It’s good to keep on doing the same exercise for long periods

A study of anthroposophical works is an effective preparation for exercises. It’s better to have read a book 25 times than to read five books five times each, and one who has read a book two or three times shouldn’t imagine that he’s read it at all. If on a particular day of the year, we have experienced this or that in our meditation, then if we’ve really studied hard in between, we’ll be able to experience much more on the same day a year later. It’s good to keep on doing the same exercise for long periods; that’s much better than continual changes.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 – From the Contents of Esoteric Classes: Esoteric Lessons Part II – Berlin, 15th March 1911

About compassion and egoism

Some say that sympathy (compassion, pity) can also come from egoism. That may be the case. Many kinds of sympathy only arise because one doesn’t want to see other people suffer. That’s even a good thing. It’s better for a man to help someone out of egotistical sympathy than not to help him at all. But we must learn to develop a sympathy that stands above egoism, that helps fellowmen because it’s one’s duty to help them.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 – From the Contents of Esoteric Classes – Berlin, 15th May 1908

Continuously changing

When you see a person today, you may well recognize them tomorrow, or even after a year, because their outer form has remained constant. Similarly with the animal, the plant or mineral. This is not at all the situation with the beings which are incorporated on the astral plane. These possess a continuously changing form, a shape which in many of them, from one moment to the next become another, because the form which can be observed in the astral plane is the exact expression of the inner soul experiences and soul activity of these beings.

Just think about yourself, how you may observe your soul in the morning just after you have received a cheerful letter and how the joyful message filled your soul with delight and pleasure and how this feeling lived in the soul. Then think how your soul will express itself in the direct contrary situation, how different the image will be when you receive news of a death in the afternoon, or you are shaken in rage and fear. Consider how your outer expression changes each time as a result of what took place in the soul, then you have an image of what happens on the astral plane. Hence the bewildering scurrying and continuously changing forms of the astral beings.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 108 – Regarding Higher Worlds – Vienna, 21st November 1908

Translated by Hanna von Maltitz

Improbable, confused and fantastic

Whoever has worked for many years within these circles, or are inwardly active in such circles, will think back to a time when they had, for the first time, heard something about the anthroposophic occult science of man, and they will remember that some of the first communications not only appeared improbable, but perhaps confused and fantastic — perhaps even worse could be said about them. However, with the passing time you may get used to certain impressions as the anthroposophic world view comes ever closer, and the world of feeling makes it possible to share things which are revealed from Higher Worlds. These revelations become absorbed just like facts on the physical place, taking place in the physical world, they too are taken in. Whatever one can call proof of spiritual statements is not to be sought in the same fields as are the proofs for scientific certainties. With such a line of argument one can’t do much. The line of argument which is available for experiences in the anthroposophic world view lies in the complete intimate transformation as experienced within the soul life. Long before we can happily penetrate to perceiving the spiritual worlds through the application of spiritual scientific or occult methods, we can build in ourselves a presentiment, a premonition out of the correctness, from deep legitimacy, that which is shared regarding Higher Worlds.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 108 – Regarding Higher Worlds – Vienna, 21st November 1908

Translated by Hanna von Maltitz

Attitude of Soul and Supersensible knowledge  

In one region of the soul every human being has a natural aptitude which in all other areas it would need considerable effort to gain supersensible knowledge about. And this one area is when a loving relationship is entered into between human beings. People must learn to develop this skill in relation to other contacts and approach them in a similar loving way with understanding and instinctive interest and a genuine desire to get to know their inner being better. In the instances that we approach other human beings with inner participation, with deep understanding, with true interest, in those instances we become, if I may put it this way, clairvoyant in everyday life.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 072 – Freiheit, Unsterblichkeit, Soziales Leben – Bern, 11 December 1918 (page 394)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger