When the wine is in the man, the wisdom is in the can (1 of 2)

There were ages in the history of man when wine was not known. In the days of the Vedas it was practically unknown. In the ages when there was no drinking of alcohol, the idea of previous existences and of many lives was universally held; nobody doubted its truth. As soon as man began to drink wine, however, the knowledge of reincarnation rapidly faded away, ultimately to disappear entirely from the consciousness of man. It existed only among the Initiates who took no alcohol. Alcohol has a peculiarly potent effect on the human organism, especially on the etheric body which is the seat of memory. Alcohol obscures the intimate depths of memory. ‘Wine induces forgetfulness’ — so the saying goes. The forgetfulness is not only superficial or momentary, but deep and permanent and there is a deadening of the power of memory in the etheric body. That is why, little by little, men lost their instinctive knowledge of reincarnation when they began to drink wine.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 94 – An Esoteric Cosmology – VII – The Gospel of St. John – Paris, 31st May 1906

Translated by Rene Querido

To be continued

Previously posted on January 16, 2016

About experiences, learning and physical pleasures

Man is impelled by desire when he is descending to earthly incarnation. Not for nothing is desire for the Earth born in man. The end and aim is that he shall learn. We learn through all our experiences and they enrich our store of knowledge. But in order that man may learn on the Earth, he must be allured by, [or] involved in (physical) enjoyment.

When the soul is experiencing the past life in the astral world after death, in backward order, there must be abnegation of enjoyment, while the essence of the experience itself is retained. The passage through the astral world is thus a purification whereby the soul learns to forego all taste for physical pleasures.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 94 – An Esoteric Cosmology – IX: The Astral World – Paris, 2nd June 1906

Translated by Rene Querido

Previously posted on January 10, 2016

What stands behind people’s refutations of spiritual science?

What people today so often raise against the results of spiritual science stems in fact from a vague, deep-seated, fear in their souls. So much of what human civilization has produced in recent centuries contradicts spiritual science in such a way that, to most, it is no more than the advent of something strange.

Fear of the unknown is a fact of life people will not admit, preferring to disguise it in all sorts of refutations and logical criticism. Those who can see through these things realize that, in the end, the arguments held by the opponents of spiritual science are simply an apology for the fear they hold in their souls.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 284 – Bilder okkulter Siegel und Säulen – Penmaenmawr, August 24, 1923 (page 15-16)

Anonymous translator

Previously posted on January 20, 2016

The modern materialistic world-conception is a product of fear and anxiety

The age of intellectualism dulled the sight of what lay in man’s inner being, but it was unable to do away with the fear. Thus it came about that man was and still is influenced by this unconscious fear to the degree of saying, “There is nothing at all in the human being that transcends birth and death.” He is afraid of penetrating deeper than this life of memory, this ordinary life of thought which maintains its course, after all, only between birth and death. He is afraid to look down into that which is eternal in the human soul, and from out of this fear he postulates the doctrine that there is nothing at all outside this life between birth and death. Modern materialism has arisen out of fear, without men having the slightest idea of this. The modern materialistic world-conception is a product of fear and anxiety.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 207 – Evil and the Power of Thought – At the Center of Man’s Being: I – Dornach, 23rd September 1921

Previously  posted on July 4, 2014

Lord, Lord!

Thus we comprehend the Christ correctly by grasping, in the right way, this word of the Gospel: “Whoever utters incessantly the cry: Lord, Lord! or Christ, Christ! should not, therefore, be considered a true Christian.” Anthroposophy is often reproached for speaking less of the Christ than does external religion. Then I often say to those who blame Anthroposophy: “Is there not an ancient Commandment recognized also by Christians, but forgotten in this eternal mentioning of the Christ: `Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain?’ This is one of the ten Commandments.”

Whoever speaks ceaselessly of the Christ; whoever has the Christ’s name constantly on his lips, sins against the sacredness of His name. Anthroposophy wants to be Christian in all it does and is. Therefore it cannot be reproached for speaking too little of the Christ. The consciousness that the Christ is living permeates everything brought forth by Anthroposophy. And thus it does not want to have Lord, Lord! incessantly on its lips. The less it speaks of the name “Christ,” the more truly does it desire to be Christian.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 226 – Man’s Being, His Destiny and World-Evolution: Lecture VI – Kristiana, 21st May 1923

Translated by Erna McArthur

Previously posted on December 5, 2015