Fear and contempt facing spiritual knowledge

The present disposition of people, particularly those of Central Europe, is to either fear or despise spiritual knowledge. These two attitudes, which are inwardly related, are connected with the extremely difficult – and destined to worsen – conditions in Central Europe.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 192 – Geisteswissenschaftliche Behandlung sozialer und pädagogischer Fragen – Stuttgart, 20 July 1919 (page 299)

Anonymous translator

Previously posted on April 8, 2016

This wonder-structure of the human physical organism

Anyone who has a sufficiently deep feeling for what is truly human will realize, simply by observing how the child develops through walking, speaking, and thinking, what a tremendously important part is played by these three faculties in the earthly evolution of man. But man is not only an earthly being; he is a being who belongs not only to the Earth with its forces and substances, but equally to the spiritual world; he is involved in the activities proceeding between the several Beings of the Higher Hierarchies.

It is, so to speak, only with a part of his being that man belongs to earthly existence; with the other part he belongs to a world that is not the material world perceptible to the senses. It is in that other world that he prepares his spirit-seed. Let it never be imagined that man’s achievements in culture and civilization on the Earth, however complex and splendid they may be, are at all comparable with the greatness of what is achieved by him together with the Beings of the Higher Hierarchies in order to build this wonder-structure of the human physical organism.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 219 – MAN AND THE WORLD OF STARS: I – Dornach, November 26, 1922

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond

Atmosphere after death

Just as here on Earth we have the summer air around us giving warmth and life, and as we have the cold and frosty winter air around us, so, after death, we are surrounded by an atmosphere of soul-and-spirit that is warm and life-giving in so far as it is produced through our good feelings, and chilling in so far as it is produced through our evil feelings.

Here on Earth, in certain regions at least, the summer and winter temperatures are the same for all of us. In the time after death, each human being has his own atmosphere, engendered by himself. And the most moving experiences after death are connected with the fact that one man lives in icy cold and the other, close beside him, in life-giving warmth.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 219 – Man and the World of Stars: II: Moral Qualities and the Life After Death. Windows of the Earth. – Dornach, December 1, 1922

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond

The guardian of the threshold of the spiritual world

We may say that there is hidden within man a being that keeps careful watch and ward on the boundary which has to be crossed at the entrance to the supersensible world. This spiritual being, hidden in man, which is man himself, but which he can as little perceive with ordinary consciousness as the eye can see itself, is the guardian of the threshold of the spiritual world. We learn to recognise him at the moment at which we are not only actually he, but are also confronting him, as though we were standing outside him, and he were another being.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 17 – The Threshold of the Spiritual World: VIII: Concerning the Guardian of the Threshold

The theories are very ingenious and astute, but cannot grasp reality

These days human beings speak of the soul and the spirit, for sure; they speak of the body and its physical qualities. And then great philosophies on the relationship between soul and body are engendered. There exist comprehensive theories by the cleverest people. The theories are ingenious, very perceptive, but they cannot grasp reality, for the simple reason that the only way to grasp reality is when the whole human being, the all-inclusive human being, can be seen in direct perception, when the interweaving activity of both the spiritual-psychic and corporal-physical is considered. And the person who truly contemplates contemporary perceptions grasped by humanity, will likewise discover how grey and hazy both outer and inner human knowledge is.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 303 – Die gesunde Entwickelung des Menschenwesens – Eine Einführung in die anthroposophische Pädagogik und Didaktik – Dornach, 28 December 1921 (page 102-103)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger