Events in the Ukraine and a Possible Future Scenario
Book 2, Chapter 5
V. The World-Historic Task of Middle Europe
The aims pursued in Anthroposophy arise from insight into the true evolution of the world and man. This evolution has led to the modern form of human self-consciousness and is to lead on to the next stage, super-consciousness, where the human being, in individual beholding, will think in perceiving. The form of human consciousness is thereby changed to such an extent that one can speak of a metamorphosis of man as a species. Actually, a glorious future awaits the human being on this path. But in order not to be diverted from it, we need above all to understand the essential nature of our European culture-epoch – to understand whence it came and in what direction it will move in its next rightful step forward. This it will only do if it fulfills its tasks. And work at the fulfillment of our modern tasks is work for the future, for the next culture-epoch. It is necessary to place this work in opposition to the project of the creation of three super-blocs.
What is the natural evolution
of mankind? It proceeds in stages, passes through
a series of metamorphoses. One of these stages is
called in esotericism (we have already met it)
“root-race”. Within this, development takes place
in a sequence of seven culture-epochs. Together,
they form a single, continuous lemniscate. Its
nodal point lies in the fourth, Greco-Latin
culture-epoch (Fig. 13, I). In this point the
Mystery of Golgotha took place, which continues to
form the centre of metamorphosis of all stages of
evolution. But as development in the totality of
the seven culture-epochs moves from epoch to
epoch, in addition to the transformation at the
chief nodal point of the root-race lemniscates, in
each new epoch all the epochs of the past are
transformed into that of the future (Fig. 13,
II-V). If we study this process, we discover the
secret of the general metamorphosis of the
root-race in its totality. We observe then the
phenomenology of its central law. The main nodal
point of the lemniscates moves from the previous
culture-epoch to the next. This then becomes the
key epoch in the totality of all seven epochs.
Therefore, the successful fulfilment, or the non-fulfilment, of the cultural-historical and evolutionary tasks of the culture-epoch is decisive for the destiny of the entire further development of the world and mankind. Of course, there is no power in the world that can arrest the process of evolution completely. It can be compared to water, and if a stone is placed in its way it will find another path. Only, what does this mean for humanity? On this point very serious reflection is needed on humanity’s part, if it is not to remain held up by this stumbling-block. Time is given for this, each culture-epoch lasts somewhat more than two thousand years; this is cosmically determined.
Our root-race differs from all previous ones, in that the evolution of man has assumed within it the character of culture-historical processes. This means that human beings must, to an increasing degree, fulfil the tasks of their development themselves, individually. Here, the Gods help only in accordance with the actions of human beings. If the deeds are good, then the hierarchies of normal evolution respond; if they are dark, then – the hierarchy of retarded spirits. And how, then, can a person not know of this and hope that, however things turn out, the Gods will come to his aid? Even if – to repeat our example – someone at risk from a falling tile wishes to know nothing of it, the Gods will not revoke the laws of gravitation for this event.
In truth, for the human being only one thing is possible: to get to know the laws of his own evolution, so as to be able to follow them consciously and correctly. To help resolve this question we will imagine the development of the seven culture-epochs as the winding-in and winding-out of a double spiral. It is only another manifestation, the metamorphosed form, of the lemniscate. One can see it in the starry heavens. Which is to say, the law of metamorphosis operates there, too.
If we look on a map for the regions through which the four previous culture-epochs passed, we find that they form one curve of the spiral. Its in-winding encircles Europe and here the middle point, the node is formed in which this in-winding curve is to metamorphose and become the out-winding curve (Fig. 14).
