Worried toughts

Much worry dries out and withers the physical brain. Worried thoughts make furrows in it and thereby make one think such thoughts repeatedly. Here the physical body becomes a hindrance to a man’s progress. Facial wrinkles reflect these groove[s]. Worries live in a certain astral substance; soters [sic] are highly developed individualities who take this sorrow substance upon themselves. The greatest man of sorrow was Christ.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 – From the Contents of Esoteric Classes – Berlin, 11th November 1908

How long is the time in the devachan?

The time in devachan (spirit-land) is not of equal length for all human beings. The uneducated savage who has experienced a little of this world only who has applied his mind and sense only a little has a short stay in the devachan. The devachan is basically supposed to elaborate what the human being has learnt in the physical, to unfold it freely, to make it suitable to a new life. The human being, who is on a higher level of existence who has collected rich experiences, has to process a lot and, hence, has a long stay in the devachan. Only later, when he is able to look into these states, the stays become again shorter up to the point where the human being can immediately walk after death again to a new incarnation because he has already experienced what is to be experienced in devachan.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 53 – Origin and Goal of the Human Being: Lecture VII: The Spirit-land – Berlin, 17th November 1904

Previously posted on June 13, 2014

Moderation and health

If we control our desire, if we almost order the body what he has to do or not, then we are temperate, one can also say moderate. Then we keep by such moderation those forces in the correct order which should help that we do not deliver the concerning organs to Lucifer in the next incarnation. Since we deliver the forces to Lucifer, which we spend to a passionate life. Most badly when the passions transport us into a state of drunkenness, when we feel well with dozing.

Where we lose our temperance, we always deliver forces to Lucifer. He takes these forces, but with them, he also takes the forces from us we need for the respiratory and the digestive organs. We return then with bad respiratory and digestive organs if we do not practice the virtue of moderation. Those who like to be captivated by their life of passions, who dedicate themselves to their passionate life, are the candidates for the decadent people of the future, for those people of the future who will suffer from all possible shortcomings of their physical bodies.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 159 – The Mystery of Death – Zurich, 31st January 1915

Nothing is so disturbing, nothing can be so bitter and disheartening as to experience the result of our failure to develop love and compassion

The egoism we develop in the physical world, without being willing to acquire self-knowledge, shows up when it is carried into spiritual worlds. Nothing is so disturbing, nothing can be so bitter and disheartening as to experience the result of our failure to develop love and compassion in the physical world. Ascending into the spiritual world, we are filled with anguish by the selfishness and lack of love we have achieved in the physical-sense world. When we cross the threshold, everything is revealed, not only the obvious but also the hidden egoism that rages in the depths of men’s souls. Someone who with outward egoism frankly insists that he wants this or that for himself is perhaps much less egoistic than those who indulge in the dream that they are selfless, or those who assume a certain egoistic self-effacement out of theosophical abstractions in their upper consciousness. This is especially the case when the latter declaim their selflessness in all sorts of repetitions of the words “love” and “tolerance.” What a person carries up into higher worlds in the form of an unloving lack of compassion is transformed into hideous, often terrifying figures he meets on entering the spiritual worlds, figures that are extremely disturbing for the soul.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 147 – Secrets of the Threshold – Lecture VIII – Munich, 31 August 1913

Translated by Ruth Pusch

Previously posted on February 2, 2014

Combating defects makes us strong and free

We should thank the Gods for our defects, for combating them makes us strong and free. But we shouldn’t love the defects for even a moment. We couldn’t thank Gods who made us pure and without defects, because they would have made us into weaklings. We should tell ourselves: And even the world was full of devils we still come from God.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 – From the Contents of Esoteric Classes – Lecture II – Kassel, 11th December 1910

Previously posted on February 1, 2014