Memory

Our memory is sometimes a bit better, sometimes a bit poorer, but we do have a memory. We have experiences; later we remember these experiences. What we experience in the spiritual world is different. We can experience it in its greatness, in beauty, in meaning – but when we have experienced it, it is over with. And it must be experienced again, if the soul wants it to stand in front of it again. It does not imprint itself in the memory in the usual way. It imprints itself in the memory only then, when one first take the trouble to transfer it into concepts, if one uses one’s mental capacity in the supersensible world. That is very difficult. One must indeed think without the help of the body. Therefore, one must have learned to order one’s concepts beforehand, must have become an orderly logician, so that one does not forget this logic, when one perceives in the spiritual world.

Source(German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 305 –Die geistig-seelischen Grundkräfte der Erziehungskunst – Oxford, August 20, 1922 (page 84-85)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on February 15, 2017

 

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Morality/Education

The human being is simply inwardly paralyzed in his moral development, when he is given moral commandments too early: ‘you should, you should not! -You’re allowed to do this, you are not allowed to do that! ‘ – when he is taught moral concepts in an abstract manner. The child must experience what is right and wrong, through the guiding of the teacher or educator. To that end, however the connecting principle must be that the teacher works upon the child in such a way that it longs for the good, loves the good and despises what is not good.

To teach morality, we must work in such a way that we do not prohibit the immoral and demand the moral, but we must evoke in the child between the change of teeth and puberty the feeling, not the will impulses, for what is good and what is bad. We must inwardly identify with what is moral. We must develop love, sympathy for the good, before it is developed further as a command in our willing. What must become morality in the willing, must first grow out of what is pleasant or repulsive for the life of feeling.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 304a – Anthroposophische Menschenkunde und Pädagogik – The Hague, November 19, 1923 (page 139-140)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on February 3, 2017

Social morality is a plant, which has its roots in the school classroom

Social morality is a plant, which has its roots in the school classroom, where children between their seventh and fourteenth year are taught. As a gardener looks to the lowest part of his garden, the soil, so would human society need to look at the lowermost part of the school, in which children of this age are taught, because that is the basis for all morality, for all the good.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 304 – Erziehungs- und Unterrichtsmethoden auf anthroposophischer Grundlage –  Kristiania (Oslo), November 24, 1921 (page 179)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on January 19, 2017

The best kind of anthroposophist

It might be thought that the best kind of anthroposophist is one who works at his development for a time and then engages in some activity which brings blessing on his fellow-men. But it may be that our position in external life does not enable us to put into application in the world what we elaborate in the soul. There may be no greater fallacy than to imagine that a man can be a good anthroposophist only if he actually turns to account in the world what he has learnt inwardly.

For decades we may not be in a position to put into application any of the impulses that are now within us. Then one day we may happen to be traveling with someone in a railway carriage and are able to say something of significance which otherwise we should have had no opportunity of saying. This single action may be more significant in life than one of much wider scope. We must realise clearly what we are capable of doing and that through the working of karma, the opportunity for turning it to account will be given us at the right moment.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 118 – The Sermon on the Mount and the Return of Christ – Düsseldorf, February 20, 1910

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond

Equal importance

We must realise that from a certain point of view the smallest and the greatest achievement of which we are capable are of equal importance for the whole. Life is a mosaic, composed of tiny pieces of stone. The man who places one little piece into the mosaic is not less important than the man who thought out the plan of the mosaic.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 118 – The Sermon on the Mount and the Return of Christ – Düsseldorf, February 20, 1910

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond