Contradictions in the gospels

It is actually true that the advanced theology of the nineteenth century, because it desired to be scientific in the modern sense, lost the Christ; that theology was happy to have at last instead “the simple man of Nazareth”. Christ was now “the loftiest human being on earth.” Of the Christ indwelling within Jesus no conception could any longer be formed.

Thus the evolution since the fourth Post-Christian century has consisted of a gradual loss of the connection of man with the Christ in that living form as it was conceived by many persons during the first centuries of Christianity. Thus it came about, moreover, that the content of the gospels was less and less understood. You see, the human beings who lived during the first centuries of Christianity would have considered it utterly astonishing to speak of contradictions in the gospels. It is as if someone was familiar with the picture of a human being taken from the front and that a photograph was brought to him taken in profile, and if he should say: “This cannot be a picture of the same person” — thus would it have appeared to persons of the first Christian centuries if one had spoken to them of contradictions in the Gospels. They knew very well that the four Gospels simply present a picture taken from four different points of view. The human being of the present time would say that these are exceptional presentations, that they are from all different sides. In the spiritual world everything is far richer; in the spiritual world photographs would have to be taken from various sides as one has four Gospels.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 224 – The Waking of the Human Soul and the Forming of Destiny/The Need for Understanding The Christ – II – Prague, 29th April 1923

Translated by Olin D. Wannamaker

Previously posted on April 12, 2019



A human being is born less capable than, for example, a hen, or a beaver

In the course of his history man has had to learn the use of the most primitive instruments, and our children have still to learn the simplest things, and have to spend a certain time in order to learn them.

Man has to make efforts to produce even the simplest things, or to manufacture his instruments and tools. When, on the other hand, when we observe the animals we are obliged to admit how much easier it is for them in this respect.

Think how the beaver builds its complicated dwelling. It does not need to learn; it knows how to do it, because it brings the knowledge with it as an indwelling law, just as we human beings bring with us the power of changing our teeth at about seven years of age. No one needs to learn that.

In the same way, such animals as the beavers bring with them the capability to build their houses. If you observe the animal kingdom you will find that the animals bring with them definite capacities by which they can achieve things which human art, great as it is, is far from achieving.

The question may now arise: How does it come about that when a human being is born he is less capable than, for example, a hen, or a beaver; and that he has first, with much pains, to acquire what these creatures already bring with them? (See link full lecture below)  

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 120 – Manifestations of Karma: LECTURE 2: KARMA AND THE ANIMAL KINGDOM – Hamburg, 17th May 1910


How did the beaver learn to build its complicated dwelling?

If ever your soul is weak

If ever your soul is weak, if ever you believe that the goals of earth-existence are beyond your reach, think of man’s divine origin and become aware of those forces within you which are also the forces of supreme Love. Become inwardly conscious of the forces which give you confidence and certainty in all your works, through all your life, now and in all ages of time to come.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – The Festivals and Their Meaning: III: The Birth of the Sun-Spirit as the Spirit of the Earth: THE THIRTEEN HOLY NIGHTSHanover, 26th December, 1911


Uplifting fact

Where the spiritual world is concerned the first essential is that we should develop thoughts about it. And even if it seems as though the dead were remote, while present life is near and close at hand, the very fact that we have such thoughts as have been described today, that we let our mind dwell on things seemingly remote from external life — this very fact uplifts and develops the soul, imparts to it spiritual force and spiritual nourishment.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 182 – The Dead Are With Us – Nuremberg, 10th February 1918

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond

Previously posted on April 10, 2019


Those who eat in order to live / Those who live in order to eat

There are men … how shall I speak of them? Let us say they are ready eaters; they are fond of eating. Others are not so fond of eating. I do not want to say gluttonous people and non-gluttonous people for this would hardly be in place in a serious study. But I will say: there are people who are fond of eating and there are others who are less fond of it. This too is connected in a certain sense with what the human being experiences in his passage between death and a new birth, before and after the midnight summit of existence. The middle point here is the midnight summit of existence.

There are human beings who, as I will put it, ascend very high into the spiritual, and there are others who do not rise so high. Those who ascend very high will eat in order to live. Those who do not rise so high will live in order to eat.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 236 – Karmic Relationships: Esoteric Studies – Volume II – Lecture VIII – Dornach, 10th May 1924

Translated by G. Adams, M. Cotterell, C. Davy, & D.S. Osmond

Previously posted on April 7, 2019