The following questions were handed to Rudolf Steiner in written form on 18 September 1924 before the lecture.
In the handwriting of Johannes Werner Klein:
The source of certain difficulties we encounter from time to time in our circle is our lack of clarity regarding the spiritual tasks and the background of the Circle of Seven and, in connection with this, regarding the earthly leadership of our movement.
Specific questions that concern us at the moment about the continuation of all our work are:
- Is it a good thing to continue placing the main emphasis on outreach or should we for the time being, in the interests of preparing ourselves rightly for our future tasks, concentrate more on intensive work for the deepening of our own personality? This question is brought to the fore by a deterioration of health in both body and soul of several members of our circle of priests since autumn 1922 which is causing us concern.
- What measures should we undertake towards founding spiritual colonies in other countries?
- How are we to handle the membership of our congregations and in connection with this the administration of the Communion? Hitherto most of us have been very free and easy about this. In some towns all those present at the regular Sunday Communion service for the congregation have been allowed to participate.
In order to recognize each other in all our karmic diversity and to discover the extent of the tasks facing the circle of priests as a whole, we have concerned ourselves a good deal over the past few weeks with the karmic situations that have led each of us to this circle of priests. The revelations you have given us in your lectures have once again brought us face to face with the question of the being and karmic structure of our circle of priests.
In this connection we need to ask about the karma of the traditional Christian churches and how this karma, through individuals, works into our circle of priests.
The apocalyptic part of the Gospels (Mark 13,20) contains the sentence: ‘And if the Lord had not shortened the days, no human being would be saved; but for sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days’. What is the meaning of this sentence in view of coming events, perhaps the war of all against all?
These are the questions with which our whole circle of priests is concerned. However, because of some implications these questions have and also because of the matter of the towns and a few quite brief concerns, we would like to request a meeting with you for the Circle of Seven Oberlenkers and Lenkers.
For the circle of priests: Joh. Werner Klein
In the handwriting of Friedrich Doldinger:
- In the Catholic Church it is the custom for the bishop consecrating a church to write the letters in the ash on the floor. Is a corresponding ritual necessary when we consecrate a church? Who (Lenker?) would do this? (The case in question is the inauguration of a room in Freiburg at Michaelmas which will be used solely for services.)
- The use of candles for other cultic occasions. Can we use the seven-branched candlestick with lit candles for purposes other than the Act of Consecration of Man, e.g. when a baptism is taking place near the altar?
- The Breviary.
There were many participants at the first course in Dornach, when the Breviary was given, who subsequently did not become priests. Since then, chiefly through these individuals but also initially as a result of a lack of clarity within our circle of priests, the Breviary has been given to people who have never even considered entering the priesthood, and even to some who are causing practical difficulties for our work. Some of those who had received the Breviary as a ‘loving gift’ without realizing that it contained meditations for priests returned their copies as soon as this was made known. The circle of priests would now like to approach all those who possess the Breviary without having made the vow with the request to return it. There is, however, a lack of clarity within our circle of priests as to whether this is possible in the case of all those who ought not to have it, e.g. some wives. However, almost all of us think that only radical measures allowing no exceptions can achieve the necessary orderliness in the matter, for the Breviary was quite clearly only intended for those directly involved in preparing themselves for the priesthood.
Many of us are worried by the incorrect distribution of the Breviary. In connection with the way the verses for the Class* are dealt with, the question has arisen as to whether the Breviary might have become ineffective through the way it has been distributed and whether even if the unauthorized copies are retrieved a desirable situation can be restored at all.
* The First Class of the School of Spiritual Science, Dornach.
The Book of Revelation Main Page