Strength and Power/Egoism

Strength and power are not acquired by sitting down and brooding all day long over such questions as — “What shall I think now? What shall I do? What’s that pain I feel coming on again?” — but by opening the heart to everything great and beautiful in our surroundings, and by showing interest and understanding for everything that warms the hearts of others, as well as for their wants and privations. In this way we strengthen the life-forces in the realm of feeling within us; we overcome narrow minded egoism and we enhance and enrich our Ego by bringing the true form of egoism into harmony with our environment. 

[…] A man who exerts his will only for himself and his own advantage will always feel inwardly dissatisfied. Only when he can see his resolves reflected in the outer world and his will-impulses realised in action — only then can he say that he has brought his willing into harmony with outer events. And here we learn that our inner strength and power are not developed by anything we will for ourselves, but by whatever we will for the outer world and for other people. Our willing becomes reality and its reflection shines back to us. As our eyes are formed by light, so is our strength of soul developed by our actions and activities.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 58 – Metamorphoses of the Soul/Paths of Experience Vol. 1: Lecture 7: Human Egoism – Berlin, 25th November 1909

Translated by Charles Davy and Christian von Arnim

The anthroposophical world view is not unscientific

The fact that Anthroposophy expresses a different world-view from that of physics, need not mean that it must therefore be unscientific. The Anthroposophical findings only come from a different source – from being awake in spiritual realms. In the same way that you have to grope about in the dark and feel your way about if there is no light in a room but you get a totally different impression once the room it is filled with light, the spiritual researcher also sees everything in a new light when his spiritual eyes are opened. This person has not suddenly become less scientific just because his experiences have been enriched by a broader view. The logic of the Anthroposophist is just as valid as the logic of the physicist. It only transpires in another region.

It is a remarkable display of ignorance, if people reject as unscientific our research, before they have even tried it. We use the same thought processes in spiritual realms as the natural-scientists use in the physical realm; therefore, the Anthroposophical research method harmonises with that of science.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 52 – Spirituelle Seelenlehre und Weltbetrachtung – Berlin, 6 October 1904 (page 394)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on February 14, 2016

About vaccination and fanaticism

I do not recommend being fanatical about such things as for instance, vaccination – not for medical reasons but because of Anthroposophy in general. We do not strive towards fanaticism around these issues, but we wish to change things through insight. I have always, when I befriended doctors, opposed this, as for instance with doctor Asch who absolutely would not inoculate. I have always contested this. Because if he doesn’t vaccinate, another will. It is completely absurd to be so fanatic in individual cases.

Source (German):  Rudolf Steiner – GA 314 – Physiologisch-Therapeutisches auf Grundlage der Geisteswissenschaft – Dornach, April 22, 1924 (page 288)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

From the other side, death appears as the light-filled beginning of experience of the Spirit

From this side of life, death appears to be a dissolution, something in face of which the human being has a ready fear and dread. From the other side, death appears as the light-filled beginning of experience of the Spirit, as that which spreads a sun-radiance over the whole of the subsequent life between death and a new birth; as that which most of all warms the soul through with joy in the life between death and a new birth. The moment of death is something that is looked back upon with a deep sense of blessing. Described in earthly terms: the moment of death, viewed from the other side, is the most joyful, the most enrapturing point in the life between death and a new birth.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 161 – The Problem of Death I – Dornach, February 5, 1915

Previously posted on April 12, 2016

Without materialism man could not have become free

At the primeval time of his development man had not only the two states he now has, of sleeping and waking and between these a chaotic dreamy state; there was then a, third state, in which reality was present. This was not merely a state of dreaming, for in it man was able, although his consciousness was damped down, to see pictures and to learn by them, for these pictures were true to spiritual reality.

Now, as we know, in order that man should develop the full Earth-consciousness, this method of perception had to be withdrawn. If it had persisted, man would never have gained his freedom, he could not have become free if he had not been subjected to all the dangers, arguments and temptations of materialism; but he has to find his way back again to the Spiritual world, and must now be able to grasp it in full Earth consciousness.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 175 – Cosmic and Human Metamorphoses – Lecture 2 – The Metamorphoses of the Soul-Forces – Berlin, 13th February 1917

Translated by Harry Collison

Previously posted on April 10, 2016