In physical existence is the spirit veiled in its true form

As long as the spirit works in the physical body, it cannot as spirit live in its true form. It can, as it were, only shine through the veil of physical existence because as a matter of fact, the thought life of man really belongs to the spiritual world. As it appears in physical existence its true form is veiled. It can also be said that the thought life of the physical man is a shadow, a reflection of the true, spiritual being to whom it belongs.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 9 – Theosophy – Chapter III: The Three Worlds: 4. The Spirit in Spiritland after Death

Control of Thought

How difficult it is for a person to push away intruding thoughts time and again. Often thoughts keep on intruding – especially the unpleasant ones – for days on end. One cannot get rid them. It gets even more difficult once we have taught ourselves to concentrate our thoughts. The thought content on which we have concentrated, takes hold of us and we need to summon up tremendous effort to eliminate it again.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 305 – Spiritual Ground of Education – Oxford, 20 August 1922

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger


The greatest wisdom is acquired by the quiet endurance of pain and suffering

Thus knowledge of the connection between the physical and the astral world enables us to have a clear understanding of the world in its inner process of development; things are often connected in quite a different way from what people like to imagine. Many people deplore pain and suffering, but from a higher point of view this is quite unjustified, for if they are overcome and the person is ready for a new incarnation, suffering and pain are the sources of wisdom, prudence and comprehensiveness of vision. Even in writing emanating from the modern, materialistic standpoint, we find it stated that there is something like “crystallised pain” in the face of every thinker. What this materialistically minded author says here has long been known to the occultist, for the greatest wisdom of the world is acquired by the quiet endurance of pain and suffering; this creates wisdom in the next incarnation.

Source: GA 99 – Theosophy of the Rosicrucian – VI The Law of Destiny Munich 30th May, 1907 

Translated by M. Cotterell & D. S. Osmond


Previously posted on October 3, 2013

All religions are equally justified revelations of the great truths of initiation  

We find the most varied religions spread out over the earth, all of which point back to this or that founder. We find first the Krishna religion, leading back to Krishna; second, the Buddha religion, leading back to Buddha; third, the ancient Hebrew religion, leading back to Moses; and we find Christianity, leading back to Jesus of Nazareth. The religions having all flowed out of initiation, we must be quite clear that we cannot today take the position taken by the philosophers of religion who consider themselves “enlightened.” The philosophers of comparative religion have a secret outlook on religions; they regard them all either as false or as childish stages of human development. But we, as anthroposophists, since we learn to know that the religions are only different formulations of the truths of initiation, are in a position to grasp the true and not the false in the various religious systems. We do justice to all the religious systems in comparison with one another. We regard them as equally justified revelations of the great truths of initiation.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 143 – The Three Paths of the Soul to Christ – Lecture II: The Path of Initiation – Stockholm, 17th April 1912

People of different religion. Collection of religious men