In practice things are different from what they seem to be in theory – 3 of 4

“But,” someone will say, “what has all this to do with the science of spirit? Does the scientist of spirit really believe that his teachings would have helped Councillor Kolb to have a better understanding of life? What use would it have been to him to have known something about reincarnation, karma, and all the supersensible worlds? No one would want to maintain that ideas about planetary systems and higher worlds would have enabled the councilor to avoid having to admit one day that the most unpleasant aspects of political economy can be managed quite well at one’s desk.” The scientist of spirit can really only answer — as Lessing did in a particular case: “I happen to be this `no one,’ and I insist upon it.” Only this does not mean to say that the teaching of “reincarnation,” or knowledge about “karma” enables a person to act in the right way in social life. That would naturally be naive. It would of course be no good directing those destined to be councilors to Blavatsky’s Secret Doctrine instead of sending them to Schmoller, Wagner or Brentano at the university. — What it depends upon is this: Would a theory of political economy originating from the scientist of spirit be such that it could be managed well at one’s desk but would let one down in actual life? And this would not be the case.

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 34 – Reincarnation and ImmortalityThe science of spirit and the social question – 1905

Previously posted on February 7, 2014