About education, memory and health (2 – End)

For instance, we are told: “A child’s memory, his power of remembering, may be exerted too much or too little in his ninth or tenth year.” The clamor against over-exerting the memory can lead to the result of exerting it too little. We must always try to find the middle course. For instance, we may make too great demands on a nine or ten-year-old’s memory. The real consequences will not appear before the person in question has reached the age of thirty or forty, or perhaps still later. Then this person may develop rheumatism or diabetes. By overexerting a child’s memory at the wrong time — let us say between the ninth and tenth year — we cause during this youthful stage an exaggerated depositing of faulty metabolic products. These connections, lasting during a man’s entire earth-life, go generally unnoticed. On the other hand, by exercising the memory too little — that is, by letting a child’s memory remain idle — we bring forth a tendency to all kinds of inflammations appearing in later years. What is important to know is the following: that the bodily states of a certain life-period are the consequences of the soul and spirit states of another.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 226 – Man’s Being, His Destiny and World-Evolution: Lecture VI – Kristiana, 21st May 1923

Translated by Erna McArthur

Previously posted on September 11, 2015

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About education, memory and health (1 of 2)

Because we are influenced by the materialistic spirit of the age, there is a tendency in our schools to educate children by pointing to their bodily nature. Nowadays people make experiments involving the memory, even the faculties of willing and thinking. I do not object to such things, which may be quite interesting, inasmuch as science is concerned. It is, nevertheless, terrible to apply such experiments in a pedagogical way. If we can approach the child only by means of external experiments, this proves how completely estranged we have become from man’s real being. Anyone inwardly connected with the child does not need external experiments. I wish, however, to emphasize once more that I am not opposed to experimental psychology. Yet we must acquire the faculty to enter man’s being by the inward means of spirit and soul.

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 226 – Man’s Being, His Destiny and World-Evolution: Lecture VI – Kristiana, 21st May 1923

Translated by Erna McArthur

Previously posted on September 10, 2015

All possible objections against Anthroposophy can be found in my own books

The opponents of Anthroposophy increase with every month. Yet they are unable to find a foothold. For, since Anthroposophy always agrees with them, but they refuse to agree with Anthroposophy, they cannot attack very well what the Anthroposophist says. And for this reason they attack his personality: defame it, tell lies about it. Unfortunately, polemics tend more and more towards such a form. This must be envisaged by those standing on anthroposophical ground.

You must consider that a very odd assortment of antagonistic books exists now-a-days. Many of their authors, who have read anthroposophical literature, may have found out that I myself, in certain passages of my own books, mention all the objections that could be raised. I engage in polemics against myself, in order to show how that which I affirm could be blotted out. Hence all possible objections against Anthroposophy can be found in my own books. Consequently, many of my opponents busy themselves with copying the arguments which I myself, in my own books, have cited against Anthroposophy. They then distribute these writings to others in order to attack Anthroposophy. Thus you can find hostile writings plagiarizing my own books and simply copying my words when I say: this or that objection could be raised. The fact that the anthroposophist himself has to point out all the arguments that can be advanced against him makes his opponents’ task rather easy.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 226 – Man’s Being, His Destiny and World-Evolution: Lecture IV – Kristiania, 19th May 1923

Translated by Erna McArthur

Previously posted on July 20, 2015

New senses / New phenomena

Nobody has true knowledge of the visible world unless he knows something also of two other worlds.

The three worlds are:

The physical world, the scene of human life.

The astral world or the world of soul.

The devachanic world or world of spirit.

These three worlds are not spatially separate. We are surrounded by the things of the physical world which we perceive with our ordinary senses: but the astral world is in this same space; we live in the other two worlds, the astral and devachanic worlds, at the same time as we live in the physical world. The three worlds are wherever we ourselves are, only we do not yet see the two higher worlds — just as a blind man does not see the physical world. But when the “senses of the soul” are opened, the new world, with its new characteristics and new beings, emerges. In proportion as a man acquires new senses, so are new phenomena revealed to him.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 95 – At the Gates of Spiritual Science: LECTURE TWO: THE THREE WORLDS – Stuttgart, 23rd August 1906

Translated by E.H. Goddard & Charles Davy