Anecdote on Divorce by Adelheid Petersen

Around that time (1914-1915), there dwelt in Dornach a young woman who lived in severe conflict with her husband and sought to divorce him. Moved by compassion, Rudolf Steiner helped her out with much kindness and infinite patience. Gradually, the young woman reached a state of inner balance and wrote her husband asking to return to him. However, the man rejected her request, in a cold dismissive tone. She came to Rudolf Steiner with her husband’s letter, in a state of despair.

“Yes,” he said, “You see, that’s only the result of all those reproachful, angry, and hostile letters you wrote him.”

“But, Herr Doctor!”, she exclaimed, “I never sent the letters, but always tore them up! I only wrote them to ease my pain!” 

“Yes,” said Steiner, “but his soul received them all.”

Source (German): Adelheid Petersen – Erinnerungen an Rudolf Steiner – Chapter: Dornach in den Jahren 1914-1915

Anonymous translator

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Adelheid Petersen

Previously posted on July 19, 2018

Stop using the word spirit, spirit, spirit… in every sentence

What matters to-day is not merely to believe in the spirit, but to be so filled with the spirit that through us the spirit is carried directly into material existence. It is useless to-day to say. Believe in the spirit … what is necessary is to speak of a spirit which is in truth able to master external reality  […].

For the cause of the unspiritual character of the present day is not that men do not believe in the spirit, but that they cannot reach such a relationship with the spirit as would enable the spirit to seize hold of matter in real life. All this gives us further warning not to think merely of belief in the spirit, but to try above all to make such an encounter with the spirit that it gives us strength to see through the reality of the material, external world. Then indeed people will stop using the word spirit, spirit, spirit… in every sentence. […]

This is what matters to-day: that people should see things in the light of the spirit, and not keep on talking about the spirit.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 193 – INNER ASPECT OF THE SOCIAL QUESTION: Lecture III – Zurich, 9 March 1919 

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MARIE VON SIVERS AND RUDOLF STEINER

One Man’s Joy is Another Man’s Punishment

Someone who takes great pleasure in nightly visits to the girlie shows or enjoys downing his eight glasses of beer, may encounter people who take joy in something of a higher level and remark how they punish themselves. What he does not realise is that their true punishment would be to sit with him in the music hall. Whoever enjoys the girlie shows and such belongs there, and it would be absurd to deprive him of the enjoyment. […] 

One should work to ennoble one’s pleasures, one’s gratifications in life. It is not so that anthroposophists come together because they suffer when talking about higher worlds, but rather because it is their heart’s deepest enjoyment. It would be the most terrible deprivation for them to sit down and play poker. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 56 – Illusory Illness and the Feverish Pursuit of Health – 2 – THE FEVERISH PURSUIT OF HEALTH – Munich, 5th December 1907

Translated by Sarah Kurland

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Previously posted  on July 18, 2018

Rudolf Steiner about Helena Petrovna Blavatsky

One thing that can be said of the writings of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky is this: Only someone who does not understand them can underestimate them. But someone who finds the key to what is great in these works will come to admire her more and more. That is what is significant about these works — the more one penetrates them the more one admires them. It is not the case that there are no mistakes to be found in them. But those who really take hold of life know, if they strive to evermore penetrate these works, that what is therein expressed could only have come from the great spiritual beings who are now guiding world evolution. This is how we must read Isis Unveiled, a book containing truths which, although sometimes caricatured like a beautiful face seen in a distorting mirror, are truly great.

A person who would merely like to speak out of a critical spirit might perhaps say: It would have been better not to give any such distortion. But anyone seeing matters in the proper light will say: If someone places their weak spiritual forces at the disposal of spiritual powers who wish to reveal themselves, and knows that these forces will produce only a distorted picture but that there is no one else who could do it any better, then that person, through their devotion, is making a great sacrifice for the world. All renderings of the great truths are distortions. If someone wanted to wait until the whole truth could be manifested, then they would have a long wait. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 104a – Reading the Pictures of the Apocalypse: Part 1: Lecture Three – Munich, May 8, 1907

Translated by James H. Hindes

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HELENA PETROVNA BLAVATSKY

Previously  posted on August 8, 2016

One ceases to find oneself as important and interesting as before

The anthroposophical or spiritual scientific truths are so enormous, so powerful and meaningful, so all-pervading, that we find our own individual personality less and less interesting. One learns to understand just how uninteresting the single personality in reality is. Acquiring this knowledge, triggered by the fuel of the Spiritual scientific truths, is what truly liberates people from selfishness in the end.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 56 – Die Erkenntnis der Seele und des Geistes – Berlin, December 12, 1907 (page 148-149)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

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Rudolf Steiner in 1907 with the family Specht (it is not sure this is right, because Steiner was home teacher with the family Specht about 1882-1886).

Previously posted on August 17, 2015