The Spiritland – The person with spiritual vision is as familiar with spirit beings as he is with his dog or his cat

It must above all things be emphasized that this world is woven out of the substance of which human thought consists. The word “substance,” too is here used in a far from strict or accurate sense. Thought, however, as it lives in man, is only a shadow picture, a phantom of its true nature. Just as the shadow of an object on the wall is related to the real object that throws this shadow, so is the thought that makes its appearance through a human brain related to the being in the spiritland that corresponds to this thought.

When his spiritual sense is awakened, man really perceives this thought being, just as the eye of the senses perceives a table or a chair. He goes about in a region of thought beings. The corporeal eye perceives the lion, and the thinking directed to the sensibly perceptible thinks merely the thought, “lion” as a shadow, a shadowy picture. The spiritual eye sees in spiritland the thought “lion” as really and actually as the corporeal eye sees the physical lion.

Here we may again refer to the analogy already used regarding the land of the soul. Just as the surroundings of a man born blind operated upon appear suddenly with the new qualities of color and light, so do the surroundings of the person who learns to use his spiritual eye appear as a new world, the world of living thoughts or spirit beings. In this world there are to be seen, first, the spiritual archetypes of all things and beings that are present in the physical and soul worlds. Imagine a painter’s picture existing in his mind before it is painted. This gives an analogy to what is meant by the expression archetype. It does not concern us here that the painter has perhaps not had such an archetype in his mind before he paints and that it only gradually develops and becomes complete during the execution of the picture.

In the real world of spirit there exist such archetypes for all things, and the physical things and beings are copies of these archetypes. It is quite understandable when anyone who only trusts his outer senses denies this archetypal world and holds that archetypes are merely abstractions gained by an intellectual comparison of sense objects. Such a person simply cannot see in this higher world. He knows the thought world only in its shadowy abstraction. He does not know that the person with spiritual vision is as familiar with spirit beings as he himself is with his dog or his cat, and that the archetypal world has a far more intense reality than the world of the physical senses.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 9 – Theosophy -Chapter III: The Three Worlds: 3. The Spiritland

Maurice Maeterlinck – About Death

Recently a book was published which I can enthusiastically recommend, because it was written by a very intelligent man and proves what nonsense even intelligent people can say about spiritual things. I mean Maurice Maeterlinck’s Vom Tode (“About Death”). Among many nonsensical things, he affirms that when a person dies he is a spirit, and can no longer suffer because he has no physical body. Maeterlinck, a very intelligent man, suffers under the illusion that only the physical body can suffer and a dead person can therefore not suffer. He doesn’t notice the phenomenal, almost incredible nonsense it is to affirm that only the physical body, which consists of physical forces and chemical elements, can suffer. As if a stone could suffer! The physical body cannot suffer; it is the soul that suffers. It has come to the point where people think the opposite of what makes sense about the simplest things.`

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 148 – The Fifth Gospel: Lecture III – Oslo, Norway – October 3, 1913

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Maurice Maeterlinck

Without the ability to perceive super sensibly, it is not possible to have insight into the being of man

What does one really gain through this spiritual science as I now sketched in broad outline? Above all one gains true knowledge of the human being. Without the ability to perceive super sensibly, it is not possible to have genuine insight into the being of man. [….] And a true pedagogical art, a true art of education can only be born out of true human knowledge.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 297a – Erziehung zum Leben – Amsterdam, 28 February 1921 (p. 49-50)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

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Men regard it as a tremendously noble thing to repent of a deed  

Men regard it as a tremendously noble thing to repent of a deed; but that is not the best that can be done with a deed; for often repentance is based upon sheer egoism: one would like to have done something better in order to be a better man. That is egoistic. Our efforts will only cease to be egoistic when we do not wish to have done a thing better than we have done it, but consider it far more important to do the same thing better next time. The intention which a man has is the more important thing, not the repentance — the endeavour to do the same thing on another occasion. And in this intention wish sounds as an undertone; so that we may well ask the question: What is this undertone of wish which accompanies our intention? For anyone who can really observe the soul this wish is the first element of all that remains over after death. It is something of this remainder which we feel when we say: we ought to have done it better: we wish we had done it better. In the wish, in the form in which I have described it to you, we have something which belongs to the Spirit-Self.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 293 – Stuttgart, 25 August 1919 – The Study of Man,  Lecture IV  – Schmidt Number: S-3811

Imponderables: insubstantial matters; incalculable influences  

Up to around the seventh year the child is a mimicking being. I do not say this because of some mystical inclination on my part concerning the number seven, but because the change of teeth is effectively an important juncture in the whole life development of the child. – The child learns his specific movements through imitation, even his speech is acquired through imitation; the way it develops its thought forms happens by way of imitation as well.

Because the relationship between the environment of the child and the child itself is not only dependant on external factors, but deeply hidden immeasurable influences (German: Imponderabilien) also play a role, parents and educators must be aware that the child adjusts to what the adults in its environment do. Not only outwardly observable actions are taken in – not just what they say – but what they experience, what they feel, what they think as well. In our materialistic times it is generally not believed that it makes a difference whether we have noble or ignoble thoughts in the environment of the developing child because we only consider the material entities as valid and not those which are inwardly connected to things which cannot be weighed nor measured.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 297a – Erziehung zum Leben – Amsterdam, 28 February 1921 (p. 53-54)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

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