Morality cannot be established by ethical preachings (2 – End)

Notwithstanding this, morals are certainly not established by ethical teachings or moral sermons. Truly not. If morals could thus be founded there would be no immorality at the present day, for one might say that the whole of humanity would be overflowing with moral activities. For undoubtedly everyone has the opportunity of hearing the finest moral principles, since people are so fond of preaching them. 

But to know what one ought to do and what is morally right is of least importance compared with the fact that there should be within us impulses which, through their inward strength, their inward power, are themselves converted into moral actions, and thus express themselves externally. 

It is well known that ethical sermons do not produce this result. A moral foundation is laid when a man is guided to the source whence he must draw the impulses which shall supply him with forces leading to ethical activity.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 155 – Anthroposophical Ethics – I – Norrköping, 28th May, 1912 

Translated by Harry Collison

large_shopenhauer

Schopenhauer

Previously posted on December 13, 2017

Mistake

Dear Readers, you have received a mail with the title One for all and all for one. This mail will not open, because I wrote the date February 3. This quote I have planned for March 3.

Best regards, Ridzerd

Morality cannot be established by ethical preachings (1 of 2)

The philosopher, Schopenhauer, in spite of much that is entirely erroneous in his philosophy, made this very true statement regarding the principles of morality. “To preach morals is easy, but to give them a foundation is difficult.” This statement is very true, for there is scarcely anything easier than to pronounce in a manner appealing to the commonest principles of human feeling and perception, what a person ought to do or leave undone in order that he may be a good man.

Many people no doubt are offended when it is asserted that this is easy, but it is easy, and one who knows life, and knows the world, will not doubt that scarcely anything has been spoken about so much as the right principles of ethical action, and the man who speaks upon general ethical principles meets with almost universal approval. One might say it pleases listening minds, for they feel they can agree in an unqualified manner with what the speaker says when he discourses on the very commonest principles of human morality.

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 155 – Anthroposophical Ethics – I – Norrköping, 28th May, 1912 

Translated by Harry Collison

large_shopenhauer

Arthur Schopenhauer

Previously posted on December 12, 2017

The best kind of anthroposophist

It might be thought that the best kind of anthroposophist is one who works at his development for a time and then engages in some activity which brings blessing on his fellow-men. But it may be that our position in external life does not enable us to put into application in the world what we elaborate in the soul. There may be no greater fallacy than to imagine that a man can be a good anthroposophist only if he actually turns to account in the world what he has learnt inwardly. 

For decades we may not be in a position to put into application any of the impulses that are now within us. Then one day we may happen to be traveling with someone in a railway carriage and are able to say something of significance which otherwise we should have had no opportunity of saying. This single action may be more significant in life than one of much wider scope. We must realise clearly what we are capable of doing and that through the working of karma, the opportunity for turning it to account will be given us at the right moment.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 118 – The Sermon on the Mount and the Return of Christ – Düsseldorf, February 20, 1910

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond

rudolf-steiner-portrait-moscow-russia-february-watercolor-vector-ink-contours-austrian-philosopher-social-reformer-architect-175801882

Portrait Steiner by Mariia Domnikova

Previously posted on December 3, 2017

Equal importance 

We must realise that from a certain point of view the smallest and the greatest achievement of which we are capable are of equal importance for the whole. Life is a mosaic, composed of tiny pieces of stone. The man who places one little piece into the mosaic is not less important than the man who thought out the plan of the mosaic.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 118 – The Sermon on the Mount and the Return of Christ – Düsseldorf, February 20, 1910

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond

bd4377915c70435fa2c02e4fdae78dcb

Mosaic of Jesus Christ

Previously posted on December 2, 2017