woensdag 23 augustus 2017

Introductions by the Translator and Author, Chapters 1 -10 and Appendix I 'Why I Do Not Consent To The Decision of January 14, 1968 Concerning The Book Question and Appendix II Containing The Foundation Statutes of the Anthroposophical Society

wendet, dann hätte es England nicht an seiner Seite finden



Rudolf Steiner’s Social Organics –
A New Principle of Civilization

Robert J. Kelder
Willehalm Institute
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

 * * *   

The congregation is the kingdom of Christ, whose active, present spirit is Christ, because His kingdom has a real presence, not just a future one.
The congregation comes into being with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

                                                                               G.W.F. HEGEL

To live for the love of deeds and to let live in the understanding of the will of others is the ground maxim of free human beings. They know no obligation other than that with which their volition enters in intuitive agreement; what they will want to do in a special case will be prompted by their ideation.

If freedom were to be understood as it was meant at that time (in the “Philosophy of Freedom”), there would be a completely different tone in what is now spoken about the world order around the whole planet. To this end, it is necessary that ethical individualism be apprehended in its root, how it is built on the insight that the human being by apprehending himself . ..free thinking. . .is actually related to what can be called: the pulsing of the cosmic impulses through the human soul. Only from there can the impulse for freedom be grasped, only from there it is possible to regenerate those impulses that are now all coming to a dead end.

                                                                       RUDOLF STEINER

List of Contents

Introduction by the Translator

Preface to the Second Edition by the Author

1. Introduction to the Scope of the Problem
1.1 About the Members' Meeting of the General Anthroposophical Society 
in Dornach in 1972
1.2 On the Issue of Governing Bodies
1.3 "The Anthroposophical Society considers politics not to be part of its task.”

2. Explanation by Way of Example: An Imminent Nuclear War
2.1 Stating The Problem  
2.2 The Community-building Meaning of Outward Action
2.3 The Community-building Meaning of Inward Behavior
2.4 The Community-building Meaning of an Attitude 
Summarizing the Two Previously Mentioned Directions

3. Incidental Remark on the Issue of Group Formation

4. A Mindset Distinct from the Three Previous Ones

5. The Modern Principle of Social Design
5.1 The Origin and Function of Management or Administration
5.2 The Consciousness and Action Community of Free Individuals
5.3 The Fundamental Problem of Our Time
5.4 The Evolutionary Nature of Modern Community-building and Some Objections Raised Against It

6. On the Issue of Cooperation Between Officeholders (Direction) 
and Co-activists (Staff)
6.1 On the Issue of Motions (Proposals) and the Submission of Motions
6.2 Motions and Concerns (Wishes)
6.3 The Societal and Communal Constitutive Function of Motions

7. Public Law and the Spiritual Creation of Rights 
7.1 The Spiritual Content of Public Law
7.2 Submission of Motions and Modern Mysteries

8. The Pursuit of Knowledge as a Formative Principle
8.1 Membership and Free School and Their Different Relationship 
To the Submission Procedure of Motions
8.2 Common Efforts to Gain Insight and the Voting Procedure
8.3 About the Special Position of the Active Members Regarding the Problem of the Motion
8.4 The Goetheanum Board as an Initiative Board
8.5 The Interplay Between Motion and Initiative
8.6 The Building of Frameworks and Social Organic Development

9. Rudolf Steiner as the Creator of a New Principle of Civilization
9.1 The Criterion for the Essential
9.2 New Forms of Social Knowledge and Volitional Development
9.3 On the Matter of the Meetings of Delegates
9.4 Rudolf Steiner's Greatest Work

10. Concluding Considerations
10.1 The Complaint of Contentlessness. The Difference between  Representations or Mental                Images and Living Concepts
10.2 Some Words of Rudolf Steiner About the Nature of the Constitution  of  the Free School              and the Anthroposophical Society
10.3 The Seriousness of the Task
10.4 About the Inner Attitude of What Has Been Developed in This Writing


I. Why I Do Not  Consent To The Decision of January 14, 1968 Concerning the Book Question
II.  Principles (Foundation Statutes) of the Anthroposophical Society

* * * * * * *

Introduction by the Translator

100 Years Christmas Conference 1923

With this working translation another aid, next to the Social-aesthetic Study Charter of Humanity - The Principles of the General Anthroposophical Society by Herbert Witzenmann, is provided to help understand the spiritual background and potential significance of two recent initiatives taken by the translator. The first one consists of the announcement "The Christmas Conference as a Contemporary Metamorphosis of the Mystery of Golgotha and Its Realization as An Eternal Task" for the proposed working group "100 Years Christmas Conference 1923" to be held at the Herbert Witzenmann Center in Dornach on December 28, 29 and 30 during the Christmas Conference 2018 at the Goetheanum. This initiative is an extension of the first one consisting of the two motions that were submitted, or rather were attempted to submit to the General Assembly of the General Anthroposophical Society in March of this year (2018) at the Goetheanum in Dornach. What they propose and how they were mistreated from all corners can be read online "Trust Over Ruins - On Regaining the Lost Ground on Which to Build in the Future"). Update: This motion in 2018 was followed by one in 2019 under the title "Towards the Liberation from the Mixed King at the Goetheanum and the Reestablishment of the Anthroposophical Society", which was promptly removed from the proceedings of the meeting by a vote not to enter into any discussion. 

In this sense this meeting did not differ much from the members' meeting in 1972 dealt with by the former leader of the Youth and Social Science Section of the Goetheanum in this social-aesthetic study, which offers not only an in-depth analysis of that meeting with all its pitfalls and shortcomings, but also the therapy in the form of social organics, the new principle of civilization that Rudolf Steiner inaugurated with and during the Christmas Conference in 1923. 

The possible criticism levelled at this study that it does not take into account the fact that the statutes of the Christmas Conference were replaced in 1925 by the statutes of the Goetheanum Building Association, and that consequently no distinction is made between the nature of the Antroposophical Society (of the Christmas Conference) and that of the General Anthroposophical Society (as the renamed Goetheanum Building Association) will be dealt with later. 

Also to be deal with later is the fact that 9 of the 15 Foundation statutes, or "Principles" as they were formerly called and also in this study, have been dismembered and that the constitutional question has therefore not by a long shot been resolved, as has been claimed by the present Council. Indicating that this is so, and restoring them, while also creating the corresponding relation of the Society to organically active anthroposophical institution, associations, firms, schools etc around the world is the daunting task of the proposed working group "100 Years Christmas Conference 1923" in order to celebrate instead of merely commemorate in 2023 the centennial of the Christmas Conference. 

An attempt in this direction  seems to be the current project by the Council and the Social Science Section entitled "Goetheanum World Association", however it is  in my considered opinion still not in line with the intentions of Rudolf Steiner, because it does not address the problem of the "lost ground on which we stand" dealt with in the motions . Also the Swiss Society has made a seven-year plan in this direction, but I have yet to discover in their already held conferences or in their publications of those proceedings, by among others Peter Selg, anything that offers a perspective on a real solution of the ongoing constitutional question, which is a question of "to be or not to be"for the Anthroposophical Society. The same is true of the Dutch Society, of which I am a class member in the local Social Science Section, in which all my various oral and written proposals, based on this and other translations of Herbert Witzenmann have until now all come to naught. 

Finally, I want to reiterate what Herbert Witzenmann emphasizes over and again, namely that his study is not directed to anthroposophists only, but to all those seeking new ways of society- and community-forming in the spirit of our age and by delving into its content costly errors and wrong turns could be avoided. I hope that my two recently submitted motions may be a contribution to that insight.

Robert J. Kelder
Willehalm Institute, Amsterdam, 
Last Updated January 12, 2020

* * *

Preface to the Second Edition

The re-edited and enlarged form of this publication is based on a special case, namely a members’ meeting of the General Anthroposophical Society in Dornach, Switzerland. However, in order to stay within the context of this particular case, it would like to draw the reader's attention to ideational contents and introspective observations, which, according to the writer's conviction, are of universal significance. For in each single case, the difficulties but also possibilities of truly modern and libertarian community-building involved in the creation of social life drawn from a new principle of civilization has become clearly evident. Therewith, this writing wants to take a position regarding the most actual issue of our time. No attentive and unbiased observer of the current crisis situation of our public life and existential needs,  which are certainly not unknown to any modern human being, can after all fail to notice that the power of traditional social impulses has been exhausted, and that we require new forms of living and working together. The social demands and chaotic conditions of the present time present an image that gives rise to serious concern.  This publication wants to direct this urgent need for social renewal to formative impulses of social life that have so far hardly been taken note of.

The events dealt with in this publication  could originally be considered to be internal events within the Anthroposophical Society, which ought to be protected because of their intimate character. However, they have since become part of the history of the Anthroposophical Society,  i.e. events of which the public character must be demanded and observed, because they are essentially meant to be contributions to the general cultural and social development of humanity, they may therefore no longer remain hidden from public attention. All the more so, since they provide future social designers with indispensable and incomparable experiences. For the newcomer aiming to join the Anthroposophical Society they may furthermore provide a well-nigh indispensable means of orientation that is elsewhere difficult to acquire. The present treatise forms together  with the author’s writings Charter of Humanity - The Principles of the General Anthroposophical Society and The Impartiality of Anthroposophy a kind of introduction to anthroposophy.[1]

Herbert Witzenmann
Garmisch Partenkirchen, September 1985

1. Introduction to the Problem

1.1 About the Members’ Meeting of the General Anthroposophical Society of 1972

The members' meeting in 1972 of the General Anthroposophical Society in Dornach, just as the one in the year before, was marked by misunderstanding and, even worse, by incomprehension. In this respect, one can with regard to the living conditions of modern communities only be saddened. Nevertheless, one should not deny that this confronts an unbiased observer with a cognitive assignment of no minor importance.[2] After all, a member of a modern community and especially of a knowledge community will try to examine the meaning of the disclosures, events and actions of that meeting. He therefore rises above the occasion at hand and enters into the essence of community-building insights and impulses as well as their obstacles. He will do so with a conscious awareness of the social demands of our time. Therefore, the limited occasion for making these considerations has a much further reaching significance by way of an example. This is the explanatory part of the text, whose generally applicable content becomes more understandable through its connection with the particular case. In addition, this particular case is no longer an internal one. Because it now forms part of the history of the General Anthroposophical Society and has thus assumed a public character. Without knowledge of this history, nobody who takes his membership seriously can obviously become a member of this society. In addition, in the "Principles" of the society the only  condition for obtaining membership of the society is expressly stated (once again understandable so) that joining the society presupposes one’s accord with the idea that the existence of The Free School of Spiritual Science at the Goetheanum in Dornach is justified. This insight includes,  among others, the at least preliminary knowledge of its nature and the historical context, in which it has to prove its existence. The following explanations are therefore not only a contribution to the history of the Anthroposophical Society, but are also an indispensable means of orientation for every newcomer to the Anthroposophical Society. Furthermore, they are also an explanatory reference to the possibilities and difficulties of all modern communities.

This treatise purports to be of general significance (because an earlier example can be a means of orientation for those active later on), but if it wants to convey useful knowledge, it cannot avoid to indicate typical imperfections of the case under consideration. This may, after overcoming some hesitation, be done with the conviction that it will contribute to the progress of social and cultural life. Because it is not only deeply sad but a painful lesson when aspirations concerning cognitional problems, which are bound to prop up in the work of every striving individual as well as problems arising among people freely working together towards the creation of a new principle of civilization are misunderstood, as happened in the present case, and are seen as personal sensitivities and special interests of opinionated groups of people. This ought not to be possible in a modern society, even when convictions concerning central issues of the life and work of the society occasionally appear in the form of easily misunderstood and inadequate expressions. The method to be employed thereby, the example of which we owe Rudolf Steiner, would be to express the content of such expressions better than their representatives at that moment are capable of doing. Of course, falsehood as such must thereby also be characterized without any sugarcoating and nebulous pluralism. However, this cannot simply be done by denigrating the unconventional, banishing misunderstandings, and suppressing the undesirable, but only in a style based on sound insight and by appealing to conscientious insight.

For just that reason, the main aim of precisely those who were misunderstood should be to acquire an idea what positive endeavors and cognitive motives were present when it so happened that a discussion about cognitive questions was rendered impossible due to alleged formal errors and substantive inadmissibilities of what was brought forward at the said members’ meeting. The objections raised centered mainly around the concept of motion (proposal).[3]

What will be explained more precisely in what follows cannot already be brought forward here. Nevertheless, a preliminary response to the objection is required, voiced by the members of the executive-board who presided over the members' meeting, that there was a willingness to handle the submitted motions at the appropriate place of the agenda. However, it would first have been necessary to reject "the coercion of the legal procedure" (the binding nature of the outcome of a vote), which is necessarily associated with the submission of motions, as being "unconstitutional" (i.e. incompatible with the constitution of the Free School).

Even if during the further course of the members' meeting it would have been the intention to give room for a real development of the cognitive content of the submitted motions, this intention would have swept away its social and spiritual basis by a procedure that allowed these motions (and hence the civil-law form of a members’ meeting) in advance to be labelled as being "unconstitutional" and their representatives burdened with the charge of having committed a serious violation. Although supported by a majority (i.e. by unilaterally claiming to proceed according to Swiss civil law) this allegation was not based on a knowledge of the facts. Therefore, it was by no means a coincidence that the presenters of the motions were confronted with insults and insinuations, as well as - it is hardly believable - with the need to themselves take a stand against the disparagements, since no other voice was raised in support of them. Although the knowledge-based seriousness of their appeal to embark on a course of common recollection  was beyond any doubt, they were even requested according to a well-prepared concept to withdraw their motions. If one does not consider a members’ meeting to be an instrument for the confirmation of imperative mandates, one of its main tasks should be seen in allowing a multitude of views on the foundations of the society to be heard and to render an exchange of ideas possible.

Today, after a number of  eventful years have passed, the attention of the reader of this writing is again re-directed to events, which a not wholly noble sentiment in the interests of those from whom these events went out would much rather be forgotten. This however is not possible, because it is only from a truthful frame of mind in a curative cognitive soul mood that a response to the wounds inflicted can be made. It can hardly be doubted that the reappearance of such a response (published in the second edition of this publication that appeared years ago) is not caused by emotional motives, because of the time that has elapsed since then. Even if out of a feeling of shame one would rather remain silence about the events to be discussed, they may nevertheless not be overlooked, because, on the one hand, they pose a serious threat to the spiritual existence of a society bearing a general human responsibility and, on the other hand, they are typical of the symptoms that always emerge from the transition from old to new modes of behavior. Indeed, in this treatise it is not the point to accuse people, whose spiritual essence must remain untouched and does remain untouched if one characterizes out of knowledge the events (not the people). It is far removed from wanting to insult people personally by voicing criticism, for anyone who has made but a little cultural progress will feel called upon to offer those going astray a sense of gratitude. After all, from the subconscious depths of their being they choose an attitude, through which they make it easier for the unbiased observer to recognize for what he should be looking for than he would in many cases be able to do only by himself. Of course, this should not lead to excuse mistakes and mishaps and to underestimate the responsibility with which those saddle themselves whom one owes this kind of gratitude.

But again, what concerns the motions that in terms of form and content were struck by the blame of the alleged "unconstitutionality", this problem should have been handled by insight and dealt with jointly. Thinking about the relationship between the members of the society and the members of the Board is undoubtedly an assignment that the founders and designers of a free knowledge community will have to solve. This cannot, of course, be solved generally in the sense that members only exercise those rights allowed to them by the Board. But it is also no less clear that the members of the society cannot lay claim to those rights asserted only on the basis of the weight carried by a representative majority. It is undisputed that the internal living conditions of free communities, even specifically  those in which rights are created (as opposed to those already existing) are tasks that can only be carried out with great care and a high degree of sensitivity. That those responsible at that time were helpless in the face of a completely new situation in which rights were not based on pre-formed considerations, but had to be created in consultation, and that they were reluctant to expose themselves to a new socially integrating mode of existence, for which there are no conventional examples and certainties, demands our understanding and sympathy. But just because of the significance of that unusual and unique situation, it should nevertheless not be overlooked and forgotten. Because it must be preserved for future founders of free communities, which as a goal for the distant future stand before our eyes as a warning to avoid mishaps and thereby serve as a guideline for taking the right direction. Otherwise, what happened and was experienced at that time would disappear without a trace instead of serving progress. Therefore, this new social and cultural mode of existence shall in what follows now be characterized.

Although, given the difficulty and the strangeness of the problem to be solved, it was at the given point of time understandable yet contradictory that, on the one hand, the submission of motions was rejected,  because of the "coercion of the legal procedure", while on the other hand, the "unconstitutionality" of motions was simply decreed, with the approval of the majority, and made the basis of no-action motions - instead of tackling the problem at hand. For example, the problem might have been dealt with as the onlyor main subject at a later extraordinary members’ meeting under careful preparation with regard to the different viewpoints, by means of which an initial understanding of the problem could be gained that must precede any attempt to solve a problem. At the time, however, it was maintained, contrary to the "Principles" of the General Anthroposophical Society, that motions against the initiatives of the board at the Goetheanum were in principle (thus without regard to their content and context) incompatible with the constitution of the Free School. In addition, it was peculiar that the "coercion of the legal procedure"[4], which initially formed the theme of the social pedagogical warnings, was used as a means against members of the General Anthroposophical Society, i.e. of  a society whose constitution assures its members extraordinary careful consideration under the society’s leadership. As already mentioned, the problem of filing motions will now be further discussed.

However, before going into details, some more general considerations are necessary.

The point of departure thereby will be the relative positive content of what often manifested itself however in a not so very positive manner. The far-reaching difficulties at the meeting concerned, on the one hand, the relationship between the members of the society to the School and the Board and, on the other hand, the mutual relations between the members of the Board itself. These were manifestations of divergent views about the essential nature of the anthroposophical work and the foundations of the society associated with this work. That these issues had to be addressed during one of the biggest annual festivals had its good reasons.[5] Because it is not hard to understand Rudolf Steiner emphasizing that precisely during these times of the year our cognitive needs and abilities should turn to the afflictions which befall us and the world around us, and to seek out the meaning of festive celebrations primarily in probing the unexplained and unexplored, but in no way in a sentimental desire for harmony. That is precisely why anyone committed to the growth of a community with a vital interest in his associates will neither want to hold back his fully engaged understanding nor those concerns, the weight of which  bears down on all those carrying responsibility in a modern community or are about to assume it, in view of the difficulties that hinder the free development of a life in a spiritual society. For such an understanding, it cannot be difficult to take part in the considerations that form the background of such concerns and neither will it deny that within such a growing society difficulties of the kind expressed in this publication are bound to occur.

