In this collection, Rudolf Steiner describes the evolutionary task facing contemporary humanity in preparing to enter the sixth epoch. In the past, human souls felt a strong connection with the group soul to which they belonged. Today, all "group soul" characteristicssuch as race and nationmust be stripped away. Rudi Lissau wrote of the last lecture: No anthroposophist should approach racial problems without first pondering this lecture and its implications. Steiner also explains that we must overcome such preconception as are formed by our normal notions and feelings of good and evil: "Most people picture Ahriman and Lucifer as evil beingsalbeit much more intensely evil than human beings. But this is not true; we must keep in mind that certain earthly feelings we associate with our concepts lose their meaning when we go beyond the earthly realm. Thus we cannot say that there are good gods on the one hand and evil gods Ahriman and Lucifer on the other.... The opposing forces were created by the good gods themselves in an earlier period so that they would be able to bring to bear their full force for the development I have described. Rudolf Steiner (lecture 4)
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