Reverence and Devotion

A soul quality that is of great significance for the development of the human being; this is what is called the feeling of reverence or devotion. Those who have developed this feeling in themselves or possess it from the outset through a fortunate gift of nature have an excellent basis for the forces of supersensible knowledge. The person who in childhood or youth has been able to look up with self-surrendering admiration to personalities as though to high ideals, possesses something at the foundation of his soul in which supersensible cognition thrives especially well. And whoever with mature judgment in later life looks upon the starry heavens and feels with wonder in complete surrender the revelation of exalted powers makes himself thus mature for knowledge of supersensible worlds. Something similar is the case with those who are able to admire the forces ruling in human life, and it is not of little importance if we, even as mature human beings, can have reverence to the highest degree for other men whose worth we divine or believe we know. Only where such reverence is present can the view into the higher world open up. The person who is unable to revere will in no way advance very far in his knowledge. Whoever does not wish to acknowledge anything in the world will find that the essential nature of things is closed to him.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 13 – OCCULT SCIENCE: V. Cognition of the Higher Worlds – Initiation

Translated by Maud and Henry B. Monges and revised for this edition by Lisa D. Monges.


Madeleine (Maud) Breckenridge Monges was married to Henry B. Monges, with whom she lived in Berkeley, California. Together, they were active and devoted students and promoters of Anthroposophy, and both she and Henry translated numerous works by Rudolf Steiner into English. She passed away in March 1936.