Love & Sexuality

In the age of materialism it is exceedingly difficult to maintain in true and right perspective, this concept of compassion or love. Many of you will realise that in our materialistic times this concept is distorted, in that materialism associates the concept of “love” so closely with that of “sexuality” — with which, fundamentally, it has nothing whatever to do. That is a point where the culture of our day abandons both intelligence and sound, healthy reason. Through its materialism, evolution in our time is veering not only towards the unintelligent and illogical but even towards the scandalous, when “love” is dragged into such close association with what is covered by the term “sexuality.”

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 133 – Earthly and Cosmic Man: Lecture VI – Berlin, May 14, 1912

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond

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False assertion

As I have often said before, Christ did not come with the message, ‘Here I am. Quickly write down everything you can say about me so that humanity can believe in it until the last days of the Earth!’ That is what is taught by the short-sighted, narrow-minded theology of today. What it very often teaches implies that the Christ said, ‘Certain things have I done. Quickly write them down, for that is what is to be taught until the last days of the Earth, and nothing shall be added to it.’

This assertion sits falsely. It is so false that people hesitate to utter it at all. I refer to those who consistently act in accordance with this assumption without ever once stating it. But the assumption on which they act sits falsely, very falsely. For the Christ said, ‘I will be with you to the last days of the Earth.’ And this implies that it is always possible to receive Christ’s revelation! In the early days of Christianity it was the Gospels that came from this source; today it is spiritual science.

Those who wrote down what could be written down in those days did not say, ‘We have written this down, and there is nothing else in addition to what we have written that can be written.’ They said, rather, ‘And there are also many other things which Jesus did, that which, if they should be written down, every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.’

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 170 – The Riddle of Humanity: Lecture Twelve – Dornach, 27 August 1916

Translated by John F. Logan

Earthly task

Our earthly task is to keep working on the lessons that we need to learn. We must not become strangers to the world, not be hostile towards the earthly, but stand entirely within earthly life. We must acknowledge that they are the same forces, the same creatures that we recognize in the terrestrial world, which we observe in the spiritual worlds, because they work into our earthly sphere, they weave within human souls and thus influence life on earth.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 52 – Spirituelle Seelenlehre und Weltbetrachtung – Berlin, February 1, 1904 (page 237-238)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on April 12, 2017

Correct thinking and right judgment does not always lead to the truth

In the world outside, in so far as this world is ruled by external science, when people speak of knowledge, you will always find them say: Yes, of course, we arrive at knowledge when we have formed right judgments and exercised correct thinking. I recently cited a very simple example to illustrate how great an error is involved in this assumption that we are bound to arrive at truth when we make correct and reasonable judgments; and I would like to relate it again now, to show you that accuracy of reasoning need by no means lead to the truth.

There was once a small boy in a village who was sent regularly by his parents to fetch bread. He used always to have ten kreuzer, and bring back in exchange six rolls. If you bought one such roll it cost two kreuzer, but he always brought back six rolls for his ten kreuzer. The boy was not particularly good at arithmetic and never troubled himself as to how it worked out that he always took with him ten kreuzer, that a roll cost two and yet he brought home six rolls in return for his ten. One day a boy was brought into the family from another part and he became for our small boy a kind of foster-brother. They were of about the same age, but the foster-brother was a good arithmetician. And he saw how his companion went to the baker’s, taking with him ten kreuzer, and he knew that a roll cost two. So he said to him, “You must bring home five rolls.” He was a very good arithmetician and his reasoning was perfectly accurate. One roll costs two kreuzer (so he reasoned), he takes with him ten, he will obviously bring home five rolls. But behold, he brought back six. Then said our good arithmetician: “But that is quite wrong! One roll costs two kreuzer, and you took ten, and two into ten goes five times; you can’t possibly bring back six rolls. You must have made a mistake or else you have pinched one …” But now, lo and behold, on the next day, too, the boy brought home six rolls. It was, you see, a custom in those parts that when you bought five you received an extra one in addition, so that in fact when you paid for five rolls you received six. It was a custom that was very agreeable for anyone who needed five rolls for his household.

The good arithmetician had reasoned, quite correctly, there was no fault in his thinking; but this correct thinking did not accord with reality. We are obliged to admit the correct thinking did not arrive at the reality, for reality does not order itself in accordance with correct thinking. You may see very clearly in this case how with the most conscientious, the most clever logical thinking that can possibly be spun out, you may arrive at a correct conclusion and yet, measured by reality your conclusion may be utterly and completely false. That can always happen. Consequently a proof that is acquired purely through thought can never be a criterion for reality — never.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 134 – The World of the Senses and the World of the Spirit – Hanover, 27th December 1911

Here, on earth, death has a terrifying aspect

Here, on earth, death has a terrifying aspect only because we look upon it as a kind of dissolution, as an end. But when we look back upon the moment of death from the other side, from the spiritual side, then death continually appears to us as a victory of the spirit, as the Spirit that is extricating itself from the physical. It then appears as the greatest, most beautiful and significant event. Moreover, this experience kindles that which constitutes our ego-consciousness after death. Throughout the time between death and a new birth we have an ego-consciousness that not only resembles but far exceeds that which we have here during our physical life. We would not have this ego-consciousness if we could not look back incessantly, if we would not always see — but from the other side, from the spiritual side — that moment in which our spiritual part extricated itself from the physical. We know that we are an ego only because we know that we have died, that our spiritual has freed itself from our physical part. When we cannot contemplate the moment of death, beyond the portal of death, then our ego-consciousness after death is in the same case as our physical ego-consciousness here upon the earth when we are asleep. Just as we know nothing of our physical ego-consciousness when we are asleep, so we know nothing concerning ourselves after death if we do not constantly have before us the moment of death. It stands before us as one of the most beautiful and loftiest moments.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 168 – The Moment of Death and the Period Thereafter – Leipzig, February 22nd, 1916