Alcohol is an unnecessary evil today

Alcohol only arose after the Atlantean epoch to help men to become individualized. It closes man off from his higher capacities and encloses him in himself.

But now all civilized people have reached that stage so that alcohol is an unnecessary evil today. Through its use one loses the ability to get along with others and to understand them. Alcohol is especially harmful for esoterics since its use changes all developed higher forces into forces of the personal ego, repeatedly locks it into itself.

By consuming alcohol one prepares a fertile soil for hosts of spiritual beings, just as a dirty room gets filled with flies.


Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 – From the Contents of Esoteric Classes: Esoteric Lesson – Stuttgart, August 13, 1908

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Previously posted on May 25, 2018

No prohibitions, but real insights help

Certainly, one can prohibit this or that, but people then hit on something else, which, as a rule, is not better but much worse. I therefore believe that enlightening explanations, like the one we presented today regarding the effects of alcohol, for example, can be much more effective and will gradually bring human beings to refrain from alcohol on their own. 

This does not infringe on human freedom, but understanding causes a person to say to himself, “Why, this is shocking! I am harmed right into my bones!” This becomes effective as feeling, whereas laws work only on the intellect. The real truths, the real insights, are those that work all the way into feeling. It is therefore my conviction that we can arrive at an effective social reform — and in other spheres it is much the same — only if true enlightenment in the widest circles of people is made our concern.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 348 – Health and Illness II: Lecture III: The Effects of Alcohol on Man – Dornach, January 8, 1923

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Alcohol: very harmful. Cocaine: even more harmful than alcohol.

The use of alcohol can be prohibited, but when it is, strange phenomena appear. You know, for example, that in many parts of the world the sale of alcohol has been restricted or even completely prohibited. But I call your attention to another evil that has recently made its appearance in Europe, that is, the use of cocaine by people who wish to drug themselves. In comparison to what the use of cocaine will do, particularly in damage to the human reproductive forces, alcohol is benign! 

Those individuals who take cocaine do not hold cocaine responsible for the damage it does, but you can see from the external symptoms that its use is much worse than that of alcohol. When a person suffers from delirium tremens, it becomes manifest in a form of persecution complex. He sees mice everywhere that pursue him. 

A cocaine user, however, imagines snakes emerging everywhere from his body. First, such a person seeks an escape through cocaine, and for a while he feels good inside, because it brings about a feeling of sensual pleasure. When he has not had any cocaine for some time, however, and he looks at himself, he sees snakes emerge everywhere from his body. Then he runs to have another dose of cocaine so that the snakes will leave him alone for a while. The fear he has of these snakes is much greater than the fear of mice that is experienced by an alcoholic suffering from delirium tremens.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 348 – Health and Illness II: Lecture III: The Effects of Alcohol on Man – Dornach, January 8, 1923

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Alcohol has a long-term negative effect that manifests in many generations

One must know that alcohol gradually penetrates the bone marrow and ruins the blood. By harming the offspring, all the descendants are thus harmed. If an alcoholic has three children, for example, these three are harmed only a little; their descendants, however, are significantly hurt. Alcohol has a long-term negative effect that manifests in many generations. Much of the weakness that exists in humanity today is simply due to ancestors who drank too much.

One must indeed picture it like this: here is a man and a woman, the man drinks too much, and the bodies of their descendants are weakened. Now think for a moment what this implies in a hundred, and worse, in several hundred years! It serves no purpose to examine only a decade, say from 1870 to 1880, and to conclude that more people died from water than from alcohol. Much longer periods of time must be considered. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 348 – Health and Illness II: Lecture III: The Effects of Alcohol on Man – Dornach, January 8, 1923

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Cocaine

[….] I call your attention to another evil that has recently made its appearance in Europe, that is, the use of cocaine by people who wish to drug themselves. In comparison to what the use of cocaine will do, particularly in damage to the human reproductive forces, alcohol is benign! 

Those individuals who take cocaine do not hold cocaine responsible for the damage it does, but you can see from the external symptoms that its use is much worse than that of alcohol. When a person suffers from delirium tremens, it becomes manifest in a form of persecution complex. He sees mice everywhere that pursue him. 

A cocaine user, however, imagines snakes emerging everywhere from his body. First, such a person seeks an escape through cocaine, and for a while he feels good inside, because it brings about a feeling of sensual pleasure. When he has not had any cocaine for some time, however, and he looks at himself, he sees snakes emerge everywhere from his body. Then he runs to have another dose of cocaine so that the snakes will leave him alone for a while. The fear he has of these snakes is much greater than the fear of mice that is experienced by an alcoholic suffering from delirium tremens.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 348 – Health and Illness II: Lecture III – The Effects of Alcohol on Man – Dornach, January 8, 1923

Translated by Maria St. Goar

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