Very difficult

People often say: “This is becoming very difficult — we can’t keep up with it.” But look — with really flexible thinking, free from prejudice, you will be able to keep up.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 227 – The Evolution of Consciousness: V: The Relation of Man to the Three Worlds – Penmaenmawr, 23rd August, 1923  

Translated by Violet E. Watkin & Charles Davy

Previously posted on April 2, 2019



Terrible belief in authority more dreadful than medieval tyranny

We must especially beware of attending too much in any era to what emerges as authority. As long as we lack spiritual insight, this can seriously mislead us. This is particularly true in one area of human culture: the field of materialistic medicine. Here we can discern the decisive influence of authority, and the ever increasing claim to authority, which is in fact far, far more dreadful than any kind of medieval tyranny.

We find ourselves in the very midst of this tendency, which will keep increasing. People may mock the ghosts of medieval superstition, but we can ask if anything much has changed. Has this fear of ghosts faded? Aren’t people actually far more afraid of ghosts than they were back then? What happens in the human soul when people are told they carry 60,000 bacilli on their hands is far more terrible than generally acknowledged.

In America statistics have been calculated about how many such bacilli can be found on a man’s moustache. At least the ghosts of medieval times were, one might say, decent ghosts; but modern bacilli-ghosts are too minuscule to grapple with. The fear invoked by them is only just beginning, and leads, in health matters, to people succumbing to a really terrible belief in authority.

Source:  Rudolf Steiner – The Mission of the New Spirit Revelation – Mannheim, January 5, 1911 (p. 9)  This one is not in RS Archive.

Related posts:

Recommended books: Vaccination in the Work of Rudolf Steiner


Viral Illness an Epidemics in the work of Rudolf Steiner


Whatever meets our sense-perception is but a kind of illusory picture

We must not imagine that the reflection of the Universe which we see when we speak so the starry world from the earthly point of view, is also the view presented to our super-sensible perception between death and rebirth. That which appears simply externally to us here on Earth as the starry world, then reveals itself in its nature, in its Spiritual being. We have then to do with the inner aspect of what, while we are on Earth, simply reveals its external aspect. Indeed we must admit that both when we look down on to the Earth as will as when we look up to the Cosmos, in so far as we are dealing with a sense impression we always have a sort of illusion before us; and we only come to the truth when we can penetrate to those Beings who lie at the bottom of this illusion, with their various degrees of Cosmic self-consciousness.

Whether man looks up or down, I must therefore call it illusion; the truth, the Being , lies behind this illusion.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 203 – The Responsibility of Man for World Evolution/ The Real Being of Man/The Balance between Lucifer and Ahriman – Dornach, 29th January 1921

Previously posted on March 23, 2019


Forces expended during sleep on the physical body / Consciousness after death

If we are clear that during the whole of a man’s waking life he is wearing out his physical body and that life in the daytime has fundamentally a destructive effect — as indeed we realise when we get tired — it will be evident that since in the morning we are able to go on consciously with our work, the destruction can be made good during the night. 

So, whereas in our waking state we are working all the time destructively on our bodily organism, at night, on the contrary, we are engaged in repairing the damage by replenishing our bodily vigour. We are then carrying out an activity beyond the range of consciousness. Directly we revert to any degree of consciousness, there arise those strange dream pictures that are so closely related to life in the body. We need remember only how bodily ailments may sometimes find expression in these pictures, showing where consciousness is involved. 

Since after death the physical body disappears, no effects of exhaustion have to be made good. Hence the forces expended during sleep on the physical body withdraw again into the soul after death, enabling it, free of the physical body, to use them for itself; and between death and a new birth they become the soul’s consciousness. In proportion as the soul is freed from the physical and etheric bodies, with everything belonging to them, so does another consciousness arise, one that is not engaged in work on the physical body and for that reason unable to be aware of itself.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 61 – The Nature of Eternity – Berlin, March 21st, 1912


Franziska Steiner – mother of Rudolf

Spiritual beings live and are active in man’s speech

If we go back to the time that preceded the last four centuries, man not only had a different relationship to his environment than he has today, but he had, above all, an entirely different relationship to something that comes to expression in himself, really comes to expression in himself; he had a different connection with his speech, to the way he spoke. Speech does not only contain what modern materialistic science believes it does; there is something in speech which in many ways is connected with man’s not fully-conscious experiences, which often occur in the subconscious realms of his being, and which are therefore interpenetrated by spiritual beings. Spiritual beings live and are active in man’s speech, and when man forms words, elemental spiritual beings pour into these words. During human conversations spiritual beings fly about the room on the wings of the words. This is why it is so important that we pay attention to certain subtleties of speech, and do not simply let uncontrolled feelings get the better of us when we speak.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 275 – Art as Seen in the Light of Mystery Wisdom: Lecture One: TECHNOLOGY AND ART – Dornach, 28th December 1914

Translated by Pauline Wehrle

Previously posted on march 20, 2019