Theory / Experience / Knowledge

It is only actual experience that gives knowledge; no theory ever does so. Every theory starts from some special domain and then proceeds to generalize. True knowledge can only be acquired when we start from life and from experience. We must not therefore consider the laws of gravity by themselves, or the laws of plant life, or the laws of animal instinct, or the laws of mental coercion, because if we do, we think only of their details, generalize them, and then arrive at entirely false conclusions. We must have in mind where the Nature-forces are revealed in their cooperation and mutual interaction.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 219 – Spiritual Communion: Lecture III: From Man’s Living Together with the Course of Cosmic Existence Arises the Cosmic Cult – Dornach, December 29, 1922