Spiritual science/Knowledge/Selfeducation

Spiritual science does not merely signify the acquisition of knowledge; it signifies most pre-eminently an education, a self-education of our souls. We make ourselves different; we have other interests. When a man imbues himself with spiritual science, the habits of attention for this or for that subject which he developed during previous years, alter. What interested him before, interests him no longer; that which had no interest for him previously, now begins to interest him in the highest degree. One ought not simply to say that only a person who has gone through esoteric development can attain to a connection with the spiritual world; esotericism does not begin with occult development. The moment we make any link with spiritual science with our whole heart, esotericism has already begun; our souls begin at once to be transformed. There then begins in us something resembling what would arise, let us say, in a being who had previously only been able to see light and darkness, and who then through a special and different organisation of the eyes, begins to see colours. The whole world would appear different to such a being.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 136 – Spiritual Beings in the Heavenly Bodies and in the Kingdoms of Nature – LECTURE 1  – Helsinki, April 3, 1912

Previously posted on 15 September 2013

Red wine, a very peculiar medical prescription

It is already some time ago now, that I have taught children. But if one teaches four young lads from a specific family for many years, then one has the opportunity not only to observe these four children, but the children of acquaintances and so on as well. There is ample opportunity to observe this or that being done by the children or what is done with them. Now there was at the time a very peculiar medical prescription, which nowadays, thank goodness, is not prescribed that often any more: it was the practice to give toddlers a glass of red wine, in order that they would become strong. This was given not once only at mealtimes, but even several times a day. One held that for something very splendid. I could observe many children, who were raised with red wine and other children whose parents had refused to do so.

By now, these children, who were two and a half to four years old at the time are adults of about thirty or going on to forty years of age. All persons who were treated on red wine as little ones in order to strengthen them have become restless nervous people. They stand out very clearly from those who did not have red wine as children. One must therefore take into account that it needs nearly a quarter of century in order to observe the result of this practice.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 127 – Die Mission der neuen Geistesoffenbarung – Wiesbaden, 7th January 1911 (page 33)

The physical world is the school (3 – End) – We should not despise any world

As the human being is prepared in the mother’s body, so in the body of the great world mother — where we are while leading our physical life — is prepared what is necessary to make it possible for us to see and act in higher worlds. One is perfectly justified to speak of a higher world and to value it higher than our lower world, but we should only use these terms in a technical sense. All worlds are, basically, equally valid expressions of the highest principle, in different forms. We should not despise any world. In this way we learn to relate ourselves rightly towards both the lower and the higher worlds. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 94 – The Gospel of St. John – Third Lecture Berlin, 5th March 1906

The physical world is the school (2) – Our work here prepares the organs for a higher world

Man has to go through birth and death ever and again, until he has gained his full maturity in order to enter the spiritual world itself, so that he no longer needs physical organs. Thus we have to realise that everything we do by means of our eyes, ears and other senses is work done for the higher life.

Certainly, we have, frequently said that man must develop higher senses, that he must develop the chakrams or holy wheels, which enable him to enter the spiritual world and see it. But how does he come to obtain these holy wheels? Through his work on the physical plane. Here is the place of preparation. Our work here prepares the organs for a higher world.

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 94 – The Gospel of St. John – Third Lecture Berlin, 5th March 1906

The physical world is the school (1) – Ordinary life is an embryonic stage for the higher life

To be born means to proceed from an embryo to a stage at which one perceives the outer world with the senses. If one does not pass through an embryonic stage one can never be ready to be born. Those who know this stage also know that ordinary life is an embryonic stage for the higher life. This leads us deep into the meaning of ordinary life. It could be quite easy for someone who directs his gaze towards the spiritual world to become convinced that there is such a world and that man is a citizen of it. He could then proceed to disregard the physical world and to believe that one cannot depart from it quickly enough, and that one should mortify the flesh, the sooner to reach the spiritual world. This shows ignorance. It is as senseless as if one would not allow the human embryo to mature but would bring it into the world at two months, and expect it to live there. Likewise for the higher world, one has to develop to become mature. Such is he who has developed his higher self. The physical world is the school. He who has developed his ego here is ready to enter the kingdom of heaven, which means to be born again.

To be continued 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 94 – The Gospel of St. John – Third Lecture Berlin, 5th March 1906