We need new “impulses” (or springs of action)

At the beginning of the nineties I wanted to point out, at least in regard to man’s moral perceptions, that the super-sensible must now be grasped in all earnestness. One should realise all this to-day; one should feel that the thoughts, the inner impulses of soul that were carried over into the catastrophe of the world-war and into the present period of social upheaval are no longer of any use. 

We need new “impulses” (or springs of action). If one comes to-day with a new “impulse,” it is the last thing that people understand. For if one brings a new “impulse,” whose source is entirely within the spiritual world, and presents it as a remedy for the evils of our age, complaints are heard on all sides, from the extreme right to the extreme left, that it is all incomprehensible. 

Of course one does not understand it if one wants to retain the old forms of thinking. But to-day it is necessary to overcome these old forms, re-modelling one’s whole soul inwardly. All external revolutions, no matter how agreeable to this or that party or class, lead into the worst of blind alleys and will bring the greatest misery to mankind if not illuminated by the inner revolution of the soul. This means throwing off one’s absorption in the purely materialistic view of the world and preparing actively to receive the spiritual wave that is willing to invade human evolution as a new revelation.

Rudolf Steiner – GA 193 – Some Characteristics of To-day – Heidenheim, June 12th, 1919

Translation by H. Collison and M.A. Oxon