In practice things are different from what they seem to be in theory – 4 (End)

When can a theory not hold its own in life? When it is produced by means of a thinking that is not trained for life. Now the teachings of the science of spirit are just as much the real laws of life as are the theories of electricity for a factory for electrical apparatus. In setting up such a factory we have first to acquaint ourselves with theories about electricity. And in order to work in life we have to know the laws of life. The teachings of the science of spirit may appear to be remote from life, but they are, in fact, just the opposite. To a superficial view they appear divorced from the world; to a true understanding they reveal life. It is not just out of curiosity that we retire into a “spiritual-scientific circle,” in order to get hold of all sorts of “interesting” information about the worlds beyond, but we train our thinking, feeling and willing on the “eternal laws of existence” in order to enter into life and to understand it clearly. The teachings of the science of spirit are a roundabout way to thinking, judging and feeling according to life. — The movement for the science of spirit will not be rightly orientated until this is fully realized. Right action arises out of right thinking, and wrong action arises out of wrong thinking or out of a lack of thinking. If we believe that something good can be brought about in the social sphere, we have to admit that it depends on human capacities. Working through the ideas of the science of spirit brings about an increase in the capacities needed for working in social life. In this connection it is not simply a matter of which thoughts we acquire through the science of spirit, but of what is made of our thinking through them.

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

Previously posted on February 8, 2014