The principle “I believe” has to be replaced with “I believe what I know.”

Truly spiritual thoughts nourish our soul and maintain it. It would be the death of our soul if it always had to live in thoughts taken only from the physical world. In earlier times, religious beliefs were such spiritual thoughts human souls need. That phase of our development has been completed, and we live now in a time when we on earth will gradually lose the ability to take in what speaks only to our emotions, our faith. 

We can still preserve this faith for a time, galvanizing it, so to speak, but we cannot keep it for the future. The principle “I believe” has to be replaced with “I believe what I know.” People will begin to feel that this new principle must be applied. Otherwise we deny ourselves any possibility of knowing something about the life between death and a new birth. Then we would return to pitiful conditions in our next incarnation.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 154 – The Presence of the Dead on the Spiritual Path: LECTURE SIX: FAITH AND KNOWLEDGE – Prague, April 17, 1914

Translated by Christian von Arnim

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The Belief in Authority has moved from Religion to Science

Nowadays, the human being proudly tells himself that he only believes in what he can grasp within himself. However, to one who can look deeper, it seems the belief in authority that used to belong to the religious confessions has merely sprung over to another sphere. Moreover, this sphere is, indefinitely, but with an all the stronger belief therein, what is abstractly called “science”. As soon as the word “science” falls, there rises to the surface in contemporary humanity, the belief in authority from a completely different direction than previously.

To what science establishes as valid, an authority of much higher power than ever before is attributed – for reasons that, in widespread circles, are not entirely clear.

How often one hears today, as the answer to a question arising from the inner being of a person: “Science says this or that.” This generally acknowledged power, namely science, has now claimed all authority for itself. This authority is accepted by those who consider themselves to be knowledgeable of the times they live in, even concerning questions that relate to their worldview as well.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 77a – Die Aufgabe der Anthroposophie gegenüber Wissenschaft und Leben – Darmstadt, July 28, 1921 (page 56-57)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on October 17, 2019

It is a complete misunderstanding to say spiritual science must also be believed

I have often emphasized that it is a complete misunderstanding to say spiritual science must also be believed. When people say this, it is because they are so crammed full with materialistic prejudices that they do not look at what spiritual science really has to offer. As soon as it is examined, everything becomes understandable. One does not need clairvoyance for this; our ordinary understanding is enough to really grasp and comprehend all this gradually — of course, “gradually” will be inconvenient for some people.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 154 – The Presence of the Dead on the Spiritual Path: Lecture One: Understanding the Spiritual World (Part One) – Berlin, April 18, 1914

Translated by Christian von Arnim

Previously posted on October 16, 2016

It is a complete misunderstanding to say spiritual science must also be believed

Spiritual science can be understood by every person who wants to understand its findings. It strives to give people what each individual soul can truly achieve on its own, not by following the religious founders, as in earlier times. And although it must be individual researchers who make the results of this science of the spirit available today, they do so in a form that can be understood by everyone who wants to. 

I have often emphasized that it is a complete misunderstanding to say spiritual science must also be believed. When people say this, it is because they are so crammed full with materialistic prejudices that they do not look at what spiritual science really has to offer. As soon as it is examined, everything becomes understandable. One does not need clairvoyance for this; our ordinary understanding is enough to really grasp and comprehend all this gradually — of course, “gradually” will be inconvenient for some people.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 154 – The Presence of the Dead on the Spiritual Path: Lecture I: Understanding the Spiritual World (Part 1) – Berlin, April 18, 1914

Translated by Christian von Arnim

Previously posted on October 16, 2016