Two poles confront each other, West and East, and we in the middle have the task of looking to the West and avoiding its errors, of looking to the East and ourselves cultivating what must otherwise be imposed upon us, not in the course of centuries but in a few decades, because if men will not impose tasks on themselves others will impose them.
Ours is the task here in Central Europe of cultivating what can be cultivated only out of the threefold social organism. Today, were eastern culture to predominate, the earth would be inundated by a vague mysticism, inundated by a theosophy with no reality. Were predominance to arise in the West, we should be dominated, tyrannised over by a purely material life.
Then the task should be ours to ward off from mankind two terrible sources of harm by a rational threefold State, giving independence to the economic life and to the life of the spirit, and making it impossible for the State to drive these things so far that we ourselves are crushed between East and West.
Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 192 – Social Basis For Primary and Secondary Education: Lecture 3 – Stuttgart, 1 June, 1919