodies when we awake from sleep, are at the same time “objects of observation” for the folk-souls that enter into us, just as the things in nature are our objects of observation. When we sink down into the body, I will not say that we are “seen” by the folk-soul, but its strength and activity pulsate as though voluntarily through our being. The folk-soul is focussed upon us.

But a distinction now arises, for the folk-soul may be directed more towards what enters the body than towards what enters the individual soul of man. The distinction was made clear by the example of Goethe in the case of the individual human soul in relation to nature. In the same way, the will impulse of tle folk-soul may, as it were, seize upon the individual soul, may give itself up to the individual soul; or it may live more within itself, as was illustrated by the case of Schiller; it may withdraw into what it regards as its own possession and give itself up to that with the help of human corporeality. Thus we can recognise in the folk-soul a consciousness of personality for which our souls are, as it were, what nature is for us. Much more could be said about folk-souls and their special characteristics in relation to certain peculiarities of the human soul. But this much is clear. Just as individual human souls vary amongst themselves and in their relation to the world according as their gaze is fixed outwards or inwards, so will the folk-souls be related in different ways to the human souls comprised in their several peoples. And the manner in which the folk-souls are related to the individual souls of men is what determines the course of history, of what actually happens in the world. In this way are the folk-souls differentiated from one another, in this way do they live their invisible lives within what we call human history. I should like to try and tell you what Spiritual Research has to say about the nature of folk-souls — at least in connection with a few genuine and real folk-souls. Those of my listeners who have attended the lectures designed for a smaller circle of students, will know that this interpretation has not been called forth by the great events of the present time, but that I have always presented these ideas in the same way, as the outcome of Spiritual Investigation into the folk-souls. I have done this for many years, before the impulse of the present caused the minds of men to look more closely into the inner life of nations.

In considering the life of folk-souls as they have been lived in history, we could go a long way back in the evolution of humanity, as this evolution is revealed by Spiritual Research. But we shall only go back to that point in the history of mankind which is more or less fitted to throw light on the topics that interest us most to-day. We come upon the track of a special kind of folk-soul if we go back to the life of Ancient Egypt, which was related to Chaldean, Babylonian and Assyrian life and was the forerunner of the life of Greece and Rome in the evolution of mankind. Now the Spiritual Investigator speaks of actual folk-souls which fulfilled themselves in the life of Egypt, Chaldea, Assyria and Babylon just as the individual soul fulfils itself in the human body. When we say that folk-souls have an organism and a personality, we are not speaking symbolically. For just as in the individual human body a personal and self-conscious soul lives out its life, so (equally surely) does a self-conscious folk-soul, supernaturally apprehensible, live out its life in the manner we have described. Moreover, in preparing one’s soul in the manner I have frequently explained how one can sink down into the folk-soul.

The peculiar characteristic of the folk-souls that formed the foundation of life in Egypt, Chaldea, Babylon and Assyria was this: these souls led their own lives to a very full extent — an extent only distantly approached by the lives of the peoples of Asia and Africa to-day — so that they gave themselves up but little to the individual, separate souls of men. The individual soul of man, living its own bodily life identified itself with the folk-soul by a certain extinction of its own individuality. The folk-soul fulfilled itself far more completely in what men accomplished than in the individual lives of these men. And this is what gives the Egyptian and the Chaldean-Babylonian-Assyrian culture its peculiar character.

Spiritual Science shows that the folk-souls, being invisible, are related to the spiritual element pervading all material things. Because man has of late withdrawn into his own soul, nature has come to stand at the opposite pole, and to appear to him as something inanimate, bereft throughout of soul and spirit. When the Ancient Egyptian or the Ancient Chaldean looked out upon the world, he saw with a clarity of vision that could never be equalled in later periods, that the material was everywhere the expression of the spiritual — he saw this in the progress of the stars, in the movements of the heavenly bodies, in the movements reflected in cloud and sea, and in the formation of dry land out of the watery element. just as one human being looking at another sees the movements and changes in the face before him as the expression of its possessor’s soul, so did the Egyptian or the Chaldean who was united with his folk-soul in the manner we have described, perceive what is nowadays called the “astrological” aspect of the world as the outcome of the fact that all outer, all material things do but reveal the physiognomy of what lies behind them and speak but of the spirit within. Thus heaven and earth became endowed with soul; or rather, since the folk-soul still found utterance in him, man saw in all the gestures of nature, in all her outer physiognomy a spiritual element at work.

After this, the inner progress of mankind consisted precisely in the fact that in the course of time the activity of the Egyptian and Chaldean folk-soul was replaced by that of the Greek and Roman folk-souls. The Greek and the Roman folk-souls are distinguished from the Egyptian and the Chaldean in that they are less absorbed in themselves and give themselves up lovingly to human individuality. Thus in Greek culture we see the first glimmerings of what may be called the valuation of the human individual, even if this individual sinks down into the bosom of the folk-soul; and as a result of this peculiar relation of the individual soul to the folk-soul we can point to the great things achieved by the Greek folk-soul in art, and poetry and philosophy. In order to make my views fully comprehensible I must now introduce a short survey of what can be said about the individual human soul.

