Progress through many lives

The more often a human being incarnates, the stronger becomes his character and his moral sense, and the more numerous and greater the talents and abilities.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 55 – Supersensible Knowledge – Lecture VIII: Insanity in the Light of Spiritual Science – Berlin, 31st January 1907

Translated by Rita Stebbing 6DA9DC15-D14D-4218-9DEA-D060B911EC42 (4)

Art of Nesta Carsten-Krüger 

Previously posted on 2 januari 2019


Abstract thinking was not always natural

Our abstract thought, which we use even in the pursuit of popular science, which we regard today as quite natural — this thinking activity was by no means always so natural and simple. In order to illustrate what I say, let me give you a radical example. You will think it strange that while for all of you it is quite natural to speak of a “fish,” it was by no means natural for primitive peoples to do so. Primitive peoples are acquainted with trout and salmon, cod and herring, but “fish” they do not know. They have no such word as “fish,” because their thought does not extend to such abstract generalization. They know individual trees, but “tree” they do not know. Thinking in such general concepts is by no means natural to primitive races even in the present time. This mode of thinking has indeed only entered humanity in the course of its evolution. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 146 – The Occult Significance of the Bhagavad Gita: Lecture 2 – Helsingfors, 29th May 1913

Translated by George and Mary Adams & Doris M. Bugby

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Art of Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on 1 januari 2019

Where there is a desire to discuss, there is generally no knowledge of the truth

Do you generally regard it as a sign that one does not actually know some matter, if one begins to discuss a particular matter. Where there is knowledge, that knowledge is told and there is then really no particular desire to debate. Where there is a desire to discuss, there is generally no knowledge of the truth. The discussion only begins with the not-knowing, and it is always and everywhere a sign of regression with regard to the seriousness of a matter when discussions begin. The abolition, downfall of a certain movement always announces itself with discussions. It is very important that people in the field of humanities come to understand more and more that the will to discuss can actually be regarded as a sign of ignorance; however, that which is opposed to discussing, the will to learn, the will to understand more and more what is at stake, should be practiced.

Source (German) : Rudolf Steiner – GA 107 – Geisteswissen-schaftliche Menschenkunde – Berlin, 15 February 1909 (page 235)

Translated by Google

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Art of Nesta Carsten-Krüger 

No one can become insane by being occupied with religious ideas

Spiritual science more than any other science is in a position to say something about so-called spiritual or mental illness. The name is actually misleading; one cannot speak of the spirit being ill. Furthermore, there is widespread confusion among lay people as well as professionals, mainly because of the way such illnesses are presented in popular literature. The descriptions are thought of as the reality. Megalomania, persecution-mania, religious-mania are spoken of, but these terms only point to symptoms. 

No one can become insane by being occupied with religious ideas. Yet the most curious statements are put forward, for example that the discord between old and modern world conceptions was the cause of Friedrich Hölderlin’s illness. [Friedrich Hölderlin (1770–1843) was among the greatest of German lyric poets.] The illness from which he suffered would still have overtaken Hölderlin even if he had not been a poet; though in that case he would have expressed himself differently.

When a deeply religious person becomes mentally ill, his religious ideas become distorted. Had he been steeped in materialistic ideas, then they would have become distorted. The cause of mental illness is deeply rooted in human nature where it must be sought.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 55 – Supersensible Knowledge – Lecture VIII: Insanity in the Light of Spiritual Science – Berlin, 31st January 1907

Translated by Rita Stebbing

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Art of Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on 31 December 2018

The land of delight and bliss

What is meant by the land of delight and of bliss? It is the bliss of infinity, the eternal activity, the eternal working. Why can’t all that depresses us in the physical world, depress us no more in Devachan? In Devachan we have not delights such as man has in longings and desires in the world of senses, but in Devachan he is free from corporeality, is free from sensual desires, but he is also free from what limits him, and it makes possible for him to work back at what else from the outside works on him. 

What limits us in the sensual world is removed, what can cause us pain is no more there. Because what causes the pain? Because on our astral body and physical body are made impressions. We discarded these bodies when we are in Devachan; the cause for the pain and the feelings of displeasure we experience in the physical world is gone. Because no one can be selfish anymore, no one can either demand selfish pleasures; because no one has an astral body anymore, everyone is free from anything that can depress the one’s own personality. That is why the Devachan is called the “Land of Delight,” the “Land of Bliss.”

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 88 – Über die astrale Welt und das Devachan – Berlijn, 25 February 1904 (page 141) 

Translated by DeepL with a few (maybe imperfect) adjustments of my own


Art of Nesta Carsten-Krüger