People who call themselves practical imagine that their actions are guided by the most practical principles. When you look into the matter closely, you will, however, frequently discover that what they call their practical way of thinking is not thinking at all, but the mere “jogging along” with old opinions and acquired habits of thought. You will often find there is very little that is really practical behind it. What they call practical consists in this: they have learned how their teachers, or their predecessors in business, thought about the matter in hand, and then they simply take the same line. Anyone who thinks along different lines they regard as a very unpractical person. In effect, his thinking does not accord with the habits to which they have been brought up. In cases where something really practical has been invented, you will not generally find that it was done by any of the “practical” people.
Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 108 – Practical Training inThought – Carlsruhe, 18th January 1909
1894 – painted by Josef Rolletschek
Previously posted on October 2, 2013