--| On Intellectual Honesty |-----

We know all that the development of theology in the nineteenth century has
to say about the Mystery of Golgotha--from Lessing right up to the time of
the theologian Drews, all kinds of things have been said. Indeed, it may
well be said that the whole development of theology in the nineteenth
century provides complete proof that people have entirely forgotten how to
understand anything at all of the Mystery of Golgotha. And yet there are
some very interesting publications concerning Christ Jesus. For instance,
there is a Danish publication written entirely from the standpoint of a
modern natural-scientific thinker (Emil Rasmussen, Jesus, A Comparative
Psychopathological Study). The author states his point of view as follows:
"I am a psychologist, a physiologist, a psychiatrist; I observe the Gospels
from my point of view." What conclusion does this author reach? Absolutely
factually, judging as a modern psychiatrist, he concludes that the picture
which the Gospels sketch of Christ Jesus is pathological. From the point of
view of psychiatry, one can only concieve of Christ Jesus as suffering from
insanity, epilepsy, morbid visions and similar conditions. All the symptoms
of a serious mental illness are there.

If one reads aloud the most important passage of this book, as I have
recently done, people are shocked. This is understandable, for people are
horrified when what they consider sacred is described in terms of
pathological symptoms. But what is really happenening here? What is
happening is that among a great number of dishonest comprimisers, one arose
who is dedicated completely to the natural-scientific viewpoint and makes no
comprimises whatsoever, but states without equivocation: "I am totally a
scientist; and therefore must speak as I do, for these are the facts. If
others would place themselves honestly on the standpoint where natural
science has placed itself, they would have to hold the same views." There
are these sharp angles and contours, and one cannot do otherwise. They
cannot do otherwise than either forsake the natural-scientific point of view
and cross over to the spiritual-scientific point of view--in which they
remain honest--or they may choose to remain honest upon the
natural-scientific point of view, in which case they must observe matters,
without making comprimises, in the manner of such a narrow-minded scientist,
who, although honest in his field, is thoroughly limited in his views and
does not try to conceal his narrow-mindedness. Such a scientist is
narrow-minded, but consistent. This has to be understood. If people would
see today what makes certain nuances necessary, when clearly examined, then
they would begin to see life without comprimise.

Someone recently handed me an interesting slip of paper. I already knew of
the book mentioned on the paper, but since I do not have the book with me
here, I can only read you what is written on this slip of paper. It was
handed to me in order to show me what kinds of things are possible today.

Anyone who has ever attended high school will remember the unforgettable
hours when in the study of Plato he or she could "enjoy" Socrates'
conversations with his friends. Unforgettable, because of the fabulous
boredom that flowed from these conversations. One will perhaps remember that
these conversations of Socrates struck one as extremely stupid; but, of
course, one did not dare utter this opinion, for after all, the human being
in question was Socrates, "the greatest philosopher." Alexander Moszkowski's
book *Socrates, the Idiot* completely does away with this unjustified
overestimation of the good Athenian. In this small, entertainingly written
book, the polymath Moszkowski undertakes nothing less than to divest
Socrates thoroughly of his philisophical honours. The title *Socrates the
Idiot* is to be taken literall. One is not wrong in assuming that this book
is based on scientific investigations.

Now, you may think it dreadful that such things are written. But I do not
find it dreadful at all. I think it is self-evident and quite honest of
Moszkowski. For, according to his conceptions and sentiments, Moszkowski
cannot do otherwise than to call Socrates an idiot, if he wishes to remain
consistent. This is obvious. And by doing so he is more honest than many
others who, in keeping with their views, would also have to call Socrates an
idiot, but who prefer to make comprimises instead. I need not tell you that
no one should now spread the news through the porous walls of the Munich
Branch that I have proclaimed myself in agreement with Moszkowski when he
declares Socrates to have been an idiot.

However, I must also acknowledge that people arrive at certain judgements
today because they make dishonest comprimises. One cannot think about mental
illness as modern psychiatry does and not write a book such as the one
written by the Danish author about Christ Jesus. That cannot be done. One is
being dishonest if one does not either reject such concepts and replace them
with spiritual ones, or take the point of view that Jesus was mentally ill.
And if one is aquainted with Moszkowski's peculiar views on radiation
theory, quantum theory, boundary concepts, and the whole structure of the
world, then, if one is honest and consistent, one cannot help but consider
Socrates and Plato as idiots.

Hence, the impulse to reject comprimises--to make no compromises, above all
in one's soul sife--belongs among the impulses that are especially essential
to humanity. It is extraordinarily important that we consider this as a
demand of our age. For precisely this rejection of comprimise is one of the
most significant of the impulses of Michael, the Spirit of the Age--namely,
to pour clarity, absolute clarity, into human souls.

--| References |----------------

(Exerpted from: "The Archangel Michael" Rudolf Steiner, pp. 91-94,
 Anthroposophic Press, 1994. Original lecture: "Signs of the Times: Michael's
 War in Heaven and its Reflection on the Earth, Munich, February 17, 1918).



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