The Shadow Side of our Personal Convictions

The shadow side of personal conviction is wilfulness, pride in our thoughts. As good as it is to advocate one’s own opinion without reservation, from another point of view, it is necessary to assert the ideas of one’s fellow human beings as entirely as well. And how little does this fit the character of those who hold fast to their conviction! They often show intolerance in their feeling and thinking, which makes it impossible for them to engage in the opinions of others.

Sure: they will almost always advocate the importance of tolerance. But in practice, they can hardly manage it because it is not a question of recognising a principle but living it. One must make it one’s own through practice. One should get used to inward tolerance, tolerance of thought, through strict self-discipline. And if you manage it in the smallest instances, it will eventually become a fundamental characteristic for your entire life.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 34 – LUCIFER- GNOSIS 1903-1908 GRUNDLEGENDE AUFSÄTZE ZUR ANTHROPOSOPHIE UND BERICHTE – april 1904 (bladzijde 453)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger