THE PRESENT FROM THE VIEWPOINT OF THE PRESENT
(Dornach November 30, 1918)
When you consider the fundamental basis of our anthroposophically oriented science of the spirit in comparison with other so-called world views -- and there are many now appearing -- you will note especially one characteristic. This is the fact that spiritual science as a view of the world and of life endeavors actually to apply to the whole of human life, to everything that the human being encounters in life, what it seeks to establish through research in the spiritual worlds. Whoever has a feeling for what is essential in the urgent problems and impelling forces of our present time will probably be able to achieve for himself an understanding of the fact that the tremendous need of the present and of the immediate future is to be found just here, that is, in connecting directly with life itself the comprehensive ideas constituting world conceptions. Among the causes that have brought about the present catastrophic situation of humanity, not the least significant is the fact that the world views held by human beings, whether rooted in religion, science, or aesthetics, have all gradually lost their connection with life in the course of time. There has existed a tendency -- we might call it a perverse tendency -- to separate the so-called daily practical life, in the most comprehensive sense of the word, from what men seek in their effort to satisfy their needs in the realm of religion and world conceptions. Just reflect how life during the last centuries has gradually taken on such form that people have carried on their external activities, were practical men as the saying goes, and conducted their lives according to practical principles, and then applied half an hour each day more or less, or no time at all, or Sunday, to the satisfaction of those needs of the heart and soul that impel them to seek for a connection with the divine spiritual element permeating the world.
All this will be utterly changed if an anthroposophically oriented science of the spirit can take possession of the minds and hearts of men. This will take on such a character that thoughts will stream forth from this world view that will be applicable to life itself in all its aspects, thus enabling us to judge life with true insight. The principle of the Sunday vesper sermon shall by no means be that of our anthroposophically directed world conception, but the whole of life shall be permeated on all days of the week and on Sunday forenoon as well with what can be given to humanity by the anthroposophical comprehension of the world. Because such has not been the case up to the present time, the world has gradually drifted into chaos. People have neglected to direct their attention to what has really been happening in their immediate vicinity and they are now surprised because the results of this oversight are clearly manifest. They will be still more surprised in the future as these results become more clearly manifest.
Under no circumstances should we fail to pay attention today to what is spreading among people over the entire earth. With the powers of judgment that enable us to see into the great impulses at work in world events, we must endeavor to find our way into what confronts human hearts and minds today, in part in such an enigmatic way; that is, into what is threatening to transform the social structure into a chaos. It will not do to continue further in such a way that we decide simply to let come what may without endeavoring to penetrate into things with a sound power of judgment.
It is necessary to abandon the basic maxim that says, "This is an everyday matter, this is secular, it belongs to the external life; we turn our backs on this and direct our attention toward the spiritual and divine." This must come to an end. The time must begin in which even the most trivial everyday matter must be brought into connection with the spiritual and divine; that is, the time in which what is derived from the spiritual life shall no longer be viewed only from the most extremely abstract point of view.
In the course of these reflections, I have stated that a favorable change in the social movement cannot come about in any other way than through an increase in the interest that a person feels in another human being. A social structure is something men create in company with one another. Its ills cannot be healed unless the person knows that he is really within this order, unless he is within the social structure in his attitude of mind. The unsound element in the present epoch, which has brought about this catastrophe, lies in the neglect of people to acquire any sort of attitude of mind toward the way in which a person belongs to a social community. The interest that binds us as human beings to other human beings has come to an end in spite of the belief frequently manifested by people that they do have such an interest. Most certainly the pat theosophical maxim, "I love all human beings; I have an interest in all human beings," is not effective; it is abstract; it does not lay hold upon real life and laying hold upon real life is what really matters. This must be understood in a deeper sense. A lack of understanding of real life has been the characteristic of recent centuries. Now, these recent centuries have brought about the present situation without a realization of this process on the part of humanity, and they will cause future situations. In the historic life of humanity, conditions cannot be what they should be unless people accompany what is happening, what occurs among them in the social life, with their thinking. But the events that have occurred over a relatively long time cannot be accompanied thus unless we acquire a sound sense for certain phenomena.
To an objective observer it has been all too obvious that administrations and governments have been conducted and are being conducted according to fundamental principles that were really out of date centuries ago, whereas life has naturally moved forward during recent centuries. An essential element that has entered into the evolution of humanity is modern industrialism, which has created the whole modern proletariat. But this genesis of the modern proletariat has not been accompanied by thinking. The leading classes have continued to live in the old manner, administering their positions of leadership as they have been accustomed to do for centuries. Without their doing anything about it, without their having even accompanied the process of world history with their thinking, the modern proletariat has evolved out of the existing facts, actual occurrences, and the rise of modern industrialism. This began essentially with the invention of the mechanical loom and spinning machine in the eighteenth century. Thus the destiny of world history for the present and the immediate future depends upon what is going on in the world in the heads of the modern proletariat -- what haunts them, you may say, like a specter. This proletariat is striving for power through majority control and it is to be considered in its actions just as we consider the results of natural events and elemental occurrences. It should not be looked upon as something to be criticized that may please or displease us. The proletariat must be judged in its actions somewhat as we judge an earthquake or a tidal wave of the sea, or anything else of the kind.
We are now seeing the preliminary stages of what takes its rise from the modern proletariat -- or, better expressed, from the tendencies and feelings of the modern proletariat. Like the action of an advance guard we observe what is known to us in a certain aspect in Russian bolshevism. This Russian bolshevism as I have often declared, is not in harmony with the original disposition of the Russian people. It has been introduced from without. But this is not a matter of any consequence if we wish to face the facts since it actually exists within the regions that formerly constituted the Empire of the Czar. It has taken root there, and it must be observed like a phenomenon of nature that has the tendency to spread. In observing such a thing as Russian bolshevism it is most important of all to disregard secondary phenomena. We must pay attention to the matter of main importance. The fact that bolshevism had its beginning in 1917, and that it was accompanied by certain external phenomena, may have been determined by certain obvious causes. I have said to you that even the incompetence of Ludendorff and also various other things have not been free of responsibility for the actual outbreak of bolshevism. But all this must be eliminated if we wish to view things in a fruitful way, and we must pay attention to the active forces that are alive in this Russian bolshevism. We must simply ask ourselves as a mere matter of fact what the objective of Russian bolshevism is and how it is related to the whole evolution of humanity. Beyond question, it is not something ephemeral and transitory. Rather, it is a phenomenon of far-reaching consequences in world history. It is exceedingly important that we should examine the basic structure as visualized by Russian bolshevism in order to be able to reflect upon it in a certain way as it emerges from deeper impelling forces of the world.
If we consider the fundamental characteristics of Russian bolshevism, we must conclude that its first endeavor aims at the destruction of what we have characterized in the marxian sense as the bourgeoisie. It is a fundamental maxim, so to speak, to destroy, root and branch, as something harmful in the evolution of humanity according to their point of view, everything that has taken its rise in the evolution of history as the bourgeois class. Bolshevism is to arrive at this objective in various ways. First, it aims at the removal of all class distinctions. Bolshevism does not direct its efforts toward such factual removal of the distinctions into classes and ranks as I have presented them to you. Bolshevism itself thinks in a wholly bourgeois manner, and what I have introduced to you is not conceived in a bourgeois but a human manner. Bolshevism intends to overcome the differentiation among classes and ranks in its own way. It says to itself that the contemporary states are constructed on the basis of the bourgeois conception of life, so the forms of the contemporary states must disappear. Everything that is a subordinate outgrowth of the bourgeois social class in the contemporary states such as the police system, the military system, the system of justice must disappear. In other words, what has been created by the bourgeoisie for its security and its administration of justice must disappear with the bourgeois class. The whole administration and organization of the social structure must pass into the hands of the proletariat. Through this process the state, as it has existed until now, will die away and the proletariat will administer the whole human structure, the whole community life of society.
This cannot be achieved by means of the old system of arrangements that the bourgeois class had created for itself. It cannot be achieved by the election of a Reichstag or any other sort of body of representatives of the people, chosen on the basis of any sort of suffrage, as this has been done under the conception of life characteristic of the bourgeois class.
