I had always examined myself carefully

My knowledge of things of the spirit is a direct result of my own perception, and I am fully conscious of this fact. In all details and in the larger surveys I had always examined myself carefully as to whether every step I took in the progress of my perception was accompanied by a fully awake consciousness. Just as the mathematician advances from thought to thought without the unconscious or autosuggestion playing a role, so – I told myself – spiritual perception must advance from objective imagination to objective imagination without anything living in the soul but the spiritual content of clear, discerning consciousness.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 13 – An Outline of Occult Science – Preface: Sixteenth to Twentieth Edition

Translated by Maud and Henry B. Monges and revised for this edition by Lisa D. Monges.

Good deeds/Karma

A man who tries to perform many good deeds, will, as a result of the feelings evoked, have a decided talent in the next life for good deeds; he will also possess a thoroughly developed conscience and will be a person of high moral principles.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 99 – Theosophy of the Rosicrucian – VI: The Law of Destiny – Berlin, 30th May 1907

Translated by M. Cotterell & D. S. Osmond

One-sided truths

To say something that is incorrect is not the worst thing that can happen, for the world itself will soon put one right about it; but it is really serious to regard a one-sided truth as the absolute truth and to persist in so regarding it. […] It is always essential to look at truths not only from the one side but also from the other. The fault of most philosophers is not that they say what is false — in many cases their assertions cannot be refuted because they do state truths — but that they make statements which are due to things having been viewed from one side only.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 119 – Macrocosm and Microcosm – Lecture 6 – Experiences of Initiation in the Northern Mysteries – Vienna, 26th March 1910

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond & Charles Davy

What is destined to happen in the course of evolution will happen

Just as an age was once ready to receive the Copernican theory of the universe, so is our own age ready for the ideas of reincarnation and karma to be brought into the general consciousness of humanity. And what is destined to happen in the course of evolution will happen, no matter what powers rise up against it. When reincarnation and karma are truly understood, everything else follows of itself in the light of these truths.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 135 – Reincarnation and Karma: Lecture V– Berlin, 5th March 1912

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond & Charles Davy


We should be grateful to people if they treat us badly, because then we can exercise our tolerating forces. We should try to love these people anyway, and we’ll then notice that this is the right thing to do.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 – From the Contents of Esoteric Classes – Part II – Munich, 10th January 1912

Good thoughts and feelings give wings to the dead

It is very important to send our thoughts and feelings to a loved one who has died and is now in the spiritual worlds. Our thoughts must not contain yearnings to have the departed back with us, as this complicates his life in the spheres in which he must now enter. What we need to send to the spiritual worlds is not the suffering we endure but the love we bear towards the departed. […] Spiritual research has shown that feelings of love give wings that bear the dead up, whereas longings like: “Oh how I wish you were still with us” create obstacles in his path. This is a general indication of how to direct our feelings in such events.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 264 – From a letter to Paula Stryczek – Berlin, 31 December 1905 (page 101)

Anonymous translator

Spiritual guidance

People think they are free to make resolves, to think and to form ideas, but they are guided by spiritual beings behind the physical world. What men call their understanding, by which they believe they can control the course of time, is the expression of spiritual beings behind.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 57 – Goethe’s Secret Revelation – Berlin, 12th March 1909

On the Building of a Slaughterhouse

Engineer Englert, director of the building society in Basel, who also helped Rudolf Steiner complete the first Goetheanum, tells of a conversation he had with him: “I told Steiner that the gentlemen of the building society, who happen to oppose anthroposophy, proposed to entrust me with the task of managing the construction of a municipal slaughterhouse. As the offer was obviously made to irritate me, I naturally turned it down.” But Steiner replied: “As long as meat is eaten, abattoirs must also be built, and it remains an interesting task to build a really practical one.”

Source (German): Sie Mensch von einem Menschen! Rudolf Steiner in Anekdoten door Wolfgang G. Vögele (page 134)

Anonymous translator

Why look beyond the threshold?

Among the fiercest critics of Steiner, was Johann Wilhelm Hauer, the theologian from Tübingen. After attending a lecture by Rudolf Steiner on “life after death”, Hauer had this to say: “Why look beyond the threshold? We’ll have enough time to find out what it’s like once we get there.” Rudolf Steiner commented: “That would be exactly the same, as if polar explorers, embarking on a trip to the north pole, said: ‘We’ll decide on what we need for our trip, once we arrive at the north pole.’”

Source: Sie Mensch von einem Menschen! Rudolf Steiner in Anekdoten door Wolfgang G. Vögele (page 159)

Anonymous translator

A hostile thought is for the soul the same as a slap in the face

Anyone nowadays acknowledges that smacking someone with your hand is something very real, that it actually happens. But it is not so easily believed that it is just as real when I send someone a bad thought. We must be aware that the hostile thought that I send to my fellow human being, the thought of antipathy or hatred, is to his soul the same as a slap in the face would be. A negative feeling, a feeling of hatred and indifference with which I confront another person is in reality the same as a physical injury.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 264 – Zur Geschichte und aus den Inhalten der ersten Abteilung der Esoterischen Schule 1904 – 1914 (page 373-374)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Strength of Will and Resignation

On the path of self-advancement, we can best strengthen our will by patient surrender to our destiny. One who, on every occasion, is grumpy and dissatisfied with his destiny, weakens his will. He who can accept, through wise self-education, what destiny brings him strengthens his will. People who always feel what destiny has dealt them as totally undeserved, as something to be shaken off, have the weakest will.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 61 – Menschengeschichte im Lichte der Geistesforschung – Berlin, 14 March 1912 (page 444)

Anonymous translator

The school of godlessness

The last four hundred years were in fact a schooling for humanity — the school of godlessness, in which there was purely human experimentation, a return to chaos if seen from a particular point of view. Everyone is experimenting today, without being aware of the connection with higher worlds — apart from those who have once more sought and found that connection with spiritual realms. Nearly everyone lives entirely for himself today, without perceiving anything of the real and all-penetrating common design. That of course is the cause of the dreadful dissatisfaction everywhere.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 93 – The Temple Legend – Lecture 20 – Berlin, 2nd January 1906

Translated by John M. Wood

Nothing can be truly understood if it is looked at from one side only

Everything which appears to us in one condition was quite different in earlier times; only by relating the present to the past can it be understood. Similarly, if you do not look beyond the physical world of the senses, you will never understand illness, or the mission of evil.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 95 – At the Gates of Spiritual Science – Lecture VIII: Good and Evil. Individual Karmic Questions – Stuttgart, 29th August 1906

Translated by E. H. Goddard & Charles Davy

Moral thinking / Esoteric development

There is nothing more disturbing for the knowledge of the supersensible worlds than filling the human soul with immoral impulses. That is why it is deeply founded to demand a kind of moral thinking in the most eminent sense as a preparation of the esoteric development.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 159 – The Mystery of Death – Nuremberg, 14th March 191

This war is the karma of materialism

From what is now happening (World War I), a few souls must come to a realization that we cannot go on like this; human evolution must take up the spiritual! Materialism is confronting its karma in this, the most terrible of all wars. In a certain sense, this war is the karma of materialism. The more this fact is realized by human beings, the more they will abandon their arguments about who is to blame for the war, and then they will have to realize that this war has been sent into world history to admonish man to turn to a spiritual perception of human life in its entirety.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 159 – Christ in Relation to Lucifer and Ahriman – Linz, May 18, 1915

Translated by Peter Mollenhauer, Ph.D.

About selfishness and early aging

Another interesting karmic relationship is between an habitually selfish attitude and a loving sympathy with others. Some people are hardened egoists — not only in their acquisitiveness — and others are unselfish and sympathetic. Both attitudes depend on the etheric body and may even find expression in the physical body. People who in one life have been habitually selfish will age quickly in their next life; they seem to shrivel up. On the other hand, if in one life you have been ready to make sacrifices and have loved others, you will remain young and hale. In this way you can prepare even the physical body for the next life.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 95 – At the Gates of Spiritual Science – Lecture VIII: Good and Evil. Individual Karmic Questions. – Stuttgart, 29th August 1906

Translated by E. H. Goddard & Charles Davy


The humility towards those who are lower than we are, and at whose expense we have been able to rise, must be present everywhere in the world. If a plant were able to think, it would thank the minerals for giving it the ground on which it can lead a higher form of life, and the animal would have to bow down before the plant and say: “To thee I owe the possibility of my own existence.” In the same way man should recognise what he owes to all the rest of nature. So also, in our society, a man holding a higher position should bow before those who stand lower and say: “But for the diligence of those who labour on my behalf, I could not stand where I do.”

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 95 – At the Gates of Spiritual Science – Lecture XIII: Oriental and Christian Training – Stuttgart, 3rd September 1906

Translated by E.H. Goddard & Charles Davy

Duration of life between death and rebirth

It has often been pointed out that, for a “normal” person, the time spent between death and a new birth is long when compared to the time spent in the physical body, between birth and death. The time spent between death and rebirth is only short for those who had “negative”  earthly lives; those who, so to speak, committed truly criminal acts.

Only then is the time spent between death and rebirth short. But for people who go through “normal” earthly lives, without being submerged in egoism, the time spent between death and rebirth is usually relatively long.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 162 – Kunst- und Lebensfragen im Lichte der Geisteswissenschaft – Dornach, 30 mei 1915 (bladzijde 71)

Anonymous translator

Thinking during sleep

It is not true that thinking ceases during sleep; we think from the moment of falling asleep until we wake. Man’s thoughts are in perpetual flow in his ether-body, only he is unaware of it. Not until the moment when he returns to the body do the thoughts light up in his consciousness.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 224 – The Forming of Destiny in Sleeping and Waking – Bern, April 6, 1923

Hold on to the facts

What we speak nowadays corresponds little to outward facts. It is mostly the outcome of various opinions and passions. However, when we add to our external sensory perceptions what does not match pure reality, and reflect it as thoughts, we destroy our capacity for higher knowledge. […] The most basic rule for ascending to the higher worlds is this: learn to hold on to the pure facts of the physical world.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 220 – Lebendiges Naturerkennen Intellektueller Sündenfall und spirituelle Sündenerhebung– Dornach, January 20, 1923 (page 128-129)

Anonymous translator

After death

When, after death, we go through our previous earthly life in reverse order, we feel the effects which our actions, will impulses, and thoughts had on other people as well as other creatures. During that period,  we do not feel what we have personally felt while in the physical body, but what we have caused other souls and other entities to feel.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 174b – Die geistigen Hintergründe des Ersten Weltkrieges –Dornach, March 15, 1916 (page 166)

Anonymous translator

Very difficult

People often say: “This is becoming very difficult — we can’t keep up with it.” But look — with really flexible thinking, free from prejudice, you will be able to keep up.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 227 – The Evolution of Consciousness: V: The Relation of Man to the Three Worlds – Penmaenmawr, 23rd August, 1923

Translated by Violet E. Watkin & Charles Davy

Fear and contempt facing spiritual knowledge

The present disposition of people, particularly those of Central Europe, is to either fear or despise spiritual knowledge. These two attitudes, which are inwardly related, are connected with the extremely difficult – and destined to worsen – conditions in Central Europe.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 192 – Geisteswissenschaftliche Behandlung sozialer und pädagogischer Fragen – Stuttgart, 20 July 1919 (page 299)

Anonymous translator


Look at the blood that flows today, look at the people who are put against the wall and shot: those are the inspirations of good will from the spiritual world that want to come to the people, but are hated by them and then transformed into wild animal urges. If the human being does not want that which comes to him from out of spiritual worlds as inspiration then it transforms itself into wild emotions, into animal drives.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 192 – Geisteswissenschaftliche Behandlung sozialer und pädagogischer Fragen – Stuttgart, Juni 22, 1919 (page 225)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Uplifting fact

