The term Anthroposophy

The term “Anthroposophy” should really be understood as synonymous with “Sophia,” meaning the content of consciousness, the soul attitude and experience that make a man a full-fledged human being. The right interpretation of “Anthroposophy” is not “the wisdom of man,” but rather “the consciousness of one’s humanity.” In other words, the reversing of the will, the experiencing of knowledge, and one’s participation in the time’s destiny, should all aim at giving the soul a certain direction of consciousness, a “Sophia.”

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 257 – Awakening to Community – IV – The development of the Anthroposophical Society. The soul-drama of the anthroposophist. – Stuttgart, February 13, 1923

Translated by Marjorie Spock

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New religions will no longer arise

Anthroposophy knows full well that she can never be a religion, because she recognises the actual course of development in time; she knows that just as little as one can become a child again at the age of 60, just as little humanity can develop religions in the present era and in future times. Forming religions belonged to other times. New religions will no longer arise.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 72 – Freiheit Unsterblichkeit Soziales Leben – Basel, 19th October 1917  (page 89)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on January 30, 2015

Dislike of anthroposophy

Maybe you are a really good anthroposophist, very keen on spiritual science, but you are living in the same house and in very close connection with someone else who detests it, who regards Anthroposophy as his greatest enemy. Now you may say, you are extremely sorry to be causing him so much pain by your attachment to what he detests. From the aspect of earthly life this may be rightly judged. Seen from the other side however, very often it turns out in such a case that it lay in the other person’s Karma not to be able to come near to Anthroposophy owing to hindrances brought from a former life, making him in his head a very hater of it. As to his head, he simply cannot bear it. He becomes vexed and excited every time he hears tell of anthroposophical truths.

Yet all the time, in his inmost heart he may not be averse to them at all, and when he dies it may well be that he has after death a very deep longing for Anthroposophy. Often therefore you will be doing just what is needed for one who hated it during earthly life, if after his death, you turn to him with thoughts derived from Anthroposophy, so as to bring them to him.

Paradoxical as it may sound, not a few relatives who raged and stormed when another member of the family became [an] anthroposophist have become deeply attached to it after death. In this respect once more, you must take seriously what I said during my last sojourn here: we judge life very differently from yonder side than we do from this side.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 218 – Planetary Spheres and Their Influence on Mans Life on Earth and in the Spiritual Worlds: LECTURE VI – London, 19th November, 1922

Translated by George and Mary Adams

To preach morality is easy; to establish morality is difficult

My dear friends, it is true that to establish morality is difficult; to preach morality is easy. To establish morality means to establish it out of wisdom, and one must first have this wisdom. Here we see that it was after all a rather intelligent utterance on the part of Schopenhauer when he said that to establish morality is difficult.

Thus we see how unfounded it is when people who do not really know anthroposophy come and say that it contains no moral incentives. Anthroposophy shows us what we accomplish in the world when we do not act morally. It provides wisdom, and from this very wisdom morality streams forth. There is no greater arrogance than to say that one need only be a good person and all will be in order. The trouble is that one must first know how one goes about really being a good person. Our contemporary consciousness is very arrogant when it wishes to reject all wisdom. True knowledge of the good requires that we penetrate deeply into the mysteries of wisdom, and this is inconvenient, for it requires that we learn a great deal.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 127 – The Significance of Spiritual Research For Moral Action – Bielefeld, 6th March, 1911

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Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)