Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted

Steiner about one of the Beatitudes from the sermon on the mount – Matthew 5, verse 4

“Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.” One of the major riddles that we face in this world is that of suffering. To the ancient Greeks, this free, cheerful people, who were as dependant for their existence on sensual enjoyment as the air they breathed, Silenus provided the following answer to the question ‘what would be the best for the people’: “miserable people … the very best is for you would be completely unreachable: not to have been born, not to be, to be nothing. However, the second best for you –  is soon to die.” Aesop though, says that one can draw lessons from suffering. And Job comes through all the suffering imposed on him to the conclusion: Suffering purifies, it brings advancement. – Why do we leave the theatre with a feeling of fulfilment after attending a tragedy? The hero overcomes suffering. Between advancing a step further and living through tragedy there is a link. […]

The soul needs to form an organ so that it can bear suffering. Like the eye was formed by light, the ear by sound, suffering and pain likewise form spiritual organs. […]

The human being progresses to a higher stage through suffering.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 97 – Das christliche Mysterium – Stuttgart, 19 January 1907 (page 95-96)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

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Previously posted on 3 januari 2016

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His help will be at the same moment here, there, and everywhere

Everything subject to limitations of space will lose significance. Hence anyone who thoroughly understands the meaning of human evolution understands also that the coming appearance of Christ during the next 3,000 years does not entail Christ being restricted to a body bound by space, nor limited to a certain territory. Neither will His appearance be limited by an inability to appear in more than one place at a time. His help will be forthcoming at the same moment here, there, and everywhere. And as a spiritual being is not subject to the laws of space, anyone who can be helped by Christ’s direct presence is able to receive that help at one end of the earth just as well as another person at the opposite end. Only those unwilling to recognise the progress of mankind towards spirituality, and what gradually transforms all the most important events into the spiritual — only these persons can declare that what is implied by the Christ-being is limited to a physical body.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 130 – Faith, Love, and Hope: The Third Revelation – Nuremberg, 2nd December 1911

Translated by Violet E. Watkin

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Previously posted on 6 September 2018

Buddha and Christ

The powers and forces which draw man upwards again to the spiritual world fall into two categories: those which draw him upwards on the path of Wisdom, and those which draw him upwards on the path of Morality. The forces to which intellectual progress is mainly due all proceed from the impulse given by a great Individuality of the fourth post-Atlantean epoch who is known to you all, namely Gautama Buddha. It is a remarkable discovery of spiritual investigation that the most penetrating, most significant, thoughts conceived in our present epoch have proceeded from Gautama Buddha.

The second impulse which, in addition to that of Buddha, continues to work in the evolution of humanity is the Christ Impulse and is connected with the future ascent of humanity to Morality. Although Buddha’s teaching is in a particular sense moral teaching, the Christ Impulse is not teaching but actual power which works as such and to an increasing degree imbues mankind with moral strength.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 130 – Buddha and Christ – The Sphere of the Bodhisattvas – Milan, 21st September 1911

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond 1_Z1CaguE4yXe_dABfoX0qLA

Previously  posted on 26 August, 2018

No occult school sees in its teaching and requirements anything like a moral law valid for all mankind

Yesterday we concluded by outlining the three methods of occult development: the Eastern, the Christian and the Rosicrucian. Today we will begin by going more closely into the details which distinguish these three paths. But first I should say that no occult school sees in its teaching and requirements anything like a moral law valid for all mankind. The requirements apply only to those who deliberately choose to devote themselves to a particular occult training. You can, for instance, be a very good Christian and fulfil everything that the Christian religion prescribes for the laity without undergoing a Christian occult training. It goes without saying that you can be a good man and come to a form of the higher life without any occult training.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 95 – At the Gates of Spiritual Science: Lecture XIII: Oriental and Christian Training – Stuttgart, 3rd September 1906

Translated by E.H. Goddard & Charles Davy

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Previously posted on August 19, 2018

About the allegation that Steiner has used the Theosophical Society as a springboard for his spiritual science

Among the various charges that have been directed against me in reference to my work in the Theosophical Society – even from the side of the Society itself – this also has been raised: that to a certain extent I used this Society, which already had a standing in the world, as a springboard in order to render easier the way for my own spiritual knowledge.

There is not the slightest ground for such a statement. When I accepted the invitation into the Society, this was the sole institution worthy of serious consideration in which there was present a real spiritual life. Had the mood, bearing, and work of the Society remained as they then were, the withdrawal of my friends and myself need never have occurred. The Anthroposophical Society might only have been formed officially within the Theosophical Society as a special section.

But even as early as 1906 things were already beginning to be manifest and effective in the Theosophical Society which indicated in a terrible measure its deterioration.

If earlier still, in the time of H. P. Blavatsky, such incidents were asserted by the outer world to have occurred, yet at the beginning of the century it was clearly true that the earnestness of spiritual work on the part of the Society constituted a compensation for whatever wrong thing had taken place. Moreover, the occurrences had been left behind.

But after 1906 there began in the Society, upon whose general direction I had not the least influence, practices reminiscent of the growth of spiritualism, which made it necessary for me to warn members again and again that the part of the Society which was under my direction should have absolutely nothing to do with these things. The climax in these practices was reached when it was asserted of a Hindu boy that he was the person in whom Christ would appear in a new earthly life. For the propagation of this absurdity there was formed in the Theosophical Society a special society, that of “The Star of the East.” It was utterly impossible for my friends and me to include the membership of this “Star of the East” as a branch of the German section, as they desired and as Annie Besant, president of the Theosophical Society, especially intended. We were forced to found the Anthroposophical Society independently.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 28 – The Story of My Life – Chapter XXXI

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Previously posted on August 12, 2018