Unconsciously experiences between going to sleep and waking

We carry within us during the day, from waking until going to sleep, the after-effects of the experiences of the night; and if it is true that for the civilization in which we live what we do with the instrumentality of consciousness is of great significance, it is no less true that all that goes on with our own selves depends very little indeed upon our consciousness, and very much upon what we experience unconsciously between going to sleep and waking.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 218 – The Experiences of Sleep and their Spiritual Background – Stuttgart, October 9th, 1922

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Previously posted on January 13, 2018

The way to regard a criminal

If I am a teacher, and my pupil does not fulfill my expectations, I must not divert my resentment against him but against myself. I must feel myself as one with my pupil, to the extent of asking myself: “Is my pupil’s deficiency not the result of my own action?” Instead of directing my feelings against him I shall rather reflect on my own attitude, so that the pupil may in the future be better able to satisfy my demands. Proceeding from such an attitude, a change will come over the student’s whole way of thinking. 

This holds good in all things, great or small. Such an attitude of mind, for instance, alters the way I regard a criminal. I suspend my judgment and say to myself: “I am, like him, only a human being. Through favorable circumstances I received an education which perhaps alone saved me from a similar fate.” I may then also come to the conclusion that this human brother of mine would have become a different man had my teachers taken the same pains with him they took with me. I shall reflect on the fact that something was given to me which was withheld from him, that I enjoy my fortune precisely because it was denied him. And then I shall naturally come to think of myself as a link in the whole of humanity and a sharer in the responsibility for everything that occurs.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 10 – Knowledge of the Higher Worlds: V: The Conditions of Esoteric Training

Translated by George Metaxa

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Painting by David Newbatt

Previously posted on December 24, 2017