Above all you must get rid of the notion that your opinion is worth more than that of other people

Self-knowledge is one of the hardest things to acquire, and it is precisely those who think they know themselves best who are most likely to be deceived: they think too much about themselves. You should get out of the habit of fixing your attention on yourself and constantly using the word “I” — “I think, I believe, I consider this right”. Above all you must get rid of the notion that your opinion is worth more than that of other people. Suppose, for instance, that someone is very clever. If he displays his cleverness in the company of people who are not so clever, his behaviour will be very ill-timed; he will be doing it only to please his own egoism. He ought to adapt his response to the needs and capacities of others.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 95 – At the Gates of Spiritual Science: Lecture XIV: Rosicrucian Training – The Interior of the Earth – Earthquakes and Volcanoes – Stuttgart, 4th September 1906

Translated by E.H. Goddard & Charles Davy

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Painting David Newbatt

Previously posted on August 7,  2018

Good thoughts are like balm to the dead

Good thoughts are like balm to the dead. No selfish love must be sent to them, no grieving because the departed is not around any longer; this bothers the deceased and brings to them a heavy burden. The love that remains and makes no claim to still want the dead  here with us, benefits the deceased and increases his or her happiness.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 95 – Vor dem Tore der Theosophie – Stuttgart,  September 2, 1906 (page 151)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

See The whole lecture in English  Translated by E.H. Goddard and Charles Davy

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Previously posted on July 20, 2018

One ceases to find oneself as important and interesting as before

The anthroposophical or spiritual scientific truths are so enormous, so powerful and meaningful, so all-pervading, that we find our own individual personality less and less interesting. One learns to understand just how uninteresting the single personality in reality is. Acquiring this knowledge, triggered by the fuel of the Spiritual scientific truths, is what truly liberates people from selfishness in the end.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 56 – Die Erkenntnis der Seele und des Geistes – Berlin, December 12, 1907 (page 148-149)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

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Rudolf Steiner in 1907 with the family Specht (it is not sure this is right, because Steiner was home teacher with the family Specht about 1882-1886).

Previously posted on August 17, 2015

Human Evil / Egotism

Eventually all human evil springs from what we call selfishness. From the smallest human faults to the most immense crimes, when considering what we can designate as human imperfection and human wickedness, whether it seemingly originates from the soul or more from out of the bodily nature, the common basic characterization will be egotism. We find the actual meaning of evil in concurrence with human selfishness; and all striving to rise above imperfections and evil can be seen as commitment to fight against what we call selfishness. There has been much contemplation on this or that ethical principle, about these or other moral foundations; exactly this diving deeper into ethical principles and into moral foundations shows that selfishness is the common basis of all human evil. And so one can say: man works himself out of evil here in the physical world, inasmuch as he overcomes egotism.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 063 – Geisteswissenschaft als Lebensgut – Berlin, 15th January 1914 (page 240-241)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

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PAINTING BY DAVID NEWBATT

Previously posted on June 19, 2018

Attitude of Soul and Supersensible Knowledge

In one region of the soul every human being has a natural aptitude which in all other areas it would need considerable effort to gain supersensible knowledge about. And this one area is when a loving relationship is entered into between human beings. People must learn to develop this skill in relation to other contacts and approach them in a similar loving way with understanding and instinctive interest and a genuine desire to get to know their inner being better. In the instances that we approach other human beings with inner participation, with deep understanding, with true interest, in those instances we become, if I may put it this way, clairvoyant in everyday life.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 072 – Freiheit, Unsterblichkeit, Soziales Leben – Bern, 11 December 1918 (page 394)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

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Previously posted on June 4, 2018