Pain only becomes greater the more we think about it

As everyone knows, as far as subjective feelings are concerned, pain only becomes greater the more we think about it. It is not the objective damage but the pain of it that increases as we think more about it. In certain respects, the very best remedy for the overcoming of pain is to bring yourself, if you can, not to think about it.

Source:Rudolf Steiner – GA 302aEducation for Adolescents – Stuttgart, 21th June 1922

Nothing on the Earth happens that is not related to the spirit

Nothing on the Earth happens that is not related to the spirit. Our soul with her good and bad deeds is closely related to all that happens on the Earth. If an earthquake happens, we can never see it as individual karma. It belongs to the karma of humanity as a whole. A person with a materialistic worldview will think someone who makes such a statement to be superstitious, but whoever says that, is unaware that such a remark is really quite childlike. In the same way that no flower grows without spiritual forces, without being an expression of spirit and soul, there is no earthquake, no volcanic eruption without a spiritual reason, without a spiritual cause.

Translated by Nesta Carsten

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 108 – Die Beantwortung von Welt- und Lebensfragen durch Anthroposophie – Pforzheim 17 januari 1909 (p.93)

Sacrifice and karma

Who then are those who principally labour for the good of humanity in general, and who set themselves universal tasks in later incarnations? They are those who in earlier incarnations, have in some way or other died a death of sacrifice. The devotional natures, those given up to the spiritual here on the earth, owe this to their life of martyrdom in a previous incarnation. The earth could not progress unless people sacrificed themselves.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 157a – The Forming of Destiny and Life after Death – Lecture 3 – Berlin, 20th November 1915

Doppelganger/The second ego

An unavoidable experience one has by faithfully doing the exercises is a splitting of the personality. A man will begin to feel as if something was accompanying him, something that thinks and hears with him and even speaks with him if he’s inwardly weak. It’s a second ego that emerges, a doppelganger that one has placed outside one. The more seriously someone treads the esoteric path, the more of his old man he places outside him, that is, he sheds one skin after another like a snake. These skins become like a second body, a doppelganger who never leaves one again for the rest of one’s life. In the old Egyptian mysteries someone who had placed his double outside him was called a kha man. The double is chained to the kha man to constantly remind him what he was or still is. That’s not always a pleasant feeling. But the awareness that he always has his double with him will remind him of his defects and that he should improve himself. He should constantly feel this presence, otherwise things would get dangerous, and because of his many, high ideals and intentions, he would forget what his inner life and defects are. Under certain circumstances it could even endanger a high initiate’s life if in spite of his high striving he would forget this double for even a moment. [...] The more the double appears the better it is for our development, for otherwise, we would be living under great delusions about ourself.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 - From the Contents of Esoteric Classes – Esoteric Lessons Part II – Hannover, 31st December 1911

Self-knowledge and self-control

Let’s take a closer look at esoteric life. We know that various changes take place in our soul life through the exercises we received. For instance, the passions that a man had before get stronger. Old inclinations, drives and passions one thought one had overcome and put aside reemerge from the dark shafts of soul life and assert themselves vehemently. Or an esoteric often thoughtlessly does something which he would have been ashamed of before the start of his esoteric training or wouldn’t have done at all. His antipathies and sympathies for people become stronger than before; his whole soul life becomes stirred up. In short, a man gets to know what he’s really like in his soul depths so that he has real self-knowledge. Therefore strict and strong self-control is indispensable for an esoteric pupil.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 - From the Contents of Esoteric Classes – Esoteric Lessons Part II - Basel, 20th September 1912

Two things must be completely avoided

Two things must be completely avoided during occult training. We should never harm anyone through deeds, thoughts or words intentionally or not. Secondly, the feeling of hate must disappear in us, otherwise it reappears as a feeling of fear; for fear is suppressed hate. We must transform the hate into a feeling of love, the love of wisdom.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 - From the Contents of Esoteric Classes Kassel, 26th February 1909


What binds men to each other in love is egoism in by far the most cases. One loves someone because one feels that it’s pleasant to be near the person one loves. The good Gods had to use egoism to teach men about love.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 - From the Contents of Esoteric Classes – Esoteric Lessons Part IIIStockholm, 8th June 1913