Christianity is an outlook which sees in everything a revelation of the Divine

Christianity is an outlook which sees in everything a revelation of the Divine. Everything material becomes an illusion unless we look on it as an expression of the Divine. If we disown the external world, we are disowning the Divine; if we reject the material realm, in which God has revealed himself, we are rejecting the Divine. The important thing is not to gaze into ourselves, but to seek to know the Great Self which shines down into us. […]

Really to go out of yourself is to renounce yourself. […] In the early days of Theosophy the gravest mistake was made when people were told to look away from the external world and to gaze into themselves. That is a great illusion, for then we find only the lower self, which imagines itself to be divine but is not so at all. We must come out of ourselves if we are to know the Divine. “Know thyself” means also “Overcome thyself”.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 95 – At the Gates of Spiritual Science: Lecture XIV: Rosicrucian Training – The Interior of the Earth – Earthquakes and Volcanoes Stuttgart, 4th September 1906

Translated by E.H. Goddard & Charles Davy

Previously posted on November 16, 2013

Buddha and Christ

The powers and forces which draw man upwards again to the spiritual world fall into two categories: those which draw him upwards on the path of Wisdom, and those which draw him upwards on the path of Morality. The forces to which intellectual progress is mainly due all proceed from the impulse given by a great Individuality of the fourth post-Atlantean epoch who is known to you all, namely Gautama Buddha. It is a remarkable discovery of spiritual investigation that the most penetrating, most significant, thoughts conceived in our present epoch have proceeded from Gautama Buddha.

The second impulse which, in addition to that of Buddha, continues to work in the evolution of humanity is the Christ Impulse and is connected with the future ascent of humanity to Morality. Although Buddha’s teaching is in a particular sense moral teaching, the Christ Impulse is not teaching but actual power which works as such and to an increasing degree imbues mankind with moral strength.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 130 – Buddha and Christ – The Sphere of the Bodhisattvas – Milan, 21st September 1911

Previously posted on June 15, 2014


Wherever the sensory world is the spiritual world is present as well

The spiritual world is – as I have frequently stated here – not somewhere in a kind of unreal dream world, it is also present wherever the sensory world is; It penetrates, permeates this world; and wherever  activities are visibly present, they are initiated by supersensible, spiritual activities. […..] The soul lives in the supersensible world before it is born, or rather till conception, it lives in the supersensible world and it stays connected to the spiritual world in this life. The soul is present in supersensible worlds not decades, but centuries before it enters earthly existence.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 72 – Freiheit Unsterblichkeit Soziales Leben – Basel, 18th October 1917  (page 47)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger


The development of human civilization involves the participation of elemental spirits, even if people do not know about it

As you know, not long ago growing numbers of impulses came into human evolution which did not exist before and which are quite characteristic of our present civilization. Try and go back in your mind to times not very long ago. You will find times when there were no steam locomotives, when people did not yet use electricity as we do now; times perhaps when only thinkers like Leonardo da Vinci were able to have the idea, theoretically and on the basis of experiments, that humans could create apparatus which would enable them to fly. All this has come to realization in a relatively short time. Just consider how much depends on the use of steam, of electricity, of the changes in atmospheric density which has made airships possible, or the knowledge of statics which has led to the aeroplane. Consider everything which has come into human evolution in recent times. Think of the destructive powers of dynamite, etc., and you can easily imagine, seeing how swiftly this has gone, that new and different fabulous things of this kind will be the goal of future human endeavour. I think you can easily see that the ideal for the near future will be to have not more and more Goethes, but more and more Edisons. This really is the ideal of modern humanity.

Modern people do, of course, believe that all this — the telegraph, telephones, the use of steam Power, etc. — happens without the participation of spiritual entities. This is not the case, however. The development of human civilization involves the participation of elemental spirits, even if people do not know about it. Modern materialists imagine that the telephone and telegraph, and the steam engines driven long distances and also used by farmers, have been constructed merely on the basis of what people produce by the sweat of their brow. Everything people do in this respect is under the influence of elemental spirits. They are always involved and helping us in this. People are not taking the initiative on their own in this field — they are guided. In laboratories, workshops, really everywhere where the spirit of invention is active, elemental spirits are providing the inspiration.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 177 – Fall of the Spirits of Darkness: LECTURE 4: The Elemental Spirits of Birth and Death – Dornach, 6th October 1917

Translated by Anna R. Meuss


One sided truth gives only the poorest sketch  

One can never look at the truths about the higher worlds from too many aspects. One should realize that from any one aspect it is possible to give only the poorest sketch. And when one looks at the same thing from the most diverse aspects, the impressions one receives in this way only gradually complement each other to form an ever more animated picture. Only such pictures, not dry, schematic concepts, can help the man who wants to penetrate into the higher worlds. The more animated and colorful the pictures, the more can one hope to approach the higher reality.

It is obvious that it is just the pictures from the higher worlds which arouse mistrust in many today. A person is quite content to be given conceptual schemes and classifications — with as many names as possible — of Devachan, of the development of the planets, and so forth; but he becomes more difficult when somebody presumes to describe the supersensible worlds as a traveller describes the landscapes of South America. Yet one should realize that it is only through fresh, animated pictures that one is given something useful, not through dead schemes and names.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 11 – Cosmic Memory – The Life of Earth