Nationality

Slowly in the course of the nineteenth century the principle of nationality arose, this emphasizing of the nationality, this wish to live only in the nationality. This represents the antithesis of the soul-spirit nature; for this soul-spirit nature does not trouble itself with nationality. Many of the souls who today live in Europe were formerly incarnated in America. The souls who today live chiefly in Japanese bodies should not point to their ancestors, as far as their souls are concerned, but to the time of the folk migrations in Europe. Yes, indeed, the Americans should not pride themselves on their forebears, their European blood ancestry. Rather they should point to the fact that they once lived in Asia at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha, and there went through a culture which was not yet permeated by Christianity; thus they are also those who accept Christianity through external tradition and external education. There is still a strong opposition from this quarter to a soul-spiritual conception of the world.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 202 – The Souls Progress through Repeated Earth Lives – Bern, 14th December 1920

Previously posted on December 3, 2014

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The Bible and reincarnation

I will not now discuss other misunderstandings, which could easily be refuted. I will only mention one thing, which may very easily be said, “What do you think of the fact that nothing about repeated earth-lives is found in the Bible?” It might be that some one would say that he could not believe in these repeated earth-lives, for the simple reason that, according to his convictions, there is a contradiction between the acceptation of these repeated earth-lives, which, certainly, minds such as Lessing’s, for instance, admitted as true, and what is in the Bible.

Now repeated earth-lives will be accepted as a scientific, a spiritually-scientific fact, and people will learn to think in the following way about the relation to the Bible of such a fact of spiritual science, which had sooner or later to be discovered. Would it be thought possible for anyone to say he did not believe in the existence of America because the Bible does not mention such a place? Or would it be thought any injury to the Bible to say, “I think the existence of America is quite in harmony with my reverence for the Bible, in spite of America’s not being mentioned within its pages”? Is there anything in the Bible about the truth of the Copernican view of the universe? There have been people who for this reason have looked upon the Copernican view of the world as something false and forbidden. Nowadays there is no one really versed in the culture of his time who could say that he found a contradiction between the teaching of Copernicus and the Bible — notwithstanding that the teaching of Copernicus is not in the Bible.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 35 – The Mission of Spiritual Science and of its Building at Dornach – Liestal, 11th January 1916

Translated by A. M. Wilson

Nationality

Slowly in the course of the nineteenth century the principle of nationality arose, this emphasizing of the nationality, this wish to live only in the nationality. This represents the antithesis of the soul-spirit nature; for this soul-spirit nature does not trouble itself with nationality. Many of the souls who today live in Europe were formerly incarnated in America. The souls who today live chiefly in Japanese bodies should not point to their ancestors, as far as their souls are concerned, but to the time of the folk migrations in Europe. Yes, indeed, the Americans should not pride themselves on their forebears, their European blood ancestry. Rather they should point to the fact that they once lived in Asia at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha, and there went through a culture which was not yet permeated by Christianity; thus they are also those who accept Christianity through external tradition and external education. There is still a strong opposition from this quarter to a soul-spiritual conception of the world.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 202 – The Souls Progress through Repeated Earth Lives – Bern, 14th December 1920

Politics: Russian and American

The Russian becomes ill or actually suffers a death if he desires to be political. This may seem strange, yet a Russian person has a constitution which creates a disposition towards disease, towards death, with intensive political involvement. The Russian Folk Soul has absolutely no affinity with that quality in the English and American Folk Soul which creates a political capacity.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 186 – Social and Anti-Social Forces in the Human Being – Bern, 12th December 1918