We thoroughly misunderstand illness and karma if we only look at the past; this turns karma into a merely accidental law of fate. But when we can look through present karma into the future, then karma becomes a law of action and of fruitfulness in life.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 107 – The Being of Man and His Future Evolution: Illness and Karma – Berlin, 26th January 1909

Translated by Pauline Wehrle


Previously posted on 21 January 2017


Schools must again teach people something of value

Schools must again teach people something of value. Today, much importance is placed on learning the skills required for making machines. Nothing can be said against this from the standpoint of spiritual science because it is quite worthwhile. 

But the skills needed to cope among human beings are neglected. An abstract social science, ignorant of man’s needs, was invented and this is taught instead. Above all, one must study man as we have done here, but unhappily what I told you is not taught. Look back on your own school days! Where is something like this taught today? That is what our age lacks. Teaching men the things they learn today is about as good for them as feeding them rocks instead of bread. Maybe the stomach of a goose can take rocks but that of a human being cannot! To do so would ruin the digestive system, and when you teach men what is being taught today, you actually ruin their heads. 

You know that the arm becomes weak if it is unused, and the head also becomes weak if it is not used in the right way. While the head was developing in the mother, it received forces from the stars. If it is told nothing about them, if it entertains no thoughts of them, it grows weak, just as muscles do when they are not exercised. If the child learns nothing of the real world, it remains weak. 

The worst thing about conditions today is that people have weak heads and do not understand anything about one another. They separate themselves according to social standing and do not speak to those of other classes. This is like training a man to become an athlete while neglecting his biceps. If, in educating men, I leave their heads weak, they will not know the very thing that matters most. This is how things stand.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 348 – Health and Illness: II: Illnesses Occurring in the Different Periods of Life – Dornach, October 24, 1922

Translated by Maria St. Goar


Previously posted on 3 September 2021

Attacks of pleasures and desires on the physical body 

As a rule the physical body is looked upon as the lowest part of man, unjustly so, for the very greatest wisdom can be seen just in the physical body. Only through this wisdom is it possible for the physical body to withstand the attacks continually made upon it by the astral body, and so not break up before the time. The pleasures and desires which hold sway in the physical body when tea and coffee and so on are taken, all these are attacks of the astral body on the physical body, and especially on the heart. It has therefore to be so wisely constructed that these attacks can be withstood for decades. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 100 –THE GOSPEL OF ST. JOHN – Lecture IV – Basle, 19 November 1907

What is our astral body, actually?

Our ‘astral body’ is our soul, which we experience as our thinking, feeling and will. It is in effect ‘us’, our personality, our personal self. But to someone else, who is clairvoyant, the astral body appears as an aura around every person. 



Painting by Krzysztof Lubieniecki

Verdicts and opinions without any special development

Have you ever observed how constantly one hears people say, when some new fact of knowledge is brought forward: “This is how I look at it! This is my point of view!” And they say this so easily, without having undergone any special development of mind or soul. 

It is indeed quite generally accepted that everyone has a right to pronounce his verdict, speaking from the point of view of wherever he stands at the moment. And people are even deeply offended and grow quite angry if one ventures to suggest that there is a kind of knowledge for the attainment of which it is necessary to undergo inner development. 

I said just now that when in the last third of the 19th century the possibility began to arise for men to seek initiation in the modern way, enemy powers were already in action. As you see, they wanted to carry the principle of equality even into the realm of mind and spirit, so that there too all human beings shall be regarded as on the same level. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 214 – MANS LIFE ON EARTH AND IN THE SPIRITUAL WORLDS – Lecture III – Man’s Life in Sleep and After Death – London, 30 August 1922

Translated from the German by George and Mary Adams

V211-social media

About Karma and Help

It would be wrong to withhold aid from someone suffering by saying: “You yourself are the cause of the trouble,” refuse him help because it must work itself out. That is a misunderstanding of Karma. Karma, to the contrary, says to you: “Help him, who suffers, for you exist to help”. You help to improve the credit balance of the Karmic account of necessity when aiding your fellow man. You give him the opportunity and the strength to carry his Karma; and you, to that extent, are a redeemer from evil.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 54 – Riddles of the World and Anthroposophy: Easter – Berlin, 12 April 1906