Humanity needs spirituality as a remedy

No one should say: I stand firmly upon the foundation of the ancient teachings, and these suffice for me … What do I care for those who doubt! — No opinion can be more selfish or un-Christian that this! It is still possible today for a certain number of men to live upon the foundation of old religions, but in a not too distant future this will no longer be possible. Those who have an insight into that which great social upheavals throw up to the surface, cannot judge in this way. They will realise that it is not possible to quarrel over the fact that theosophy must be proclaimed.

Thinking men know that spiritual science exists in order to supply an answer to the most burning questions, and that it is actually able to reply to all these questions. After all, one can prove or disprove anything, but this is not the essential point: It is impossible to quarrel over a REMEDY; the essential point is the success which we achieve with it. It is exactly the same with spiritual science. Humanity needs spirituality as a remedy, and it can only recover from its illnesses if this remedy streams into it. It is an evolutionary factor of our civilisation, and a giver of life.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 100 – Theosophy and Rosicrucianism: Lecture I – Kassel, 16th June 1907 

Previously posted on September 18, 2016

What poisons our economic life?

A completely different spirit must enter our economic life. This spirit must, above all, revive the connection that needs to exist between the human being and that which he produces, directly or indirectly, into the world.The present relationship is not any more right for many branches of life.

Many people are indifferent about whom they work for, and how that which they are working on, is related to the social organization. They are only interested in how much they earn through their work. That is their interest in the outer, material world, is limited to the amount of money they will receive for their labor; to what they will be able to acquire with the amount of money they earn. This limitation of interest to solely what people receive through their labor, instead of what they produce, is what poisons our entire economic life. However, herein also lies a severe obstacle to the concept of the threefold social organism.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 337b – Soziale Ideen/Soziale Wirklichkeit/ Soziale Praxis – Dornach, October 10, 1920 (page 206-207)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on November 3, 2018

Everything that is poisonous in one way, can be applied medicinally in another way

All poisonous substances, when applied in an alternative way, can be medicinal. One could say that all substances are both toxic and therapeutic. Of course, if you drink a few buckets of water in succession, it works like poison; If you drink it in the proper quantity, it is nutritious, and if one drinks it in minimal amounts, it can be medicinal. 

In general, by employing various methods, water has a potent healing ability. One can, therefore, say of most ordinary substances, that a poisonous substance can also become a medicine. Consequently, one must recognize how such an element works, including the effect it has on the human constitution. 

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 348 – Über Gesundheit und Krankheit – Dornach, January 13, 1923 (page 250)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on September 25, 2018 

Earth, water, air, and fire (or warmth)

Spiritual Science knows of four states of matter: earth, water, air, and fire or warmth. 

By “earth” we mean all that is solid; thus frozen water or ice is included in “earth”. 

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“Water” is all that is fluid; thus molten iron or metal is also “water.” 

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Air is all that is gaseous; thus steam would come under the heading of “air.” 

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Warmth

According to the view of the Physicist of the present day, fire or warmth is only a state of matter, an extremely rapid vibration of its smallest particles. 

But to Spiritual Science warmth is also a substance, one much finer than air. According to Spiritual Science, when a body is heated it absorbs the substance of warmth; when it cools it parts with warmth, the substance of warmth can condense to air, this in its turn can condense to water, and this to earth.

All substances were once present merely as warmth. When the Earth was in the Saturn condition, only warmth existed.

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Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 100 – The Gospel of St. John – Lecture III – Basle, 18 November, 1907

Translator unknown

Unnecessary tasks

It is important that people who put a lot of effort into their work, do something that is needed for everyday life, something that is valid and fruitful.

It is not a question of letting as many people as possible be involved in some task, so that they can make a living, but it is a question of participating in activities that will involve people in something that is truly worthwhile in a social sense, something that will be helpful towards developing an effective social system. 

For example, consider how many books are printed today, of which not even fifty copies will be sold. Now, take such a book – how many people will have been working on it until it is finally finished! They earn their livelihoods, but they have a completely unnecessary task. It would be more sensible if they took on a different task whereby they could relieve innumerable other people from such useless activities. However, numerous typographic services, countless book binders, produce stacks of books – usually lyrical poems, but lots of other unnecessary written work is produced as well, piles of books are produced; Almost everything will be destroyed again. But such unnecessary activities are often engaged in today; Countless things are done unnecessarily.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 337b – Soziale Ideen/Soziale Wirklichkeit/Soziale Praxis – Dornach, August 30, 1920 (page 99-100)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on August 23, 2018