About truths and opinions (1 of 5)

Humanity has now descended to the point where not only manners and customs are individual but even opinions and faiths as well. There are people among us already who look on it as a lofty ideal for everyone to have his own religion. The idea floats before quite a number that a time must come when there are as many religions and truths as persons.

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 102 – The Influence of Spiritual Beings on Man: Lecture IX – Berlin, 1st June 1908

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Getting older, growing younger

In future, human beings, the older they get, will need to take in spiritual impulses if they want to be able to grow younger and younger and really develop their inner life. If they do so, they may have grey hair and wrinkles and all kinds of infirmities, but they will get younger and younger, for their souls are taking in impulses which they will take with them through the gate of death. People who relate only to the body cannot grow younger, for their souls will share in everything the body experiences. Of course, it will not be possible to change the habit of going grey, but it is possible for a grey head to gain a young soul from the wellsprings of spiritual life.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 177 –  Fall of the Spirits of Darkness: Lecture 12: The Spirits of Light and the Spirits of Darkness – Dornach, 26 October 1917

Translated by Anna R. Meuss

Good thoughts are like balm to the dead

Good thoughts are like balm to the dead. No selfish love must be sent to them, no grieving because the departed is not around any longer; this bothers the deceased and brings to them a heavy burden. The love that remains and makes no claim to still want the dead  here with us, benefits the deceased and increases his or her happiness.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 95 -Vor dem Tore der Theosophie – Stuttgart, September 2, 1906 (page 151)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on August 30, 2015

Anecdote on Divorce by Adelheid Petersen

Around that time (1914-1915), there dwelt in Dornach a young woman who lived in severe conflict with her husband and sought to divorce him. Moved by compassion, Rudolf Steiner helped her out with much kindness and infinite patience. Gradually, the young woman reached a state of inner balance and wrote her husband asking to return to him. However, the man rejected her request, in a cold dismissive tone. She came to Rudolf Steiner with her husband’s letter, in a state of despair.

“Yes,” he said, “You see, that’s only the result of all those reproachful, angry, and hostile letters you wrote him.”  

“But, Herr Doctor!”, she exclaimed, “I never sent the letters, but always tore them up! I only wrote them to ease my pain!”

“Yes,” said Steiner, “but his soul received them all.”

Source (German): Adelheid Petersen – Erinnerungen an Rudolf Steiner – Chapter: Dornach in den Jahren 1914-1915

Anonymous translator

Previously posted on August 17, 2016

One Man’s Joy is Another Man’s Punishment

Someone who takes great pleasure in nightly visits to the girlie shows or enjoys downing his eight glasses of beer, may encounter people who take joy in something of a higher level and remark how they punish themselves. What he does not realise is that their true punishment would be to sit with him in the music hall. Whoever enjoys the girlie shows and such belongs there, and it would be absurd to deprive him of the enjoyment. […]

One should work to ennoble one’s pleasures, one’s gratifications in life. It is not so that anthroposophists come together because they suffer when talking about higher worlds, but rather because it is their heart’s deepest enjoyment. It would be the most terrible deprivation for them to sit down and play poker.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 56 – Illusory Illness and the Feverish Pursuit of Health – 2 – THE FEVERISH PURSUIT OF HEALTH – Munich, 5th December 1907

Translated by Sarah Kurland

Previously posted on August 12, 2016