There are people who easily identify with another individual, who relate to what the other is experiencing. They can usually also sympathize with any animal, with each beetle, with each sparrow, and be happy with whatever happens around them, or be sad together with the people they encounter who are sad. Notice how often it arises in life especially at a certain age, that a young person can be elated one moment and suddenly the next moment be intensely and extremely miserable. Some people will then say this is senseless, that it is neither here nor there! These two sorts of people exist. Of course, these qualities will be developed to a greater or lesser extent in particular cases, it may not at all be so strongly present, but the tendency will nonetheless be there.

Now the spiritual researcher considers such manifestations in the world and then comes to the following conclusion: Musical people are the ones who in a previous life found it easy to make the transition from happiness to sorrow … from sorrow to happiness, who went along easily with everything. This quality metamorphoses into the ability to be inwardly mobile and the aptitude in the inner life for rhythmic variation that generates the musical soul. By contrast, human beings who passed life by obtusely in a former life will not be musical in the next life.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 169 – Weltwesen und Ichheit – Berlin, July 18, 1916 (page 154-155)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Good deeds/Karma

A man who tries to perform many good deeds, will, as a result of the feelings evoked, have a decided talent in the next life for good deeds; he will also possess a thoroughly developed conscience and will be a person of high moral principles.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 99 – Theosophy of the Rosicrucian – VI: The Law of Destiny – Berlin, 30th May 1907

Translated by M. Cotterell & D. S. Osmond

Previously posted on 16 January 2014

Hold on to the facts

What we speak nowadays corresponds little to outward facts. It is mostly the outcome of various opinions and passions. However, when we add to our external sensory perceptions what does not match pure reality, and reflect it as thoughts, we destroy our capacity for higher knowledge. […] The most basic rule for ascending to the higher worlds is this: learn to hold on to the pure facts of the physical world.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 220 – Lebendiges Naturerkennen Intellektueller Sündenfall und spirituelle Sündenerhebung– Dornach, January 20, 1923 (page 128-129)

Anonymous translator

It is not only a matter of whether the saying is true

I once drew attention — it was in connection with the lectures which I held in Norrköping — to how easily one can utter the great, the impressive words of the aged John: “Children, love one another.” But it means something quite different if a foolish person, some youngster says it, or if John says it at the end of a full life in which much, very much had been undergone here upon earth.

It is not only a matter of whether the saying is true, but also from what background of the soul it is spoken, from what background it arises.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 161 – The Problem of Death III – Dornach, February 7, 1915


Many spiritualists are much more materialistic than the ordinary materialist! The average materialist states: ‘ there is no spirit ‘, and calls matter ‘matter ‘. But a large number of spiritualists want to, in that they make the spirit visible, see the spirit physically – either because it manifests as light (thus in a material way) or because it becomes tangible in some other way. Contact with the spirits can manifest in various ways. This is a materialistic approach to the whole spiritual world.

We have to acquire the ability to embrace a deeper reality than that which is mediated by the senses. It becomes quite absurd when the spiritualist, the materialistic spiritualist, wants to see the deceased with physical eyes while he can’t assume that he will be able to see the dead with physical eyes after death; because at death the physical eyes are laid down. When one wants to see the dead one should try to see as one would perceive him or her when one has died oneself, that means without physical eyes, obviously.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 163 –  Zufall, Notwendigkeit und Vorsehung – Dornach, September 6, 1915 (page 130)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger