Spiritual Science and Charlatanism

It is apparent that blind faith as well as the crassest superstition is quite widespread. Therefore there are hardly two matters more connected with one another than spiritual science and charlatanism. If one is unable to distinguish the one from the other, if one accepts an authority in blind faith, as is so often the case these days when the expertise of another is accepted forthright, then one actually promotes the kind of quackery that is so often associated with spiritual science. This is rightly criticised by people in search of genuine truth. It is understandable that someone who is not in the position to distinguish between the quack and the true spiritual authority objects that it is all charlatanism.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 62 – Ergebnisse der Geistesforschung – Berlin, October 31, 1912 (p. 34)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on September 11, 2016

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A boundless absurdity

Some people are so greatly influenced by theories built up on the basis of exact scientific experience that they cannot do otherwise than regard the contents of a book like this as a boundless absurdity. The exponent of supersensible truths is able to view such a fact entirely free from any illusions. People will certainly be prone to demand that he give irrefutable proofs for what he states, but they do not realize that in so doing they are the victims of a misconception. They demand, although unconsciously, not the proofs lying within the things themselves, but those that they personally are willing to recognize or are in a condition to recognize.

The author of this book is sure that any person, taking his stand on the basis of the science of the present day, will find that it contains nothing that he will be unable to accept. He knows that all the requirements of modern science can be complied with, and for this very reason the method adopted here of presenting the facts of the supersensible world supplies its own justification. In fact, the way in which true modern science approaches and deals with a subject is precisely the one that is in full harmony with this presentation. Anyone who thinks thus will feel moved by many a discussion in a way described by Goethe’s deeply true saying, “A false teaching does not offer any opening to refutation because it rests upon the conviction that the false is true.”

Argument is fruitless with those who allow only such proofs to weigh with them as fit in with their own way of thinking. Those who know the true nature of what is called “proving” a matter see clearly that the human soul finds truth through other means than by argument. It is with these thoughts in mind that the author offers this book for publication.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 9 – Theosophy – From the Prefaces to the First, Second, and Third Editions

Translated by Henry B. Monges and revised for this edition by Gilbert Church, Ph.D.

Previously posted on March 16, 2015

Illusions and Aberrations

It is a characteristic feature of the victims of illusions and aberrations, that they develop an overwhelming faith in their erroneous ideas. There is nothing more difficult than trying to convince them – it need not even be hallucinations but only simple delusional, paradoxical ideas – that these thoughts are not valid. For instance when someone is convinced through his illness that he is being persecuted, it is impossible to convince him with sound reasoning that it is not true. Such a person can produce the most intriguing logical thought constructions to prove how real his delusional reasoning is. The human being can become obsessed with his delusions and firmly believe in the objective reality thereof.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 62 – Ergebnisse der  Geistesforschung – Berlin,  November 21, 1912 (p. 127-128)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on September 10, 2016

Akasha Chronicle: It is written in the Great Book of Life

Everything that happens in the physical sense-world has its counterpart in the spiritual world. When a hand is moved, there is more before you than the moving hand seen by your eye, there is my thought and my volition: ‘My hand must move.’ A spiritual background is there. Whereas the ocular, sensible impression of the hand passes away, its spiritual counterpart remains engraved in the spiritual world and unfailingly leaves a trace there.

So that, when our spiritual eyes are opened, we can follow the traces and find the spiritual counterpart of everything that has happened in the world. Nothing can happen in the world without leaving such traces. Let us suppose the spiritual investigator lets his gaze wander back to the days of Charlemagne, or to Roman times, or to ancient Greece. Everything that happened in those times is preserved in the trace left by its spiritual prototype, and can be observed in the spiritual world. This kind of vision is called ‘reading the Akashic records’.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 112 – The Gospel of St. John – Lecture 2 – Cassel, 25th June 1909

Translated by George Metaxa

Previously posted on March 14, 2015

Spiritual beings behind the physical world

People think they are free to make resolves, to think and to form ideas, but they are guided by spiritual beings behind the physical world. What men call their understanding, by which they believe they can control the course of time, is the expression of spiritual beings behind.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 57 – Goethe’s Secret Revelation – Berlin, 12th  March 1909

Previously posted on March 12, 2015