Vegetarianism – Why don’t you eat dogs or cats?

So long as a desire for meat persists, vegetarianism is useless. It is helpful only when it results from an attitude that I will illustrate with a little story.

Not very long ago, someone was asked: “Why don’t you eat meat?” He replied with a counter-question: “Why don’t you eat dogs or cats?” “One just can’t”, was the answer. “Why can’t you?” “Because I would find it disgusting.” “Well, that is just what I feel about all meat.”

That is the point. When pleasure in eating meat has gone, then to abstain from meat may be of some use in relation to the spiritual worlds.

Until then, breaking the meat-eating habit can be helpful only for getting rid of the desire for meat. If the desire persists, it may be better to start eating meat again, for to go on tormenting oneself about it is certainly not the right way to reach an understanding of Spiritual Science.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 58 – Metamorphoses of the Soul, Vol 1: Lecture 6: Asceticism and Illness – Berlin, 11th November 1909

Translated by Charles Davy and Christian von Arnim

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Preeviously posted on April 2, 2018

Why are we born into this physical world?

Especially when we direct our gaze toward spiritual worlds should this question concern us: Why are we born out of the spiritual worlds into this physical world? Well, we are born into this physical world (tomorrow and next day I will develop in greater detail what I shall sketch today) — we are born into this physical world because here on this earth there are things to be learned, things to be experienced, which cannot be experienced in the spiritual worlds; but in order to experience these things we must descend into this physical world, and from this world we must carry up into the spiritual worlds the results of this experience. In order to attain that, however, we must really plunge down into this physical world; our very spirit in its quest for knowledge must dive down into this physical world. For the sake of the spiritual world, we must immerse ourselves in this physical world.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 194 – The Mysteries of Light, of Space, and of the Earth – Lecture I – Dornach, December 12, 1919

Translated by Frances E. Dawson

Previously posted on March 8, 2018

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Portrait bust by David Dozier

Too much money is not good, knowing too much neither

Having too much knowledge is not good for people, just as having too much money is not good for them. It might sound like a strange comparison, but it is true: too much money is not a good thing, just as too much knowledge is not good if people cannot counteract it by using it in service of mankind or the world. 

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 348 – Über Gesundheit und Krankheit – Dornach, 3 February 1923 (p. 310)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on February 24, 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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