We have to learn to pay attention to the symptoms of our cultural life. For example, I once gave a lecture in a town in southern Germany, and afterward two Catholic priests came up to me and said that I was only speaking to educated people, while they spoke so everyone could understand them.
In reality, the opposite is the case. Anthroposophy can reach everyone provided we find the way to the simple, ordinary people. The farmer would understand it much better than the so-called educated person if only the way were not blocked by social conventions. In these matters, we must be able to leave ourselves completely out of the picture and not ask what we think best. Instead, we must ask what human souls require in a given era.
So I replied to the priests that while their feeling tells them they speak to everyone, the facts will tell them they do not, because not everyone comes to hear them. And it is to those who do not come to them that I speak.
Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 154 – The Presence of the Dead on the Spiritual Path: LECTURE SIX: FAITH AND KNOWLEDGE – Prague, April 17, 1914
Translated by Christian von Arnim
Previously posted on March 20, 2020