Facts may be experienced but they cannot be proved

Sleep has often been celled the younger brother of death. This simile illustrates the path pursued by the human spirit more perfectly than might be supposed, if it is only viewed superficially, for it give an idea of the way in which the various incarnations through which the human spirit passes are connected together.

In my articles on “Reincarnation and Karma from the standpoint of Modern Natural Science” (contained in the magazine “Lucifer Gnosis”, — number 5 and 6) it was shown that when the present natural scientific method of thinking is carefully followed to its conclusion it leads to the ancient teaching of the evolution of the eternal human spirit through many lives. From this knowledge the question necessarily arises: How are these many lives connected one with another? In what sense is the life of a human being the effect of his former lives and how does it become the cause for later embodiments?

In this respect the phenomenon of sleep affords an illustration of the connection existing between cause and effect. It is possible that many who think themselves great scientist will find the following explanations quite “unscientific.” This is comprehensible, for one who has no experience of the super sensible realms, and who at the same time has not be necessary reserve and modesty to admit that he can still learn something, is bound to make this objection. 

He should not say that the things here brought forward are “contrary to reason,” and that they cannot be proved by the intellect. The intellect can do nothing more than combine and systematize facts. Facts may be experienced but they cannot be proved by the intellect. A person cannot prove the existence of a whale by means of the intellect; he must either see one for himself, or accept the description given by those who have seen one. This is the case too with super-sensible facts. If a person is not sufficiently advanced to see them for himself, he must accept the description given by others. I can assure you the super-sensible facts I am about to describe are, to those whose higher senses are opened, just as “real” as a whale.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 60 – The Secrets of Sleep – Berlin, November 24, 1910

gRdCCat2_400x400

To understand the nature of love — that is to be a true Christian.

A man who knows that love is there for the paying of debts and brings no profit for the future, is a true Christian. To understand the nature of love — that is to be a Christian! Anthroposophy alone, Spiritual Science alone, with its teachings of Karma and reincarnation, can make us into great egoists unless the impulse of love, the Christ Impulse, is added; only so can we acquire the power to overcome the egoism that may be generated by Spiritual Science.   

The balance is established by an understanding of the Christ Impulse. Spiritual Science is given to the world today because it is a necessity for humanity; but in it lies the great danger that — if it is cultivated without the Christ Impulse, without the Impulse of love — men will only increase their egoism, will actually breed egoism that lasts even beyond death. From this the conclusion must not be drawn that we should not cultivate Spiritual Science; rather we must learn to realise that understanding of the essential nature of love is an integral part of it.

Source: Rudolf steiner – GA 143 – Love and Its Meaning in the World – Zurich, 17th December, 1912

Translated by D. S. O. and E. F. and S. Derry

heart of Jesus Christ

Habits and Health

If a man has bad habits and bad characteristics and does nothing to get rid of them, this will appear in the next life in the physical body as a disposition, a predisposition to illness. Strange as this may sound the disposition towards certain illnesses, particularly infectious ones, depends on the bad habits of a preceding life. This insight therefore enables us to prepare health or illness for our next life. If we conquer a bad habit, we become healthy and immune against infections in our next life. Thus we can prepare health for our next life. By endeavouring to foster only noble qualities, we can prepare a healthy body for our next incarnation.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 100 – Theosophy and Rosicrucianism: VII. THE LAW OF KARMA – Kassel, June 22, 1907

good-habits2

Why are most Theologians so enraged by Anthroposophy?

Nothing burdens people today more than when someone tells them, ‘If you want to maintain your connection with the spirit in the future, you have to do something for it.’  Most people would like the Mystery on Golgotha to have happened to exempt them from having to do anything about what concerns them. 

They prefer Christ to redeem them from their sins and enter heaven without any effort of their own. And that is why most theologians become so enraged at Anthroposophy. Because the anthroposophical viewpoint can never state that humanity does not have to do anything to maintain its connection with the Spirit, that future earthly development can continue without the participation of the human being.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 183 – Die Wissenschaft vom Werden des Menschen – Dornach, September 2, 1918 (page 180)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on September 23, 2020

hqdefault-2

Change

The strongest impulses producing this change (of traits of character, of temperament, and so forth R.v.D.) in ordinary life are the religious ones. When the I allows the impulses that flow from religion to act upon it again and again, they form within it a power that works right into the ether body and transforms it in much the same way that lesser life-impulses cause a transformation of the astral body. 

These lesser impulses of life, which come to man through study, contemplation, ennobling of the feelings, and so forth, are subject to the manifold changes of existence; religious experiences, however, imprint upon all thinking, feeling, and willing a uniform character. They shed, as it were, a common, uniform light over the entire soul-life. A man thinks and feels this way today, tomorrow differently. The most varied causes bring this about. But if a person through his religious feelings, whatever they may be, divines something that persists throughout all changes, he will relate his current soul experiences of thinking and feeling to that fundamental feeling just as he does with his soul experiences of tomorrow. Religious creed, therefore, has a far-reaching effect upon the whole soul-life; its influence becomes ever stronger in the course of time, because it works by means of constant repetition. It therefore acquires the power of working upon the ether body. 

The influence of true art has a similar effect upon the human being. If, through outer form, through color and tone of a work of art, he penetrates to its spiritual basis with thought and feeling, then the impulses that the I thus receives work down even into the ether body. If we think this thought through to the end we can estimate what a tremendous significance art has for all human evolution. We have referred here only to a few instances that give to the  I  the impulse to act upon the ether body. There are many similar influences in human life that are not so apparent to the observing eye as those that have been mentioned. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 13 – An Outline of Occult Science: II: THE ESSENTIAL NATURE OF MANKIND

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

4697_steiner