It would be sheer boundless arrogance for man to suppose that he has attained in the slightest degree to the wisdom inherent in the formation of the external physical body

Consider our physical body; we look on it as having been formed out of the spiritual world in the primordial past as a dwelling for the human soul. Only a materialistic mind could believe that this human body had not been born originally from the spirit. Seen merely from an external point of view, the physical body must appear a miracle of perfection. What do all our intellectual ability and technical skill amount to, compared with the wisdom manifest in the structure of the human heart? Or take the engineering technique that goes into the building of bridges, and so forth — what is it compared with the construction of the human thigh-bone, with its wonderful crisscross of support members, as seen through the microscope. 

It would be sheer boundless arrogance for man to suppose that he has attained in the slightest degree to the wisdom inherent in the formation of the external physical body. And consider our soul-life, taking into account only our instincts, desires and passions — how do they function? Are we not doing all we can to undermine inwardly the wisdom-filled organisation of our body? Indeed, if we consider without prejudice the marvel of our physical organisation, we have to admit that our bodily structure is far wiser than anything we can show in our inner life, although we may hope that our inner life will advance from its present imperfection towards increasing perfection. We can hardly come to any other conclusion, even without clairvoyance, if we simply look impartially at the observable facts.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 59 – Metamorphoses of the Soul – Vol. 2: Lecture 8: Human Conscience – Berlin, 5th May 1910

Translated by Charles Davy and Christian von Arnim

systems

Previously posted on March 4, 2015

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What claims to be “humble” or “simple” today is often supreme arrogance

More and more generally it is being said that people should steep themselves in the very simplicity of the Gospels and not attempt to understand the Mystery of Golgotha by entering into the complexities of spiritual science. Those who feign unpretentiousness in their study of the Gospels are the most arrogant of all, for they despise the honest search for knowledge demanded in spiritual science. So arrogant are they that they believe the highest revelations of the spiritual world can be garnered without effort, simply by browsing on the simplicity of the Gospels. What claims to be “humble” or “simple” today is often supreme arrogance. In sects, in religious confessions — it is there that the most arrogant people are to be found.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 193 – Influences of Lucifer/Ahriman: Lecture Three – Bern – 4th November, 1919

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond

Previously posted on March 13, 2018

 arrogance

Lack of humility is due to nothing else than lack of knowledge

Lack of humility is due to nothing else than lack of knowledge. A penetrating, comprehensive knowledge of man in his connection with the events of the world and of history will certainly not lead to excessive self-esteem; far rather it will lead the human being to look at himself objectively. It is precisely when a man does not know himself that there rise up in him those feelings which have their source in the unknown regions of his being. Instinctive, emotional impulses make themselves felt. And it is these instinctive, emotional impulses, rooted as they are in the subconscious, that make for arrogance and pride.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 236 – Karmic Relationships: Esoteric Studies – Volume II – Dornach, 23rd April 1924

Translated by G. Adams, M. Cotterell, C. Davy, & D. S. Osmond

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Previously posted on April 25, 2018

Some think modern science will bring all the truth  

When we look out into the world today we see something that has already been there for many years: a tremendous amount of destructiveness. There are forces at work that give us an inkling of the abysses into which western civilization is still to plunge. Looking at those individuals who externally are the cultural leaders in the various fields of life, we notice how they are enmeshed in a terrible cosmic sleep. They think, and until recently most people thought, that until the nineteenth century mankind was childlike and primitive in its insights and views, and that now that modern science has entered into all the various fields truth has at last arrived, truth that must be upheld forever.

People who think like this are, without knowing it, living in a state of tremendous arrogance. On the other hand, here and there amongst mankind today there are some inklings that things are perhaps not as the majority would like to imagine.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 260 – The Christmas Conference- Part Two: The Procedings of the Conference – Dornach, 1st January 1924

Translated by Johanna Collis

Previously posted on March 19, 2016

Arrogance/Wisdom/Goodness

There is no greater arrogance than to say that one only needs to be a good person, and then everything is in order. After all, one must first know how to do it; how to really be a good person.  Rejecting wisdom, with our present-day consciousness, would be a sign of great arrogance. True understanding of what is good requires that we intrude deeply into the secrets of wisdom. That would of course be inconvenient because we would have to learn much. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA-number unknown

Anonymous translator

Previously posted on December 29, 2017