Poverty, misery and suffering are nothing but the result of egoism (1 of 4)

Poverty, misery and suffering are nothing but the result of egoism. One should look upon this as a law of nature. A man is egotistical as soon as he lives in accordance with the principle: I must be remunerated personally, I must be paid for the work that I do. An esoteric must ask himself whether work is really what sustains life. Work is of no importance if it isn’t directed wisely. What serves men can only be produced and made through the wisdom that men put into it. One who doesn’t understand this and who sins against it even slightly, sins against the social thinking of the present time.

Reflection on this in all of its possible phases strengthens thinking. A social democrat who reflects on how to create work to get rid of joblessness is thinking antisocially in the highest degree. Instead the main thing is that work should only be used for human beings, to create valuable products.

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 – From the Contents of Esoteric Classes – Hamburg, 3rd March 1906

Health-giving thoughts

Thought possesses healing power. […] Someone who understands these things may say to you that certain thoughts give health, and the person who hears this may at a certain time be affected by this or that illness. Indeed, my dear friends, the fact that we cannot at present be relieved of all illnesses by the mere power of thought is due to an ancient heritage. But are you able to say what illnesses would have overtaken you if you had not possessed the thoughts? Could you say that your life would have been passed in its present degree of health if you had not possessed these thoughts? In the case of a person who has applied himself to spiritual science guided by Anthroposophy and who dies at the age of 45 years, can you prove that, without these thoughts, he would not have died at 42 or 40 years of age? Human beings tend always to think from the wrong direction when they deal with these thoughts. They direct their attention to what cannot be bestowed upon them, by reason of their karma, but do not pay attention to what is bestowed upon them by reason of their karma. But if, in spite of everything contradictory in the external physical world, you direct your look with the power of inner confidence which you have gained through intimate familiarity with the thoughts of spiritual science, you then come to feel the healing power, a healing power which penetrates even into the physical body, refreshing, rejuvenating — the third element, which the Christ as the Healer brings with his never ceasing revelations into the human soul.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 187 – The Birth of Christ in the Human Soul – Basel, December 22, 1918

Translated by Olin D. Wannamaker

Kind words have a direct effect on us

The kind words spoken to us have a direct effect on us, just as color affects our eyes directly. The love living in the other’s soul is borne into your soul on the wings of the words. This is direct perception; there can be no question here of interpretation. […] We live with the souls of others just as we live with colors and sounds. Anyone who does not realize this knows absolutely nothing of our inner life. It is very important to understand these things.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 169 – Toward Imagination: Lecture 3: The Twelve Human Senses – Berlin, 20th June 1916

Translated by Sabine H. Seiler

Necessary knowledge

Nobody can fail to realise that it is just as necessary for a human being to have knowledge, feeling and perceptiveness of the life between death and the new birth as of earthly life itself. For when he enters earthly life at birth, the confidence, strength and hopefulness connected with that life depend upon what forces he brings with him from the life between the last death and the present birth. But again, the forces we are able to acquire during that life depend upon our conduct in the earlier incarnation, upon our moral and religious disposition or the quality of our attitude of soul.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 141 – Between Death and Rebirth: LECTURE TWO – Berlin, 20th November 1912

Translated by E.H. Goddard & D.S. Osmond

Today, people still deny the existence of a spiritual realm

Just as mankind has to do with the three realms of nature, he also has to do with three spiritual realms. Now you may say: It is of no consequence whether I believe it or not, for these three kingdoms are not visible, not perceptible. Yes, gentlemen, I have known people, to whom it had to be explained that air exists! They could not believe that there was something like air. When I say to such a person, this is a table – that he can believe, for when he goes to the table, he can knock on the table, and when he looks at it, he sees the table with his own eyes, but he cannot bump into the air. He looks around and says, there is nothing here. However, everyone nowadays admits the existence of air. The existence of air is simply accepted.

In the same way, it will happen that people will come to admit the existence of a spiritual world. Today, people still say: The spiritual realm simply does not exist – in the same manner that the peasants used to say: There is no air. – In my native village the peasants used to say: there is no air at all, only the big-headed people from the city assert that because they want to give the impression that they are so clever; one can walk through it because there is nothing to walk through! – But that was long ago. Today, farmers also accept that air exists. But even the smartest people still don’t recognize that there are spiritual beings everywhere! They will, however, acknowledge it in due time, because otherwise certain things simply will be inexplicable, things that will need to be understood.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 353 – Die Geschichte der Menschheit und die Weltanschauungen der Kulturvölker – Dornach, June 25, 1924 (page 306)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger