Something does not yet exist in the human community what will be there in the sixth culture-epoch with those human beings who reached the aim of the sixth culture-epoch (3573-5733) who did not lag behind this aim; they are not among those who are maniacs or barbarians in the sixth culture-epoch. In the sixth culture-epoch the culturally leading human beings will have a moral characteristic, as it were, as one of the most important characteristics.
Now only a little of this characteristic is to be noticed within humankind. Today the human being must be organised more sensitive if it should hurt him in his soul that except his own existence he has to look at other human beings in the world who have it worse than he has it. Indeed, already today more sensitive souls also feel grief because of the grief which is poured on many human beings in the world — but these must be more sensitive souls. In the sixth culture-epoch, those human beings who are at the peak of this culture not only feel as pain what we today feel as pain of misery, grief, and poverty which are wide-spread, but then the human being feels any grief of another human being as his own grief. If he sees a starving human being, he feels the hunger so lively in his physical nature that this hunger of the fellowman is intolerable to him. What is indicated here that it is not in the sixth culture-epoch any more as it is still in the fifth epoch, that rather it is a moral characteristic of the sixth culture-epoch that the welfare of the single human being completely depends on the welfare of all the human beings. As well as now only the welfare of a single human member depends on the health of the whole body, and if the whole human being is not healthy, also the single member is not in the mood to do this or that, a common characteristic seizes the civilised humankind of the sixth culture-epoch. The individual human being will share, like a member of the totality, all the suffering, all the need, all the poverty or wealth to a much higher degree. This is the first, mainly moral characteristic of the civilised humankind in the sixth culture-epoch.
Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 159 – THE MYSTERY OF DEATH: 13. Common Ground Above Us, Christ In Us – Düsseldorf, 15 June 1915
Art of Nesta Carsten-Krüger