If such representative bodies continued to be elected, only the bourgeois class would perpetuate itself in these bodies. In other words, such representative bodies, under whatever system of suffrage chosen, would not render possible the attainment of the goals that are there striven for. Therefore, the matter of importance is that such measures shall now really be applied as have their origin in the proletariat itself, such as cannot come to birth in any middle class head, since a middle class head inevitably conceives only such regulations as must be abolished. Nothing whatever can be expected, therefore, from any kind of national or state assembly, but something is to be expected solely from a dictatorship of the proletariat. This means that the entire social structure must be handed over to a dictatorship of the proletariat. Only the proletariat will have the inclination actually to eliminate the bourgeois class from the world because, should persons of the bourgeois class be members of representative bodies, they would have no inclination to eliminate themselves from the world. That is what is really necessary, that the whole bourgeois class shall be deprived of its rights. Thus, the only persons who can exercise an influence upon the social structure must be those who belong to the proletariat in the true sense, that is, only those who perform labor, who are useful to the community.
Consequently, according to this proletariat world conception, a person who causes others to perform any sort of service for him, and remunerates them for this, cannot have the right to vote. That is, whoever employs persons, engages persons to serve him and remunerates them for their service, has no right to participate in any way in the social structure, and has no right, therefore, to a vote. Neither does anyone possess the right to vote who lives on income from his property or who profits from income. Nor does a person who is engaged in trade have the right to vote or one who is a distributor and does not perform any practical labor. In other words, all who live by means of income, who employ other persons and remunerate them, who are engaged in trade or are middle men, are excluded from being representatives of the government when the dictatorship of the proletariat takes control. During the continuance of this dictatorship of the proletariat, there is no general freedom of speech, no freedom of assembly, no freedom to organize, but only those who are engaged in actual labor can hold meetings or form organizations. All others are deprived of freedom of speech, the right to assembly, and the right to organize societies or unions. Likewise, only those enjoy the freedom of the press who perform practical labor. The press of the bourgeois class is suppressed, and not tolerated.
These are, in a general way, the guiding principles, we may say, during the transitional stage. After these principles have been dominant for a certain length of time the proletariat world conception expects from their operation that only men engaged in practical labor will exist. Only the proletariat will continue to exist. The bourgeois class will have been exterminated.
To these things, which have primary importance for the transitional period, will then be added those that have permanent significance. To these belongs, for example, the universal obligation to work. Every person is under obligation to produce by labor something useful to the community.
A decisive principle of a permanent character is the termination of the right to private ownership of real estate. Larger estates are handed over to agricultural communes. According to this proletariat world view, there will exist in future no private ownership of land. Industrial establishments, establishments of entrepreneurs are confiscated and passed under the control of society, being administered by the centralized administration of the workers, at the head of which is the Supreme Soviet for the national economy. This is simply bolshevism in Russia. Ranks are taken over by the state. A universal system of bookkeeping is instituted, embracing the entire community and comprising all production. All foreign trade of this single communal entity is made communal, that is, the establishments are taken over by the state.
These are, in a general way, the fundamental principles constituting the ideal of Trotsky and Lenin, and you will see clearly in them the cardinal points of what is willed by the modern proletariat.
