One could imagine someone among you going out after the lecture and saying at the door, “I have forgotten every single word of it!” That would, of course, be an extreme case, but it would really not be the greatest calamity. For I could imagine that such a person does nevertheless take with him a feeling resulting from what he has heard here, even though he may have forgotten everything! It is this feeling in the soul that is important.
When we are listening to the words we must surrender ourselves wholly in order that our souls shall be filled with the great impulse. When the spirit-knowledge we acquire contributes to the betterment of our souls, then we really have achieved something. Above all, when spiritual science helps us to understand our fellowmen a little better, it has fulfilled its function, for spiritual science is life, immediate life. It is not refuted or confirmed by disputation or logic. It is put to the test and its value determined by life itself, and it will establish itself because it is able to find human beings into whose souls it is allowed to enter.
Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 140 – Life Between Death and Rebirth – III – Man’s Journey Through the Planetary Spheres – Hanover, November 18, 1912
Translated from shorthand reports unrevised by the lecturer, by R. M. Querido
PAINTING BY ALBERTO MANCINI