Earthquake Catastrophes – Can they be foreseen?

A question was handed to me this morning about earthquake catastrophes. The question runs as follows: “What is the occult explanation of earthquakes? Can they be foreseen? If particular catastrophes can be foreseen, why should it not be possible to give some warning beforehand? Such a warning might possibly be ineffective the first time but certainly not on another occasion.”

You may remember something of what was said at the end of the lecture on the interior of the earth about the possibility of earthquakes. We will not consider that now but enter directly into this question. In reality it has two sides. The one is: Whether from the occult connections which can be discerned, earthquakes can be foreseen? The answer to this is that the knowledge of such matters belongs to the deepest realm of occult science. In respect of a particular event on the earth, an event with roots as deeply laid as those described to-day, and connected with causes extending widely over the earth — in respect of such an event it is absolutely correct to say that even in a particular case an indication of time can be given. It would certainly be possible for the occultist to give such an indication. 

But the other side of the question is: whether it is permissible for such indications to be given? — For one who confronts the occult secrets from outside it will seem almost a matter of course that the answer will be “Yes!” And yet the truth is that in regard to such events it is actually only twice or three times in any one century — at the very most, twice or three times — that any prediction can be announced from the centers of Initiation. For you must remember that these things are connected with the karma of humanity as a whole and if, for example, they were avoided in one instance they would inevitably occur in some other place and in a different form. The prediction itself would alter nothing. And just think what a terrible encroachment it would be into the karma of the earth as a whole if human measures were adopted to prevent such happenings. The reaction would be so fearful, so violent, that only in very rare and exceptional cases would a high Initiate, foreseeing an earthquake, be able to make use of his knowledge to help himself or those near him. With full knowledge he would have to face his end, as a matter of course! For these things that have been implicit in the karma of humanity for thousands and millions of years cannot be paralyzed by measures adopted during one brief period of evolution.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 107 – The Deed of Christ and the Opposing Spiritual Powers – Mephistopheles and Earthquakes – Berlin, 1st January 1909

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond

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Previously posted on 21 November 2018

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Eating in the future

The man of the future will approach plants that are of use to him consciously; not as now when he reflects on which yield the best substances for his body; he will then have a vital relationship to every plant, for he will know what it is they have absorbed, and what passes from them to him. Eating will not be to him a mean occupation, but an act consummated with soul and spirit, for he will know that everything he eats is the external form of something spiritual. In our immediate age, when men know little about the vital inward relations between themselves and the world, all kinds of substitutes are made use of. Why have the Initiates of all ages urged people to say grace before eating? The grace should be a token of the recognition that, together with the food, something spiritual enters into man.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 105 – Universe, Earth and Man – Lecture III – Stuttgart, 6th August 1908

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Previously posted on 20 november 2018

About hypnotizing

Hypnotizing is generally not good. It is an influence that firstly weakens the will of the hypnotized person. And secondly, it is black magic; one overwhelms the other person. In healthy people it should not be applied at all. For sick people it can be something else.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 97 – Das christliche Mysterium – Leipzig, 25 April 1906 (page 289)

Translation by DeepL

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Habits and health

A bad habit in a previous life is a cause of disease in the next one, whereas a good habit results in health. In this way are people led to infectious diseases through their own disposition. 

We all know of one who can travel the world to areas ridden with epidemics or contagious diseases, mingling with many individuals, without suffering any ill. But we also know of another who will contract an infection by merely walking down the street. 

It is one’s disposition which determines whether or not one is prone to infection. The initiates know for a fact that a predisposition to infectious diseases originates from the selfish habits of thinking in a previous life. They know how a pronounced desire to possess and gather riches for oneself leads to infectious diseases.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 97 – Das christliche Mysterium – Erkenntnisse und Lebensfrüchte der Geisteswissenschaft – Stuttgart, 14 March 1906 (page 253)

Anonymous translator

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Previously posted on 19 November 2018

The nineteenth century will one day be described as the most materialistic century in the history of humankind

The nineteenth century will one day be described as the materialistic century in the history of humankind. The people of the twentieth century cannot really imagine how deeply the nineteenth century was entangled in materialism. Only later when people have again become spiritual will that be possible. Everything, even the religious life, was permeated by materialism. Anyone who can look upon human evolution from higher planes knows that in the forties of the nineteenth century there was an extreme low point in the spiritual life. Science, philosophy, and religion were in the grip of materialism.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 104a – Reading the Pictures of the Apocalypse -Part 1 – Lecture Three – Munich, 8th May 1907

Translated by James H. Hindes

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Previously posted on 18 November 2018