Cleverer than Plato

Unlike others, we spiritual scientists do not talk of the marvellous progress we have made. Just listen to a modern physician, one who is very much taking the present-day point of view, or to a modern philosopher and so on. They say: ‘We need not go far back to find people who amounted to nothing at all. Someone like Paracelsus really was an idiot, and a grammar school teacher today is cleverer than Plato every was.’ 

Plato’s philosophy was thoroughly picked to pieces by Hebbel. The latter put down in his diary, as an idea for a play, that a grammar school teacher had a reincarnated Plato in his class. He intended to make a dramatic figure of him, showing the schoolmaster to be dealing with his reincarnated Plato who was quite incapable of grasping anything his teacher was saying about Plato. Hebbel intended to make a play of this. It really is a pity he did not do so, for it really is a very good idea.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 157 – Destinies of Individuals and Nations – Lecture 13 – The Prophetic Nature of Dreams: Moon, Sun and Saturn Man – Berlin, June 22, 1915


Friedrich Hebbel (March 18, 1813 – December 13, 1863)