Everyone needs shoes, but not everyone needs to be a shoemaker

It is paramount for present day humanity to receive a strong dose of esotericism. Plagues, epidemics, and terrible wars would rage among men, under prevailing materialism, if mankind does not receive a deepening in the spiritual realm. However great is the need for spreading spiritual life, and despite the necessity to have more esotericists today, it would be totally wrong to work at propagating spiritual science.

We must have esotericists, but not everyone needs to be one. A very simple example can help us understand: It is a fact that everyone needs shoes. Shoemakers are therefore a necessity. It would however be quite wrong to draw the conclusion that everyone needs to be a shoemaker. Likewise, people need not all to become esotericist, but those who want to do so, will, during their present or future incarnations, have the task of spreading spiritual knowledge, and promoting it in the lives of others.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 266a – Aus den Inhalten der esoterischen Stunden – Stuttgart, September 15, 1907 (page 243)

Anonymous translator

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