We should be grateful to people if they treat us badly, because then we can exercise our tolerating forces. We should try to love these people anyway, and we’ll then notice that this is the right thing to do.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 – From the Contents of Esoteric Classes – Part II – Munich, 10th January 1912

Previously posted on April 17, 2017


There is no need to believe the communications of Spiritual Science

To one who believes the communications of Spiritual Science to be pure fantasy, we say: believe what you will. You may even consider Spiritual Scientists to be the biggest frauds on Earth. But keep this firmly in mind: there’s something else that lies between believing and disbelieving, and that is listening without prejudice.

Here’s an unlikely case in point: If one to whom you give a map of Asia Minor tells you: “this is not a map of Asia Minor, but a figment of your imagination”, respond: what you say now does not matter, but do remember the map details, and once you travel to Asia Minor, you will find out for yourself that the map is absolutely correct.

No one needs to believe the communications of spiritual science. Given a precise and unprejudiced outlook we will find enough evidence in this life to confirm the one after.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 54 – Die Welträtsel und die Anthroposophie – Berlijn, 15 February 1906 (page 282-283)

Anonymous translator

Previously posted on February 8, 2016


To be tolerant means in the sense of Spiritual Science something quite different from what one understands usually about it. It means also to respect the freedom of thought in others. To push others away from their place is an insult, but if one does the same thing in thought nobody would say this is an injustice. We talk a lot about “regard for the other’s opinion,” but are not really willing to apply this principle ourselves.

The “Word” today has almost no meaning, one hears it and one has heard nothing. One has to learn to listen with one’s soul, to get hold of the most intimate things with our soul. What later manifests itself in physical life is always present in the spirit first. So we must suppress our opinion and really listen completely to the other, not only listen to the word but even to the feeling. Even then, if in us a feeling will stir that it is wrong what the other one says, it is much more powerful to be able to listen as long as the other one talks than to jump into their speech. This listening creates a completely different understanding — you feel as if the soul of the other starts to warm you through, to shine through you, if you confront “her” in this manner with absolute tolerance.

We shall not only grant the freedom of person but complete freedom. We shall even treasure the freedom of the other’s opinion. This stands only as an example for many things. If one cuts off someone’s speech one does something similar to kicking the other from the point of view of the spiritual world. If one brings oneself as far as to understand that it is much more destructive to cut somebody off than to give them a kick, only then one comes as far as to understand mutual help or community right into one’s soul. Then it becomes a reality.

Bron: Rudolf Steiner – GA 54 – Brotherhood and the Fight for Survival – Berlin, November 23nd, 1905

Translated by Manfred Maier & Nicholas Stanton

Previously posted on June 6, 2016

Without karma, no progress would be possible

With every error, every lie, every illusion, we cast an obstacle in the way of progress. We should fall back in our progress to exactly the same extent to which we had cast obstacles in our path through sin and error, if we were not in a position to rectify them; in other words, we could not reach man’s true goal. It would be impossible to attain this goal if the counter-forces, the forces of karma, were not in operation.

Suppose that in some life you commit a wrong. If this wrong were to become firmly fixed in your life it would mean nothing less than that you would lose the step forward which you would have taken had you not committed the wrong; with every wrong, a step would be lost — enough steps to correspond exactly with the wrongs committed. If the possibility of surmounting error had not been given, man must ultimately have been submerged by it. But the blessing of karma was bestowed. What does this blessing mean for man? Is karma something at which to shudder, something to dread? No, indeed! Karma is a power for which man should be thankful. For karma says to us: If you have committed a wrong, remember that “God is not mocked; whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap”. An error demands that you shall right it; then, having expunged it from your karma you can again take a step forward!

Without karma, no progress would be possible. Karma is a blessing that has been vouchsafed to us, inasmuch as it obliges us to rectify every error, to re-achieve the steps that thrust us back.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 107 – The Deed of Christ and the Opposing Spiritual Powers – Berlin, 22nd  March 1909

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond

Previously posted on June 3, 2016