It does not suffice, of course, to be informed each day by the newspapers that a certain number of bloody deeds have been done by bolshevism. If we compare the bloody deeds done by bolshevism with the immense number of those done by reason of this war, the deeds of bolshevism obviously become an insignificant affair. The really important thing is to see what has been hitherto overlooked and neglected in order that the evolution of humanity may in the future be followed with our thinking. It is really necessary that we fix our attention, first in our hearts and then with our minds, upon these things that are so intimately connected with the progressive evolution of humanity. It is precisely the mission of the science of the spirit to fix our attention upon these things with our minds and hearts. The time must come to an end in which lazy pastors and priests preach to the people from the pulpit every Sunday theoretical stuff having no connection with life for the so-called warming of their souls. On the contrary, a condition must begin in which everyone who desires to participate in spiritual life shall be in duty bound to look into life, to establish an immediate connection with life. No small share in the responsibility for the misfortune of the present time rests upon the fact that those who have been custodians of the religious feelings of humanity for a long time past have preached to people from their pulpits such things as actually have no relationship whatever with life. They have directed discourses for the sole purpose of providing the people with insipid stuff for their hearts and souls that affected them in a pleasant way but never grasped life. It is for this reason that life has remained without spirit and has finally fallen into chaos. You may seek for much of the responsibility, for which recompense is required at present, precisely in the stupid discourses of those who have been the custodians of the religious feelings of people and who have had no relationship with life. What have they achieved of all that must take place in the epoch during which a whole new humanity in the form of the proletariat has evolved? What have these people achieved who have proclaimed useless stuff from their pulpits, such stuff that it has been desired by people only because they wished to delude themselves with all sorts of illusions regarding the realities of life? This is a serious time and things must be viewed in a serious light.
What has been said regarding the necessity for individuals to acquire an interest in one another must not be regarded only in a manner harmonizing with the mood presented in the Sunday vesper sermon. It must be considered according to the profound indication it gives in regard to the social structure of the present age.
Consider a concrete example. How many people there are today who have an abstract and confused conception of their own personal lives! If they ask themselves, for example, "What do I live on?" -- for the most part, they do not do this, but if they did it once, they would say to themselves, "Why, on my money." Among those who say to themselves, "I live on my money," there are many who have inherited this money from their parents. They suppose they live on their money, inherited from their fathers, but we cannot live on money. Money is not something on which we can live. Here it is necessary at last to begin to reflect. This question is intimately connected with the real interest that one individual has in another. Anyone who thinks he lives on the money he has inherited, for example, or has acquired in any way whatever except by receiving money for work, as is the custom today -- whoever lives in this way and supposes that he can live on money has no interest in his fellow men because no one can live on money. We must eat, and what we eat has been produced by a human being. We must have clothing. What we wear must be made through the labor of people. In order that I may put on a coat or a pair of trousers, human beings must expend their strength in labor for hours. They work for me. It is on this labor that I live, not on my money. My money has no value other than that of giving me the power to make use of the labor of others. Under the social conditions of the present time, we do not begin to have an interest in our fellow men until we answer that question in the proper way, until we hold the picture in our minds of a certain number of persons working for a certain number of hours in order that I may live within the social structure. It is of no importance to give ourselves a comfortable feeling by saying, "I love people." No one loves people if he supposes that he is living on his money and does not in the least conceive how people work for him in order to produce even the minimum necessary for his life.
But the thought that a certain number of persons labor in order that we may possess the minimum necessities of life is inseparable from another. It is the thought that we must recompense society, not with money but with work in exchange for the work that has been done for us. We feel an interest in our fellow men only when we are led to feel obligated to recompense in some form of labor the amount of labor that has been performed for us. To give our money to our fellow men only signifies that we are able to hold our fellow men on a leash as bound slaves and that we can compel them to labor for us.
Permit me to ask whether you cannot answer out of your experience the question how many men realize that money is only a claim upon human strength employed in labor, that money is only a means for gaining power. How many persons really see clearly that they could not even exist in this physical world but for the labor of other persons upon which they depend for what they demand for their lives? The feeling of obligation to the society in which we live is the beginning of the interest that is required for a sound social order.
It is necessary to reflect about these things, otherwise we ascend in an unwholesome way into spiritual abstractions and do not rise in a wholesome way from physical reality to spiritual reality. The lack of interest in the social structure has characterized precisely these last centuries. During recent centuries, men have gradually formed the habit of developing a real interest in the matter of social impulses only with regard to their own respected persons. In greater or lesser degree everything has borne in a roundabout way only upon one's personality. A wholesome social life is possible only when interest in one's own respected personality is broadened into a genuine social interest. In this connection the bourgeoisie may well ask themselves what they have neglected.
Just consider the following fact. There is such a thing as a spiritual culture. There are cultural objects. To select one example, there are works of art. Now, ask yourselves to how many people these works of art are accessible. Or, rather ask yourselves to how many persons these works of art are utterly inaccessible. For how many persons do these works of art actually not exist. But just calculate how many persons must labor in order that these works of art may exist. One or another work of art is in Rome. One or another bourgeois can travel to Rome. Just add up the total of how much labor must be performed by creative workers, etc., etc., -- these et ceteras will never come to an end -- in order that this bourgeois, when he travels to Rome, may see something that is there for him because he is a bourgeois, but is not there for all those persons who are now beginning to give expression to their proletariat conception of life. This very habit has taken form among the bourgeois of looking upon enjoyment as something self-evident. But enjoyment should really never be accepted without repaying its equivalent to the whole of society. It is not because of any element in the natural or spiritual order that some part of society should be deprived. Time and space are only artificial hindrances. The fact that the Sistine Madonna remains forever in Dresden, and can be seen only by those persons who are able to go to Dresden, is only a by-product of the bourgeois world conception. The Sistine Madonna is movable, and can be taken to all parts of the world. This is only one example, but the necessary steps can be taken to make sure that whatever is enjoyed by one may also be enjoyed by others.
Although I have given only one example, I always choose them to exemplify and clarify everything else. We need only to strike such a note, as you see, in order to touch upon many matters that people have really not thought of at all, but have simply taken as something self-evident. Even within our own circle, where this could so easily be understood, people do not always reflect that everything we receive obligates us to return an equivalent to society and not simply enjoy.
Now, from all that I have presented to you as examples, which could be multiplied not only a hundredfold but a thousandfold, this question will be obvious to you. "How can the situation be otherwise if money is really only a means for acquiring power?" This is already answered in that fundamental social principle I introduced last week because that is a peculiarity of what I introduced to you as a sort of social science taken from the spiritual world. It is just as certain as mathematics. In connection with the things I have presented to you, there is no question of anyone's looking into practical life and saying, "Now then, we must first investigate whether things really are so." No; what I introduced to you as a social science derived from spiritual science is much like the theorem of Pythagoras. If you consider Pythagoras's theorem, if you know that the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides of a right angle triangle, it is impossible that anything should exist within the world of experience to contradict this. On the contrary, you must apply this fundamental principle everywhere. So it is with the fundamental principle I introduced to you as underlying social science and social life. Everything that a person acquires in such a way that it is received in exchange for his work within the social system has an unwholesome effect. A wholesome condition results within the social system only when the human being has to support his life, not by his own work, but from other sources within society. This seemingly contradicts what I have just said, but only seemingly. What will render work valuable will be the fact that it will no longer be remunerated.
The goal toward which we must work -- of course, in a rational and not a bolshevistic way -- must be that of separating work from the provision of the means of existence. I have recently explained this. When no one is any longer recompensed for his work, then money will lose its value as a means for acquiring power over work. There is no other means for overcoming the misuse that has been perpetuated with mere money than by forming the social structure in such a way that no one be recompensed for his work, and that the provision of the means of existence shall be achieved from an entirely different source. It will then naturally be impossible to use money for the purpose of compelling anyone to work.
Most of the questions that now arise appear in such a form that they are confusedly understood. If they are to be lifted into a clear light, this can happen only by means of spiritual science. Money must never in future be the equivalent for human labor, but only for inanimate commodities. Only inanimate commodities will be acquired in future by means of money, not human labor.
This is of the utmost importance. Now, just consider the fact that in the proletariat world conception the idea that labor is a commodity stares us in the face in all sorts of forms. Indeed, the fact that labor in modern industrialism has become in the most conspicuous way a commodity is one of the fundamental principles of marxism, one of those fundamental principles by means of which Marx was most successful in winning followers among the proletariat. Here you see that a demand appears from an entirely different quarter and in a confused and chaotic fashion, that must, nevertheless, be fulfilled, but from an entirely different direction. This is characteristic of social demands of the present, that, to the extent that they appear instinctively, they are due to entirely justified and sound instincts. They arise, however, from a chaotic social structure. For this reason they are in a confused form that necessarily leads to confusion. So it is in many fields. It is necessary for this reason really to lay hold upon a spiritual-scientific view of the world because only this can result in true social healing.
