The Art of Avoiding History, by Peter Staudenmaier

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Re: The Art of Avoiding History, by Peter Staudenmaier

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Part 1 of 2

Before Hitler Came: Thule Society and Germanen Order
by Reginald H. Phelps
Journal of Modern History, Vol. 35, No. 3, pp. 245-261
Sep., 1963

LATE IN 1933, several months after the establishment of the National Socialist regime, a book appeared in Münich with the exciting title Bevor Hitler kam: Urkundliches aus der Fruhzeit der nationalsozialistischen Bewegung von Rudolf von Sebottendorff. 1 It was dedicated to the memory of seven members of the Thule Society (Thule Gesellschaft) who were killed by the Reds as "hostages" in Münich on April 30, 1919, the day before the entrance into the city of White troops supporting the Bavarian government, then temporarily exiled in Bamberg.

It combined details of its author's activities in Bavaria during the war and the revolution with an account of the Thule's history. Its principal thesis was summarized by Sebottendorff in the preface:

"Thule members were the people to whom Hitler first turned, and who first allied themselves with Hitler! "

The armament (Rüstung) of the coming Führer consisted-besides the Thule itself-of the Deutscher Arbeiterverein, founded in the Thule by Brother Karl Harrer at Münich, and the Deutsch-Sozialistische Partei, headed there by Hans Georg Grassinger, whose organ was the Münchener Beobachter, later Völkischer Beobachter. From these three sources Hitler created the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei."2

The book must have aroused lively interest, for a second edition appeared early in 1934.3 And well it might, considering the mass of information it contained about the myth-encrusted early days of the counterrevolution in Münich (though not about Hitler personally). Its contents did not at all suit the official view, deriving from Mein Kampf that national socialism was essentially Hitler's own creation. On March 1, 1934 the Bavarian political police sent a brief note to the publisher that the book was banned and confiscated because it was misusing Hitler's name for profit and contained inaccuracies derogatory to leading National Socialists:

"The whole tendency of the book is in general-contrary to fact-to give the chief credit for the national renewal of Germany to the Thule Gesellschaft." 4

Sebottendorff's astounding claims have been little studied. Though Georg Franz- Willing's recent study of the period uses documentary materials from the NSDAP Hauptarchiv in the Berlin Document Center, plus considerable oral information, he largely follows Sebottendorff's account of the Thule.5 This article will consider the history of the Thule in relation to the völkisch movement generally, its connections with the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (DAP, later NSDAP) and the Deutschsozialistische Partei (DSP), with the Völkischer Beobachter, and with the Freikorps Oberland, parent of Bund Oberland, which marched together with the NSDAP in the Hitler Putsch of November 1923.

Materials from the NSDAP Hauptarchiv, from the Rehse Collection, and at the Institut für Zeitgeschichte and the Bavarian State Archives in Münich, make it possible to check Sebottendorff's claims and to fill in extensively the picture of the pre-Hitler völkisch movement, of which the Thule was a small, though locally important, part.

The principal individual sources are documents of Johannes Hering, a central figure in völkisch activities in Münich well before 1914, and of Julius Riittinger of Nuremberg, whose correspondence in the Hauptarchiv sheds considerable light on this murky chapter of ideology and politics. The results only partly confirm the implication of Sebottendorff's title, and his claims; rather they show parallel racist groups, with overlapping member- ships, most of them ultimately absorbed into, allied with, or declared heretical by, the National Socialists.

And they illuminate the tragic event-the "murder of the hostages" (Geiselmord)-which became one of the principal springs of violent anti-Semitism and anti-Leftism in Bavaria. Sebottendorff was born Rudolf Glauer, the son of a locomotive engineer, in Silesia. The Social Democratic Münchener Post reported that he had in 1909 been sentenced as a swindler and forger and that four years later he reappeared as "Baron von Sebottendorff," having meanwhile succeeded in being adopted by an Austrian of that name (and eventually re-adopted by a German branch of the family) and having become a Turkish citizen! 6 His activities in Bavaria from 19l7 to 1919 Will be dealt with below.

After the fall of the Münich Soviet Republic, he moved to Bad Sachsa in the Harz, whence he returned to Istanbul, seems to have traveled in Mexico and perhaps the United States, and turned up again at Münich in 1933, engaged in reviving the Thule. He disappeared after that; his publisher H. G. Grassinger thinks that he was killed by the Nazis but has no proof of this.7 Sebottendorff's is a spectacular version of the not unfamiliar career of the shady and mysterious adventurer, often from foreign parts, who attaches himself vehemently to an extreme nationalist cause.

He built up his own role excessively in the book; but he was less chary than Hitler in Mein Kampf of paying his respects to his "intellectual" antecedents, foremost among them Theodor Fritsch of Leipzig, and in lesser degree three Austrians, Guido von List, Jörg Lanz von Liebenfels, and Baron Wittgenberg.8

The most needed study of the "intellectual" roots of German racism and national socialism is, incidentally, one that would deal with such figures of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Joachim Besser made a promising beginning in 1949 and 1950 but seems not to have pursued it; Wilfried Daim's significant, though not wholly convincing, study of Lanz likewise has not been followed.9

Men like Guido von List and Lanz, publications like the former's .'Germanic" researches and the latter's Ostara-Hefte and his queer tomes of pseudo-anthropology, journals like Ludwig Woltmann's Politisch-anthropologische Revue, reveal a scientifically embroidered racist theory, complete with "theology," propagated with varying success among intelligentsia and aristocrats as well as among that famous foundering petty bourgoisie that is supposed to be the chief consumer of such wares; the same names run through the same arguments and blow up the same balloons of theory, year after year, in book after book.

It is hard to decide the extent of their influence on such political-social movements as Adolf Stoecker's Christian socialism or the other antisemitic groups of the l880's and l890's; though they contributed to the ideological bases of such groups, they did not really produce a mass movement until after 1918; and the following account of Thule and its parent, the Germanen Orden, will show something of how and why this transition from conspiracy and propaganda effort to masspolitics occurred. There is still no thorough study of Theodor Fritsch, probably the most significant figure of German antisemitism before the Nazis, and the chief instigator of the political and conspiratory movement from which the Germanen Orden and Thule grew; author of innumerable tracts and books, a leader from the l880's on in the antisemitic Deutschsoziale Partei and publisher of its Antisemitische Correspondenz and the Deutschsoziale Blätter from 1885 to 1894.10

In 1902, after sulking in his tent for several years, Fritsch founded the Hammer a principal organ of "scientific" antisemitism, and henceforth devoted his chief energies, and the income from his successful trade journal Deutscher Müller, to this cause. He was in close contact with many racist-reformist groups, and he was deeply concerned with spreading his message both to the elite and to the workers-neither of them, especially in South Germany, very ready to receive it during the first decade of the Hammer. Fritsch was an inveterate founder. As early as 1904 the Hammer published an appeal for a völkisch general staff (and Fritsch actually headed a national committee incorporating this idea); Hammer readers early formed local groups, Hammer-Gemeinden, consolidated in 1908 into the Deutsche Erneuerungs.Gemeinde, and two years later the Deutscher Hammerbund.11 Early in 1912 Fritsch ca1led for an antisemitic organization "above the parties." 12

This was a crucial year; the Social Democratic success in the Reichstag election in January, and the growing fear of catastrophe abroad, exemplified in the continuing Morocco crisis and the Balkan war, stirred Fritsch as it simultaneously stirred Heinrich Class, chairman of the Alldeutscher Verband. Class's Wennich der Kaiser wär! published early that year under the pseudonym Daniel Frymann, with its appeal for dictatorship, its passionate denunciation of the Jews, its demand for "Deutschland den Deutschen," supplied Fritsch with a platfonn.13

He summoned Gennans of good will and flawless Teutonic descent to unite, and he sponsored two organizations to carry on the task of "enlightenment". At a meeting in Leipzig on Whitsuntide 1912, these two groups, the Reichshammerbund and the secret Germanen Orden-both already existing-were given formal status. Colonel Hellwig of Kassel headed the former until his death in 1914; the latter was led by Hermann Pohl, a sealer of weights and measures in Magdeburg, who was also Hellwig's vice-chairman in the Reichshammerbund. Among those present at the found- ers. meeting was Julius Rüttinger, prominent in the nationalist commercial employees' union, Deutschnationaler Handlungsgehilfenverband (DHV) at Nuremberg, and soon to be head of both Reichshammerbund and Germanen Orden in that city.14

His correspondence in the NSDAP Hauptarchiv is the chief source for this account of the two organizations until 1919. Their numbers were small, their growth slow. North and central Germany were obviously more fertile ground for this racist antisemitism than Bavaria and the south (and the number of sub- scribers for the Hammer in the north indicates that even that ground was not very fertile). From Leipzig Riittinger received in February 1912 the draft constitution of the Reichshammerbund; the Bundeswart, with Fritsch and an Armanen-Rat of twelve members-the term sounds like an echo of Guido von List's elitism-formed the executive. Members had to guarantee their Aryan blood; leaflets were for the present to be the chief weapon in the struggle against the Jews and for an independent middle c1ass.15

A set of guide lines followed at Easter, urging collaboration with Catholics, a broad spread of propaganda to workers, farmers, teachers, officials, and officers, and special activity at the universities.16 Rüttinger's correspondence reflects the slow progress of the Hammerbund and a persistent trend to internal disputes and petty concems. At the end of 1912, the Nuremberg group reported twenty-three members, an average attendance of ten at meetings, and a balance of 5.58 marks, from a year's income of 94.64! And 1913 showed figures hardly more impressive.17

Indeed, in June 1913 I only nineteen Hammer-Gemeinden existed in all Germany. The liveliest center appears to have been Hamburg, under Alfred Roth, who succeeded Hellwig as Bundeswart on the latter's death in February 1914 and was to achieve notoriety as head in 1919 of the Deutschvölkischer Schutz- und Trutzbund. He was ably seconded at Hamburg by Walter Otto and many other members of the DHV.18

Thousands of leaflets, hand-to-mouth propaganda, and a few hundred members! No wonder this looked like one more of Fritsch's stillborn children. Yet in October 1912 Fritsch and Hellwig informed the Hammer-Gemeinden: "We are now going to the limit!"; the enemy is prepared to exploit war or revolution; the Reichshammerbund must spread discord in his ranks; "he shall find his master in the German!"19

And in the Hammer, in November, Fritsch fired a blast for "The Counter-Revolution"; the "hate of the Tschandala" had for decades been undermining the Germanic peoples; now the counterattack against the "chief criminals" must be launched; "a few hundred courageous men can accomplish the work"; the enemy leaders "must fall, at the very start of the revolt; not even flight abroad shall protect them. As soon as the bonds of civic order lie shattered on the ground and law is trodden underfoot, the Sacred Vehme enters on its rights; it must not fear to smite the mass-criminals with their own weapons."20

Though the development of the secret Germanen Orden appears only obscurely in the material, it was obviously intended to be the activist side of the movement. In Nuremberg, as later in Münich, it lived in the shadows beside the Reichshammerbund; Rüttinger headed both groups in Nuremberg, forming, he wrote, the Germanen Orden out, of the Hammerbund, and there was doubtless much duplication of membership.21

The Hammer rarely commented on the Germanen Orden, but in the first July issue of 1912, Fritsch, responding to inquiries, stated his approval of its aims and leaders. The Orden published frequent advertisements in the Rightist press (e.g., Deutsche Zeitung, Alldeutsche Blätter) at least from 1917 on, inviting "German-blooded, serious men of pure character" to join a "Germanic lodge."22

In organization, ritual, and terminology it clearly imitated Freemasonry. It published for many years a journal, Runen embellished by the inevitable völkisch swastika-a widespread symbol among racists long before Hitler had been heard of. The Hauptarchiv contains a hectographed notice from Pohl, dated January 12, 1912, referring to a circular he had sent the previous November to "50 loyal persons in the Reich and Austria," about forming secret lodges to spread Fritsch's ideas.23

Most of the favorable replies were from north and central Germany, and he announced that he had found support in thirty-seven different places. His tone was violent, his stress was on an "Aryan-Germanic" religious revival, Germanic supremacy over "lower working races," "inexorable hate for the Jews" and their exclusion from the Volkskörper; an all-powerful Pan-Germany-but he urged cautious procedure toward the Jews as well as toward the church.

In the spring Rüttinger sounded Hering-a central figure in völkisch activities in Münich-about founding a lodge there, but was informed that "the soil in Münich is too virginal"; it was even difficult to keep together in tha.t tolerant city the fifty to sixty members of the Deutschsoziale Partei and the Hammerbund 24 Rüttinger's approach to Karl Matthes of Münich was more fruitful, and, some time in 1913, Matthes evidently established a lodge at Münich. though he reported in October, "The work here is damned hard!"25 During the following months Pohl urged the creation of a grand lodge for all Bavaria, and there was some discussion whether Nuremberg or Münich should be its cen- ter.26

The Reichshammerbund was also established in Münich that spring, headed by Wilhelm Rohmeder, chairman of the Deutscher Schulverein and a familiar figure then and after the war in Münich nationalist circles.27 The war threw both organizations into confusion. Rüttinger went to the front early. Pohl wrote him there in November 1914 that finances were bad, nearly half the brethren were with the military; "the war came on us too early, the G.O. was not yet completely organized and crystallized, and if the war lasts long, it will go to pieces."28

The childish play of ritual and ceremony in the Orden wearied the members, as Rüttinger's successor Töpfer wrote him from Nuremberg; Pohl seemed to think that the banquets were the chief thing, and Töpfer himself was sick of reproaches from headquarters for doing too little.29

In August 1916 Pohl was removed as chan- cellor of the Order, and Töpfer wrote in December 1917 that he had turned over the business of the Nuremberg lodge to its counterpart in Stuttgart; the Germanen Orden was "a seven months' child." there was no hope for it in Nuremberg. but "in Münich it is still possible for it to awake after the war to a new and powerful existence.30

Sebottendorff mentions a split in the Orden in 1916, the continuation of one branch, "Walvater", under Pohl and G. W. Freese, head of the Berlin lodge, while the author Philipp Stauff of Grosslichterfelde continued the other branch.31 Regrettably, the history of the German Orden in Münich is not much illuminated in the Hauptarchiv, and the curious anonymity of persons and events after Pohl's withdrawal is only partially clarified in Sebottendorff's book and in Hering's notes. Sebottendorff states that the Orden was "revived" at a Christmas meeting in 1917, that he was made head of the province of Bavaria, and that he undertook to finance an information sheet and the journal Runen.32

He made swift progress, finding in Münich an art student, the wounded veteran Walter Nauhaus, also a member of the Germanen Orden and head of a "Germanic study group" called the Thule Gesellschaft. The two allied; Nauhaus was to work on young prospects, Sebottendorff on older ones. Hering, Rohmeder, and Justizrat Gaubatz were his first supporters. Sebottendorff ran notices in the press, became involved in a newspaper argument about Freemasonry, and in July issued invitations to join the struggle for "Deutschland den Deutschen" mainly against the Jews, as well as against egalitarianism. In the elegant Münich hotel Vier Jahreszeiten, Sebottendorff rented the rooms of a naval officers' club, and here, on August 17, 1918, in the presence of the evidently indestructible Pohl and G. W. Freese, a dedication ceremony was held.33

Already the name Thule was used by the Germanen Orden as a cover, though the two were not yet merged, and Hering's diary long continues to refer to the Orden. Thirty members were initiated that day, and the Orden kept busy with meetings, initiations, and excursions at least once a week. How innocent they sound! Hering's diary records talks about old Germanic subjects and a lecture by Sebottendorff on divining rods (pendeln), which upset Hering because such occult nonsense los't them good will. Less innocent is his note of a joint meeting with the Alldeutschen on October 24, when the publisher J. F. Lehmann-according to Sebottendorff, "the most active, driving element in the whole circle" -demanded a coup d'etat. Sebottendorff claims that there were by November 250 members in Münich, 1,500 in all Bavaria, but says that a large number disappeared with the revolution.34

Still the round of meetings continued, while Bavaria passed through that incredible series of governments that began with Kurt Eisner's overthrow of the monarchy on November 7 and culminated in the Soviet Republics of April 1919. Thule and the Germanen Orden held their first joint meeting on November 9, to hear Sebottendorff issue a plangent call to arms against "Juda." 35 And Thule's hospitable quarters in the Vier Jahreszeiten welcomed other nationalist groups-the AIldeutschen, Rohmeder's Schulverein, the Hammerbund among them.36

Meanwhile the farce was over, and Thule and the Germanen Orden were quietly preparing for the counterrevolution and welcoming Lehmann's caches of weapons as well as his friends.37 Early in December Sebottendorff planned to seize Eisner during a political meeting at Bad Aibling but failed. So did an attempt to expand and generate counter-revolutionary activity through the "vigilante" Bürgerwehr, late in December, at a meeting in the Thule rooms. The plan was betrayed, the ubiquitous Lehmann imprisoned; there was a bitter session in the Provisional National Council on December 30, when the author-politician Ernst Toller attacked the whole plot; and the fact that the moderate Socialist 1 cabinet members Auer and Timm had signed a proclamation for the Bürgerwehr sharpened the far Left's suspicions of their aims.38

That tumultuous winter in Bavaria need not be described here. In the weeks after Eisner's assassination on February 21, the Thule did not escape the attention of the Workers' and Soldiers' Councils, but it kept up the pretense of being a study group for Germanic antiquity (and was even entered as such in the Münich: Vereins-Register on March 21, the date when, according to Nauhaus, it officially merged with the Germanen Orden).39 Its activists set up a military group (Kampf-bund), with a detachment at Eching, a few miles north of Münich; they penetrated Communist organizations and, through contact with the legal Bavarian government at Bamberg, recruited for the free corps which were being formed to march against Münich.40

Thule members took part in the unsuccessful Palm Sunday Putsch (April 13). Their role is described ironically in a narrative evidently by Seyffertitz of the Republican, Guard, leader of this anti-Soviet rising, who says that the leader of the Kampf-bund in Münich, Friedrich Knauf, offered him six hundred men; actually ten or twelve tumed out, one of them a captain, "in gala uniform! Patent leather riding boots, riding whip, monocle!"41 Sebottendorff left Münich and at Bamberg was authorized by the government on April 19 to set up a free corps.42

At Münich, the Communists seized control on April 14 from the first feeble Soviet government. Threats to take hostages were put into effect, and, as the iron ring of troops around Münich tightened, the Soviets struck more sharply at danger points within the city. How the Thule members were exposed is not clear; in any case, their quarters were raided on the afternoon of April 26; the secretary, Countess Heila von Westarp was arrested, and in the course of the day four other members; two more were seized shortly thereafter .43

Sebottendorff blames the official head of the Thule, Knauf, for failing to conceal membership lists. The next day Egelhofer, the Red commandant of Münich, posted a notice that a "band of criminals ...of the so-called upper classes" had been seized, plunderers who forged official passes in order to confiscate goods, "arch reactionaries, agents and touts for the Whites". They were taken to the cellar of the Luitpold gymnasium, a Red military post since its capture on April 14.

