Steiner about one of the Beatitudes from the sermon on the mount – Matthew 5, verse 4
“Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.” One of the major riddles that we face in this world is that of suffering. To the ancient Greeks, this free, cheerful people, who were as dependant for their existence on sensual enjoyment as the air they breathed, Silenus provided the following answer to the question ‘what would be the best for the people’: “miserable people … the very best is for you would be completely unreachable: not to have been born, not to be, to be nothing. However, the second best for you – is soon to die.” Aesop though, says that one can draw lessons from suffering. And Job comes through all the suffering imposed on him to the conclusion: Suffering purifies, it brings advancement.
Why do we leave the theatre with a feeling of fulfilment after attending a tragedy? The hero overcomes suffering. Between advancing a step further and living through tragedy there is a link. […] The soul needs to form an organ so that it can bear suffering. Like the eye was formed by light, the ear by sound, suffering and pain likewise form spiritual organs. […] The human being progresses to a higher stage through suffering.
Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 97 – Das christliche Mysterium – Stuttgart, 19 January 1907 (page 95-96)
Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger