Masked self-love

The mere egoistic, soul-stirring talk of loving our fellow-men and acting upon this love at the first opportunity, that does not constitute social life. This sort of love is, for the most part, terribly egoistic. Many a man is supported by what he has first gained through robbing his fellow-men in a truly patriarchal fashion, in order to create for himself an object for his self-love, so that he can then feel nice and warm with the thought, “You are doing this, you are doing that.” One does not easily discover that a large part of the so-called love of doing good is a masked self-love.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 186 – Social and Anti-Social Forces in the Human Being – Bern, 12th December 1918

Previously posted on June 22, 2015

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The “school-bench” of life

One of the impulses which ensoul us in the sphere of our anthroposophical movement is that we, in a sense, carry into the whole of man’s life that which most people apply only to youth. We sit on the “school-bench” of life long after we have become grey. This is one of the differences between us and others, who believe that at the age of 25, or sometimes 26, when they have finished lazying about with their education, that they are ready for the rest of life — at most there may still be some amusing additions to one’s education.

But when we approach the very nerve of Spiritual Science, we feel that the human being really must continue to learn throughout his whole life if he wishes to tackle the tasks of life. It is vital that we should be permeated with this feeling. If we do not get rid of the belief that people can master everything with the faculties they have developed up to their 20th or 25th year, that then one only has to meet in Parliament or some other forum to decide all affairs — as long as we do not get rid of this view, we shall never be able to establish healthy conditions in the social structure of mankind.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 186 – Social and Anti-Social Forces in the Human Being – Bern, 12th December 1918

Previously posted on June 18, 2015

Social leaders without the most elementary knowledge

People in some of the most important positions in society, when they begin talking about present social demands, often appear to those who know, as individuals who wish to begin building a bridge over a rushing stream without having the most elementary knowledge of mechanics. They may well be able to put up a bridge, but it will collapse at the first opportunity. It seems with social leaders or with those who look after social institutions, that their plans will be shown to be impossible; for the things of reality demand that we work with them, and not against them.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 186 – Social and Anti-Social Forces in the Human Being – Bern, 12th December 1918

Previously posted on June 21, 2015

Educational science

A true educational science can only arise from the supernaturally-derived knowledge of the human nature complete in its physical, psychic and spiritual being. A knowledge keeping solely within the limits of what is attainable to natural science cannot be called a foundation of a true educational science.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 215 – Philosophy, Cosmology and Religion: CHAPTER X: ON EXPERIENCING THE WILL-PART OF THE SOUL – Dornach, 15th September, 1922

Translated by Harry Collison

No one should imagine himself to be better than others

Anthroposophists must feel part of the whole and, to some extent, responsible for all that happens. […] No one should imagine himself to be good or even much better than other people. We must be permeated by the thought that we can’t be much better than others. What is the advantage of making a few happy when our lifestyle reduces many to unhappiness? Ignorance is the root of suffering. Ignorant as we often are, we help sharpen the knife for those who use it for evil.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 266a – Aus den Inhalten der esoterischen Stunden – Berlin, 15 February 1904 (page 34-35)

Anonymous translator

Previously posted on August 26, 2017