It will not be so comfortable

During my life I received innumerable letters from church people stating that Anthroposophy is a fine thing, but that it contradicts the “simple”, “plain Christian faith” of the soul’s salvation through Christ, of eternal life attained through Christ, without having to do anything for it. “Faith in the salvation through Christ” is something which they cannot abandon.

When people write or say such things, they think that they are especially pious. But they are simply selfish, thoroughly selfish and egoistic, for they do not wish to make any effort in their soul, they wish to leave everything to God, who will carry their soul safely through the portal of death and pension it off.

Matters will not be so comfortable in the world conception which will in future create the religious substance. We will have to grasp that the divine essence within us must be developed within the soul.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 296 – The Inexpressible Name, Spirits of Space and Time. Conquering Egotism – Dornach, 17th August 1919

Previously posted on September 27, 2015

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So many broken human souls

The stands out in contemporary life, is that there are so many broken human souls. Human souls who are struggling, who don’t know what to do with their lives, who keep asking themselves: what should I do now, what does life want from me? People who start this or that but find no satisfaction therein. There are more and more such problematic personalities.

How does this come about? This happens because there is something lacking in the way people are educated. We educate our children without awakening the forces that will help them to tackle life.  What helps to prepare people for life is the opportunity to imitate during the first seven years of life; that he can follow a worthy authority up to the fourteenth year; and that up to the twenty first year he learns to love in the right way – because these forces can no longer be developed later. What human beings miss when certain forces that need to be developed during specific years of youth, are not awakened, turns them into problematic personalities. We need to understand that!

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 296 – Die Erziehungsfrage als soziale Frage – Dornach, August 10, 1919 (page 49)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on September 27, 2017

In essence, thinking is certainly not a brain-process

Nothing of what man experiences on earth can be experienced without the support of the bodily nature. We might easily imagine, for example, that thinking is a purely spiritual act, and that in the way it comes about on earth in the human soul it has nothing to do with existence in a body. In one sense this is so. But spiritually independent as human thinking is, it could not take its course here in earth existence were it unable to have the support of the body and its processes. I may avail myself of a comparison which I have often used here on similar occasions. When a man is walking, the ground he walks on is certainly not the essential part of his activity; the essential part is inside his skin; but without the support of the ground he could not get along.

It is the same with thinking. In essence, thinking is certainly not a brain-process, but without the support of the brain it could not take its earthly course. In the light of this comparison one gets a right conception of the spirituality as well as of the physical limitations of human thinking In short, my dear friends, here in earthly life there is nothing in man that does not depend on the body for support. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 218 – MEMORY AND LOVE – Stuttgart, 4 December, 1922

Nothing is more detrimental for the child than acquiring the habit of forming its own judgment at too early an age, before having reached sexual maturity

Nothing is more detrimental for the child than acquiring the habit of forming its own judgment at too early an age, before having reached sexual maturity.

You are aware that between the 7th and 14th/ 15th year – after which it becomes sexually mature – there lives in the child an ability, that could be described as the power to act on authority. There is nothing better for the child, than to undertake something out of veneration for the person who says: that’s good, that needs to be done. Nothing is more detrimental for the child than acquiring the habit of forming its own judgment at too early an age, before having reached sexual maturity.

In the future, the sense of authority between the 7th and 14th year should be developed much more intensively than in the past. Education in these years will increasingly need to be consciously focused on developing a pure feeling for authority in the child; because what the child acquires in these years, will form the basis for experiencing the equality in the social organism that every person deserves. Equal rights will only arise in this way, because people will never mature as adults towards a feeling for equal rights, when they do not develop a sense for authority during childhood. In the past, a much less strong feeling for authority might have been enough; in the future, it will not be sufficient.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 296  -Die Erziehungsfrage als soziale Frage – Dornach, August 9, 1919 (page 19)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on Januari 20, 2018

The first essential is to avoid one-sidedness

It is essential, if one wants to form a correct idea of what thinking is, to understand clearly that the truth of a thought in the realm to which it belongs is no evidence for its general validity. Someone can offer me a perfectly correct proof of this or that and yet it will not hold good in a sphere to which it does not belong. Anyone, therefore, who intends to occupy himself seriously with the paths that lead to a conception of the world must recognise that the first essential is to avoid one-sidedness. That is what I specially want to bring out to-day.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 151 – Human and Cosmic Thought: Lecture II – Berlin, 21st January 1914

Translated by Charles Davy

Previously posted on 26th September 2015