On Egelhofer's orders, following reports of the killing of Red prisoners by the Whites at Starnberg, the seven Thule members, with two captured White hussars, and Professor Ernst Berger-a Münich artist and a Jew were shot one by one on April 30. Apparently it is impossible to write "objectively" about this tragedy.44

Conservatives and moderates regard it as murder; the Left generally considers it to be horrible in itself, but understandable in view of the Whites' executions of Spartacists captured with arms, and the specific charge that the Starnberg shootings led to these reprisals; moreover, the Left maintains that the Thule victims were not hostages but were active counterrevolutionaries subject to whatever laws of war prevail in civil strife. There is no doubt that they were smuggling men and information out of Münich.45

But, if it can be argued that they were victims of a stern military code, the two hussars and Berger seem to have been shot as "hostages." In any case, few events have so enraged a populace as this one did. Rumors spread like fire, multiplying the terrible deed, telling of frightful mutilations (this was indeed officially announced by the authorities after the fall of Münich, and denials the next day never quite quelled the false report). The White troops hastily threw over their plan of encircling the city gradually, and began to enter it on May 1, finding an uprising, with Thule participating, already under way.46

The "murder of the hostages" goes far to explain the merciless repression of the Soviet republic, the willingness to gloss over White brutality, and the passionate wave of antisemitism that spread because the deed was alleged to represent the Vengeance of "Jewish soviet leaders" - Eugen Levine-Nissen, Tobias Axelrod, Max Levien - on antisemitic foes.

The instant violent denunciation of the act by the Jewish author-politician Ernst ToIler, ex-commander of the Red Army; the fact that the victim Berger was a Jew and that Levien, most bloodthirsty of the Soviet leaders-like Egelhofer and all those directly connected with the shooting-was not; the absence in the "hostage murder" trials in September and October of any indication of a " Jewish conspiracy" behind the killings-all this was ignored or explained away by extremists of the Right; and for Sebottendorff, for the Thule, and for the National Socialists, the slaying of the hostages remained "an act of revenge by the Jews..'47

Thus, in part actively through propaganda and counterrevolutionary action. in part because of the fate of the hostages, Thule and the Germanen Orden had a major share in the creation of the raw and rancorous atmosphere-so different from the golden haze enveloping the typical recollections of Münich before the war! -in which movements like national socialism throve.48 But thus far nothing has been shown of their direct contact with the NSDAP or the proto-Nazi elements-Harrer's political group, the Deutschsozialistische Partei, the Völkischer Beobachter - listed by Sebottendorff as Hitler's other initial sources of strength.

Chronologically, the connection with the Beobachter, a minor weekly published in the eastern suburbs of Münich, comes first. When Sebottendorff bought the paper in the summer of 1918, it had existed since 1868, with interruptions and changes of name, a cheap newspaper presenting largely local items, with a middle-class. somewhat anticlerical and antisemitic bias.49

Franz Eher published it from 1900 on. He died in June 1918; the paper, already on the downgrade, ceased publication until Sebottendorff picked it up. Without securing approval from his Germanen Orden colleagues, renamed it Münchener Beobachter und Sportblatt and began filling its four or six three-column pages with antisemitic material and items on horse-racing!

Thus he sought publicity for völkisch aims, particularly among the young. and he managed to keep the paper going, under the Eisner regime and afterward. It served also as a bulletin for meetings of several Rightist groups, including Thule and Germanen Orden, during that time. In May, after the fall of the Soviet Republic, its address was given as the Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten. On May 31, the paper announced a völkisch, anticapitalist antisemitic program of twelve points, resembling considerably the twenty five points of the NSDAP proclaimed by Hitler in February 1920. 50

In fact, though claiming to be a völkisch organ above the parties, the paper was sponsoring the program and the aims of the newly created Deutschso-zialistische Partei. In the spring, Sebottendorff passed the editorship to Hanns Georg Müller; the staff included Wilhelm Laforce and Marc Sesselmarin, both Thule members and later persons of note in the NSDAP; among the contributors were Gottfried Feder and "Redivivus" that is, Bernhard Stempfle, a Catholic völkisch friar who, after being a warm ally of Hitler in the early years, dropped away and was murdered in the Röhm purge of 1934.

During 1919 the paper also began to appear twice weekly, changed its title to Münchener Beobachter und Freiwirtschaftszeitung/Deutschvölkische Zeitung (and in August one edition began to appear as Völkischer Beobachter) and moved to Thierschstrasse 15, the address of the Nazi official press, EherVerlag, in its palmy days. On October 15 the firm of M. Müller und Sohn began printing the paper, and the editorial offices were transferred to Müller's plant at Schellingstrasse 41-later, in 1923, the scene of dramatic events as Hitler conferred, Rosenberg editorialized, and Göring instructed his SA officers in these rooms.

And on October 22, the paper carried its first report of a meeting of the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, held on October 16 in the Hofbräukeller (not the grandiose Hofbräuhaus), where Erich Kühn, editor of Lehmann's Pan-German monthly Deutschlands Erneuerung, spoke on the Jewish question, and in the ensuing general discussion, "Herr Hitler of the DAP" declaimed fierily of the need of union against the Jews and of supporting the real "German" press. In 1920 still the Beobachter maintained its standpoint ostensibly "above the parties," regularly carried columns "Aus der Bewegung" and "Aus völkischen Parteien," in which, to be sure, the (NS) DAP received increasing attention.

The new editor Bernhard Köhler - though he was to hold a high post in the Third Reich - wrote on May 27, regarding the imminent Reichstag election, that adherence to a single party would be the "death of the völkisch movement." A curious squabble occurred at the founding of a League of Friends of the Beobachter, late in July, where "Hittler" (the paper frequently misspelled his name) charged the Beobachter with cowardice for not supporting the NSDAP, in which he was clearly the rising star, and with setting the price of its shares too high; so his imperialistic and "social" tendencies were early publicly revealed.51

As usual, he eventually won. The scramble for money to get control of the paper before it fell into other, perhaps Separatist; hands, climaxed in the "loan" from Ritter von Epp to Hitler's friend Dietrich Eckart in December, and on Christmas Day a small announcement appeared that the NSDAP had taken over the paper at great sacrifice "in order to develop it into a relentless weapon for Germanism against any hostile un-German efforts." 52

So Sebottendorff's Beobachter had indeed, roundabout, entered the arsenal of the Führer. The baron's account of the paper's misadventures in 1919-20 gives numerous financial details, but nothing of the financial support by Gottfried Grandel of Augsburg, an early backer of Hitler, who in fact made the purchase of the paper possible for the NSDAP.53 While the sources on the Beobachter are fairly abundant, those concerning the Thule's connection with Karl Harrer's Arbeiterzirkel (not Verein) are scanty and depend on other witnesses than Harrer.

He was a sports reporter on the conservative Munchener-Augsburger Abendzeitung who was actively collaborating with Sebottendorff by the fall of 1918 and was assigned to form a "workers' ring" parallel to other Thule rings for Nordic culture, genealogy, and so on.54 Presumably this "ring" was the Politischer Arbeiterzirkel founded in November 1918, with Harrer as chairman, Anton Drexler-the founder of the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei -its most active member next to Harrer, and Michael Lotter, a colleague of Drexler in the locomotive shops at Münich, as secretary.

This tiny group, with three to seven members usually attending, met weekly or oftener. Copies of the minutes of many meetings in 1918 and 1919 are in the Hauptarchiv.55 Generally Harrer was the chief speaker - "How the war came," "Germany's greatest foe: the Jews!" "Could we have won the war?" - such subjects were dealt with, and might have gone on interminably, had not Drexler in December urged the circle to take the lead in founding a political party.

The Deutsche Arbeiterpartei came into existence in the tavern Fürstenfelder Hof on January 5, 1919, with its supporters chiefly from among Drexler's fellow workers at the locomotive shops, invited by word of mouth.56 The exclusive circle continued to assemble, often in the Thule quarters, sometimes at the Cafe Gasteig across the Isar, or in private homes.57

Franz Dannehl, a perennial Thulist and occasional speaker at DAP meetings, claims to have discussed the founding of the party with Harrer at the Thule; but Drexler's pamphlet Mein politisches Erwachen, the document that so stirred Hitler when he read it after his first visit to a meeting of the party, mentions neither Harrer nor Dannehl nor the Thule nor the foundation of the party! 58

Though the minutes of the circle show no basic discussions of racist Weltanschauung, it is likely that Harrer's völkisch ideas seeped through the circle and through Drexler to the DAP, which was transformed a year later, about the end of February 1920, into the NSDAP. Yet it should be noted that the party's line was predominantly one of extreme political and social nationalism, not the Aryan-racist-theoretical pattern of the Germanen Orden and its like.59
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Re: The Art of Avoiding History, by Peter Staudenmaier

Postby admin » Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:42 am

Part 2 of 2

It will be recalled that Sebottendorff refers to Harrer's "Deutscher Arbeiterverein" as one of the three sources from which Hitler created the NSDAP.60 He claims indeed that this organization was founded on January 18, 1919 in the Thule rooms and that it later became the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei. I find no evidence for this statement. Harrer founded the Arbeiterzirkel with Drexler in November 1918, but Drexler was the party' s founder. The Nationalsozialisticher Deutscher Arbeiterverein was not founded until September 1920, to give the party corporate status.61

Harrer had already left the party in the preceding winter. There is, too, little evidence of participation by Thule members in the DAP. Sebottendorff gives 220 names of members of Thule, or the Thule Kampfbund, in his book, but fewer than twenty of these appear in the two probably authentic early lists of NSDAP party members. Nor do the attendance lists at DAP meetings in 1919 show any appreciable number of Thule names.62

The conclusion is that the mixed elements in the DAP, and the kind of political activity it pursued, had little appeal for the conspiratory gentlemen of the Thule. Moreover, their political wishes were probably better answered in the Deutschsozialistische Partei, or for some even in the moderate Deutsche Volkspartei, than in the DAP. As for the Deutschsozialistische Partei, the last of Sebottendorff's three sources of the NSDAP, it was only locally and in- directly a creation of the Thule; but its long program, which includes the phrase "Gemeinnutz vor Eigennutz" that reappears in the Nazi program, shows substantial similarities to some parts of the latter.

Much of the purpose of the DSP had been foreshadowed in the prewar Deutschsoziale Partei, which Fritsch had supported, and which had established a small Ortsgruppe at Münich in 1911, with Hering as vice-chairman.63 The postwar DSP, another outgrowth of the Germanen Orden, was founded in the winter of 1918-19 by Alfred Brunner and Heinrich Kraeger of Düsseldorf.64 The sympathies of the Beobachter in 1919, with Sebottendorff, H. G. Müller, and Sesselmann leading the way, inclined toward it more than toward its rival, the NSDAP.

Here again the lines are blurred, for the DSP moved more energetically in Nuremberg, where Julius Streicher joined it early, than in Münich.65 It also grew swiftly outside Bavaria, unlike the early NSDAP, but in the long run it could not outmaneuver the coming Führer, and Streicher's capitulation, bringing the important Nuremberg DSP group to Hitler in 1921, marked the triumph of the Munich movement over a movement which-despite Streicher-seems to have been generally more moderate, even Christian Social, in its aims than was the NSDAP .

One other important connection of Thule and the Gennanen Orden with the NSDAP-the Free Corps Oberland- is only briefly treated by Sebottendorff; and he ignores another of the most significant links, the Deutschvölkischer Schutz- und Trutzbund. Sebottendorff, as noted previously, went to Bamberg shortly after mid-April 1919 to get official backing for a free corps. He writes that he made a report, supported by Stempfle, to the cabinet, on the need of quick action, that he was authorized to set up a free corps, and that the government than decided to summon Epp's free corps from Thuringia to join the attack on Münich.66

Sebottendorff opened a recruiting bureau in the Hotel Deutscher Kaiser at Nuremberg. His book gives in great detail his own movements in northem Bavaria in the days before Münich fell and some account of Oberland's part in the campaign.67 The narrative of Seyffertitz supplements him, adding that shortly after the fall of Munich Sebottendorff and Knauf called him to the Vier Jahreszeiten to discuss merging Seyffertitz' detachment with Oberland, and Knauf put at his disposal there 70,000 marks, provided by the Münich Bürgerrat, in addition to some 30,000 presented the day before to his representative.

Sebottendorff's political interference led to his removal from Oberland by its military leadership about the middle of May; the free corps was later taken over in part into Epp's regular formation, Schiitzenbrigade 21. 68 The Free Corps Oberland fought in 1920 in the Ruhr and against the Poles in Upper Silesia in 1921. After its dissolution, its successor, Bund Oberland, was officially headed by Knauf during 1921-22, till the latter-suspected of "Jesuit" tendenciesl -was dropped, founding shortly thereafter a counter-organization, Treu-Oberland; Friedrich Weber succeeded him.69

Therole of Bund Oberland under Weber among the Bavarian activists in 1923, and its participation in the Hitler Putsch, are well known. As for the Deutschvölkischer Schutz- und Trutzbund, this huge organization of the far Right was created in 1919 by Alfred Roth, Bundeswart of the Reichshammerbund, with the support of Class of the Alldeutscher Verband, and swept into its fold a mass of extremist organizations, including the members of the Hammerbund and, at least locally, many of the Germanen Orden.70 Kurt Kerlen of the Thule at Nuremberg became the head of its Bavarian office.

What the Thule and the Germanen Orden never attained in mass response was achieved by the furious activity of the Schutz- und Trutz- bund, until its dissolution in 1922 on suspicion of connection with the murder of Rathenau.71 Hitler supplemented his income at times by speaking at its meetings. From 1919 to 1923 the Thule maintained its activities, despite bitter disputes between Knauf and Sebottendorff on the responsibility for the arrest of the hostages, and Sebottendorff.s departure.72

Familiar names continue to appear in Hering's diary-Lehmann, Rohmeder, Hermann Bauer, who succeeded Knauf as head of the Thule in February 1920 and used this office as a "Sprungbrett" to the chairmanship of the powerful Vereinigte Vaterländische Verbände Bayerns in 1923. Sesselmann, who followed him in office in 1924, remained chairman for years.73 Dietrich Eckart and Alfred Rosenberg were guests of the Thule in its early days; Hans Frank joined it in the summer of 1919 and spoke to the members on Spengler's Preussentum und Sozialismus; he met Harrer and discussed with him and Drexler the forthcoming program of the DAP.74

The military and the police, anxious to keep order, now and then noted that Thule's antisemitic activities were continuing; Sebottendorff in fact was reproved in the summer of 1919 by the Reichswehr commander Möhl for distributing antisemitic leaf- lets to the Free Corps Oberland.75

But, in the chaos of contending rightist groups, Thule gradually grew quiet. The split occasioned by the Hitler Putsch of 1923 was only partly made up for by the entrance of members of the NSDAP after the ban on the party-especially "intellectuals" like Rudolf Hess and Karl Fiehler, later mayor of Munich-into this useful cover organization.76 After 1926 the Thule gave few signs of life. It was of course the Nazi triumph of 1933 that revived it; again the Vier Jahreszeiten housed Thule meetings, now more affluent, social, and artistic than a decade before.77

Sebottendorff published a journal, the Thule-Bote, and his book came out to claim Thule's place in the Nazi sun. But conflicting emotions stirred the members, the diehards refused to let Thule be "degraded" to a social club, and once more it split and foundered. If now we examine Sebottendorff's statement that the Thule provided the three chief sources of national socialism, and that "almost all of Hitler's collaborators had something to do with the Thule, if they were not themselves members," we find that it claims too much, and, perhaps, too little.78

While the Munich version of a völkisch workers' movement - the Harrer-Drexler line, Politischer Arbeiterzirkel and DAP - was initiated from the Thule, the pattern of mass national socialism, developed around the Führer complex, deviated sharply from the conspiratory nature of, Thule. The "old fighters" of Thule seldom joined the NSDAP; the political views dearest to most of them, the platform of the Deutschsozialistische Partei, were absorbed in fiercer form into the Hitler monolith. So was the originally "non-partisan" Beobachter.

So was much of the contentious military wing represented by the Kampfbund and Oberland. The obsessive antisemitism remained, but I the atmosphere of the Vier Jahreszeiten and the discussions of Germanic antiquity gave way to the beer hall meetings, and the mammoth processions of SA, SS, and co-ordinated civilians. On the other side, Thule was only a segment of the völkisch movement, and Sebottendorff muddles his case by saying "Thule" when he means "Germanen Orden" or even broader groupings.

The ideology - if the word may be used - of Fritsch and his like was a main part of that movement; the many small völkisch cells in the Reich kept the movement going, but they made conspicuously little headway in Münich and Bavaria until war, revolution, the Münich Soviets, and the killing of the hostages provided the festering soil for them to grow in. Only then did violent racist antisemitism become "popular" in Bavaria, only then could Münich become the logical center for national socialism.

But, to repeat: It was less the theories of racist cranks than concrete national and local conditions, plus the remorseless propaganda of Hitler, that enabled national socialism to make its start at the place and time it did. One of the last entries in Rüttinger's file may serve as an epilogue for the Third Reich's treatment of cast-off pioneers.79

On August 20, 1936 he was informed that he was barred for life from holding party offices because of "belonging from March 1912 to May 1921 to the Germanenorden". Even though former members of lodges who had left them before 1933 might remain Nazi party members, they could not hold office. The measure "simply corresponds to the basic attitude of the NSDAP toward Freemasonry" [!]

And the end: "No protest against this decision is permitted."




1 The first edition is slightly shorter than the second, chiefly because of the addition of numerous pictures and the expansion of the index notes. The Rehse Collection, now in the Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, contains {Rehse No.431) an undated typescript of Bevor Hitler kam (a penciled title Von Thule bis Hitler appears on the typescript); some 15 pages out of a total of 77 are missing, but these, like several other deviations from the printed text, evidently (consisted of articles or speeches which fill out Sebottendorff's narrative in print. The typescript has many small divergences from the printed text, though neither the tone nor the thesis differs from it.

2 Sebottendorff, Bevor Hitler kam, "Widmung." References to this work, unless otherwise noted, are to the second edition (Münich, 1934).

3 There is a review, composed in a tone more sour than sweet, in Ludendorff's journal Am Heiligen Quell, IV (Feb. 5, 1934), 482-84. H. G. Grassinger, the publisher, in a deposition of Dec. 19, 1951 in the archives of the Institut für Zeitgeschichte. Münich, states that the first edition totaled 3,000 copies, the second (almost all of which was seized by the Gestapo) 5,000.

4 Typescript carbon, Rehse No.431.

5 Georg Franz-Willing, Die Hitlerbewegung: der Ursprung, 1919-1922 (Hamburg and Berlin, 1962), pp. 28-34 (on the Thule), 62-102 ("Das Werden der Hitlerbewegung"). Historians of national socialism have paid little attention to the Thule. It is not mentioned by Alan Bullock, Hitler (New York, 1961), nor by Konrad Heiden, Geschichte des Nationalsozialismus (Berlin, 1932) -which, interestingly, Heiden begins by referring to the threefold origins of national socialism -as an intellectual movement, from largely North German figures in 1926-28; as a "living political cell" from the Vaterlandspartei and the Pan-Germans (Alldeutsche); as a "political instrument" from the Münich Reichswehr. Heiden does deal briefly with Thule in Adolf Hitler, das Zeitalter der Verantwortungslosigkeit (Zurich, 1936), pp. 58-59.

6 "Das Porträt eines hakenkreuzlerischen Hochstaplers,.' Munchener Post, No.61 (Mar. 14, 1923); see also "Ein gewissenloses Hetzblatt", Munchener Post, No.178 (Aug. 2, 1919), for an earlier encounter between the paper and Sebottendorff. Johannes Hering, "Beiträge zur Geschichte der Thule Gesellschaft," two typescripts, one from 1936 and the other from 1939, confirms some details and adds others; the documents are in the NSDAP Hauptarchiv (henceforth cited as HA), No.865. (It should be noted that the Hauptarchiv materials are being transferred from the Berlin Document Center to various German archives, and that microfilms of them have been made for the Hoover Institution.) A copy of the Hering document of 1939 is also in Rehse No.431. See also the above mentioned review in Am Heiligen Quell.

7 H. G. Grassinger, letter to the author.

8 Sebottendorff. pp. 31-33.

9 Besser, "Der Okku1tismus stand Pate," Archiv der unabhängigen Gesellschaft zur pfiege junger Wissenschaft und Kunst (Peine, 1949), pp. 38-50, and "Die Vorgeschichte des Nationalsozialismus im neuen Licht," Die Pforte, II (1950), 763-84;Wilfried Daim, Der Mann, der Hitler die ideen gab (Münich, 1958).

10 The principal source for Fritsch is of course his publications, especially the Hammer, Blätter fur deutschen Sinn (Leipzig, 1902 ff.). For an account of Fritsch's early activities, see "Aus der Entstehungszeit des 'Hammer,' " Hammer, XXV (1926), 529-35. See also R. H. Phelps, "Theodor Fritsch und der Antisemitismus," Deutsche Rundschau, LXXXVII (May 1961), 442-49.

11 Paul Förster, "Ein deutsch-völkischer General-Stab" Hammer, III (1904). 207-10, and Fritsch's comments on the plan, "Zusammenfassende nationale Organisation," ibid., p. 254; Fritsch. "Die Emeuerungs-Gemeinde," Hammer, VII (1908), 461-65, and "Grundziige der Emeuerungs-Gemeinde," ibid., 678-81, and 712-17; "Aufruf," on rear cover of Hammer, No. 209, X (1911).

12 "Vom partei-politischen Antisemitismus," Hammer, XI (1912), 153-58; and Richard Bergner, "Ein Vorschlag zur Organisation der Hammer-Leute," ibid., p. 247.

13 Wenn ich der Kaiser wär!" Hammer, XI (1912). 309-11.

14 Julius Riittinger, "Von 1904 bis 1937". typescript, HA No.886, and "Erinnerungen aus vergangener Zeit", typescript, HA No.496. HA No.887 contains an unidentified newspaper photograph evidently from 1935, "Griindungstag des Reichshammerbundes", showing Fritsch, Hellwig, Pohl, Professor Heinrich Kraeger, Rüttinger, and others at the founders' meeting, May 24 or 25, 1912.

15 "Verfassung des Reichshammerbundes" and "Erläuterung zu der Verfassung". HA No.888.

16 "Richtlinien für den Reichshammerbund". typescript, Leipzig. HA No.888.

17 Rüttinger's report, Reichshammerbund meeting of Jan. 11, 1913. HA No.886; "Kassenbericht für 1912", "Jahresbericht für 1912", and "Jahresbericht für 1913". HA No.888.

18 Reichshammerbund circulars, Kassel, June 13 and 28, 1913; Ortsgruppe Hamburg circulars, especia1ly July 19, 1913, Feb. 21 and 25, 1914, in HA No.888; Alfred Roth Aus der KamPfzeit des deutschvölkischen Schutz-. und Trutzbundes (Hamburg, 1939), esp. pp. 9-19.

19 Fritsch and Hellwig "Botschaft an die Hammer-Gemeinden", HA No.888.

20 Fritsch, "Die Gegen-Revolution", Hammer, XI (1912), 589-93; "Weisskind", "Vorschläge zur Organisierung der Gegen-Revolution" ibid., p. 670. "Tschandala", for lower classes or races occurs in Nietzsche and Lanz von Liebenfels

21 Rüttinger, "Erinnerungen", HA No.496; Rüttinger's correspondence with Otto Mahr of Bamberg. Jan. 27, 1913-Apr. 14, 1914, HA No. 885.

22 "Private Mitteilungen" Hammer, XI (1912), following p. 364; advertisement in Hammer, No. 340, XV (1916). The Germanen Orden's symbolic runes do not appear here (instead, there are two swastikas pointing left!) but they do in many other advertisements in the Rightist press.

23 Pohl, "Aufklärungsschrift über Veranlassung, Zweck, Ziel, Ausbau der Treulogen:. issued from Magdeburg, HA No.883. See also his first "Vertrauliche Ordensnachrichten", July 1912, HA No.492.

24 Hering to Riittinger, May 9, 1912, HA No. 884.

25 Matthes to Rüttinger, Dec. 12, 1912, and Oct. 19, 1913; Rüttinger to Matthes, Nov. 21 and 24, 1913, HA No.885.

26 Matthes to Rüttinger, Dec. II imd 20, 1913, and their correspondence in April 1914, HA No. 885.

27 Arthur Strauss to Rüttinger, Münich, May 20, 1914, HA No.885.

28 Pohl to Rüttinger, from Magdeburg, Nov. 22, 1914, HA No.886.

29 Töpfer to Rüttinger, from Nuremberg, Sept. 24 and Dec. 6, 1915, HA No.886.

30 Töpfer to Rüttinger, Apr. 15, Oct. 25, and Dec. 26, 1917, HA No.886.

31 Sebottendorff, pp. 34. 245. HA No.851 contains a few documents of "Germanen-Orden Walvater" which Sebottendorff says was the name used by the Pohl-Freese branch, which he headed in Bavaria; they include a membership application, requesting among other things information about the amount of hair on various parts of the body, and "if possible an imprint of the sole of the foot on a sheet of paper," no doubt as evidence of Aryan descent. There are also, in this file, some bits of the literature of the "Wälsungen-Orden," with the customary runic symbols of the original Germanen Orden. To complete the confusion, one authority tells the author that the Stauff branch was called the Skalden-Orden; and documents in the "Schumacher files" of HA, under "Bunde," state that the cover name of that organization in Münich was Thule Gesellschaftl And a letter of Walter Nauhaus to Rüttinger from Münich, Apr. 9, 1919, in HA No.886 seems to imply that the Thule, which he headed in Münich, was originally a branch of the Germanen Orden and not, as Hering indicates, a separate group. Such chaos among völkisch and nationalist groups in Germany was of course not unfamiliar.

32 Sebottendorff, pp. 40-41. 202; „Aus der Geschichte der Thule Gesellschaft" Thule-Bote, I (1933). 1-2.

33 Sebottendorff. p. 52; Hering. "Beiträge" 1939. including his "Tagebuch" beginning Oct. 3, 1918, HA No.865 (copy in Rehse No.431). Sebottendorff mentions the adornment of the rooms with the Thule’s arms-curved swastika pointing right (Sonnenrad) plus sword and wreath.

34 Sebottendorff. pp. 53. 62.

35 lbid., pp. 57-60. Hering however notes for "9. Nebelung" simply. "In the evening, musical rehearsal," and for tenth. "Beautiful initiation lodge, Seb. conducts it despite illness."

36 Sebottendorff, p. 62. 37 lbid., pp. 63-70.

38 Verhandlungen des provisorischen National- rates des Volksstaates Bayern im Jahre 1918/1919, 7. Sitzung. pp. 185-236, and 8. Sitzung. pp. 237-62; Me1anie Lehmann, Verleger J. F. Lehmann , (Münich, 1935). pp. 46-48. The Munchener- , Augsburger Abendzeitung, Nos. 655-59 (Dec. 27- 31, 1918) carries a lively series of reports on the arrests "in the rooms of the Germanen Orden" and on the debate in the Nationalrat.

39 Records of the Vereins-Register, .Münich. copied by Hering, HA No.865; and the high1y interesting letter of Nauhaus from Münich to Rüttinger. Apr. 9. 1919. HA No.886. on the Thu1e’s activities.

40 Darstellungen aus den Nachkriegskämpfen deutscher Truppen und Freikorps, IV: Die Niederwerfung der Räteherrschaft in Bayern 1919 (Ber1in. 1939). pp. 7. 16-17. 23; Sebottendorff, pp. 106-13; H. J. Kuron, Freikorps und Bund Oberland (dissertation, Erlangen. n.d. [1960]). , pp. 16-19.

41 The typescript, 243 pages long, anonymous and untitled, in HA No.72, is written in the first person; it concerns Alfred von Seyffertitz and the Repub1ikanische Schutztruppe and appears to be by him. The account of the Palm Sunday affair is found on pp. 177-204.

42 Sebottendorff, pp. 116-20; Darstellungen, IV, 47, 86; Kuron, pp. 17-18. See a1so Sebottendorff’s letter to Hering from Bad Sachsa (Harz), Dec. 7, 1922, HA No.1229, for further details of his military enterprise. A photostat of a typescript carbon of his authorization by Schneppenhorst, minister for military affairs, Bamberg, Apr. 19, 1919, is found in Rehse No.431.

43 Sebottendorff, pp. 135-41; his letter to Hering, Dec. 7.1922. HA No.1229.

44 The contemporary press reports in German and foreign papers of course general1y follow the official accounts; see, e.g., the Munchener Neueste Nachrichten, which also published the experiences of the hostage Kurt Schmidt, "Als Geisel im Luitpold-Gymnasium" (No. 172, May 6, 1919); and the Munchener Post, which however published a letter on May 15, "Der Geiselmord …von einem Eingeweihten" pointing out that the victims had been seized as counter-revolutionaries, not as hostages; the London Times (..Shooting of Hostages," May 5; ..Münich Savagery," May 6; "Münich Battle Fury", May 7); and the New York Times, with several reports on the shooting of the hostages, May 3-7, and an article from the Chicago Tribune service, "Jested at Slaying Münich Hostages," on May 13. The trials in September and October of those involved in the shooting were widely reported, generally with no more sympathy for the executioners than in May. A few examples of the "literature" on the subject: Josef Hofmiller, Revolutionstagebuch 1918/19 (Leipzig, n.d.), pp. 207-25; H. H. Breuer. Das blutige Fiasko der Räte-Republik (Münich, n.d. [1919]), pp. 42-43; Josef Karl, Die Schreckensherrschaft in Munchen ... (Münich, n.d. [1919]), esp. pp. 77-96, al1 hostile to the Reds; Hans Beyer, Munchen 1919: der Kampf der Roten Armee in Bayern 1919 (Berlin, 1956), pp. 26.39-40, and Von der Novem- ber-Revolution zur Räterepublik in Munchen (Berlin. 1957). pp. 91, 110, 128 ff.; anon., Die Munchener Tragödie (Berlin, 1919), esp. pp. 25-27-all explaining the shooting as a consequence of the Whites’ actions.

45 On the Starnberg shootings, see the eyewitness account by Schleusinger in Ernst Toller, Justiz: Erlebnisse (Berlin, 1927), pp. 19-29. On the Thule’s activities, see Sebottendorff, pp. III, 116-17, 137-38; Darstellungen, IV, 17. 47. HA No.70 contains a forged pass, with a note by the Thule member Fritz von Trützschler that he had provided some ten men with such papers to enable them to escape from Münich to join Epp’s free corps. See also Hering, "Beiträge" 1936, HA No.865.

46 Darstellungen. IV, 107-28; also report to the military ministry, typescript carbon (Ia d Nr 256 op. Bayerisches Oberkommando Möhl, May 7. 1919) and "Bericht über die Operation zur Befreiung Münchens", typescript carbon (Grup. penkommando Oven, Abt. Ia, May 13, 1919), both in Bavarian Hauptstaatsarchiv. Münich, files of Gruppenkommando 4. Band 11. Akt 2.

47 The Beobachter of course followed this line -see articles and letters on the "murder of the hostages" in the issues of Aug. 9, Sept. 17, and Oct. 25, 1919; and the article by Karl Brassler, "Zum Gedächtnis der am 30, April 1919 ermordeten Geiseln" Apr. 29, 1920, which was so vehement against the Jews that even the Münich Police President Pöhner saw fit to ban the paper for ten days, an action discussed acridly for a full page in the issue of May 11, Sebottendorff, in the dedication of his book, writes, "it no longer needs to be concealed that the seven Thule members did not die as hostages, -no, that they were murdered because they were antisemites. They died for the swastika, they were sacrificed to Juda, they were murdered
because some one [man] wanted to destroy the beginnings of the national revival." A contemporary leafiet, probably of June 1919, from the Ausschuss für Volksaufklärung, Berlin, a völkisch group, in HA No.847, is headed "German Pogrom in Münich! Sevenfold assassination!" On Levien, see I. Birnbaum, „Juden in der Münchener Räterepublik," in Hans Lamm, Von Juden in München (Münich. 1958). pp. 301- 3. On Toller. see his I Was a German (New York. 1934). pp. 197-200, and Paul Signer, Ernst Toller (Berlin. 1924). pp. 26-35.

48 There are probably about as many nostalgic books on Münich as on Vienna. Of particular significance for our topic are severa1 chapters of Hans Lamm, Von Juden in München.

49 Adolf Dresler. Geschichte des "Völkischen Beobachters» und des Zentralverlages der NSDAP, (Münich. 1937), passim; Dresler, Der "Münchener Beobachter" 1887-1918 (Wiirzburg- Aumühle, 1940), passim,. Sebottendorff. pp" 43- 51; Hering, "Beiträge" 1939, HA No.865. Only a few issues. or photographs from 1918 have been available. Sebottendorff reprints several articles from that year.

50 "Unser politisches Programm." Münchener Beobachter, May 31, 1919. Sebottendorff, pp. 171- 82, prints the text, noting that it had already been published as a proclamation of the Germanen Orden in the Allgemeine OrdenNach richten of the Orden, in the previous December.

51 "Zur Gründungsversammlung des Bundes der Beobachterfreunde," Völkischer Beobachter, July 31, 1920. Grassinger reports that Hitler became a reader of the paper during his propaganda course at the transit camp Lechfeld in the summer of 1919 and that Grassinger, Stempfle, and Gregor Strasser refused Hitler's offer to write for the paper!

52 This is the usual account of the purchase. Eckart's promise to repay Epp 60,000 marks (Schuldschein), dated Dec. 17, 1920, is in fact among the captured documents formerly held at Alexandria and now returned to Germany (EAP I-le-16/2). But see below, n. 53, concerning the purchase.

53 The "great sacrifice" was Grandel's, not the party's! In correspondence with the Hauptarchiv, Grandel wrote from Freiburg Oct. 22, 1941 (HA No.514) that Hitler asked him on Dec. 17, 1920 to guarantee the loan "because the party had no money"; he did so, the paper was bought.for 113,000 marks, but Frau Kunze (Sebottendorff's sister) and Käthe Bierbaumer, both heavy shareholders, shortly came to him- not the penniless Eckart- for repayment, and received a total of 56,500 marks! This is supplemented by further details, in a letter of Grandel to Grassinger, Nov. 21, 1940, made available to the author by Grassinger. Sebottendorff gives a less than full account of the financing, pp. 191-96.

54 Sebottendorff, p. 74; Hering, "Beiträge," 1936, HA No.865.

55 Photostats of fourteen sets of minutes are in HA No.76. Through the courtesy of Drexler's daughter, Frau Anni Widmaier, the author has received photostats of three further minutes. The earliest set is for Dec. 5, 1918, the latest for Nov. 24, 1919. See R. H. Phelps, „Anton Drexler der Gründer der NSDAP," Deutsche Rundschau LXXXVII (1961), 1134-43.

56 Drexler, "Lebenslauf," March 1935, typescript copy made available to the author by Frau Widmaier; M. Lotter, „Der Beginn meines politischen Denkens," typescript of a speech de- livered Oct. 19, 1935, HA No.78.

57 Lotter, op. cit.

58 Dannehl's claim is in a statement of Oct. 10, 1933 in the (unnumbered) Dannehl file, HA. Sebottendorff, p. 184, states that Drexler dedicated (widmete) the first edition of Mein politisches ETWachen (not available to the author) to Harrer as "the founder of the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei." There is no printed dedication in the 1ater editions, but the "Münich Collection" in the Hoover Institution has (Folder 10, Franz Danneh1) a photostat of the title page of the brochure with this inscription in Drexler’s handwriting! Perhaps, after al1, Harrer's political role was more significant than most of the evidence indicates. Heiden, Geschichte, pp. 20. 25, and Adolf Hitler, p. 84, presents Harrer as more moderate, less antisemitic, and more sympathetic to the proletariat, than Hit1er.

59 The contemptuous attack of Hitler on „völkisch wandering scholars" in Mein Kampf, I (Kartonierte Ausgabe, Münich. 1932), 394-400, doubt1ess echoes his old quarrels with Harrer and the conspiratory approach of groups like Thule and the Germanen Orden, just as it proclaims vehement1y that open, mass political, party ac- tivity is essentia1 to success.

60 Sebottendorff, pp. 81, 235.

61 Photostats of several documents on the foundation of the Arbeiterverein are in HA No. 76.

62 Photostats of the membership lists of the (NS)DAP were made available to the author by Frau Widmaier. Photostats of the attendance lists, once evidently in Harrer’s possession, are found in HA No.80.

63 Reports of meetings of the Münich Ortsgruppe, Mar. 10, 1911-Apr. I, 1912, HA No.883. See, on the DSP in 1918 ff., Franz-Willing, pp. 88-92.

64 File of Alfred Brunner, HA No.1371; Kraeger, «Lebenslauf," June 21, 1941, HA No.509, which mentions also Kraeger's earlier collaboration with Pohl in the Germanen Orden.

65 Anonymous typescript on the DSP in file of Julius Streicher, AL 1, HA.

66 Sebottendorff, pp. 115-20 67 bid., pp. 125-34. Various details are confirmed by a Thule member from Nüremberg, Franz Müller, «Erfahrungen eines alten Vorkämpfers," HA No. 1249.

68 Seyffertitz typescript, pp. 225-27, 237, HA No.1372; Kuron, pp. 35-37.

69 File of Bund Oberland. HA No.1662; anonymous typescript, Münich, Oct. 4, 1922, in the Polizeidirektion München files, HA No. NB 1133. Kuron, passim, gives in detail the later history of Oberland, both as free corps and, after its reorganization in October 1921 under Knauf as Bund Oberland.

70 Roth. Aus der Kampfzeit, pp. 13-19, and Roth’s extensive correspondence with Rüttinger and with Walter Otto of the Hamburg Ortsgruppe, HA No.888.