Spiritual Science is hardly likely to regard this human soul with such primitive simplicity as is done by ordinary science. The Spiritual Investigator does indeed regard the human soul as a living unity that fulfils itself in the life of the Ego. But just as light passing through a prism breaks up, as it were, into different colours, from red and gold through green into blue and violet, so with equal truth can it be said that through contact with the outer world which is, as it were, the prism of the soul, man’s unified psychic life is divided into its three most important manifestations. In Spiritual Science these are designated as the “Sentient Soul,” the “Rational Soul” 2The “Rational Soul” is also Called “Intellectual or Mind Soul.” and the “Consciousness Soul.” 3The “Consciousness Soul” is also called “Spirit Soul.” It is easy — a child can see how easy — for those who believe themselves to be safely entrenched in a genuinely scientific system to mock at such a “dismembering” [Gliederung] of the human soul. But just as it is impossible to acquire any knowledge of light without observing it in relation to the matter of the prism and seeing it broken up into the band of the rainbow of colours, so is it impossible to know the individual soul if we do not see its light broken up into separate rays by contact with the external world; into the ray of the Sentient Soul, the ray of the Rational Soul, and the ray of the Consciousness Soul. If we consider the Sentient Soul then we shall realise that the soul develops as Sentient Soul when it lives primarily within itself, when its own psychic forces, even when they reside in the body, strive, as it were, to break loose from the external world. Just as the light that has been decomposed by the prism is at its strongest in the yellow-red part of the spectrum, so does the soul live most intensely in the Sentient Soul. The Consciousness Soul, on the other hand, resembles that part of the light that is weakest, that is most like darkness — the blue-violet portion of the spectral band. The Consciousness Soul fulfils itself primarily in experiences where there is an effort to break loose from the inner life of the soul, where the body and the forces of the body play the outstanding part. The Sentient Soul, which embodies the actual life of the psyche, with its impulses, its instincts, and its passions, is thus quite untouched by the Consciousness Soul, whose sovereignty holds only within its subjection to the body. But between these two there lives the Rational or Mind Soul, which stands to the total life of the psyche in much the same relation as does the green in the spectrum to the red-yellow portion on one side of it and to the blue-violet on the other. Just as the physicist cannot know the nature of light without learning how it can be analysed into its separate colours, so the Spiritual Investigator cannot come to any knowledge of the human soul without first analysing it into the separate prismatic rays of the Sentient, the Rational and the Consciousness Souls.

This breaking-up of the psychic life into the separate rays does not occur everywhere in the same way. It must be remembered that man does not pass from one life to another in the same way all the world over. As we have often said, the souls that have appeared in our days have in their earlier lives known, say, the period of Egypt, Chaldea and Babylon, the period of Greece and Rome, and have thus had occasion to live through the various early civilisations. But even within the historical sequence, the human soul does not everywhere fulfil itself in the same way. On the contrary, how a soul fulfils itself depends upon how (when it sinks down into the body) it responds to the claims made upon it by the folk-soul. Such a folk-soul as was present, for instance, in Ancient Egypt or Chaldea is particularly favourable to the development of the Sentient Soul in man, and in point of fact we find the most powerful assertion of the Sentient Soul in the individual lives of the Ancient Egyptian and of the Ancient Chaldean and Babylonian period. These folk-souls preserved themselves and prepared the body of the individual in such a way that they permeated this body with their own mode of being. Owing, therefore, to the racial constitution of their bodies, these peoples could fulfil their souls in accordance with the particular colouring of the Sentient Soul. We see that the most powerful and intensive fulfilment of human individuality occurred in the Sentient Soul under the influence of the Egypto-Chaldean folk-soul.

If, now, we follow the path of historical development that leads to the Greek and then to the Roman civilisation (resembling each other in a way, though Roman law as something that is not dependent upon separate isolated individuals, but is brought about by the folk-soul living itself into the bodies of Greek and Roman citizens. We have thus in historical time three successive spheres of development, sharply divided from one another by the folk-souls whose province they are. First, the work of the Egypto-Chaldean folk-soul which gave the souls of men (which at this time were once again appearing clothed in bodies) special opportunities for developing their Sentient Souls. Then in the life of Greece and Rome, the folk-souls were so fashioned that men were able to fulfil their Rational or Mind Soul. And to-day we live in a period (Spiritual Investigation places its beginnings between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries) in which human development has the opportunity of fulfilling itself primarily in the Consciousness Soul. This fulfilment is particularly favoured by the folk-souls of the present day. Our own time must naturally be of special interest to us, and in general it would seem that our particular period had as its task the education of the Consciousness Soul. In other words, the folk-souls set themselves the task of so permeating the bodies of men and women that the soul is enabled to bind to its own service the body in which it lives. Our period is therefore one which lends itself to the development of external science, of external observation. And because in this period of the education of the Consciousness Soul, the bond uniting soul to body is stronger than it has ever been before, there has arisen in our times the urge to observe that external reality with which the body is so closely connected through the senses. The urge arose to promote scientific and cultural tendencies which should aim primarily at the co-operation of body and soul. A Spiritual Investigator can see as a legitimate outcome of the times this growth and development of the Consciousness Soul — the rise of materialism, the tendency to look more and more from the body to the things and facts of the senses. But here again the prevailing colour in the life of the modern world admits, as it were, of different “shades.” The shades are represented by the lives of the various folk-souls of modern times. And it is interesting, from the point of view of Spiritual Science, to bring some at least of these folk-souls before our mind’s eye for examination.

