Everyone needs shoes, but not everyone needs to be a shoemaker

It is paramount for present day humanity to receive a strong dose of esotericism. Plagues, epidemics, and terrible wars would rage among men, under prevailing materialism, if mankind does not receive a deepening in the spiritual realm. However great is the need for spreading spiritual life, and despite the necessity to have more esotericists today, it would be totally wrong to work at propagating spiritual science.

We must have esoterics, but not everyone needs to be one. A very simple example can help us understand: It is a fact that everyone needs shoes. Shoemakers are therefore a necessity. It would however be quite wrong to draw the conclusion that everyone needs to be a shoemaker. Likewise, people need not all to become esotericist, but those who want to do so, will, during their present or future incarnations, have the task of spreading spiritual knowledge, and promoting it in the lives of others.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 266a – Aus den Inhalten der esoterischen Stunden – Stuttgart, September 15, 1907 (page 243)

Anonymous translator

Previously posted on August 31, 2017

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Waldorf Schools: Not a worldview but an educational system and teaching technique

We should in the strictest sense retain the attitude that the Waldorf School is not a school where a specific view of the world is to be taught. What we have gained from our worldview, which we have been presenting during the past decades, should never be brought as dogma. It should only be used – because it can be used – to improve and reform the didactic methodology, the pedagogical technique.  

Our times require it of us to completely relinquish the idea of handing on the content of our worldview to the children. The Catholic Child should have a Catholic religion teacher and be taught the Catholic doctrine; his religious exercises should be led by the Catholic religion teacher. The same holds good for the Protestant child. What must be brought about through the Waldorf schools we want to establish, is not to be found in the dissemination of a view of the world, but we want a new educational method, a new approach to teaching, a new didactic system sprouting from what we are able to bring.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 297 – Idee und Praxis der Waldorfschule – Stuttgart, August 31, 1919 (page 86-87)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on August 30, 2017

Poverty, misery and suffering are nothing but the result of egoism

Spiritual science wants to implement a mighty education of our innermost soul forces so that the social life will shape itself out of other thoughts and feelings. What this means is that spiritual science has no patented recipe about how this or that is supposed to be done on this or that post, it doesn’t judge anyone, but it’s very confident that everyone will arrive at a right judgment if he’s permeated by the fundamental truths. One such truth is that poverty, misery and suffering are nothing but the result of egoism. One should look upon this as a law of nature. A man is egotistical as soon as he lives in accordance with the principle: I must be remunerated personally, I must be paid for the work that I do. An esoteric must ask himself whether work is really what sustains life. Work is of no importance if it isn’t directed wisely. What serves men can only be produced and made through the wisdom that men put into it. One who doesn’t understand this and who sins against it even slightly, sins against the social thinking of the present time.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 – From the Contents of Esoteric Classes – Hamburg, 3rd March 1906

Previously posted on June 24, 2015

The length of time between incarnations

It should be clear that a certain amount of time needs to elapse before the human being comes back to earth again after death. You might ask, ‘ Yes, when does one come back? ‘ –  if one really considers this matter well, the following conclusion arises: the one who has occupied him or herself much with the spiritual world grows into the spirit world easier after death. He or she then has a relatively, because of having been occupied with the spiritual world during the time on earth, longer time between death and a new birth. You may be surprised, that I say: longer. Such a person may stay there for a longer time because he has already learned a lot about the spiritual world. People who engaged themselves with spiritual matters on earth can develop better there, stay longer and come back later. By contrast, those who are only occupied with the material world, come back relatively earlier again.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 350 – Rhythmen im Kosmos und im Menschenwesen – Dornach, May 30, 1923 (page 21)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on August 29, 2017

Intelligence is everywhere in nature; everything, everywhere is wisdom

One must acknowledge that intelligence holds sway in nature. And if you really study nature, you can find this intelligence holding sway everywhere. And you will then think more humbly about your own intelligence, for first of all, it is not as great as the intelligence ruling in nature, and secondly, it is only like a little bit of water that one has drawn from a lake and put into a water jug. The human being, in fact, is just such a water jug, that has drawn intelligence from nature. Intelligence is everywhere in nature; everything, everywhere is wisdom. A person who ascribes intelligence exclusively to himself is about as clever as someone who declares: You’re saying that there is water out there in the lake or in the brook? Nonsense! There is no water in them. Only in my jug is there any water. The jug created the water. So, the human being thinks that he creates intelligence, whereas he only draws intelligence from the universal sea of intelligence.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 220 –  Fall and Redemption – Dornach, January 21st, 1923

Previously posted on June 23, 2015