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

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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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I don’t like that nonsense

When we speak on the physical plane and tell our thoughts to someone, we have the feeling that our thoughts come from our soul, that we have to remember them at this particular moment. Speaking as a true occultist and not someone who just tells his experiences from memory, we will feel that our thoughts arise as living beings. We must be glad if we are blessed at the right moment with the approach of a thought as a real being.

When you express your thoughts in the physical world, for example, as a lecturer, you will find it easier to give a talk for the thirtieth time than you did the first time. If, however, you speak as an occultist, thoughts always have to approach you and then depart again. Just as someone paying you the thirtieth visit had to make his way to you thirty times, the living thought we express for the thirtieth time has to come to us thirty times as it did the first time; our memory is of absolutely no use here.

If you express an idea on the physical level and someone is sitting in a corner thinking, “I don’t like that nonsense, I hate it,” you will not be particularly bothered by it. You have prepared your ideas and present them regardless of the positive or negative thoughts of someone in the audience. But if as an esotericist you let thoughts approach you, they could be delayed and kept away by someone who hates them or who hates the speaker. And the forces blocking that thought must be overcome because we are dealing with living beings and not merely with abstract ideas.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 154 – The Presence of the Dead on the Spiritual Path – Lecture Four: The Presence of the Dead in our Life – Paris, May 25, 1914

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Previously posted on 9 November 2018

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

Many want the great truths to be simple and easy

The truths in the religious documents have emerged from the depths of wisdom. But then many say: you give us complicated material; we want to have the gospel uncomplicated and straightforward. The great truths must not be complex. 

In a certain respect, these people are correct, but apart from superficial efforts, deeper wisdom-filled thinking must also find the highest truths. The standpoint from which we consider these things cannot be high enough. In the future, we must increasingly leave behind convenient points of view to seriously penetrate the most profound insights.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 97 – Das christliche Mysterium – Keulen, March 8, 1907 (page 134)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

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 Previously posted on 5 February 2021