Words and reality

This will be so infinitely necessary to the future of mankind; that men accustom themselves to enter into reality. People think almost exclusively in words today; they do not think in real terms.

Source: GA 293 – The Study of Man Lecture VII – 28st August, 1919 | Stuttgart

Translated by Daphne Harwood & Helen Fox


Not what you do, but also what you are

You can only become good teachers and educators if you pay attention not merely to what you do, but also to what you are. It is really for this reason that we have Spiritual Science with its anthroposophical outlook: to perceive the significance of the fact that man is effective in the world not only through what he does, but above all through what he is. 

Source: GA 293 – The Study of Man Lecture I – 21st August, 1919 | Stuttgart

Translated by Daphne Harwood & Helen Fox

Fanaticism is the worst thing in the world

Fanaticism is the worst thing in the world, particularly in education, — a fanaticism which makes a man press on in one direction and push ahead regardless of anything but his one aim, reduced to precise slogans.

But if one looks at the world, without prejudice one will concede: views and opinions are but views and opinions. If I have a tree here and photograph it, I have one view of it; the view from here has a definite form; but the view is different from here, and again different from over there; so that you might think it was not the same tree if you only had the pictures to go by. In the same way there are points of view in the world, there are outlooks. Each one only regards one aspect of things. If you know that things must be looked upon from the most manifold standpoints you avoid fanaticism and dwell in many-sidedness, in a universality.

Source: GA 305 – Spiritual Ground of Education: Lecture IX: The Teachers of the Waldorf School – 25th August, 1922 | Oxford

Love of ease

Love of ease and comfort are among the most widespread characteristics of contemporary humanity. If we should inquire the reason that most people fail to do something, the answer invariably is, love of ease! Whether we turn our attention to the most important things of life or to mere trifles, love of ease permeates them all. To hold onto the old, not being able to shake it off, is a form of ease.

Source: GA 140 – Life Between Death and Rebirth – IXLife After DeathLinz, January 26, 1913

Anger: we can call it the teacher of love

For the spiritual scientist, anger is also the harbinger of something quite different. Life shows us that a person who is unable to flare up with anger at injustice or folly will never develop true kindness and love. Equally, a person who educates himself through noble anger will have a heart abounding in love, and through love he will do good. Love and kindness are the obverse of noble anger. Anger that is overcome and purified will be transformed into the love that is its counterpart. A loving hand is seldom one that has never been clenched in response to injustice or folly. Anger and love are complementary.

Transmuted anger is love in action. That is what we learn from reality. Anger in moderation has the mission of leading human beings to love; we can call it the teacher of love. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – Ga 58 – Metamorphoses of the Soul Paths of Experience Vol. 1 – Lecture 2: The Mission of Anger – Munich, 5th December, 1909

Translated by C. Davy and C. von Arnim