The esoteric pupil must try to discover the positive in every phenomenon and in every being. He will then soon notice a hidden beauty underneath the ugly outer appearance, that even behind the exterior of a criminal something good can be found, that even in a mentally disturbed person, in one way or another, the divine soul is hidden. This exercise is somewhat related to what one calls refraining from criticism. However, one must not conceive this matter as if one should call black white and white black. There is a difference between an evaluation that emanates from the personality and is based on personal sympathy and antipathy. There is another standpoint possible where someone places him- or herself lovingly in the place of an unfamiliar phenomenon or being and constantly wondering: how does the other come to be like this or do things in this way? From such a position, it happens naturally that a person will be more apt to want to help the other to overcome his or her imperfections instead of merely commenting or criticising.
Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 267 – Seelenübungen (page 58-59)
Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger
Previously posted on November 10, 2016