71 Alfred Roth, Judas Herrschgewalt (Hamburg. 1923), passim.

72 Sebottendorff. pp. 116-17, 135-36; Hering, "Beiträge," 1939, entries for May 4. 10, 17, 1919, HA No.865.

73 Hering, notes from Vereins-Register des Münchener Register-Gerichts, HA No; 865.

74 Eckart was arrested by the Reds in the Thule rooms but convinced them he was a friend because of his hostility to loan capital; see the police report on Eckart's speech at a DAP meeting on Feb. 6, 1920, P.N.D./M 35, HA No.81. On Rosenberg, see Serge Lang and Ernst von Shenck, Porträt eines Menschenverbrechers (St. Gallen, 1947), pp. 55-56. On Frank, see his Im Angesicht des Galgens (Münich, 1953), pp. 31-32.

75 Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv: Files of Gruppenkommando 4, Band 46, Akt 9 contain intelligence reports of meetings of the Schutzund Trutzbund on Oct. 23, 1919 and Nov. 24, 1919, telling of antisemitic utterances by Dannehl and Sesselmann. Files of Schützenbrigade 21, Band 24b. Akt I, contain a letter of General Möhl in February 1920 (RW GK 4, Ia Nr. 328, geh.) concerning an attack by Thule members on a Jewish student. A photostat of Möhl's letter, of June 21, 1919 to Sebottendorff is in Rehse No.431. .

76 Hering, "Beiträge," 1939, HA No.865.

77 Rehse No.431 contains Thule correspondence from this period and two issues of the Thule-Bote.

78 The quotation is found in "Die Thule Gesellschaft:' Thule-Bote, I (1933), 2.

79 HA No.887.
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Re: The Art of Avoiding History, by Peter Staudenmaier

Postby admin » Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:57 am

From Jesus to Christ
by Rudolf Steiner
Schmidt Number: S-2455




Yesterday we indicated that it was now necessary to answer the question: What really happened to that Being whom we designate as Christ Jesus from the Baptism by John in Jordan to the Mystery of Golgotha? To answer this question as far as possible, we must recall briefly what we know from former lectures concerning the life of Jesus of Nazareth, who in his thirtieth year became the bearer of the Christ. The essential points are given in my recently published book, The Spiritual Guidance of Mankind.

We know that in Palestine, at the time which concerns us, not one but two Jesus-children were born, one of them from the Solomon line of the House of David. This is the Jesus child of whom the Matthew Gospel speaks. The peculiar contradiction between the beginnings of the Matthew and the Luke Gospels derives from the fact that the writer of the Matthew Gospel was concerned with one of the Jesus-children, the one born from the Solomon line. Then, at almost but not quite the same time, another Jesus-child was born, from the Nathan line of the House of David.

The important thing is to understand clearly what kind of beings these two children were. Occult investigation shows that the individuality who was in the Solomon Jesus-child was none other than Zarathustra. After Zarathustra's most important mission, of which we have spoken in connection with the ancient Persian civilisation, he had been incarnated again and again; lastly during the Babylonian-Chaldaic civilisation, and now as the Solomon Jesus-child. This Zarathustra individuality, with all the great and powerful inner forces which in the nature of things he had brought over from earlier incarnations, had to incarnate in a body descended from the Solomon side of the House of David; a body adapted for working up and further developing the great faculties of Zarathustra, in the way that human faculties, when they are already at a very high level, can be brought further on, in so far as they belong to the being who is going from incarnation to incarnation. We are concerned therefore with a human body which did not wait until later years to work on these faculties, but could do so in a youthful, child-like and yet powerful organism. Hence we see the Zarathustra-individuality growing up in such a way that the faculties of the child developed comparatively early. The child soon showed an extent of knowledge which would normally have been impossible at his age.

One fact, however, we must keep firmly in mind: the Solomon Jesus-child, although the incarnation of so lofty an individuality, was only a highly developed man. Hence he was encumbered — as even the most highly developed man must be — with certain liabilities to error and moral difficulties, though not exactly vices or sins. Then we know that in his twelfth year the individuality of Zarathustra, by an occult process known to everyone who has made himself conversant with such facts, forsook the body of the Solomon Jesus-child and went over into the body of the Nathan Jesus-child. Now the body of this Nathan Jesus-child — or, better, his three-fold bodily organisation physical body, etheric body, astral body — was formed in a quite special manner. In fact, this body was such that the child showed capacities exactly contrary to those of the Solomon Jesus-child. Whereas the latter was remarkable because of his great gifts in relation to things one can learn externally, it might almost be said that in this respect the Nathan Jesus-child was untalented. You will understand that saying this implies not the slightest deprecation. The Nathan Jesus-child was not in a position to familiarise himself with the products of human culture on earth. By contrast, the remarkable fact is that he could speak as soon as he was born. A faculty which belongs more to the physical body was thus present in him from his birth. But — according to a good tradition which can be occultly confirmed — the language he spoke could be understood by his Mother only. The child's most strongly marked characteristics were qualities of the heart. He had an immense capacity for love and a disposition capable of immense self-sacrifice. And the remarkable thing is that from the first days of his life his mere presence, or his touch, had beneficent effects — magnetic effects, one might perhaps call them nowadays. Thus all the qualities of heart were manifest in this child, enhanced to such a degree that they could have a beneficent magnetic influence on his environment.

We know also that active in the astral body of this child were the forces which had once been acquired by that Bodhisattva who became Gautama Buddha. We know indeed — and in this respect the oriental tradition is absolutely correct, for it can be confirmed by occult science — that the Bodhisattva, who on becoming Buddha five centuries before our era no longer needed to incarnate further on earth, worked from the spiritual world upon all those who devoted themselves to his teachings. It is characteristic of such an individuality, who rises to heights from which he need no longer incarnate in a body of flesh, that he can then take part in the affairs and destiny of our earth existence from out of the spiritual worlds. This can happen in the most manifold ways. In fact, the Bodhisattva who went through his last incarnation on the earth as Gautama Buddha has taken an essential part in the further evolution of humanity. Our human spiritual world stands continually in connection with all the rest of the spiritual world. The human being not only eats and drinks and so takes into himself the substance of the physical earth; he continually receives soul-spiritual nourishment from the spiritual world. In the most varied ways forces continually flow into physical earthly-existence from out of the spiritual world. Such an in-flow of the forces which Buddha had gained for himself came into the wider stream of humanity through the fact that the Buddha forces permeated the astral body of the Nathan Jesus-child. We know, too, from earlier lectures that the words we still have today as a Christmas message — ‘The Divine reveals itself from the heights, and on earth peace will spread in the hearts of men of good will!’ — originate in essence from the influence which flowed down into human evolution through the immersion of the Buddha powers in the astral body of the Nathan Jesus-child.

Thus we see the Buddha forces working further in the stream of earth-existence which took its start from the Events of Palestine. And it is interesting that precisely the researches made by western occultism in quite recent years have led to the recognition of a very important connection between European civilisation and the Buddha forces. For a long time these Buddha forces have been working from the spiritual worlds, particularly upon everything in Western civilisation which is unthinkable without the specific influence of Christianity. All those philosophical streams which have developed during recent centuries up to the nineteenth century, in so far as they are Western spiritual currents, are permeated by the Christ-Impulse, but the Buddha has always been working into them from out of the spiritual worlds. Hence the most important thing that European humanity can receive from Buddha today does not depend on the handing down of the teaching that Buddha gave to men about 500 years before the Christian era, but on what he has become since that time. For he has not remained at a standstill; he has progressed; and it is through this progress, as a spiritual being in the spiritual worlds, that he has in the highest sense been able to take part in the further evolution of Western civilisation. The outcome of our own occult investigation harmonises in a wonderful way with much that had been known previously, before this important influence could be investigated again. For we know that the same individuality who appeared as Gautama Buddha in the East had previously worked in the West, and that certain legends and traditions connected with the name of Buddha or Wotan have to do with this same individuality, just as Buddhism has with Gautama Buddha in the East; hence the same field of action in human evolution which had been prepared earlier by the same individuality has again been occupied in a certain sense. Thus are interlaced the ways taken by the spiritual currents within the evolution of humanity.

Today the most important thing for us is to establish that in the astral body of the Jesus-child described by Luke we have the Buddha forces at work. And when this Nathan Jesus-child was twelve years old, the Zarathustra individuality passed over into his three-fold being.

Why is it, then, that this Jesus-child had the remarkable qualities we have just characterised? It was because he was not a human individuality like every other, but in a certain respect quite different, and in order to understand him we must go back to the ancient Lemurian time in which, strictly speaking, the Earth-evolution of man took its start. We must clearly understand that everything before the Lemurian time was really only a repetition of the Saturn, Sun, and Moon periods. Only in the Lemurian time was the first germ-condition laid down in man as a potentiality, so that during the Earth-evolution he could receive the fourth member of his being, the Ego. We can say the ex-tension of mankind over the Earth — a subject dealt with more precisely in the Outline of Occult Science — is to be traced to certain human ancestors in the Lemurian period, the period with which our present Earth took its start.

It is only after a certain point of time in this Lemurian period that we can speak correctly, in a modern sense, of the human race. Before this, those Egos who have since continued to incarnate were not present in men on Earth. They were not yet separate from the substance of that Hierarchy which had first brought the human Ego into being: the Hierarchy of the Spirits of Form. We can now picture to ourselves — occult research shows this — that part of the substance of the Spirits of Form entered into the incarnations of men for the building up of the human Ego. But when in due time man was given over to his physical incarnations on the Earth, something was held back. A certain Ego substance was not brought into the stream of physical incarnations. If we were to represent the stream of physical human incarnations, beginning with him whom the Bible calls ‘Adam’, the progenitor of the human race, we should have to draw a genealogical tree with wide-spreading branches. Instead, let us simply imagine that the substance poured down from the Spirits of Form now flows onward, but that something was held back: an Ego that was now protected from entering into physical incarnations. Instead, this Ego preserved the form, the substantiality, which man had had before proceeding to his first earthly incarnation. This Ego lived on collaterally with the rest of humanity, and at the time of which we are now speaking, when the Event of Palestine was to take place, it was still in the same condition, if we wish to speak according to the Bible, as was the Ego of Adam before his first embodiment in flesh.

In examining what occult science knows about this Ego — which naturally for modern man is something extremely foolish — we see that this Ego, which was, as it were, held back ‘in reserve’, was given into the care of the Holy Mysteries through Atlantean and post-Atlantean times. It was preserved in an important Mystery centre, as in a tabernacle, and because of this it had quite special characteristics; it was untouched by everything that a human Ego could have learnt on Earth. It was therefore untouched by any Luciferic and Ahrimanic influences; it was indeed something we can think of, in contrast to other human Egos, as an empty sphere, still completely virginal with regard to all earth experiences — a nothing, a negative, in this respect. Hence it seemed as though the Nathan-child, described in the Luke Gospel, really had no Ego; as though he consisted only of physical, etheric and astral body. And it is quite adequate if at first we say that an Ego, developed as Egos had developed in Atlantean and post-Atlantean times, was not there at all in the Luke Jesus-child.

We speak in the true sense of the words when we say that in the Matthew Jesus-child we have to do with a completely human being; whereas in the Nathan Jesus-child of the Luke Gospel we have to do with a physical, an etheric and an astral body which are interrelated in the harmonious unity that belonged to man when he emerged from the Saturn, Sun and Moon evolutions. Hence this Jesus-child, as the Akashic Record tells us, was untalented for all that human culture had developed. He could not receive it because he had never been among it. External abilities and adaptations to existence are the outcome of certain experiences in earlier incarnations. Anyone who had never shared in such experiences would show himself without talent for all that men have accomplished during the earth-evolution. If the Nathan Jesus-child had been born in our time, he would have been totally ungifted for learning to write, since in Adamic times writing was unknown. By contrast, the Luke Jesus-child revealed in a high degree the qualities he had brought with him — qualities that had not fallen into decadence through the Luciferic influence. Even more interesting is the remarkable language he spoke.

Here we must bring to mind something I mentioned in The Spiritual Guidance of Mankind: that the languages which are now spread over the earth took their rise comparatively late in evolution: they were preceded by what can truly be called a primal human language. It is the disuniting spirits of the Luciferic and Ahrimanic world who have made many languages out of the primal language. The primal language is lost, and can be spoken today by nobody with an Ego which in the course of earth-evolution has passed from incarnation to incarnation. This Jesus-child, who had not gone through human incarnations, acquired from the starting-point of human evolution the faculty of speaking, not this or that language, but a language of which we can rightly say that it was not comprehensible to those around him. But, because of the inner qualities of heart that lived in it, it was understood by his Mother's heart. This points to a phenomenon of immense significance in the case of the Luke Jesus-child.

We have seen that when this Luke Jesus-child was born, he was provided with everything that had not been influenced by the Lucifer-Ahrimanic forces. He did not possess an Ego that had been through a series of incarnations; therefore nothing had to be discarded when, in his twelfth year, the individuality of Zarathustra passed over from the Solomon Jesus-child into the Nathan Jesus-child. I have already said that the human element which had remained behind, and up to this time had developed in the Mysteries by the side of the rest of humanity, was born for the first time in the Palestine period as the Nathan Jesus-child. There was a transference from a Mystery centre in Western Asia, where this human kernel had been preserved, into the body of the Nathan Jesus-child. This child grew on, and in his twelfth year the individuality of Zarathustra passed into him. We know also that this passing over is intimated in the scene of the twelve-year-old Jesus in the Temple. It was quite natural that the parents of the Nathan Jesus-child, who were accustomed to regard him in the light we have described, should find a remarkable change when they discovered him in the Temple after he had been lost. For that was the moment when Zarathustra passed over into this twelve-year-old child. From the twelfth to the thirtieth year, therefore, we have to do with the individuality of Zarathustra in the Luke Jesus-child.

Now in the Luke Gospel we have a remarkable expression which indicates something that can be made clear only by occult investigation. You know that in the Luke Gospel, after the description of the scene with the twelve-year-old Jesus in the Temple, there is a passage: ‘And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man’. (Luke II:52). In truth this passage stands as follows when we restore the text of the Gospels from the Akashic record: The twelve-year-old child increased in everything wherein an astral body can increase, i.e., in wisdom; in everything wherein an etheric body can increase, i.e. in all the qualities of kindliness, goodness, etc; and in everything wherein a physical body can increase, i.e., in all that pours itself into external beauty of form. In this passage, therefore, a special indication is given that the Jesus-child, not having gone from incarnation to incarnation, had up to his twelfth year remained untouched, and could not be touched in his individuality, by the Luciferic and Ahrimanic forces. The Luke Gospel intimates this again by tracing the sequence of generations back through Adam to God, thus indicating that the substance in question was uninfluenced by all that had taken place in human evolution.

So this Jesus-child lived on, increasing in all that was possible for a three-fold organism not touched by the contamination which has affected the three-fold bodies of other men. And this enabled the individuality of Zarathustra, from the twelfth to the thirtieth year of life, to pour into this three-fold human being all that could come from the heights to which he himself had previously attained. Hence we form a correct idea of Jesus of Nazareth, up to the thirtieth year of his life, when we think of him as a lofty human individuality, for whose coming into existence the greatest possible preparations had been made.

But we must now be clear about one thing if we want to understand how the fruits of a development we go through in our bodies are of benefit to the individuality. Our bodies enable our individuality to absorb the fruits of our life for its future evolution. When in death we forsake our bodies, we do not usually leave in them what we have achieved and gained for ourselves as individuals. Later on we shall see under what special conditions something may remain in the bodies; but it is not the rule that the individuality should leave behind in his bodies whatever he has won for himself. When Zarathustra forsook the threefold bodily being of Jesus of Nazareth in the thirtieth year, he left behind the three bodies, physical, etheric, and astral. But all that he had been able to gain through these instruments went into the individuality of Zarathustra and lived on further with him, to his benefit. Something however, was gained by the three-fold bodily organism of Jesus of Nazareth. His human nature, still free, as it always had been, from Luciferic and Ahrimanic influences, was conjoined for a period with the individuality who had unequalled insight into the spirituality of the cosmos.

Think what this Zarathustra had experienced! While he was founding the ancient Persian civilisation and looking up to the great Sun Spirit, he was even then gazing out into the cosmic realms of the spiritual. Through successive incarnations his development went on. When the innermost part of human nature, together with the most intensive powers of sympathy and love, had become manifest through the unsullied human substance which had been preserved until the birth of the Nathan Jesus, and when the astral body had permeated itself with the forces of Gautama Buddha, there was present in this child what we may call the most intimate inwardness of man. And then into this bodily nature there entered the individuality who above all others had seen most clearly and deeply into the spirituality of the Macrocosm. By this means the bodily instrument, the entire organism, of the Nathan Jesus was so transformed that it could be the vehicle capable of receiving into itself the Christ-extract of the Macrocosm. If this bodily nature had not been permeated by the Zarathustra-individuality up to the thirtieth year, the eyes would not have been able to endure the substance of the Christ from the thirtieth year up to the Mystery of Golgotha; the hands would not have been capable of being permeated with the substance of the Christ in the thirtieth year. To be able to receive the Christ, this bodily nature had to be prepared, expanded, through the individuality of Zarathustra. Thus in Jesus of Nazareth, as he was at the moment when Zarathustra took leave of him and the Christ-Individuality entered into him, we have to do neither with an adept, nor with anything like a higher human being. For an adept is an adept because he has a highly developed individuality, and it was just this that had passed out of the threefold bodily nature of Jesus of Nazareth. We have simply the bodily nature so prepared through the indwelling of Zarathustra that it could take into itself the Christ-Individuality. But now, through the union of the Christ-Individuality with this bodily nature, by necessity the following consequence came about.

During these three years, from the Baptism by John in Jordan onwards to the Mystery of Golgotha, the development of the physical body, the etheric body, and the astral body was quite different from the bodily development of other human beings. Since the Nathan Jesus had received no influence from the Luciferic and Ahrimanic powers, the possibility was given that, from the Baptism in Jordan onwards — now that there was in Jesus of Nazareth no human Ego, but solely the Christ Individuality — everything which is normally at work in a human organism was not developed.

We said yesterday that the human Phantom, the primal form which draws into itself the material elements that fill out the physical body and are laid aside at death, had degenerated in the course of time up to the Mystery of Golgotha. At the beginning of human evolution it was intended that the Phantom should remain untouched by the material elements that man takes for his nutrition from the animal, plant, and mineral kingdoms. But it did not remain untouched. For the Luciferic influence brought about a lose connection between the Phantom and the forces which man absorbs through his earthly evolution; a connection particularly with the ashy constituents. The result was that the Phantom, while continuing to accompany man during his further evolution, was strongly drawn to these ashy constituents, and instead of adhering to the etheric body, it attached itself to these products of disintegration. But where the Luciferic influences had been kept away, as they were from the Nathan Jesus, no force of attraction arose between the Phantom and the material elements that had been taken into the bodily organism. Throughout the three years from the Baptism up to the Mystery of Golgotha, the Phantom remained untouched by these elements.

