Buddha/The Eightfold Path/Christ

Nineteen centuries and roughly five more have now elapsed since the great Buddha lived on the Earth; in about three thousand years from now — this we learn from occultism — a considerable number of human beings will have reached the stage of being able to evolve the wisdom of the Buddha, the Eightfold Path, out of their own moral nature, out of their own heart and soul. Buddha had once to be on Earth, and the power that mankind will develop little by little as the wisdom of the Eightfold Path proceeded from him; after about three thousand years from now men will be able to unfold its teaching from within themselves; it will then be their own possession and they will no longer be obliged to receive it from outside. Then they will be able to say: This Eightfold Path springs from our very selves as the wisdom of compassion and love.

Even if nothing else had happened than the setting in motion of the Wheel of the Law by the great Buddha, in three thousand years from now humanity would have become capable of knowing the doctrine of compassion and love. But it is a different matter also to have acquired the faculty to embody it in very life. Not only to know about compassion and love, but under the influence of an Individuality to unfold it as living power — there lies the difference. This faculty proceeded from Christ. He poured love itself into men and it will grow from strength to strength. When men have reached the end of their evolution, wisdom will have revealed to them the content of the doctrine of compassion and love; this they will owe to Buddha. But at the same time they will possess the faculty of letting the love stream out from the Ego over mankind; this they will owe to Christ.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 114 – The Gospel of St. Luke – Lecture Nine – Basel, September 25, 1909

Previously posted on December 25, 2013

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Truth is complicated

When, as so often happens, people say that truth should be simple, this is due to indolence and a dislike of having to wrestle with many concepts; but the greatest truths can be apprehended only when the spiritual faculties are exerted to their utmost capacity. If considerable efforts are needed to describe a machine, it is surely unreasonable to demand that the greatest truths should also be the simplest! Truth is inevitably complicated, and the most strenuous efforts must be made if it is desired to acquire some understanding of the truths relating to the Events of Palestine. Nobody should lend himself to the objection that the facts are unduly complicated; they are complicated because here we have to do with the greatest of all happenings in the evolution of the Earth.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 114 – The Gospel of St. Luke – Lecture Five – Basel, September 19, 1909

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond & Owen Barfield

Previously posted on March 16, 2018

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The fruitfulness in things is not in what is lacking in them, but in what they have

Another important quality is the “yea saying” sense. This can be developed in one who in all things has an eye for the good, beautiful, and purposeful aspects of life, and not, primarily, for the blameworthy, ugly and contradictory. In Persian poetry there is a beautiful legend about Christ, which illustrates the meaning of this quality. A dead dog is lying on the road. Among the passersby is Christ. All the others turn away from the ugly sight; only Christ pauses and speaks admiringly of the animal’s beautiful teeth. It is possible to look at things in this way, and he who earnestly seeks for it may find in all things, even the most repulsive, something worthy of acknowledgment. The fruitfulness in things is not in what is lacking in them, but in what they have.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 12 – The Stages of Higher Knowledge – Chapter 1

Translation by Lisa Monges and Floyd McKnight

Previously posted on February 28, 2018

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Truths contain life-force

Mankind is always in need of truths which cannot, in every age, be wholly understood. The assimilation of truths is not significant only for our knowledge; truths themselves contain life-force. By permeating ourselves with truth we permeate our soul-nature with an element drawn from the objective world, just as we must permeate our physical being with air taken from outside in order to live. Deep truths are indeed expressed in great religious revelations, but in such a form that their real inner meaning is often not understood until much, much later.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 155 – CHRIST AND THE HUMAN SOUL: Lecture 4 – Norrköping, July 16, 1914

Translation by Charles Davy

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Christianity – An ongoing revelation

As I have often said before, Christ did not come with the message, ‘Here I am. Quickly write down everything you can say about me so that humanity can believe in it until the last days of the Earth!’ That is what is taught by the short-sighted, narrow-minded theology of today. What it very often teaches implies that the Christ said, ‘Certain things have I done. Quickly write them down, for that is what is to be taught until the last days of the Earth, and nothing shall be added to it.’

This assertion sits falsely. It is so false that people hesitate to utter it at all. I refer to those who consistently act in accordance with this assumption without ever once stating it. But the assumption on which they act sits falsely, very falsely. For the Christ said, ‘I will be with you to the last days of the Earth.’ And this implies that it is always possible to receive Christ’s revelation! In the early days of Christianity it was the Gospels that came from this source; today it is spiritual science.

Those who wrote down what could be written down in those days did not say, ‘We have written this down, and there is nothing else in addition to what we have written that can be written.’ They said, rather, ‘And there are also many other things which Jesus did, that which, if they should be written down, every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.’

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 170 – The Riddle of Humanity – Lecture 12 – Dornach, 27 August 1916

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