To take, as an example, the folk-souls of Southern peoples — the Italian and the Spanish folk-soul. When the Spiritual Investigator tries to sink himself into the essence of the Italian or the Spanish folk-soul, into these very real and living modes of being, he finds himself compelled to take account of a certain law of world-evolution, hardly known to ordinary science and held by it of little account. We referred to this law yesterday from another point of view. We said: When man has passed through the gates of death, when, therefore, he has entered the supra-sensible world and lives again in higher beings, he stands (with regard to what he has experienced in the body) in the same relation to those mighty super-beings as he stood on earth towards his memories. He looks back on his bodily state, and that gives him “consciousness of self,” just as the act of sinking into the physical body at the moment of waking gives consciousness of self. Thus when we are raised into the spiritual world we find a similar relation holding in the “progression of time,” as obtained in the world of space between soul and body. Through our body we are bound to space; our souls, however, enter a relationship that is temporal. When we have become spirit, when we have passed through the gates of death, we live with our memories, and this life we share with our memories in the spiritual world is like the life shared by body and soul in the physical world. This brings us to the law of periodicity in the spiritual world. What we go through when we raise ourselves to the spiritual world is law for the worlds of the spirit. The spiritual beings do not only experience the rhythmic alternation that we know as we pass from sleep to the waking state, but they go through a number of different states of consciousness in accordance with the periodicity of the times. Only when one has learnt adequately to reflect upon this law can one hope to understand the sway exercised by the folk-souls. Let the Spiritual Investigator study, for example, the Italian folk-soul (and the same thing applies to the Spanish), he will find in it something that consciously looks back to the Ancient Egyptian and Chaldean times. Man keeps his Self-consciousness kindled in his physical existence by the process of sinking down into the body; he preserves this Self-consciousness after death by looking back at his experiences on earth; and in the same way there is a sort of interchange between the folk-soul element that rises to the surface in the Italian people and the ,,Egypto-Chaldean folk-spirit. The Italian folk-spirit looks back on the experiences it had as the Egypto-Chaldean folk-spirit; it sinks down into the Egypto-Chaldean folk-spirit as we sink down into the body on awakening when we retain our consciousness of self. The law of periodicity, rhythmically graded, determines the sequence that extends from the folk-spirit’s activities in Egypto-Chaldean life, through its fulfilment in Italian civilisation, right down to the present times. And the results reached in this way by Spiritual Science from rhe data of Spiritual Investigation can be verified down to the smallest detail if we look at the way the folk-spirit, in which every separate human soul is embedded, fulfils itself.

But time has moved on. The folk-spirit has not retained all the characteristics it acquired in the life of Ancient Egypt and Chaldea. In the course of its development the soul, as we have already had occasion to point out, withdraws into itself. Nature therefore no longer appears to it as she did in the Egypto-Chaldean times, animated throughout with spirit. What the human soul experienced under the influence of the folk-soul in the civilisations of Ancient Egypt and Chaldea is experienced by the Italian folk-soul, only more inwardly in a renewed form of the same folk-spirit. And how can we realise this more clearly than by looking at one of the greatest creations of the Italian spirit ? May we not surmise that a creation such as is evinced by the Egyptian conception of the stars appears before us again in Italian culture, but in a deeper way, more interiorised, more self-contained? Spiritual Science obliges us to expect such a repetition, and the expectation is realised in Dante’s Divine Comedy. The Egyptian saw the whole world as animated with spirit. Dante recreates this conception but in an intenser, more inward form. The ancient folk-spirit lives again and remembers earlier times. In the co-operation of psychic beings in the Egypto-Chaldean and in the Italian folk-souls we can see the super-personal consciousness of the folk-soul at work. The Italian folk-soul is living again a kind of rhythmical recurrence of the Ancient Egyptian folk-spirit. And this living again, even in its more interiorised form, is particularly favourable to the development of the Sentient Soul in the separate human individual living at the heart of the folk-soul. Just as in the time of Egypt and Chaldea the Sentient Soul was given special opportunities for development by the folk-soul, so in modern Italy does the soul live anew as Sentient Soul in the Italian folk-soul, but in a deeper key, coloured as it were with a different shade. Thus does the folk-soul live on, and in those individuals on to whom it is directed (as the human soul is directed on to nature) it calls forth all the forces of the Sentient Soul. We shall understand all the great artistic creations of Italy, rooted as these are in the Sentient Soul, when we have learnt how the folk-soul works in the bodies of Italian men and women. We shall be able to understand the work of Raphael and Michelangelo down to its smallest detail, in so far as it arises from the activity of the folk-soul, when we have learnt the particular shade of colouring which the individual soul will take on under the influence of the folk-soul. Italian culture, under the influence of the folk-soul is a “Culture of the Sentient Soul.”

The culture of every folk-soul has its own peculiar mission. Upon each devolves the task of expressing with special force and intensity some particular aspect of the life of the soul. This has nothing to do with the development of the individual soul. But the national quality which at certain times is realised in the individual soul reveals itself in such a way that it must bring about the intensification of a particular colour in the life of the soul.

In the same way — and I beg my hearers to listen impartially, as to a purely scientific exposition, to the analysis I am putting before them — in the same way as the Ancient Egypto-Chaldean folk-soul lived anew in the Italian folk-soul and stamped its creations as of yore with the character of the Sentient Soul, so does the ancient civilisation of Greece, coloured with that of Rome, live on in the folk-soul of France. But here the spirit of Greek civilisation is expressed in such a way that the individual soul living at the heart of the French folk-soul, is freer from the body, seeks to permeate the body less than was the case in Greece. And just as the Greek folk-soul was particularly favourable to the fulfilment of the Rational or Mind Soul, so in the recrudescence of Greek culture in the French folk-soul we find that special care is taken of the Rational Soul. The inner state of consciousness of the French folk-soul, moreover, rests upon a kind of “remembering” that looks back to the achievements of the Greek and Roman folk-soul. It is difficult but of infinite importance for the understanding of the true course of history to examine the peculiar structure of the mind and consciousness of the folk-soul. The Rational Soul is what is peculiar to the French folk-soul. In Greek civilisation the Rational Soul, though it had torn itself free from the body, could still express the outward beauty of the body, the spiritual quality of what appears to us as corporeal. But as it became intensified and interiorised in French culture, the folk-soul took on another form. The national spirit is no longer translated straight into bodily form in space, as in the Greek statue; it fulfils itself in an “etherised” body that remains a thought-body and can only be “inwardly conceived” [vorgestellt]. This is at the foundation of the whole French character, of the French folk-soul. It absorbs the individual human souls into itself in such a way that these feel compelled so to develop their inner forces that they can imagine them strongly in the outer world. Now, how does one imagine oneself powerfully into the outer world? If the folk-spirit can no longer, as it could in Ancient Greece, realise plastically the spirit that animates the body, then all we have is the mere picture of this spirit in the body, as it has been shaped in man’s conception by his phantasy. And this is why the French folk-soul can only create an inner picture of man and why it tends to set most value on what one projects of oneself into the world, on what one imagines one wants to be in the world, on what is always called “la gloire,” on what one carries in one’s own phantasy.

