The best method of developing good thinking

We nurture and sharpen the thinking especially by the development of characteristics which seem to have nothing whatever to do with thinking, with concepts. The best method of developing good thinking is by complete absorption and insight, not so much through logical exercises but by observing one thing and another, using for this purpose processes in nature, in order to penetrate into hidden mysteries. Through absorption in problems of nature and of humanity, through the endeavour to understand complex personalities, through the intensifying of attentiveness, we grow wise. Absorption means striving to unravel something by thinking, by conceiving. In this connection, we shall be able to see that such mental absorption has a wonderfully good effect in later life.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 130 – Esoteric Christianity and the Mission of Christian Rosenkreutz – Lecture 2 – Leipzig, 5th November 1911

Previously posted on June 16, 2014

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Good thoughts are like balm to the dead

Good thoughts are like balm to the dead. No selfish love must be send them, no grieving because the departed is not around any longer; this bothers the deceased and brings to them a heavy burden. The love that remains and makes no claim to still want the dead  here with us, benefits the deceased and increases his or her happiness.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 95 -Vor dem Tore der Theosophie – Stuttgart,  September 2, 1906 (page 151)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

How long is the time in the devachan?

The time in devachan (spirit-land) is not of equal length for all human beings. The uneducated savage who has experienced a little of this world only who has applied his mind and sense only a little has a short stay in the devachan. The devachan is basically supposed to elaborate what the human being has learnt in the physical, to unfold it freely, to make it suitable to a new life. The human being, who is on a higher level of existence who has collected rich experiences, has to process a lot and, hence, has a long stay in the devachan. Only later, when he is able to look into these states, the stays become again shorter up to the point where the human being can immediately walk after death again to a new incarnation because he has already experienced what is to be experienced in devachan.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 53 – Origin and Goal of the Human Being: Lecture VII: The Spirit-land – Berlin, 17th November 1904

Previously posted on June 13, 2014

The inconvenient truth

It is, of course, more of an effort to deal with reality than to waffle in general terms about world harmony, about the individual soul being in harmony with the world, about harmony in the general love of humanity.

Anthroposophy does not exist to send people off to sleep, but to make them really wide awake. We are living at a time when it is necessary for people to wake up.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 177 – Fall of the Spirits of Darkness: Lecture 8: Abstraction and RealityDornach, October 13, 1917

Previously posted on June 12, 2014

A sort of double mental life

My youthful friendships in the time of which I am here speaking (about 1880-1890) had in the further course of my life a special import. They forced me into a sort of double mental life. The struggle with the riddle of cognition, which then filled my mind more than all else, aroused in my friends always, to be sure, a strong interest, but very little active participation. In the experience of this riddle I was always rather lonely. On the other hand, I myself shared completely in whatever arose in the existence of my friends. Thus there flowed along in me two parallel currents of life: one which I as a lone wanderer followed, the other which I shared in vital companionship with men bound to me by ties of affection. But this twofold life was on many occasions of profound and lasting significance for my development.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 28 – The Story of My Life – Chapter IV

Previously posted on June 11, 2014