In occult terms we can say: The human Phantom, according to its intended development through the Saturn, Sun, and Moon periods, should not have been attracted to the ashy constituents but only to the dissolving salt constituents, so that it would have taken the path of volatilisation in so far as the salt constituents dissolved. In an occult sense one can say that it would have dissolved and passed over, not into the earth but into the volatile constituents. The remarkable fact is that with the Baptism in Jordan and the entry of the Christ Individuality into the body of the Nathan Jesus, all connection of the Phantom with the ashy constituents was wiped out; only the connection with the salt constituents remained.

This is alluded to in the passage where Christ Jesus wishes to explain to his first-chosen disciples: ‘Through the way in which you feel yourselves united with the Christ Being, a certain possibility for the future evolution of humanity will come about. It will be possible for the one body risen from the grave — the spiritual body — to pass over into men’. That is what Christ wished to say when he used the phrase, ‘You are the salt of the earth’. All these words we find in the Gospels, reminding us of the terminology and craft language of the later alchemists, the later occultism, have the deepest imaginable significance. And in fact this significance was well known to the mediaeval and later alchemists — not to the charlatans mentioned in the history books — and not one of them spoke of these connections without feeling in his heart a connection with Christ.

Thus it followed that when Christ Jesus was crucified, when his body was nailed to the Cross — you will notice that here I use the exact words of the Gospel, for they are con-firmed by true occult research — when this body of Jesus of Nazareth was fastened to the Cross, the Phantom was perfectly intact; it existed in a spiritual bodily form, visible only to super-sensible sight, and was much more loosely connected with the body's material content of earth-elements than has ever happened with any other human being. In every other human being a connection of the Phantom with these elements has occurred, and it is this that holds them together. In the case of Christ Jesus it was quite different. The ordinary law of inertia sees to it that certain material portions of a human body hold together after death in the form man has given them, until after some time they crumble away, so that hardly anything of them is visible. So it was with the material portions of the body of Christ Jesus. When the body was taken down from the Cross, the parts were still coherent, but they had no connection with the Phantom; the Phantom was completely free of them. When the body became permeated with certain substances, which in this case worked quite differently from the way in which they affect any other body that is embalmed, it came to pass that after the burial the material parts quickly volatilised and passed over into the elements. Hence the disciples who looked into the grave found the linen cloths in which the body had been wrapped, but the Phantom, on which the evolution of the Ego depends, had risen from the grave. It is not surprising that Mary of Magdala, who had known only the earlier Phantom when it was permeated by earthly elements, did not recognise the same form in the Phantom, now freed from terrestrial gravity, when she saw it clairvoyantly. It seemed to her different.

Moreover we must clearly understand that it was only through the power of the companionship of the disciples with the Christ that all the disciples, and all those persons of whom the same is told, could see the Risen One, for He appeared to them in the spiritual body, the body of which Paul says that it increases as a grain of seed and passes over into all people. Paul himself is convinced that it was not a body permeated by the earthly elements which had appeared to the other apostles, but that the same which had appeared to him had also appeared to them, as he says in the following passage:

For I have delivered unto you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, that He was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures; and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. (I Corinthians XV:3–8.)

But what was it that convinced Paul? In a certain sense Paul was an Initiate before the Event of Damascus. His Initiation had combined the ancient Hebrew principle and the Greek principle. He knew that an Initiate became, in his etheric body, independent of the physical body, and could appear in the purest form of his etheric body to those who were capable of seeing it. If Paul had had the vision of a pure etheric body, independent of a physical body, he would have spoken differently. He would have said that he had seen someone who had been initiated and would be living on further in the course of earth-evolution, independently of the physical body. He would not have found this particularly surprising. What Paul experienced on the road to Damascus could not have been that. He had experienced something which he knew could be experienced only when the Scriptures were fulfilled; when a perfect human Phantom, a human body risen from the grave in a super-sensible form, would appear in the spiritual atmosphere of the earth. And that is what he saw! That is what appeared to him on the road to Damascus and left him with the conviction: ‘He was there — He is risen! For what is there could come only from Him: it is the Phantom which can be seen by all human individualities who seek to relate themselves to the Christ.’ This is what convinced him that Christ was already there; that he would not come first in the future, but was actually present there in a physical body, and that this physical body had rescued the primal form of the human physical body for the salvation of all men.

That this deed could be accomplished only through the greatest unfolding of divine love, and in what sense it was an act of love, and then in what sense the word ‘salvation’ is to be understood in the further evolution of humanity — this will be our subject tomorrow.
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Re: The Art of Avoiding History, by Peter Staudenmaier

Postby admin » Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:17 am

A Picture of Earth-Evolution in the Future
by Rudolf Steiner
Dornach, May 13th, 1921
Copyright © 1960



A lecture delivered in Dornach, on May 13th 1921. Authorized translation from the German of Notes unrevised by the lecturer. Published by kind permission of the Rudolf Steiner Nachlassverwaltung, Dornach, Switzerland.

Also known as: A Picture of the Earth's Future Development Lecture 14 of 17 from the lecture series: Perspectives on Humanity's Development. Published in German as: Perspektiven der Menschheitsentwickelung. Der materialistische Erkenntnisimpuls und die Aufgabe der Anthroposophie. Der Mensch in seinem Zusammenhang mit der Kosmos. GA# 204.

This is a time when a great deal of attention, ranging from serious science to science-fiction, is being devoted to “outer space.” There is speculation on various levels about visitants from other worlds. Behind it all there may be an instinctive feeling — true in itself though often distorted in expression — that the apparent isolation of man on earth is not final; that man is not alone in the universe. We are therefore reprinting here a lecture (first published in English in the quarterly, “Anthroposophy,” for Easter, 1933, and long out of print) in which Rudolf Steiner spoke, briefly and enigmatically, of the need to recognise and welcome certain beings, “not of the human order,” who since the seventies of the last century have been descending from cosmic spheres into the realm of earth-existence, bringing with them “the substance and content of Spiritual Science.” — The Editors.

THE lectures I have given recently on the nature of colours [Three lectures on Das Wesen der Farben, given at Dornach on May 6 – 8, 1921. Published in English as a book entitled “Colour” (new edition in preparation).] may have helped to show you that we can begin to understand man in his real being only when we relate him to the whole universe. If we ask: What is man in his true nature? — then we must learn to look upwards from the Earth to what is beyond the Earth. This is a capacity of which our own time particularly stands in need. The human intellect has become more and more shadowy, and as a result of the developments which took place in the nineteenth century, it is no longer rooted in reality.

This unmistakably indicates that it is high time for man to discover how he can receive new impulses into his life of soul, and we will turn our attention today to certain great cosmic events with which we are already familiar from other points of view.

Most of you will have read the book An Outline of Occult Science, and will have realised that one of the great events in earthly evolution was the separation of the moon from the earth. The moon as we see today, shining towards us from cosmic space, was once united with the earth. It then separated from the earth and now circles around it as its satellite. We know what incisive changes in the whole sweep of evolution are connected with this separation of the moon from the earth. We must go far back in time, before the Atlantean deluge, to find the epoch when the moon departed from the body of the earth.

Today we will confine our attention to what came to pass on earth in connection with the being of man, and with the kingdoms of Nature around him, as a consequence of the separation of the moon from the earth. From the lectures on colours we have learnt that minerals — that is to say, the coloured mineral substances — actually derive their different hues from this relationship of the moon to the earth. Recognition of this fact enables us to make these cosmic events part of an artistic conception of existence. But other matters of the greatest significance come into consideration here. Man's being is the product of preceding metamorphoses of earth-existence — namely, the Saturn, Sun and Moon periods of evolution, during which no mineral kingdom existed. The mineral kingdom as we know it today came into being for the first time during the Earth period. Mineral substance, therefore, became part of man's being only during this Earth period. During the stages of Saturn, old Sun and old Moon, man had nothing mineral within him at all. Nor was his constitution adapted for existence upon the earth. By his very nature he was a being of the cosmos. Before the separation of the moon, and before the mineral substances with their many colours came into being, man was not adapted for earthly existence.

Let me put it in this way. It was a very real question for the Spiritual Beings who guide earthly evolution as to what must happen to man. Should he be sent down to the earth or be left to pass his existence in a realm beyond the earth? It can be said with truth that the separation of the moon, with the consequent changes in the earth and in the being of man, was the outcome of a decision on the part of the Spiritual Beings who guide and direct the evolution of humanity. It was because this coarse moon-substance was sent out of the earth that man's organism developed in such a way as to make it possible for him to become an earthly being. Through this event — through the separation of the moon and the incorporation of the mineral kingdom into the earth — man has become an earthly being, existing in the sphere of earthly gravity. Without earthly gravity, he could never have become a being capable of freedom. Before the separation of the moon he was not, in the real sense a personality. He was able to become a personality because of the concentration of the forces that were to build his body. And this concentration of forces was the result of the separation of the moon and the incorporation of the mineral kingdom into earthly existence. Man became a personality, and freedom was henceforward placed within his reach.

The evolution of man upon the earth since the separation of the moon has proceeded through many different stages. And we may say that if nothing else had happened except this departure of the moon from the earth, it would still have been possible for man to draw out of his organism, out of his body and soul, pictures such as arose in ancient, clairvoyant vision. Nor was man deprived of this faculty by the separation of the moon. He still envisaged the world in pictures, and if nothing else had happened, he would be living in a world of pictures to this day. But evolution went on. Man did not remain fettered to the earth. He received an impulse for evolution in the other direction — an impulse which actually reached its climax in the nineteenth century.

Even when long ages ago the human being, as ‘metabolic man,’ became subject to the force of earthly gravity, he was adapted as ‘head man’ for a cosmic existence. In effect, the intellect began to evolve. The old clairvoyant pictures densified into the forms of intellectual consciousness, as it was until the epoch of the fourth century after Christ. It was then for the first time that the human intellect began to grow shadowy. This process has been increasingly rapid since the fifteenth century, and today, although the intellect is an altogether spiritual faculty in man, its existence is not rooted in reality. It has only a picture-existence. When the man of today thinks merely with his intellect and faculty of reason, his thoughts are not rooted in reality at all. More and more they move about in a shadowy existence which reached its climax during the nineteenth century. And today man is altogether devoid of the sense for reality. He lives within a spiritual element, but is at the same time a materialist. His thoughts — which are spiritual but yet merely shadow-thoughts — are directed entirely to material existence.

Thus the second great process or event was that man became more spiritual. But the spiritual substance once derived from matter no longer ensouls him. His nature has become more spiritual, but with his spiritual faculties he thinks only about material existence.

You know that the moon will one day reunite with the earth. By the astronomers and geologists, who live in a world of abstractions, this reunion of the moon with the earth is placed thousands and thousands of years ahead. But this is mere illusion. In reality it is by no means so very far distant. Humanity as such is becoming younger and younger. Human beings are coming to a point when their development of body and soul will proceed only up to a certain age in life. At the time of the death of Christ, of the Event of Golgotha, human beings in general were capable of development in body and in soul until the 33rd year of life. Today this development is possible until the 27th year. In the fourth millennium a time will come when men will be capable of development only until the 21st year. In the seventh millennium the bodily nature will be capable of development only until the 14th year of life. Women will then become barren. An entirely different form of earthly life will ensue. This is the epoch when the moon will again approach the earth and become part of it.

It is high time for man to turn his attention to such mighty events of the realm of existence beyond the earth. He must not go on dreaming, vaguely and in the abstract, of some form of Divinity, but he must begin to be alive to the great happenings that are connected with his evolution. He must know what it means to say that the moon once left the earth and will enter the earth again.

Just as the separation of the moon was a decisive event, so too will be its re-entry. It is true that as human beings we shall still be inhabiting the earth, although birth will no longer take place in the ordinary way. We shall be connected with the earth by other means than through birth. We shall, however, have evolved in a certain respect by that time. And we must learn to connect what is happening today — I mean the fact that the intellect is becoming more and more shadowy — with what will one day be a great event in earthly evolution — the re-entry of the moon into the substance of the earth.

If the intellect continues to become even more spectral than it is already, if men never resolve to receive into their being what can now flow to them from spiritual worlds, then they will inevitably be absorbed into the shadowy grey-ness of their intellectual life.

What is this shadowy intellect? It cannot understand the real nature and being of man. The mineral world is the only realm which the shadowy human intellect is to a certain degree capable of understanding. Even the life of the plant remains enigmatical; still more so the life of the animal; while human life is altogether beyond the grasp of the mind. And so man goes on his way, evolving pictures of existence which in reality are nothing but a great world-question. His intellect cannot begin to grasp the real nature of plant or animal, and least of all that of the human being. This state of things will continue if man fails to listen to what is being given to him in the form of new Imaginations, in which cosmic existence is pictured to him. The living wisdom that Spiritual Science is able to impart must be received into his shadowy, intellectual concepts and thoughts, for only so can the shadow-pictures of the intellect be quickened to life.

This quickening to life of the shadow-pictures of the intellect is not only a human but a cosmic event. You will remember the passage in the book Occult Science dealing with the time when the human souls ascended to the planets and afterwards descended once more to earth-existence. I spoke of how the Mars-men, the Jupiter-men and the others descended again to earth. Now an event of great significance came to pass at the end of the seventies of last century. It is an event that can be described only in the light of facts which are revealed to us in the spiritual world. Whereas in the days of old Atlantis human beings came down to the earth from Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, and so on — that is to say, beings of soul were drawn into the realm of earth-existence — since the end of the seventies of last century, other Beings — not of the human order — have been descending to the earth for the purposes of their further development. From cosmic realms beyond the earth they come down to the earth and enter into a definite relationship with human beings. Since the eighties of the nineteenth century, super-earthly Beings have been seeking to enter the sphere of earth-existence. Just as the Vulcan-men were the last to come down to the earth so now Vulcan Beings are actually coming into the realm of earthly existence. Super-earthly Beings are already here, and the fact that we are able to have a connected body of Spiritual Science at all today is due to the circumstance that Beings from beyond the earth are bringing the messages from the spiritual world down into earth-existence.

But, speaking generally, what is the attitude adopted by the human race? The human race is behaving, if I may put it so very shabbily to these Beings who are appearing from the cosmos and coming down — slowly and by degrees, it is true — to the earth. The human race does not concern itself with them; it ignores their existence. And it is this which will plunge the earth into tragic conditions, for in the course of the next centuries more and more Spiritual Beings will be among us — Beings whose language we ought to understand. And this is possible only if we try to grasp what comes from them: namely, the substance and content of Spiritual Science. They want to give it to us and they want us to act in the sense of Spiritual Science. Their desire is that Spiritual Science shall be translated into social behaviour and action on the earth.

I repeat, then, that since the last third of the nineteenth century Spiritual Beings from the cosmos have been coming into our own sphere of existence. Their home is the sphere lying between the moon and Mercury, but they are already pressing forward into the realm of earth-existence and seeking to gain a foothold there. And they will be able to find it if human beings are imbued with the thought of their existence. This can also be expressed as I expressed it just now, by saying that our shadowy intellect must be quickened to life by the pictures of Spiritual Science. We are speaking of concrete fact when we say: Spiritual Beings are seeking to come down into earth-existence and ought to be willingly received. Catastrophe after catastrophe must ensue, and earthly life will fall at length into social chaos, if opposition is maintained in human existence to the advent of these Beings. They desire nothing else than to be the advance-guards of what will happen to earth-existence when the moon is once again united with the earth.

Today people may consider it comparatively harmless to elaborate only those automatic, lifeless thoughts which arise in connection with the mineral world and the mineral nature of plant, animal and man. Materialists revel in such thoughts which are — well — thoughts and nothing more. But try to imagine what will happen if men go on unfolding no other kinds of thoughts until the time is reached in the eighth millennium for the moon-existence to unite again with the earth. These Beings of whom I have spoken will gradually come down to the earth. Vulcan Beings, ‘Supermen’ of Vulcan, ‘Supermen’ of Venus, of Mercury, of the Sun, will unite with this earth-existence. But if human beings persist in nothing but opposition to them, earth-existence will pass over into chaos in the course of the next few thousand years.

It will be quite possible for the men of earth, if they so wish, to develop a more and more automatic form of intellect — but that can also happen amid conditions of barbarism. Full and complete manhood, however, cannot come to expression in such a form of intellect, and men will have no relationship to the Beings who would fain come towards them in earth-existence. And all those Beings of whom men have such an erroneous conception because the shadowy intellect can only grasp the mineral nature, the crudely material nature in the minerals, plants and animals, nay even in the human kingdom itself — all these thoughts which have no reality will in a trice become substantial realities when the moon unites again with the earth. And from the earth there will spring forth a terrible brood of beings, a brood of automata of an order of existence lying between the mineral and the plant kingdoms, and possessed of an overwhelming power of intellect.

This swarm will seize upon the earth, will spread over the earth like a network of ghastly, spider-like creatures, of an order lower than that of plant-existence, but possessed of overpowering wisdom. These spidery creatures will be all interlocked with one another, and in their outward movements they will imitate the thoughts that men have spun out of the shadowy intellect that has not allowed itself to be quickened by the new form of Imaginative Knowledge by Spiritual Science. All the thoughts that lack substance and reality will then be endowed with being.

The earth will be surrounded — as it is now with air and as it sometimes is with swarms of locusts — with a brood of terrible spider-like creatures, half-mineral, half-plant, interweaving with masterly intelligence, it is true, but with intensely evil intent. And in so far as man has not allowed his shadowy intellectual concepts to be quickened to life, his existence will be united not with the Beings who have been trying to descend since the last third of the nineteenth century, but with this ghastly brood of half-mineral, half-plantlike creatures. He will have to live together with these spider-like creatures and to continue his cosmic existence within the order of evolution into which this brood will then enter.

This is a destiny that is very emphatically part of human evolution upon the earth, and it is quite well known today by many of those who try to hold humanity back from the knowledge of Spiritual Science. For there are men who are actually conscious allies of this process of the entanglement of earth-existence. We must no longer allow ourselves to be shocked by descriptions of this kind. Such facts are the background of what is often said today by people who out of old traditions still have some consciousness of these things and who then see fit to surround them with a veil of mystery. But it is not right any longer for the process of the earthly evolution of humanity to be veiled in mystery. However great the resistance, these things must be said, for, as I constantly repeat, the acceptance or rejection of spiritual-scientific knowledge is a grave matter for all mankind.

I have been speaking today of a matter upon which we cannot form a lukewarm judgment, for it is part and parcel of the very texture of cosmic existence. The issue at stake is whether human beings will resolve in the present epoch to make themselves worthy to receive what the good Spirits who want to unite with men are bringing down from the cosmos, or whether men intend to seek their future cosmic existence within the tangled, spider-brood of their own shadowy thoughts. It is not enough today to speak in abstract terms of the need for Spiritual Science. The only thing to do is actually to show how thoughts become realities. Dreadfully abstract theories are hurled at men today, such, for example, as “Thoughts become things,” or similar phrases. Abstract statements of this kind altogether fail to convey the full and concrete reality. And the concrete reality is that the intellectual thoughts evolved inwardly by men today will in time to come creep over the earth like a spider's web wherein human beings will be enmeshed, if they will not reach out to a world lying beyond and above their shadowy thoughts and concepts.