1.2 On the Issue of Governing Bodies

One of the views that could be observed more clearly than was expressed as sentiment by many participants of the members' meeting could be characterized as follows:
"The society needs inner peace. This will unfold when as many people as possible work together to solidify its inner form and when from this peaceful cooperation , on the one hand, a feeling of comfort and security among the members arises. On the other hand, such a state of mind within the life of the society is also necessary, if it wants to gather the momentum that can lead the common will and action of the members to practical results inside and outside their own circle. With regard to such results, anyone speaking about the right method of working and the nature of the society and the Free School will be challenged to submit undeniable proof that it is not merely unfruitful philosophy. Far more important than talking about acting is action itself. After all, it comes down to two things: on the inner peace in the society and its fruitful activity in social life. Only what bears fruit is true [Goethe]. "

Nobody with any insight will object to this last sentence. However, it will only receive any content, if one makes known what is meant by fruitful and how the intended goals can be met. Because that depends on the way in which the inner strengthening is sought and what significance can be attributed to work in the social sector. In this regard, very divergent views can be developed, and those responsible should not fail to have a tolerant attitude and elastic insight in order to develop the willingness and ability to also clarify the unconventional in all its manifold peculiarities.  This does in no way have to weaken one’s determination to act that distinguishes itself in particular from obstinacy and violence, in that while coping with manifold difficulties one has not only a number of clichés at hand, but is also able to acknowledge criticism as partially justified.

Among the many diverse notions in the Anthroposophical Society the idea has for some time now gained prominence which contends that the desired goal is only, or at least at best, to be achieved through the formation of a kind of elite. This selection process is thereby often not meant and carried out as an evolutionary result of an actual and spontaneous development of consciousness, but as the result of an institutional view and organization. It is namely believed that convincing arguments can be brought forward for the notion that the Anthroposophical Society has only a relatively small number of competent members capable of making valid judgements, partly because most members lack and must lack the precise and complete knowledge of events and relationships, and partly because also among those who may be privy to this knowledge the overview is usually missing that is necessary for a proper assessment of the issues regarding the tasks and interests of the society. That is why an elite should be charged with the leadership to make sustainable judgements about the affairs of the society, which also includes the power to make decision about the promotion or rejection of certain aspirations  that wish to assert themselves within its sphere of competence.[6] For those who want to take action and especially have the ability to also carry out their intentions, there remains, independently thereof the free space that is created by their own initiative. Consequently, the prudent maintenance of this principle would be best suited to ensure the greatest possible unrestricted growth of inner work within the society. Only such an inner work peace would recall the lost magic mood of the time that Rudolf Steiner was still living with us, at least in part, and only this peace provides the most favorable living conditions for the accumulation of talents. This is the most healthy way to ensure that continually new personalities from the outskirts of the society  grow into those governing bodies, which must build its core. Many similar thoughts could be added to this. But the outline of the thus indicated point of view may be sufficient to identify its presuppositions and consequences in its main characteristics, even without more thorough analysis.

However, a few more thoughts will be added here.

1.3 "The Anthroposophical Society considers politics not as part of its task."

The evident nature of these introductory remarks, which of course can be presented in many nuances, is something one can hardly contest. And almost anyone with any experience in self-examination will probably admit that it is these points of views that are the most obvious upon considering the situation in which the Anthroposophical Society finds itself (as well as any society that aspires to adopt world views). By reviewing all the possibilities that thereby come to mind with respect to the question of its organization, one is necessarily confronted with the indicated views in himself. One will therefore be prepared to accept them, if they are uttered by others with an air of authority as being completely plausible. And undoubtedly they have also the advantage of being the least pretentious of everything that is offered to someone reflecting on the matter under discussion. That they also come closest to the heart of the matter is not at all so certain. Certain at least, however, is that these viewpoints should be given precedence when one wants to form majorities, i.e. to  become  politically active. For to understand the most obvious thing seems for all, if not most people to be indeed the most obvious. And an activity motivated by the desire to win the support of a majority, i.e. a political activity, is, as is widely known and admitted, only possible, if that which is understandable for most, or at least relatively many people is built into a system of corresponding grades of intentions.

This does not mean at all that an activity that is completely averse to receiving such support and striving for such a success, but rather proceeds from the "efficacy of the idea" (Rudolf Steiner), cannot also gradually be spread out far and wide. Nor has it been said that under certain conditions a combination of both methods would not be possible. However, the question  as to whether a peripheral or centrally oriented process of implementation, one that unites both viewpoints or one that transcends both of them is to be preferred cannot be answered by rejecting politics only with words. It all depends on what one does. Neither is it a matter of the outward appearance of a political action, but of the inner attitude with which one operates in a community. It is not sensible to only turn away out of  antipathy from political activity or because one believes to be restricted by a prohibition or promise of some kind or because one rejects politics based on some vaguely formulated conviction. For this kind of activity can emerge from the most humane intentions.   If one aspires something else, it is not sufficient to appeal thereby to good motives and already acquired considerable successes. The justification for non-political work must therefore be sought in deeper terms. This is why in the Anthroposophical Society the regulation (in § 4 of its "principles"): "It does not consider politics to be its task." is in force. In view of a series of incidents and odd statements, the question must be asked whether this article has really been understood. Because in view of the cognizant attitude of the consciousness soul (the fully conscious  principle of civilization of our time) this article cannot exclude cooperation with politicians in the field of knowledge, and even less in the clarification of political problems. On the other hand, it stands in stark contrast to no small number of things undertaken both inside and outside the Anthroposophical Society. Perhaps it will be possible here to clarify some of these matters.  Independently thereof, it does not seem unnecessary to draw attention to the fact that many who carry responsibility of very different sorts in the world undergo consciously or more or less subconsciously a kind of schooling that gives them a flair for the obvious and thereby a direct camaraderie with many or most of their fellow human beings. But neither should it be denied that those entering such a path to success are often moved by a sober sense of expediency, genuine goodwill and honest concern about the danger of fragmentation. As long as their proponents do not turn such views into dogma, and as long as they do not disavow the representatives of more dynamic ideas as dogmatists (while unconsciously or even derisively consciously disavowing their own dogmatism) it will not be all too difficult to come an understanding with them and to agree that in certain cases and under certain conditions that what is intended by them could be recognized as useful.  Because modern social life requires a wide-ranging and tolerant state of mind for all  aspirations borne out of convictions - even when they (in turn) come forward in a narrow-minded and intolerant way. It requires moral imagination and infinite inventiveness to seek opportunities for cooperation even in the most contrary of convictions, and to not even limit these efforts when their underlying conviction is disregarded.  Even where one's own conviction is met with compulsion, where thus the attempts to come to an agreement are blocked by the opposing party, such an attitude still hopes for bridging the gap. However, it has an unshakable loyalty to its own insight. Where the freedom of each other is respected and each other's obligations are acknowledged, obligations that are freely accepted with respect to one’s own  cognizant conscience, one will find common ground.

2. Explanation by Way of Example: An Imminent Nuclear War

2.1 Stating the Problem

In order for the view of the writer to gradually come to the fore, it may now be allowed to revert to an enlightening example. The writer once again recalls the provisional character of his remarks that require further elaboration, as it lies within the nature of the subject matter that it can never to be completed nor proven in a light-hearted and rapid manner.

An exemplary situation will be chosen, which through its enlarged and coarse dimension may perhaps have a greater impact than a situation that is closer to the experiences of our everyday way of life. It is certain,  so may be imagined for a moment  that, despite ongoing negotiations between the two parties involved, a war with the deployment of all the modern weapons of mass destruction will soon break out. Until that moment, all that remains are the efforts by both opposing parties to accuse each other of being the guilty and responsible one. Only a few weeks or, at best, months will expire until the first atomic bomb is dropped. Only this deadline, but at least this deadline, still lies before the imminent catastrophe. How will the inhabitants of the area directly involved, in view of the force majeure of such a prospect now behave?

The inability and failure of those driven to the verge of their existence are not described here. The cases of despair, paralysis and cynicism remain beyond the starting points of this example. On the other hand, attention will be focused, to begin with, on two groups of people, whose actions and reactions constitute inborn modes of action and behavior recognizable as basic human traits in each of us.

2.2 The Community-building Meaning of Outward Action

The members of one of the groups turn with all the power at their disposal to the improvement and expansion of protective structures and precautionary measures. Be it that they want to sedate their fear, be it that fear gives them wings, or be it that they expect a real easing of their situation or otherwise attempt to secure such above all for others – all members of this group in any case deploy everything they are capable of in an outward direction. They deem it justified to also spur those who are doubtful and unwilling even under duress to do the same. For they are convinced that it is allowed even under coercion to demand from everyone what society requires for its own well-being and that therefore also the cavalier or refusenik cannot be omitted if they do not want to perish themselves and not be held responsible for the destruction of others. Most of the representatives of this viewpoint reject the most extreme  coercive measures, yet many among them agree that, with respect to the benefit and use of the facilities constructed and administered by them, those unwilling to accept their reasonable bid are to be given a secondary position behind the privileged ones, if not to be excluded at all.

2.3 The Community-building Meaning of Inward Behavior

The members of the second group behave in a completely different fashion. They do not seek their salvation in outward- but in inward-going efforts. They largely if not completely turn away from the above-mentioned activity and unite in conversation, study, prayer and meditation, in so far as they do not withdraw in a solitary retreat to devote themselves to silent contemplation. Thus they believe to prepare themselves in the most efficient way possible in view of the inevitability of the eminent disaster, and perhaps by omitting external resistance also to withstand it from the inside. For to them, it only appears important to carry the experience of external destruction, with human dignity and conscious of one’s fate, across the threshold of death. Those with this mindset may thereby not only think of themselves, but may also be convinced that the charisma of their efforts does not merely reach those who decline to participate in it, but also even those who despise it, and that furthermore what they have achieved inwardly has the power to significantly transform the outer occurrence  or even to avert it. For by abandoning the intention to seize the moment,  which it cannot concede, may be bound up the confidence of a future settlement.

2.4 The Community-building Meaning of an Attitude Summarizing the Two Previously Mentioned Directions

Now beside those who have broken down, who are left out here, there are still others, whose main interest is focused on neither groups. Among them two specially characteristic groups can in turn be distinguished.

The members of one of these groups view it as their task to establish a connection and consensus between both before-mentioned groups. They want to provide, on the one hand, a variety of possibilities as they understand it and, on the other hand, the regularity and order for what is being undertaken and thereby secure the best possible efficiency for both directions. They see to it that the contemplative group receives support from those especially disposed to that, such as the physically handicapped and invalids, women, interested young and older  people and also from those with special contemplative talents, while they attempt to supply the pro-active group with experts and wise men with practical experience. Setting up a line of communication between both groups is also part of their business, because as experience has shown such correspondences further the overall outcome and it is a dictate of magnanimity satisfactory to everyone to lend one’s support to all-encompassing goals. Furthermore, they settle disputes, bridge the gulf between opposites, provide transitions from one side to the other and seek to arouse interest and concern for the aspirations exerted on both sides, albeit in the framework of their overall concept. However, they are also, where it is deemed necessary, unrelenting  against those who, according to their concept, have to be regarded as stubborn and unteachable, inasmuch such deviates do not appear in great numbers. For the concept of number constitutes in this concept an important basis for understanding and negotiation. Beside their regulatory work these successful men of practice participate, according to the best of their ability, furthermore in the numerous trading companies in which both main directions are differentiated. The concept they follow thereby concerns in essence an accord among the different aspirations which can count on the approval of the greatest possible number of participants.

All this can naturally only function somewhat satisfactory, if certain rules are observed by all participants and if those go-getters, who see their task in this sort of synthesis, are given the authority to issue the orders they consider just. Because these “synthesizers” are reputed to be experienced as well as energetic, it is not difficult for them to obtain recognition and endorsement and to gain the power of authority that they require as the administrators of what life teaches us and what the marksmanship of the man of practice demands. They understand it, after all, to use the simplest and catchiest arguments in making their intentions and success stories known. Because there is hardly anything more evident than the appeal to the insight that the more difficult the situation and the greater the task is, the more urgent certain regulatory principles and powers to act are needed and furthermore that, on the one hand, everyone willing to cooperate within the framework of shared views and putting any disturbing outlandishness aside can indeed belong to the circle of those who according to the best of their ability look after the well-being of all, but that, on the other hand, the delivery of necessities to those who are not able and willing to work together in this way, especially since this is in their own interest, must be reserved for those who have proven themselves qualified for this.  In this way, as is known, a certain orderliness is sustained in the procedures and processes in public life, which is gladly recognized and supported by the majority. And such regularities are required, as is assured with conviction and under applause, most urgently in times of difficulties and need.

3. Incidental Remark on the Issue of Group Formation

Before this contemplation can be continued an incidental remark is necessary. It concerns the obvious objection  that the viewpoint applied here does not appeal, because the gaze directed at the idea of group formation necessarily lacks at the present stage of consciousness the truly human element that can, after all, only be a completely individual one. This objection, however, misses the essential  point. For by characterizing groups of people attention is to be drawn to archetypes that can become active among people and through people. If one envisages this, it cannot be overlooked that all modes of human behavior are based on archetypes and indeed dependent to the degree to which the individual human being is conscious of this fact. These archetypes of human behavior can find their expression in numerous modes of human realization in the same way that the archetypal plant can find its expression in numerous plant shapes.  The difference between the human beings and the beings of the organic world is manifest by the different relation of the beings to their appearance. The  modes of appearance of beings of nature are determined by their archetypes and environment. The human being, on the other hand, in so far as he is conscious of his true calling and puts this into practice, develops the individual hallmark of his personality through cognition and deeds from the archetypal humanity of his being. As such, he himself conveys to the archetype of his humanity the unfolding form of a new dimension of realization and thereby also communicates to his environment the expressive content of his being. Thus, beside  groups of people  that are influenced by collective emotions, moods and opinions, societies can also be built on the basis of individual insight of their members into the origin of their humanity. 

4. A Mindset Distinct from the Three Already Characterized Ones

While the representatives of the hitherto characterized views are rapidly being appreciated, the members of a fourth group, which in this context will be considered last, are by no means in such a favorable position. In contrast to the reliable and reasonable hard workers they can easily appear to be pigheaded and daydreamers remote from everyday life with complicated and incomprehensible motives stuck in theoretical idioms, who above all in view of the seriousness of the situation cannot lay claim to securing the attention of the active and industrious ones. By many they are regarded with mistrust, in so far as they are not even ridiculed and defamed, provided one does not consider oneself to be too noble to even look at them; there are after all but so few of these mavericks. Indeed, what moves them is at all not so easy to explain as those outlooks obvious to everyone. For these other ones aspire to something new and thereby resist the tried and tested habits of thought that naturally and with some justification balk at the unconventional and untried.

The basic view common to those mentioned last, even though it assumes the strongest differentiated individual mode of appearance, can initially be characterized in simple terms as follows:

An above all inward directed effort and a union of people with such aspirations is, according to this divergent view, for modern man of no great importance, if its basis does not constitute a contemporary individualized consciousness. Working at one’s own soul in a solitary or collective quest alone cannot reach this goal and has therefore no itself qualifying value; it rather runs the risk of falling into personal or group-oriented egoism. For a contemporary individualized consciousness only develops itself through fully conscious participation in the ways and means that modern man is active. The main characteristic of this type of employment is the devotion to the outer world, transforming its conditions, overcoming its oppressors, standing firm in view of the adversity originating from its realm and in general being prepared to persistently confront  all forms of evil. This devotion to the outer world  as well as the results of such an active stance are – if that is the only or main goal pursued – yet again for in the true sense modern man of no great importance. They require just as the devotion to the inner world to be supplemented. Such a supplement is given by a spiritually commensurate penetration of the world situation, i.e. the forms of consciousness and life in which free individuals can work together, thus an orientation undertaken with the seriousness of a worldview about the spiritual sense of being active in the outer world and working together in it. The inwardly directed form of activity as well as the outwardly directed one therefore miss, when nothing more is undertaken, the essential and thus lead astray.  That is at least the viewpoint which will now be considered in more detail.

In view of these misgivings the representatives of the third group will claim that the concern for a special way of thinking and action is superfluous, because they have taken up the union of both tendencies with their simultaneous best possible unfolding as their cause and as content of their activity.  

5. The Modern Principle of Social Design

5.1 The Origin and Function of Management

Dealing with this misunderstanding may be preceded by a retrospective  about the example put forward here that, to be sure, due to its sketchiness requires the aid of the reader to be completed. In spite of its simplicity, it may nevertheless not be totally unsuited to prompt the willing reader to recognize something of importance. To this end, it is stressed that by characterizing the four groups of people only the consequent and upright ones are considered and not those seeking to hide their motives from others and themselves.

The aspirations of the mostly outward as well as the mostly inward oriented groups (such coarse attributes may be forgiven in this sketch) remind one of the areas of responsibility and forces at work inside the Anthroposophical Society. Referred has been to the need for internal peace and quiet in order for the work in the world to succeed as areas of legitimate concern for those responsible. The example of an extreme situation delineated here was to make clear that thereby archetypal human and social elements are revealed. Also the attempts of the representatives of the third group will be understood in the sense of an always necessary balancing act between both polarities present everywhere that in especially powerful circumstances are also manifested in an especially powerful manner and therefore an especially urgent harmonization.

What is here of exceptional social scientific interest, however, and what makes the chosen example significant in the first place is the appearance of administrative functions and structures, thus of administration in a wider, general sense, the origin of which one can clearly envisage by bringing to mind the activity of the three groups. For then one immediately discerns an especially characteristic basic feature of administration by drawing one’s attention to the structures, facilities and measures clothed in function-based frameworks that, in the interest of the community and under obligation to it, bring together diverse needs and interests and balance out their deregulated tendencies. The administration does not need in each case to appear outwardly incrusted as a public institution and fixed regulation. It can be active alone as an inner attitude and mindset, as an individual tendency and general agreement  and in this way lead to the tasking of functionaries as well as determining the executive form of their authority. It can also merely exist even by deviating views in the inner attachment to a solidarity of behavior and an agreement in view of the established administrative goal.

5.2 The Consciousness and Action Community of Free Individualities

This sketch has thereby reached its decisive point of contention. For now it can become clear that the representatives of the third and those of the fourth group have totally different priorities. The representatives of the third group want to lead the collaboration of polarities through the administration (of their facilities and regulations) in the most favorable channels or in this way even give rise to a cooperation. The representatives of the fourth group, on the other hand, aspire to give rise to everything what then in its results and ramifications can and must also be the object of administration, through the working and blending together of polarities, or, more precisely through the encounters in the realm of knowledge, sentiment and volition of individuals who are the bearers of behavior polarities. Therefore one can in the sense of the representatives of the fourth group never speak about what they aspire to as a distinctly describable social structure, because at least in a few basic characteristics it is not existent as a model. Hence everything that from this process is reflected in the administrative realm remains in a state of flux. The formation of social organs as well as their sheaths capable of being administrated also have in this sense processual character, they are constantly coming into being and passing away.

