Vanity / Shame / Satisfaction

While in the case of a person in exoteric life, when he has uttered certain words, when he has said something or other, that is the end of the matter; in the case of a person who has undergone a anthroposophical development there comes a clear after-feeling regarding what he has said; he feels something like an inner shame when he has expressed what is not right in a moral or intellectual sense; and something like a sort of thankfulnes — not satisfaction with himself — when he has been able to express something to which the wisdom he has attained can give assent.

And if he feels — and for this, too, he acquires a delicate sensitiveness — that something like an inner self-satisfaction, a self-complaisance with himself arises when he has said something that is right, that is a sign that he still possesses too much vanity, which is no good in his development. He learns to distinguish between the feeling of satisfaction which follows when he has said something with which he can agree, and the self-complaisance which is worthless. He should try not to allow this latter feeling to arise, but only to develop the feeling of shame when he has said anything untrue or non-moral, and when he has succeeded in saying something suitable to the occasion, to develop a feeling of gratitude for the wisdom he now has part in, and to which he does not lay claim as his own, but receives as a gift from the universe.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 145 – The Effect of Occult Development Upon the Self and the Sheaths of Man: Lecture 5 – The Hague, March 24, 1913

Translated by Harry Collison

db21bf73268843.5c0c523fb7df9