What is the use of new Spiritual movements?

How often we hear it said today: ‘What is the use of new Spiritual movements? We have our old traditions which have been preserved through the ages as far back as history records; do not let us spoil those traditions by what these people say who always think they know best!’ That is an egotistical expression of the human soul. Those who speak thus are not aware of this; they do not realise that they are only anxious about the demands of their own souls. In themselves they feel: ‘We are quite satisfied with what we have!’

And they establish the dogma, a dreadful dogma from the standpoint of conscience, ‘If we are satisfied with our way, those who must learn from us, those who come after us, must learn to find satisfaction in the same way as we have. All must go on as we ourselves feel to be right, in accordance with our knowledge!’ That way of talking is very, very frequently heard in the outer world. This does not merely come from the limitations of a narrow soul, but is connected with what we might call an egotistical bent of the human soul. In religious life souls may in reality be extremely egotistical, while wearing a mask of piety.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 116 – The Christ Impulse and the Development of the Ego-Consciousness: LECTURE 7. THE FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OF CONSCIENCE – Berlin, 8 May, 1910

Translated by Harry Collison