The special feature of the
loci of transition from one curve to the other is
that this ought to happen with a great qualitative
leap. Here, the old will die and be reborn in a
new form. Or not be born, and then development
would come to an end. Europe and with it humanity
as a whole stands now before this dilemma. This
decisive problem for destiny can be resolved by
no-one on Europe’s behalf. Europe is, as it were,
the eye of the “whirlwind” of development; here is
focussed the struggle of the main contradictions,
the opposites, of our epoch. Europe must develop a
culture, a spiritual life that is able to
transform all the mighty developments of the last
four epochs (a period of more than eight and a
half thousand years) into a new culture that
embraces our present fifth culture-epoch and
develops within it the seeds of the future sixth,
Slavic-Germanic, culture-epoch. In the fifth
culture-epoch is born what is actually new in our
That Europe has the forces that are equal to such a task is shown in developments in the past which manifested in the science and cognitive method of Goethe and in the emergence of Anthroposophy. Europe has created a sound basis for the fulfilment of its enormous task. It comes to expression in German idealism, in the idealism of German philosophy. Fichte, Hegel, Schelling lifted the human spirit to the threshold of beholding and led philosophy into close contact with Theosophy. The rights of the individual intelligence were successfully defended in an earlier period by Scholasticism etc. All this enabled Anthroposophical wisdom to enter the world and culture. Above all, Middle Europe is faced with the task of mastering spiritual science, in order to develop it further and fertilize with its knowledge all the factors of modern culture and civilization.
In this regard, Russia has to go to Middle Europe to study – this is natural, if Middle Europe is teaching Goetheanism and spiritual science. Only in this way will Russia be able to take up the seeds of its future which will germinate in the sixth culture-epoch.
The task of renewal faces humanity as a whole, and that of Middle Europe is of world-historical importance. Interestingly enough, Rainer Maria Rilke expressed his thoughts on this in a letter (to Lisa Heise on 2nd February 1923). “For me,” he writes, “... there is no doubt that it is Germany who, through not knowing itself, holds up the world (emphasis G.A.B.).” What needs to be added is, simply, that the world tries to prevent Germany from doing so, in every possible way.
Middle Europe ought, on the strength of its spiritual past, standing on the basis of the culture of thinking already attained there, work intensively to master the methodology of spiritual science which entails the practical development of living, beholding thinking. And one should remember that the fulfillment of this task marks the beginning of man’s metamorphosis as a species. We must remark here that all previous metamorphoses of man as a species took place thanks to God and nature. This new metamorphosis of species must, for the first time, be realized by man himself. This is a marvellous idea, entrusted to mankind through Anthroposophy. This metamorphosis takes place in the lemniscate of the individual spirit. We have indicated the content of this lemniscate in Figs. 4, 5 and 6. (A more detailed account is given in the author’s methodological works.)
It is in this lemniscate,
namely, that the transition of the individual ‘I’
takes place, from logical-dialectical to
ideally-perceiving, beholding thinking. This, let
us call it, epistemological lemniscate is really
the “key” to the kingdom of Heaven. It also builds
the bridge from the European, Anglo-Saxon-Germanic
culture-epoch to the Slavic-Germanic.
In Goethe’s fairy tale “The Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily” there is a transformation into such a bridge, undergone by the self-sacrificing snake – the symbol of wisdom and, let us say, of logical thinking (see Fig. 16 on p.96).
Europe must recall the cultural and spiritual past that is drifting away from it, and use it in order truly to acquire Anthroposophy in the present. Whoever masters such a present, controls the future. This is a right understanding of the principle of development which one should set over against the striving of certain forces to arrest development. If one does not first acquire a strong logical thinking, one will be unable to metamorphose thinking. But metamorphosis entails sacrifice in accordance with the principle formulated by Goethe: “Die and become”.
But the slogan “Ignorance is power” holds sway over Europe today. Her spiritual heritage is perverted and trampled down by homines sapientes who have sunk into barbarism. Instead of the knowledge from the past, all kinds of wild, absurd doctrines are imposed – for example, one tries to persuade the masses that “Happiness (or rather prosperity) is better than freedom”. Despite this, prosperity grows less and less.
With the distortion and concealment of the knowledge from the past the five centres of world power try to falsify the spiral of the culture-epochs. With the help of world-wars and, today of sub-culture (pop culture) for the masses, Middle Europe is being trodden into the ground. Its face is being stamped on by boots – now those of a soldier, now those of ideology. This is done, so that pan-Americanism can, unhindered, simply transform the spiral – i.e. the principal law of development – into a line of development, thereby cancelling the law and directing this line westwards. In this way, metamorphosis as a principle of development is denied. In actual fact, all life in Europe (and the world) is determined by U.S. standards, stereotypes of American pop-culture, non-culture, and even by NATO.
