Temperance

“Temperance purges feelings, awakens spiritual faculties, strengthens inner awareness and strengthens the memory, the soul is relieved of her earthly burden and thereby enjoys a higher freedom”, a wise man said long ago. Would the human being eat too much and too often, he would have no fertile thoughts to bring forth. Because if the digestive system claims a lot of energy, then no forces are accessible to apply to the thinking capability.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 266a – Aus den Inhalten der esoterischen Stunden/Band 1 (page 559)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on September 19, 2015

The effect of the spiritual knowledge on the character

The effect upon character is one of the most important results that can accrue from spiritual knowledge. Abstract intellectual knowledge is like an artificial root; it has been constructed by the intellect — no plant can grow from it. This is true of all the scientific knowledge that men respect and revere to-day, useful though it be, and by no means to be disparaged. From a real root grows a real plant; and from a real knowledge, whereby man can unite his spirit with the Spirits of the World, grows little by little the complete man who knows what true selflessness — selfless love — is, and what egoism is, and from this understanding derives impulses to act and work in life — the impulse, where it is right, to be selfless; or again, where he perhaps has need to draw forth something from his own being in preparation for life — there, openly, without any disguise, to develop egoism.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 231 – Spiritual Knowledge: A Way of Life – The Hague, 16th November 1923

Translated by Mary Adams

The sixth post-Atlantean epoch of culture will be more spiritual

The next age, (the sixth post-Atlantean epoch of culture 3573-5733), following our own, will already be more spiritual. There the sentiments will play a role even in connection with science. If any one shall then wish to stand an examination for admission to some scientific study, it will be necessary for him to be able to sense the light that exists behind everything, the spiritual world which brings everything into existence. The value of scientific work in any test will then consist in the fact that one shall observe whether a person can develop in the test sufficient emotion; otherwise he will fail in the examination. Even though the candidate may have any amount of knowledge, he will not be able to pass the examination if he does not have the right sentiments.

Source: Rudolf Steiner: GA 130 – BUDDHA AND CHRIST: Jeshu ben Pandira: Lecture I – Leipzig, 4th November 1911

Translated by Olin D. Wannamaker

Previously posted on September 25, 2014

Cultural epochs (3 – End) – In the seventh epoch, cleverness without morality will be non-existent

[…] In order to understand the nature of development in the sixth epoch of culture, it is well to consider what will be the characteristic qualities of the soul in future incarnations. To-day, in our intellectual age, intellectuality and morality are practically separate spheres in the life of soul. It is quite possible nowadays for a man to be very clever and at the same time immoral, or vice versa — to be deeply moral and anything but clever. […] Let us think once again of the phases of evolution through the fifth, sixth and seventh post-Atlantean culture-epochs in order to grasp how intellectuality, aestheticism and morality will come to expression in men’s life of soul.

Whereas in the present fifth epoch, intellectuality can remain unimpaired even if no pleasure is taken in moral actions, in the sixth epoch, it will be quite different. In the sixth epoch, that is, from about the third millennium onwards, immorality will have a paralysing effect upon intellectuality. The mental powers of a man who is intellectual and at the same time immoral will definitely deteriorate and this condition will become more and more pronounced in the future evolution of humanity. A man who has no morals will therefore have no intellectual power for this will depend entirely upon moral actions; and in the seventh epoch, cleverness without morality will be non-existent.

Source: Rudolf Steiner: GA 130 – BUDDHA AND CHRIST: The Sphere of the Bodhisattvas Milan – 21st September, 1911

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond

Previously posted on September 23, 2014

Cultural epochs (2 of 3) – The essential characteristic of the following epoch will be aesthetic pleasure in the good, aesthetic displeasure in the evil

The sixth epoch will be followed by the seventh, when the moral life will be still further deepened. Whereas in the sixth epoch man will take pleasure in good and noble actions, in the seventh epoch the natural outcome of such pleasure will be a moral impulse, that is to say there will be a firm resolve to do what is moral. There is a great difference between taking pleasure in a moral action and the doing of it. We can therefore say: our own epoch is the epoch of intellectualism; the essential characteristic of the following epoch will be aesthetic pleasure in the good, aesthetic displeasure in the evil; and the seventh will be characterised by an active moral life.

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 130 – BUDDHA AND CHRIST: The Sphere of the Bodhisattvas – Milan, 21st September, 1911

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond

Previously posted on September 22, 2014