This permanent coming into being is naturally not to be understood in the sense of the changing  makeup of organizational bodies and the adaption of the administrative concept and structure to the alternating social situations and requirements. That changes of this kind ever and again enter the administrative sphere does not need to be emphasized. What is meant here by processuality concerns rather the course and goal of the formation of social organs, whereby even its results (appearing within a certain spectrum of tasks) cannot leave the processual sphere for long without dying off. That is why these results exist in general only as processual occurrences and never as copies and adequacies of a formative (even changing) stamp. For all formations of communal and societal organs are in the intended sense only phases within the basic, all-determining educational process of a common consciousness. Such a common consciousness can in the modern sense of the word only be formed there where a number of independent personalities freely decide to devote themselves as cognitive and active human beings to the same archetypal realm by informing and advising each other thereabouts, experiencing  each other   therein and from there with tolerance and in consequence make their decisions. The occurrences and results of this consciousness raising process emerge from this common consciousness in the form of suggestions, motions, initiatives, working groups and communities etc. and their conjoining and intermingling in the course of free consultations and delegations. They do not fill a framework but determine on their part that which combines them in an ever new fashion. For the formative element in this sense does not belong to the reproductive but to the archetypal realm. Nevertheless this thorough processuality is not lacking inner, even very strict form, which is not ergon but ernergeia, not shadow but shadow-throwing light. The specific structure-creating tendencies and processes appropriate for every community need therefore in each case and in ever new approaches to be researched and put to the test. Research and practice must thereby stimulate and fructify each other.

The essential element to which this sketch wants to draw attention is based on the view of the representatives of the fourth group that the movement to ensoul the society cannot emerge from an (at least relatively speaking) stationary, static source, but rather the other way around, namely that those institutional elements that require (at least relatively speaking) tranquillity must arise from a dynamic source. This is the basic difference between acting out of commonly accepted views on the one hand and the formation of a common consciousness as the – for many similar – formative source of social forms of organizations. From the point of view of this sketch, this points to the basic (exoteric as well as esoteric) mission of our epoch. To be sure, the meaning and task of this mission are, namely with respect to its execution in detail, today still difficult to apprehend. However, with the reformation of the Anthroposophical Society through the Christmas Conference 1923/24 Rudolf Steiner has clearly designated this mission by giving the union  of the anthroposophical movement and the Anthroposophical Society its basis in the common anthroposophical consciousness of free individuals and by placing the Free School as a public as well as secret institution into the general life of society.  Some more clarifications about this will follow.     encesHe

5.3 The Basic Problem of Our Time

The view put forward here attempts the draw the attention of the reader to a problem, which according to the underlying conviction of the writer, is most characteristic of our time. This significance is claimed for the goal of transforming the administrative mentality as well as its corresponding mode of thinking and action into an understanding for an evolutionary social organic[7] happening and the readiness for its advancement. Ultimately the numerous protest demonstrations and resistance movements we see today [i.e. in the 80's of the previous century] have no other goal . Although they have for the time being hardly developed any insight as yet in the character of the consciousness of modern social life, they are nevertheless guided by the largely accurate feeling for the magnitude and difficulty of the task they have in mind. And their investigative skill is continually occupied with discovering the refuges and exposing  the disguises of the bourgeois worldview, the support of which (certainly justified to begin with) are formed by the administrative infrastructure and the corresponding mentality.

These indications can be better understood by further research into the relation between the two basic directions of our soul life and community life as well as their corresponding modes of behavior.  For the view under discussion, inwardly directed work at one’s own soul  has neither any significance as preparation for a spiritual existence nor as a life of action in earthly matters. And accordingly for this view the real value of outwardly directed action lies neither in the proof for the practical fruitfulness of its striving, which is in essence always directed inwardly, nor in the due protection of the earth, which likewise may be valid for the transition to the spiritual world. And once again, the previously mentioned upholders of a deviant view see nothing in the idea of bringing both next to each other, with of for each other to bear on the basis of facilities and agreements, thus in an administrative sense. Whoever agrees with them shall in moments of danger or urgent decisions, like any active and prudent person, of course do what is necessary and appropriate, protect those who are threatened and provide relief for those who are suffering. Yet the upholders of the conviction mentioned here are not motivated by these goals, because their own physical salvation or that of others does not appears to them as essential. Instead they do what is humanely possible and even when outer success is quite improbable and only the way inward seems to lie open. For – this is their basic conviction –only being active within the sphere of our incarnation, activity in the outer world, leads to that independence and individualization of the conscious awareness as well as to that individualized mode of communal life and action that is demanded by our times and the psychic-noetic phase of development of the human being. Such individual mental alertness is required,  especially  when one does not want to come together on the basis of common  views and act on behalf of them that from the outset (at least in basics) are in agreement, that thus also for each specific case (at least in frame shape) are pre-determined – and that instead one sees the unifying and inspiring power in the ever new genesis of a common consciousness. And neither do the representatives of the before-mentioned group endeavor to further their inner development and to prepare their future existence for their own sake, but because through such an endeavor, when it is shared by a number of people,  a consciousness community can arise that is open for the indwelling of a higher spiritual presence. One’s own inner development is thus aspired as the mental basis for the building of a spirit-community. In turn, working for the community in devotion to the outer world is done as the mental basis for one’s own individual development. By inwardly directed efforts no aspirant can therefore for himself achieve spirituality; he can on this path only truly serve the goals of the community. Whoever, on the other hand, is active in the outer world, no matter how socially minded and orientated,  necessarily works (and within the context under discussion with complete justification of the times we live in) for himself, namely at the individualization of one’s own consciousness, which can be the only certain basis for modern community-building. This cross-over of the educational, formative processes is in the eyes of the representatives of the designated state of mind at the same time the salvation that proves itself in times of danger. This perhaps at first absurd sounding statement will become further understandable through what follows.

In view of the objections that may be raised here that the designated objectives are null and void, because they are without any concrete results for the course of human consciousness, one may feel oneself in agreement with the teaching of Rudolf Steiner about the essence of the development of world and Man. Because his humanities [also known as spiritual science] are based on the fact that the evolution of the world and mankind is equally evolution of consciousness. Nevertheless it cannot escape one that for the present day habits of thinking, feeling and willing, even when they would be prepared to take note of these theoretical considerations, nothing could be further from the truth than to draw consequences from them for life in society.

Member of a working and consciousness community of the sort described here can accordingly only be someone who, on the one hand, by creating earthly values and overcoming earthly resistance is continually concerned about the alertness and autonomy of his own consciousness – and who on the other hand  by a soul-transforming development of spiritual contents cooperates in the formation of a common consciousness. According to this view there is a danger for the proponents of a largely outwards directed activity to become ghosts of themselves, while for the proponents of a largely inward directed activity the danger in nurturing of commonly shared values and the lookout for role models  lies in developing a largely sentimental consciousness of ancestor worship. For the administrative synthesizers both can be applied according to their concept. These for many ears certainly severe sounding descriptions pertain less to the actual modes of appearance of certain ways of behavior than their inherent tendencies, the significance of which can only be justly estimated if it is recognized what goal they must reach what for consequences they would have in the end. The recognition of these consequences and their dangers, however, although one ought not to overlook these misgivings, does not at all exclude the acknowledgement that on both paths as well as on the path of their administrative union valuable progress could be and is continually being made.   

5.4 The Evolutionary Nature of Modern Community-building
And Some Objections Raised Against It

The permanent  consciousness event[8] of the communality, continually renewing itself from the source of individuality, is the main concern of the representatives of the last-mentioned group with respect to their activities, experiences and knowledge. This event belongs neither to the earthly nor to the spiritual world, nor to some sort of interconnection between the two, but to a new world which is not yet existent but always in status nascendi at the place where humans beings share their individuality, developed through succeeding  incarnations, with a higher spiritual presence. This higher presence replaces the administrative one, it occurs entirely within the human realm, but is in this realm at the same time individual and super-individual, free autonomy and spiritual community, it signifies that the task of the human being lies neither in the earthly nor the spiritual world but in an emerging world through which earth and cosmos attain a new significance. This is exactly what it means to be human, something that can only be created by the human being and in which the human being at the same time also creates himself.

It is easy to imagine what the response to this could be. Probably one would be inclined, in spite of what already has been established in this regard, to keep looking for a contradiction between common views and individual insights and decisions. Above all, one will not be able and willing to keenly envisage the difference, which is most emphatically stressed here,  between shared opinions (that in most cases bear the character of unindividualized group formation)  and common consciousness. One will most likely reject it as an imposition of an incompatibility when the writer speaks at the same time about the views of the supporters of a group and the behavior based on individual knowledge of its members. However, the necessary simplifications of linguistic expression should not be able to turn attention away from the fact presented here.  For when is spoken here about the view of members of a group, it means after all nothing else than that some essential features of the social archetype are described to which the members of this group together look up to. In the spirit of such an act of looking up to an archetype every human being, as already mentioned, thinks and acts more or less consciously. Innumerable people can in this way as thinking and acting human beings belong to same archetype and live according to it, whereby it remains completely open to which degree of realization and consciousness, in which way and in what context with other archetypes the individual human being brings this membership to expression.

The objection that communality of consciousness is incompatible with the individual uniqueness of the act of knowledge is complimentary to the other retort that sees in all group formation a contradiction to the universal principle of modern culture. However, the here characterized “group formation” through community of consciousness overcomes in principle all one-sided segregation, because it is based on the union of greatest differentiation with most encompassing generalization. A community of cognizant human beings can only then become sidelined, marginalized when it is forced into isolation  by the unilateral recalcitrant actions of other more powerful groups – and only under the viewpoint of such repression and rejection can the constant objection of remoteness against it be made, because its representatives themselves have caused the situation of remoteness of those struck by their rebuke. But just according to their innermost conviction these thus defamed representatives are open to every sort of agreement, if it is not to come about under unworthy conditions; are prepared to all forms of cooperation that is not contrary to their convictions and do they also lend a helping hand to their opponents, provided they do not thereby support the conduct through which the former do damage to themselves and others.

For the members of the third group it will especially be difficult to consider the view presented here of the representatives of the fourth group. They will often feel themselves confronted with the choice of either dismissing it as fantastical or out of touch with everyday life, or maintaining that they do not need such instructions since they were long ago already thinking and acting along these lines, or somewhat contradictory now putting forth the one reaction, now the other.

Further objections may be as follows: what is said is in essence true, yet unattainable in the near future, it happens, in so far it is at all possible, by itself, if one but directs one’s efforts outwardly  and inwardly energetically enough – or somewhat  less friendly: what is said is mystical, confused, theoretical, dogmatic etc. all words for which no content remains when the disparagement is detracted as they are meant. However, the author has already said twice that he does not contradict such judgments, if they are prompted by the necessarily inherent shortcomings of a sketch such as this, of which he himself is all too aware. Indeed, he is reminded of a note by the young [German Hegelian philosopher] Friedrich Schlegel: “The evidence that Christianity is true is admittedly not complete if it were so then Christianity would be complete and bygone.”

An additional objection put forward in many nuances  is based on life experience. The latter cannot be deceived by whatever beautiful assertions  and a cleverly conceived rationale as brought forward here. It only questions how much success one achieves in carrying out one’s intentions and what sort of circles this draws. Powerful words of this sort  always have an astounding effect, even though there is hardly anything less foolish and frivolous. Because after all, what on a long term basis and in a greater context is to be judged as having a beneficial effect, can in view of so-called success be questioned. And nothing is just in the case of intensively and extensively prominent effects more important that to possess the power of discrimination that separates that which is truly beneficial from what is detrimental. Every glance in the events of the present time should teach us that “successes” are not able to legitimatize themselves , however great the changes may be that they brought about with respect the past. Was it not by insisting on so-called practical life experience that chemical pesticides, insecticides and much more were elevated to the rank of great accomplishments and is this not, although with some reservations, still done today? Not success that is achieved by its own measure while simultaneously disparaging conceptual exertion is something that those truly responsible can strive for, but only the knowledge that lays bare the inner coherencies of the object at hand, and the overview  that accords the essential and the non-essential the place they deserve. If it is a question of measuring success by its own size without properly assessing its inner contents and its importance for the totality of things, then the Australian farmer, who through the introduction of a couple rabbits conjured up an intolerable breeding plague in that part of the world, should be called the winner. To deepen the insight that success in the sense of bringing about intolerable situations cannot be the highest goal but rather the “efficacy of the idea” (Durchgreifende der Idee), that is what these remarks set out to do.

6. On the Issue of Cooperation Between 
Officeholders (Direction) and Coactivists (Staff)

6.1 On the Issue of Motions (Proposals) and the Submission of Motions

What moves the author becomes more readily apparent in view of certain questions. In order for that which has only been implied so far to come to the fore in full clarity, a whole row of such questions would have to be considered under the viewpoints indicated. One of these questions shall be dealt with here in connection with the already mentioned problem of motions (proposals) that also played a considerable role at the General Meeting of the Anthroposophical Society in 1972.

This problem cannot be dealt with abstractly in the form of conclusions drawn from certain presuppositions, but only in view of the living reality of the Society in which motions are submitted, of the conceptions that are formed about this reality and of the impulses for responsibility and realization that are shown for social design. Therefore, the preceding is the necessary basis for the following.

At the General Meeting of the year 1972, similar already to earlier General Meetings, several of the motions submitted were, as mentioned before, regarded as being disruptive or even worthy of a worse predicate, because they were supposedly in contradiction to the nature of the General Anthroposophical Society, and because they unduly confined the space for so-called more positive matters, e.g. reports from various factual fields of interest and local areas.

Concerning the reports; they are certainly in the framework of a General Assembly of the General Anthroposophical Society of considerable importance, namely in connection with the complete overview of the year that must result from the full report of accounting from the Council. However, to ascribe them the leading role within a General Assembly  would be misplaced, for the main content of this yearly coming together of the members must be the essential process of society-forming, thus an actual event happening with dramatic decisiveness, not the retrospective of what was achieved in the past. Not the contemplative but the active Society, giving itself an example of anthroposophical action, is the actor that the podium of a General Meeting is waiting for.

This consciousness-raising action and active consciousness-raising is according to the preceding remarks to be recognized in the overcoming of administrative thinking and action, in the metamorphosis of the administrative mentality in a consciousness mentality, thus in the depoliticization according to way that the Society and above all the School have been tasked by the “Principles” given to her by Rudolf Steiner. In view of the high mission of the Anthroposophical Society, it would be disastrous to want to believe that this administrative mindset could be overcome by abstract conclusions and by rules and regulations that have after all themselves an administrative character. Rather, this victory presents itself in one’s mind eye as a spur to long and laborious but also auspicious work. In view of this task we cannot deceive ourselves about how far we still are away from the goal that we are all basically striving for. The scope of the task must have become most poignantly aware for the impartial observer especially through the course that the General Meetings have taken during the last few years. We should espouse as the positive result of these meetings the warning that we cannot avoid the extra-ordinary  problems that we are facing, and that from the very nature of our cause we must face,  by viewing them lightly and taking tactical measures or through enforcing regulations. Instead, the most seminal social scientific and social therapeutic work is to be done here.  For a new mode of human cooperation and social life can only emerge through a restructuring and reassessment that questions everything coming from the past – i.e. thus from a situation of helplessness  that, in the absence of the normal basics,  does not  lean on the crutches of the bourgeois mentality and way of life,  but that can only from inwardly achieved strength stand up to the awareness of its task.

In order to characterize this task with a saying by Rudolf Steiner we may be reminded of the “breaking with everything that smacks of associations“ that he repeatedly  described as a vital feature of the Society and School founded by him. Such a break, however, cannot ensue from the outside through violating the laws of associations or by repealing them through the abusive maintenance of these laws. What is needed here can only be reached from the inside through a social organic process; through leading new society- and community-forming life force to the socio-spiritual existence of the Anthroposophical Society; through exhausting the valid legal norms, not by violating them; by fulfilling, not by annulling them.[1] Such a break with everything that smacks of associations can therefore not be a unique act, it must be a continual striving and indeed not only so because the magnitude of the task at hand requires the appropriate earnestness, but even more so because what is meant here can in no way be thought and realized in the form of a successful state of being (with maintaining an arsenal of rules and regulations) but only in the form of an aspiring happening.

Now it is naturally a matter of course when in this context, as if it would be appropriate to this “break”,  the argument is raised that it is not possible to vote on cognitive questions and that in a free society  there could and should be no coercion. Motions, however, so it is argued, have by necessity a coercive tendency. Even though this is, or seems to be, obvious, it is nevertheless also to be asked here, if this obviousness comes closest to the matter at hand. Naturally it cannot be denied that the problem that motions indeed pose within the social life of a free society require a meticulous treatment, something that cannot, like several other themes, be done extensively here.  The following indications however may perhaps focus the reader in the direction in which the author gazes.

6.2 Motions and Concerns  (Wishes)

At first, it may be recalled that the “Principles”, which Rudolf Steiner during the Christmas Conference as the exoteric metamorphosis of the words of the Foundation Stone[2] spoken by him, gave as an example to the newly emerging Society[3], do not distinguish between “concerns” and “motions”. In the “Principles” only “motions” are mentioned, whereby they are expressly recognized as constitutional elements of the Society. The distinction between “concern” and “motion”, which plays a considerable role in the General Assemblies of the General Anthroposophical Society appears already less reasonable when one considers that in general everything that is brought forward is a matter of concern on the part of the submitter, namely the expression of an item of knowledge or supposed knowledge and an appeal for sharing this knowledge. In this sense a motion is naturally a matter of concern and could be understood as such.

Now, one can indeed be of the opinion that every speaker appearing at a General Assembly must be free to abstain from a vote about the subject he brought forward. By abstaining from a vote  or refusing it, a speaker would express that he makes use of the modality of a concern. But this is to begin with opposed by the idea that thereby the submission of a motion is not eliminated, since each participant of a General Assembly with regard to its consciousness-raising task brings his own wish to expression by his participation in this event, even when he does not make use of the modality of the motion, which apart from that is at his disposal. Every wish for consciousness-raising and stimulus to become active must come above all from the representatives of the Council at the Goetheanum (or a similar constituted society, whose task it also is to inform themselves about the formation of judgement within the Society and therefore not only to further this, but to render it as process and result as perceptible and assessable as possible. Besides that, in reality the casting of a vote also takes place with regard to a so-called concern, when this is  brought to the attention of the audience and when the latter respond to it with active interest. They will do this in the form of agreement, of rejection or of restraint at least inwardly, thus in the same way as during a vote that is registered in the usual form. To believe that the coercion that is in the sense of public law supposedly connected with each vote would be eliminated, when a vote according to the law of associations is omitted, would be a serious mistake. For even when a coercive mindset would be compatible with the attitude of the members, the coercion could not be eliminated by intimidating members through suppressing their views and willingness to cooperate. The problem can be repressed by displacing it, but not solved. Were one again to counter that blocking a vote (at least in certain cases) would be necessary, because in that way unpleasant or even disastrous legal consequences for the Society and the School would be averted, then one can only reply that the belief that one would be able to ban evil by a self-contradictory attitude and action is blind. Evil cannot be banned by injustice. This is also the case when the illusion of the moment conjures up a different image for the eye of the observer that can be led astray. Similarly it is true that a speaker who choses for his address a form contrary to the real event can hardly feel himself to be in undisturbed harmony with the impulses that want to shape the epoch of the consciousness soul (fully awake self-control). He can nevertheless do what his supposed insight leads him to do. This action is however hardly cleared, when it does not understand the social and cognitional character of its attitude. Performing exact research into the problems that are thereby only indicated is the task of social science. That this in the future would have to be extended to all vital and cognitional processes of the Anthroposophical Society and the Free School, if these are to be further developed on the basis of creative impulses, is something that the General Assemblies of the last years have most clearly shown.[4] Apart from that, the following supplementary considerations are an attempt to place the problem of motions in a wider context.

The distinction between motions and concerns becomes  disputable, if not even abusive when it is connected with a ruling based on the law of association that concerns are only to be brought forward, but not taken up in the discussion within the Assembly. Thereby concerns are stripped of the society-forming process that is the actual “concern” of a General Assembly of the General Anthroposophical Society. Certainly, so-called concerns do not need to remain hovering in a semi-alive space, rather they can be taken up by the Assembly and further developed in the discussion. But thereby they become motions, something that is submitted to the Assembly and the leadership of the Free School (as in general to office holders of a modern society) and on their part can be met by the addressees with affirmative, negative, contradictory  or pro-active responses and initiatives.

Up to this point, several proponents also go along with the view that considers motions in principle or to a great extent irreconcilable with the nature of an anthroposophical General Assembly. They too, however, refuse generally, as shown by experience, to enter into a discussion within a General Assembly about statements that they consider to be “unconstitutional”. But recently within the Anthroposophical Society everything that has the form of a motion pertaining to the sphere of initiative of the Council appears to be labelled “unconstitutional”, because the result of a vote on the motion would place the council under executive coercion. It is clear that according to this view motions are in principle rejected all together, for in the domain of the General Anthroposophical Society (as in every modern society permeated by ideational formative impulses) there is nothing that would not pertain to the initiative sphere of the Council. But even when it is attempted to restrict the “unconstitutionality” to such motions that expressly pertain to the sphere of the leadership of the School (or the ideational representation of a modern society), it will be difficult by consequently thinking this through to omit the justification of a certain sector of motions, because within the Anthroposophical Society (a truly modern society) there is and can be nothing that not at least indirectly concerns the leadership of the School (its ideational representation). Indeed, an observer at the General Assembly of the year 1972 would have to gain the distinct impression that many of its participants and namely those with leading positions saw the removal of motions from the course of the Assembly as a sort of ideal. None any of them were probably clearly aware as to what extent they placed themselves in contradiction to the “Principles” and the constitution, even though nobody could escape noticing that there was always talk about “unconstitutionality” when thereby the aim was to prevent a knowledge aspiring discussion about a problem.

6.3 The Societal and Communal Constitutive Function of Motions

The abstract conclusion concerning the so-called coercive character of a vote connected with every sort motion, loses however in the face of the facts every significance. That a vote in fact also occurs with regard to concerns, has already been mentioned.  Furthermore, the public principle (see § 8 of the “Principles” in the appendix) may be mentioned that belongs to the basics of the reconstitution of the general Anthroposophical Society (as in every modern society).  An infringement on this Principle is no doubt “unconstitutional”. Therefore public law must also be adhered to in a members meeting of the General Anthroposophical Society in so far as its management may not contradict the law of associations of the guest land. A ban on motions or a ruling based on the law of associations against the right to submit motions as well as, which in a spiritual sense would even be far more serious, a crackdown on motions through the way the Assembly is prepared and led without the intention being clearly perceptible, assessable and discussable would basically be, independent from the formal enforceability or non-enforceability of such an intention, in contradiction to the spirit of the Swiss law of association and the therewith corresponding feeling of equity. Even when on the basis of a motion a decision would be taken to refrain from submitting motions in a single case or in a wider sense, this would be in view of the specific task of society-forming as consciousness-forming incumbent on an anthroposophical General Assembly (as in every modern General Assembly), only of a negative, not contentual significance, because it is intrinsically preposterous, namely not based on something real but on a mistake. For, as has already been indicated here and further to be indicated, society-forming in the sense of the Christmas Conference (the foundational conference of the general Anthroposophical Society) is based on the fact that in a knowledgeable discussion and through confidence in the power of insight the higher spiritual presence of a common consciousness is continually enhanced und turned into a happening. This is a view that in the sense of the modern principle of civilization is of basic significance for all ramifications of social life.

This conscious-raising event is also part of the approval given by the Assembly to what is submitted to it that, even when it is modified to outright rejection, retains the basic consensual character of the receptivity, which integrates the things brought forward into the consciousness community. When understanding herefore is lacking or when even the responsible office holders were to act in contradiction to the sense and content for this understanding, an anthroposophical General Assembly would through self-annulment lose its significance, indeed completely forfeit its validity and authority. The spiritual consequences of such a process, which extend far beyond the single case, shall not be pursued further at this point. It should be emphasized however that the meaning and content of approval of the voting procedure is of social  constitutional significance.

[1] The same is of course true for all working communities that aim to organize themselves in the sense of the modern principle of civilization characterized here.  
[2] The Foundation Stone Mantra’s,  in which Rudolf Steiner expressed the spiritual act of the refoundation of the Anthroposophical Society, were entrusted to the consciousness of the members of the reconstituted Society as meditative (esoteric) contents. They were and are meant to form the bio- spiritual cognitive basis (the Foundation Stone immersed in every  musing heart) of the Society and the School.  For as intrinsic spiritual  structures they can only exist in modes of consciousness and can as such only be symbolically represented through external modes of existence. 
[4] The same again is true for all working communities. For their creators a study of the processes within the Anthroposophical Society can provide insight by way of an example given here. Thereby they can be spared from making mistakes and taking wrong turns. 

7. Public Law and the Spiritual Creation of Rights
7.1 The Spiritual Content of Public Law

Now, one often admittedly tends, at least in one’s behavior even though it is not often clearly expressed, to regard public law as something that in its value content is not in touch with the given situation or at least unsuitable for the nature of a spiritual society and above all not for the Free School. One overlooks thereby that one confuses legal archetype, legal form and legal interpretation and moreover misjudges the Christian character of modern esotericism that constitutes the middle between the outwardly and inwardly directed pendulum swing of cognition and action. It is certainly not necessary to remind Rudolf Steiner’s students of the significance that he attributed to public law; perhaps it is after all in any case useful to bring to mind anew the deliberations that he made in this respect in his “Philosophy of Freedom” (above all in the ninth chapter) and put them into context. These culminate in the sentences, “When he (the Philistine) could look beyond that (the period in which he lives), he would soon find out that the free spirit just as rarely needs  to transgress the laws of his state than the Philistine himself, but never to really place himself in contradiction to them. For the laws of the state have all originated out of the intuitions of free spirit.” If one were to doubt whether these sentences are still valid even today (in view of the experiences that we have undergone in the [twentieth] century of the destruction of Europe, one would  indeed hardly understand their intrinsic meaning. For they speak about intuitions, not unsubstantiated decrees. In so far as lawmaking on the basis of cognition applies to members of a bigger or smaller community, they can as cognizant human beings not come into conflict with it. It can naturally be questioned, whether the legal form and interpretation correspond to the legal archetype in question.

To bring the most modern society- and community-forming forces in line with the archetypal intuitions of public law is in the sense of the esoteric-exoteric character of the Christian mysteries one of the tasks of the General Anthroposophical Society and the Free School, and the General Assemblies can and exactly should be the place in which such a correspondence is to be sought and found. The same is true again for every working community, which is to be shaped in the sense of the modern consciousness-raising principle.
7.2 Submission of Motions and Modern Mysteries

It is also erroneous, in view of the preceding, to remain stubborn and insist  that it can after all not be denied that voting according to the regulations of public law carry with it an executive coercion and that therefore public law, at least as far as this point is concerned, is incompatible with the mystery character[1] of the Free School (the direction of which is incumbent on the initiative Council). How far such a view is mistaken,  is already shown by the fact that Rudolf Steiner in the “Principles”, the realization and execution of which he described as the task per se of the Council at the Goetheanum, has expressly included the right to submit motions (that thereby, as is to be further delineated below, becomes according to the constitution of the Free School a duty for the active members.) Moreover, in the foundational meeting of the year 1923 Rudolf Steiner allowed, with regard to each paragraph of the “Principles” proposed by him (at that time still called statutes), after extensive debate and having them read three times, a voting procedure to establish their acceptance. If this is in contradiction to the nature of the School, the “Principles” would become meaningless through self-annulment. A realistic view however conveys an altogether different picture, than the mere intellectual conclusion may present concerning the compatibility or incompatibility of the right to submit motions with the nature of the mysteries.

The following deliberations are not only of significance for a knowledge society, as the Anthroposophical Society in the sense of its founder ought to be,– even though they are for the latter of special importance. Rather, they concern (as will hopefully become evident from the whole content of this publication) every truly modern structural design of our social and cultural life. For that reason, it is not only justified, but, in the sense of the demands our time that requires profound and wide-ranging neoformations and reassessments, even necessary to develop these in a publication that addresses itself to the general public. For all processes of genuine social renewal (without which we will not survive in the future) must orientate themselves towards the archetypal social structure that Rudolf Steiner has given the Anthroposophical Society through its refoundation.

If one wants to come to an understanding about the relation between the formation of a modern working community on an ideational basis and public law, one needs to begin with only to inform oneself about the only precondition (already mentioned before) that on the part of those seeking to become a member of the General Anthroposophical Society according to its “Principles” must be fulfilled: Everyone can become a member, “who regards the existence of an institution such as the Goetheanum to be justified”  (Principles, § 4). This precondition too has in accordance with the whole nature of the Principles not a rigid but a dynamic form: it points to the flow of interest that the members bring into the Society. This flow of interest must be met with a corresponding flow from the part of the Free School and the Council. It is expressed in the duty of the Council  to issue a guiding statement of account (Principles § 10: in the ordinary Annual Meeting a complete statement of account is given by the Council) and in the free interaction with the members through the initiatives coming from it (Principles § 11:  “From there (The Goetheanum) the Council is to convey to the members or the groups what it considers to be the task of the Society.” This free play of interest and initiative is thereby addressed as the basic process of modern society- and community-forming. This basic process is naturally in principle a continuous one, but it is meant to reach a sort of culmination at the General Assembly of a knowledge society, to be an occasion and the means of an in-depth self-examination and self-knowledge of all. To that end, it must be stressed as a basis for understanding all that follows that the members of the Council at the Goetheanum as active members of  a spiritual community are subject to strict, freely out of insight undertaken obligations, while those entering the General Anthroposophical Society as new members do not assume any obligations of that sort, as long as they do not become members of the School.

This flow of interest is meant to convey on its waves everything to the Free School and the Council that exists in the Society as problems, needs, willingness to do or not do certain things, observations and accomplishments, and this must be answered, according to the educational form of a knowledge society, by that other flow that proceeds from the Free School, which as the result of its inner life and research in the form a counter current meets the incoming flow that conveys its needs to the officeholders. This meeting of the submitted interest can in a free society and according to the (unfortunately not superfluous) indication by Rudolf Steiner only appear in the form of an advice, a consultation from the Council regarding the life of knowledge and action of the members. The nature of this interplay and flowing exchange is, far removed from all coercion, free and freedom creating life – and therefore nothing should happen, above all not from the part of the Council, that could obtrude this life in the form of a compulsion or a decree. Therefore, it is for those acting in the spirit of the Free School (thus in the spirit of modern community-building) a necessity borne out of self-reflection to be on their guard that the initiatives proceeding from the Free School are never misunderstood and misused as decrees. Rudolf Steiner emphatically pointed to this basic difference  that in this regard a serious danger exists of regressing into “association-like, i.e. bureaucratic behavior”: “By looking at this Council more and more in this way” (namely as an “Initiative Council”), “ it will become in the right way the advisor in all the concerns of the Society. And it wants to be an ‘advisor’; for it knows full well that it would completely contradict the spirit of the Anthroposophical Society, if it were to be an ‘enactor, one that decrees’. It will with its counsel, its pieces of advice appeal to nothing else than the free insight of the members; but it can also only be a proper ‘advisor’, if the goals and aspirations of the members are brought to its attention in the proper spirit.” And: “This anthroposophical-esoteric Council does not want to be an administrative Council, it wants to be an initiative Council that gives suggestions, offers proposals for what is becoming for the nature of the Anthroposophical Society.” In falling from the sphere of consultation and cognitional impulses to the level of decrees  the initiative would lose its initiative character. For initiative, thus acting out a beginning, an origin, is only possible through the free origination in the spirit, this within that element in which human beings as spirit beings are blessed with the same originality. As conscious participants therein human beings will attempt to mutually further each other in that to which they equally belong, in the way that this happens through the process of consultation and understanding, but far removed from wanting to mutually impose their intentions. This is the libertarian duty that those striving towards freedom pledge to their own higher being, and this libertarian duty is the basic obligation towards the spirituality of the modern mystery centers (the cognitional participation in a spiritual world common to all people), from which all other obligations proceed that are connected with it.

One will never be able to form proper notions about the nature of the most modern of all societies and communities, a nature based on libertarian duties  that their members acknowledge to their own spiritual essence, when one believes to be able to characterize it by mandatory rules, prohibitions and prescriptions. For the libertarian duties are the expressions of the stations on the way to the spirit that he who acts out of knowledge pursues and on which he himself becomes aware of the tasks that correspond to his specific stage of development. The stations of his path will not be reached by carrying out commandments and observing prohibitions nor by acknowledging a dogma, but only by knowledge and action out of conviction. Therefore the judgment about a behavior in view of the libertarian duties can neither pertain to its appropriateness for a framework, but can only have the character of an assessment. The latter can only express whether the wanderer on the path of knowledge did or did not reach a certain stage of development that reveals his spiritual standpoint, thus the mode of his integration in reality and therefore also in the community to which he belongs. Whoever wants to pursue this path therefore is faced with the decision, whether he chooses to ally himself with an administrative context, within which he is the supporter and executor of authorizations conveyed to him by majority rule and the follower of conditions under which these authorizations are to be gained – or whether he wants to set as his goal to prove himself progressively worthy of the blessing of a spiritual presence that together with all knowers in a consciousness society embraces him. Information about the coming into being of a consciousness society and its stage of development can only be gathered through observation as a co-active member.

[1] The concept of the nature of the mysteries requires an explanation, in the way Rudolf Steiner for example gave this in his [basic book] “Occult Science”. Here only a few indications will be mentioned. The mysteries were the centers of the pre-Christian cultures.  They kept their schooling hidden away from the awareness of the public. Yet they were through their supporters and students as well as through the subconscious processes of public opinion of great importance for the formative and unifying processes of the communities under their influence. Today too, no working community can be formed, sustained and continued without ideational formative principles. These formative principles have under the influence of the materialistic school of thought  diverged more and more from their spiritual archetype. They have converted into instincts of successful action, into ever more scientific rules of efficient management and rules of the game of cooperation and communication. The genealogy of the society-forming formative principles in their advancement from idea via ideology to operationalogy must still be written. The renewal of our social life can only occur through the return to its feeding sources. The charismatic center of every working community must be an educational system that develops fundamental but also continually further developing consciousness contents of its members. In this sense every modern working community must possess a mystery center or connect to one. By the mystery character referred to here is meant the individual as well as communal educational process that also today remains hidden from the public. The renewal of the life of our society will depend on the insight  of the importance of the spiritualization of  our educational system. Pointed hereby is not only to a new basic feature of our school and university system, but also to the quantity thereof, in so far as every working community must be integrated into an educational system suited to its specific task. This educational system must have a mystery character, because the formative force of the materialized educational system has been depleted and because powerful new impulses can only proceed from a spiritually experienced and enlivened educational system. The consciousness modality of our epoch however demands at the same time full public transparency. The mystery character of the new impulses can only be experienced as such. At the same time every person today must on the basis of its fully public character be able to find access to it. This does not exclude that the consciousness communities that are formed in this way need to be protected from misjudgment and falsification. 

8. The Pursuit of Knowledge as a Formative Principle

8.1 Membership and Free School and Their Different Relationship to the Submission Procedure of Motions

The problem of motions is from this and related viewpoints no longer only to be studied logically, legally or administratively, but rather within the reality of the social formative events that constitute the main task of the anthroposophical General Meetings (similar to the General Meeting of every modern society). Certainly, attention must be paid that within a free society and community no coercion be exercised from any side: the awareness of this and the congruence with this principle was just now emphasized as the basic obligation that the member of a modern mystery institution (an institution shaped out of ideational impulses) acknowledges for himself and without the respect and observation of which he does in fact not belong at all to such an institution. The nature of the problem of motions, however, is many-sided, depending on whether it is looked at from the viewpoint of membership in the Society or from that of the School (the office holding center).

From the side of the Free School no coercion may be exercised on the members with respect to the submission of motions, because the exercise of coercion is absolutely contradictory to the nature of the School and the Society. But not only in general; such coercion is also to be rejected from specific points of view. Of these special viewpoints may again be mentioned here the infringement of the public principle, which is at the same time an infringement of the esoteric-exoteric nature of the Free School, and furthermore the infringement of the intake principle that gives those seeking membership access to the General Anthroposophical Society. This intake principle is one of trust and the meeting of trust, since it does not impose any special obligations on entrants, but only connects to the trust they bring on their part to the Society that they want to join. The members can therefore not be obliged to refrain from submitting motions (even those of a special kind) or to indirectly enforce such a restraint. The representative of the Free School (the educational center of a consciousness society) can accordingly only appeal, as Rudolf Steiner has emphasized again and again, to the free insight of the members, because a modern society can only be a knowledge society and that therefore its inner life can only unfold in processes of consciousness-raising and not in the form administrative and dispositional regulations. With regard to motions that have or seem to have a coercive character, the representatives of the Free School can do nothing else than by consulting the ability to reason of the members to extract the cognitive content of such motions and address it or to refer their more exact examination to study circles (formed according to the libertarian not the administrative principle), the research results of which are to be made accessible in an appropriate way for the reaction of the members.

In this context, it is time and again to be stressed that the members of the Free School harbor the libertarian duty not to exercise any coercion on the other members, while the latter are not obliged to do so, even though an appeal is also to be made to them that their interest is directed to a free society. By  admitting them as members  their understanding for the existential conditions of a free community will be met with confidence, after during the intake meeting the insight on the part of those seeking admittance  was created about the significance  of their intended decision. However, the members of the Free School in accordance with the public and confidence principle expose themselves without reservation, just out of respect for the ability to reason of the members, to possible coercion exercised towards them. Were that, in spite of an unharnessing appeal on the part of the Council to the insight of the members, to occur someday on their part, the members of the Free School would have to make a cognitive, not an administrative decision how they would  want to behave in such a case. They will also then not be able to base themselves on anything else than the free insight of the members. It is in no way compatible with the nature of the Free School to exert influence on the members and the voting procedure by a prior announcement if any of such an ensuing decision, thus by coercion. The spirituality of public law (that forbids threats against members) corresponds with regard to the inadmissibility of such an attempt to influence completely with the law of the Free School.   

8.2 Common Efforts to Gain Insight and the Voting Procedure

Just because problems dealing with cognition cannot be voted on as if they involved decisions regarding the truth, cognitive discussions about questions of modern social design must be dealt with within the framework of an anthroposophical General Assembly. Otherwise administrative decisions supported by a majority will be taken with respect to these problems and with respect to the significance attributed to them as well as for the consequences resulting from them for actions. This would however arise, when (as at the General Assembly of the year 1972 actually did happen) the attempt would be made to prevent the submission of motions and the voicing of opinions pertaining to them and the vote by means of a vote, whereby a decision about cognitive questions (e.g. due to their supposed unconstitutionality) would not be made through explanation and clarification of the content of the motion, but by a vote. One would thereby become entangled in the most confused contradiction imaginable by abolishing majority decisions about cognitive problems and at the same time employ a power based on a majority decision in order to prevent the cognitive discharge of such problems. In that way one would act in the style of a reverse Baron von Münchhausen by not pulling oneself from one’s own thatch out of the swamp, but by tumbling into it. For decisions made on the basis of votes cannot be justified by themselves, thus by their efficacy possibly obtainable through voting, but only through their transparency for the knowledge of the members. Voting on cognitive problems cannot be prohibited by voting on cognitive problems.  The helplessness revealing itself in this process makes it clear that a problem exists here that requires careful social scientific processing.

Besides, it is not true (with the exception of the case just mentioned) when it is maintained that decisions about cognitive problems are made by voting (or, what comes down to the same thing) that the latter would impermissibly be drawn into the voting sphere, if they play a role in connection with a voting procedure. A vote is after all a volitional statement; it indicates the willingness or not to adopt certain matters of knowledge or just the pursuit of them in the field of one’s own cognition or undertaking actions. In so far as decisions are taken, thereby, they will be made, if it happens correctly, out of knowledge or out of an attempt for knowledge, but not (as in the case of a crackdown on motions) about cognitive contents, which rather motivate the decision. In a knowledge society cognitive contents therefore belong intrinsically in the voting sphere, because the latter concerns the volitional decisions and because modern man as a free spirit acts out of knowledge. When he does this, no coercion can ensue from his decision. For the knowers meet each other in the insight with which they are not connected by coercion, but by their own thinking activity that first brought them together. Out of this it becomes obvious how unharnessing motions differ from those with a coercive character. Motions with the goal towards a common pursuit of knowledge as well as the expressed willingness to act in common out of knowledge belong to the libertarian sphere of spiritual social design. Motions of the sort, however, that want to prevent the cognitional clearance  of spiritual problems (as was the case with the no-action motions from them[German: Nichteintretensanträge] at the General Assembly of the year 1972 at least what concerned their effect)  contradict the forming of free insight with majority coercion of administrative-political measures. Whoever makes use of the power of the majority, subjugates himself to the power of the majority. In contrast, in a modern society and in its General Assembly there can be no domain, no process, no measure and no decision (as this in case of a vote is decided) for which cognitive contents and attempts to elucidate them through submitting motions and entering initiatives is not of decisive importance. It is not difficult to recognize that the suppression of a vote, which among mutually respecting partners proceeds in approval, rejection, reservation and graduated expressions of readiness, belongs to a mindset that has long since been superseded by the progress of development. This does not mean, however, that every motion as one that is suited to an anthroposophical (or any modern) meeting, must be considered as such. Rather, next to a vote of rejection a motion can also be met with a motion of disapproval. A motion of this kind appeals, if it is carefully motivated, in contrast to a no-action motion, which is based on a decision of  irreconcilability not made in the spirit of freedom, to the free insight of the members as an indication of a cognitive impulse devoid of any coercion. In view of several oddities and regrettable incidents, this is what in principle ought to be obvious unfortunately necessary to say. May it be forgiven that, in view of the confusion about this question, attention was given to it here, something that under normal circumstances should truly be superfluous.         

8.3 About the Special Position of the Active Members Regarding the Problem of the Motion

It will be objected that these remarks disregard the special viewpoints that pertain to the active members (carrying out special functions). The members that are active in a limited sense, as is known and understandable from the root of the matter, acknowledge through the fact of their being active within the General Anthroposophical Society (as in all modern societies) certain libertarian duties for themselves. One these duties, about which there can be no doubt among members of a modern society, and which also  follows unequivocally from the social and spiritual design of the General Anthroposophical Society and which, besides, has already been developed here, is to refrain from applying any form of coercion against the other members (thus also dispositional coercion), for whom such duties initially do not exist. It is therefore freely up to the other members  to submit motions; it is after all according to the text and above all the spirit of the “Principles” an intrinsic part of their membership borne out of interest, and in any case their undeniable  right, supported and protected by the “Principles”, to submit such motions in a form, which proceeds from insight and which seeks insight through consultation with other members and the Initiative Council. For the active members, however, other motives obviously come into consideration.  While the members that are non-active in a limited sense can submit motions, but are not obliged to do so, even though the filing of motions on their part also in the sense of their relation of interest to the Society may be expected, the active members are obliged to do so, at least in the cases of the submission of motions that concern the fundaments of the Society and their relation to the Council. It is namely an intrinsic part of the form of their membership to work “in unison with the Council”, for they have after all freely obliged themselves to collaborate in the forming of a common consciousness, which constitutes the main task of the Council (of a modern college of officeholders). To be “in unison with the Council” is therefore not a prescription nor an oath, but the description of a fact that arises from the one’s being active in the General Anthroposophical Society since the Christmas Conference. For one cannot at the same time work for and against the emergence of this common consciousness. From this it becomes evident that “Unison with the Council “ is intimately connected with one’s own cognitive and active relation to the fundaments of the Society. These fundaments must after all be expressed in the nature and the behavior of the Council, which is why only, in so far this is the case, the unison with it can be sought and found. Where this concordance is destroyed based on grounds that are  not personal but that concern insights into the nature of the Free School, these difficulties, because they evolve around problems related to the fundaments of the Society, must be clarified in a form that includes the whole Society. Because the interest that motivated the decision of the members to join, is based on the inner intactness of the Society and the School (educational center of a common consciousness). Only such an intactness can uphold the spiritual reality of the Goetheanum, whose functional existence has created the interest of the entrants, moved them to join the Society and that can motivate them to remain in it. Independent of their administrative-technical affiliation to the General Anthroposophical Society, the active members in fact declare their resignation from this Society the moment they neglect their duty to protect and guard its fundamentals through their cognition and action. On the other hand, the resolution that cannot be shaken by any form of coercion, to commit oneself to the truth, purity and reality of the General Anthroposophical Society in the sense of its spiritual foundations, forms the insoluble connection with its nature that cannot be affected by any external measures. If the active members were not in this way to observe their freely accepted duty, they would grossly deceive the incoming members with whom they share the serious co-responsibility for the formation of the society. The latter have after all joined the Society out of interest for the existence of a Free School (a spiritual education center), and under the described circumstances through misuse of their trust would be subjected to the measures of an administrative society – perhaps without them being able to conceive a clear idea of it, since they are not supported in this clarification but on the contrary obstructed in it – or even fall under the prevalence of influences rendering it impossible to bring their insight to bear, thereby stumbling in a deeply distressing situation, which they would accept out of love for the work of Rudolf Steiner.

It may certainly be expected that the active members, to begin with in consultation with the faculty of the School and the Council at the Goetheanum, would attempt to clarify the reasons for the breakdown of their harmonious relation and thus restore it. But even there where such a clarification succeeds, it is part of the duties of active members to bring this, at least in the form of a statement, to the awareness of the members and to gauge  their state of readiness. Otherwise that unison would only be an administrative-technical prescription.  Such a briefing for the members  of a General Assembly and its corresponding reaction is of value as one of those basic processes without which the forming of a consciousness society would lack one of its most important contents, thus incapable of happening at all. Altogether however in the case where active members cannot restore their harmonious relation with the Council through consultation and cognitive meetings, it is their inalienable duty to make this fact known in a cognitive form to the members of an ordinary or extra-ordinary General Assembly and thereby to convey to them the information and manifestation possibility that appertain to them and to the development of which they as active members are obligated. It concerns hereby after all facts and processes that  intercede deeply in the total consciousness of the Society and command the cognitive participation and expression of willingness of its members. It would be all too frivolous to believe that the harmonious relation between active members and the Council could simply be laid down, demanded and decreed. Since it has a modern (Christian) character, it can neither be a prescription nor pledge, but only a thorough processuality and constitutes as such an integral component of the continual formation of the Society. This can as a modern society proceed not under administrative viewpoints and administrative measures, but only in an atmosphere of trust and cognitive insight and the presence of a higher spiritual presence. Blurring or hiding the difficulties inherent to such a formative process would impinge on the basic elements of anthroposophical life, even of modern social life in general. And to demand a mindset and its corresponding results, not based on the exchange of rational souls, would rescind the esoteric duty (pertaining to the spiritual world) on which then such a demand was mistakenly based. For the unison with the Council of a spiritual society can for ethical individualists only be an intuitive one, thus one of free insight – as this is emphasized in the passage from the “Philosophy of Freedom” that was placed as a motto next to others at the beginning of this treatise.

For that reason the limitedly active members can in view of the responsibility for their own truthfulness not evade the necessity of submitting a motion at least in case that serious doubts arise in their minds concerning the recoverability of their harmonious relationship with the Council at the Goetheanum. The content of these motions that they probably feel moved to file, would naturally have to be adapted to the case in question. To the form of such motions would certainly always appertain an appeal to a common cognitive effort of the members and the therewith related survey of the situational awareness within the Society, thus the attempt to gauge the willingness or lack of it on which depends the healing of the wounds that endanger the Society. At the same time the active members would thereby call upon the cognitive effort and as the case may be also for a decision of the whole membership in view of its own behavior and its motives. This also appertains to their indispensable duties.

8.4 The Goetheanum Council as an Initiative Board

The objection can be raised here that the Council at the Goetheanum as an Initiative Council  takes care of its own business. This is true in so far as this complies with its full accounting report. This refers analogously also to the manner and the results of the inner order of its activity. Therefore these results must be made known to the members in a way that appeals to their insight and, insofar the transparency demands this, be brought forward in a genetic form. Accordingly, the Council at the Goetheanum, for so far it has communicated partial results or difficulties of this process of inner order, before an at least preliminary final result could be reached, has thereby committed itself to allow the membership to participate in this total process of inner order in a manner that respects their insight and its manifestation. This is above all necessary when the processes in question just through their procedure concern all members regarding the fundamentals of the Society to which their interest and initiative are directed. That for this sphere administrative-political  powers of disposition are even more misappropriate, need scarcely be emphasized. And generally speaking, what has been mentioned to that end cannot be judged by an esoteric Council (a Council freely obligated to create together with the members of the Society a spiritual principle of civilization) as the prevention of its freedom to act, since only those acting out of knowledge can belong to such a Council.

8.5 The Interplay between Motion and Initiative

One may, to begin with, be reminded of the preceding remarks that, instead of extracting the cognitive core of the faulty motions at the General Assembly of the year 1972, it so happened, even more than just amazing,  that certain motions, because of their supposed  flaws were withdrawn from the cognitive interest of the Assembly and subjected to no-action motions, without a preliminary attempt at cognitive clarification  of the reasons laid down by the Council with the aid of the majority of the Assembly for taking no action (namely the supposed “unconstitutionality”).  It may hereby truly not be forgotten, as so often already happens after a short time, that the motions thus affected were in principle requests for a cognitive conversation and for an agreement about initiatory consultation, also statements of willingness to acknowledge certain insights as the basis of a volition and action that leaves everyone free, or also statements of unwillingness to approve of such matters that are not accessible to their own insight.[1] One could also list other nuances of the attitudes underlying them; however, completeness is quite unnecessary here, since it is in a modern society not a question of viewing the things from an administrative-technical aspect, but only of integrating them in the living process of social design and thereby to also give the legal form in the spirit of the Free School the prominence that befits it.

Insofar there could still be lingering doubts about the cognitive attitude and disposition of the motions in questions, it would therefore not have been difficult to bring to light the constitutionally justified contents of them while removing the defects possibly adhering to them. One could very easily in accordance with the content of these motions and certainly under approval of their representatives establish that the application form to submit motions merely aimed to correspond with the right to manifest that expressly appertains to all members of a free society and the members of the General Anthroposophical Society on the basis of its “Principles”.  Moreover, these motions fulfilled the duty to manifest, the exercise of which by the limitedly active members  must be expected in view of such questions that concern the fundamentals of the School and the Society. Furthermore, these motions were submitted in the interest of the task of the Council to inform itself about the judgment and willingness on the part of the membership and beyond that to commence a consciousness-raising dialog which everyone could join, because it took place in an open meeting of the Society. Those motions were therefore in line with the task of consciousness-raising, which is the “concern” from the beginning to the end of every General Assembly of the General Anthroposophical Society (as after all of every modern society that deserves that name). Establishing facts, requests for a cognitive conversation and for the initiative of the Council as well as manifestations of willingness and unwillingness do not possess a coercive character. Therefore, the exercise of majority-backed coercion against such motions is unnecessary, unreasonable and abusive. Such coercions can in any case not be exercised by those whose adherence to the School depends on the question whether they want to be bearers of the torch of freedom.

Apart from that, the preceding remarks should contribute to some extent to the consciousness-raising nature and social formative function of the motion that could cast the right light on the process under consideration. For is it not after all so that interest offered and consulting initiative in an event that for the course of an anthroposophical General Assembly is of central significance must meet and intermingle through a process  by which the initiatives brought from the Free School to the attention of the members, thus becoming motions that on the part of the members are either adopted or not, and on the other hand by which the motions proceeding from the members  becoming initiatives, which on the part of the Free School are accepted and developed further or either not directly accepted  but met with other initiatives. This conciliatory event of creating insight constitutes for all modern working communities the existential means of sustained development.

In this context, the social basic law may not be overlooked, according to which every output requires by its nature an input. Such an input is the manifestation of the interest on the part of those entering the Society by having acquired their membership. This entrance into the Society requires as input a vital interest in it coming from the part of the representatives of the Free School. The latter will therefore, insofar as they understand the task assumed by them, to make it one’s duty to learn and understand to which extent there exists a willingness or non-willingness among the members who placed their trust in them. This requires that the willingness and non-willingness to continue this manifestation of trust should be expressed at the General Assemblies through motions and the manner and scope of their admission. The careful, confidential and confidence-building handling of the motions  and the dispositions inherent in them is therefore a duty of the Council at the Goetheanum complimentary to the duty to present an accounting report. The spiritual autonomy of the Council in its sphere of freedom can only be created through initiatives. It is free through productivity in every direction and only insofar and to the extent free that this productivity flowing out of knowledge proves its fruitfulness. Every knower will seek and find himself in unison with true, reformative and reassessing productivity, he will be aware of the fact that he would deny his own higher being if he did not regard it as one of his highest tasks to protect the freedom to create. Incompatible, however, is this productive autonomy with every kind of authoritarian dispositional claim based on a behavioral empowerment. And nobody could more critically misunderstand the true nature of those with whom he wishes to be in harmony as well as himself, as someone who seeks to be in unison with such attitudes and actions that are irreconcilable with the fundaments of the Society and the School. Therefore it belongs inclusively to the duty of the Council to present an accounting report that should indeed stir and encourage the spiritual life within the Society through a review and preview at the end of the working year in order to develop a most lively as possible  interplay between motion and initiatory consultation.  Where the willingness and capability to start such an interplay is lacking on the part the membership, there arises an important social pedagogical task for the council of a free society. It constitutes one of the most beautiful and fruitful spheres of its formative productivity. By exerting it, a general assembly can develop into a happening, a festive contest between those striving in common for the greatest good.  

8.6 Building Frameworks and Social Organic Development

Admittedly, everything said here only becomes significant through the view that one has about the nature of the Society, the process leading to its formation and the relation between the School (the consciousness-raising center) and the Society. One will therefore only be able to understand what has been delineated so far about the process of social design  as well as submitting motions, if one holds it together with the preceding remarks that deal with the behavior of certain groups, thus certain archetypes of human cognition and behavior.

According to what was already presented, two views as summarized here by way of repetition, confront each other:
1. From the viewpoint of administration or management, the well-being, if not the salvation of the Society depends largely on the building of a framework  that must indeed be flexible and modifiable, but must possess a certain strength. This strength  is based on conventions of functionaries, who come to an understanding about opinion making as well as statements of solidarity and dispositions that concern the course of procedures and action undertaken by them and by which they mutually empower each other, and, if required, by general acknowledgement about observable and transmissible rules. With these administrative-technical policies (that in principle correspond with those that are valid and functional by every type of management) the conviction is connected that such a framework is on the one hand reliable, because it provides social life within its realm the necessary continuity and protection from external and internal destructive tendencies, and on the other hand, because through its consistency it keeps the space open for the freest possible forces that confide in them. The basic concept thereby is that within such a frame work, which forms the jurisdiction of an administrative elite, everything can and should unfold that is then also called upon in a healthy exchange to retro-act or feedback on the framework.

This view can call up centuries-old experiences and habits of thought and action as its key witness. The success that this administrative-political concept of order until now has met more or less, can in view of the facts not be denied and seems to justly label divergent conceptions as quixotic and phantasmal. Such an order of social life from above and below that at the same time allows in this way everything taking place in its interior a free space, has undoubtedly its historic rank and right. It therefore requires some effort to free oneself from such a concept and the habits that have been nurtured by it in order to gain a view of Rudolf Steiner’s modern social organics.

2. This effort is directed to the view already characterized here as well that wants to supplant the administrative model with the gradual formation of a common consciousness (in contrast to a consensus of corresponding opinions and sentiments). Through focusing the cognitive efforts of a number of free,  namely individuals judging out of insight, on the same  archetypal realm and its specific formation of organs and formative tendencies a communal sphere comes about that makes the intrinsic indwelling presence possible of a superindividual, namely common conscious within the complete intactness of individual acts of consciousness. This spiritual presence leads in the actual encounters of motion and initiative to the events that shape society. This is the new social organic basic thought from which Rudolf Steiner through the Christmas Conference gave rise to the spirit-form of the General Anthroposophical Society, a deed whose archetypal power reservoir is on the one hand capable of the most manifold adumbrations  in the world  of appearances and is therefore awaiting many embodiments, but that on the other hand, in accordance with the moment of consciousness in which present humanity finds itself, it can in no way by itself command. Instead, this foundation deed can only abide by the actualizing insight of single, free individuals; it can moreover provide these bearers of the free spirit with its cognitive content only by way of an incentive and advice for their common efforts to gain insight. Therefore, the process of shaping society and community according to the idea of a common consciousness takes place through the cognitive encounter and the collaboration between the bearers of interest and initiative, thus in the realm of motions. The latter constitutes the realm of the merging of interest and initiative. This merger is on-going, it represents the continual occurrence by which society is shaped.  Therefore the realm of motions is one of constitutional functionality extending into the further life of the Society beyond the General Assemblies that should however in a condensed form give utterance to it. In the properly understood realm of motions (be it in an General Assembly or in the continual process of shaping society) offerings and initiative are, as already delineated here, continually transformed into one another, if this process is spiritually assessed, encouraged, protected and continued.

The formation of organs of the Society and the execution of social formative and regulatory measures occurs accordingly not from above and outside, but from inside and below such that everything concerning the Society is an occurrence among people meeting each other and not the filling in of authority fields as well as the execution of corresponding empowerments. In order to expose themselves to the risks that should not be underestimated , the ones responsible require courage to bear momentary failure and the confidence in the final invincible power of insight. Whoever can only see unfruitful philosophy in the “rigorousness of the idea”, will find it indeed difficult to begin with to muster this courage and install this confidence and instead look to the safeguard of a majoritarian support and an administrative frame work. He will probably term the notion to abandon a society to the unpredictability’s involved in the process of raising consciousness as frivolous, and will remind one of the not exactly encouraging experiences made in this realm in the past. One can basically respond to that with hardly anything else than the renewed reference to the new social organic principle of Rudolf Steiner. Whoever at some point has beheld it, does not doubt that it will prevail, be it under abnormal difficulties and setbacks. He also still has the much stronger argument at his disposal that there is simply no other way than the courage and confidence addressed here that leads to overcoming the old and attaining the new. This can be understood, if one is capable of focusing on the essence of what comes into consideration here. For the spiritual presence of a common consciousness, the event of our epoch, to which collaborators in the common pursuit of knowledge elevate themselves, will feed the social organic formative occurrences  with the spiritual content that will engender and enliven its spontaneous events. The courage to face the unpredictability of the spiritual presence and the confidence in the power of insight of striving human beings will be the forces that can put the social vehicle in motion that reveals its spiritually active driver on the road to freedom.

The significance of the problem of motions will be assessed and solved, depending on which viewpoint one takes concerning it. One will either label motions concerning the core of anthroposophical life as “unconstitutional” and attempt to misuse the law of associations to suppress this basic right of shaping society. Or one will expose oneself to the risks involved in submitting motions with cognitive courage and in spiritual confidence. If one is capable of this, then one will attempt to consult the power of insight of the members with initiatives, to distill the free cognitive content from their interest brought forward and thus to protect and further on the one hand the constitutional-like free game of interest and motion and on the other hand consultation and initiative. On the decision taking about this alterative, will depend whether the basic event of our epoch will be able to  bestow its blessing on the Anthroposophical Society, as on every other truly modern society.

The representatives of the past will nevertheless ever and again assert against these remarks their conviction (not outspoken, yet unmistakably expressed through their leadership of the Society) that the immaturity of the majority of the members is in line with what their life experience has shown. Only an enthusiastic dilettante could misunderstand that the flowing together of very different maturity levels of judgement  and very divergent levels of experiences of expertise and non-expertise, as is always the case in every large society, would require an established administrative frame work  and a masterfully leading management  of the authorizations and steering method of the administration, if not a degree of unrest and disorder were to arise that would at the end lead to a collapse. As much as this misogynous view may base itself on indeed indisputable facts, as little does it succeed  in raising itself to a perspective on a future social design. This admittedly requires  the confidence in the power of insight that can be awakened by patient consideration in every human being and the confidence in the blessing that can be bestowed onto the common consciousness in those truly united in their striving. The human imperfections will thereby not suddenly be removed, when human beings in significant moments are raised above themselves. Nevertheless, one reveals (though the lip service may read differently) one’s lack of confidence in the spirit prevailing in the world and among people, if one considers it impossible that by looking up at it [i.e. this spirit] new, libertarian designs of social life  can arise. To translate this confidence into a deed certainly requires an abnormal degree of courage directed by temperance. Only this, however, is capable of bringing about the event in humanity threatened by destruction that signifies its great future: the appearance of the peacemaking spirit among human beings that connected in friendship embark on the journey to freedom. With the Christmas Conference of the year 1923/24 Rudolf Steiner undertook the certainly no slight risk to commit himself to this event with the force of his whole being and in confidence to human beings and the spirit. He thereby also left his successors with the confidence that they would attempt to emulate him in such a bold vehicle and not regress into administrative politicization.    

[1] See concerning this, “Was in der Anthroposopischen Gesellschaft vorgeht. Nachrichten für deren Mitglieder“, Vol. 49, Nr. 17 to 30.  

9. Rudolf Steiner as the Creator of a New Principle of Civilization
9.1 The Criterion for the Essential

Even if one would consider what has been brought forward here with some interest, one could still object that the view represented about the course of an anthroposophical members’ meeting (and all meetings related to this archetype) harbors the danger of supplanting the essential in its course by the non-essential or less essential, and further that the self-complacency devoid of any self-criticism displayed here claims time for itself that should better be spent on more important issues. Hereby one will also base oneself on experience. According to the author’s conviction indicated here, however, one will find another judgment of the matter at hand as possible. For that conviction concerns after all the forming of a common consciousness that Rudolf Steiner since the Christmas Conference, pursuing  a motive from his Philosophy of Freedom, designated as one of the main tasks of the Free School and the Society. This consciousness-raising is the pre-condition and effect of the working together of free individuals. It leads to the integration of individualization and generalization, instead of, such as in the case of one-sidedly inward or outward operating forces or their merely external connection, those processes that turn the human being as a last consequence into an earthly specter or gnome, and those other process that as a last consequence has him dissolve into a remembrance community, a sort of ancestral worship, avoiding one another or merely existing next to each other without inner connection. In the sphere of common consciousness that element should therefore be generated that is at the same time individual and super-individual, formed by the earth and born by the power of remembrance and by virtue of the penetration of opposites conscious of the present and inspired by the future. This is the task of our epoch, the great event that it is abiding or dwindling away. In this sense, the dynamism of interest offered and consultative initiative could be the society-framing and community-building event that should form the main content of an anthroposophical members’ meeting and elevate it into a feast. And this is with regard to the position and priority of the essential to be adjudged as a social-pedagogical and social-therapeutic force that will gradually have an effect on the behavior of its members.

This being said, it certainly becomes visible how far the views about the task and the nature of the Society and the Free School (consciousness center) can diverge. This divergence can put one in a serious mood, however, its significance  cannot properly be dealt with through lamentation or disparagement. For every truly modern society requires such internal tensions, if it is to live and not die in overactivity or lukewarmness. Some will indeed believe that putting aside all personal interests and sensitivities with regard to the common task will overcome all pressing and divisive issues. They only overlook thereby what significance just they attach to personal interests and sensitivities. For executing a power of disposition in an administrative-technical organizational plan or a declaration of compliance with its concept does in no way say anything about the participation in the forming of a common consciousness and thereby about the affiliation with a modern mystery institution; it is not yet the metamorphosis of the personal in the superpersonal. 

9.2 On New Forms of Social Cognitive and Volitional Development    

Whoever overcomes the inner and outer inhibitions that oppose the publication of expositions such as these, must realize the degree of misunderstanding to which he is thereby handed over. The author believes, as far as he himself is concerned, to comply with this demand aware of the fact that some will lecture him that it is an equally dubious and ridiculous illusion to claim that through the "mystique" of a common consciousness powers of judgment by the participants in a members' meeting could be conjured up other than those that they already possess through acquired insight and life experience. Such reverie would be nothing less than a kind of by-belief in miracles. Yet such a reproach completely misses the heart of the matter. The formation of a common consciousness will in the beginning not usually lead to changed powers of judgement, but, as has already been pointed out, different moods and dispositions will gradually be developed that can steer the entire formation of judgement in a new direction capable of creating a new climate. Of course, people will even then certainly not be able to avoid errors and mistakes. The naïve infallibility belief that a majority-backed administrative mentality in the exercise of its imperative mandates always unbashfully displays, is absolutely incompatible with the view held here. But the nature of the new formative social impulse of anthroposophy shaping life and society will gradually become ever more consciously understood and adopted; it will in the unity of movement and Society be able to become an increasingly powerful reality.

Anyone who is prepared to familiarize himself with the view expressed here, at least for the time being and as a hypothesis, will recognize that there can be community-building and society-shaping processes which, with full respect for the accepted liberal legal norms, nevertheless add a new meaning and function to them. Seen and maintained in this way, motions submitted in a members' meeting can fulfill a spiritual task and also at the same time one belonging to the sphere of public law. On the other hand, this union of the esoteric and exoteric side of the right of initiative, as justified and demanded by the constitution, would be seriously violated, if the submission and treatment of motions were to be used as an administrative political measure for the formation of a majority by means of which undesired motions were to be removed from the process of shaping society and imperative mandates established.[1]

The willingness to participate in such a process, which in the sense of the "Principles" is socially constituent, presupposes, of course, confidence in one’s ability in spiritually commensurate consultation in general and above all in the preparation and guidance of a meeting and no less confidence in the receptivity for the truth among the advisers as well as the confidence for the fact that a reality-based consultation will even develop, as it were, a subterranean effect, when it is initially misunderstood or not at all heard consciously.

Even independent from the viewpoint considered as essential here, it could be clear that the problem arising from the incorporation of the right of initiative into the "Principles" of the General Anthroposophical Society cannot be solved by eliminating or suppressing the right to submit motions. However, this is attempted if, by means of corporate law forms of majorization, the public nature of the Anthroposophical Society (which is very well compatible with the most sensitive protection of its internal sphere) is to be suspended, by eliminating the right of initiative or at least its society-shaping effect. To confuse initiatives that are free as well as respectful of the freedom of the other with imperative mandates reveals, as has already been described in the foregoing, a dubious misunderstanding of the matter at hand. Here again, it should be stressed however that initiative cannot be manifested  through an imperative command or decree, but only by means of productive reformation and revaluation, - that a presumed or actual compulsion directed against it [i.e. against productive  reformation and revaluation] cannot be repudiated by means of administrative measures and implementation rules confirmed by political majorization, but only by a cognitive contribution to the formation of a common consciousness, which should turn a members’ meeting run and guided in a modern spirit into a meaningful event; only that can grant it the right to exist with regard to the main demand of our time.

If the abolition or far-reaching restriction of the right of initiative were to be implemented, then one in this way would itself use that as basis for what one rejects and exert coercion on the members, which the Council of the Society claims to keep out of the Society by being subject to it in its basic convictions. In contrast to the openness character of the Anthroposophical Society, in contrast to the task of developing consciousness and in contrast to the task of unifying both, that is to say, the union of the esoteric and the exoteric, one would blow up the problem instead of solving it and only achieve thereby that the splinters appear in new forms. As opposed to this, as has already explained from several points of view, public law can, with careful respect to its spiritual content, be applied in the life of the Anthroposophical Society according to its inherent creative power. The same applies to every other form of social life in which the old and the new must meet.

Rudolf Steiner has pointed out that the current democratic forms that underlie the development of social impulses are decisive as long as it is not yet possible to draw new principles  of social design from the spiritual life. It would not yet be possible to speak about this new element "now" (that is, at the time of this statement made before the Christmas Conference). Since the Christmas Conference, however, one can speak of this new element, even though, in view of the current thinking habits, this must be associated with no few disadvantages for the speaker. After all, he exposes himself to the misunderstandings and resistance of all sorts of conventional attitudes. The new principle of community-building and society-shaping was given as an archetype by the Christmas Conference not as the termination but as the fulfilment of public law in the unity of movement and Society, of the esoteric and the exoteric. During the members' meeting of the year 1972, many members of the Anthroposophical Society, by leaving the great hall of the Goetheanum made it clear that they did not intend to endorse this loss of unity of the esoteric and the exoteric, which at that time threatened to assume an acute mode of appearance.  Through this free act they have carried on the inner principle of unity of the General Anthroposophical Society, freedom in community and community in freedom, an act that is of the utmost importance for the spiritual continuity of the Society. These members have thus done the greatest conceivable service to the Council of the Goetheanum as well as to the rest of the members.

Of course, one can only stammer here about the blessing of the new formative force of community life of mankind. The active endeavor to evoke these formative forces, the effect of which is to unite the Anthroposophical Society and Movement, could however be the social meditation proclaimed by the deed, which discloses the secret that prevails here, and that is destined to expand its impact on all walks of social life. If the creation of a transcendental universal human being in a knowledge community were  to be taken up as a task, it could mark the beginning of a new pronouncement of the primordial word, indicated by the beginning of the Gospel of John. That primal word contains a language that was given to all as a gift of their own, which nevertheless was spoken by everyone in a completely individual manner. Obviously, the pursuit of fulfilling this task can in the beginning only be very imperfect, but it can awaken and keep awake the seriousness without which there is no spiritual continuity of the Anthroposophical Society and no newly emerging communities through the metamorphosis of consciousness. In addition, it can save anyone seeking real progress from self-deception with regard to the value of what is usually estimated to be progress or even to be a definitive fixed form in a certain area, in which there can only be movement. In no other area is the culture of versatile thoughts and elastic decisions such an equally indispensable condition, - in no other area, however, can the "boldness of the idea" enjoy greater and more careful respect for its severity in our willingness to assume responsibility.

9.3 On the Question of Meetings of Delegates

What is sketched here will be clarified further by delving into another question. The explanations that are possible in this regard, however, need to be supplemented even more than before. The issue at hand concerns changing the members' meeting of the General Anthroposophical Society into a meeting of delegates, an issue that has recently gained the interest of many members. Also in the considerations and decisions about this problem, the different points of view with regard to the Free School and the Society clearly stand out. This issue is therefore equally suitable for clarifying the sketch drawn here.

It is once again quite obvious to advance the argument, corresponding to habits of thought, for changing  the members' meeting to a meeting of delegates that, where voting can be done at all, those entitled to vote should possess sufficient background knowledge and have amply proven to be capable of forming clear judgements. It is often believed hereby that the voting process only relates to questions of law, while spiritual questions should remain outside the sphere where voting takes place. A great deal has already been noted about this in the foregoing. However, it must also be said here that this distinction between legal and cognitive questions with respect to the question whether they can be put to the vote or not appears incomprehensible. After all, legal questions are cognitive questions, because clarity about them can only be provided with the aid of thinking. The acquisition of knowledge in this area is one of the most difficult matters that exist at all and is of the utmost consequence for the public interest. This should be clear to anyone with any healthy common sense, even if one is not familiar with the ideas of Rudolf Steiner pertaining to this question. Insofar as clarification on legal questions, as all other spiritual questions, is only possible by means of thinking, it is therefore part of the interaction between the interest shown by members and the advisory initiative by the Council at a members' meeting. A decision that is possibly to be taken by the meeting  concerns therefore not this elucidation, but, as is the case with all other spiritual questions,  the willingness or either unwillingness – depending on whether the clarification was achieved or not – to make the jointly conceived deliberation the basis for one's own actions and to also express this. This controversial question cannot be delved into far enough here. In order to avoid misunderstandings, it should be noted in the meantime that the characteristics of the sphere of rights are by no means misunderstood by what is put forward. This is based on the fact that a show of recognition and willingness, which is combined with intuitions pertaining to rights, describes the domain in which the conduct and actions of entire groups of people should occur in a long-term consistency. Within a knowledge community, however, any cognitive problem can at any time acquire the meaning of such a rights-forming factor motivated by joint action and fulfilling the specific field of application.

Another argument in favor of the delegation model is seen in the prevention of geographical majorization and the predominance of their specific interests. Yet the historical and karmic significance of such local majorities will only be assessed as being slight if, on the one hand, the not merely group-related interest of the members and their unselfish initiatives are disdained and, on the other hand, the formative forces of an anthroposophical members’ meeting, like any other modern general meeting, is only judged from administrative-political points of view and not as the wings of the spirit on the individual consciousness carriers. For the rest, this argument is hardly important in view of the current traffic conditions and certainly not if one trusts in the consciousness-raising dignity of an anthroposophical (or any other) members’ meeting. Obviously, this trust is only justified, if one is willing to break with everything that is connected with the administrative nature of associations) and if one has the courage to face the difficulties (by no means underestimated by the author) that are inevitable at the beginning of such a break.

As stated above, an extensive treatment of this issue is not possible in this publication and it is therefore not the intention to compile a compendium of all the arguments and counter-arguments in this case. Since the problem was only raised in order to clarify the already developed view of the nature of the Free School and the Society, the main argument under consideration here will presently be aired. It is namely put forward that it is only in the case of delegation that the whole Society could be represented in a voting process. And this, since it concerns a questions of rights, would be absolutely necessary, because these questions are of concern to all.  The doubtfulness of this additional argument will not be dealt with again, especially since the concern for total representation affects every important process within the Society. Instead, the essential that in connection with this study is continually present is to be pointed to,  namely to the fundamental difference that results from the assessment of the present questions, depending on whether the administrative-technical building of frameworks or the development of a social-organic process is regarded as constitutionally valid.

Now, without a doubt, representation (of the living being Anthroposophia and modern consciousness-based community-building) is a constitutionally valid basic element of the events in the Society and of membership in the Free School. In this sense, the participants of the process of refoundation of the Christmas Conference were delegates and they became such in the sense and to the extent of their participation in the enhanced meaning of representation. As a standing conference, the Christmas Conference is predisposed to constantly prove its activity from the same foundations, to always prepare itself anew and to repeat itself archetypically (as an eternal entity in alternation of appearances) at the annual members’ meetings. That is why delegation and representation in the sense of the Christmas Conference are part of the constitutive elements of an anthroposophical members’ meeting. In the meantime, there is hardly a participant in a members' meeting that does not in one way or another, as a delegate and representative, express his interest and initiative to like-minded spirits. The level of awareness and determination with which this lives in him will certainly vary from case to case. But it cannot be denied that participation in a members' meeting in reality ever happens other than in harmony with kindred spirits. In this respect it is not at all decisive whether this harmony manifests itself in certain commissions, in feelings of common responsibility or only by working on the same problems and in nurturing related convictions. However, it is easy to recognize that in this lively process of delegation and representation, the basic social-organic nature of the Society does not expresses itself yet as a fully conscious formative event, but that with the conscious decision to form a common consciousness it wants to achieve a free and completely developed form of manifestation through a constitutionally valid members' meeting. As a fellow bearer of common consciousness, the liturgical blessing of which Rudolf Steiner wanted to spread through the Christmas Conference and the social-formative events taking place within this domain, everyone is a delegate and representative, because all are delegates and representatives of this common consciousness of the living entity Anthroposophia (of the spiritually living being of a modern society).

Without the lively events brought about by this process of delegation, a modern society cannot live and work in the sense of these deliberations, and its members’ meetings would lack all seriousness and dignity, indeed, they would amount to nothing more than fictional veils hiding nothing, as no spiritual reality would offer to connect itself to their outer sheaths. However, it is of the utmost importance for the view on this social-organic life-process, that an organ of perception be opened in it for the merging of spontaneous decisions and for the effective preparation of destiny in the depth of historical events. The openness for the given situation is thereby the decisive factor.

There is therefore hardly any more effective means of inhibiting this vital process of society- shaping and community-building than the attempt through a decision based on the law of associations to straitjacket it in administrative frameworks; there are similarly few interventions that would extend deeper into the spiritual foundations of a modern society (such as the anthroposophical one) than the loss of trust in the destiny above us and the freedom of insight in us connected with the delegation bureaucracy. In the light of this, it should not be decided to replace a public mystery with an officialese competency without looking up to the highest orientational goals of responsibility. Rudolf Steiner's reference to the delegation modus as a possibility is, of course, to be understood in the sense of the Christmas Conference, not as the recommendation for bureaucratization, but as the reference to a vital process that in the given moment of the history of the Society, drawing from its evolutionary source, can take shape in a specific form. It would even be more questionable, if a members' meeting in the form of a meeting of delegates were not to be organized in a clearly institutionalized form, thus judgeable for all, but veiled and therefore unnoticed by many,  in such a way that all points on the agenda would be occupied with the votes of designated or desirable representatives, thereby leaving no or very limited space within the remaining time available for those defending other views – as such the stamp of a certain concept would be put on the whole members’ meeting (such as may be associated with an administrative mindset),  instead that it would awaken the free interplay of forces and their surprising modes of appearance. It hardly needs to be emphasized that such a lively course of events can unfold in a most rewarding manner, when a significant and contemporary general theme is given to the members' meeting.

What speaks for the formation of an elite of delegates as a protective feature of an administrative framework offering a certain freedom within its limits has already been discussed. The author is not at all blind to the advantages of such an institutionalization of the delegation process. He also believes that an understanding between defenders and champions of this view in mutual openness is indeed possible, since an institutionalization of a temporary nature for certain areas of knowledge in the sense of consultation and decision-making power also seems to be worth considering – as long as the fundamental delegation model is not lost sight of and put out of action. For modern social life requires that all aspirations coming forward with a strong commitment from real convictions in this area seek mutual rapprochement. There is undoubtedly a social scientific and social formative task here. In the present context, it was only possible through an at least sketchy treatment to make a contribution to the alternative of the administrative-technical building of frameworks and the social-organic development of consciousness.

It may be added that it is not unknown to the author that such groups and working communities that gave and give a real contribution to the advancement of culture (or were and are able as well to effectively prevent this), were and are always led by elites and their exemplary representatives.

This argument, however, loses its significance against the formation of the new social organic consciousness advocated here, if it engages itself in the institutionalization of the elitist influence. For this influence only then arises  and from the live-and-let-live founts of freedom, if it results from the self-confirming productivity of the deed. To always recognize and accept such an influence, which time and again arises from the unforeseeable future, to further and adopt it in one’s own educational aspirations and advance it from there, will be the main requirement of a modern consciousness community. For in nothing else will those jointly striving towards a true goal, while becoming more conscious of the dignity of their fellow man and their own, know themselves to be connected, than in respect for the achievements of creative individualities. On the other hand, nothing is more unworthy than the misunderstanding and contempt of real productivity.

At the end of this section it may be worthwhile to examine whether or not the capacity of a common consciousness to represent all, even in the physical presence of only a few,  is not necessarily confronted with the delegation as a framework institution that, in spite of the best intention to represent all, runs the risk of actually representing no one. For it is not the delegation institute, but the lively delegation event that decides historically and karmically about the presence of the spirit of the consciousness of society, which is something universal and at the same time borne by the individual knowledge of free human beings.

[1] The more precise social-scientific investigation of a procedure that deviates from the "Principles" of the Anthroposophical Society by abolishing the right of initiative, is not appropriate here and must be done elsewhere. However, it has become clear here that the consequence of this approach is the complete abolition of the rights  of minorities, as it removes the basis for their claim to hear and be heard, for exchanging opinions as well as for expressing consent and rejection.

9.4 Rudolf Steiners Greatest Work

By means of what was developed here, the (no doubt inadequate) attempt was to be made to create an understanding of how the ‘Principles’ of the general Anthroposophical Society, which are closely connected to the constitution of the Free School, can be viewed as a unique design of the most modern forms of cohabitation and cooperation. The ‘Principles’ and the ‘Constitution’ are an intimate appeal to our cognitive faculty thereby strongly encouraging us to gradually develop a mode of conduct and action corresponding to their inner nature. How unfamiliar this principal and constitutional element is to us, this living rhythmic exchange between the societal organs meeting each other in mutual respect, namely the General Assembly on the one hand and the School represented by the Council on the other, how much we are still caught up in routine notions about that what needs to happen, how little we are open for new developments that want to emerge and how great the danger is during the processes of social formation to give priority to the administrative-political setting up of frame works  instead of the evolutionary happenings of cognitive clearance and consciousness society, all of that the general assemblies of the Anthroposophical Society of the last few years have painfully brought to light. They could convey the insight that with respect to the greatest work of Rudolf Steiner, his inauguration of a knowledge society and thereby the foundation of the new Christian mysteries as well as a principle of civilization derived therefrom, the same thing applies as to his other works. These are everywhere completely transparent, but yet their grounds are nowhere to be reached, for they are created from the deepest spiritual foundations. Therefore their first level of active understanding is nothing else than the entrance to a further level – and in this way the acquaintance with this work is continued from entrance to entrance, from transition to transition while constantly gaining new perspectives, whereby every acquired insight can become a problem and every problem an insight. Whoever does not go along in this evolutionary dynamic by transforming his own consciousness, robs himself of the cognitive jewels that Rudolf Steiner has lit up in front of him. Therefore we should also take the ‘Principles’ and the  constitution of the Free School, the understanding of which brings the refoundation of the mysteries and thereby the culture of our epoch into view, not too lightly and while in the course of acquiring and handling them not be satisfied with the initial attempt to do so. The remarks of the author are meant to create an understanding for the task character of the ‘Principles’ and their related cognitive fields, the acquisition of which is confronted with a reservoir of problems for a whole epoch. Should everything brought forward here turn out to be insufficient, yet through their inherent disposition have created by some readers an understanding of the magnitude and the richness of the problems as well as the readiness to live in research and action with them, the author would have considered his efforts to be rewarded.”

10. Concluding Remarks

10.1 The Complaint of Contentlessness. The Difference between Mental Image and Living Concept

While reviewing what was developed here, positively as well as negatively affected readers could make an essentially similar objection. One group could argue that it is also their desire to overcome the old administrative or management mentality and behavior and instead to cooperate with the breakthrough of a new impulse. Therefore it may be explained to them how this could happen through concrete suggestions. The others could charge that this study is devoid of all content. In spite of its great pretensions, no concrete representations can be condensed from the indeterminacy of the common phrases brought forward. Therefore, the more the author gives utterance to this words, the more he would unmistakably reveals his inability to direct the attention of his readers to clearly defined goals and visual measures that would be able to achieve these objectives. He would therefore exhaust himself in a meaningless polemic against what has been tried and tested, trying in vain to conceal his inability to make positive statements.

Despite the deviating nuance, both cases concern the same objection that with unconscious accuracy points to the fundamental views on which this presentation is based. In order to clarify this ideational basis, the difference between a living concept and a devitalized [German: abgelähmt] representation would have to be discussed in connection with Rudolf Steiner’s book The Philosophy of Freedom. Creating an understanding of this contrast between living and dead thinking on the basis of certain cases and situations is one of the main tasks of basic anthroposophical research and individual schooling. As the starting point of every contemporary and situational science and all future social design, this contradiction has in its outlines already been characterized with epoch-making validity in Rudolf Steiner’s The Philosophy of Freedom. Those who cannot see this distinction will not be able to gain access to the deliberations brought forward here by the author. It is not possible to go into this problem in detail here. Therefore it can only be briefly recalled that, in the sense of the Goetheanism further developed by Rudolf Steiner, living concepts are formative archetypes that can become active both in the human mind and in the rest of reality. They are, therefore, the creators of a flexible sculpture of judgment based on a recognition of like through like of the ideational (though not functional) equality in the mind of man and in the world of phenomena. The cognitive human being can only become aware of these living concepts through the mobile processes of his thinking volition, which he both exercises and observes. If, in this observation of cognitive events, he succeeds not only in grasping their resultant final stages, but also their processuality, he becomes aware that he is involved in the reality-creating gestures of an objective, broadly varied style-forming event simultaneously occurring as individual self-realization. In this way his self-evolution  arises from the evolution of the world, an event that continually repeats itself in the self-cognition of man, enduring in him  and changing him. Only the intuitive ability of such a movement experience opens itself for the inspiration of its objective formative force and is able to create the transformative images on which the human being can base the actions of his moral technique. Those representations, on the other hand, that out of the cognitive and reality movement solidify into a fixed form only possess the character of (necessarily transient) stipulations and determinations. Whoever turns them into rules for his judgments and actions, therefore does not create from objective reality-forming forces, but only becomes aware of them in moments of exhaustion. Accordingly, such representations can serve only the subjectively oriented needs of individuals or of whole groups of people, but not true progress.

By means of the present treatise, the author attempted to give a social-scientific and social-therapeutic example in order to clarify the fundamental contradiction between dead and living ordering principles. Establishing a common consciousness relates to the building of administrative-political frameworks as a living concept to a devitalized representation. Whoever is only willing and able to administrate requires fixed representations condensed from the living formative flow of the creative spirit corresponding to certain stages of a metamorphological series of enforcements and certain stages of a process of implementation. However, anyone who wants to understand the modern social organics of Rudolf Steiner and wants to make it into the impetus for his actions, can only create from the intuitive life-content of reality related experience. Nevertheless, at every moment of the process of social formative realization social scientific tasks will be presented to him in the form of an inner challenge for the development of new metamorphoses of the social archetype. If one is able to also obtain these metamorphoses in the realm of the living, one will always be able to bring out from them new structures of real social realization and thereby again give himself new assignments for social scientific research. However, one will always have to examine oneself in a super-individual presence of mind that intuitive conscience that watches over the common consciousness of free individualities. Therefore, the indications outlined here can only direct the attention to a realm of ​​inner practice and experience, but not give specific instructions for attaining successful, clearing defects and increasing efficiency in the sense of prosperity thinking.[1]

10.2 Some Words of Rudolf Steiner About the Nature of the Constitution  of the Free School and the Anthroposophical Society

Considering the seriousness with which these deliberations must be approached and which of course is the only manner enabling one to gain access to the living word, Rudolf Steiner’s  words in print may also be brought to mind, although these are only of real significance when they stimulate our actions through their mobility and not as fixed representations. But precisely in view of the social formative task of forming a common consciousness of free individualities, it can be understood that Rudolf Steiner calls the "anthroposophical movement ... in its entirety and in all its details” a "worship of God, a religious service”, emphasizing in many expressions that "the spiritual-esoteric should be the foundation of all our works and being", that the "Principles" are adjusted to the purely human and that only this and not a dogma (as the case can be according to an administrative framework) defines its reality character and that the Society cannot have a "principled-schematic structure", but that "in the future" one should strive to "to organize things in such a way that they are derived from the real powers of the Society", not from abstract principles and administrative-political measures, but from the convictions of people, who are embraced by the indestructible soul-spiritually living Goetheanum and who are called upon to help build it. In that frame of mind, Rudolf Steiner addressed the like-minded delegates and members of the Christmas Conference, so that in them the decision would be strengthened  to help build a work that was begun and that should be continued, "defying the incomprehension of Gods and man." This work requires views that live up to the future, not to administrative norms, it requires a thinking that becomes capable of forming "concepts and ideas worthy to the Gods" in a consciousness community, that creates the courage for truthfulness from the center of the being of Anthroposophia, so that under the protection of such truth and awakened courage, the physical Goetheanum could become a true symbol of the inviolable spiritual Goetheanum, whose spiritual presence is sealed by the agony of the course of its destiny.[2]

10.3 The Seriousness of the Task

Would it not be possible in the light of the seriousness of this task also in the face of the unusual, to refrain from hostility and coercion, and to also respect the conviction of those with different views and the decisions compatible with their insight, even though what is revealed here appears to be at first so unfamiliar? Or would it indeed be impossible in a modern society to deal with views that differ from one’s own habits of thought in a cognitive manner and not only, as so often happens, to ensure this, but also to confirm it through one’s own behavior? The author is certain that the consciousness community of free spirits inaugurated by Rudolf  Steiner would be the best ground on which, without resorting to sharply defined cognitive characterizations, one would be able to refrain from unmotivated evaluations and devaluations, forced propagandist argumentations and defamations. On this mobile ground, firmly established by the boldness of the idea, uninhibited by the concern for personal prestige and only supported by the consensuses of the insight of prudent human beings, a free interplay of convictions could be vouch-saved, unfolded and be furthered with mutual participation. Whoever relies on no other power than that of free insight as that which ultimately stands the test, and only recognizes in it the continual creativity and its durability through the resilient principle of modern social life, must not confront fallacies or what only appears to be such by exercising external powers of authority and invoking static administrative frameworks: he can entrust the ordering of the disorder and the maturation of the inadequate to the  freedom-respecting efficacy of knowledge that elevates the with reason endowed minds to a permanent constitutional process, whereby obviously the forefinger cannot be wagged as a warning.

To the extent that instead of the real abstraction of administrative frameworks the spiritual concretization of the common consciousness of free individualities, the manifestation of a higher spirituality begins to become active, the living foundation of the harmonious cooperation of hearts, of which Rudolf Steiner speaks, can once again be established in a free society of the Christmas Conference of the New Year 1923 / 24, no matter how much divisiveness may have crept into it, can once again enter that feeling of coming home, from the lack of which many today are suffering, - those the most who speak the least about it, as everyone knows who is able to watch the hearts from within and are not misled by what easily comes to the surface.

10.4 About the Inner Attitude of What Has Been Developed

Some readers will object that, on the one hand, those who have an inner relationship to the event of the Christmas Meeting at the turn of the year 1923/24 do not need the substantiation given here, nor the repetition of Rudolf Steiner's words in print to ensure them that these have become a part of their lives, and that on the other hand those who cannot understand this writing, because they do not want to understand it, will not change their volitional attitude, as experience teaches, even in case they would consider it worthwhile to take notice of what they deem to be theoretical. The author’s efforts would therefore be superfluous. However true that may be, the author nevertheless believes that the constant renewal of keen reflection on what may be considered as already known and processed means more in a consciousness community for the hopes and concern of its members than the perception of it in solitude and that in this renewed reflection lies a supplementation and expansion, albeit initially secret, of that which in a first attempt necessarily remains incomplete and one-sided, - and that those who are not prepared in the waking state to take part in such teamwork will nevertheless dedicate themselves to it in the subconscious, now that there is an epistemologically based impetus for it. Apart from that, the author has put forward these expositions not in order to win kindred spirits, but because he is satisfies by the conviction that, despite all imperfection, they are true, although not in the sense of rammed piles, of which the unshakability can put off, but of implanted fruit twigs that can grow, that of course are also in need of care and that invite everyone, whether they are amenable to it or not, to come closer.[3] [4]

[1] Whoever wants to do an exercise for the distinction between living and dead thinking, can ask in which succession the paragraphs of the "Principles" of the General Anthroposophical Society would have to be arranged from the point of view of abstract proposals and why Rudolf Steiner gave preference to another arrangement. The publication of the author mentioned in a footnote  on Section 10.1 attempts to give an answer to this question.
[2] The first Goetheanum was destroyed by arson on December 31, 1923.
[3] These observations are a partial report from the social scientific work at the Goetheanum in Dornach. They are at the same time an elucidation, again in need themselves of supplementation, of the author’s essay  Im Vertrauen auf Verständnis (In Confidence of Understanding), Dornach 1971.
[4] The starting point of the author’s observations, as befits the level of consciousness of our time and the orientational right and duty of the members of the General Anthroposophical Society, is a special case, namely the members’ meeting of the year 1972. They want to direct attention on fundamental issues, not in a distracted and syllogistic manner, but on the basis of experience and the requirements of the order of social life. Yet it cannot be the intention and the task to deal with the countless errors, inaccuracies, repetition of things that have long been rectified and wrong, misleading and irrelevant allegations in the reports about this Members' Meeting (in the Supplement of the journal Goetheanum, Was in der Anthroposophischen Gesellschaft vorgeht). Instead, they want by means of an example to characterize the possibilities and difficulties that the architects of future fabrics of social and cultural life must be aware of. They should therefore not only be an aid to orientation for the members of the Anthroposophical Society and especially its newcomers, but also make manifest Rudolf Steiner's greatest work as the archetype of a future civilization and its working communities.

Appendix I


The following translation in progress of an article by Herbert Witzenmann delineates his reasons on why he was against the majority decision made by his colleagues on the Council at the Goetheanum, Free School for Spiritual Science in Dornach to end the ban on editions of books by Rudolf Steiner published by the Rudolf Steiner Literary Estate and to start offering them for sale at the Goetheanum Bookstore, the formal reason being that the Goetheanum could not allow these editions in its domain from an association that denied its spiritual existence without thereby forfeiting and justifying its own existence as such.  It created a “never-ending problem” known as the Book Question.  The article first appeared in “Anthroposophic Newssheet, Vol. 36, NO 7/8 from February 25, 1968. It will appear as an appendix to the social-aesthetic study “To Create or to Administrate – Rudolf Steiner’s Social Organics / A New Principle of Civilization” of which a partial working translation is available online that will soon be renewed and updated. Note that the term Principles used here refers to the original statutes of the Anthroposophical Society now called Foundation Statute.

The “Principles” that Rudolf Steiner gave to the Anthroposophical Society when it was founded anew are an open secret.  They present a world historical example of how within a modern community the principe of initiation can become the principle of civilization. True knowledge of the spiritual world, its investigation on the basis of spiritual scientific schooling should form within this society the foundation for a cultivation of the life of soul in the individual human being and in human society, for brotherliness of social life and a fruitful development and renewal in all spheres of culture.

At the center of these Principles stands paragraph 8; the number of paragraphs preceding and following it are the same. This Principle stresses equally the Society’s fully public existence and the concealed character of its inner life.  For the latter is accessible only along the paths of spiritual scientific schooling. Only a preliminary knowledge is deemed competent to form a judgement about the publications of the Free School, yet they will be released without restriction to the public. Publicity and privacy are the pillars which form the portal of the Free School and support the roof arched protectively over the Society. This roof would have to collapse were one of the pillars to give way, which according to Rudolf Steiner ‘s architectonic archetype support it only in conjunction with each other.

The motive that as the good genius of the publications of the Free School gives paragraph 8 such a heroic ring of courage, which we hear again and again on the spiritual paths, pervades  the whole sequence of the Principles. Everywhere there is talk of an openness, the vital element of which is intercourse with the spiritual world, of a spiritual scientific schooling and research in all openness, of a trust in the spiritual world that also in the midst of an outer world without understanding rests exclusively on its own spiritual foundations, and of the cultivation of an inner life, which without discrimination invites all to come into its newly erected house. Because the bridge  in which the customs are supplanted by intuitions as its pillars has successfully been thrown.

The greatest courage was needed on the part the founder of the Christmas Conference in order to carry out the intentions thus designated. For none of those who do not acknowledge the spiritual backgrounds of the outer world can help but feel that this is a senseless and doubtful undertaking.  And all those for whom these backgrounds are not merely an inducement to formulate theories but  in the sense of the Principles adopt them as their standard of life , must encounter merciless opposition. Youth alone, indeed frequently without being able to become aware of it, is basically everywhere and even on stray paths an ally of that spiritual courage. For young people want to break out of a life based on traditions and empty words and are on a quest for a truly spiritual presence of mind in the outer world,  for a resurgence of their inner life out of a transformation of consciousness.  And each of their banners reads, even though their bearers are frequently unable to interpret it: “The Principle of Initiation Must Become Again The Principle of Civilization!”

This appeal would only be a declamation, however,  were it not based on Rudolf Steiner’s spiritual science and way of life. Rudolf Steiner has made the Free School into a site of a real connection of its members with the spiritual world Only this connection  fills its  publications, albeit in an occult way, with spiritual life; if this life force were to dry up, the material that it publishes would wither away. Hence as long as the Free School is alive, the protection indicated by paragraph 8 also goes on living. This protections rests upon the power of a spiritual community-building process that is also called upon to work into a world that is estranged to it. The obligation taken up by the member of the Free School in the sense of paragraph 8  and in general of the Rudolf Steiner’s Principles is therefore all the more serious and greater the less it is understood and accepted outside the Free School.

But a grave objection must be raised here. Only as long as Rudolf Steiner, so it could be argued, as the legitimate representative of our connection with the spiritual world dwelled physically in our midst and in his untiring virtue lifted us through the testimonies of this union above ourselves,  only then would this spring continue to flow. Since that time, the things presented here possess merely a retrospective significance, they describe what was once was, not an on-going event, the presence of which we may proclaim among ourselves.

The Rudolf Steiner Literary Estate [German: Rudolf Steiner Nachlassverwaltung] owes its origin to the above-mentioned view, from which it seeks to draw its justification for its work. Its activity, its editions express the view that the spiritually living and not only institutional Free School as founded by Rudolf Steiner no longer exists, and that those who were entrusted with the task of continuing it have failed. An invincible chasm separates our present from the time of Rudolf Steiner’s work on earth and the only task remaining besides our personal development is to administer what he has left behind until it will again be possible for him to work physically on earth.

 Those who soberly look around and conscientiously into themselves will certainly not consider such a view to be incomprehensible. For in the case of most people striving for spiritual scientific schooling, its results are rudimentary and imperfect – if they appear at all. Thus what was once a reality in Rudolf Steiner’s lifetime through his own being, so one could be of the opinion, can today only be a fruitless ideology or even a deceptive illusion.

However fruitful the content of such self-knowledge may be, as little does it justice to the Christmas Conference of the refounding of the Anthroposophical Society. For this refoundation also draws our imperfections in a novel way into its sphere of activity. Rudolf Steiner’s spiritual-artistic power of invention manifests itself again and again in the fact that he transforms difficulties into new creations, and the straggling behind of those entrusted to him into inspirations of their progress. The Christmas Conference is certainly the greatest among these creations. It guarantees that, as long as human beings are truly striving in its spirit, the living stream of its work can, even with feeble forces, be led forward into the future. For one of the open secrets of the Christmas Conference is the establishment of a new nexus between the individual, the communal and super-individual spirithood. Human beings todat can, to be sure, pursue the paths into the spiritual world  in a right way only through ethical individualism. However, when they flow into a uniformity of consciousness  that is developed in carrying out common tasks, they lead further than they do in isolation. from time immemorial human beings who were led together by an earnest striving could revere a spiritual presence in their midst that greatly overtowered them. Through the refoundation of the Anthroposophical Society this experience of reverence too went through a renewal in keeping with the times. The Christmas Conference is therefore more than a revelation of wisdom and indication of a spiritual path, it is a reality,  the establishment of a new community building. Since this foundational deed by Rudolf Steiner the spirit of a new community can become present in the united consciousness of free individualities. In order to lay this groundwork it was not sufficient to send forth  a new call rousing the community’s willingness to develop the content of new teachings and to disclose the possibilities of new schooling, no matter how important beyond words all this is. Through Rudolf Steiner’s foundational deed and act of sacrifice, it was necessary above and beyond this to establish a new basis of reality, which in this form was not yet possible before. The power of faith of every soul, who out of knowledge trusts the foundational deed by Rudolf Steiner, can since that event become a part of  the etheric cup of a common consciousness that may receive the grace of the spiritual world in herself. The event of the Christmas Conference, in spite of all the obstacles in the outer world and in spite of all our inner shortcomings, therefore continues as long as human beings are only ready to follow that event with true faithfulness and trust and as long as they are determined not to give way to the resistance through which they are put to the test.

This continuing event overshadows the individual capacities that unite in its experience by far. Hence, the immediate gain that it brings is less evident and less significant than its result for Rudolf Steiner’s work. For this work, above all in its literary form of appearance, requires protection; and this of course applies, albeit in a modified form, also to that part of the work which Rudolf Steiner destined himself to be printed. According to Rudolf Steiner’s own words, the printing of books must be ennobled through a holy frame of mind. To be sure, not we with our personal resources can offer this protection to Rudolf Steiner’s work. But through us, through the community of individual human beings, no matter how imperfect, the spiritual world can unfold its protective action. Over the community that in its cup receives the contents of the spiritual world,  that invisible roof can be spanned that, supported by the pillars of publicity and secrecy, extends far beyond time and space into the outer world, also protecting those who know nothing about it and do not heed the spiritual backgrounds of the outer world. For the efficacy of the spiritual world is not dependent on measures that obtain their signature from material things. The spiritual world  does, however, await decisions borne by knowledge that unite in inner constructive work and a steadfastness that, transformed into insight, does not shrink back when it meets resistance enforced upon it.

The dissemination of Rudolf Steiner’s work, which really takes place only when its strikes roots in the hearts, is not only ensured by the fact that it is offered  for sale and put to use in many places. Of crucial importance in this respect is rather that it is at least in one place protected in an archetypal fashion. This forms part of the open secret of the Christmas Conference, for the efficacy of which indeed no proof can be given for those who believe only in external causal relationships.

When those who are called upon in loyal protection of this work find themselves, then its power does not languish due to the mere fact that many set foot in a place where it should have its physical center with another frame of mind and a different behavior. If the true significance and cohesiveness of the pillars of publicity and secrecy are recognized and respected by those who are willing to work on behalf of the Free school, then the equilibrium of the roof supported by these pillars remains unperturbed.  

And even though the shortcomings of striving human beings must constantly change and may change, they can nevertheless in this changeover be ever more clearly illuminated by the light of the eternal. In the Christmas Conference Rudolf Steiner has connected something eternal with us: we must change ourselves to an ever better and more active  understanding that openness and secrecy,  living Free School and published work can inextricably be only two aspects of the same thing – to be changed must be the abilities with which  we weave from the living garment of the eternal above us.

From the afore-going follows that the so-called book question cannot be separated from the question of the Free School. For two things cannot be ignored:

1. The Rudolf Steiner Literary Estate stands in a most decisive opposition to the living Free School. It denies the possibility of realizing the Free School in the sense of the continuity of the Christmas Conference and brings this to expression in the most evident way through its editorial activity. The Literary Estate does thereby not only fail to acknowledge the independence of the Free School, but also prevents the Free School from doing justice to one of its pre-eminent tasks: publishing the literary work of Rudolf Steiner. To refer to Rudolf Steiner’s testamentary provisions as being expressly in favor of the Literary Estate is erroneous, because Rudolf Steiner would have changed them had it not been possible to reconcile them with the Christmas Conference. He therefore expected that that his testamentary provisions would be fulfilled. This agreement, rather, implies the greatest freedom on the part of those executing them, for only by acting in this manner does one find oneself in agreement with one’s higher being. Consequently the Free School cannot sell the editions of the Literary Estate as long as its editions owe their existence to the views and intentions, as is the case with the present representatives, that are in contradiction to the nature of the Free School and the task taken on by it. Moreover, the Literary Estate has up to the present day not yet distanced itself from the serious accusations made against Albert Steffen, who with his work has so far given the most significant example of a realization of the Christmas Conference.

2. The claim that the editions of the Rudolf Steiner Literary Estate would contain Rudolf Steiner’s spoken words, that we are therefore not dealing with these editions, but with Rudolf Steiner’s ”books” is erroneous. For it is not a matter of preventing someone’s attempt  to seek access to Rudolf Steiner’s immaterial work through a publication of the Literary Estate. It is rather the opposite, namely to keep this access open and ensuring it and indeed not through words, which are unable to do this,  but by anthroposophical action. This action must manifest itself not only in the forming of the consciousness cup, as was described here,  but unfortunately also in the readiness  to stand up against an enforced resistance. The work of Rudolf Steiner is protected in the sense indicated here when continually serious attempts are made to realize the idea of the Free School through the development of consciousness. At the same time this implies the duty to remain faithful to the spiritual laws of life of a modern mystery school, and the determination to avoid in our action every form of compromise with antagonistic intentions and views. This does not of course in any way reject attempts that should be made again and again to reach an understanding with the upholders of conflicting views. Is it so difficult to grasp with the backgrounds of the outer world in mind that when editions of the Literary Estate are physically taken  into the sphere of the Goetheanum, that this signifies at the same time that they are excluded from the sphere of the Goetheanum’s spiritual protection?  This is the case because of the profoundly tragic reason that then the effectiveness of this protective sphere from the center, from which it should emanate, would be breached. For the spiritual correlation of an action such as the one under consideration brings with it extremely serious consequences, because it is a matter concerning the laws of life of a mystery school. Before this breach, however, the edition of the Literary Estate were also included in the protective realm of the Free School. Not even those critics who only want to turn their attention to the facts of the outer world could deny that essential things were lost through that breach. For an institution that through its own volitional development brings itself in opposition to its foundations, finds itself, also from an external viewpoint, in an extremely difficult situation.

From this summary  of both viewpoints developed hereby (namely the opposition of the Rudolf Steiner Literary Estate to the Free School and the nature of the mission taken up by the Free School to protect the work of Rudolf Steiner, it becomes evident that the question of the Free school and the so-called book question cannot be separated and that any attempt to do so must have grave consequences.

It is certainly deeply painful that the editions of Rudolf Steiner’s literary work for the time being cannot be accepted in the Goetheanum. In a spiritual sense this is not so even today; rather the opposite is the case as has been indicated. But it would be far more painful and entail far graver consequences if a permanent situation were to arise, through which the Free School would maneuver itself in opposition to its own foundations. Should one on the contrary never cease in striving to express the nature of the Free School in the spirit of paragraph 8 of the Principles? For paragraph 8 states after all that the public character of the Free School remains true and viable only as long as it is the expression of a real mystery event.  The possibility to continue this mystery event is since the Christmas Conference ensured through developing  a common consciousness in cognitive loyalty to the foundational deed by Rudolf Steiner. The inseparability of the publication of his work from the mystery event inaugurated by him and carried further in the hearts of his students is linked in a most intimate way with his true name, with his copyright that cannot be separated from his personality.

Rudolf Steiner himself has pointed out with utmost seriousness that the continuation of the spiritual events created by him has been laid in our hearts and hands, but that it is in no way ensured without our incessant striving. This continuation is, on the contrary, most vulnerable in a deeply tragic way through our own conduct,  indeed the sacred event in which we should take part can, if we fail, be forcefully turned away from us and be led into other realms of influence.

These reflections are by no means written under the opinion that one should abstain from bringing in arguments that want to set different accents and dissolve the coherences.* But they do rest on the hope that the morning-call resounding in the Principles will awaken a new echo in many a heart.

* It might be pointed out for example that even in the past, books by Rudolf Steiner appeared in publishing companies whose editors were in no way connected with the spiritual sources of his work. However, here one overlooks the fact that the origin of these companies had nothing to do with the Free School, that in spite of this origin they neither got involved in a decisive opposition to the Free School and that their representatives never turned against a member of the Council with the strongest of accusations. This objection does not take at all the spiritual situation marked by the and the Christmas Conference  Principles in account.

Note by the Publisher/Translator

The above article was followed by a “Note” which read: “The Council informs the members that after the preceding two articles by Rudolf Grosse [the then president of the General Anthroposophical Society] and Herbert Witzenmann no further views on the book question will be published in accordance with the communication of January 14, stating that the Council will use all the forces at its disposal for positive anthroposophical work.”

As may have become sufficiently clear from the article by Herbert Witzenmann, it is certainly not his conviction that contemplating the implications involved in the book question is negative anthroposophical work, and he has on his part consequently continued to publish work on these vital fundamental issues. One of these works is his first social aesthetic study “Charter of Humanity – The Principles of the General Anthroposophical Society” (see http://charter-of-humanity.blogspot.nl) that contains his ground-breaking discovery that the 15 paragraphs of these principles are a threefold social organism that constitute a new principle of civilization he termed social organics.. 

Appendix II

The Principles of the General Anthroposophical Society (originally called Statutes of the Anthroposophical Society and now called Foundation Statues)

1. The Anthroposophical Society is to be a union of people who wish to cultivate the life of soul in the individual as well as in human society on the basis of a true knowledge of the spiritual world.
2. The nucleus of this Society consists of those persons, both the individuals and the groups who let themselves be represented, who gathered during Christmas time 1923 at the Goetheanum in Dornach. They are convinced that at present there already exists a real science of the spiritual world, elaborated over many years and of which many important volumes are already published, and that the cultivation of such a science is lacking in the present civilization. This is to be the task of the Anthroposophical Society. It will endeavor to fulfill this task by focusing its activities on the spiritual science of anthroposophy which is cultivated in the Goetheanum at Dornach, with its fruitful results for brotherhood in social life, for moral and religious life and for the artistic and spiritual life in general within the being of man.
3. The persons gathered together in Dornach as the nucleus of the Society recognize and support the view of the leadership of the Goetheanum, represented by the Council formed at the foundation meeting, with respect to the following: "Anthroposophy cultivated at the Goetheanum leads to results which can be beneficial to every human being, without distinction of nation, social standing or religion, as an incentive in spiritual life. These results can give rise to a social life based in a real sense on brotherly love. Adopting them as a basis of life is not dependent on a scientific degree of learning, but only on unbiased human nature. Research underlying these results and professional judgment concerning them, however, are subject to the spiritual scientific training, which is to be acquired step by step. These results are in their own way no less exact than the results achieved by Natural Science. When they likewise attain general recognition, they will bring about a similar progress in all spheres of life, not just in the spiritual, but also in the practical domain."
4. The Anthroposophical Society is not a secret society, but an entirely public one. Anyone without distinction of nationality, religion, scientific or artistic creed or conviction can become a member who considers the existence of such an institution as the Goetheanum in Dornach, Free School of Spiritual Science, to be justified. The Anthroposophical Society rejects any kind of sectarianism. Politics it does not consider to be among its tasks.
5. The Anthroposophical Society regards the Free School of Spiritual Science as a center of its work. 4 This School will consist of three classes. Members of the Society will upon application be admitted after a period of membership to be determined in each case by the direction of the Goetheanum. They thus gain entrance to the first class of the Free School of Spiritual Science. Applicants will be received into the second or third class respectively when the direction at the Goetheanum deem them suitable for admission.
6.  Every member of the Anthroposophical Society has the right to participate, under conditions to be made known by the Council, in all lectures, performances and meetings of any kind organized by the Society.
7. The establishment of the Free School of Spiritual Science is in the first place incumbent on Rudolf Steiner who is to appoint his co-workers and his eventual successor.
8. All publications of the Society shall be open to the public as is the case in other public societies. The publications of the Free School of Spiritual Science will not be exempt from this public availability; however, the direction of the School reserves the right from the outset to challenge the validity of every judgment on these works, that is not based on the schooling of which the works themselves are the outcome. In this sense the direction, as is altogether customary in the recognized scientific world, will acknowledge the validity of no judgment that is not based on the appropriate preliminary studies. Therefore the publications of the Free School of Spiritual Science will contain the following annotation: "Printed in manuscript for the members of the Free School of Spiritual Science, Goetheanum, Class ... No person is held qualified to form a judgment on these works who has not, through the School itself or in an equivalent manner recognized by it, acquired the preliminary knowledge advanced by the School. Other opinions will in so far be rejected as the authors of these works in question will not enter into any type of discussion concerning them."
9. The goal of the Anthroposophical Society will be the furtherance of spiritual-scientific research; that of the Free School of Spiritual Science the performance of this research itself. Dogmatism in any field whatsoever shall be excluded from the Anthroposophical Society.
10. The Anthroposophical Society holds a regular General Meeting every year in which the Council shall submit a full account of its activities. The agenda shall be made known by the Council together with the invitation to all members six weeks before the meeting. The Council may summon extra-ordinary General Meetings and fix the agenda for such Meetings. The invitations to the members shall be sent by the Council three weeks in advance. Motions by individual members or groups of members are to be sent in eight days before the date of the General Meeting. A certain number of members, to be determined from time to time by the by-laws, have the right to demand at any time an extra-ordinary General Meeting.
11. The members can join together in smaller or larger groups on any geo-graphical or thematic field of activity. The Anthroposophical Society has its seat at the Goetheanum. From there the Council is to convey to the members or the groups what it considers to be the task of the Society. It enters into social intercourse with the officials elected or appointed by the individual groups. The individual groups take care of the admission of members; however the confirmation in writing thereof should be submitted to the Council in Dornach and in confidence in the officials signed by the former. In general every member should join a group; only whoever finds it quite impossible to gain admission to a group should apply for admission as a member in Dornach itself.  
12. The subscription shall be fixed by the individual groups; each group however has to send 15 Francs per member to the central direction at the Goetheanum.
13. Each working group draws up its own statutes, but these must not be incompatible with the statutes of the Anthroposophical Society.
14. The organ of the Society is the weekly Goetheanum, which for this purpose shall appear with a supplement containing the official communiqués of the Society. This enlarged edition of the Goetheanum will only be supplied to members of the Anthroposophical Society.
15. The founding Council will be:
                President:                                          Dr Rudolf Steiner
                Vice-president:                                 Albert Steffen
                First secretary:                                  Dr Ita Wegman
                Assessors:                                         Marie Steiner
                                                                          Dr Elizabeth Vreede
                Second secretary and
                Treasurer                                           Dr Guenther Wachsmuth

[1] At this point the author acknowledges the efforts of those who made his publication in one way or another possible. These are: Torodd Lien, Reto Savoldelli, Richard Weinberg and Klaus Hartmann. Then there follows a reference to further literature: The Threefold Social Order and World Economy by Rudolf Steiner and his own essays Vom vierfachen Quell lebedigen Rechts published in Dornach in 1980 (About the Fourfold Source of Living Law, not translated) and Pupilship in the Sign of the Rose Cross, Spicker Books, Ca., (Out of Print).
[2] The author does not fool himself into thinking that his deliberations can be anything more than a stimulus, because in this framework no fully satisfactory elaborateness and clarity can be achieved. He rests in the hope that what he has brought forward, notwithstanding its flaws, will be an incentive for his mindful readers to supplement, further and correct it.
[3] The submission of motions as is done in a members’ meeting, but also as a more general process in the course of human encounters and communications will be dealt with in detail later.
[4] The voting results determined in the course of the members' meeting have the binding character granted by the applicable law of association.
[5] The members’ meetings of the General Anthroposophical Society take place yearly at Eastertide.
[6] The problem of the formation of elites is dealt with in detail in paragraph “9.3 On the Question of the Meetings of Delegates.”
[7] The idea of social organics, which in the course of this treatise will be clarified, was for first developed in detail by Rudolf Steiner in his book The Threefold Social Order. It was presented at that time [in 1919] in a contemporary form, which cannot be applied in an unmodified way to different circumstances. At that time (after World War I) it was conceived as a popular based process of national revitalization after the collapse; later on, it was presented by Rudolf Steiner as the organizing principle of cooperatives and factories. This occurred in an archetypal way for our epoch at the reformation of the Anthroposophical Society. The living educational or formative process as opposed to the rigid administrative principle, that was asserted there and then, is typified by interrelating and intertwining  organic structures and processes that like a living organism are not a ready-made artefact but an event that permanently renews and evolves itself. The following deliberations aim to make Rudolf Steiner archetypal idea of the social organic process in its general significance, in no way limited to the constitution of the Anthroposophical Society, understandable.       
[8] See Robert K. C. Forman on Wikipedia for his term “Pure consciousness event”.