If people only talked facts, a widespread silence would arise

If, by some miracle, a large number of people were forced to only form words which accurately reflected the facts, a widespread silence would result. This is because most of what gets discussed nowadays, does not correspond to the facts, but arises from a wide variety of opinions and passions. The thing is that whatever we add to external conditions, without it corresponding to the facts, extinguishes our potential for higher knowledge.

It even happened  that a small experiment for law students was minutely prepared and carried out on twenty people. The twenty were then asked to describe in writing what they had seen. Three got it half right and seventeen totally wrong.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 220 – Lebendiges Naturerkennen, Intellektueller Sündenfall und spirituelle Sündenerhebung – Dornach, 20 January 20, 1923 (page 128)

Anonymous translator

Previously posted on June 13, 2016

Rolling heads

When I was still a very young man, I spoke once with an Austrian poet who was quite well known at that time; he had a fine feeling for what is emerging in our civilization, and he expressed it in a half-pictorial way; this half-pictorial quality was for him, however, a reality. He said to me — and it seems to me as if it were happening today — “Considering how we human beings are today, and especially if things continue along the lines they are going now, humanity will actually be confronted by a terrible fate, for the human being will gradually lose the agility of his limbs; he will no longer be able to walk properly; he will always want to ride a bicycle and to travel mechanically. He will lose the agility of his hands, and everything will become technical. Just as a muscle atrophies if it is not used, so everything in the human body will atrophy and the human being will become merely a head. The head will become bigger and bigger until finally the human being will just roll along, with the rest of his organism totally crippled.”

This picture hovered like a nightmare before this Austrian poet — Hermann Rollett was his name — and he described it very visually, for it weighed upon him terribly, this picture that human beings will become rolling heads due to our civilization. There is something quite true underlying this picture, however. What underlies it is that, in fact, in our time the powers are extraordinarily strong that would like to develop our heads more and more. With the physical head they will not succeed so well, but with the etheric head they will be more successful. It is therefore so, in fact, that in our time the Ahrimanic powers would like to make us thoroughly head-men; they would like to transform us completely into mere thinkers.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 205 – Therapeutic Insights: Lecture V: Earthly and Cosmic Laws – Dornach, July 3, 1921

Translated by Alice Wulsin & Gerald Karnow

Ability to Receive Anthroposophy Limited

If one presents a public lecture about spiritual science or anthroposophy, then one is forced to take into account the inability to take in what is offered, by the contemporary world, one must be very much aware of this limited ability. One has to be clearly conscious of the fact that in our time, although there is an influx of insights streaming in from the spiritual world, insights which are necessary for humankind today, it is very difficult nowadays to be uninhibited in taking these truths in. Most people who are not well prepared to receive it will experience the deeper spiritual-scientific truths as a shock, as something which appears as fantastic or as a dream.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 127 – Die Mission der neuen Geistesoffenbarung – München, February 25, 1911 (page 86)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on July 1, 2016

GREAT TRAGEDY

For centuries mankind has developed intellectual life. This intellectual life, gradually led humanity away from spirituality . The intellect is mind, even pure spirit, but does not have spiritual content. It finds its contents in external nature, the outer world of nature. So the mind is spirit, however, it is filled with something that cannot appear to him as Spirit. That is the great tragedy, the tragedy of the world today, that man can look into himself and must say: If I am mentally active, I am spiritually active, but at the same time spiritually powerless to immediately take this spirit into myself. I will fill this spirit with physical-sensory existence. – This causes fragmentation and isolates the human being. And even if one does not want to admit this fragmentation and abandonment, it is still present in the spiritual realms of the human soul, and forms the root of all evil. It is at the basis of the tragedy of our times.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 211 – Das Sonnenmysterium und das Mysterium von Tod und Auferstehung – Vienna, June 11, 1922 (p 2oo)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on September 13, 2013

Spiritual knowledge is entirely in accordance with science

It is essential that anthroposophists should learn to distinguish between true science and all that through countless popular channels poses as science, but in reality is nothing but a compendium of preconceived ideas, theories and the like. If we go to the true sources of the several sciences we realise how fully spiritual knowledge accords with science.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 127 – The Son of God and the Son of Man – Munich, February 11, 1911

Previously posted on August 7, 2014