There are beings in the spiritual realms for whom anxiety and fear offer welcome food

There are beings in the spiritual realms for whom anxiety and fear emanating from human beings offer welcome food. When humans have no anxiety and fear, then these creatures starve. People not yet sufficiently convinced of this statement could understand it to be meant comparatively only. But for those who are familiar with this phenomenon, it is a reality. If fear and anxiety radiates from people and they break out in panic, then these creatures find welcome nutrition and they become more and more powerful. These beings are hostile towards humanity. Everything that feeds on negative feelings, on anxiety, fear and superstition, despair or doubt,  are in reality hostile forces in supersensible worlds, launching cruel attacks on human beings, while they are being fed. Therefore, it is above all necessary to begin with that the person who enters the spiritual world overcomes fear, feelings of helplessness, despair and anxiety. But these are exactly the feelings that belong to contemporary culture and materialism; because it estranges people from the spiritual world, it is especially suited to evoke hopelessness and fear of the unknown in people, thereby calling up the above mentioned hostile forces against them.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 56 – Die Erkenntnis der Seele und des Geistes – Berlijn, December 12, 1907 (page 145)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

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We do not live in vain in the material world

Today there are souls who feel, even if out of the deepest recesses of their instincts that they wish to experience something of the spiritual world! They are the pioneers of a future when souls will come who will consider it important to cultivate a spiritual life founded on the cognition of the spiritual worlds. Spiritual life must be cultivated on earth in the sense of the new spiritual science, because otherwise humanity will increasingly enter into the other world spiritually dumb, lacking the capacity to open itself rightly.

It is also a fallacy to believe that we can wait until we have crossed the threshold of death to experience something of a spiritual nature over there. In order to experience anything of this kind one must have attained the faculty to perceive. But this faculty cannot be developed after death unless one has first acquired it here on earth. We do not live in vain in the material world! It is not for nothing that our souls descend to the physical world. They descend so that we may acquire what actually can only be acquired here, namely, spiritual cognition.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 140 – Life Between Death and Rebirth – IX –  Linz, January 26, 1913

Previously posted on March 3, 2014

Blunder

Those who do not admit that the religions were adapted to particular conditions, but maintain that all religious systems have emanated from one undifferentiated source, can never acquire real knowledge.

To speak only of unity amounts to saying that salt, pepper, paprika and sugar are on the table, but we are not concerned with each of them individually. What we are looking for is the unity that is expressed in these different substances. Of course, one can speak like this, but when it is a question of passing on to practical reality, of using each substance appropriately, the differences between them will certainly be apparent. Nobody who uses these substances will claim that there is no different, then just put salt or pepper instead of sugar into your coffee or tea, and you will soon find out the truth! Those who make no real distinction between the several religions, but say that they all come from the same source, are making the same kind of blunder.

If we wish to know how a living thread runs through the different religions towards a great goal, we must seek to understand this thread, and study and value of each religion for its particular sphere.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 140 – Life Between Death and Rebirth – III – Hannover, 18th November 1912

Translated by Rene Querido

Previously posted on March 2, 2014

Male and female

Countless phenomena of life will become clear to us if we think of human nature as the working together of two polar opposites. In the man the masculine pole works outwards and the feminine lives more inwardly, while in the woman the opposite holds true.

Spiritual science however also shows us a deeper reason why a masculine quality is to be found in the woman and a feminine in the man. Spiritual science speaks of how human beings strive after ever greater perfection, through many lives. Our present life is always the result of a previous one. Thus as we proceed through many lives, we experience both male and female incarnations. What arises in this way may be expressed as the effect of those experiences gathered on both sides in earthly life.

Whoever is able in this way to look more deeply into the male and female natures knows that the more intimate experiences of the two sexes are very different, and must be very different. Our entire earth existence is a collection of the most varied experiences. However, these experiences can only become comprehensive through their being acquired from the viewpoint of both sexes. […] So long as one merely looks at the physical body little can be understood. The spiritual lying behind must also be recognised.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 56 – Man and Woman in Light of Spiritual Science – Munich, 18th March 1908

Previously posted on March 1, 2014

Healing forces/Forces of sickness/Morality

Knowledge of the healing forces is inseparable from knowledge of the forces of sickness. One cannot be taught without the other. No one in the world can gain knowledge of the healing forces, without at the same time learning about the forces of sickness. So you can see how important it is for people to be morally good through and through as regards such serious matters. For someone who can heal a person’s soul can also make a person’s soul sick in the same degree. Therefore such truths may not be imparted by the gods to man until a stage of morality has been reached at which the healing medicine cannot be transformed into poison.

Source: Rudolf SteinerGA 173 – The Karma of Untruthfulness I: Lecture Nine – Dornach, 24th December 1916

Previously posted on February 26, 2014