Then in this way the attempt will be made to unite – not only England, with its tasks of the higher member of the soul, the consciousness-soul – but Europe as a whole, beginning at the borders with Russia, with the United States into a single bloc, and thereby make America instead of Russia the successor of the present culture-epoch. The mere intention to pursue this goal is extremely harmful for everyone, including the United States itself, America as a country inhabited by a freedom-loving, youthful and energetic people that also has a great spiritual future.
Middle Europe, Germany, needs to be dealt with carefully. The grace of God is bestowed on it. There is convincing proof of this. Britain, France, Russia have twice defeated Germany in the World Wars, they won – we emphasize this, but as a result they became pale shadows of themselves. There is one reason why Germany can draw no advantage from the grace of God: it does not engage in “self-knowledge”, it has no wish to develop a spiritual culture, pure thinking, does not want to work with Goetheanism, Anthroposophy, and has, of course, no desire to reflect upon social threefolding. In 1919 Rudolf Steiner met government officials and tried with great energy to persuade them to put social threefolding into practice. They nodded their heads, only to remain inactive. He said later, that if social threefolding had been realized in Germany, Germany would have protected itself from the Versailles Treaties – and also prevented the 2nd World War and at the same time saved Russia from the horrors of Bolshevism. In fact, all these political “nightmares” of which we spoke, have one attribute in common: they burst like soap-bubbles at the first breath of the true spirit. The only guarantee for their existence is human foolishness and complacency. These seem to have no limits. And for this reason there is the danger that the double spiral will change into a loop – a noose around the neck of Middle Europe and Europe as a whole, which will stifle them (Fig. 15).
If things continue in this
way, pan-Americanism, which is even starting to
tread the path of occult Bolshevism, will really
strangle Europe. First and foremost, it would
affect Middle Europe. With its spiritual tasks it
is unable to breathe in the atmosphere of modern
Americanism. And one must admit that the idea
conceived by evil is brilliant to the point of
genius: Europe should simply be led into the fold
of Americanism. Then the law of spiral development
does not even need to be falsified. It will simply
fall away, as its bearer on earth will have gone.
This plan reminds one of a thriller where the
robbers cannot break open the cash machine, so
they simply remove it from the wall and take it
Weighing heavily on the world-historical task of Middle Europe is the hostile gaze of the “Brothers of Shadow” and the “Fathers of Darkness”. Middle Europe is an impediment to them in that it prevents them from making the evolution of the world and man dependent on their private, egoistic strivings. In addition to this, its position in the middle between East and West has a dramatic effect on the existence of Middle Europe. Western and Eastern Europe (Russia), instead of bothering to help it to fulfil its spiritual tasks, try to squash it. And no invocations of “forever warlike Teutons” can suppress knowledge of the true facts. The lie, however long it is nourished, dies sooner or later. The sooner it dies, the better, then the space would be freed for knowledge of the truth. But this act of cognition is extremely difficult. Rudolf Steiner says that the soul disposition of the East is mainly Luciferized, and that of the West – Ahrimanized. Souls in the West “do not want to take possession of their bodies in such a way that, through these bodies, they look out with open senses into the world; they sink down into these bodies in a way that prevents them from fully encompassing them, filling them through with spirit. They live in the bodies, but do not permeate them completely”. As a result, they have no wish to open themselves to the spiritual behind sensory reality. “Through the situation described, one can say that many bodies of western people are disposed in such a way that the souls in them, as the bodies grow, do not fully come to expression.” And for this reason they become “habitation(s) ... for quite other beings who then move into them, beings who are asleep to what lies in the inherent qualities of the human soul itself”. Spreading across from the East is the view that human beings should be held within the confines of the life of feeling of ancient times; this prevents people from descending deeply enough into the earthly realm. In the West one tries to conserve the present state of humanity with its materialistic outlook. “There is actually from both sides the striving to prevent the human being from coming to a full grasp of the present moment. And this is given support by an enormous fear that takes hold of humanity unconsciously.” “Those are the two extremes [Ahrimanic materialism and Luciferic mysticism] which would actually like to reach out a hand to one another, maybe regardless of a fearful antagonism arising from outer circumstances and inner mutual opposition. And it is because these streams exist and because this is so, that people of the Middle European regions are – if we expressed it trivially, though it is meant not trivially but tragically – in such a poor condition spiritually.”