Where the spiritual world is concerned the first essential is that we should develop thoughts about it. And even if it seems as though the dead were remote, while present life is near and close at hand, the very fact that we have such thoughts as have been described to-day, that we let our mind dwell on things seemingly remote from external life — this very fact uplifts and develops the soul, imparts to it spiritual force and spiritual nourishment.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 182 – The Dead Are With Us – Nuremberg, 10th February 1918

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond

Stick blow

A feeling of hatred directed at another is very real, and for one who can see in the spiritual world, it is much more potent than hitting him with a stick. Although the terrible thing does not take place right before our eyes, yet it is so.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 56 – Die Erkenntnis der Seele und des Geistes – Berlin, 12 December 1907 (page 144-145)

Anonymous translator

To think I strive for happiness is a misconception

To think I strive for happiness is a misconception. I want to be productive and work as much as I can. I want nothing besides.  

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 39 – Briefe – Band II – 1890-1925 (page 433)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

A tremendous amount in respect of devoutness is effected by the messages of those who died early

To clairvoyant consciousness it is specially interesting that it is due to those who died in youth that a man in outer life feels a certain devoutness, a certain religious inclination. A tremendous amount in respect of devoutness is effected by the messages of those who died early.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 181 – Earthly Death and Cosmic Life: Lecture 3: The Living and the Dead – Berlin, 5th February 1918

Translated by Harry Collison

The dead are with us

All of you sitting here now are in constant intercourse with the dead, only ordinary consciousness knows nothing of it because it proceeds in the sub-consciousness. Clairvoyant consciousness does not charm anything new into being; it merely brings up into consciousness what is present all the time in the spiritual world. All of you are in constant intercourse with the dead.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 182 – The Dead Are With Us – Nuremberg, February 10, 1918

Translated by D.S. Osmond

Discouraged/Power Development

The atmosphere we live in when we make spiritual science a personal concern, requires that we strongly develop our powers and sense of self-preservation. And those are the deeper reasons why we are often discouraged and feeling lonely – why one or another of those who strive for spiritual science, may find it hard to come to terms with life. But if we have clear insight into its great contribution to mankind, and how it only seems small now because we are still at the very beginning, we can also find this power, can really find it then.  All major impulses in the development of humanity must, to begin with, be small.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 168 – Die Verbindung zwischen Lebenden und Toten – St. Gallen, 26 October 1916 (page 166)

Anonymous translator

Temperament and Karma

The melancholic temperament is karmically determined if a man in his previous life was compelled to lead a narrow, restricted existence and to be much alone; if he was always preoccupied only with himself and unable to make much interest in anything else. If, however, a man has learnt a great deal from experience but has also had something of a hard struggle, if he has encountered many things and has not merely looked on at them, he will become a choleric. If, again, he has had a pleasant life without much struggle or toil, or if he saw and passed by many things, but only as an onlooker, all this will work karmically into the etheric body of his next life: he will become a phlegmatic or a sanguine type.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 95 – At the Gates of Spiritual Science: Lecture VII – Stuttgart, 28th August 1906

Translated by E.H. Goddard & Charles Davy

Spiritual knowledge is entirely in accordance with science

It is essential that anthroposophists should learn to distinguish between true science and all that through countless popular channels poses as science, but in reality is nothing but a compendium of preconceived ideas, theories and the like. If we go to the true sources of the several sciences we realise how fully spiritual knowledge accords with science.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 127 – The Son of God and the Son of Man – Munich, February 11, 1911

