"The concept of race in a proper sense was only useful during old Atlantis [corresponding to Tertiary and Quaternary in the view of the late Steiner]. Therefore, as we describe a real evolution of humanity, we have not used the concept of race for the post-Atlantean time [the time after the last glacial ages]. We don't speak of an Indian race and so on, as it isn't proper any more. We speak of an Old Indian cultural epoch, of an Old Persian cultural epoch and so on.

"It would make completely no sense if we were to say that we in our time were preparing for a sixth 'race'. If we in our time still see remains of the old Atlantean differences, remaining old group soulness, so that you still can speak of a differentiation into races - what is preparing itself for the sixth epoch consists specifically in getting rid of and leaving behind that which is 'racial character'. That is the important thing.

"Therefore it is necessary, that the movement which is called the anthroposophical movement, that prepares for the sixth epoch in its basic character, takes up especially this task of getting rid of what is related to 'racial character' and unites people of all races, of all nations and in this way bridges this differentiation, these differences, this abyss, that exists between different groups of people. Because the old racial points of view have a physical character, and what will develop into the future has a spiritual character.

"That is the reason it is so urgently necessary that our anthroposophical movement is a spiritual movement, that looks at that which is spiritual and overcomes specifically that which is based on physical differences, out of the force of this spirituality. 

"It is completely understandable that every movement has its childhood illnesses and that at the beginning of the theosophical movement one described what it is about as if the evolution of the Earth so to speak was differentiated into seven epochs - they were called 'main races' [here 'main races' refers to the theosophical concept of seven "root races"] - and that every 'root race' was differentiated into seven 'sub-races', and that everything would repeat itself that way for ever, so that you for ever could speak of seven 'races' and seven 'sub-races'.

"But one has to overcome this childhood illness and become clear that the concept of race ceases to have any meaning / importance specifically in our time.

"Something else is preparing itself - something that in the most eminent sense has to do with the human individuality - the ever more increasing individualization of man. What is important is that this development of the individuality is supported in the right way, and the anthroposophical movement has to support this development of individuality in man in the right way.''

Rudolf Steiner 4 December 1909, in: The deeper secrets of the development of humanity in the light of the gospels (GA 117).

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