World humour

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The world humour on the statue of the Representative of Humanity.

The world humour is a figure that sits at the very top of the monumental wooden sculpture of the Representative of Humanity created by Rudolf Steiner and grows as an elemental being out of the rock represented here with inner artistic necessity:

„The being above Lucifer emerged as such, growing out of the rock as an elemental being. We had finished the group we were discussing, and when it was freed from its scaffolding, something quite strange appeared: namely, that, as Miss Waller felt, the centre of gravity of the group was - for the view only, of course - too far to the right and something had to be created to balance it. This is how we were told by Karma. Now it was a question of not just putting up a lump of rock, but of pursuing the sculptural idea further. This is how this being came into being, which, as it were, grows out of the rock as an elemental being. You will notice one thing about this being, even if it is only expressed in hints: you will see how an asymmetry must immediately take effect as soon as spiritual figures come into consideration. This is expressed in the physical only to a very limited extent: our left eye is different from our right and so on; it is the same with the ear and nose. But as soon as one enters the spiritual realm, the etheric body has a decidedly asymmetrical effect. The left side of the etheric body is quite different from the right; this comes out immediately when you want to form spiritual figures. You can walk around this being, and you will have a different view from every point below. But you will see that the asymmetry works as something necessary, because it is the expression of the gesture with which this being looks over the rock with a certain humour and looks down on the group below. This looking down over the rock with humour has a good reason. It is not at all right to want to rise into the higher worlds with mere sentimentality. If one wants to work one's way up to the higher worlds, one must not do it with mere sentimentality. This sentimentality always smacks of egoism. You will see that often, when the highest spiritual connections are to be discussed, I mix into the contemplation something which is not intended to bring out of the mood, but only to drive away the egoistic sentimentality of the mood. Only then will men truly rise to the spiritual, if they do not wish to grasp it with egoistic sentimentality, but can enter into this spiritual region in purity of soul, which can never be without humour.“ (Lit.:GA 181, p. 316f)

„For, what is tragedy, what is sentimentality, what is a heavy mood of soul? It is quite the same as inhalation in the organism, as the organism filling itself with air. Tragedy means: we try to contract our physical body and contract it more and more, so that in contracting the physical body we become aware of how our astral body comes out of the physical body more and more by compressing the physical body. A humorous mood means that we paralyse the physical body, but conversely we now extend the astral body as far as possible, extend it over the surroundings, so that we become aware, for example, when we do not merely look at a blush, but when we grow into it, how we extend our astral over the blush, enter into it. Laughter is nothing other than driving the astral body of the face out of our physiognomy. Laughter is nothing other than an astral exhalation.“ (Lit.:GA 302a, p. 23f)


References to the work of Rudolf Steiner follow Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works (CW or GA), Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Dornach/Switzerland, unless otherwise stated.
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Index to the Complete Works of Rudolf Steiner - Aelzina Books
A complete list by Volume Number and a full list of known English translations you may also find at Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works
Rudolf Steiner Archive - The largest online collection of Rudolf Steiner's books, lectures and articles in English.
Rudolf Steiner Audio - Recorded and Read by Dale Brunsvold - Anthroposophic Press Inc. (USA)
Rudolf Steiner Handbook - Christian Karl's proven standard work for orientation in Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works for free download as PDF.