Idiotic attacks on Anthroposophy

Regarding these last attacks, it is clear that people do not want to occupy themselves with spiritual science. I have told you about the particularly hateful, ruthless attack that is now taking place in Germany, where the “noble” Frankfurter Zeitung is behaving in an extraordinarily shameless manner. Admittedly, they have printed our reaction to this horrible attack; but only to attach an entire column with their idiotic comments. These things come from people who would like anthroposophical science to disappear totally, but they are too lazy or too incompetent to engage with the anthroposophical content.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner –  GA 203– Die Verantwortung des Menschen für die Weltentwickelung – Dornach, March 13, 1921 (page 276-277)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

These guide lines can do no harm

What is found in Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and Its Attainment is apart from other books of instruction in that it is harmless. Only those guide lines are disclosed that cannot do damage to a person, even if they are not followed with patience and perseverance. They can do no harm even if a person practices them improperly.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 53 – The Inner Development of Man – Berlin, December 15, 1904

Translated by Maria St. Goar

Everything in life bears consequences

Everything in life bears consequences. If a person makes a mistake or tells a lie, even if he is not aware of it with his ordinary consciousness, then it is still present in the subconscious, where it works as a destructive force, not only for the individual concerned but also for the development of the whole of mankind. Similarly, if a person binds him or herself to the forces of truth, it works as a life-giving power for all of humanity and the development of the world.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 127 – Die Mission der neuen Geistesoffenbarung – Heidenheim, November 30, 1911 (page 238)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger


As we grow older, honey has an extremely favourable effect upon us. With children, it is milk that has a similar effect; honey helps us to build our bodies and is thus strongly to be recommended for people who are growing old. It is an exceedingly wholesome food; only one must not eat too much of it! If one eats too much of it, using it not merely as a condiment, one can make the formative forces too strongly active. The form may then get too rigid, and one may develop all kinds of illnesses. A healthy man feels just how much honey should take. Honey is particularly good for older people because it gives the body the right firmness.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 351 – Nine Lectures on Bees: Lecture II – Dornach, November 26, 1923

Translated by Marna Pease & Carl Alexander Mier

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

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

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

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

We should not consider materialism as something bad

We should not consider materialism as something bad, because it is also part of the divine plan of creation and has a purpose and destiny in the whole universe.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 266a – Aus den Inhalten der esoterischen Stunden – Munich, 5 December 1907 (page 283)

Anonymous translator

Utility and material advantage

If we really want to support progress, then we would not search for the practicality of something, but much more evaluate whether it is beautiful and noble. […] It is terrible to have to perceive how many thousands of people today are, since earliest childhood directed towards no other activity but that which is designed to bring material advantage and which is to be pursued merely for the sake of utility, cut off in life from the beautiful and artistic. In the poorest elementary schools, the most beautiful works of art should hang, that would bring infinite blessings for human development.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 266a – Aus den Inhalten der esoterischen Stunden – Munich, January 16, 1908 (page 299)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Time that’s spent on development isn’t wasted

People often ask whether it wouldn’t be better to use the time that one uses for development for doing good deeds in the world. But occultists must reply that time that’s spent on development isn’t wasted. For a man can only work well and rightly for mankind by making himself more perfect. Outer deeds that seem to be ever so good can be harmful; one just doesn’t know it.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 – From the Contents of Esoteric Classes – Berlin, 5th June 1908

Many people think that they’re working for the good of mankind

Many people think that they’re working for the good of mankind from morn till eve, but this is questionable. A clairvoyant can see that efforts coming from materialistic thinking have the wrong effect, and it may lie in some people’s karma that they should wait until they can do certain things. Then a higher being can whisper such a task in his ear, so that it’s not induced by outer circumstances.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 – From the Contents of Esoteric Classes – Stuttgart, 9th August 1908

Not as impractical and unworldly as it may seem

Because man was entirely focused on the physical world, it monopolised his whole interest. That was a necessary stage in human development. Today, people often think: If I make an effort to live well, I will, when I die, experience what is to be experienced after death. That may seem quite logical at first, but is nonetheless entirely false, for the spiritual world will weave a veil of blindness around those who die with indifference to it, causing them to see nothing. Thinking about the transcendental world is therefore not as impractical and unworldly as it may seem.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 266a – Aus den Inhalten der esoterischen Stunden – Stuttgart, August 16, 1908 (page 420)

Anonymous translator

Noise in the cities

These days there are books written on how to reduce the noise in the cities and even associations formed to assist with this reduction of noise. However, it is not about reducing the noise but about developing the inner strength through meditation and equanimity of soul to shut it out. It is not the excessive noise in the cities that is harmful but the demons that move through them; these demons are actually kept in check somewhat by the racket. One needs to learn to live with the noise without becoming annoyed by it.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 266a – Aus den Inhalten der esoterischen Stunden – Munich, November 8, 1908 (page 429)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Our life in the higher worlds

As here we live rhythmically between waking and sleeping, so in the other world life alternates between withdrawal into ourselves and sociable intercourse with other souls. As I have described above, our life in the higher worlds depends on how we have prepared ourselves here on earth.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 140 – Life Between Death and Rebirth – XV: Intercourse With the Dead – Düsseldorf, April 27, 1913

Translated by Rene Querido

Meat / Animals / Bacteria

The bad about eating meat is the lasting effect of hurting and killing animals. These martyred animals return in the form of creatures who turn their forces against the bodies of the descendents of those who once killed them. Bacteria are re-embodied tortured, killed and eaten animals.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 – Esoteric Lessons – Part II – Cologne, May 9, 1912

Half- or quarter-truths have far worse effects than complete errors

Half- or quarter-truths have far worse effects than complete errors. Thus it is a half- or quarter-truth which underlies what is so frequently described today as analytical psychology or psychoanalysis. People are truly seeking but they are groping in the dark; they divine that many things are hidden in the foundations of the soul, but they cannot resolve to take the real steps into the spiritual world, so as to find what is hidden there, in the depths of the soul.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 168 – The Influence of the Dead on the Life of Man on Earth – Zurich, 3 December 1916


Anger has its value for the development of the human being. The human being must purify himself, he must overcome anger. Anger is something that works beneficially in that it is overcome. The human being would never be able to reach perfection without conquering anger. 

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 108 – Die Beantwortung von Welt- und Lebensfragen durch Anthroposophie – St. Gallen, November 21, 1909 (page 100)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

The Christ Impulse: only in a later age will it be wholly comprehended

The Christ Impulse was so great that mankind of the present has understood but very little of it, and only in a later age will it be wholly comprehended.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 103 – The Gospel of St. John: Lecture X: The Effect of the Christ Impulse Within Mankind – Hamburg, 30th May 1908

Translated by Maud B. Monges


What binds men to each other in love is egoism in by far the most cases. One loves someone because one feels that it’s pleasant to be near the person one loves. The good Gods had to use egoism to teach men about love.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 – From the Contents of Esoteric Classes – Esoteric Lessons Part III – Stockholm, 8th June 1913

About compassion and egoism

Some say that sympathy (compassion, pity) can also come from egoism. That may be the case. Many kinds of sympathy only arise because one doesn’t want to see other people suffer. That’s even a good thing. It’s better for a man to help someone out of egotistical sympathy than not to help him at all. But we must learn to develop a sympathy that stands above egoism, that helps fellowmen because it’s one’s duty to help them.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 – From the Contents of Esoteric Classes – Berlin, 15th May 1908

Evil feelings

Wherever the opportunity is given for definite beings, then they are always there. If a person sends out wrong, evil feelings, these live around him and attract beings which are there waiting, just as some physical being waits for food. I once compared this with the fact that there are no flies in a clean room; if there are all sorts of food-remains in the room, then there are flies. So it is with the super-sensible beings: one need only provide them with the means of nourishment.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 102 – The Influence of Spiritual Beings on Man: Lecture IX – Berlin, 1st June 1908

