Julius Robert Mayer

The development of science, you know, is sometimes remarkable. A monument stands today in Heilbronn — certainly it is rather dreadful as a work of art, but still it stands there and represents Julius Robert Mayer. If you hear about him in science today, you learn that he was a pioneering genius through his researches in the 40’s of the last century into the nature of the action of heat.

Julius Robert Mayer was born in Heilbronn, practiced there as a doctor and went about without being particularly noticed. The scientists of the time paid no special attention to him. And although today he is described everywhere as a highly gifted pioneer in physics, at that time when he sat for his medical examination at Tubingen he failed it. If you made investigations, you would come on the remarkable fact that the majority of men who later became geniuses failed earlier in their examinations.

And this was also the fate of Julius Robert Mayer. By the skin of his teeth, he managed to get through and become a doctor. But no one considered him remarkable during his lifetime — in fact, quite the contrary. He became so enthusiastic about his discovery that he talked of it everywhere. Then people said that his mind was wandering and put him in an asylum. His own generation put him in a madhouse while posterity looks upon him as a great genius and puts up a monument to him in his native town.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 354 – The Evolution of the Earth and Man and The Influence of the Stars: Lecture XII – Dornach, 18th September 1924

Translated by Gladys Hahn

Julius Robert von Mayer

Julius Robert Mayer

Why do we occupy ourselves with Spiritual Science?

Why do we occupy ourselves with Spiritual Science? It is as though we were learning the vocabulary of the language through which we approach the Christ. If we take the trouble to learn to think the thoughts of Spiritual Science, and make the mental effort necessary for an understanding of the Cosmic secrets taught by Spiritual Science, then, out of the dim, dark foundations of the Cosmic mysteries, will come forth the figure of Christ Jesus, which will draw near to us and give us the strength and force in which we shall then live. The Christ will guide us, standing beside us as a brother, so that our hearts and souls may be strong enough to grow up to the necessary level of the tasks awaiting humanity in its further development.

Let us then try to acquire Spiritual Science, not as a mere doctrine but as a language, and then wait till we can find in that language,  the questions which we may venture to put to the Christ. He will answer, yes, indeed, He will answer! Plentiful indeed will be the soul-forces, the soul-strengthening, the soul-impulses, which the student will carry away with him from the grey spiritual depths through which humanity in its evolution is now passing, if he is able to receive instructions from Christ Himself; for, in the near future He will give them to those who seek.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 175 – Cosmic and Human Metamorphoses – Lecture 1 – Materialism and Spirituality (bottom of lecture) – Berlin, February 6, 1917

Translated by Harry Collison

Previously posted on February 23, 2016

The real remedy

What will be the real remedy for many of the phenomena confronting the psychoanalysts today? The universal remedy, the universal therapy will be the spread of knowledge of the spiritual world — not these individual treatments.

Life demands of us that we shall abstain from the thought: here one has to devote oneself to physical existence only and the world of post-mortem existence will reveal itself all in good time. For this also is true: just as our life here is important for the existence into which we pass between death and a new birth, so too the life of souls living between death and a new birth is important for the soul living here on Earth.

What I have now said refers to one thought — namely, the thought of disbelief in the existence of the Dead. But the Dead are and should be connected by many links with the living. […] Anthroposophical Spiritual Science strives to establish the true connection, for the life of men together on the Earth will only take its rightful course in the future, if this true relationship is established with the spiritual world. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 178 – Behind the Scenes of External Happenings – 2 – Zurich, 13th November 1917

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond & Owen Barfield

Previously posted on February 21, 2016

A lecture ending – Steiner style

So — I have tried to develop a few aspects of the question. I hope you are not altogether dissatisfied with the answer. As soon as I return (from England), we will have the next meeting. I’m sorry I can’t give lectures here and in England at the same time — such a thing is still beyond us! When we reach that point, there will be no need for a break. But for the time being, gentlemen, I must say goodbye.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 354 – The Evolution of the Earth and Man and The Influence of the Stars – Lecture IX – Dornach, 9th August 1924

Translated by Gladys Hahn

Previously posted on February 3, 2016

The welding together of human beings with machines

I have told you that in this epoch we have to solve the problem of how the radiations from human states of mind are carried over into machines; of how human beings are to be brought into relation with an environment which must become increasingly mechanized. […]

The only question is whether in the course of world-history they are going to be brought on to the scene by men who are unselfishly aware of the great aims of earth-evolution and wish to shape these developments for the healing of mankind, or by groups of men who want to use them for their own or the group’s selfish ends.

The point is not what is going to happen, for it certainly will happen, but how it happens — how these things are handled. The welding together of human beings with machines will be a great and important problem for the rest of the earth-evolution.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 178 – The Wrong and Right Use of Esoteric Knowledge – Lecture 3 – Dornach, 25th November 1917

Translated by Charles Davy

Previously posted on 29 January 2016