Anger

Outbursts of violent temper hinder the right development of the emotions and also the will, and also have a far more extensive influence, as we can see at once. Now, anger is something that a person does not by any means have under his control. Only gradually can he master the habit of becoming angry, and one must have patience with oneself. To anyone who believes he can achieve this with a turn of the hand I must repeat the story of a teacher who took very much to heart the task of ridding his pupils of anger. When he was faced by the fact, that after constant efforts, a boy still became angry, he himself became so angry that he threw the ink bottle at the child’s head. A person who permits himself to do such a thing must think for many, many weeks about karma.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 130 – Esoteric Christianity and the Mission of Christian Rosenkreutz – Lecture 2 – Leipzig, 5th November 1911

Translated by Pauline Wehrle

Previously posted on March 8, 2015

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Serenity and acceptance of our destiny

What characteristics must we specially cultivate if we wish to work in a beneficial way on our will life?

Most beneficial of all in our will nature is the influence of a life directed in its entire character towards a comprehension of karma. We might also say a soul life which strives to develop, as its primary characteristic, serenity and acceptance of our destiny. And what better way can one find of developing this acceptance, this calmness of soul in the presence of one’s destiny, than by making karma an actual content in one’s life?

What do we mean by this? It means that — not merely theoretically but in a living way — when our own sorrow or the sorrow of another comes upon us, when we experience joy or the heaviest blow of fate, we shall really be fully aware that, in a certain higher sense, we ourselves have given the occasion for this painful blow of fate.

Our serenity, our acceptance of our karma in all occurrences, strengthens our will. We grow stronger in facing life with serenity, never weaker. Through anger and impatience we become weak. In the face of every occurrence we are strong when we are serene. On the contrary, we become continually weaker in will through moroseness and an unnatural rebellion against destiny.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 130 – Esoteric Christianity and the Mission of Christian Rosenkreutz – Lecture 2 – Leipzig, 5th November 1911

Translated by Pauline Wehrle

Previously posted on April 25, 2016

Using life in accordance with wisdom

Karma may have brought it about that in youth we grew angry, and condemned this or that human action. If we retain this quality we have made poor use of our lives. We have used them well, supposing we formed harsh judgments in our youth, if at a later stage of life we do not judge harshly, but with understanding and forgiveness; if we make the effort of wishing to understand.

If we have the character that from birth some things aroused furious anger in us, and if when we are old we no longer grow angry as in our youth, but our anger has left us and we have grown gentler — then we have used life in accordance with wisdom. If we were materialists in our youth, but then allowed ourselves to experience what our time could bring us as revelations from the spiritual world, then we have used our life in accordance with wisdom. If we close ourselves to the revelations of the spiritual world we have not used our life in accordance with wisdom.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 159 – The Great Virtues – Zürich, January 31, 1915

Anger: we can call it the teacher of love

For the spiritual scientist, anger is also the harbinger of something quite different. Life shows us that a person who is unable to flare up with anger at injustice or folly will never develop true kindness and love. Equally, a person who educates himself through noble anger will have a heart abounding in love, and through love he will do good. Love and kindness are the obverse of noble anger. Anger that is overcome and purified will be transformed into the love that is its counterpart. A loving hand is seldom one that has never been clenched in response to injustice or folly. Anger and love are complementary.

Transmuted anger is love in action. That is what we learn from reality. Anger in moderation has the mission of leading human beings to love; we can call it the teacher of love.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 58 – Metamorphoses of the Soul Paths of Experience Vol. 1 – Lecture 2: The Mission of Anger – Munich, 5th December 1909

Translated by Charles Davy and Christian von Arnim

Previously posted on May 24, 2014

Anger

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

Previously posted on October 30, 2016