The school of godlessness

The last four hundred years were in fact a schooling for humanity — the school of godlessness, in which there was purely human experimentation, a return to chaos if seen from a particular point of view. Everyone is experimenting today, without being aware of the connection with higher worlds — apart from those who have once more sought and found that connection with spiritual realms. Nearly everyone lives entirely for himself today, without perceiving anything of the real and all-penetrating common design. That of course is the cause of the dreadful dissatisfaction everywhere.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 93 – The Temple Legend – Lecture 20 – Berlin, 2nd January 1906

Translated by John M. Wood

Previously posted on May 13, 2015

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One of the most shameful errors

What must above all become strong and forceful are the soul experiences we can call the eminently moral ones. These imprint themselves as soul dispositions in firmness of character and inner resolute calm. Inner courage and firmness of character must most especially be developed, for through weakness of character we cripple the whole life of soul, which would then come powerless into the elemental world; this we must avoid if we hope to have a true and correct experience there. No one who is really earnest about gaining knowledge in the higher worlds will therefore fail to give weight to the strengthening of the moral forces among all the other forces that help the soul enter those worlds. One of the most shameful errors is foisted on humanity when someone takes it on himself to say that clairvoyance should be acquired without paying attention to strengthening the moral life.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 147 – Secrets of the Threshold – Lecture III – Munich, 26 August 1913

Translated by Ruth Pusch

Previously posted on May 12, 2015

Every agitation in the psyche works on the circulation of the child as well as on the breathing and metabolism

Every agitation in the psyche works on the circulation of the child as well as on the breathing and metabolism. Body, soul and spirit are not differentiated yet. Therefore, every negative arousal that comes from the environment penetrates deeply into the bodily organisation of the child. So, when a choleric teacher lets his temperament go rampant in the vicinity of a child, is even merely in the presence of the child, then the letting go of the choleric temperament penetrates the soul of the child, planting itself into the physical body. What the teacher does under the influence of his temperament – when he does not exercise that self-control that we will discuss later – leaves an imprint in the child’s physical body.

The curious thing is that it penetrates the deeper layers of the existence of the developing child and the consequences will show only later in adulthood. In the same way that a seed planted in the earth in the autumn becomes a plant in the spring, so it happens with children. When the child of eight, nine years, enters its forty-fifth, fiftieth year, we see the effects of the choleric temperament of the teacher who let himself go. Metabolic diseases appear, not only in the adult but also in old age.

Research thoroughly, and you will realise why we encounter this or that person in his fortieth, fiftieth year, suffering from rheumatism. Your investigations will lead you to understand why a person may be suffering from all kinds of metabolic diseases like poor digestion.  You will discover why this person is as he or she is, why he suffers from gout at an early age: much of it must be attributed merely to a choleric teacher who let go of the reins when he dealt with this person at a young age.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 308 – Die Methodik des Lehrens und die Lebensbedingungen des Erziehens – Stuttgart, April 8, 1924 (page 15-16)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Strength of Will and Resignation

On the path of self-advancement, we can best strengthen our will by patient surrender to our destiny. One who, on every occasion, is grumpy and dissatisfied with his destiny, weakens his will. He who can accept, through wise self-education, what destiny brings him strengthens his will. People who always feel what destiny has dealt them as totally undeserved, as something to be shaken off, have the weakest will.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 61 – Menschengeschichte im Lichte der Geistesforschung – Berlin, 14 March 1912 (page 444)

Anonymous translator

Previously posted on March 10, 2016

A hostile thought is for the soul the same as a slap in the face

Anyone nowadays acknowledges that smacking someone with your hand is something very real, that it actually happens. But it is not so easily believed that it is just as real when I send someone a bad thought. We must be aware that the hostile thought that I send to my fellow human being, the thought of antipathy or hatred, is to his soul the same as a slap in the face would be. A negative feeling, a feeling of hatred and indifference with which I confront another person is in reality the same as a physical injury.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 264 – Zur Geschichte und aus den Inhalten der ersten Abteilung der Esoterischen Schule 1904 – 1914 (page 373-374)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on May 6, 2017