Sleep: only a transitory state

Those who have understood a little of the evolution of the spiritual forces and capacities of mankind know that there are different states of consciousness, that what we call sleep in the average man is only a transitory state which in the future will develop into one in which the human being, independent of the body, will perceive the spiritual world. (This is today already the case with the initiates.) 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 103 – The Gospel of St. John – Lecture I – The Doctrine of the Logos – Hamburg, 18th May 1908

Translated by Maud B. Monges

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Previously posted on  14 november 2018

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A sharp two-edged sword (2 – End)

But on the other hand we must not forget that the “I” is at the same time that which gives man his independence and his inner freedom, which in the truest sense of the word elevates him. His dignity is founded in this “I,” it is the basis of the Divine in man. […] Thus the “I” will be the pledge for the highest goal of man. But at the same time, if it does not discover love, if it hardens within itself, it is the tempter that plunges him into the abyss. For it is that which separates men from one another which brings them to the great War of All against All, not only to the war of nation against nation (for the conception of a nation will then no longer have the significance it possesses to-day) but to the war of each single person against every other person in every branch of life; to the war of class against class, of caste against caste and sex against sex. Thus in every field of life the “I” will become the apple of discord; and hence we may say that it can lead on the one hand to the highest and on the other hand to the lowest. For this reason it is a sharp two-edged sword.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 104 – The Apocalypse of St. John: Lecture VIII – Nuremberg, 25th June 1908

Translated by M. Cotterell

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Previously posted on 13 November 2018

Animals that predict disasters

The whole mineral world is infiltrated with forces which make it shake and which the human being does not perceive. The animal perceives this fine shaking, these forces in such a way that it feels something as sympathetic, something not. If the animal turns back, for example, from one soil type to the other, it is not so that the animal sees it like the human being, but because something is a little bit painful to it, because the fine movements go on reverberating in it, because it feels as if it belongs to it. This is a kind of instinctive hearing like a hearing of that which takes action in the ground or this is like smelling. So that we can say: the animal perceives an elemental realm.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 159 – THE PRESENCE OF THE DEAD – IX. The Relation of the Human Being to the Realms of Nature and the Hierarchies – Prague, 13 May 1915

Survivors reported seeing cows, goats, cats and birds,deliberately moving inland shortly before the tsunami came

The earliest recorded reference to unusual animal behaviour prior to a natural disaster dates back to 373 BC, when the Greek historian Thucydides reported rats, dogs, snakes and weasels deserting the city of Helice in the days before a catastrophic earthquake. Other reports dot history.

Minutes before the Naples quake of 1805, oxen, sheep, dogs and geese supposedly started making alarm calls in unison, while horses were said to have run off in panic just prior to the San Francisco earthquake of 1906.

Link from BBC: https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20220211-the-animals-that-predict-disasters

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Horses were said to have run off in panic ahead of San Francisco earthquake of 1906

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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The family doctor and the clairvoyant patient

Sensitivity to the spiritual must be judged correctly. One must distinguish carefully: Is there really sensitivity to the spiritual, or is this sensitivity still physically explainable? If a person is not critical, he cannot talk acceptably about these things. I would also like to give you another example of this.  

Once upon a time, a patient lived on the fourth floor of a house. The doctor had to visit her daily, even when she was already on the mend, because the case was quite dangerous. However, the doctor did not come at the same time every day but at very different hours; still, the sick person knew precisely when the doctor was coming – even if he was still downstairs. If he was still outside the house at the door, she already knew: Now the doctor is coming. – Mainly, however, she knew, when he was still in the hallway of the house, even before he had gone up a flight of stairs. People told the doctor about this, saying, “She is clairvoyant.”  

Now, the doctor was a little edgy. Doctors don’t immediately believe such things. But when they told him over and over again, “Yes, our daughter is clairvoyant, she knows when you’re down there,” he said, “I’ll check this story!” And he carefully took off his boots before entering the house through the door. And then she didn’t know! 

Now, you see, there are, of course, such cases, and they must be carefully checked because this patient had simply developed a sensitive hearing due to the prolonged lying down and had heard the steps, which one would not otherwise hear upstairs. If one immediately assumes that something is due to clairvoyance, one has no right to state that it is a spiritual phenomenon. One must distinguish very precisely between what can be perceived with the senses and what can’t.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 350 – Rhythmen im Kosmos und im Menschenwesen, Wie kommt man zum Schauen der geistigen Welt? – Dornach, June 13, 1923 (page 90-91)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger  Rudolf-Steiner+Arbeit-an-sich-selbst-Wie-man-zum-Schauen-in-der-geistigen-Welt-kommt-Vorträge-vor

Previously posted on 20 February 2022