Now, you will ask whether this will bring about a change. For example, if a person inherits his money, he will still continue to purchase commodities with the money he inherited, and the labor of other persons is surely concealed in these commodities. So nothing is changed, you will say. Certainly, if you think abstractly, nothing is changed. But, if you will look into the whole effect that comes about when the provision of the means of existence is separated from labor, you will form a different opinion. In the sphere of reality, the situation is not such that we simply draw abstract conclusions, but there things produce their actual results. If it actually comes about that the provision of the means of existence is separated from the performance of labor, inheritances will no longer exist. This will produce such a modification of the social structure that people will not come into possession of money in any other way than for the acquisition of commodities. When something is conceived as a reality, it has all sorts of effects. Among other things this separation of the provision of the means of existence from labor has one quite peculiar effect. Indeed, when we speak of realities, we cannot so express ourselves as to say, "But I do not see why this should be so." You might just as well say, "But I do not see why morphine should cause sleep." This also does not come to you as a conclusion out of a mere interrelationship of concepts. It becomes manifest only when you actually trace the effect.
There is something extremely unnatural today in the social order. This consists in the fact that money increases when a person simply possesses it. It is put in a bank and interest is paid on it. This is the most unnatural thing that could possibly exist. It is really utterly nonsensical. The person does nothing whatever. He simply banks the money, which he may not even have acquired by labor but may have inherited, and he receives interest on it. This is utter nonsense. But it will become a matter of necessity when the provision of the means of existence is separated from labor that money shall be used when it exists, when it is produced as the equivalent of commodities that exist. It must be used. It must be put into circulation and the actual effect will be that money does not increase but that it diminishes. If at the present time a person possesses a certain sum of money, he will have approximately twice that amount in fourteen years under a normal rate of interest, and he will have done nothing except merely to wait. If you think thus of the transformation of the social order, as this must occur under the influence of this one fundamental principle that I have presented to you, then money will not increase but will diminish. After a certain number of years, the bank notes I acquired before the beginning of those years will no longer have any value. They will have matured and become valueless.
In this way the trend will become natural in the social structure toward bringing about such conditions that mere money, which is nothing more than a note, an indication that a person possesses a certain power over the labor of human beings, will lose its value after a certain length of time if it has not been put into circulation. In other words, it will not increase, but will progressively diminish and, after fourteen years or perhaps a somewhat longer time, will reach the zero point. If you are millionaires today, you will not be double millionaires after fourteen years but you will be broke unless you have earned something additional in the meantime.
Of course, I am aware that people wriggle as if they had been bitten by fleas when this is mentioned at the present time -- if you will permit such a comparison. I know this, and I would not have employed this comparison but for the extraordinary movements I observed in the audience!
Since, however, the situation is such that this matter causes people to feel as if fleas had bitten them, we have bolshevism. Just search for the true causes and there they are. You will never be able to free the world of what is coming to the surface unless you determine really to penetrate into the truth.
The fact that the truth is unpleasant makes no difference. An essential part of the education of humanity today and in the immediate future will consist in putting an end to the belief that truths can be controlled according to subjective estimates, subjective sympathies and antipathies. But spiritual science, if it is grasped with a sound human intelligence, can solve this problem of money because it can also be considered spiritually.
Nothing is accomplished by that vague way of talking I have heard even among anthroposophists who hold money in their hands and say, "This is Ahriman." At present money signifies an equivalent for commodities and labor. It constitutes a claim upon something that actually occurs. If we pass over from mere abstractions to realities, if we reflect, then, when a person has ten one hundred mark notes and pays these to someone, he causes the labor of a certain number of persons to pass as an equivalent from hand to hand. Because these notes possess the power to cause a certain number of persons to work, he then actually stands within life with all its branches and impulses. He will no longer continue to be satisfied with the mere abstraction, the unthinking abstraction, of the payment of money, but he will ask himself, "What is the significance of the fact that I cause ten one hundred mark notes to pass from hand to hand, thus bringing it about that a certain number of persons endowed with head, heart and mind must perform labor? What is the significance of that?"
