Untold damage

Children suffer great, nay untold damage if they come to believe that other children are the teacher’s favourites. This must be avoided at all costs.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 310 – Human Values in Education: LECTURE VI – Arnheim, 22nd July 1924

Translated by Vera Compton-Burnett

Previously posted on April 22, 2014


How animals see us

If the animals could speak, they would only speak of visible realms; of the mineral realm, the plant realm, and the animal realm. They would consider themselves as the highest visible realm. That the animals see the human being like a human being sees the other is only a prejudice.

Human beings are of a supersensible, ghostly existence to the animals; If the animals had only such a perception as we have, the human beings would be as invisible for them as the realm of angels is for the human beings. Only because they have a certain kind of dreamy clairvoyance, the animals see the human being as a ghost, as a supersensible being. The human being can have no idea of the image which an animal has of him.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 159 – The Mystery of Death – Prague, 13th May 1915

About children who display bad behaviour

There are of course not only exemplary children but also children that have, under certain circumstances, as it sometimes is evaluated, bad character traits. About this I would like to say the following. […] Remember, that the so-called bad disposition of a child, that has shaped itself, say in the years up to the seventh year, will not always in absolute terms, lead such a child to develop a bad nature later on in life. Many qualities, some even reaching to up to geniality in later life, can be traced back organically to so-called bad behaviour, which the person displayed at the age of two-, three-, four years of age.

A character trait such as – I mention one of the worst features –  the cruelty that a child may display, this cruelty can indeed be overcome between the seventh and fourteenth year, in one or the other direction, if one is competent enough to provide the right pedagogical approach. The impulses of a person towards cruelty, can under certain circumstances be reversed, so that they become impulses toward some of the highest goals.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 307 – Gegenwärtiges Geistesleben und Erziehung – Ilkley (Yorkshire), August 7, 1923 (page 260)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on March 1, 2014

About learning to read too early, calcification and baldness

A child that learns to read too early in life, is introduced to abstraction too soon. And one would do many a future sufferer from sclerosis a service if one would not teach them to read too early. This hardening of the organism which manifests in the most diverse forms of sclerosis, can be traced back to children learning to read too soon. Of course, there are many other reasons why these symptoms occur. The point is that these things happen and that a more natural method of teaching, from out of the forces of soul and spirit, works in a healing way on the body. If you understand how you must give form to your educating activities, then you understand at the same time how you can help the child towards the best health for its future life. And you can be very sure: if healthier methods prevailed in the current school system, then many a male would not walk around with a bald head so early in life…

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 306 – Die pädagogische Praxis – Dornach, April 18, 1923 (page 82)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on March 1, 2017


Our memory is sometimes a bit better, sometimes a bit poorer, but we do have a memory. We have experiences; later we remember these experiences. What we experience in the spiritual world is different. We can experience it in its greatness, in beauty, in meaning – but when we have experienced it, it is over with. And it must be experienced again, if the soul wants it to stand in front of it again. It does not imprint itself in the memory in the usual way. It imprints itself in the memory only then, when one first take the trouble to transfer it into concepts, if one uses one’s mental capacity in the supersensible world. That is very difficult. One must indeed think without the help of the body. Therefore, one must have learned to order one’s concepts beforehand, must have become an orderly logician, so that one does not forget this logic, when one perceives in the spiritual world.

Source(German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 305 –Die geistig-seelischen Grundkräfte der Erziehungskunst – Oxford, August 20, 1922 (page 84-85)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on February 15, 2017