There is no worse phrase than this: ‘just look into yourself.’

There is no worse phrase than this: ‘look deep 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 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 kilometers above the surface of the earth, he perishes. […] It is the worst possible mistake to want to find the god within yourself. Losing oneself through 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

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Inhibiting forces

For certain reasons, there are opposing, inhibiting forces interwoven in the world plan that want to prevent development. Because we try to develop ourselves through meditation for the advancement of humanity, it is exactly during meditative work that these opposing powers try to interfere in a harmful way: with beginners by pushing to the fore memories of everyday happenings; with advanced seers, by bringing animals or tempting figures in their field of view. These images look like beings one can encounter on the physical plane – one sees mice or rats – but they all stem from a sub-physical region.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 266a – Aus den Inhalten der esoterischen Stunden – Munich, March 8, 1909 (page 458)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Pre-Incarnation Preview

Immediately before incarnation a very important event occurs, parallel to the event which follows the moment of death. Just as immediately after death the whole memory of a man’s past life appears like a tableau before his soul, so is a kind of preview of the coming life given to the soul immediately before it incarnates. Not all the details are seen, but the circumstances of the coming life are made evident in broad outline. This is of the utmost importance. It may happen that a person who went through a great deal of suffering and hardship in his previous life receives a shock from the glimpse of the new circumstances and destiny now in prospect, and holds back the soul from complete incarnation. Only a part of the soul then enters the body, and this will result in the birth of an epileptic or an idiot.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 95 – At the Gates of Spiritual Science: Lecture five: Human tasks in the higher worlds – Stuttgart, 26th August 1906

Translated by E. H. Goddard & Charles Davy

A certain fear  

We have referred today, as in past lectures, to other types of beings intimately connected to our lives. A certain fear of those worlds you have heard of here, might assail you and lead you to think that it would be better to remain ignorant of all these things. But isn’t that  how the ostrich behaves, when it hides its head in the sand? The things we referred to are absolutely real.  It is not by closing your eyes that you will make them disappear, but by knowing about them. The only way to drive away all those creatures, is to manage your life in a manner that, increasingly, makes you master of it. Knowledge and truth are the only means to set you free; religious documents do not lie when they state: ‘You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.’

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 98 – Natur- und Geistwesen – ihr Wirken in unserer sichtbaren Welt – Stuttgart, February 11, 1908 (page 210)

Anonymous translator

Previously posted on October 9, 2015

Humanity claims mostly that which he lacks

At present we live past one another, and due to the influence of modern education we have not acquired the ability to understand our fellow human beings, we lack the aptitude to know with a kind of clairvoyant empathy – as used to be present in many of the older cultures – what lives in the human soul. We demand a lot from life, but we live past one another.

We claim mostly that which we lack the most and the loud cry for socialism proclaims to ears that can listen in an unbiased way, that we have become unsocial people, that we do not understand each other, that we are unable to form a social society.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 79 – Die Wirklichkeit der höheren Welten – Kristiania (Oslo) December 2, 1921 (page 180-181)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on November 3, 2014