We must learn to take in deepest earnestness such matters as were indicated at the conclusion of my lectures on the nature of colours, when I said that the science of colour must be lifted out of the realm of abstract physics into a region where the creative fantasy and feeling of the artist who understands the real nature of colour go hand-in-hand with a perception of the world illumined by Spiritual Science. We have seen how the nature of colour can be understood, how that which modern physics, with its unimaginative charts, casts down into the Ahrimanic world, can be lifted into the sphere of art, so that there can be established a theory of colours — remote, it is true, from the tenets of modern science, but able to provide a true foundation for artistic creation, if man will only receive it into his being.

And there is another thought, too, that must be taken very seriously. What do we find today all over the civilised world? Young students go into the hospitals or to universities to study science, and the constitution of the human being is explained to them. By studying the corpse they learn about the bones and the rest of the organism. By a series of abstract thoughts they are supposed to be able to acquaint themselves with the nature of man's being. But in this way it is only possible to learn something about the mineral part of the human organism. With this kind of science we can only learn about the part of man's being which has a significance from the time of the separation of the moon until its return, when the shadowy thoughts of modern times will become spidery creatures having a concrete existence.

A form of knowledge must develop which produces quite a different conception of the being of man, and it can be developed only by raising science to the level of artistic perception. We shall realise then that science as it is today is capable of grasping only the mineral nature, whether in the mineral kingdom itself or in the kingdoms of plant, animal and man. Even when applied to the plant kingdom, science must become a form of art, and still more so in the case of the animal kingdom. To think that the form and structure of an animal can be understood by the means employed by anatomists and physiologists is nonsense. And so long as we fail to realise that it is nonsense, the shadowy intellect cannot be transformed into a living, spiritual comprehension of the world. What is taught to young students today in so abstract a form in the universities must be transformed and must lead to a really artistic conception of the world. For the world of Nature itself creates as an artist. And until we realise that Nature is a world of creative art which can be understood only through artistic feeling, no healing will come into our picture of the world.

In the torture-chambers of mediaeval castles, people were shut into what was called the ‘iron virgin,’ where they were slowly spiked with iron teeth. This was a physical and more tangible procedure than that to which students in our day have to submit when they are taught anatomy and physiology and are told that in this way they are acquiring knowledge of the nature of man — but fundamentally it is the same kind of procedure. All that can be understood of the nature of man by such methods derives from an attitude of mind which is not unlike the attitude of those who were not averse from applying tortures in the Middle Ages. Students learn about the human being as he is when he has been dismembered — they are taught only about the mineral structure in man, about that part of his being which will one day be woven into the network of spider-like creatures extending over the earth.

It is a hard destiny that power should lie in the hands of men who regard the truest thoughts as absurdities and who scorn the impulses that are most inwardly and intimately bound up with the well-being of human evolution, with the whole mission of humanity in the world. It is a tragic state of things and we dare not shut our eyes to it. For it is only by realising the depth of such a tragedy that men will be brought to the point of resolving, each in his own place, to help the shadowy intellect to admit the spiritual world that is coming down from above in order that this intellect may be made fit for the conditions of future times. It is not right for the shadowy intellect to be driven down into an order of existence lower than that of the plants, into the brood of spidery creatures that will spread over the earth. Man's being needs to have reached a higher level of existence when, in the eighth millennium, women will become barren and the moon will unite once again with the earth. The earthly must then remain behind, with man directing and controlling it from outside like an object which he need not carry over with him into cosmic existence. Man must so prepare himself that he need not be involved in what must inevitably develop upon the surface of the earth in this way.

From pre-earthly existence man has descended to this earthly life. His birth from woman began with the departure of the moon, but this physical form of birth is only a passing episode in the great sweep of cosmic evolution and will be replaced by another. It is the phase which was destined to bring to man the feeling and consciousness of freedom, the self-completeness of individuality and personality. It is a phase by no means to be undervalued. It was necessary in the whole cosmic process, but it must not remain forever unchanged. Man must not give way to the easy course of assuming the existence of an abstract God, but bring himself to look concretely at things that are connected with his evolution. For his being of soul-and-spirit can only be inwardly stimulated when he really understands the nature of the concrete realities connected with the great epoch towards which his successive earthly lives are leading him.

That is what a true Spiritual Science tells us today. The human will is threatened with being deprived of spiritual impulses and with becoming involved in the spidery web that will creep over the earth. There are men in existence who imagine that they will gain their ends by promoting their own spiritual development and leaving the rest of their fellow-beings in a state of ignorance. But the vast majority live in complete unawareness of the terrible destiny that awaits them if they lend themselves to what an ancient form of spiritual knowledge called the “sixteen paths to corruption.” For just as there are many ways in which the shadowy intellect may be directed to the impulses and knowledge coming from the spiritual world, so naturally there are many ways in which varieties of the shadowy intellect will be able to unite with the spider-beings who will spin their web over the earth in times to come. Intellect will then be objectivised in the very limbs and tentacles of these spidery creatures, who in all their wonderful inter-weavings and caduceus-like convolutions will present an amazing network of intricate forms.

It is only by developing an inner understanding for what is truly artistic that man will be able to understand the realm that is higher than mineral existence — that realm of which we see an expression in the actual shaping and form of the surfaces of things in the world.

Goethe's theory of metamorphosis was a most significant discovery. The pedants of his day regarded it as dilettantism, and the same opinion prevails today. But in Goethe, clarity of insight and intelligence was combined with a faculty of vision which perceived Nature herself as an active expression of artistic creation. In connection with the animal world, Goethe only reached the point of applying this principle of metamorphosis to the forms of the vertebras and cranial bones. But the process whereby the forms of a previous existence are transformed, whereby the body of the earlier life is transformed into the head of the subsequent life — it is only by an inner understanding of this wonderfully artistic transformation of the radial bones into the spherical that we can truly perceive the difference between the head and the rest of the human structure. Without this insight we cannot perceive the inner, organic connection between the head and the rest of the human body.

But this is a form of art which is at the same time science. Whenever science fails to become art, it degenerates into sophistry a form of knowledge that hurls mankind into calamity so far as his cosmic existence is concerned. We see, therefore, how a true Spiritual Science points to the necessity for artistic insight and perception. This faculty was already alive in Goethe's soul and comes to expression in his hymn in prose, entitled Nature, written about the year 1780, and beginning: “Nature! We are surrounded and embraced by her ...” The ideas are woven together so wonderfully that the hymn is like the expression of a yearning to receive the Spirit from the cosmic All.

It can be said with truth that the development of the thoughts contained in Goethe's hymn to Nature would provide a dwelling-place for the Beings who would fain come down from the cosmos to the earth. But the barren conceptions of physiology and biology, the systematising of plant-life and the theories that were evolved during the nineteenth century — all the thoughts which, as I showed in the lectures on colour, have really nothing to do with the true nature of the plants — can awaken no real knowledge, nor can they get anywhere near the being of man. Hence the body of knowledge that is regarded today as science is essentially a product of Ahriman, leading man on towards earthly destruction and preventing him from entering the sphere which the Beings from beyond the earth have been trying to place within his reach since the last third of the nineteenth century.

To cultivate Spiritual Science is no abstract pursuit. To cultivate Spiritual Science means to open the doors to those influences from beyond the earth which have been seeking to come down to the earth since the last third of the nineteenth century. The cultivation of Spiritual Science is in very truth a cosmic event of which we ought to be fully conscious.

And so we survey the whole span of time from the separation until the return of the moon. The moon which, as we say, reflects the sunlight back to us, is in truth deeply connected with our existence. It separated itself from the earth in order that man might become a free being. But this period of time must be utilised by man in such a way that he does not prepare the material which, with the re-entry of the moon into the earth-sphere, would combine with the moon-substance to produce that new kingdom of which I have tried to give you a graphic picture.

Now and then there arises in human beings of our time a kind of foreboding of what will come about in the future. I do not know what meaning has been read into the chapter in Thus Spake Zarathustra, where Nietzsche writes of the ‘ugliest man’ in the ‘valley of death.’ It is a tragic and moving passage. Nietzsche, of course, had no concrete perception of the valley of death into which existence will be transformed when the spidery brood of which I have spoken spreads over the earth. Nevertheless, in the picture of this valley of death in Nietzsche's imagination there was a subconscious vision of the future, and within this valley of death he placed the figure of the ‘ugliest man.’ It was a kind of foreboding of what will happen if men continue to cultivate shadowy thoughts. For their destiny then will be that in hideous shape they will be caught up by the forces of the moon-existence as it comes down into the sphere of the earth and will become one with the brood of spidery creatures of which I have been speaking.

What purpose would be served by keeping these things secret today, as many people desire? To keep them secret would be to throw sand into the eyes of men. Much of what is spread over the world today under the name of spiritual teaching is nothing but a process of throwing sand into men's eyes so that no single event in history can be understood for what it really is. How many people realise today that events of fundamental and incisive importance are taking place? I have already spoken of these things. But how few are prepared really to enter into them! People prefer to shut their eyes to what is happening and to think that, after all, the events are not really of such great significance. Nevertheless, the signs of the times are unmistakable and must be understood.

This was what I wished to say in regard to the way in which the being of man upon the earth is connected with the cosmos.
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Re: The Art of Avoiding History, by Peter Staudenmaier

Postby admin » Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:42 am

Will Ecology Become ‘the Dismal Science’?
by Murray Bookchin
December 1, 1989



Almost a century and a half ago Thomas Carlyle described economics as “the dismal science.” The term was to stick, especially as it applied to economics premised on a supposedly unavoidable conflict between “insatiable needs” and “scarce natural resources.” In this economics, the limited bounty provided by a supposedly “stingy nature” doomed humanity to economic slumps, misery, civil strife, and hunger.

Today, the term “dismal science” appropriately describes certain trends in the ecology movement -- trends that seem to be riding on an overwhelming tide of religious revivalism and mysticism. I refer not to the large number of highly motivated, well-intentioned, and often radical environmentalists who are making earnest efforts to arrest the ecological crisis, but rather to exotic tendencies that espouse deep ecology, biocentrism, Gaian consciousness, and eco-theology, to cite the main cults that celebrate a quasi-religious “reverence” for “Nature” with what is often a simultaneous denigration of human beings and their traits.

Mystical ecologists, like many of today’s religious revivalists, view reason with suspicion and emphasize the importance of irrational and intuitive approaches to ecological issues. For the Reverend Thomas Berry, whom many regard as the foremost eco-theologian of our day, the “very rational process that we exalt as the only true way to understanding is by a certain irony discovered to be itself a mythic imaginative dream experience. The difficulty of our times is our inability to awaken out of this cultural pathology.”

One does not have to be a member of the clergy to utter such atavistic notions. In a more secular vein, Bill Devall and George Sessions, professors of sociology and philosophy, respectively, who wrote Deep Ecology, one of the most widely read books in mystical ecology, offer a message of “self-realization” through an immersion of the personal self in a hazy “Cosmic Self,” or, as they put it, a “‘self-in-Self’ where ‘Self’ stands for organic wholeness.”

The most influential Naturphilosophen included F.W.J. Schelling (1775-1854), Goethe, Lorenz Oken (1779-1851), and a man that Goethe much admired, Carl Gustav Carus (1789-1869), a comparative anatomist who insisted that the divine essence of life would only be recognized through initiation into these insights through spiritual development:

Insofar as the idea of life is no other than the idea of an eternal manifestation of the divine essence through nature, it belongs among those original insights of reason that do not come to man from outside .... These insights open up in the inwardness of man; they must reveal themselves and, once a man has reached a certain level of development, they will always reveal themselves. [6]

This view is precisely the affirmation of the belief of the Naturphilosophen that, as historian of science Timothy Lenoir succinctly puts it, "when properly trained in the method of philosophical reflection, the understanding is capable, primarily through a higher faculty of judgment, of penetrating and comprehending the structure of the life process itself." [7] Thus, as living beings at the peak of the great chain of being (as historian of ideas Arthur O. Lovejoy called it), humans were uniquely capable of an intuitive grasp of the very pulse of life itself in its more elemental forms. Jung's twentieth-century psychological methods -- including that of "active imagination" -- are direct survivors of this Romantic praxis.

-- The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement, by Richard Noll

The language of Deep Ecology is distinctly salvational: “This process of full unfolding of the self can also be summarized in the phrase: ‘No one is saved until we are all saved,’ where the phrase ‘one’ includes not only me, an individual human, but all humans, whales, grizzly bears, whole rain-forest ecosystems, mountains and rivers, the tiniest microbes in the soil, and so on.”

This hortatory appeal raises some highly disconcerting problems. The words “and so on” omit the need to deal with pathogenic microbes, animal vectors of lethal diseases, earthquakes, and typhoons, to cite less aesthetically satisfying beings and phenomena than whales, grizzly bears, wolves, and mountains. This selective view of “Mother Nature’s” biotic and physiographic inventory has raised some stormy problems for mystical ecology’s message of universal salvation.

Mystical ecologists tend to downgrade social issues by reducing human problems (a generally distasteful subject to them) to a “species” level -- to matters of genetics. In the words of Pastor Berry, humanity must be “reinvented on the species level” by going “beyond our cultural coding, to our genetic coding, to ask for guidance.” The rhetoric that follows this passage in The Dream of the Earth verges on the mythopoeic, in which our “genetic coding” binds us “with the larger dimensions of the universe” -- a universe that “carries the deep mysteries of our existence within itself.” Berry’s exhortations enjoy great popularity these days, and have been quoted with approval even in the conventional environmental literature, not to speak of the mystical variety.

Such cosmological evangelism, clothed in ecological verbiage, deprecates humanity. When human beings are woven into the “web of life” as nothing more than one of “Mother Nature’s” innumerable species, they lose their unique place in natural evolution as rational creatures of potentially unsurpassed qualities, endowed with a deeply social nature, creativity, and the capacity to function as moral agents.

“Anthropocentricity,” the quasi-theological notion that the world exists for human use, is derided by mystical ecologists in favor of the equally quasi-theological notion of “biocentricity,” namely, that all life-forms are morally interchangeable with one another in terms of their “intrinsic value.” In their maudlin Gaia Meditations, two mystical ecologists, John Seed and Joanna Macy, enjoin us human mortals to “think to your next death. Will your flesh and bones back into the cycle. Surrender. Love the plump worms you will become. Launder your weary being through the fountain of life.” In the mystically overbaked world of the American Sunbelt, such drivel tends to descend to the level of bumper-sticker slogans or is evoked in poetic recitations at various ashrams in Anglo-American cities and towns.

Taken as a whole, the crude reduction of the ecological crisis to biological and psychological sources has produced an equally reductionist body of “correctives” that makes the dismal economics of an earlier time seem almost optimistic by comparison. For many, perhaps most, mystical ecologists, the standard recipe for a “sustainable” future involves a lifestyle based on harsh austerity -- basically, a rustic discipline marked by dietary simplicity, hard work, the use of “natural resources” only to meet survival needs, and a theistic primitivism that draws its inspiration from Pleistocene or Neolithic “spirituality” rather than from Renaissance or Enlightenment rationality.

Spirituality and rationality, which mystical ecologies invariably perceive in crassly reductionist and simplistic terms are pitted against each other as angels and demons. The mystics usually regard technology, science, and reason as the basic sources of the ecological crisis, and contend these should be contained or even replaced by toil, divination, and intuition. What is even more troubling is that many mystical ecologists are neo-Malthusians, whose more rambunctious elements regard famine and disease as necessary and even desirable to reduce human population.

The grim future evoked by mystical ecologists is by no means characteristic of the vision the ecology movement projected a generation ago. To the contrary, radical ecologists of the 1960s celebrated the prospect of a satisfying life, freed from material insecurity, toil, and the self-denial produced by market and bureaucratic capitalism.

This utopian vision, advanced primarily by social ecology in 1964 and 1965, was not antitechnological, antirational, or antiscientific. It expressed for the first time in the emerging ecology movement the prospect of a new social, technological, and spiritual dispensation. Social ecology claimed that the idea of dominating nature stemmed from the domination of human by human, in the form not only of class exploitation but of hierarchical domination. Capitalism -- not technology, reason, or science as such -- produced an economy that was systemically anti-ecological. Guided by the competitive marketplace maxim “grow or die,” it would literally devour the biosphere, turning forests into lumber and soil into sand.

Accordingly, the key to resolving the ecological crisis was not only a change in spirituality -- and not a regression to pre-historic religiosity -- but a sweeping change in society. Social ecology offered the vision of a nonhierarchical, communitarian society that would be based on directly democratic confederal communities with technologies structured around solar, wind, and renewable sources of energy; food cultivation by organic methods, a combined use of crafts and highly versatile, automatic, and sophisticated machinery to reduce human toil and free people to develop themselves as fully informed and creative citizens.

The disappearance of the utopian 1960s into the reactionary 1970s produced a steady retreat by millions of people into a spiritualistic inwardness that had already been latent in the counterculture of the previous decade. As possibilities for social change began to wane, people sought a surrogate reality to veil the ills of the prevailing society and the difficulty of removing them. Apart from a brief interlude of environmental resistance to the construction of nuclear power plants, large parts of the ecology movement began to withdraw from social concerns to spiritual ones, many of which were crassly mystical and theistic.

In the universities, Lynn White Jr. whose advocacy of religious explanations for the ecological crisis began to give it an otherworldly character, initiated this withdrawal. Around the same time, Garrett Hardin’s Tragedy of the Commons brought Malthus’s ghost into ecological discourse in the academy, further deflecting the social thrust of the 1960s ecology movement into a demographic numbers game. Both of these academicians had advanced their views largely in Science magazine, which has only limited public outreach, so it fell to a California entomologist, Paul Ehrlich, to divert the ecological concerns of the early 1970s from the social domain to the single issue of population growth in a hysterical paperback, The Population Bomb, that went through numerous editions and reached millions of readers.

Writing like an SS officer touring the Warsaw ghetto, Ehrlich in the opening pages of his tract saw nothing but “People! People!” -- failing to notice a vicious society that had degraded human lives. The slender thread that united White and more firmly, Hardin and Ehrlich was the nonsocial interpretation they gave to ecological problems, not any shared ecological overview.

Arne Naess, a Norwegian academic and mountain-climber, provided such an overview in 1973. He coined the term “deep ecology” and nurtured it as an ecological philosophy or sensibility that asks “deep questions” in contrast to “shallow ecology.” Recycled into a form of California spiritualism by Devall and Sessions with a bizarre mix of Buddhism, Taoism, Native American beliefs, Heidegger, and Spinoza among others, mystical ecology was now ready to take off as a new “Earth Wisdom.”

What catapulted this confused sensibility from the campus into newspaper headlines, however, was a wilderness movement, Earth First!, that began to take dramatic direct actions against the lumbering of old-growth forests and similar indecencies inflicted on wild areas by corporate America.