This is the fundamental characteristic of French culture as it arises from its own folk-soul. And this is why it devolves upon French culture to impose upon the world this conception which the folk-soul has called forth in the phantasy of the individual French mii1. The Rational or Mind or Mood Soul [Gemütseele] works in pictures which it creates for itself in separate individualities. We may therefore surmise that the degree of greatness which the individual soul can achieve under the influence of the folk-soul will be manifested on the occasions when the folk-soul reaches an exceptional degree of development in the Rational Soul [Gemütseele]. The folk-soul comes most fully to life in the creations of those individual minds (its instruments) where feeling animated with understanding enquires searchingly into the appearances presented by the world. Feeling [Gemüt] animated by understanding tends in a peculiar way to work itself free and to command freely. This shows particularly in cases where complete control can be exercised over understanding and feeling; and French civilisation reaches its peak when this particular circumstance occurs — as in Moliere and Voltaire. In Voltaire we have dry understanding permeated with feeling, in Moliere, feeling that rests on understanding. A folk-soul exhibits its characteristic features in those of its utterances which correspond to it so closely that they can also supply the material in which the individual soul will express itself in its own particular colour. French culture is, then, something in the nature of a reminiscence of the Greek, as can be further ascertained by anyone who cares to study with a certain degree of penetration the inner history and development of French culture.

If we consider the French poets as giving individual colouring to the French folk-soul, we shall always find in this folk-soul (not in the individual Frenchman) a harking back to the civilisation of Greece. It finds expression in the deeds and thoughts and poems of individual Frenchmen. It appears in their question: How did the Greeks set about to write a proper tragedy? What did Aristotle say about it? Hence the discussions on the Unities of Time and Place in the Drama. This reacted even on Lessing. Drama was to be made to correspond to the Greek ideal. Moreover, the findings of Spiritual Science in this matter can be illustrated down to their smallest detail. A Greek spoke of himself as a Greek in the conscious conviction of being the represe1itative of mankind. All other nations were “Barbarians.” He had a special justification for this opinion because he expressed in an idealised way the promptings of the spirit. His attitude lives on and comes to the surface in the harking back of the French folk-soul. But because here it is a “remembering,” and because not every remembering is justified (there emerge many memories that are no longer fully justified) this claim of the French folk-soul to be the sole representative of humanity is now out of place. The very word “Barbarian” which is on everyone’s lips points to the recrudescence of this particular feature of Greek culture in the French folk-soul.

Now, just as French soul is particularly favourable to the culture of the Rational or Mind or Mood Soul [Gemütseele], so it is to the British folk-soul that there falls in modern times the task of cultivating the Consciousness Soul or Spirit Soul as such. The education of the Consciousness Soul appears in the history of mankind’s development as something that does not admit of repetition. The Italian folk-soul repeats in an altered form the life and experience of the Egypto-Chaldean folk-spirit, the French folk-soul those of the Graeco-Roman. But the British folk-soul enters the scene of modern evolution as something new. It is the most vivid expression of modern times in so far as these mark that phase of the soul in which it thoroughly permeates itself with the life of the body. The British folk-spirit is so constituted that it favours more than anything else a mode of co-existence with the body. It is therefore favourable also to what is effected through the body and especially what enters the soul through the body. Its mission is to care for the Consciousness Soul, and connected with this is the mission of materialism, which had at a certain point in history to enter into the development of mankind. It is, indeed, the special task of the British folk-soul to give expression to materialism. The individual soul is more or less independent of this, but it remains the characteristic of the folk-soul. We shall return in a moment to the peculiar character of the British folk-soul. But first, in order to throw light on the tasks belonging to the folk-souls, we must cast a glance on the folk-soul that dominates Central Europe and which is called the German folk-soul. And it may be useful to point out that these views of mine are not being brought forward now for the first time as the outcome, so it might seem, of the warlike events of the moment. No — what I say now is only what I have always said.

