The conviction of reincarnation and karma will transform modern life

But what is of particular importance for the modern anthroposophist is the gaining of conviction with regard to reincarnation and karma. The way in which men gain this conviction, how they succeed in spreading the thought of reincarnation and karma — it is this that from now onwards will essentially transform modern life, will create new forms of life, an entirely new social life, of the kind that is necessary if human culture is not to decline but rise to a higher level. Experiences in the life of soul such as were described yesterday are, fundamentally speaking, within the reach of every modern man, and if only he has sufficient energy and tenacity of purpose he will certainly become inwardly convinced of the truth of reincarnation and karma. But the whole character of our present age is pitted against what must be the aim of true Anthroposophy.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 135 – Reincarnation and Karma – Lecture IV – Stuttgart, 21 February 1912



Modern thinking is unable to cope with and master the chaos

Modern thinking is simply unable to cope with and master the chaos of outer conditions and tasks in which man is becoming so deeply involved. Thinking itself will become rigid. Today we are living in an age of transition but thinking will soon no longer be sufficiently fluid and flexible to grapple with and transform the complicated conditions of life. Why do we promulgate anthroposophy? In order to achieve practical effects. Anthroposophical thoughts make thinking more elastic, more flexible, enable a more rapid survey of far-reaching circumstances.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 109 – Rosicrucian Esotericism: Lecture I – Budapest, 3rd June 1909


I will give you an example to show how absurdly a person may err when he judges merely by externals

I will give you an example to show how absurdly a person may err when he judges merely by externals. He might say: ‘I know of a man who was a great adherent of the anthroposophical conceptions. Now the Anthroposophists declare that health is always improved by their teachings and even that life is prolonged by them. Fine teaching this! The man died at forty-three!’ So much they know: that he dies at forty-three; they have seen it. But how much do they not know? They do not know the age at which the man would have died had he known nothing of Anthroposophy. Perhaps, without Anthroposophy, he might have died at forty! If the span of a man’s life reaches to his fortieth year without Anthroposophy, it may very well extend to his forty-third with Anthroposophy. Inasmuch as Anthroposophy penetrates into life, its effects will also show themselves in life. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 112 – The Gospel of St. John – Lecture VII – Cassel, 30th June 1909

Anthroposophy is not a religion but an instrument for understanding religions

Anthroposophy is not a religion but an instrument for understanding religions. It’s related to religion in about the same way that our mathematical theory is related to ancient math books. One can understand mathematics out of one’s own intellectual forces and the laws of space without referring to Euclid’s geometry book. But when one has taken in geometric teachings one will treasure that old book all the more, that first placed these laws before the human spirit. That’s the way it is with anthroposophy. Its sources are not in documents and aren’t based on tradition. Its sources are in the real spiritual worlds; that’s where one must find them and grasp them in that one develops one’s spiritual forces, whereas one grasps mathematics as one tries to develop one’s intellectual forces. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 – From the Contents of Esoteric Classes: Esoteric Lesson – Berlin, 1903 or 1904