Materialism and the Church

It is truly not particularly difficult to see that what people have since centuries believed to be a certain religiosity, is, in fact, something quite superficial, and in reality not concerned with the supersensible worlds at all. Up to now people lived with a certain indifference towards the supersensible worlds. But a turning point in time has arrived and human beings are now asked to orient themselves again on the supersensible worlds. People have to learn once again to focus their attention on the spiritual world, but in a different way from how it is nowadays often envisaged. People want to remain with the customary comfortable faith that does not require a lot of inner effort. Those who have remained in this easy faith, are the principal enemies of true current progress. The churches, who oppose the new roads to the supersensible, are in truth currently the cause of more and more materialistic impulses in humanity. It is necessary at the present time to focus in a very concrete way on the supersensible worlds.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 190 –Vergangenheits- und Zukunftsimpulse im sozialen Geschehen – Dornach, March 23, 1919 (page 47-48)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

The gods of hindrance

Imagine that you have a car to push. You develop your strength by pushing it. If heavy ballast is put into the car it will be heavier to push, but you would develop greater strength. Suppose the Godhead had let the world’s evolution remain as it was, up to the time just after the Jupiter evolution, men could have certainly developed very well; but humanity could have become still stronger if hindrance had been in its way. For the good of humanity, certain Mights or Spirits of Motion had to receive adverse commands. These were not evil at first, one need not consider them as evil Powers, one might even say they sacrificed themselves by putting obstacles into the way of development. Therefore, these Mights may be called the gods of hindrance, of impediment, in the widest sense of the word.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 110 – The Spiritual Hierarchies: Lecture 10 – Dusseldorf, 18th April 1909

Translated by Harry Collison

Counteract the egoism

To counteract the egoism that can arise so strongly that one can feel very disturbed by it one could read the Lord’s Prayer, the Sermon on the Mount or the beginning of John’s Gospel and let them work in one. This will create quiet in us for awhile. What was given as the Fifth Gospel can also prevent a further increase in egotism.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 – From the Contents of Esoteric Classes – Part III – Bergen, 11th October 1913

It is said that death is a riddle that no one ever has, or ever will solve

Death is indeed life’s greatest riddle, so much so that the individual who could solve it would have solved also the other great riddle, that of life itself.

It is said that death is a riddle that no one ever has, or ever will solve. People who speak like that have no notion of the arrogance(German: Unbescheidenheit) the words imply, nor of the fact that a solution to the riddle does exist, but a solution they fail to understand.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 55 – Supersensible Knowledge – Lecture VI: Illness and Death – Berlin, 13th December 1906

Translated by Rita Stebbing

Previously posted on July 16, 2014

Materialism not always foolish

There are people so constituted that it is not possible for them to find the way to the Sprit, and to give them any proof of the Spirit will always be hard. They stick to something they know about, in accordance with their nature. Let us say they stick at something that makes the crudest kind of impression on them — Materialism. We need not regard as foolish the arguments they advance as a defence or proof of Materialism, for an immense amount of ingenious writing has been devoted to the subject, and it holds good in the first place for material life, for the material world and its laws.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 151 – Human and Cosmic Thought: Lecture II – Berlin, 21st January 1910

Translated by Charles Davy