“There has been prepared in
this Middle Europe the higher synthesis, the
concord, the higher harmony from which alone
progress for humanity can arise. For, here in
Middle Europe a summit was attained by spiritual
streams that sprang from truly important, profound
sources..., first, when an intellectualistic
spirituality appeared in German idealism, in
world-views such as those of Fichte, Schelling,
Hegel – of which that of Schelling at its close
was even on the point of giving birth to something
that could have led to a true Anthroposophical
spiritual science, though the time was not yet
ripe for it then.”
“But it looks as if the whole world has conspired to prevent that which was emerging at that time from coming to an unfolding in any way. I could put it thus: From East and West Lucifer and Ahriman have sworn together that this synthesis shall not succeed” (GA 203, 9.1.1921).
The seriousness of the situation in Europe is heightened through the fact that the attempt is made, also from the South, from the Luciferic past, to tighten the “loop” of evolution. The lobby of the “Fathers of Darkness” acts in the spirit of such intentions in all the institutions of Europe.
The attempt is also made to pull eastwards the curve of the double spiral that comes from the past – with no thought of its metamorphosis, of course. The first to begin this, before the birth of pan-Americanism, were the advocates of the creation of the “third Rome” in Russia. They were joined in the 20th century by the Bolsheviks. None of them have any interest whatever in the healthy – that is, progressive – development of Russian culture. They want to be the teachers of Middle Europe, and of Europe as a whole and even of the whole world. To this day the old Bolsheviks complain bitterly that their tanks are no longer standing in Weimar. In recent decades Russian Bolshevism has, to some extent, grown more silent, but it is not dead, as the centres of Ahrimanic initiation cannot be subdued by political means. But the idea of the “third Rome” is again growing in strength. Something written by one of its advocates gives us an impression of the way this idea is voiced today: “The eternal nature of Russia consists, on the one hand, in the fact that it inherits the mission of ‘eternal Rome’ ... on the other hand, the ‘eternal nature’ of Russia needs to be confirmed by its historical existence.... Russia as the fifth and last, eternal kingdom, as the third Rome together with the heritage of Byzantium, on a mystical and cultural level inherits all that Byzantium itself inherited” (M. M. Maler: “The Spiritual Mission of the Third Rome”, Moscow 2005).
This is how, at first sight in an unusual way, dogmatic political science expresses itself. But if one looks at the “granitic” dogma from an occult, esoteric standpoint it is actually the intention of the East to override the law of spiral metamorphosis that comes to expression here. The intention from this side is to simply annul, do away with, obliterate (we do not know what words to use) the last thousand years of European cultural development, because they did not take their course in accordance with the Byzantine spiritual impulse. (This is the same as the method for altering the past in Orwell’s novel.) In Russia preparations have long been under way for such a radical revision of the past. Assisting this process is the mentality of Russian intellectuals who have for centuries dismissed the culture of the West as empty, sinful, abstract, self-centred. And in such a case, rescue can seem to be promised by the idea that one should take the fourth, Greco-Latin culture epoch as a starting-point for correction of the fifth. It was in that epoch that the path was laid from Rome to Byzantium. From Byzantium Christianity came to Russia. It came first to Kievan Rus and then spread northwards – to Novgorod and the Muscovite kingdom. Surely, this must become “the eternal”! And really, where is Christianity to move on to from Moscow?!
Therefore, Byzantine Christianity is declared the ultimate and highest form of Christianity, and its sole representative authorized by the will and grace of God, is Russia. For a long time no-one could understand it, either in the East or in the West. But now in the 21st century the moment seems at long last to be approaching where the “eternal kingdom” of Russia can be established. How is this to happen? – Here we must return to the epoch of the “third Rome” when, in the 9th century in the reign of Prince Vladimir all the inhabitants of Kiev were baptized in the Dneiper river by priests from Byzantium. (Whether they wanted it themselves was a question no-one asked, of course.) And today it is also from Kiev that the process of renewal of the “true” Orthodox faith is to begin. A clairvoyant Father of Athos has already made a prophecy that the resurrection of Christian Russia is to start from Kiev.