It is most important to avoid all forms of alcohol

It is most important to avoid all forms of alcohol. Even sweets  filled with alcohol have a very harmful effect. Alcohol combined with spiritual exercises leads to the most wrong path. Now that science has proven the bad influence of alcohol on brain function, how much more should a man, who directs his entire efforts to the spiritual, abstain from a delight which completely excludes him from achieving spiritual consciousness.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 267 – Seelenübungen 1904-1924 (page 513)

Anonymous translator

Two things must be completely avoided

Two things must be completely avoided during occult training. We should never harm anyone through deeds, thoughts or words intentionally or not. Secondly, the feeling of hate must disappear in us, otherwise it reappears as a feeling of fear; for fear is suppressed hate. We must transform the hate into a feeling of love, the love of wisdom.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 – From the Contents of Esoteric Classes – Kassel, 26th February 1909

Not the whole story

Over and over again one hears that people are saying: “Last time he described man’s experience between going to sleep and waking, and now he is telling us something different about it.” My dear friends, if I tell you what an official experiences in his office, it does not contradict what later I tell you about him in the bosom of his family. The two things go together. So you must be clear that when I tell you of experiences between going to sleep and waking this is not the whole story, just as an official can still have a family life outside his office.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 218 – Memory and Love – Stuttgart, December 4th, 1922

The honest knowledgeable person knows that he does not know all that much

The honest knower always knows less than the not so honest one. The honest knower holds him or herself to be far less intelligent than the one who flippantly contrives some alleged all-embracing knowledge for other people.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 273 – Das Faust-Problem/Die romantische und die klassische Walpurgisnacht – Dornach, January 18, 1919 (page 222)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Sacrifice and karma

Who then are those who principally labour for the good of humanity in general, and who set themselves universal tasks in later incarnations? They are those who in earlier incarnations, have in some way or other died a death of sacrifice. The devotional natures, those given up to the spiritual here on the earth, owe this to their life of martyrdom in a previous incarnation. The earth could not progress unless people sacrificed themselves.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 157a – The Forming of Destiny and Life after Death – Lecture 3 – Berlin, 20th November 1915

Translated by Harry Collison

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

Short-lived interest

The short duration of people’s interest in something is a very characteristic feature of the present time.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – Unknown GA-number – About Horses That Can Count and Calculate – Stuttgart, February 18, 1913 

Untold damage

Children suffer great, nay untold damage if they come to believe that other children are the teacher’s favourites. This must be avoided at all costs.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 310 – Human Values in Education: LECTURE VI – Arnheim, 22nd July 1924

Translated by Vera Compton-Burnett


It is absolutely possible for an individual to exhibit qualities which compel us to treat him as mentally inferior, feeble-minded: nevertheless the same person may utter things — which are full of life and wit to the point of genius. That is quite possible. And why? Because of the extreme suggestibility associated with certain types of mental inferiority; a suggestibility open to all the mysterious influences of the environment and reflecting them as a mirror.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 312 – Spiritual Science and Medicine: Lecture XIII – Dornach, 2nd April 1920

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

About the perception of the karma of a person

When one wants to understand the karma of an individual, one must not look at his or her profession, what his or her social conditions are, nor at what such a person can do or cannot do. One must rather look deep into their soul, into the qualities and abilities that may eventually become manifest in any profession.  Because after all, we must see what a person was in a previous life. […] One should begin with looking through all that is outward and come to perceive the inner being, the purely human, that whereby the human being is human, is an individual personality.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 346 – Vorträge und Kurse über christlich- religiöses  Wirken: V – Dornach, 9 september 1924 (bladzijde 79)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

True, profound knowledge is born out of suffering

Every genuine knowledge is born out of sorrow, of suffering, of grief. True, profound knowledge is never born out of joy. True, profound knowledge is born out of suffering.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 226 –  Man’s Being, His Destiny and World Evolution: Lecture 5 – Kristiania, 20th May 1923