The German folk-soul is not especially fitted to call forth the particular shades of character of the Sentient Soul, nor of the Rational or Gemütseele, nor again of the Consciousness Soul. It is fitted, on the contrary, to give expression to the unity of the soul which may be said to live in all its three members. I am saying this, not in praise of any particular nation, but I say it in all objectivity, without love or hate, because it is the result of Spiritual Investigation, just as the appearance of light as red or green is the result of an experiment with the spectroscope. It is an objective fact. Just as the Italian, French and British folk-souls encourage the Sentient, the Rational and the Consciousness Souls respectively, so does the German folk-soul nurture man’s Ego, the individual seed within his soul that fulfils itself in his earthly life, the element that sinks lovingly into the body, with which it unites itself at the moment of waking up, but from which it detaches itself again on falling asleep; that which seeks to care for and befriend the manifestations that come to it from the external world but seeks also to befriend and care for everything that aspires to the Spirit. This is why I could say in my first lecture: The German folk-soul is that which more than anything else gives to the individual soul the possibility of sinking down into the depths of the Ego, where the secret is to be sought of what moves men’s hearts to anguish or to bliss. Here lies the reason why this German folk-soul can so easily be misunderstood, why, as is only too natural, this misunderstanding of what the German folk-soul really is is now being manifested on every side. For the German folk-soul, unlike the British folk-soul, does not fulfil itself in the external body, does not surrender itself immediately to the mission of materialism, because such a task does not in the least correspond with its nature. But it embarks on the one hand upon the contemplation of the external world of matter, from which it does not seek to withdraw itself, and on the other, gives itself up to the contemplation of the Spirit. And this it does in order to draw upon those deep spiritual sources upon which Meister Eckhardt, Jacob Boehme, Goethe and Fichte drew, communing alone as in a sort of duologue with the spiritual world, and turned aside from outer things. Thus if individual souls of other nations have to turn aside from the folk-souls in which they are embedded in order to sink down into what we call Spirit, the German, through the very nature of his folk-soul is always capable of being raised to spiritual regions. The souls of the other peoples must learn to grow out of their folk-souls before they can commune with the spiritual world. But the folk-soul that speaks to the individual souls of the Central European people, itself sounds a spiritual note, is itself a witness to the Spirit. And because folk-souls express themselves in characteristic features, because they appear to us when they work through men and women, using these as the instruments they select in order to create something characteristic of them, this gives us an opportunity for studying the essence of what a folk-soul really is. We shall find our results confirmed in this study when, on pursuing the progress of the various folk-souls, we discover what are the characteristic symptoms in which their forces come to be expressed. And these characteristic features can certainly best be studied by considering the individual folk-souls at their highest points of achievement.

Now there can be no doubt that Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” is to be regarded as a characteristic expression of the British folk-soul, and one of its mightiest manifestations, and that in the case of the German folk-soul we must look upon Goethe’s “Faust” as the outcome of the most intimate communion of a German with the German folk-spirit. How characteristic is the difference between “Hamlet” and “Faust.” I need hardly enlarge upon the greatness of Shakespeare and of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” It will be granted by everyone, and there is no one who would rank Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” higher than I would. But in considering “Hamlet” as the outcome of the British folk-spirit, I would like to ask: What impression does “Hamlet” make on us?

As we have said, it is the mission of the British folk-spirit to introduce the Consciousness Soul, which is bond to the corporeal, into the outer development of historical events. My book, Rätsel der Philosophie (The Riddles of Philosophy) has recently been published as the second edition of my Welt -und Lebensanschauungen im Neunzehnten Jahrhundert (World and Life Conceptions in the Nineteenth Century), which appeared fourteen or fifteen years ago. It is now considerably enlarged and deals with the whole of Western philosophy. At the time of the first edition, in dealing with English philosophy, I tried to find an expression, a word that would be particularly well suited to render its character and the expression that occurred to me was that English Philosophy was the philosophy of an onlooker. An onlooker — and this can be shown particularly well in the work of John Stuart Mill — is one who sinks down into the body with his soul, and seeing the world from the body, lets the world go its own way. Compare with this the philosophy of Fichte. His was no “onlooker’s philosophy” but a “life philosophy,” one that does not “look on” at life but becomes one with it. This is the stupendous difference between the British and the German folk-souls. The British folk-soul tends in all its activities to turn man into an onlooker; it particularly encourages his powers of “looking on” by educating his Consciousness Soul. And in so far as he has cultivated the Consciousness Soul, man stands outside phenomena. He looks at them as it were from the body. Now Shakespeare’s greatness consists particularly in his capacity for standing at a distance and watching life objectively. His attitude to the phenomena of life and his descriptions of them show us that he paints things as an onlooker and describes what he experiences objectively from outside. An “onlooker’s world-concept” the outcome of the folk-soul . . . The truth is that when the individual human spirit, this spirit of the Consciousness Soul, armed with this peculiar characteristic which he gets from the folk-soul, when this individual spirit approaches the inner life of man, then he will see nothing but the play of externals — the inner side will always elude him. And this inability to reach the inner life must be particularly characteristic. In the pictures he draws of life’s external happenings, Shakespeare is a giant. But when it comes to perceiving the inner life through the external physiognomy then the “onlooker’s point of view” makes itself felt. And this onlooker’s point of view (expressed from the artistic greatness of the British folk-spirit) when it is faced with the inner world, shows itself to be that of the sceptic who doubts the very existence of the Spirit. We therefore intend no deprecation of Shakespeare when we say that he presents the Spirit as a ghost, a spook. Externally the spiritual appears as something ghostly. How does the spirit of Hamlet’s father appear? Not as a spirit but as a ghost. The man who believes in ghosts is in fact a spiritual materialist. He wants to perceive the spirit as a materialist would do, who asks that it should appear in some sort of rarefied matter. The spirit of Hamlet’s father appears, therefore, in ghost-like form. This is expressed in the confusion existing with regard to the way in which the spirit appears. As the materialistic mind can only get as far as a ghost, we see its whole teaching concerning the spiritual becoming confused. For example, whereas in the earlier part of the play everyone has seen the ghost, in the scene with his mother Hamlet is the only one to see it. At one moment it is an objective phenomena, at the next merely a subjective phantom. And now this great onlooker (for Hamlet is meant to be a character who looks on at the outer doings of the world), this great onlooker turns his gaze to the world within, and we get the famous speech in which he questions the spiritual world: To be or not to be? What follows after death? First awaking, then sleep, images, dreams; and then again doubt — “the undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveller returns.” All of it typical of the materialistic mind that tries to probe into the depths of the spiritual world and fails. This is why all those who, whether idealistically inclined or otherwise, cannot venture into the spirit, feel an inner kinship with Hamlet. Herman Grimm once said — and, for many, said truly — that when people probe too deeply into questions concerning their spiritual state, they stand as it were on the edge of an abyss and feel, like Hamlet, that they must throw themselves into it. Such, then, is the answer given us by one who, like Shakespeare, inspired by the folk-soul and yet transcending it, sets forth its spiritual essence. This answer shows us the bridge between Hamlet and the spiritual world to be broken and the gulf between filled only with uncertainty heaped upon uncertainty. Thus, even in this great artistic creation which of its kind remains unsurpassed and unsurpassable, the British folk-soul still reveals its own mission which is to contemplate the outer world and to be brought to a standstill before the abyss of the supernatural.

And now, to show by the description of a single figure how deep is the inwardness of the German folk-soul, so favourable to the life of the Ego and the unity of the soul, let us consider its most outstanding, its most profound manifestation in Goethe’s “Faust.” Does the soul stand here on the edge of an abyss into which it is impelled to cast itself? Far from it. Faust has no doubts about the spiritual world, his vision pierces beyond the material and historical facts that have gone to make up his life, and he stands face to face with the Spirit, he sees the Spirit before him, and he knows beyond the shadow of a doubt that he who probes deeply into the riddle of existence cannot be lost but will surely cross the abyss and be united with the Spirit.

And now let us turn to Hamlet again. He stands irresolute before the abyss with the question “To be or not to be” on his lips, asking of the spiritual world “to sleep, to dream?” And let us compare all this hesitation and uncertainty with the scene in the poem [First Part], where Faust stands face to face with the Spirit (Faust, Scene XIV): —

“Spirit sublime, thou gav’st me, gav’st me all
I ever asked thee. Not in vain didst thou
In flaming fire reveal thy countenance”
and further on
“Then to the cave secure thou leadest me,
Then show’st me mine own self, and in my breast
The deep, mysterious miracles unfold.”

This is union with the Spirit. In such union, in such vision the question whether we sleep, or dream, has no place. There is room only for Faust’s inspired advance into the spiritual world (as we find it described in the Second Part of the drama) and for the certainty which can be reached that the human spirit when it passes through the gates of death becomes united with the spiritual world. Here there is no longer any uncertain question about being or not being; there is the certainty that the soul is already in this world a citizen of the world of the Spirit, and that when it passes through the gates of death it stands face to face with the sublime Spirit who, if we but merge ourselves in it sufficiently during this life, will give us all we ask. But this Spirit is no ghostly apparition of the spirit world, for in the scene in the Witches’ kitchen spooks are treated with humour and with befitting irony. Mephistopheles, again, does not appear to Faust as a ghost, but is so conceived that one cannot imagine him otherwise than in human form. How meaningless it would be’ if, like Hamlet’s father, he were visible only to one person, or visible at one time and not at another. And the reason for this is that in “Faust” we are standing on solid ground.

Figures like Faust arise out of the folk-spirit, they are the fruit of the folk-soul. In Goethe’s Faust we have only a type and image of what has really taken place. For while Goethe was creating Faust, the whole of the folk-soul was active; it created itself in the book and created something that was alive, not only in Goethe, but in the spirit. Goethe’s Faust is but the copy of a creation of the German folk-soul, which moves in the spirit and which, as Goethe knew full well, is only at the beginning of its activity. Faust we know to be the symbol of an unconquerable force, of a reality that looks to the future. In Faust Goethe has planted a seed, and with equal truth it may be said that there is in the German folk-soul a power, a germinating force that will ever grow and ever spread in its activity. For Faust stands before us as one who must strive, and as one for whom all striving is only a beginning.

In order to bring out the characteristic feature of the German folk-spirit, we must mention another of its peculiarities. As I said, when we consider the French folk-spirit, we see that it is reminiscent of the culture of Ancient Greece. This reminiscence is visible in every department of French culture, but it works under the threshold of consciousness, it does not enter consciousness. The French folk-spirit shapes the individual in accordance with the influence exercised by this reminiscence, but this influence is not consciously felt. If the folk-spirit influences the individual soul in such a way as to bring out its ego-hood, then — since only in the Ego can Sentient, Rational and Consciousness Souls be united — the harmony of these united members of the soul will enter consciousness; whereas the essence of “reminiscence” is that it binds the folk-spirit to earlier cultural periods. Thus Greek culture enters into the German folk-spirit in quite a different manner from that in which it enters the French folk-soul. If Greek culture is introduced at a particularly characteristic point in the history of the German folk-soul and if in so doing it is to influence the isolated individual, then everything must happen consciously and not as it does in French culture, where the process is subliminal and only appears in the form of aesthetic debate. In the case of the German spirit, which is a mirror for the deeper events of history, the process must enter the consciousness of the man who allows himself to be specially guided by the folk-soul. Thus in the Second Part of “Faust” the union of Faust and Helena which takes place on the physical plane, in consciousness, quite clearly portrays the union with Greek culture. This is not merely entering into the Rational Soul, it is entering into the Ego. Faust stands, in all his completeness as a human being, face to face with Greek culture. In full consciousness of what he is doing, and in all solemnity he celebrates his union with an earlier period. I can naturally only give a few indications of what I mean. But light is thrown on the whole course of history when we consider the folk-souls in this way — dominating the destiny of man, beating, surging in endless interplay throughout the ages.

