Relaxation through effort/About sleeping and thinking

We all know that working on a difficult calculation has a different effect on our thinking than reading a novel. We notice that we get tired when our thinking demands an effort from us. This can be easily understood, since it provides us with a means to falling asleep more easily. It must, however, not be images that particularly irritate us, nor must it be thoughts that give us cause to worry; it must however be thoughts that we find difficult. This can be experienced by everyone: we fall asleep relatively easily when we fill ourselves with thoughts that awaken  a feeling of duty in us.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 143 – Erfahrungen des Übersinnlichen/Die drei Wege der Seele zu Christus – Winterthur, January 14, 1912 (page 31)

Translated bij Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Preciously posted on April 4, 2015

In Devachan the laws of Nature and the moral and intellectual laws coincide

The chief characteristic of Devachan is that moral facts can no longer be distinguished from physical facts, or physical laws; moral laws and physical laws coincide. What is meant by this? In the ordinary physical world the sun shines over the just and the unjust; one who has committed a crime may perhaps be put in prison, but the physical sun will not be darker because of this fact. This signifies that the world of sense-reality has both a moral order of laws and physical one; but they follow two entirely different directions. In Devachan it is otherwise — there, this difference does not exist at all. In Devachan everything that arises out of something moral, or intellectually wise, or esthetically beautiful, etc., leads to a creation, is creative — whereas everything that arises out of something immoral, intellectually untrue, or esthetically ugly, leads to destruction, is destructive.

The laws of Nature in Devachan are indeed of such kind that the sun does not shine equally brightly over the just and the unjust. Speaking figuratively, we may say that the sun actually is darkened in the case of an unrighteous man, whereas the righteous man who passes through Devachan really finds in it the spiritual sunshine, that is, the influence of the life-spending forces which help him forward in life. A liar or an ugly-minded man will pass through Devachan in such a way that the spiritual forces withdraw from him. In Devachan an order of laws is possible, which is not possible here or earth. When two people, a righteous and an unrighteous one, walk side by side here on the earth, it is not possible for the sun to shine upon one and not to shine upon the other. But in the spiritual world the influence of the spiritual forces undoubtedly depends upon the quality of a human being. In Devachan this signifies that the laws of Nature and the spiritual laws do not follow separate directions, but the same direction. This is the essential thing which must be borne in mind — in Devachan the laws of Nature and the moral and intellectual laws coincide.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 143 – Reflections of Consciousness, Super-consciousness and Sub-consciousness – Munich, February 25, 1912

Previously posted on May 21, 2016

How absurdly a person may err when he judges merely by externals

I will give you an example to show how absurdly a person may err when he judges merely by externals. He might say: ‘I know of a man who was a great adherent of the anthroposophical conceptions. Now the Anthroposophists declare that health is always improved by their teachings and even that life is prolonged by them. Fine teaching this! The man died at forty-three!’

So much they know: that he dies at forty-three; they have seen it. But how much do they not know? They do not know the age at which the man would have died had he known nothing of Anthroposophy. Perhaps, without Anthroposophy, he might have died at forty! If the span of a man’s life reaches to his fortieth year without Anthroposophy, it may very well extend to his forty-third with Anthroposophy. Inasmuch as Anthroposophy penetrates into life, its effects will also show themselves in life.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 112 – The Gospel of St. John – Lecture VII – Cassel, 30th June 1909

Translated by George Metaxa

Previously posted on March 11,  2016

The Spiritland  (2 – End)

True, the first look into this spiritland is still more bewildering than the first glimpse into the soul world because the archetypes in their true form are very unlike their sensory reflections. They are, however, just as unlike their shadows, the abstract thoughts. In the spiritual world all is in perpetual, mobile activity in the process of ceaseless creating. A state of rest, a remaining in one place such as we find in the physical world, does not exist here because the archetypes are creative beings.

They are the master builders of all that comes into being in the physical and soul worlds. Their forms change rapidly and in each archetype lies the possibility of assuming myriads of specialized forms. They let the different shapes well up out of them, as it were, and no sooner is one produced than the archetype sets about pouring forth the next one from itself. Moreover, the archetypes stand in more or less intimate relationships to each other. They do not work singly. The one requires the help of the other in its creating. Often innumerable archetypes work together in order that this or that being in the soul or physical world may arise.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – Theosophy – Chapter III: The Three Worlds: 3. The Spiritland

Translated by Henry B. Monges and revised for this edition by Gilbert Church, Ph.D.

The Spiritland (1 of 2)

In this world there are to be seen, first, the spiritual archetypes of all things and beings that are present in the physical and soul worlds. Imagine a painter’s picture existing in his mind before it is painted. This gives an analogy to what is meant by the expression archetype. It does not concern us here that the painter has perhaps not had such an archetype in his mind before he paints and that it only gradually develops and becomes complete during the execution of the picture. In the real world of spirit there exist such archetypes for all things, and the physical things and beings are copies of these archetypes.

It is quite understandable when anyone who only trusts his outer senses denies this archetypal world and holds that archetypes are merely abstractions gained by an intellectual comparison of sense objects. Such a person simply cannot see in this higher world. He knows the thought world only in its shadowy abstraction. He does not know that the person with spiritual vision is as familiar with spirit beings as he himself is with his dog or his cat, and that the archetypal world has a far more intense reality than the world of the physical senses.

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – Theosophy – Chapter III: The Three Worlds: 3. The Spiritland

Translated by Henry B. Monges and revised for this edition by Gilbert Church, Ph.D.