We have in German a good expression for a man who refuses to become wise. We call him a Philistine. [German: Philister – The German and the English meanings of the word are rather different. (Tr.)] A Philistine is a man who resists the development of wisdom, who wants to remain as he is his whole life through, without altering his opinions.
A man who seeks to become wise makes the effort to carry over the work which he has done and stored up in the course of earlier incarnations. The wiser we become, the more we bring over from earlier incarnations into the present, and if we do not wish to become wise, so that we leave barren the wisdom developed in earlier incarnations, there is then one who comes to saw it off: Ahriman. No-one likes it better than Ahriman that we fail to grow wiser.
Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 159 – The Great Virtues – Zürich, January 31, 1915
Previously posted on August 18, 2018