Translated by Erna McArthur

About interest, memory and willpower

Only by working through the force of habit and custom in man can you give order to his will and therewith also to his memory. In other words, you must understand how everything that awakens an intense interest in the child also contributes to a very great extent towards making his memory strong and efficient. For the power of the memory must be derived from the feeling and will and not from mere intellectual memory exercises.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 293 – The Study of Man: Lecture VIII – Stuttgart, 29 August 1919

Translated by Daphne Harwood & Helen Fox

About mistakes and accomplishments

Let us learn to regard the mistakes of human beings as their own affair and the accomplishments of human beings as something that concerns all of humankind. People’s errors belong to their karma; their deeds concern humanity. Let us learn not to be troubled by people’s mistakes; they themselves must atone for them. Let us rather be thankful for their accomplishments, for the entire evolution of humanity lives from them.

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

Translated by James H. Hindes


There is no greater arrogance than to say that one only needs to be a good person, and then everything is in order. After all, one must first know how to do it; how to really be a good person.  Rejecting wisdom, with our present-day consciousness, would be a sign of great arrogance. True understanding of what is good requires that we intrude deeply into the secrets of wisdom. That would of course be inconvenient because we would have to learn much. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA-number unknown

Anonymous translator

The chaos of the present time

The present age is more than any other age demanding the one thing people least want to have: understanding based on the science of the spirit. Strange as it may sound to the people of today — order will not be created from the chaos of the present time until a sufficiently large number of people are prepared to recognize the truths of that science. Such will be the karma of world history.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 177 – Fall of the Spirits of Darkness : Lecture 1: The Driving Force Behind Europe’s War – Dornach, 29 September 1917

Translated by Anna R. Meuss

Terrible events

As I said in my earlier lectures, the time has come for humanity to know certain truths concerning the spiritual background to the physical world. If people are not going to be prepared to accept these truths out of their own good will, they will be forced to learn them from the terrible events that will happen as time goes on.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 177 – Fall of the Spirits of Darkness: Lecture 4: The Elemental Spirits of Birth and Death – Dornach, 6 October 1917

Translated by Anna R. Meuss

Fear of the truth

It is fear of the great truths that prevents people from accepting them.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 177 – Fall of the Spirits of Darkness: Lecture 4: The Elemental Spirits of Birth and Death – Dornach, 6 October 1917

Translated by Anna R. Meuss

Spiritual Worlds/Physical Air

We cannot say that other worlds than the sense world do not concern us; we are in their midst. We must realize that, while we are walking about here on this earth, we walk through the spiritual worlds exactly as we walk through the physical air.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 194 – The Mysteries of Light, of Space, and of the Earth – Lecture III – Dornach, 14th December 1919

Translated by Frances E. Dawson

Our value to the world

Our value for the world must be seen to lie wholly in acts of love, not in what is done for the sake of self-perfecting. Let us be under no illusion about this. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 143 – Love and Its Meaning in the World – Zurich, 17th December, 1912

Translated by D. S. O. and E. F. and S. Derry

Knowledge of another soul after death

After death knowledge of another soul is as intimate as knowledge here on Earth of our own finger, head or ear — we feel ourselves within the other soul. The connection is much more intimate than it can ever be on Earth. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 182 – The Dead Are With Us – Nuremburg, February 10, 1918

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond

The inconvenient truth

It is, of course, more of an effort to deal with reality than to waffle in general terms about world harmony, about the individual soul being in harmony with the world, about harmony in the general love of humanity.

Anthroposophy does not exist to send people off to sleep, but to make them really wide awake. We are living at a time when it is necessary for people to wake up.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 177 – Fall of the Spirits of Darkness: Lecture 8: Abstraction and Reality – Dornach, October 13, 1917

Translated by Anna R. Meuss

Demonic powers

If human beings are not prepared to take up impulses which can only come from spiritual knowledge, the body will be filled with demonic powers.

Bron: Rudolf Steiner – GA 177 – Fall of the Spirits of Darkness – LECTURE 5: Changes in Humanity’s Spiritual Make-up – Dornach, 7th October 1917

Translated by Anna R. Meuss