Earth First!’s founders, particularly David Foreman, had been conservationists who were weary of the ineffectual lobbying tactics of Washington-based conservation organizations. Inspired by Edward Abbey, the author of the highly popular novel The Monkey Wrench Gang, whose avowedly misanthropic views bordered on racism with its accolades to America’s “northern European culture,” Earth First!’s leaders began to seize upon deep ecology as a philosophy.

This is not to say that most Earth First!ers knew anything about “deep ecology” other than its claim to be “deep.”
But Devall and Sessions had placed Malthus in its pantheon of prophets and described “industrial society” -- not capitalism -- as the embodiment of the ills that mystical ecologists generally deride. Indeed, their book was distinctly wilderness-oriented, expressly “biocentric,” and seemed to make short shrift of humanity’s place in the cosmos.

Consistency has never been the strong point of any antirational movement, so it is not surprising that while Devall and Sessions piously extolled a “self-in-Self,” a caring form of pantheism or hylozoism, Foreman did not hesitate to describe human beings as a “cancer” in the natural world, and quite surprisingly, Gary Snyder, the poet-laureate of the deep-ecology movement, described humans as “locust like.”

Mystical ecology as a dismal science is, in fact, antihuman. Despite his gentle piety, Pastor Berry, for example, becomes positively ferocious in his treatment of human beings, describing them as “the most pernicious mode of earthly being.” Indeed, “We are the termination, not the fulfillment, of the Earth process. If there were a parliament of creatures, its first decision might well be to vote the humans out of the community, too deadly a presence to tolerate any further. We are an affliction of the world, its demonic presence. We are the violation of Earth’s most sacred aspects.”

Ecclesiastic vitriol has often been more selective. In the best of cases, it has targeted the rich, not the poor; the oppressor, not the oppressed; the ruler, not the downtrodden. But mystical ecology tends to be more all-embracing. Berry’s ecumenical “we,” like his treatment of “human beings” as a species rather than as beings who are divided by the oppressions of race, sex, material means of life, culture, and the like, tends to permeate mystical ecology.

“We are all capitalists at heart,”
declares a well-intentioned Norwegian writer, Erik Dammann, whose The Future in Our Hands has been touted by Arne Naess as a virtual manifesto for social improvement. The homeless in American cities, the AIDS victims who have been left to die in Zurich’s notorious needle park, the overworked people in the First World’s mines and factories -- none of these count for much in Dammann’s plea that “we” in America and Europe reduce our consumption of goods in behalf of the Third World’s poor.

Laudable as the goal of reduced consumption may seem, it is an ineffectual exercise in charity, not social mobilization; in humanitarianism, not social change. It is also an exercise in a superficial form of social analysis that grossly underplays the profoundly systemic factors that have produced overfed elites in all parts of the world and masses of underfed underlings. Nearly all we learn from Dammann’s liberal good intentions is that an ecumenical “we” must be faulted for the ills of the world -- a mystical “consumer” who greedily demands goodies that “our” overworked corporations are compelled to produce.

Despite the radical rhetoric to which Devall and Sessions resort, the principal practical recipe for social change they have to offer “us” in Deep Ecology is little more than a naive prayer. “Our first principle,” they write, “is to encourage agencies, legislators, property owners and managers to consider flowing with rather than forcing natural processes.” We should “act through the political process to inform managers and government agencies of the principles of deep ecology,” to achieve “some significant changes in the direction of wise long-range management policies.”

The watered-down liberalism of Devall and Sessions is echoed more explicitly in Paul and Anne Ehrlich’s latest book, Healing the Planet, in which the authors declare their adherence to deep ecology, a “quasi-religious movement” (to use their own words) that “recognizes that a successful new philosophy cannot be based on scientific nonsense.” Such denigration of science hardly befits writers whose reputation is based on their scientific credentials, with or without the vague use of the word “nonsense” to qualify their remarks. More guarded these days than in their earlier, somewhat hysterical tracts, the Ehrlichs offer something for everyone in a rather bewildering number of scenarios which show concern for the poor as well as the rich, the Third World as well as the First, even Marxists as well as avowed conservatives. But almost every important passage in the book repeats the refrain that marks their earlier works: “Controlling population growth is critical.”

The Ehrlichs’ treatment of fundamental social issues, however, reveals the extent to which they come to terms with the status quo. Our democratic “market-based economies [are] so far the most successful political and economic systems human beings have ever devised ” That there is a systemic relationship between “market based” economy and the ruthless plundering of the planet hardly appears on the Ehrlichs’ social horizon.

Naess is, perhaps, less equivocal -- and more troubling -- about his own solutions. As he weighs such alternative political philosophies as communism and anarchism, the father of deep ecology asserts, in his recently translated Ecology, Community, and Lifestyle, that deep ecology has an affinity with “contemporary nonviolent anarchism.” But the reader who might be stunned by this commitment to a libertarian alternative quickly learns that “with the enormous and exponentially increasing human population pressure and war or warlike conditions in many places, it seems inevitable to maintain some fairly strong central institutions” -- or, put less obliquely than deep ecologists are wont to do, a “fairly strong” centralized state. Here, in fact, Naess’s neo-Malthusianism and his pessimistic view of the human condition reinforce elitist beliefs in the ecology movement for state centralization and the use of coercion. The views of such deep ecologists as Christopher Manes, whose own colleagues regard him as an extremist, barely deserve serious discussion. Manes has welcomed the AIDS epidemic as a means of population control. Many mystical ecology writers echo his claim that “wilderness and not civilization is the real world.”

One of the most strident condemnations of human beings as the source of the ecological crisis comes from James Lovelock, the architect of the “Gaia hypothesis,” a mythopoeic notion that the Earth, personified as “Gaia” (the Greek goddess of our planet), is literally a living organism. In this theology, “we,” needless to say, are not merely trivial and expendable but, as some Gaians have put it, parasitic “intelligent fleas” on the planet. For Lovelock, the word “we” replaces all distinctions between elites and their victims in a shared responsibility for present-day ecological ills.

“Our humanist concerns about the poor of the inner cities or the Third World,” Lovelock declaims, “and our near-obscene obsession with death, suffering, and pain as if these were evils in themselves -- these thoughts divert the mind from our gross and excessive domination of the natural world. Poverty and suffering are not sent; they are the consequences of what we do.”

It is “when we drive our cars and listen to the radio bringing news of acid rain [that] we need to remind ourselves that we, personally, are the polluters.” Accordingly, “we are therefore accountable, personally, for the destruction of the trees by photochemical smog and acid rain.” The lowly consumer is seen as the real source of the ecological casts, not the producers who orchestrate public tastes through the mass media and the corporations who own and ravage Loveloek’s divine Gaia.

The ecology movement is too important to allow itself to be taken over by airy mystics and reactionary misanthropes. The traditional labor movement, on which so many radicals placed their hopes for creating a new society, has withered, and in the United States the old time populist movements have died with the agrarian strata that provided them with sizable followings. Rooseveltian liberalism’s future hangs in the balance as a result of the Reagan-Bush assault on New Deal reforms The cooptation of nearly every worthwhile cause, including conventional environmentalism itself, is symbolized by the ease with which corporations tout the slogan EVERY DAY IS EARTH DAY!

But the natural world itself is not cooptable. The complexity of organic and climatic processes still defies scientific control, just as the marketplace’s drive to expand still defies social control. The conflict between the natural world and the present society has intensified over the past two decades. Ecological dislocations of massive proportions may well begin to overshadow the more sensational issues that make headlines today.

A decisive collision looms: On one side is the grow-or-die economy, lurching out of control. On the other, the fragile conditions necessary for the maintenance of advanced life-forms on this planet. This collision, in fact, confronts humanity itself with sharp alternatives: an ecological society structured around social ecology’s ideal of a confederal, directly democratic, and ecologically oriented network of communities, or an authoritarian society in which humanity’s interaction with the natural world will be structured around a command economics and politics. The third prospect, of course, is the immolation of humanity in a series of ecological and irreversible disasters.

For the ecology movement to become frivolous and allow itself to be guided by various sorts of mystics would be unpardonable -- a tragedy of enormous proportions. Despite the dystopian atmosphere that seems to pervade much of the movement, its utopian vision of a democratic, rational, and ecological society is as viable today as it was a generation ago.

The misanthropic strain that runs through the movement in the name of “biocentricity,” antihumanism, Gaian consciousness, and neo-Malthusianism threatens to make ecology, in the broad sense of the term, the best candidate we have for a “dismal science.” The attempt by many mystical ecologists to exculpate the present society for its role in famines, epidemics, poverty, and hunger serves the world’s power elites as the most effective ideological defense for the extremes of wealth on the one side and poverty on the other.

So you need that other tool – you need the insight into the radical interconnectivity at the heart of existence, the web of life, our deep ecology. When you have that, then you know that this is not a battle between good guys and bad guys. You know that the line between good and evil runs through the landscape of every human heart. And you know that we are so interwoven in the web of life that even the smallest act, with clear intention, has repercussions through the whole web beyond your capacity to see.

-- Joanna Macy on the relevance of the Shambhala Warrior Prophecy for our time

It is not only the great mass of people who must make hard choices about humanity’s future in a period of growing ecological dislocation; it is the ecology movement itself that must make hard choices about its sense of direction in a time of growing mystification.
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Re: The Art of Avoiding History, by Peter Staudenmaier

Postby admin » Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:12 am

Morale and National Character [10]
Excerpt from "Steps to an Ecology of Mind," by Gregory Bateson
(This essay appeared in Civilian Morale, edited by Goodwin Watson, copyright 1942 by the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.)



We shall proceed as follows: (1) We shall examine some of the criticisms which can be urged against our entertaining any concept of “national character.” (2) This examination will enable us to state certain conceptual limits within which the phrase “national character” is likely to be valid. (3) We shall then go on, within these limits, to outline what orders of difference we may expect to find among Western nations, trying, by way of illustration, to guess more concretely at some of these differences. (4) Lastly, we shall consider how the problems of morale and international relations are affected by differences of this order.

Barriers to Any Concept of “National Character”

Scientific enquiry has been diverted from questions of this type by a number of trains of thought which lead scientists to regard all such questions as unprofitable or unsound. Before we hazard any constructive opinion as to the order of differences to be expected among European populations, therefore, these diverting trains of thought must be examined.

It is, in the first place, argued that not the people but rather the circumstances under which they live differ from one community to another; that we have to deal with differences either in historical background or in current conditions, and that these factors are sufficient to account for all differences in behavior without our invoking any differences of character in the individuals concerned. Essentially this argument is an appeal to Occam’s Razor—an assertion that we ought not to multiply entities beyond necessity. The argument is that, where observable differences in circumstance exist, we ought to invoke those rather than mere inferred differences in character, which we cannot observe.

The argument may be met in part by quoting experimental data, such as Lewin’s experiments (unpublished material), which showed that there are great differences in the way in which Germans and Americans respond to failure in an experimental setting. The Americans treated failure as a challenge to increase effort; the Germans responded to the same failure with discouragement. But those who argue for the effectiveness of conditions rather than character can still reply that the experimental conditions are not, in fact, the same for both groups; that the stimulus value of any circumstance depends upon how that circumstance stands out against the background of other circumstances in the life of the subject, and that this contrast cannot be the same for both groups.

It is possible, in fact, to argue that since the same circumstances never occur for individuals of different cultural background, it is therefore unnecessary to invoke such abstractions as national character. This argument breaks down, I believe, when it is pointed out that, in stressing circumstance rather than character, we would be ignoring the known facts about learning. Perhaps the best documented generalization in the field of psychology is that, at any given moment, the behavioral characteristics of any mammal, and especially of man, depend upon the previous experience and behavior of that individual. Thus in presuming that character, as well as circumstance, must be taken into account, we are not multiplying entities beyond necessity; we know of the significance of learned character from other types of data, and it is this knowledge which compels us to consider the additional “entity.”

A second barrier to any acceptance of the notion of “national character” arises after the first has been negotiated. Those who grant that character must be considered can still doubt whether any uniformity or regularity is likely to obtain within such. a sample of human beings as constitutes a nation. Let us grant at once that uniformity obviously does not occur, and let us proceed to consider what sorts of regularity may be expected.

The criticism which we are trying to meet is likely to take five forms. (1) The critic may point to the occurrence of subcultural differentiation, to differences between the sexes, or between classes, or between occupational groups within the community. (2) He may point to the extreme heterogeneity and confusion of cultural norms which can be observed in “melting-pot” communities. (3) He may point to the accidental deviant, the individual who has undergone some “accidental” traumatic experience, not usual among those in his social environment. (4) He may point to the phenomena of cultural change, and especially to the sort of differentiation which results when one part of the community lags behind some other in rate of change. (5) Lastly, he may point to the arbitrary nature of national boundaries.

These objections are closely interrelated, and the replies to them all derive ultimately from two postulates: first, that the individual, whether from a physiological or a psychological point of view, is a single organized entity, such that all its “parts” or “aspects” are mutually modifiable and mutually interacting; and second, that a community is likewise organized in this sense.

If we look at social differentiation in a stable community—say, at sex differentiation in a New Guinea tribe [11]—we find that it is not enough to say that the habit system or the character structure of one sex is different from that of another. The significant point is that the habit system of each sex cogs into the habit system of the other; that the behavior of each promotes the habits of the other. [12] We find, for example, between the sexes, such complementary patterns as spectatorship-exhibitionism, dominance-submission, and succoring-dependence, or mixtures of these. Never do we find mutual irrelevance between such groups.

Although it is unfortunately true that we know very little about the terms of habit differentiation between classes, sexes, occupational groups, etc., in Western nations, there is, I think, no danger in applying this general conclusion to all cases of stable differentiation between groups which are living in mutual contact. It is, to me, inconceivable that two differing groups could exist side by side in a community without some sort of mutual relevance between the special characteristics of one group and those of the other. Such an occurrence would be contrary to the postulate that a community is an organized unit. We shall, therefore, presume that this generalization applies to all stable social differentiation.

Now, all that we know of the mechanics of character formation—especially the processes of projection, reaction formation, compensation, and the like—forces us to regard these bipolar patterns as unitary within the individual. If we know that an individual is trained in overt expression of one-half of one of these patterns, e.g., in dominance behavior, we can predict with certainty (though not in precise language) that the seeds of the other half—submission—are simultaneously sown. in his personality. We have to think of the individual, in fact, as trained in dominance-submission, not in either dominance or submission. From this it follows that where we are dealing with stable differentiation within a community, we are justified in ascribing common character to the members of that community, provided we take the precaution of describing that common character in terms of the motifs of relationship between the differentiated sections of the community.

The same sort of considerations will guide us in dealing with our second criticism—the extremes of heterogeneity, such as occur in modern “melting-pot” communities. Suppose we attempted to analyze out all the motifs of relationship between individuals and groups in such a community as New York City; if we did not end in the madhouse long before we had completed our study, we should arrive at a picture of common character that would be almost infinitely complex—certainly that would contain more fine differentiations than the human psyche is capable of resolving within itself. At this point, then, both we and the individuals whom we are studying are forced to take a short cut: to treat heterogeneity as a positive characteristic of the common environment, sui generis. When, with such an hypothesis, we begin to look for common motifs of behavior, we note the very clear tendencies toward glorying in heterogeneity for its own sake (as in the Robinson Latouche “Ballad for Americans”) and toward regarding the world as made up of an infinity of disconnected quiz-bits (like Ripley’s “Believe It or Not”).

The third objection, the case of the individual deviant, falls in the same frame of reference as that of the differentiation of stable groups. The boy on whom an English public-school education does not take, even though the original roots of his deviance were laid in some “accidental” traumatic incident, is reacting to the public-school system. The behavioral habits which he acquires may not follow the norms which the school intends to implant, but they are acquired in reaction to those very norms. He may (and often does) acquire patterns the exact opposite of the normal; but he cannot conceivably acquire irrelevant patterns. He may become a “bad” public-school Englishman, he may become insane, but still his deviant characteristics will be systematically related to the norms which he is resisting. We may describe his character, indeed, by saying that it is as systematically related to the standard public-school character as the character of Iatmul natives of one sex is systematically related to the character of the other sex. His character is oriented to the motifs and patterns of relationship in the society in which he lives.

The same frame of reference applies to the fourth consideration, that of changing communities and the sort of differentiation which occurs when one section of a community lags behind another in change. Since the direction in which a change occurs will necessarily be conditioned by the, status quo ante, the new patterns, being reactions to the old, will be systematically related to the old. As long as we confine ourselves to the terms and themes of this systematic relationship, therefore, we are entitled to expect regularity of character in the individuals. Furthermore, the expectation and experience of change may, in some cases, be so important as to become a common character-determining factor [13] sui generis, in the same sort of way that “heterogeneity” may have positive effects.

Lastly, we may consider cases of shifting national boundaries, our fifth criticism. Here, of course, we cannot expect that a diplomat’s signature on a treaty will immediately modify the characters of the individuals whose national allegiance is thereby changed. It may even happen—for example, in cases where a preliterate native population is brought for the first time in contact with Europeans—that, for some time after the shift, the two parties to such a situation will behave in an exploratory or almost random manner, each retaining its own norms and not yet developing any special adjustments to the situation of contact. During this period, we should still not expect any generalizations to apply to both groups. Very soon, however, we know that each side does develop special patterns of behavior to use in its contacts with the other. [14]At this point, it becomes meaningful to ask what systematic terms of relationship will describe the common character of the two groups; and from this point on, the degree of common character structure will increase until the two groups become related to each other just as two classes or two sexes in a stable, differentiated society. [15]

In sum, to those who argue that human communities show too great internal differentiation or contain too great a random element for any notion of common character to apply, our reply would be that we expect such an approach to be useful (a) provided we describe common character in terms of the themes of relationship between groups and individuals within the community, and (b) provided that we allow sufficient time to elapse for the community to reach some degree of equilibrium or to accept either change or heterogeneity as a characteristic of their human environment.

Differences Which We May Expect Between National Groups

The above examination of “straw men” in the case against “national character” has very stringently limited the scope of this concept. But the conclusions from this examination are by no means simply negative. To limit the scope of a concept is almost synonymous with defining it.

We have added one very important tool to our equipment —the technique of describing the common character (or the “highest common factor” of character) of individuals in a human community in terms of bipolar adjectives. Instead of despairing in face of the fact that nations are highly differentiated, we shall take the dimensions of that differentiation as our clues to the national character. No longer content to say, “Germans are submissive,” or “Englishmen are aloof,” we shall use such phrases as “dominant-submissive” when relationships of this sort can be shown to occur. Similarly, we shall not refer to “the paranoidal element in German character,” unless we can show that by “paranoidal” we mean some bipolar characteristic of German-German or German-foreign relationships. We shall not describe varieties of character by defining a given character in terms of its position on a continuum between extreme dominance and extreme submissiveness, but we shall, instead, try to use for our descriptions some such continua as “degree of interest in, or orientation toward, dominance-submission.”

So far, we have mentioned only a very short list of bipolar characteristics: dominance-submission, succoring-dependence, and exhibitionism-spectatorship. One criticism will certainly be uppermost in the reader’s mind, that, in short, all three of these characteristics are clearly present in all Western cultures. Before our method becomes useful, therefore, we must try to expand it to give us sufficient scope and discriminatory power to differentiate one Western culture from another.

As this conceptual frame develops, no doubt, many further expansions and discriminations will be introduced. The present paper will deal with only three such types of expansion.

Alternatives to Bipolarity

When we invoked bipolarity as a means of handling differentiation within society without foregoing some notion of common character structure, we considered only the possibility of simple bipolar differentiation. Certainly this pattern is very common in Western cultures; take, for instance, Republican-Democrat, political Right-Left, sex differentiation, God and the devil, and so on. These peoples even try to impose a binary pattern upon phenomena which are not dual in nature—youth versus age, labor versus capital, mind versus matter—and, in general, lack the organizational devices for handling triangular systems; the inception of any “third” party is always regarded, for example, as a threat to our political organization. This clear tendency toward dual systems ought not, however, to blind us to the occurrence of other patterns. [16]

There is, for example, a very interesting tendency in English communities toward the formation of ternary systems, such as parents-nurse-child, king-ministers-people, officers-N.C.O.’s-privates. [17]While the precise motifs of relationship in these ternary systems remain to be investigated, it is important to note that these systems, to which I refer as “ternary,” are neither “simple hierarchies” nor “triangles.” By a pure hierarchy, I should mean a serial system in which face-to-face relations do not occur between members when they are separated by some intervening member; in other words, systems in which the only communication between A and C passes through B. By a triangle I should mean a threefold system with no serial properties. The ternary system, parent-nurse-child, on the other hand, is very different from either of these other forms. It contains serial elements, but face-to-face contact does occur between the first and the third members. Essentially, the function of the middle member is to instruct and discipline the third member in the forms of behavior which he should adopt in his contacts with the first. The nurse teaches the child how to behave toward its parents, just as the N.C.O. teaches and disciplines the private in how he should behave toward officers. In psychoanalytic terminology, the process of introjection is done indirectly, not by direct impact of the parental personality upon the child. [18] The face-to-face contacts between the first and third members are, however, very important. We may refer, in this connection, to the vital daily ritual in the British Army, in which the officer of the day asks the assembled privates and N.C.O.’s whether there are any complaints.

Certainly, any full discussion of English character ought to allow for ternary, as well as bipolar patterns.

Symmetrical Motifs

So far, we have considered only what we have called “complementary” patterns of relationship, in which the behavior patterns at one end of the relationship are different from, but fit in with, the behavior patterns at the other end (dominance-submission, etc.). There exists, however, a whole category of human interpersonal behavior which does not conform to this description. In addition to the contrasting complementary patterns, we have to recognize the existence of a series of symmetrical patterns, in which people respond to what others are doing by themselves doing something similar. In particular, we have to consider those competitive [19] patterns in which individual or group A is stimulated to more of any type of behavior by perceiving more of that same type of behavior (or greater success in that type of behavior) in individual or group B.

There is a very profound contrast between such competitive systems of behavior and complementary dominance-submission systems—a highly significant contrast for any discussion of national character. In complementary striving, the stimulus which prompts A to greater efforts is the relative weakness in B; if we want to make A subside or submit, we ought to show him that B is stronger than he is. In fact, the complementary character structure may be summarized by the phrase “bully-coward,” implying the combination of these characteristics in the personality. The symmetrical competitive systems, on the other hand, are an almost precise functional opposite of the complementary. Here the stimulus which evokes greater striving in A is the vision of greater strength or greater striving in B; and, inversely, if we demonstrate to A that B is really weak, A will relax his efforts.

It is probable that these two contrasting patterns are alike available as potentialities in all human beings; but clearly, any individual who behaves in both ways at once will risk internal confusion and conflict. In the various national groups, consequently, different methods of resolving this discrepancy have developed. In England and in America, where children and adults are subjected to an almost continuous barrage of disapproval whenever they exhibit the complementary patterns, they inevitably come to accept the ethics of “fair play.” Responding to the challenge of difficulties, they cannot, without guilt, kick the underdog. [20] For British morale Dunkirk was a stimulus, not a depressant.

In Germany, on the other hand, the same cliches are apparently lacking, and the community is chiefly organized on the basis of a complementary hierarchy in terms of dominance-submission. The dominance behavior is sharply and clearly developed; yet the picture is not perfectly clear and needs further investigation. Whether a pure dominance-submission hierarchy could ever exist as a stable system is doubtful. It seems that in the case of Germany, the submission end of the pattern is masked, so that overt submissive behavior is almost as strongly tabooed as it is in America or England. In place of submission, we find a sort of parade-ground impassivity.

A hint as to the process by which the submissive role is modified and rendered tolerable comes to us out of the interviews in a recently begun study of German life histories. [21] One German subject described how different was the treatment which he, as a boy, received in his South German home, from that which his sister received. He said that much more was demanded of him; that his sister was allowed to evade discipline; that whereas he was always expected to click his heels and obey with precision, his sister was allowed much more freedom. The interviewer at once began to look for intersex sibling jealousy, but the subject declared that it was a greater honor for the boy to obey. “One doesn’t expect too much of girls,” he said. “What one felt they (boys) should accomplish and do was very serious, because they had to be prepared for life.” An interesting inversion of noblesse oblige.

Combinations of Motifs

Among the complementary motifs, we have mentioned only three—dominancesubmission, exhibitionism-spectatorship, and succorance-dependence—but these three will suffice to illustrate the sort of verifiable hypotheses at which we can arrive by describing national character in this hyphenated terminology. [22]

Since, clearly, all three of these motifs occur in all Western cultures, the possibilities for international difference are limited to the proportions and ways in which the motifs are combined. The proportions are likely to be very difficult to detect, except where the differences are very large. We may be sure ourselves that Germans are more oriented toward dominance-submission than are Americans, but to demonstrate this certainty is likely to be difficult. To estimate differences in the degree of development of exhibitionism-spectatorship or succorance-dependence in the various nations will, indeed, probably be quite impossible.

If, however, we consider the possible ways in which these motifs may be combined together, we find sharp qualitative differences which are susceptible of easy verification. Let us assume that all three of these motifs are developed in all relationships in all Western cultures, and from this assumption go on to consider which individual plays which role.

It is logically possible that in one cultural environment A will be dominant and exhibitionist, while B is submissive and spectator; while in another culture X may be dominant and spectator, while Y is submissive and exhibitionist.

Examples of this sort of contrast rather easily come to mind. Thus we may note that whereas the dominant Nazis preen themselves before the people, the czar of Russia kept his private ballet, and Stalin emerges from seclusion only to review his troops. We might perhaps present the relationship between the Nazi Party and the people thus:

Party / People
Dominance / Submission
Exhibitionism / Spectatorship

While the czar and his ballet would be represented:

Czar / Ballet
Dominance / Submission
Spectatorship / Exhibitionsim

Since these European examples are comparatively unproved, it is worthwhile at this point to demonstrate the occurrence of such differences by describing a rather striking ethnographic difference which has been documented more fully. In Europe, where we tend to associate succoring behavior with social superiority, we construct our parent symbols accordingly. Our God, or our king, is the “father” of his people. In Bali, on the other hand, the gods are the “children” of the people, and when a god speaks through the mouth of a person in trance, he addresses anyone who will listen as “father.” Similarly, the rajah is sajanganga (“spoilt” like a child) by his people. The Balinese, further, are very fond of putting children in the combined roles of god and dancer; in mythology, the perfect prince is polished and narcissistic. Thus the Balinese pattern might be summarized thus:

High Status / Low Status
Dependence / Succoring
Exhibitionism / Spectatorship

And this diagram would imply, not only that the Balinese feel dependence and exhibitionism and superior status to go naturally together, but also that a Balinese will not readily combine succoring with exhibitionism (that is, Bali completely lacks the ostentatious gift-giving characteristic of many primitive peoples) or will be embarrassed if forced by the context to attempt such a combination.

Although the analogous diagrams for our Western cultures cannot be drawn with the same certainty, it is worthwhile to attempt them for the parent-child relationships in English, American, and German cultures. One extra complication must, however, be faced; when we look at parent-child relationships instead of at relationships between princes and people, we have to make specific allowance for the changes in the pattern which occur as the child grows older. Succorance-dependence is undoubtedly a dominant motif in early childhood, but various mechanisms later modify this extreme dependence, to bring about some degree of psychological independence.

The English upper- and middle-class system would be represented diagrammatically thus:

Parents / Children
Dominance / Submission (modified by “ternary” nurse system)
Succoring / Dependence (dependence habits broken by separation—children sent to school)
Exhibitionism / Spectatorship (children listen silently at meals)

In contrast with this, the analogous American pattern seems to be:

Parents / Children
Dominance (slight) / Submission (slight)
Succoring / Dependence
Spectatorship / Exhibitionism

And this pattern differs from the English not only in the reversal of the spectatorship-exhibitionism roles, but also in the content of what is exhibited. The American child is encouraged by his parents to show off his independence. Usually the process of psychological weaning is not accomplished by sending the child away to a boarding school; instead, the child’s exhibitionism is played off against his independence, until the latter is neutralized. Later, from this beginning in the exhibition of independence, the individual may sometimes go on in adult life to show off succorance, his wife and family becoming in some degree his “exhibits.”

Though the analogous German pattern probably resembles the American in the arrangement of the paired complementary roles, certainly it differs from the American in that the father’s dominance is much stronger and much more consistent, and especially in that the content of the boy’s exhibitionism is quite different. He is, in fact, dominated into a sort of heel-clicking exhibitionism which takes the place of overt submissive behavior. Thus, while in the American character exhibitionism is encouraged by the parent as a method of psychological weaning, both its function and its content are for the German entirely different.

Differences of this order, which may be expected in all European nations, are probably the basis of many of our naive and often unkind international comments. They may, indeed, be of considerable importance in the mechanics of international relations, in as much as an understanding of them might dispel some of our misunderstandings. To an American eye, the English too often appear “arrogant,” whereas to an English eye the American appears to be “boastful.” If we could show precisely how much of truth and how much of distortion is present in these impressions, it might be a real contribution to interallied cooperation.

In terms of the diagrams above, the “arrogance” of the Englishman would be due to the combination of dominance and exhibitionism. The Englishman in a performing role (the parent at breakfast, the newspaper editor, the political spokesman, the lecturer, or what not) assumes that he is also in a dominant role—that he can decide in accordance with vague, abstract standards what sort of performance to give —and the audience can “take it or leave it.” His own arrogance he sees either as “natural” or as mitigated by his humility in face of the abstract standards. Quite unaware that his behavior could conceivably be regarded as a comment upon his audience, he is, on the contrary, aware only of behaving in the performer’s role, as he understands that role. But the American does not see it thus. To him, the “arrogant” behavior of the Englishman appears to be directed against the audience, in which case the implicit invocation of some abstract standard appears only to add insult to injury.

Similarly, the behavior which an Englishman interprets as “boastful” in an American is not aggressive, although the Englishman may feel that he is being subjected to some sort of invidious comparison. He does not know that, as a matter of fact, Americans will only behave like this to people whom they rather like and respect. According to the hypothesis above, the “boasting” pattern results from the curious linkage whereby exhibition of self-sufficiency and independence is played off against overdependence. The American, when he boasts, is looking for approval of his upstanding independence; but the naive Englishman interprets this behavior as a bid for some sort of dominance or superiority.

In this sort of way, we may suppose that the whole flavor of one national culture may differ from that of another, and that such differences may be considerable enough to lead to serious misunderstandings. It is probable, however, that these differences are not so complex in their nature as to be beyond the reach of investigation. Hypotheses of the type which we have advanced could be easily tested, and research on these lines is urgently needed.

National Character and American Morale

Using the motifs of interpersonal and intergroup relationship as our clues to national character, we have been able to indicate certain orders of regular difference which we may expect to find among the peoples who share our Western civilization. Of necessity, our statements have been theoretical rather than empirical; still, from the theoretical structure which we have built up, it is possible to extract certain formulas which may be useful to the builder of morale.

All of these formulas are based upon the general assumption that people will respond most energetically when the context is structured to appeal to their habitual patterns of reaction. It is not sensible to encourage a donkey to go up hill by offering him raw meat, nor will a lion respond to grass.

(1) Since all Western nations tend to think and behave in bipolar terms, we shall do well, in building American morale, to think of our various enemies as a single hostile entity. The distinctions and gradations which intellectuals might prefer are likely to be disturbing.

(2) Since both Americans and English respond most energetically to symmetrical stimuli, we shall be very unwise if we soft-pedal the disasters of war. If our enemies defeat us at any point, that fact ought to be used to the maximum as a challenge and a spur to further effort. When our forces have suffered some reverse, our newspapers ought to be in no hurry to tell us that “enemy advances have been checked.” Military progress is always intermittent, and the moment to strike, the moment when maximum morale is needed, occurs when the enemy is solidifying his position and preparing the next blow. At such a moment, it is not sensible to reduce the aggressive energy of our leaders and people by smug reassurance.

(3) There is, however, a superficial discrepancy between the habit of symmetrical motivation and the need for showing self-sufficiency. We have suggested that the American boy learns to stand upon his own feet through those occasions in childhood when his parents are approving spectators of his self-sufficiency. If this diagnosis is correct, it would follow that a certain bubbling up of self-appreciation is normal and healthy in Americans and is perhaps an essential ingredient of American independence and strength.

A too literal following of the formula above, therefore, a too great insistence upon disasters and difficulties, might lead to some loss of energy through the damming up of this spontaneous exuberance. A rather concentrated diet of “blood, sweat, and tears” may be good for the English; but Americans, while no less dependent upon symmetrical motivation, cannot feel their oats when fed on nothing but disaster. Our public spokesmen and newspaper editors should never softpedal the fact that we have a man-sized job on our hands, but they will do well to insist also that America is a man-sized nation. Any sort of attempt to reassure Americans by minimizing the strength of the enemy must be avoided, but frank boasts of real success are good.

(4) Because our vision of the peace is a factor in our war-making morale, it is worthwhile to ask at once what light the study of national differences may throw upon the problems of the peace table.

We have to devise a peace treaty (a) such that Americans and British will fight to achieve it, and (b) such that it will bring out the best rather than the worst characteristics of our enemies. If we approach it scientifically, such a problem is by no means beyond our skill.

The most conspicuous psychological hurdle to be negotiated, in imagining such a peace treaty, is the contrast between British and American symmetrical patterns and the German complementary pattern, with its taboo on overt submissive behavior. The allied nations are not psychologically equipped to enforce a harsh treaty; they might draw up such a treaty, but in six months they would tire of keeping the underdog down. The Germans, on the other hand, if they see their role as “submissive,” will not stay down without harsh treatment. We have seen that these considerations applied even to such a mildly punitive treaty as was devised at Versailles; the allies omitted to enforce it, and the Germans refused to accept it. It is, therefore, useless to dream of such a treaty, and worse than useless to repeat such dreams as a way of raising our morale now, when we are angry with Germany. To do that would only obscure the issues in the final settlement.

This incompatibility between complementary and symmetrical motivation means, in fact, that the treaty cannot be organized around simple dominance-submissive motifs; hence we are forced to look for alternative solutions. We must examine, for example, the motif of exhibitionism-spectatorship —what dignified role is each of the various nations best fitted to play?—and that of succoring-dependence— in the starving postwar world, what motivational patterns shall we evoke between those who give and those who receive food? And, alternative to these solutions, we have the possibility of some threefold structure, within which both the allies and Germany would submit, not to each other, but to some abstract principle.



10. This essay appeared in Civilian Morale, edited by Goodwin Watson, copyright 1942 by the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. It is here reprinted by permission of the publisher. Some introductory material has been edited out.

11. Cf. M. Mead (Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies, New York, Morrow, 1935), especially Part III, for an analysis of sex differentiation among the Chambuli; also G. Bateson (Naven, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1936) for an analysis of sex differentiation among adults in Iatmul, New Guinea.

12. We are considering here only those cases in which ethological differentiation follows the sex dichotomy. It is also probable that, where the ethos of the two sexes is not sharply differentiated, it would still be correct to say that the ethos of each promotes that of the other, e.g., through such mechanisms as competition and mutual imitation. Cf. M. Mead (op. cit.).

13. For a discussion of the role played by “change” and “heterogeneity” in melting-pot communities, cf. M. Mead (“Educative effects of social environment as disclosed by studies of primitive societies.” Paper read at the Symposium on Environment and Education, University of Chicago, September 22, 1941). Also F. Alexander (“Educative influence of personality factors in the environment.” Paper read at the Symposium on Environment and Education, University of Chicago, September 22, 1941).

14. In the South Seas, those special modes of behavior which Europeans adopt toward native peoples, and those other modes of behavior which the native adopts toward Europeans, are very obvious. Apart from analyses of “pidgin” languages, we have, however, no psychological data on these patterns. For a description of the analogous patterns in Negrowhite relationships, cf. J. Dollard (Caste and Class in a Southern Toivn, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1937), especially Chapter XII, Accommodation Attitudes of Negroes.

15. Cf. G. Bateson, “Culture Contact and Schismogenesis,” Man, 1935, 8: 199. (Reprinted in this volume.)

16. The Balinese social system in the mountain communities is almost entirely devoid of such dualisms. The ethological differentiation of the sexes is rather slight; political factions are completely absent. In the plains, there is a dualism which has resulted from the intrusive Hindoo caste system, those with caste being discriminated from those without caste. At the symbolic level (partly as a result of Hindoo influence) dualisms are much more frequent, however, than they are in the social structure (e.g., Northeast vs. Southwest, Gods vs. demons, symbolic Left vs. Right, symbolic Male vs. Female, etc.).

17. A fourth instance of this threefold pattern occurs in some great public schools (as in Charterhouse), where the authority is divided between the quieter, more polished, intellectual leaders (“monitors”) and the rougher, louder, athletic leaders (captain of football, head of long room, etc.), who have the duty of seeing to it that the “fags” run when the monitor calls.

18. For a general discussion of cultural variants of the Oedipus situation and the related systems of cultural sanctions, cf. M. Mead (“Social change and cultural [incomplete].

19. The term “cooperation,” which is sometimes used as the opposite of “competition,” covers a very wide variety of patterns, some of them symmetrical and others complementary, some bipolar and others in which the cooperating individuals are chiefly oriented to some personal or impersonal goal. We may expect that some careful analysis of these patterns will give us vocabulary for describing other sorts of national characteristics. Such an analysis cannot be attempted in this paper.

20. It is, however, possible that in certain sections of these nations, complementary patterns occur with some frequency—particularly among groups who have suffered from prolonged insecurity and uncertainty, e.g., racial minorities, depressed areas, the stock exchange, political circles, etc.

21. G. Bateson, unpublished research for the Council on Human Relations.

22. “For a fuller study, we ought to consider such other motifs as aggression-passivity, possessive-possessed, agent-tool, etc. And all of these motifs will require somewhat more critical definition than can be attempted in this paper.
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