Knowledge of man/Social conditions (2 – End)

You can set up the most grandiose social programs and develop the finest social ideas, but if people shy away from acquiring any knowledge of man and do not see any real humanity in one another, they will never be able to bring about social conditions. They cannot produce social conditions unless they establish the possibility that people can be social. But people cannot be social if they do not see the human quality in one another, but live entirely within themselves.

Human beings can only become social if they really meet one another in life, and something passes between them. This is the root of the social problem. Most people say of the social question nowadays, that if certain things were arranged in such and such a way people would be able to lead a social existence. But it is not like that. If things are arranged like that, social people will be good people in a social sense, and anti-social people will be anti-social with any sort of arrangement.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 191 – Social Understanding Through Spiritual Scientific Knowledge – Dornach, October 4, 1919

Advertisements

Knowledge of man/Social conditions (1 of 2)

You people study what is in my Occult Science, and to do that you have to develop certain concepts that most people would still call “utter madness.” A few days ago, I got yet another letter from someone studying Occult Science, and he said that nearly every chapter was pure nonsense. You can understand people saying it is pure nonsense. Why, it is quite obvious that they often say it these days. Yet these people who do not put themselves out to accept the kind of concepts that lead to Saturn, Sun, Moon, Jupiter, Venus and Vulcan, and do not get down to developing ideas about a world that is not limited to the senses will also not acquire any knowledge of man.

They do not see the human being in the other person but notice at the most that one person has a more pointed nose than the other, and one has blue eyes whereas the other has brown. But they notice nothing of man’s inner being that manifests as his soul and organizes his body. The same force which enables us to take an interest, and I am not saying now that it enables us to have super-sensible occult powers, but the same force that enables us to take an interest in super-sensible knowledge also gives us the kind of knowledge of man that we need today.

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 191 – Social Understanding Through Spiritual Scientific Knowledge – Dornach, October 4, 1919

Materialism/Spirituality

You only see the world aright if you see it as being neither materialistic nor idealistic, but are capable of following up the ideal aspect of what is presented in a material way and following up the material aspect of what is presented as idea.

The spiritual quality of a world conception is not being able to say “Over there is base materialism, which is for the ‘dregs’ of humanity, and over here is idealism, which is for the elect” — and the speaker usually includes himself among these — but the essential quality of a really spiritual world conception lies in its capacity to take what it has grasped in the spirit and bring it down into material existence so that material existence can be understood and not despised.

That is the fallacy of many religious denominations, that they despise material existence instead of understanding it and looking for the spirit within it.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 191 – Social Understanding Through Spiritual Scientific Knowledge – Dornach, October 4, 1919

Inheritance of talents and capacities (3 – End)

Thus the human being is born into that family which is able to transmit to him by heredity the bodily conditions which correspond to his karmic potentialities. It then looks, if we go back to the example of moral courage, as if the latter itself had been inherited from the parents. The truth is that man, through his individual being, has searched out that family which makes the unfoldment of moral courage possible for him.

In addition to this it may be possible that the individualities of the children and the parents have already been connected in previous lives and for that very reason have found one another again. The karmic laws are so complicated that we may never base a judgment upon outer appearances. Only a person to whose spiritual sense-organs the higher worlds are at least partially manifest may attempt to form such a judgment.

Whoever is able to observe the soul organism and the spirit, in addition to the physical body, is in a position to discriminate between what has been passed on to the human being by his forebears and what is his own possession, acquired in previous lives. For ordinary vision these things are not clearly distinguishable, and it may easily appear as if something were merely inherited which in reality is karmicly determined.

It is a thoroughly wise expression which states that children are “given” to their parents. In respect of the spirit this is absolutely the case. And children with certain spiritual qualities are given to them for the very reason that they, the parents, are capable of giving the children the opportunity to unfold these spiritual qualities.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 34 – ANSWERS TO SOME QUESTIONS CONCERNING KARMA – Essay in Luzifer/Gnosis – October 1904

Translated by Lisa D. Monges

Inheritance of talents and capacities (2 of 3)

But nobody can pass on to his offsprings what is connected with the actual spiritual being of man, that is, for instance, the acuteness and accuracy of his life of thought, the reliability of his memory, the moral sense, the acquired capacities of knowledge and art. These are qualities which remain enclosed within his individuality and which appear in his next incarnation as capacities, talents, character, and so forth.

The environment, however, into which the reincarnating human being enters is not accidental, but it is necessarily connected with his karma. Let us assume a human being has acquired in his previous life the capacity for a morally strong character. It is his karma that this capacity should unfold in his next incarnation. This would not be possible if he did not incarnate in a body which possesses a quite definite constitution. This bodily constitution, however, must be inherited from the forebears.

The incarnating individuality strives, through a power of attraction inherent in it, toward those parents who are capable of giving it the suitable body. This is caused by the fact that, already before reincarnating, this individuality connects itself with the forces of the astral world which strive toward definite physical conditions.

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 34 – ANSWERS TO SOME QUESTIONS CONCERNING KARMA – Essay in Luzifer/Gnosis – October 1904

Translated by Lisa D. Monges