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

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Previously posted on 17 november 2018

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Sleep: only a transitory state

Those who have understood a little of the evolution of the spiritual forces and capacities of mankind know that there are different states of consciousness, that what we call sleep in the average man is only a transitory state which in the future will develop into one in which the human being, independent of the body, will perceive the spiritual world. (This is today already the case with the initiates.) 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 103 – The Gospel of St. John – Lecture I – The Doctrine of the Logos – Hamburg, 18th May 1908

Translated by Maud B. Monges

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Previously posted on  14 november 2018

A sharp two-edged sword (2 – End)

But on the other hand we must not forget that the “I” is at the same time that which gives man his independence and his inner freedom, which in the truest sense of the word elevates him. His dignity is founded in this “I,” it is the basis of the Divine in man. […] Thus the “I” will be the pledge for the highest goal of man. But at the same time, if it does not discover love, if it hardens within itself, it is the tempter that plunges him into the abyss. For it is that which separates men from one another which brings them to the great War of All against All, not only to the war of nation against nation (for the conception of a nation will then no longer have the significance it possesses to-day) but to the war of each single person against every other person in every branch of life; to the war of class against class, of caste against caste and sex against sex. Thus in every field of life the “I” will become the apple of discord; and hence we may say that it can lead on the one hand to the highest and on the other hand to the lowest. For this reason it is a sharp two-edged sword.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 104 – The Apocalypse of St. John: Lecture VIII – Nuremberg, 25th June 1908

Translated by M. Cotterell

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Previously posted on 13 November 2018

A sharp two-edged sword (1 of 2) 

We have said repeatedly that our epoch will end, when the seventh age has passed away, by the War of All against All, but this war must really be pictured quite differently from the way we have been accustomed to think of war. We must bear in mind the foundation, the real cause of this war. This foundation or cause is the increase of egoism, of self-seeking and selfishness on the part of man. And we have now progressed so far in our considerations that we have seen what a sharp two-edged sword this “I” of man is. He who does not fully realize that this “I” is a two-edged sword will scarcely be able to grasp the entire meaning of the evolution of humanity and the world. On the one hand this “I” is the cause that man hardens within himself, and that he desires to draw into the service of his “I” his inner capacities and all the other objects at his disposal. This “I” is the cause of man’s directing all his wishes to the satisfaction of this “I” as such. Its striving to draw to itself as its own possession a part of the earth which belongs to all, to drive away all the other Egos from its realm, to fight them, to be at war with them, is one side of the “I.” 

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 104 – The Apocalypse of St. John: Lecture VIII – Nuremberg, 25th June 1908

Translated by M. Cotterell

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Previously posted on 12 November 2018

Man helps his fellowmen best when he lives soberly

Man thinks little about how he stands in social contexts and how responsible he is for what he does. If we take things seriously, we must feel responsible for what we do. One helps his fellowmen best when he becomes undemanding. Someone with a few needs helps his fellowmen more than if he were a philanthropist. For example, one who does not write unnecessary letters, saves that some people might have to climb many stairs. 

It is a great mistake to believe that having many requirements helps people by providing them with more work. Giving people work does not increase in the least what they need.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 97 – Das christliche Mysterium – Cologne, November 30, 1906 (page 196-197)

Anonymous translator

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Previously posted on 11 November 2018