It is clear that the present
events in the Ukraine need to be considered in the
light of all this. If the “eternal nature” of
Russia is to be confirmed by its historical
existence, then it has to become – to express it
in modern terms – a great power again. The attempt
is now being made to instate Stalin as a symbol of
such a “great power”. It was for this reason that
the annexation of Crimea was accompanied by a
revival of Stalinism. The same process is going on
in Donbas, and we venture to think that it is
being prepared throughout the Ukraine. Let us
reflect: What opponent would be especially
desirable for the rehabilitation of Stalinism? –
Fascism, of course. Therefore resistance against
the “hegemony” of Moscow is arranged in the shape
of “Fascist” nationalists. The disreputable
government of Kiev (see photo) profanes the idea
of independence to such a degree that its western
supporters no longer know how they can uphold
their fables of “true humanism”, liberalism, human
rights, anti-Fascism etc.
In Russia, above all in
Moscow, a “creeping” rehabilitation and
glorification of Stalin is taking place. He is
increasingly brought into close connection with
the Church. And one can already see how, in such a
case, the future picture of Russia would look (see
“icons”). This symbiosis of Stalinism with the
Orthodox Church is to become the future ideology
of Eurasia, the ideology of the “obliteration of
the personality”. The intention this time is to
introduce it not by force, but in connection with
our love of God.
This is an illusion, but it is a grandiose plan. Occultly it is rooted in the heart of Lucifer’s realm. This is also meant on the map published by “The Economist” at the beginning of Perestroika. Placed on the territory of the future Eurasia is the head of the Patriarch, as a symbol of the power prevailing there. Only it will be, not a traditional Patriarch, but a Caesar and priest of the “eternal kingdom”. (We advise the reader to look more closely at the “icons” reproduced here.)
This is the sort of picture that emerges if one considers from a symptomatological standpoint the phenomenology of social and political life of the last 25 years. If this picture comes to realization, there is no doubt that real life will insert many a correction into it. Let us hope that these corrections will give things an essential turn for the better.
Such is the true battle for the evolution of the world. In this it is up to the forces of the good to ensure on an international scale that development into the future can take place in accordance with the laws of evolution. This should be set over against all projects that distort development in the interest of the retarded spirits.
The importance of this task cannot be overestimated. We will under- stand this especially well if we consider that in the nodal point of the lemniscate where the qualitative transition takes place from the previous four culture-epochs to the future ones, the sixth and seventh (see Figs. 14 and 16), a transition occurs on a far greater scale. In the lecture of 4th November 1905 Rudolf Steiner speaks of this double spiral, which expresses the laws of development through three root-races. The destiny of the humanity of the entire earth aeon is, in fact, enclosed within this span of time. The first curve of this double spiral begins in the fifth culture-epoch of the Atlantean root-race, and the second curve extends to the fourth culture-epoch of the next root-race, which follows our own. There, the spiritualizing of the materiality of the earth will begin.
culture-epoch of the Atlantean period of
development is called the Old Semitic, and to it –
says Rudolf Steiner – “we owe all that has been
until now. But a new impulse now begins with the
Slavic peoples, which leads into the future. A new
impulse is brought into the world concurrently
with a certain break with the past. This works its
way out as a hidden spirituality with the Russian
peasant. This forms the second part of the spiral
that is to come. At the present time a certain
culture is in a process of dissolution and a new
one is being prepared. The preparation is in the
West and it will unfold in the East. But the old
must give stimulus to the new. Wherever we see new
beginnings in our time, it is all germinal,
awkward, clumsy. By contrast the old has clear
contours, but it has the character of critique,
dissolution. It is out of the Semitic branch that
the bearers of the old culture are born, those who
are the bearers of what
They all have in them
something Semitic. Examples: Lassalle, Marx. This
is now spiralling inwards. A continuation from
there is not possible. A leap now has to be made,
as from one bank of the river to the other, to the
spirituality of the future culture of the East.
