About Intellectual Property and Copyrights

Nowadays lawsuits are enacted against the stealing of thoughts, of the spiritual property of others. Lawsuits against plagiarism were never instituted by the Rosicrucians. They did not mind what the personal source was from which such things went out; the main thing was that they came into the world. It is a vicious custom of our time to institute legal proceedings against the stealing of thoughts.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 284 – On Chaos and Cosmos – Berlin, October 19th, 1907

Previously posted on January 25, 2016

It is of the very essence of Spiritual Science that activity should be demanded

One hears it said so often: The literature of Spiritual Science available to us is written in such a difficult style; it demands such effort and such intense development of the forces of the soul if any real headway is to be made. “Well-meaning” people — the adjective in inverted commas — are always coming forward with the suggestion that difficult passages should be simplified for their fellow-men; they want to trivialise — this I say without inverted commas — what is written in a rather difficult style.

But it is of the very essence of Spiritual Science that activity should be demanded of the soul; that Spiritual Science should not be easy to master. For in Spiritual Science it is not a matter merely of absorbing what is said about one thing or another, but of how things are absorbed — by dint of effort and activity of the soul. What Spiritual Science has to offer must be assimilated with sweat of the brow. That is a sine qua non in the whole business — forgive the colloquialism.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 275 – Technology and Art: Their Bearing on Modern Culture – Dornach, 28th December 1914

Translated by Dorothy Osmond

Previously posted on January 18, 2016

Mysticism/sophisticated selfishness/self-deception

When what has been brought to you for some years now as Anthroposophical oriented spiritual science was initiated, many of those who were drawn to what was brought here by me as the basis of this Anthroposophical Science, said: we would rather delve into the mysticism of Meister Eckhart, in the mysticism of Johannes Tauler. After all, that is so much simpler; then one can so blissfully and snugly say: I sink into my inner self, I become aware of the higher man in me, my higher I has taken hold of the divine in me. But surely that is nothing more than a refined egotism, nothing but a retreat into the own egotistical personality, a walking away from all of mankind, an inner deceiving of the self.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 196 – Geistige und soziale Wandlungen in der Menschheitsentwickelung – Dornach, 6 February 1920 (Seite 157)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Fashion is a Tyrant

In these days there is much talk about being hardy. Think how the children are “hardened”! Nowadays (in wealthy homes, of course, but then other people quickly follow suit) the children are dressed — well, when we were children, we wore long breeches and were well covered — at the most, we went barefoot — now, the clothes only go down to the knee or are still shorter. If parents knew that this is the best preparation for later attacks of appendicitis, they would be more thoughtful. But fashion is a tyrant! — no thought is given to the matter, and the children are dressed so that their little dresses only reach to the knee, or less. Someday they will only reach to the stomach — that will be the fashion! Fashion has a strong influence.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 354 – Nutrition and Health – Dornach, 2nd August 1924

Translated by Gladys Hahn

Previously posted on January 15, 2016

The Gods must intervene if we are to acquire greater morality

Man needs the life of sleep in order that the moral impulses he absorbs through the life of thought can come into effective activity. In his ordinary life today, man is capable of accomplishing what is right only on the plane of intellect; he is less able to accomplish anything on the moral plane, for there he is dependent upon help coming from the macrocosm.

What is already within us can bring about the further development of intellectuality, but the gods must come to our aid if we are to acquire greater moral strength. We sink into sleep in order that we may plunge into the divine will where the intellect does not intervene and where divine forces transform into the power of will the moral principles we receive, where they instill into our will what we could otherwise receive only into our thoughts.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 130 – The Etherisation of the Blood – Basle, October 1, 1911

Translated by Gilbert Church & Alice Wulsin

Previously posted on January 12, 2016