Homeless Souls

There is something which all those who end up in the anthroposophical movement have in common. And that is that they are initially driven by their inner destiny, their karma, to leave the ordinary highway of civilization on which the majority of mankind at present progresses, to search for their own path. 

But those who find it difficult to accept this end up on many possible and impossible byways. And anthroposophy is precisely one of these paths on which human beings are seeking to realize themselves; on which they want to live with such an understanding of themselves in a more conscious manner, to experience something which is under their control to a certain extent at least. Anthroposophists are for the most part people who do not walk along the highways of life. If we investigate further why that should be, we find that this is linked with the spiritual world.

Thus the souls who descend from pre-earthly to earthly existence can be divided into two groups. One group, to which the majority of people today still belong, comprises those souls who can make themselves remarkably at home on earth; who feel thoroughly comfortable in their warm nest, which so fascinated them long before they came down to earth, even if it does occasionally appear unpleasant — but that is only appearance, maya.

Other souls, who may pass patiently through childhood — appearance is not always the decisive thing — are less able to make themselves at home, are homeless souls, and grow beyond the warmth of the nest much more than they grow into it. This latter group includes those who are subsequently attracted to the anthroposophical movement. It is therefore clearly predetermined in a certain sense whether or not one is led to anthroposophy.

Anthroposophy at first grew up, one might say, together with — not in, but together with — homeless souls who had initially sought a new home in theosophy.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 258 –  The Anthroposophic Movement: LECTURE ONE: The Homeless Souls – Dornach, 10 June 1923

Translated by Christian von Arnim