The answer to such a question can be afforded, in the last analysis, only by a spiritual observation of the matter. Let us take the most extreme example. Suppose someone who has never put forth an effort in behalf of humanity has money. There are such cases. I will consider this extreme instance. Someone who has never put forth an effort in behalf of humanity has money. He buys something for himself with this money. Indeed, he is enabled to fashion for himself an altogether pleasant life by reason of the fact that he possesses this money, which is a claim upon human labor. Fine! This person is not necesarily a bad human being. He may even be a good man; indeed, he may be an industrious person. People frequently simply fail to see into the social structure. They do not possess an interest in their fellow men, that is, in the real social structure. People suppose that they love human beings when they buy something for themselves with their inherited money, for example, or when they even give it away. When it is given away, the only result is that we cause a certain number of persons to work for those to whom the money is given. It is simply a means for acquiring power. The fact that it is a claim upon labor makes it the means for acquiring power.
But this situation has simply come into existence and developed to this stage. This is a reflection of something else. It is a reflection of what I mentioned in the preceding lecture. I there called your attention to the fact that the Jehovah divinity has controlled the world for a certain length of time through the fact that he won a complete victory over the other Elohim, and that he can no longer save himself from the spirits thus aroused. He drove his companions, the other six Elohim, from the field. Because of this, what the human being experiences even in the embryo has acquired complete dominance in human consciousness. The six other forces, which are not experienced by man in the embryo, have thereby been rendered inactive. They have thereby come under the influence of lower spiritual entities. In the fifth decade of the last century, as I have said, Jehovah could no longer save himself. Since the Jehovah wisdom acquired in the embryonic state renders it possible to grasp the conception of providence only in external nature, crass atheistic natural science has invaded the world. The reflection of this, the fact that money simply passes from one person to another without any transfer of commodities, consists in the circulation of money apart from the circulation of commodities.
No matter with what energy a person may exert himself in any field, the ahrimanic power lives in what seems to be produced by money as money. You cannot inherit without having a certain amount of ahrimanic power transferred with the money. There is no other possibility of possessing money within the social structure in a wholesome way than by possessing it in a Christian way; that is, by acquiring money only by means of what one develops between birth and death. In other words, the way in which a person comes into possession of money must not be a reflection of what is related to Jehovah even though the fact that we are born, that we pass from the embryo into the external life, is something that pertains to him. The reflection of this, I say, is the fact that we inherit money. Those characteristics that we inherit with the blood are inherited through the laws of nature. Money that we inherit and do not earn would be a reflection of this.
The fact that Christian consciousness has not yet taken its place in the world, that the social structure is still brought about by means of the ancient Jehovah wisdom or its specter, the Roman conception of the state, has brought about everything that has led to one aspect of the present unfortunate situation.
I said that the matter must not be considered so abstractly when money produces money, but we must view it in its reality. Whenever money produces money it is something that occurs only on the physical plane, whereas what constitutes the human being is always connected with the spiritual world.
What are you doing, then, when you perform no labor but you have money that people must work to get? The human being then has to bring to market what constitutes his heavenly share and you give him only what is earthly. You pay him with the merely earthly, the purely ahrimanic. You see, this is the spiritual aspect of the matter. Wherever Ahriman is at work, only destruction can come about.
This, again, is an unpleasant truth. But it does not help at all when a person says to himself, "Now, really, I am otherwise a respectable individual and I am doing nothing wrong, therefore, when I use my income to pay for this or that." The actual fact is that you give Ahriman in exchange for God. Of course, we are frequently compelled to do this within the present social structure, but we should not play the ostrich game and conceal this fact from ourselves. Rather should we face the truth because what the future is to bring depends upon our doing so. Much of what has broken in upon humanity with such calamitous results has occurred for the reason that people close their eyes and the eyes of their souls in the presence of the truth. They have fabricated for themselves abstract concepts of right and wrong, and have been unwilling to deal with the real and the concrete. In regard to this we shall speak further tomorrow, when we shall lift our discussion into spiritual heights.
Lecture 3 Part One
The Challenge of the Times