If now we set the German and the British folk-souls once again side by side, there is much we could point to showing that the Ego is what characterises the German folk-soul, while the Consciousness Soul is the special mark of the British folk-soul. Many of the peculiar features in the development of modern civilisation can be traced to this. It has been one of my tasks to show how Goethe gave birth (from the depths of his soul) to a Theory of Evolution in which he attempted from the depths of his Ego to reconstruct the whole sequence of organisms in their evolution from the simplest to the most perfected forms. This truly scientific theory, springing as it does from Goethe’s soul, is also the outcome of what one might call a “Communing between Goethe and the German folk-soul,” just as another theory is the outcome of a conversation with the British folk-soul. Goethe’s form of the Theory of Evolution, born as it is from the culture of the Ego, remains incomprehensible to many because Goethe delves so deeply into the nature of things in order to bring forth a Theory of Evolution out of the depths of the human soul. Such a theory could not spread rapidly. And then, in the nineteenth century, the British folk-soul seizes upon the Theory of Evolution; but while Goethe had started from the depths of the Ego, the British folk-soul starts from the Consciousness Soul and gives us the external “Struggle for existence” of the Darwinian theory. What Goethe established by means of inward development, Darwinism established outwardly. And as we live in the period of materialism, cultured humanity as a whole has neglected Goethe’s Theory of Evolution which comes from the depths of the Ego-culture, in favour of the form which Darwin has brought forth from the British folk-soul. Up to a certain point we still stand committed to this rejection of Ego-culture. I mean that theory which is scoffed at by all who believe themselves to be experts in this particular subject — I mean Goethe’s Theory of Colour which only those can understand who approach it from the standpoint of the human Ego-character. But humanity has rejected this theory of colour of Goethe’s (which comes from the depths of the Ego-culture) and has accepted Newton’s more materialistic colour theory inspired by the Consciousness Soul from out the British folk-spirit. But the time will come when men will learn to recognise that there is much in Goethe which they yet have to accept. And may I be allowed to say “in parenthesis”: Some of us may have succeeded in sending back to England our orders and marks of distinction; but true worth and dignity will not be achieved until, not only orders and distinctions, but also the materialistic form of the Theory of Evolution and the materialistic form of the Theory of Colour have been sent back to the British folk-soul whence they came.

The man whose thought is so inspired by the folk-soul that it is in the nature of a communing between the folk-soul and his own Ego, lives in such a way that in the most important moments of his life he is conscious of working for a content, of giving life to and realising a content in external life. Thus Goethe gave life to a content which had come to him in a moment of intuition when he founded his Theory of Evolution. But he who, ignoring the depths of his Ego, looks out onto the world from the Consciousness Soul, such an one will see nothing but the struggle for existence in the outward march of events. Every man sees his own inner nature in the external world. You can now all of you imagine what the events of to-day will mean for those who are inspired by the German folk-spirit, and what they will mean for those who are inspired by the British folk-spirit. The latter talks of the struggle for existence. Under the inspiration of the German folk-spirit, one sees in one’s opponent “the enemy,” whom one faces up to, man to man as in a duel. From the point of view of that folk-spirit which in science has inspired the Struggle for Existence, one sees the struggle in the field of battle in the following way: Everything becomes a struggle between “competing forces.”

In my first lecture, I tried in a few words to point to that which the Russian folk-soul stands for. There is no time to-day to enter more deeply into the subject, but a very peculiar characteristic of this folk-soul must be mentioned nevertheless. The curious thing about the Russian folk-soul what occurs to one at once, is that fundamentally it is less fitted than any other to the task it is engaged upon to-day — external struggle, external war. There is a very characteristic book by Mereschkowski, whom I have had occasion to mention before, called The March of the Mob. At the end of the book the author talks of the impression made upon him by the Hagia Sophia, the great basilica in Constantinople. The description he gives of this impression strikes the note which must come from the Russian folk-soul when it understands itself. And at the close of this passage the author tells how, surrendering himself completely to the spell of the great Mosque, he was moved to pray for his people:

“The Hagia Sophia, translucent and melancholy, flooded with the amber light of the ultimate mystery raised up my prostrate and affrighted soul. I gazed up at the dome, so like the vault of heaven, and thought: There it stands, created by the hand of man — man’s approach to the Triune Deity on earth. This approach has lasted, and what is more, will come again. How should those who love the Son not come to the Father who is the world? How should those not come to the Son who love the world, which the Father also loved since He gave His Son for it? For they are giving up their lives for Him and for their friends. They have the Son because they have love. Only His name they know not. And I was impelled to pray for them all, to pray in this heathen shrine that shall yet be the one and only temple of the future, that there be granted to my people the true power of victory, the conscious faith in the God who is Three in One.”

If we can regard the German folk-spirit, expressed in its representative “Faust” as one that is in the midst of the process of becoming, then we must look upon the Russian folk-soul as one that is still waiting for what is to happen. Its prevailing attitude is that of looking into the future, of not having found what it sought in the present. But when the Russian folk-soul becomes conscious of what lives in the depths of its nature, waiting to be brought out to the light, then it will realise that its mission lies in inner development, that this mission can fundamentally best be fulfilled by making its conquests within, by bringing forth that which lies hidden in its own depths and will some day be of great value to the cultural life of humanity. We cannot simply dismiss the Russian folk-soul as “barbaric”; we must think of it as one that will reach its full stature later on but has not yet passed beyond the age of childhood. I know how incomplete is this characterisation of the Russian folk-soul, but lack of time prevents me from describing it with more than a few words. This much, however, I will say. When the Russian folk-soul expresses itself as to-day, when it fails to express that attitude of expectation (which Mereschkowski represents as the spirit of prayer lying deep within the folk-soul) then it can be nothing but a wrecker of spiritual culture and of human culture in general. In turning outwards, the Russian folk-soul seems to be doing the opposite of what it really befits it to do.

