Male and female

Countless phenomena of life will become clear to us if we think of human nature as the working together of two polar opposites. In the man the masculine pole works outwards and the feminine lives more inwardly, while in the woman the opposite holds true.

Spiritual science however also shows us a deeper reason why a masculine quality is to be found in the woman and a feminine in the man. Spiritual science speaks of how human beings strive after ever greater perfection, through many lives. Our present life is always the result of a previous one. Thus as we proceed through many lives, we experience both male and female incarnations. What arises in this way may be expressed as the effect of those experiences gathered on both sides in earthly life.

Whoever is able in this way to look more deeply into the male and female natures knows that the more intimate experiences of the two sexes are very different, and must be very different. Our entire earth existence is a collection of the most varied experiences. However, these experiences can only become comprehensive through their being acquired from the viewpoint of both sexes. […] So long as one merely looks at the physical body little can be understood. The spiritual lying behind must also be recognised.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 56 – Man and Woman in Light of Spiritual Science – Munich, 18th March 1908

Previously posted on March 1, 2014

Healing forces/Forces of sickness/Morality

Knowledge of the healing forces is inseparable from knowledge of the forces of sickness. One cannot be taught without the other. No one in the world can gain knowledge of the healing forces, without at the same time learning about the forces of sickness. So you can see how important it is for people to be morally good through and through as regards such serious matters. For someone who can heal a person’s soul can also make a person’s soul sick in the same degree. Therefore such truths may not be imparted by the gods to man until a stage of morality has been reached at which the healing medicine cannot be transformed into poison.

Source: Rudolf SteinerGA 173 – The Karma of Untruthfulness I: Lecture Nine – Dornach, 24th December 1916

Previously posted on February 26, 2014

People will accept obvious nonsense

Today people are satisfied with many things because certain incorrect theories have made the illusions far greater than they really need be. I have often quoted a characteristic example. Children in their 12th, 13th, and 14th years are told that lightning comes from friction in the clouds and it is admitted at the same time that the clouds are wet. Of course they are; but then when it is a matter of producing the electric spark which is the earthly replica of the lightning, it is found necessary to keep the electrical apparatus and everything belonging to it perfectly dry in order that no water of any kind is present; so that it comes to this — the only thing that is present when the lightning originates, is removed and yet the lightning is the same phenomena as the electric spark! Children and grown up people are quite satisfied to be lulled to sleep with all kinds of hypotheses of this kind. There are innumerable examples of the same kind where people will accept obvious nonsense simply on authority and yet in our days there is much talk of the laying aside of all authority — people say that they are no longer credulous of’ authority. Yet as a matter of fact if they had been so credulous it would have been quite impossible for the Marxian-Socialistic world conception to arise in our epoch, for it is far more credulous of authority even than ancient Catholicism!

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 192 – The Necessity for New Ways of Spiritual Knowledge – Lecture 2 – Stuttgart, September 28, 1919

Previously posted on February 28, 2014

Reverence/Respect/Cognition

It is not easy, at first, to believe that feelings like reverence and respect have anything to do with cognition. This is due to the fact that we are inclined to set cognition aside as a faculty by itself — one that stands in no relation to what otherwise occurs in the soul. In so thinking we do not bear in mind that it is the soul which exercises the faculty of cognition; and feelings are for the soul what food is for the body. If we give the body stones in place of bread, its activity will cease. It is the same with the soul. Veneration, homage, devotion are like nutriment making it healthy and strong, especially strong for the activity of cognition. Disrespect, antipathy, underestimation of what deserves recognition, all exert a paralyzing and withering effect on this faculty of cognition. For the spiritually experienced this fact is visible in the aura. A soul which harbors feelings of reverence and devotion produces a change in its aura. Certain spiritual colorings, as they may be called, yellow-red and brown-red in tone, vanish and are replaced by blue-red tints. Thereby the cognitional faculty is ripened; it receives intelligence of facts in its environment of which it had hitherto no idea. Reverence awakens in the soul a sympathetic power through which we attract qualities in the beings around us, which would otherwise remain concealed.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 10 – Knowledge of the Higher Worlds – 1: How Is Knowledge of the Higher Worlds Attained?

Previously posted on February 27, 2014

Medication to help with falling asleep

There are people who sleep badly. If young people who have difficulties to fall asleep are given medication like opium or morphine, they sleep better; that’s for sure. It cannot be denied that it is effective. But if young people are given medication like morphine or any other sleep inducing medication for that matter, again and again, the body becomes weak over time. The person comes to need more and more of this sleeping medication. He can no longer do without it. He becomes dependant on this medicine and after some time one has to do with a man who is not in full possession of his powers any longer. That is why it is better that we find different ways to fight insomnia, find a more inner way. And one can actually fight against this inability to fall asleep inwardly. If the insomniac would endeavour to think about one and the same word, making the inner effort to think of one word only, then he gets more and more inner strength to fall asleep. This is a much better method. In this way the human being does not weaken himself.

Source (German): Rudolf  Steiner – GA 348 – Über Gesundheit und Krankheit – Dornach, December 2, 1922 (page 85-86)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger