Without spiritual insight earthly culture will die

The time now comes, where considering the human being as a spiritual being, going through a development between death and a new birth, must become a lively feeling. It must become a lively imagination, one must become able to live into perceiving the supernatural reality of human souls. Because without this understanding earthly culture will die. Practical activity will not be possible in the future, when there is no spiritual insight into the fact that every human being is a spiritual being. And one must add, as paradoxical as this still sounds to contemporary humanity, that one will have to learn not only to say: We are happy as parents that a child will be born for us, we welcome this expansion to our family, but the parents will also have to say: no, we are just the instruments. We provide the opportunity for a spiritual individuality, waiting to continue its existence on the earth.

Bron (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 196 – Geistige und soziale Wandlungen in der Menschheitsentwickelung – Dornach, February 6, 1920 (page 162)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on March 2, 2018

Blind faith in authority

We live in an age of the most careless thinking and at the same time it is an age of the blindest trust in authority. People live to-day entirely under the impression that they must believe in, they must recognise authority, that they must have the sanction of outside powers. They desire a warrant for this or that. For the most part men do not consider to-day that it is an individual concern, that they will eventually have to take up the matter for themselves! So, they go to whom ‘right and law is bequeathed like a hereditary sickness’ and accept conclusions without weighing how those conclusions were reached; for they consider it right to accept authority blindly.

A man is ill — he takes not the least trouble to learn the simplest thing about the illness. Why should he? We have recognised and certified physicians whose business it is to look after our bodies; we need not trouble in the least about them!

If information on any subject be desired, people go to those who ought to know, to the theologian, to the philosopher, to this one or to that.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 165 – ON THE DUTY OF CLEAR, SOUND THINKING – Dornach, 1st January 1916

In the first place

When we accustom ourselves to consider without prejudice the method and nature of modern thought, and see how powerful it is in all the varied conditions of life, we can then form some picture of what we have to do and of what mankind stands in need. We must in the first place overcome all tendency to slackness, all love of sloth and laziness, we must see clearly that a spiritual-scientific movement has duties other than that of merely listening to lectures or reading books.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 165 – ON THE DUTY OF CLEAR, SOUND THINKING – Dornach, 1st January 1916

Knowing much without, in fact, having true knowledge 

What is sent out from our European and American universities as so-called human wisdom, but also as social wisdom, technical wisdom and so on, in fact, is a view of the world to the exclusion of all the factors that belong to the human being. Whosoever today is in some leading position, even if it is an insignificant leading position, has no opportunity at all to learn something or other that would enable him to acquire insight into the human being. And without human knowledge there is no social life, without human knowledge there is no renewal of Christianity. 

One can nowadays become a theologian without having any idea of the mystery of Golgotha, for most theologians have no idea who Christ is. You can nowadays become a lawyer without having any idea of what the human being really is. One can become a doctor without having any idea of how the human being is built up from out of the cosmos, without having any idea of how the healthy and the diseased body relate to each other. One can be a technician today, without having any idea of how the construction of some machine will affect the entire course of earthly evolution, and one can today be a genius inventor of a telephone without having an idea of what the phone means for the whole of earthly development. 

People lack a view of the course of human development. And every man has his own desire to form a small circle and to acquire a routine in this small circle, to use this routine to further his egoism, which he creates for himself without considering how, what he brings as part of the world into this world, is interwoven into the whole.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 196 – Geistige und soziale Wandlungen in der Menschheitsentwickelung – Dornach, February 6, 1920 (page 158-159)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on February 8, 2018

Mysticism / Sophisticated selfishness / Self-deception 

When what has been brought to you for some years now as Anthroposophical oriented spiritual science was initiated, many of those who were drawn to what was brought here by me as the basis of this Anthroposophical Science, said: we would rather delve into the mysticism of Meister Eckhart, in the mysticism of Johannes Tauler.

After all, that is so much simpler; then one can so blissfully and snugly say: I sink into my inner self, I become aware of the higher man in me, my higher I has taken hold of the divine in me. But surely that is nothing more than a refined egotism, nothing but a retreat into the own egotistical personality, a walking away from all of mankind, an inner deceiving of the self.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 196 – Geistige und soziale Wandlungen in der Menschheitsentwickelung – Dornach, 6 February 1920 (Seite 157)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on March 29, 2017