This is a completely new impulse” (GA 93a,
As we see from Fig. 17, the
world-wide transition of the past into the future
has its nodal point in the fourth culture-epoch of
“today’s world”, where the Mystery of Golgotha
took place. And this is quite obvious. Only, it is
important to bear in mind that the metamorphosis
of the culture-epochs that is taking place in our
time has its root in the working of the
fundamental metamorphosis and carries its working
further, but now in a situation where a natural
development of this kind is faced with formidable
hindrances, whose aim it is to undermine or thwart
not only the spiritual-cultural mission of
present-day Europe but the entire mission of the
earth (this is clear from the quote of Rudolf
Anyone not familiar with the
spiritual science of Rudolf Steiner will find it
very difficult to grasp all this. But the most
difficult thing to understand is how the destiny
of mankind is dependent upon what happens in the
consciousness of the individual human being.
Inherent in modern civilization is a great inner contradiction, which is scientific, religious, political and even evolutionary. The reverse pentagram and the epistemological lemniscate bring to expression its nature and significance. It is easy to understand that it may seem strange to many people when we say that one can regard this lemniscate as a symbol for the spiritual rebirth of humanity. And indeed, is there anything in the world more abstract than – theory of knowledge? But this is an age-old misunderstanding. We need only ask ourselves: is there anything more important for the human being than his consciousness? Through spiritual science, theory of knowledge can be understood as the primary practical science, because it concerns the way the main problem of modern evolution can be solved: metamorphosis of the form of consciousness, the ascent from reflective to beholding thinking. This task has existed in Europe for two hundred years. It was set out and realized by Goethe. So is it not time to think about it in the whole of enlightened Europe?
Theory of knowledge can be presented in a way anyone can under- stand. It comprises: a) the history of the development of human cognition, b) research into the limits of knowledge and c) the genesis of individual consciousness. In the history of philosophy the last element is radically excluded. But spiritual science insists on it, above all because it brings theory of knowledge out of a blind alley. All the elements of theory of knowledge are thus easily made accessible to the understanding of the modern European. And he should understand – if at least the last relics of a genuine feeling for the true dignity of man have survived in him – that here is opened up for him the main battlefield, as the scene of the clash of world-forces – primarily supersensible forces – that are fighting over the destiny of the world and man. If not enough people understand this and they continue to live as before, the impulse of cultural development will be drawn from Europe to America. But were Europe, in the language of Greek mythology, to be led astray once again, the human being would remain caught up in materialism, Ahrimanism, and sink down into sub-nature. But if the impulse for development were to be brought over the East, to Asia, the human ‘I’ would dissipate – in spiritual but Luciferic phantasies, in supersensible visions, and in this way would depart from the earth in an immature state. The culture of the East – is the world’s past. It is necessary to fertilize it with the new spirituality of Europe. The American culture – is the seventh in the series of the seven culture-epochs. It needs the patience to mature. It will come onto the American continent from the West, not from the East – i.e. from Europe.
Russia’s time also lies in the future. There will arise the flowering of the communities of the Spirit-self, the Name of God, the Holy Spirit, in which wisdom will unite with love and true brotherliness within the conditions of the rule of justice. To pave the way for this is only possible today if social threefolding is put into practice.
And so, we stress once again, a mighty battle is being fought in the world over the evolution of mankind. One of its possible outcomes – the fatal one – is shown on the map from “The Economist”. We have tried to characterize the other with the help of Figs. 14 and 15. In this all the intentions of development spring from the knowledge of its laws, the laws of evolution and those of the cultural-historical process, and they are oriented towards the spiritualization, re-enlivening of our declining civilization.
With regard to the first of these alternatives, the core of the occult-political system that wishes to push forward this alternative, also knows of the laws of development taught by spiritual science, and yet quite consciously chooses Ahriman instead of Christ as their leader. For, Ahriman has succeeded in convincing the people there (this is recounted by Rudolf Steiner), that he is as a “God” more efficient and powerful than Christ. And he did so by re-interpreting in his own favour the entire, mighty evolution of the world up to now. (As Lucifer also does.) Those who listen to him are not so superficial and lazy as the broad mass of modern esotericists of every shade and colour, because they study the laws of development thoroughly and in depth, but only to apply them in accordance with the intentions of Ahriman, in the firm belief that it is not they, but the other side, the followers of Christ, who distort the laws.
