For the truly practical person it is not important what the contents of the thoughts are, but the activity they bring about

It is not the theories that have significance, but the habits of thought. For the truly practical person it is not important what the contents of the thoughts are, but the activity they bring about. That is what it is all about. It does not matter whether someone is an idealist, but what is important in life is that one’s thoughts are fruitful, that they stimulate life and bring progress. It must be kept in mind that Spiritual Science does not want to have any part in one or the other dogma or belief system. It is of no importance that someone has many spiritual theories, but that these ideas are fruitful when applied to life. When someone declares that they are not materialistic and believe in the force of life, even in the spirit, but at the same time treats the human being like a gigantic test tube when considering nutritional matters, his worldview cannot bear fruit. Spiritual Science can only bring adequate answers to concrete questions when it is able to penetrate the details – and it is indeed able to shed light on nutritional as well as health issues.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 57 – Wo und wie findet man den Geist? – Berlin, 17 December 1908 (p. 172-173)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger


Previously  posted on September 13, 2018


Inner Activity of Soul

These days the people who might perhaps have the urge to experience something of the  supersensible out of some indeterminable instinct, prefer to acquire the ability to see into spiritual worlds through a mystical laying on of hands or something in that line. After all, a lot of people believe that it works this way. But it does not. What opens the spiritual world for us is strenuous inner activity of the soul.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 72 –Freiheit/Unsterblichkeit/ Soziales Leben – Bern, 18th October 1917 (page 29)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger


By David Newbatt

Previously posted on June 5, 2018

Still not becoming clairvoyant

Many people object they have tried to meditate in all kinds of ways but are still not becoming clairvoyant. This lack of clairvoyance simply shows they do not really want the activity and strength I have just described. They consider themselves fortunate because they do not need them. They do not want to develop any active strength of soul, but want to become clairvoyant without having to acquire this strength first. They want the tableau that arises before them through clairvoyance to appear by itself. But that would be nothing but hallucinating or dreaming. 

To put it bluntly, a dream is a piece of the etheric world that we can take with our etheric feelers and move from one place to another. This has nothing to do with true clairvoyance. In experiencing true second sight we are as active as we are in the physical world in writing on paper. The only difference is that when we want to write in the physical world, we need first to know what it is we want to write down — at least it usually helps if we do. By contrast, in spiritual perception we allow the beings of the spiritual hierarchies to write, and only then, while we are writing, do the things appear that we are to perceive. Real clairvoyance cannot come about without our active involvement in every single aspect of our perception.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 154 – UNDERSTANDING THE SPIRITUAL WORLD (PART ONE) – Berlin, April 18, 1914

Translated by Christian von Arnim and edited by Joachim Reuter


Unable to cope with life

One of the objections which are often made against this (anthroposophical) worldview is that it makes the human being unable to cope with life. Let me still go into it with some words. No, anthroposophy does not make unable to cope with life, but more capable, just because we know what the permanent and what the transient is. Of course, somebody who thinks that the body is a dress which the soul only puts on and takes off again as it is sometimes said becomes unable to cope with life. But this is a wrong picture which should be used by no researcher. The body is not a dress, but a tool for the soul. A tool the soul uses to work with it in the world. 

And he who knows the permanent and invigorates it in himself uses the tool better than somebody who only knows the transient. He strives for invigorating the eternal in himself by means of constant activity. He carries this activity over to another life, and he becomes more and more capable. This picture lets the thought disappear to nothing that the human being  becomes unfit to cope with life because of knowledge. We are able to work even in a more competent and more permanent way if we recognise that we work not only for this one short life but for all future times.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 52 – Spiritual Teachings of Soul/World: Course I – Lecture I: The Eternal and the Transient in the Human Being- Berlin, September 6, 1903


The quieter we are, the more can happen through us in the spiritual world

On Earth, we have to be active, move from place to place, be on the go. It is an important characteristic of daily life that what is presented to our perception comes to us without our activity. However grotesque it may appear, the opposite is true in the spiritual world. There one cannot be active, one cannot draw anything towards one by moving from one place to another. Nor can one bring anything to one simply by moving a limb — by the movement of a hand, for example. Above all, for something to happen in the spiritual world it is essential that there be absolute calmness of soul. 

The quieter we are, the more can happen through us in the spiritual world. We simply cannot say that anything happens in the spiritual world as a result of hurry and excitement. We need to develop loving participation in a mood of soul calmness for what is to happen, and then wait patiently to see how things come to pass.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 140 – Life Between Death and Rebirth: IV: Recent Results of Occult Investigation Into Life – Vienna, November 3, 1912

Translated by Rene M. Querido

Previously posted on May 24, 2018