We can speak of Karma not only in the case of individual persons

We can speak of Karma not only in the case of individual persons, for man should not consider himself as a single being. If the individual were to rise even a few miles above the earth, the result would be the same as if the finger severed itself from the body.

If we penetrate into spiritual science we are literally forced to admit through this knowledge that we should not delude ourselves to the extent of insisting that we are single beings. This applies to the physical world and even more to the spiritual world. Man belongs to the whole world and his destiny is involved with that of the entire world. Karma touches not only the individual, but also the life of whole nations.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 100 – Theosophy and Rosicrucianism: Lecture VII: The Law of Karma – Kassel, 22nd June 1907

Previously posted on April 22, 2016

The sensible one among those silly vegetarians

One of the many lectures Rudolf Steiner held in Kassel was a morning one, with the next lecture following early afternoon. Therefore, the question whether it was possible to enjoy a lunch without too long a delay, posed itself. It was then suggested that a small nearby restaurant, with a good cook, might be visited. Soon enough, a group of twenty or more participants, including Rudolf Steiner himself, presented itself unexpectedly at the restaurant, and was fortunate enough to find seats. However, with no pre-ordering done, and one single waiter on duty, a problem imposed itself: Given the presence of Rudolf Steiner, many felt the need to declare their vegetarian convictions by ordering a meatless meal. But as customary then (1914), local meat dishes were the norm in restaurant menus.

One can only imagine the scene: “Do you not have macaroni or spaghetti? What -no vegetable dishes? No salad bowls? Not even a potato pancake with blueberries, or a spinach tart with baked potatoes? Not a fish or a cottage cheese dish? Not even ..?”

In no time, the waiter’s hair stood on end, and sweat trickled down his forehead. He became a ball of nerves and could hardly keep his manners. It was now Steiner’s turn to order, and so the waiter asked him what he desired. Steiner gave him a friendly, peaceful look and said: “Bring me the daily special, please” – and that was, beefsteak! Once the meal over, one of the last guests to leave the room overheard the waiter, in deep sigh, to the proprietor: “The only sensible one among all those silly vegetarians is the slender dark gentleman in the long coat!”

Source (German): Sie Mensch von einem Menschen! Rudolf Steiner in Anekdoten by Wolfgang G. Vögele (page 76-77)

Anonymous translator

Previously posted on February 16, 2016

The more wisdom a person gains, the humbler he or she becomes

Whoever does not believe in all humility that his wisdom is the sum of all wisdom – that his judgement represents the highest judgement – will soon be able to observe that there are people apart from himself who have more wisdom and judgement [than himself], and he will listen to these beings and allow himself to be instructed by them. He will, when he gains some insight, become aware that he still has a path to follow that others have gone long before him. The more understanding a person obtains, the humbler he becomes. The clearer the realisation how much he still has to learn, the more he will be inclined to find those he can still learn from.

Anyone who thinks that he has nothing to learn from others only proves thereby that he or she has still not advanced very far. The more advanced a person is, the more he comes to recognise that human beings are on different levels of development and that there have always been those who were more advanced than their brethren – the spiritual leaders of humanity who are more advanced in their development, the highly developed, the most advanced individualities of humankind.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 264 – Zur Geschichte und aus den Inhalten der ersten Abteilung der Esoterischen Schule 1904–1914 (page 353-354)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on March 5, 2016

Good thoughts and feelings give wings to the dead

It is very important to send our thoughts and feelings to a loved one who has died and is now in the spiritual worlds. Our thoughts must not contain yearnings to have the departed back with us, as this complicates his life in the spheres in which he must now enter. What we need to send to the spiritual worlds is not the suffering we endure but the love we bear towards the departed. […] Spiritual research has shown that feelings of love give wings that bear the dead up, whereas longings like: “Oh how I wish you were still with us” create obstacles in his path. This is a general indication of how to direct our feelings in such events.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 264 – From a letter to Paula Stryczek – Berlin, 31 December 1905 (page 101)

Anonymous translator

Previously posted on February 12, 2016

Habits, Actions and Destiny

A bad habit in itself does not mean that I have done something; but if this bad habit leads to an action, this action changes the external world. In fact, everything which thus exercises an influence upon the physical world returns to us during our next life as our external destiny in the physical world. Thus the deeds of our physical body during this life become our destiny in the next. We learn this through being placed in this or in that life-situation. Whether a person is happy or unhappy in one or other condition of life depends upon his actions during his preceding life.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 100 – Theosophy and Rosicrucianism: Lecture VII: The Law of Karma – Kassel, 22nd June 1907

Previously posted on April 21, 2016