This is why we feel, when we look towards the West, that however terrible the things that are at present going on there, they are the inevitable outcome of the impulses existing in the Western folk-souls. With the Russian folk-soul, on the contrary, we feel that it is quite unsuitable for this people to turn against those of the West, whom it ought, if it understood itself aright, to accept as its teachers. It is only because, of recent years, the question at issue has been so little understood that the importance of much that came from this quarter has been overestimated.

We could carry still further our study of the characteristics of folk-souls. Thus the human soul that realises itself in the Ego stands in the most intimate relation to the three members of the soul, the Sentient, the Rational or Mind, and the Consciousness Souls. Sometimes the individual soul rebels against the influences of the three members, sometimes they rebel against the individual soul. Just as the single individual soul shows the relationship of the three soul divisions to the human Ego, so can we see to-day the expressions and relationships of the several European souls to the soul of Europe as a whole. For external events are only a projection of the war waged by the members of the soul against the Ego. The Ego penetrates into the separate members, it establishes a relation with them; and here again we could discover in the outer events a confirmation of the findings of Spiritual Science reached by inner investigation.

The Ego is attracted to the Sentient Soul because it longs to be fertilised and quickened by the experiences of the Sentient Soul. Thus we see the German folk-soul plunging from the middle of Europe into the Italian folk-soul. We can trace this process right through history. If we go back to the time of Dürer and of other artists we see how they steeped themselves in the Italian folk-soul. Later we note that Goethe did not find happiness until he had satisfied his longing for Italy. This process consists on the one hand in the interplay between the Ego and the Sentient Soul, and on the other in that between the German folk-soul and the Italian folk-spirit. If we follow the course of history further we shall see how the individual Ego has to come to an understanding with the Rational and Consciousness Souls. Consider how often, right up till modern times, the German folk-soul has adjusted itself to the French, how Leibnitz, the most German of philosophers, wrote his works in French, and how Frederick the Great, the founder of Prussia’s greatness, lived almost exclusively in an atmosphere of French culture. This shows how strong is the inclination of the German spirit to be international, to fulfil itself in all the different nationalities. And this being its fundamental characteristic, to fulfil itself everywhere, we find the German folk-spirit also coming to an understanding with the British folk-soul, since nowadays it accepts, not Goethe’s Theory of Evolution and Theory of Colour, but Darwin’s and Newton’s. This shows how deep a bond there exists between the German folk-spirit and the British. And if to-day British voices are roused in anger against everything German, the German folk-soul cannot from the depths of its being return the hate which the British folk-spirit has shown towards it. The British folk-soul hates from sheer materialism. But the German folk-soul cannot maintain this position. It will have to come to an understanding with materialism. It is doing so now with force of arms in the fight that has been forced upon it, and in the future it will do so by liberating the spiritual within an epoch of materialism. Thus do we look through the external events of the moment into what is being revealed at the centre of Europe.

It is not, I think, a useless task to probe in this way into the fundamental nature of the folk-souls. For it seems to me that if the folk-souls are so illumined, the light may also be cast upon the fateful happenings of to-day and make their meaning clear. If we go deeply into the nature of these folk-souls then we shall feel the present-day events to be the inevitable outcome of their relations to each other. And this surely is the right way of coming to an understanding. And if it is true — as surely it is — that the events that are taking place east and west of us are of so mighty a nature that they must be the heralds of a new epoch, then from these events will develop a new phase in the history of the human spirit. For only a new phase of the human spirit can be fought for with such mighty sacrifices. And if this is so, then it is also true that much that up till now has been won only with petty sacrifices will in the future have to be achieved at a greater price. For the sacrifices made by Spiritual Science which I mentioned yesterday in connection with the development of the human soul are really far greater than all the sacrifices that are expended on external observations and experiments. Let us see to it that the great sacrifices made in the cause of another science be linked up to all the heroism and to all the suffering we see around us. I told you in my lecture yesterday how the forces of the unfinished lives now being sacrificed will unite with beings of the spiritual world and pours down their influence into the world of history here below. This picture, which corresponds nevertheless to a reality, I shall try to complete. Yes. We are entering upon a time when many will have to pay for the advent and development of a new world-phase of the human spirit with their blood and their lives, in suffering and in dangers. But those who have been called upon to do this will not know their sacrifice to have really been worth while till the future, when they will look down upon a humanity which will know how to live more worthily of the new era that has set in. If it is the folk-spirit that now demands the blood of our generation, it will be the folk-spirit that in the new era thus brought in will demand a new form of life. The folk-spirit will call upon those — and it will be for the humanity of the future to hear this call — who will liberate from their bodies the youthful forces of their souls for the quickening of the new humanity. Those, however, who preserve their lives and their health will feel that the child of humanity’s spiritual life, born of suffering and death, will need those who can tend it and who can receive the inspiration of the folk-soul aright. And no one will understand the German folk-soul who does not understand the German language, and this language shall not be the language of the external material life, but the language of the spirit. May the new spirit [Zeitenwesen], then, which is being born to-day of blood, of wounds and of death, find a humanity which, through the powerful unfolding of human spiritual power, will show itself worthy to be the guardian of the new age so hardly fought for, so hardly won.