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

Previously posted on September 14, 2015

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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

Previously posted on November 19, 2015

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

Previously posted on September 7, 2015

Knowledge/Compassion/Preaching

The path to the peaks of knowledge and the path to the heights of compassion are one and the same. Only knowledge and understanding -not preaching- will lead to empathy.

A man with a broken leg will not be helped by the compassion of a surrounding crowd, but by one who, knowing what to do, treats his leg correctly.

Mere preaching is like standing before a stove, and asking it to perform its duty of warming up the room. It is the same when you tell people they need to practise brotherly love. Just  as one must put wood in the stove and light a fire, so must he give people the knowledge their souls need in order to join in brotherly love.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 97 – Das christliche Mysterium – Vienna, 22 February 1907 (page 245)

Anonymous translator

Previously posted on November 24, 2016

What is really important is not the content of an utterance but from whom it comes

Christ Jesus declared with all power and intensity: “You are Gods!”  […] At the very beginning of man’s evolution, Lucifer proclaimed: “Ye shall be as Gods!” […] From Lucifer this utterance leads to a curse,  from Christ to the highest blessing. Is there not a wonderful mystery here? The words hurled into humanity by Lucifer, the Tempter — when uttered by Christ to men are supreme wisdom.

What is really important is not the content of an utterance but from whom it comes; this fact is inscribed in letters of power into the biblical record.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 141 – Between Death and Rebirth: Lecture II – 20th November 1912

Translated by E.H. Goddard & D.S. Osmond