There is no worse phrase than this: ‘just look into yourself.‘ There one finds, however, only the lower self. One must seek lovingly outside oneself and then one will find what one is seeking. I have known people who said, ‘what do I need? I don’t need anything at all, because I’m Atma (soul).‘ – and even though they constantly say ‘ ‘Atma, I’m Atma‘ they do not become conscious of Atma, all they really know about it is that it is a word with four letters. It leads to closing oneself off when gazing into yourself. For we are part of the whole. The finger is only finger because it is part of the body. If we separate it from the organism, then it is no longer a finger. The finger does not separate itself from the organism; but the human being is so “clever” that he believes that he could detach himself from the Earth, although if he is just a few kilometres above the Earth he perishes. […] It is the worst possible mistake to want to find the god within yourself. Losing oneself through deeply entering into all the details of the world, that is the right path. He who dedicates him or herself to love and humility will find godliness, while he who seeks god in himself, hardens.
Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 98 – Natur- und Geistwesen- ihr Wirken in unserer sichtbaren Welt – Vienna, November 7, 1907 (page 38-39)
Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger
Previously posted on October 14, 2015