A key role in the confrontation of the two systems is played by Europe – the avant-garde of the cultural and historical development of humanity; and within it Middle Europe is in a unique position. Its entire development in the past led to its being the centre of the ‘I’-culture of the present. It has brought this to expression convincingly in its art, science and philosophy. It was therefore here that originated the Goetheanistic science of the metamorphosis of all forms, right up to the form of thinking which leads the human being to attainment of the higher ‘I’. And it was therefore here that Anthroposophy came, too – a strong hand held out from Heaven to human beings in their need. But Middle Europe will only be able to fulfill its world-historical task if Europe as a whole follows it on this path. To do this, Europeans must understand that their present-day incarnation is taking place on the soil that has received all the fruits of the whole of historical, cultural, spiritual and individual development – that is, of the process of nearly 10,000 years, from the beginning of the Old Indian culture-epoch. After the Indian came the Old Persian, the Ancient Egyptian, the Greco-Latin and, finally, the cultural impulse came to Europe. At all its stages the process of culture-historical development was accompanied by the working of the beings of the Divine hierarchies. And today their forces which urge development forward are focused above all on Europe, on Europe as a whole. For, Europe alone has the ability – because now is the time for it to set the tone for the entire cultural development of humanity – to perceive these forces, receive them into itself, work them through and spread them across the whole world. This is an axiom. And it will be valid for another one and a half thousand years.
The U.S.A, China, Islamistan, Sovietism can be taken up as much as they like by their complacent self-sufficiency, they can think of world domination, the setting-up of a new world order, etc. – but from the other, highest supersensible standpoint everything – as we have shown – looks entirely different.
Europe is a sovereign spiritual unity, embracing within itself a multiplicity of cultural tasks which need to be fulfilled for the future of human evolution. No part of Europe should be diverted from this. And if today Britain, unable to forget its former dominant position which has passed and will never return, displays arrogance towards all European affairs and distances itself from them, then it needs to understand that, remaining in “splendid isolation”, it runs the risk of simply dissolving in – and it is already dissolving in it – pan-Anglo-Americanism – that is, losing its cultural mission entirely. What worse fate is there for a country and its people?
If Europe does not defend its right to a sovereign existence, if it does not bring to life again its spiritual culture, all will have to suffer, even the earth itself. It would lose the meaning of its existence in the universe. So serious is the present moment of development.
Russia (that is, the eastern part of Europe) should, above all, learn spiritual science from Middle Europe and permeate with it all its spheres of life. In this way it will fulfill its true task of today within the context of humanity as a whole.
Neither Germany nor Russia is predestined in any way to rule the world on a material basis. Their power lies – in the spirit only. It is given to them to scale its highest peaks. For this reason, the powers of opposition make them into enemies and hurl them into brutal wars. So that this does not happen in the future it is absolutely essential for Germany and Russia to differentiate the structure of the monolithic state in accordance with social threefolding.
In it, the hegemony of the state is overcome, not through its destruction, however, but through the lessening of its role by two-thirds when, emerging next to it will be, so to speak, an independent “duma” of the free spiritual life and an independent “duma” of the sovereign economic life (duma = parliament in Russian), not as legislative organs, but as organs for counselling and coordination, as places of human encounter for the free exchange of ideas and experiences, for the quest for effective solutions of problems, for new paths of development etc. (Incidentally, the words duma and Ger. Dom (cathedral) have the same origin.)
Social threefolding is a
socialistic system. It supersedes quite
objectively the existing system of
capitalist-economic imperialism with its rule by
“That which is emerging as socialism,” says Rudolf Steiner, “... [is] a phenomenon that is universally grounded and reaches out ever further within human nature ... The reactions against it today are, for anyone with true insight, simply terrible.” Despite all the chaos manifesting across the earth today in socialism, this “international element”, it is clear that “this international element is that which bears within it the future, and that what is now happening, the constituting of all possible national, petty nation-states is something that works counter to the evolution of humanity. It is a terrible, stubborn opposition to the meaning of the development of the fifth post-Atlantean age, that lies in the words: “A State for every Nation” (GA 185, 3.11.1918).
This latter idea was
propounded by the American Woodrow Wilson. Since
that time it has been marching “victorious”
through the whole world. It has brought about the
numerous local wars of modern times, accompanied
by wild outbreaks of nationalism. Thanks to it
socialism becomes irrevocably national instead of
realizing a free spiritual life. But out of all
this it is still possible to come to the light.
Provided only that there is the will to gain true