Knowledge – what is its actual value?

All the spiritual scientific concepts that one makes one’s own should not be absorbed in the same way as outer knowledge. I want to say, though it sounds a bit paradoxical: in general, knowledge is not particularly valuable. What is of value is what we become through that knowledge. This also applies to education. What the child learns through geography, is of particular external importance, but is of no real significance for the soul.

It is essential that the child later if it wants to travel from Dornach, let us say, to Zurich, does not confuse Zurich with Bern, or makes some comparable mistake. It, therefore, is of some importance that the child learns Geography. However, internally, it is of importance what the soul becomes, through learning Geography. One becomes able in one’s soul, to orientate oneself in the world.  One frees out of the depths of the soul specific spiritual forces, and it is the releasing of these forces that are achieved through learning Geography.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 191 – Soziales Verständnis aus geisteswissenschaftlicher Erkenntnis – Dornach, October 5, 1919 (page 63)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger