In the woods there are wild animals, but sometimes they are also somewhere else…

Feelings and passions are (in the astral world) expressed by plant and animal forms. When man begins to behold his passions in the astral world he sees them as animal forms. These forms proceed from himself, but he sees them as if they were assailing him. This is because his own being is objectivised — otherwise he could not behold himself. Thus it is only in the astral world that man learns true self knowledge in contemplating the images of his passions in the animal forms which hurl, themselves upon him. A feeling of hatred entertained against another being appears as an attacking demon.

This astral self-knowledge occurs in an abnormal way in those who are troubled with psychical illnesses which consist in constant visions of being pursued by animals and menacing entities. The sufferers are seeing the mirror images of their emotions and desires.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 94 –  An Esoteric Cosmology – Lecture IX: The Astral World – Paris, 2nd June 1906

Translated by Rene Querido

Previously posted on May 20, 2014

At the end of the day, all human evil comes from what we call egotism

Eventually all human evil springs from what we call selfishness. From the smallest human faults to the most immense crimes, when considering what we can designate as human imperfection and human wickedness, whether it seemingly originates from the soul or more from out of the bodily nature, the common basic characterization will be egotism. We find the actual meaning of evil in concurrence with human selfishness; and all striving to rise above imperfections and evil can be seen as commitment to fight against what we call selfishness. There has been much contemplation on this or that ethical principle, about these or other moral foundations; exactly this diving deeper into ethical principles and into moral foundations shows that selfishness is the common basis of all human evil. And so one can say: man works himself out of evil here in the physical world, inasmuch as he overcomes egotism.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 063 – Geisteswissenschaft als Lebensgut – Berlin, 15th January 1914 (page 240-241)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on February 25, 2015

Everyone needs shoes, but not everyone needs to be a shoemaker

It is paramount for present day humanity to receive a strong dose of esotericism. Plagues, epidemics, and terrible wars would rage among men, under prevailing materialism, if mankind does not receive a deepening in the spiritual realm. However great is the need for spreading spiritual life, and despite the necessity to have more esotericists today, it would be totally wrong to work at propagating spiritual science.

We must have esotericists, but not everyone needs to be one. A very simple example can help us understand: It is a fact that everyone needs shoes. Shoemakers are therefore a necessity. It would however be quite wrong to draw the conclusion that everyone needs to be a shoemaker. Likewise, people need not all to become esotericist, but those who want to do so, will, during their present or future incarnations, have the task of spreading spiritual knowledge, and promoting it in the lives of others.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 266a – Aus den Inhalten der esoterischen Stunden – Stuttgart, September 15, 1907 (page 243)

Anonymous translator

Wherever the sensory world is the spiritual world is present as well

The spiritual world is – as I have frequently stated here – not somewhere in a kind of unreal dream world, it is also present wherever the sensory world is; It penetrates, permeates this world; and wherever  activities are visibly present, they are initiated by supersensible, spiritual activities. […..] The soul lives in the supersensible world before it is born, or rather till conception, it lives in the supersensible world and it stays connected to the spiritual world in this life. The soul is present in supersensible worlds not decades, but centuries before it enters earthly existence.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 72 – Freiheit Unsterblichkeit Soziales Leben – Basel, 18th October 1917  (page 47)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on December 24, 2014  

Diabetes/Pork

It is true that nowadays diabetes occurs more often in Jews than non-Jews. Sure, others do suffer from diabetes, but today the Jews especially often suffer from this ailment. The Jewish people have difficulties assimilating sugar, on the other hand, they do need it. So it would be important for them to have a diet that makes it easy for the body to use the sugar and not process it right away.

If you read the Old Testament, then you will find all kinds of food regulations, rules that are to this day observed in the restaurants where ‘kosher’ food can be ordered. You will know such restaurants; With Jewish letters, it is indicated that they offer ‘kosher’ meals. The cooking is kosher in such restaurants. That is, the food is prepared according to the ancient rules of Moses.

And if you examine what is actually behind these rules, then you will find that the reason is to make it possible for the Jewish person to eat in such a way as to make it easier to handle the sugar, because sugar is difficult for them to handle. In particular, the prohibition of pork – for pork is generally much more difficult to process for the human being – was designed to prevent diabetes. One must be able to read the Old Testament even medically; then it becomes very interesting.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 348 – Über Gesundheit und Krankheit – Dornach, January 13, 1923 (page 261)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger