A requirement for every teacher of anthroposophy

I consider it a requirement for every anthroposophy teacher to represent only as much of the teaching as he can justify to the best of his conscience. That is, I require every anthroposophical teacher to say only that of which he has direct knowledge, an immediate knowing. Not one word should be spoken of these higher worlds by the spiritual teacher if he cannot discover it himself, precisely with the same right as no one can speak about chemistry who has not studied it. That is why I shall say only what I can say with absolute certainty in lectures. No one can paint the astral world as a whole; it is richer in content and more voluminous than our physical world. I admit that even the spiritual researcher can be mistaken in details, just as one can be mistaken in the physical world if, for example, one wants to determine the height of a mountain. But just as little as such a mistake in detail can be a reason to deny the physical world, just as little can there be cause for a person to deny the reality of the astral world because of a mistake in a detail.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 88 – Über die astrale Welt und das Devachan – Berlin, 28 October 1903 (page 32)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

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Americans / Spiritual vision / Self-control / Self-discipline / Self-education

We do indeed find that a good deal of what the Americans have developed represents a primitive form of the exercises by which a spiritual vision is attained. Thus, we find Americans repeatedly commending self-control, self-discipline, self-education as all-important: what matters is not having learned something, but implanting it in your will by the constant repetition of a given exercise.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 83 – The Tension Between East and West/Prospects of its Solution (Europe-America) – Vienna, 10th June 1922

Translated by B.A. Rowley

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Previously posted on 2 November 2018

Aggressive Educators / Health

The child not only receives sense impressions from its outer environment, but it also absorbs the behaviour of other people through its feeling-life; their attitude and their character, their good will or bad intentions. Therefore as an educator one must dedicate oneself to strive towards a life of purity in thought and feelings, so that the child can become pure in thought and feelings as well. One must also be aware that one’s own conduct has an influence not only on the soul but also on the body. What the child lets flood into itself as it were spontaneously and lets stream into its will, vibrates further in its physical organism. A hot-tempered educator causes the child’s body to become fragile in such a way that he will in later life become prone to disease-causing influences. How one educates in this respect, will later emerge as a state of health in the life of the adult.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 297a – Erziehung zum Leben – Prague, 4 April 1924 (p. 167)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

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Previously posted on 3 oktober 2018

 

Education / Self-education

Essentially, there is no education other than self- education, whatever the level may be. […] Every education is self-education, and as teachers we can only provide the environment for children’s self-education. We have to provide the most favourable conditions where, through our agency, children can educate themselves according to their own destinies.

Rudolf Steiner: The Child’s Changing Consciousness

Source: Essentials of Waldorf Early Childhood Education – Susan Howard

German source of this quote: GA 306 – page 131

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Previously posted on 2 October 2018

Imponderables: insubstantial matters; incalculable influences   

Up to around the seventh year the child is a mimicking being. I do not say this because of some mystical inclination on my part concerning the number seven, but because the change of teeth is effectively an important juncture in the whole life development of the child.

The child learns his specific movements through imitation, even his speech is acquired through imitation; the way it develops its thought forms happens by way of imitation as well. Because the relationship between the environment of the child and the child itself is not only dependant on external factors, but deeply hidden immeasurable influences (German: Imponderabilien) also play a role, parents and educators must be aware that the child adjusts to what the adults in its environment do. Not only outwardly observable actions are taken in – not just what they say – but what they experience, what they feel, what they think as well.

In our materialistic times it is generally not believed that it makes a difference whether we have noble or ignoble thoughts in the environment of the developing child because we only consider the material entities as valid and not those which are inwardly connected to things which cannot be weighed nor measured.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 297a – Erziehung zum Leben – Amsterdam, 28 February 1921 (p. 53-54)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

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Previously posted on 1 October 2018