Prosperity/Labour/Egotism

The well-being of a community of people working together will be the greater, where there is less egotism. To realize this, one is therefore dependent on finding people who are able to leave behind all selfishness. However, this is practically impossible as long as people’s welfare is determined by their work situation. Whosoever works for himself or herself, must eventually fall into selfishness. Only the person who labours solely for others can slowly become more and more selfless. There is one condition however. When a human being works for others, he must find the motive for his labour in the other; and when someone works for the human community as a whole, he must feel and experience the value, the essential importance, and the idea behind all this.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 34 – LUCIFER – GNOSIS 1903-1908 Geisteswissenschaft und soziale Frage – October 1905 (p. 214)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on July 29, 2014

Wisdom/Stupidity/Erudition

Present academic institutions will, at best, produce men who are more educated, but not wiser. Two traits are compatible with each other and two are not. Wisdom is not compatible with stupidity, but erudition is highly compatible with great stupidity.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 353 – Die Geschichte der Menschheit und die Weltanschauungen der Kulturvölker – Dornach, March 8, 1924 (page 56-57)

Anonymous translator

The most unchristian impulse

The most unchristian impulse of all took effect in the 19th century. The first impulse which came to the fore and gained an ever stronger hold of men’s minds and emotions, was that of nationalism. […] The Christian impulse towards universal humanity was completely overshadowed by the principle of nationalism, because the new way to bring this element of universal humanity to its own had not been found. The anti-Christian impulse makes its appearance first and foremost in the form of nationalism. […] We see a revolt against Christianity in the nationalism of the 19th century, which reached its apex in Woodrow Wilson’s phrase about the self-determination of nations, whereas the one and only reality befitting the present age would be to overcome nationalism, to eliminate it, and for men to be stirred by the impulse of the human universal.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 198 – The Festivals and Their Meaning – II – Easter – THE BLOOD-RELATIONSHIP AND THE CHRIST-RELATIONSHIP – Dornach, 3rd April 1920

Translated by D. S. Osmond, A. P. Shepherd & C. Davy

Incarnations had a beginning and will have an end

Incarnations do not repeat themselves in endless cycles; they had a beginning and will have an end. Once, in a far distant past, man did not descend to Earth for his incarnation. He then led a sort of angelic life, and birth and death were unknown to him. His life condition was uninterrupted by the present radical changes of birth and death. Just as surely, time is coming when man will not be forced to dive into the lower worlds again.  This will come about when his sojourn in the lower worlds has enabled him to gather enough experience, and acquire a ripe and clear consciousness that is sufficient to allow him to work in the higher worlds.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 108 – Die Beantwortung von Welt- und Lebensfragen durch Anthroposophie – Breslau, December 2, 1908 (page 61)

Anonymous translator

Blasphemy

A frequently heard statement that’s misused more than most is: I am a Christian. An esoteric should realize that being a Christian is a distant ideal that he must constantly try to attain. To live like a Christian mainly means to accept whatever destiny may bring us with equanimity, to never grumble about the Gods’ work, and to joyfully accept whatever they send. It means to let the sentence “Look at the birds of the air, they don’t sow, reap or store in barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them” pass over into your flesh and blood. We’re living in accordance with this saying if we thankfully accept what’s given to us. If we don’t do that it becomes blasphemy in our mouth.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 – From the Contents of Esoteric Classes – Esoteric Lessons Part II – Stuttgart, 31st December 1910

 Previously posted on September 20, 2014