About education, memory and health (2 – End)

For instance, we are told: “A child’s memory, his power of remembering, may be exerted too much or too little in his ninth or tenth year.” The clamor against over-exerting the memory can lead to the result of exerting it too little. We must always try to find the middle course. For instance, we may make too great demands on a nine or ten-year-old’s memory. The real consequences will not appear before the person in question has reached the age of thirty or forty, or perhaps still later. Then this person may develop rheumatism or diabetes. By overexerting a child’s memory at the wrong time — let us say between the ninth and tenth year — we cause during this youthful stage an exaggerated depositing of faulty metabolic products. These connections, lasting during a man’s entire earth-life, go generally unnoticed.

On the other hand, by exercising the memory too little — that is, by letting a child’s memory remain idle — we bring forth a tendency to all kinds of inflammations appearing in later years.

What is important to know is the following: that the bodily states of a certain life-period are the consequences of the soul and spirit states of another.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 226 – Man’s Being, His Destiny and World-Evolution: Lecture VI – Kristiana, 21st May 1923


About education, memory and health (1 of 2)

Because we are influenced by the materialistic spirit of the age, there is a tendency in our schools to educate children by pointing to their bodily nature. Nowadays people make experiments involving the memory, even the faculties of willing and thinking. I do not object to such things, which may be quite interesting, inasmuch as science is concerned. It is, nevertheless, terrible to apply such experiments in a pedagogical way. If we can approach the child only by means of external experiments, this proves how completely estranged we have become from man’s real being. Anyone inwardly connected with the child does not need external experiments. I wish, however, to emphasize once more that I am not opposed to experimental psychology. Yet we must acquire the faculty to enter man’s being by the inward means of spirit and soul.

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 226 – Man’s Being, His Destiny and World-Evolution: Lecture VI – Kristiana, 21st May 1923


Inner Activity of Soul

These days the people who might perhaps have the urge to experience something of the  supersensible out of some indeterminable instinct, prefer to acquire the ability to see into spiritual worlds through a mystical laying on of hands or something in that line. After all, a lot of people believe that it works this way. But it does not. What opens the spiritual world for us is strenuous inner activity of the soul.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 72 –Freiheit/Unsterblichkeit/ Soziales Leben – Bern, 18th October 1917 (page 29)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger


One cannot extract thoughts out of a world devoid of thoughts

The first thing that should be present in someone who wants to develop truly practical thinking is faith and confidence in the reality, the reality of thoughts. What does that mean? From a glass in which there is no water, one cannot pour water. And in a world, in which there are no thoughts, one cannot find any thoughts. It is most absurd to believe that the sum of our thoughts is present only in us. If someone dismantles a clock and discovers the laws out of which it was built by thinking, then he must assume that the clockmaker put the parts of the clock together according to these laws. No one should believe that one can design and form a world that was not designed and formed out of thoughts. Everything we discover about nature and natural events consists of nothing else but what first must have been laid into it before. There are no thoughts in our souls, which were not out there in the world beforehand.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 057 – Wo und wie findet man den Geist? – Berlin, 11 February 1909  (p 251)

Translated by Nesta Carsten

Previously posted on September 18, 2013

glass of water

It’s good to keep on doing the same exercise for long periods

A study of anthroposophical works is an effective preparation for exercises. It’s better to have read a book 25 times than to read five books five times each, and one who has read a book two or three times shouldn’t imagine that he’s read it at all. If on a particular day of the year, we have experienced this or that in our meditation, then if we’ve really studied hard in between, we’ll be able to experience much more on the same day a year later. It’s good to keep on doing the same exercise for long periods; that’s much better than continual changes.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 – From the Contents of Esoteric Classes: Esoteric Lessons Part II – Berlin, 15th March 1911